A ladoo (also spelled laddu and laddoo) is an Indian ball-shaped sweet, often served on special occasions and during festivities. They’re traditionally, or most commonly, made from ingredients such as besan flour, milk, ghee, jaggery, almonds, cardamom, and more.
This particular recipe is perfect for those sweet cravings, and also helps to retain the strength of the digestive fire, Agni. You could consume these as a between-meal snack; or, you could consume them prior to your lunch, as in Ayurveda starting a meal with the sweet taste is recommended. Dessert first? Well, kind of. When we say sweet should be eaten first, we’re referring to healthy options, not ice-cream cake. Some examples of favourable sweet foods are: Any type of milk, nuts, basmati rice, sweet vegetables, cinnamon, cardamom, and so on.
Credit is due for the inspiration of this recipe. It has been adapted from a homemade creation from one of my fellow yoga teaching colleagues at Verve For Life – the brilliant Claire Walshe, who is not only a kick-ass yoga teacher/guide/mentor/practitioner, but is also one of the most inspirational Mums/ business owner/ food extraordinaires I have ever met. So, you can thank her for this gem (which she suggests adding rum to as a perfect Christmas treat)!
Makes approx 30 balls – recipe is vegan and gluten free
- 1 cup roasted macadamia nuts*
- 1 cup roasted, slivered almonds*
- 6 soft and fresh medjool dates**
- 1 cup ‘naked’ ginger (not crystallised ginger – but found by it’s side in the baking aisle)
- 1 heaped teaspoon of grated fresh ginger (or a little more if you wish!)
- 1 teaspoon dried powdered ginger
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons of coconut oil
- 1/8 cup of organic, raw cacao powder
- High quality, finely ground salt
Put all ingredients, excluding cacao powder and salt, into a food processor. Whiz everything on high until combined. The mixture should eventually bind into a sticky, glossy ball.
Place the ‘dough’ into a glass or stainless steel bowl, and pop it into the refrigerator until nice and firm.
Place cacao powder and a pinch or two of finely ground salt into a large bowl, and stir together.
Take mixture out of the refrigerator. Spoon out small amounts of the mix, and roll into balls between your hands. Roll each ball into the cacao powder, then roll again between the hands to set the powder onto the balls, and releasing any excess back into the bowl.
Once you have rolled each of the ladoos into the cacao powder, store them all in a seal tight container (preferably glass) in the fridge.
Don’t eat them all at once!
*Use your choice of nuts – this is simply my favourite blend. You can use 2 cups of the same nut if you wish. Cashew nuts work very well also. Roasting your nuts is a great way to bring out their flavour, and also makes them much easier to digest. You can choose to buy roasted nuts, or purchase them raw and roast them yourself on a low heat.
**Avoid using long life dried dates. The softness and freshness of the medjool dates helps to bind the mix.