|Place of origin||Bihar, India|
|Region or state||Indian subcontinent, Mauritius, Fiji, southern and eastern Africa, the Caribbean, the Malay Peninsula|
|Main ingredients||Flour, milk, sugar|
|Variations||Gram flour, rava|
|Other information||Served on festive or religious occasions|
|Cookbook: Laddu Media: Laddu|
Laddu or laddoo are sphere-shaped sweets originated in the Indian subcontinent. Laddus are made of flour, minced dough and sugar with other ingredients that vary by recipe. They are often served at festive or religious occasions.
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.
Boondi laddu or Bundiar Laddu is made from chickpea based boondi. It is often served in occasions like festivals such as Raksha bandhan and Diwali. Motichoor laddu is made from fine boondi where the balls are tiny and is cooked with ghee or oil. Originally this laddu was a north Indian sweet, but it is now popular throughout the Indian subcontinent.
Besan laddu is a popular Indian sweet dish made of (chickpea flour or gram flour), sugar and ghee. Besan is roasted in ghee till golden brown appearance with 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
Laddu with edible gum
In India, these are traditionally given to lactating mothers as they help in the production of milk. The 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. An alternative multigrain recipe will have a portion of gum replaced by grains and legume flours such as besan, urid, ragi (nachani in Marathi) and wheat.
Laddu is often prepared for festivals or family events such as weddings and births, or given as a prasadam(religious offering of food) at Hindu temples, especially at Venkateswara Temple, Tirumala, Andhra Pradesh, it is famous with the name Tirupati Laddu. Laddu is considered a traditional Eid dessert in some Muslim communities.
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 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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