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Tray of Laddus
|Place of origin||India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal|
|Main ingredient(s)||Flour, milk, sugar|
|Variations||Gram flour, rava|
|Other information||Served on festive or religious occasions|
Laddu or Laddoo is a ball-shaped sweet popular in Indian Subcontinent as well as regions with immigrants from the Subcontinent such as Hijaz. Laddu is made of flour and sugar with other ingredients that vary by recipe. It is often served at festive or religious occasions.
Laddu comes from the Sanskrit word transliterated as ladduka or lattika meaning a small ball. Though contested, it is widely believed to originate from the Mithilanchal region of Bihar during the times of Chandragupt Maurya.
Common flours used for laddu include besan (chickpea flour), rava (wheat semolina) and ground coconut. These are combined with sugar and other flavorings, cooked in ghee and molded into a ball shape. Some laddu recipes are prepared using Ayurvedic medicinal ingredients, including methi laddu, multigrain and resin laddu.
Laddu flour (alternate spelling: ladoo flour, ladu flour) is a coarsely ground whole wheat flour sold particularly in the USA as an ingredient for certain Indian dishes, (in particular for laddu). The ostensible explanation for the purpose of the term is to differentiate it from the many other kinds of wheat flours that are available.
Laddu is often prepared for festivals or family events such as weddings and births, or given as a prasad at Hindu temples, especially Tirupati Venkateswara temple, Andhra Pradesh. In Maharashtrian cuisine, there are traditional recipes for laddu intended as travel provisions.
Laddu is also considered a traditional Eid dessert in some Muslim communities.
In the Sesame Street episode "Rakhi Road", laddus are featured prominently as a favoured Indian dessert. Elmo is shown making laddus and enjoying eating them as part of the celebrations around the Indian festival of Rakhi.
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