Divali is right about the corner here in Trinidad and around this time of year, apart from the religious aspect, the focus shifts to the excitement of receiving Indian sweets and food in abundance.
Ladoo is one such sweet that many people look forward to. This delicacy is usually shaped in balls and is a combination of ground split peas, sugar, spices. As with many other food items, there will be variations in terms of taste and even texture. Some may prefer it with a lot of spice while others prefer less and some will prefer absolutely smooth ladoo while others will prefer a little ‘crunch’ in it. Either way this is one of the many Indian sweets that you can look forward it for Divali.
Here’s my version.
YIELD: 20 but can vary depending on the size you roll them into
- 2 cups split peas powder
- 2 tbsp powdered milk
- 1 tsp ground elychee
- 1/2 tsp ginger powder (optional)
- 3/4 cup water
- Yellow or orange food coloring, as you prefer
- 1/2 cup condensed milk
- Vegetable oil for frying
For sugar mixture/pag
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- Heat oil in pot for frying.
- Combine split peas powder, powdered milk, ginger powder and 1/2 tsp elychee. Add water (a little at a time) and food coloring. Mix well until all ingredients come together. The dough doesn’t have to be very smooth or firm.
- Break small pieces off and fry until lightly brown. Ensure that the pieces are as small as possible.
- Once all pieces are fried, add them to a food processor and process until there are very very very fine crumbs. You can also use a mill to properly grind the fried pieces.
- Add crumbs to a bowl along with 1/2 tsp elychee and condensed milk. Mix well.
- Add sugar and water to a pan and bring to a boil until it begins to thicken.
- Carefully add the sugar mixture to the split peas crumbs mixture. Mix well using a spoon as it would be hot. Using your hands, carefully form balls to any size you like. Roll until smooth and set aside.
- Allow to cool and enjoy your ladoo!!
POINTS TO NOTE:
- The amount of food coloring used depends on how yellow or orange you like your ladoo to be. Some people prefer more of an orange color while others prefer yellow.
- When the water is added in step 2, the mixture can be a bit runny. If you are doing it this way, just be careful when adding to the oil to fry. You can add it using a spoon and dropping in very small amounts at a time. You should try to keep them almost the same size when frying.
- The reason for frying small pieces at a time is to make it easy to grind or process. If you do fry some large pieces and some small, it would be difficult to grind/process into smaller pieces and the texture will be inconsistent in the ladoo.
- Another way of forming the ladoo would be to add the split peas mixture to the sugar mixture while in the pot and keep stirring until the mixture dries up a bit and then roll them out into balls instead of the adding the sugar mixture to the split peas mixture as I did in step 7. I’ve done both ways and don’t think I have a preference.
- Just to be safe, if you choose to add the sugar to the split peas mixture, add some at a time until some of the split peas mixture keeps its shape when squeezed in your palm.
- Don’t allow the sugar mixture to thicken too much to the point of it threading as it will hardened up too quickly when forming the ladoo balls.
- Some people like ladoo very smooth while others prefer a slight crunch of the fried split peas so you can grind/process the fried pieces accordingly.
- The sweetness level can be adjusted by using more condensed milk.
- You can also add as much spice as you like.
To be honest, I always thought ladoo was extremely difficult to make but after trying and experimenting a few times, it actually isn’t that difficult once you get the basic steps down.
I hope this recipe is helpful for you when you are making the ladoo. I included the pointers as they were things that I encountered while experimenting with this sweet.
Check out the video here:
Give this recipe a try and let me know how it goes! No matter what though, have fun in the kitchen!