Indian dolce vita. What do laddoo taste like?

Birth of a child, promotion or Diwali – in India, none can happen without a proper grand celebration accompanied by traditional Indian sweets. Friend’s engagement? Have a chewy and sweet karachi halva. A passed exam? Take a bite of a rich and syrupy doughnut – gulab yamun. Another one of those widely enjoyed delicacies is besan laddoo

During Diwali – one of the most important holidays for Hindus, Jains, and Sikhs – no fixed list of dishes must appear on the Diwali table. What you can expect, though, are sweets. Their preparation is an integral part of the celebration, often done by the family’s youngest members. Even if you have a big sweet tooth, after receiving sweets from all your friends for five days straight, you won’t be able to look at anything sweet for days.

Sweet Laddoo

One of the most popular Indian desserts is laddoo – sweet dough balls made of chickpea flour, ghee, and cardamom that delight with great sweetness. 

Laddoo has also appeared in Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham – Poland’s most popular Bollywood film. The main character’s younger brother – Rohan, is nicknamed “Laddoo” throughout his childhood since he’s a cheerful, chubby child, just like the sweet and round delicacy. 

When I take my friends out for Indian food, and the dessert arrives, I often hear them saying it’s “tasty; however, it’s very sweet”. Indeed, for European palates, barfi, jalebi, or kulfi might be a bit too sweet. After all, in our country, the best compliment a wedding cake can get is the honourable “good, not too sweet”.

However, you can get around that issue by preparing Indian sweets at home, adjusting the amount of sugar to your taste. 

This way, you can still try to open the door to the magical land of Indian delicacies. 

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As for now, here is the recipe for the laddoo dough balls. 

  • 200 g chickpea flour 
  • 4 tbsp semolina 
  • 70 ml ghee 
  • 100 g powdered sugar 
  • 4 tbsp sliced almonds 
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom 
  • a couple of raisins for decoration 

Place the chickpea flour, semolina, and ghee in a heavy saucepan and cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes or until fragrant. Reduce the heat and keep stirring to prevent the flour from burning. 

Turn the heat off and let it cool down. Add sugar, almonds, and cardamom. Grab a small chunk of the dough and form a ball. Garnish each laddoo with a raisin. 

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