Besan Ladoo or Besan ke Laddu is a very popular Indian festive sweet made from gram flour/besan, powdered sugar and ghee and flavored with a hint of cardamom. Garnished with almonds and coconut flakes, this ladoo recipe makes for a mouth-watering Indian dessert making any festival extra special.
Honestly I never grew up eating Besan Ladoo. I grew up in the Eastern part of India where fresh milk based desserts like Sandesh [shon-daesh], Kheer or chhena (cottage cheese) based desserts like Chhena Malpua or Chhena Poda are very popular compared to the Northern part of India where desserts are made with lots of nuts, dried fruits and ghee/clarified butter. Climate drives your food habits.
I tried Besan Ladoos when I moved to Delhi after marriage. when I moved to Delhi I got to enjoy a lot of ghee based desserts or food since this part of India is pretty cold compared to the rest of India. In Ayurveda, ghee based food is prepared and consumed to keep the body warm.
Though I continued to miss my Mishti Doi yet I very quickly adapted to the locally made fresh desserts like Besan Ladoo, Peda, Firni etc. And the best part about Besan Ladoos is almost all families make them at home and distribute to friends, relatives and neighbors during festive seasons like Diwali,Holi or Rakhi.
If you are worried about making Besan ladoo, you shouldn’t be. This recipe has step by step method in making them. The How to make Besan ladoo should not be a problem for you any more. Just note the tricks and tips given below and you will be all set. 🙂
So, What is Besan Ladoo?
We can make Besan Ladoo is nothing but small golf sized round dessert balls, made with chickpea flour which is called besan in Hindi. Though the method is time consuming, but its pretty straight forward. Primarily, you roast the flour with ghee (clarified butter) and then add sugar and hand shaped into round golf sized balls. You can add dried fruits and nuts or even saffron and cardamom to enhance the taste. Personally I prefer it without any nuts.
Important Tips to make Besan Ladoo
Always Roast the besan properly on low heat. Do not rush this step! I can’t put more emphasis than this. Hurrying up this step (not enough roasting time and not maintaining low heat), the ladoos will taste bitter and raw.
Low heat throughout – If the heat is high, the besan will turn brown and even burn while still being raw.
Keep stirring continuously – You need to have about 30 minutes on hand to keep stirring the besan on low heat. Play some music and enjoy the process. Its almost therapeutic. 🙂
Let the roasted besan cool down before adding sugar: once the besan has roasted let it cool down for at least 15 minutes before adding the sugar. If you add the sugar while besan is still warm, the sugar will melt and loosen up the mixture and you won’t be able to bind the ladoos.
Use fresh, good quality besan/gram flour. Besan is easily available in almost all Indian grocery stores.
Good quality organic ghee – Use some good quality ghee. These days, all grocery stores (Whole Foods, Cost Co, Sprouts etc.) carry fine ghee.
Use a thick bottom pan or a heavy nonstick pan for roasting the gram flour.
Grease your palms with ghee before shaping the balls so that the mixture does not stick to your hand.
Step by step Method
STEP 1 In a heavy bottom non stick pan, add the ghee and let it melt on low heat. Add the sifted besan to the pan. NOTE – Heat should be low at all times
STEP 2 Keep stirring continuously on low heat till there is no clump. After around 15/20 minutes of continuous stirring in low heat, the sugar will melt and the besan mixture will loosen up. After 15 minutes, the besan mixture will take a smooth paste consistency.
STEP 3 Continue to stir for another 10/15 minutes till you get a nice golden hue. Make sure that the heat is low at all point. Around this time, there will be a nice aroma from the mixture too.
STEP 4 Remove pan from heat and keep stirring for 2 to 3 minutes until it cooled down a little.
NOTE Allow the besan mixture to cool down for at least 15 to 20 minutes before adding sugar.
STEP 5 When the besan mixture cools down and be easy to touch add the sugar and cardamom powder. Mix everything together till well combined.
STEP 6 take a small dough and roll between your palm to form a round shape. Repeat with the remaining dough.
NOTE – You would get 8 to 10 ladoos. Don’t worry if they don’t look perfectly round.
How to store Besan Ladoo?
You can store Besan Ladoo in an air tight container for weeks in refrigerator.
Common question 1 – Why the besan ladoo turn soft?
Your Besan ladoo will be soft if you add way too much ghee or added the sugar when the roasted besan was too hot. To avoid having soft besan ladoo, first try keeping the ladoo mix in the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes
Common question 2 – Why the besan ladoo tasted bitter?
If the besan is not roasted well then the ladoo will taste bitter . If the besan is raw, the ladoos made with it will taste bitter. Also, if you have roasted the besan flour on high heat then its color may change to golden but it will be raw. To avoid having bitter tasting besan ladoo, always roast the besan on low heat.
Other festive desserts you must try –
Besan Ladoo Recipe
- 1/2 cup Gram flour (Besan)
- 1/4 cup Ghee
- 1/4 cup Powdered Sugar
- 1 tsp 1/4 tsp green cardamom powder
- 2 tbsp almonds and coconut flakes and some silver bark for garnishing
- In a non-stick wok, melt the ghee and add the gram flour. Stir-fry over low heat. It will take about 30 minutes for the flour to get cooked through and it gets a pasty look when done. Its important to continue to stir evenly and break the lumps that will form initially
- Add another spoonful of ghee and continue to stir in low heat for another 5 minutes
- The color should be a light brown and the mixture should come together and begin to glossy. You can add a table spoon of water at this point.
- Shut off the heat and leave the mixture to cool completely. If it does not cool entirely, it becomes moist when sugar is added.
- Add the sugar, nuts and cardamom and mix well by rubbing it with your open palm against the base of the bowl. Rub till blended thoroughly.
- Shape into tight, hard balls, pressing hard at every stage. At the final stage, keep it pressed a little longer, so that the surface becomes smooth.
- Decorate the top of each ball with almonds and silver bark. These ladoos can be stored for almost 4-6 weeks in an air tight jar.