Laddus are part of mythology, folklore, our memories, and they continue to be the star of a festive thali. Of the many stories making rounds of the Internet on the origin of laddus, the most common one says that it was invented around the 4th century by Susruta, considered the father of Indian surgery and medicine. He used the laddu to feed bitter healing herbs to patients. Another interesting story, imbued in Eastern folklore, says that the laddu was an accidental discovery. Apparently, an assistant to a Vaid (medicine-man) accidentally poured extra ghee into a concoction. To cover it up, he made small balls out of the mix, which, today, we know as laddus. One of the earliest examples of a laddu was the til-gud laddu, that is still widely consumed all over the country during Makar Sankranti in January.
Over the years, laddus came to be associated with festivals and celebrations. Today, if India was asked to vote for a national sweet dish, most likely the winning contender would be the laddu (or laddoo); across the political spectrum! From Makar Sankranti to Diwali, birthdays to weddings, laddus are a part of almost every festival and occasion in India. Of course, every region has its own version of this round sweetmeat. And they are even a favourite with popular culture character like Chota Bheem, who only survives on laddus.
Here, LF chefs share some easy recipes for laddus everyone loves.
Psst… bookmark your favourites so you can make some this Diwali!
Brown Rice Laddu
Another healthy and nutritious dessert recipe to make this Diwali, the Brown Rice Laddu is made with brown rice, fennel powder, cardamom powder, roasted white sesame seeds, cashew powder, almond powder, grated coconut clarified butter, and jaggery. While a few people use boiled brown rice for this recipe, chef Gautam Mehrishi goes for its raw version. He begins with roasting rice and all the powders together. Later, he adds ghee and jaggery and mixes it properly. Once the mixture comes to room temperature, he prepares small laddus and serves them on banana leaves with some almonds and cashews. This is one power-packed laddu with nutrients and minerals like magnesium, iron, copper, manganese, proteins, and vitamin E.
Here's a step-by-step video tutorial to help you make a brown rice laddu at home:Khajoor aur Anjeer ke Laddu
These mouth-watering Khajoor aur Anjeer ke Laddu should be your favourites because they are easy and healthy too. Chef Ranveer Brar sautes poppy seeds, chopped figs, mixed nuts, date paste, and grated dry coconut in some ghee to prepare this laddu. Once the mixture is ready, he adds some powdered sugar and sets it aside. When the mixture cools down, he applies some ghee on his palms and makes bite-sized laddus. This high-fibre laddu is low on sugar and full of healthy micronutrients!
Here's a step-by-step video to help you learn how to make khajoor aur anjeer ke laddus at home:
A traditional laddu prepared mainly in North India, the sabudana (sago) laddu can be the highlight of your Dussehra and Diwali celebrations this year. All you need to do is follow chef Ripudaman Handa’s step-by-step guide to making sabudana laddu recipe. Our favourite part of this recipe is when chef Ripudaman caramelizes desicated coconut with a cup of sugar and a few drops of water in a pan. The melting sugar and bits of coconut in it is surely a sight to behold for every foodie.
Learn how to make this laddu:
If you can’t wait for the festivities to begin to binge-eat laddus, we’d suggest you consider making these popcorn laddus by chef Ripudaman at home. Made with fluffy and crunchy popcorn and jaggery, this sure can make your breakfast or snack time more exciting. To make this five-ingredient laddu, you need oil, popcorn kernels, clarified butter, jaggery, and cardamom powder. All you need to do is pop some kernels, melt jaggery with butter in a separate pan, and then, mix it all together.
Here’s another traditional laddu recipe from chef Gautam Mehrishi’s kitchen. This easy gram flour-based laddus can be prepared in less than 30 minutes, which makes it a perfect last-minute dessert recipe. To make this, first chef Gautam adds ghee, gram flour, cardamom powder, and fennel seeds powder in a wok. Once the gram flour is cooked, he takes the mixture off the heat and adds powdered sugar when it cools down. Once done, he makes bite-sized laddus from the mixture.
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