|Region or state||Indian subcontinent|
|Main ingredients||Flour, sugar, ghee, Dry fruits|
|Variations||Gram flour, rava|
Laddu or laddoo or avinsh is a sphere-shaped sweet originating from the Indian subcontinent. Laddus are primarily made from flour, fat (ghee/butter/oil) and sugar. Laddus are often made of gram flour but can also be made with semolina. Sometimes ingredients such as chopped nuts and/or dried raisins are also added. The type of ingredients used may vary by recipe.
2600 BCE, Harappan archaeological site, 4MSR near Binjor, western Rajasthan (India); seven closely kept similar sized nutritional Laddus,consisting of ingredients legumes and cereals like barley, wheat, chickpea and Mung (Vigna radiata) as main component, were found in intact form, along with two figurines of bulls and a hand-held copper adze, during 2017 archeological excavations. According to Rajesh Agnihotri, the presence of bull figurines, adze and a Harappan seal along with the food balls indicates, Indus valley civilization people might have revered these items to perform some kind of ritual.
Common flours used for laddu include gram flour (chickpea flour), 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. Nuts such as pistachios and almonds are commonly stuffed into laddus.
Motichoor laddu is made from fine boondi where the balls are tiny and are cooked with ghee or oil. The recipe for this laddu originated in north India, however, it is now popular throughout the Indian subcontinent.
Besan laddu is a popular Indian sweet dish made of besan (chickpea flour or gram flour), sugar, and ghee. Besan is roasted in ghee till golden brown appearance with a nutty fragrance. Then sugar is added to it. Pistachio pieces are also mixed in this mixture optionally. Sweet balls are then made from this mixture. It has a long shelf life. It is often served at festivals, family events and religious occasions in India.
There are multiple coconut laddu recipes. Its earliest form Narayl Nakru dates back to the time of the Chola Empire, when it was a sweet that was packed for travelers and warriors as a symbol of good luck for their expeditions.
Semolina or rava laddu
This a laddu prepared from rava (semolina), sugar and ghee. A variant on the recipe includes khoa cheese as an additional ingredient.
Till laddu made with sesame seeds and then mixed with cheese to form balls are famous in north India and Bangladesh during the months of winter.
Laddu with edible gum
In India, these are traditionally given to lactating mothers as they help in the production of milk. These laddus are called dinkache ladoo in Marathi and gond ka laddu in Hindi. The main ingredient is gum arabic which is collected from the babhul tree. Other ingredients include coconut, almonds, cashews, dates, spices such as nutmeg and cardamom, poppy seeds, ghee, and sugar.
Laddu can be prepared from a variety of grains, legumes, or seeds. Some popular ones include laddu made with roasted wheat, amaranth, garden cress seeds, fenugreek seeds, and peanuts respectively.
The largest individual laddu weighs 29,465 kilograms (64,959 lb) and was achieved by PVVS Mallikharjuna Rao (India), in Tapeswaram, Andhra Pradesh, India, on 6 September 2016. The laddu was made to a traditional Boondi recipe. The ingredients included ghee, refined oil, cashew nuts, sugar, almonds, cardamom, and water.
In Maharashtrian cuisine, there are traditional recipes for laddu intended as travel provisions.
In the Sesame Street episode "Rakhi Road", laddus are featured prominently as a favored 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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