This is a huge throwback to my childhood. My mom’s side is Bengali and my grandmother (aka Nimma) was a fabulous cook. While she made great savoury dishes, she also nailed it in the dessert department. She was genuinely someone who loved good food and loved to feed the entire family!
One of my favourite traditional sweets was this coconut-jaggery ladoo, called Nadu. We used to have jars of it whenever we went to visit. Literally jars of it.
It’s been years since I’ve had this, since there is no one who makes this anymore. Sadly I dont have her recipes documented so after much research on the internet, I found a few recipes, and decided to work with those to make my version.
Diwali season is probably the only time I really feel like eating Indian sweets, im not big on them otherwise, because they are usually too sweet. I felt like trying something different this time (made atta ladoos last year) and decided to go down the childhood favourite path. I’m so glad I did!
Nadu is super easy to make, needs just 4 ingredients and a tiny bit of patience. Compared to other ladoos, it comes together quite quickly as well.
Grated coconut, jaggery, cardamom powder and teeny bit of salt. That’s it.
The coconut is lightly toasted, without getting brown, then mixed with jaggery till you get ladoo forming texture. That’s all.
The ladoo is chewy and slightly soft, toasty and nutty and altogether delightful!
Because they are small and light, it’s hard to eat just one. So make a big batch and celebrate this Diwali!🎆
- 2 cups grated coconut
- 3/4 cup jaggery powder
- 1/2 tsp cardamom powder
- Pinch of salt
- 1/2 tsp ghee
- Heat a heavy bottom pan/kadhai on the stove
- Switch it to low and add the coconut. Stir for 4-5 minutes to draw out some of the moisture. It doesn’t need to change colour
- Mix in the jaggery and combine. Dir continuously for 6-7 minutes till the jaggery melts
- It shouldn’t cook for too long else the ladoos will become hard. So after 5-6 minutes, take 1/2 tbsp of the mixture, let it cool slightly and try to shape a ball. If it is easy to shape, the mix is done and you can switch off the heat. If not, keep it going for another 1-2 minutes and test again
- Add the cardamom powder and salt to the mix and combine. Leave it to cool to room temperature
- Once cooled, add a little ghee to your palms to grease them. Take 1 heaped tablespoon of the mixture and roll into balls
- Set these aside. Complete for the entire mix
- Eat immediately or store in an air tight container