Happy Diwali everyone! Sending you light and cheer wherever you are. This year of all years, we need to feel the festivities and sense of normalcy more than ever, while staying safe of course. While Diwali is all about light, happiness and togetherness, it is also about the food. And definitely about the sweets 🙂
I made these atta ladoos for the first time yesterday and they are so good that I had to share them today!
For me, Diwali sweets were malpua, kaju barfi and boondi ladoos. My grandmom used to make the malpua at home and the others we used to receive as gifts or when we visited people. I have spent many a diwali stuffing my face with great food and delicious sweets all day.
We never made ladoos at home, but I’ve seen them made at friend’s houses and by my maternal grandmom, especially during the festive season. I was missing home and all the festive feels this year, so I knew if there was ever a time to get started on learning how to make indian sweets, this is it. These are a huge part of tradition across the country and I really want to learn more about them. These ladoos felt like a safe place to start and after reading a few recipes, I went about making them in a way that felt right to me.
I decided to add some roasted dry fruits for that slight crunch and extra lux feeling 🙂 The fragrance of cashews and almonds roasting in ghee is just gorgeous!
How glorious does that look?
Speaking of aromas, the atta roasting in ghee is another one that makes this all worthwhile. The nuttiness wafts through the kitchen as the atta starts to brown and really makes the house feel festive ready. It’s important to stir it often so that it doesn’t burn or stick, but other than that, it’s easy.
It starts as a pale flour mixture and then becomes this beautiful caramel brown. You can taste it to make sure it’s not raw and then take it off the heat and let it cool a bit, till it is only slightly warm.
While it cools, the jaggery is blitzed with the nuts and the cardamom seed and then just mixed through when ready. Keep adding ghee as you need, to get to a consistency that allows you to shape the dough into balls that hold their shape.
I’d seen people making ladoos by just using one hand to roll the ball. Turns out it is easy and super efficient! You need to form a ball and then just roll it back and forth on one palm till it forms a ball. You can also use the other hand to pat it into shape if you need. Easy, peasy!
These ladoos are dark, toasty, roasty, nutty and altogether delicious! My friend A is a huge fan of atta ladoos and said these were quite good. I’m using that, along with the fact that I ate 2 in one sitting, as validation foe the fact that these are worth making 🙂
I hope you try these and add them to your festive repertoire! Enjoy the festivities, my friends!
2 cups (240g) whole wheat flour (atta)
2/3 cup cashews + almonds
1 cup (140 g) jaggery
1/2 tsp cardamom powder
1/2 cup + 5 tbsp ghee
- In a small pan, heat 1 tbsp ghee and roast the almonds & cashews till golden. Keep them aside
- In a large pan, add 1/2 cup ghee and heat it. Add the atta and mix well. Roast on medium heat till the atta turns golden, stirring occassionally to avoid burning
- Lower the heat and continue to roast the atta till it is a caramel colour and has a nutty aroma. Keep stirring every few seconds. This will take about 10-15 minutes. Taste the mixture to ensure the atta is now raw. Set it aside on a plate to cool
- In a mixie, blitz the jaggery & dry fruits just so that they become smaller in size. They don’t need to become a fine powder, a few tiny bits are fine
- Add the jaggery+dry fruit mix to the atta, one the atta is only slightly warm (or at room temperature). Add the cardamom powder and mix well
- Keep mixing till you are able to form balls. Add ghee 1 tbsp at a time, if needed, to help it get to that consistency
- Take about 1 – 1.5 tbsp of mixture and roll it into balls. You can roll using the palm of one hand and moving the dough back and forth or use two hands to shape the dough into balls
- Serve immediately or store in an air tight container for a few days. Enjoy!