A ladoo is a very popular Indian sweet. Any celebration or festival is incomplete without this sweet. There are various kinds of ladoosmade in various states and regions in India. Basically a ladoo is made by cooking floor, sugar and ghee until all the ingredients mix together nicely. On cooling down a little, this mixture is rolled into small round balls with hands. My mother used to make coconut ladoos at home quite often, specially on our birthdays and send them to school to share with our classmates.
Here in my raw vegan version, I am using dry coconut floor in place of a regular floor and dates in place of sugar. There is no need for oil because there will be enough from the grated coconut. The stickiness of dates will help to bind the ingredients together and give round shape.
I have made these ladoos along with children as young as 3 year olds in kindergartens many times and they just love the whole process of grating the dry coconut (khopra), deseeding the dates, pounding the cardamon seeds, rolling them with their little hands and finally eating them. Include this as an activity for your children at home to keep them busy on weekends, holidays or long summer vacations.
You can prepare them on special occasions or have on a day today basis as a healthy dairy free, gluten free, and sugar free alternative. It is quick to prepare and can be stored for a week to 10 days in a close air tight container at room temperature.
NARIAL KE LADOO
MAKES APPROXIMATELY 8-10 BALLS
Coconut is an excellent source of manganese, phosphorus and potassium along with other essential minerals. Dates are high in folate, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium. Both coconut and dates are a great source of dietary fiber which helps prevent constipation. The combination of natural sugar with dietry fiber in this recipe makes it a great energy food and is quite filling. Keep it handy at home or carry along while travelling as a quick snack to avoid hunger pangs.
- 250 gms Barhi or Medjool dates or any other soft dates, pitted
- 1/2 cup coconut powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cardamom powder
Put the dates in the blender and blend them until smooth. Now add some coconut floor and blend again. Add the rest along with cinnamon powder and blend until they all blend well together to form a soft dough. Divide this dough into small equal parts and shape them into small equal sized round ladoos/balls. You may then roll them over the coconut powder for presentation or just keep them simple. These ladoos can stay for 2 weeks easily in an airtight container at room temperature.
Do not blend too much after adding coconut floor as it starts leaving oil. Instead take a spatula to scrape out the dates stuck on the sides of the blender in between if required so that they mix with the coconut floor well.