Besan Ladoo

June 23, 2008

I rushed home from two meetings, noodle lunch with a friend and a brief diversion into Armani Exchange.

We were having another Friday night dinner party. Where I would cook an Indian meal in wild panic, shower and look relaxed just in time for the doorbell.

Normally, I am star of the show at these evenings. But this time, our neighbour’s 60-something young mum stole my thunder.

We made caipirinha. Smashed glasses. And doubled up over the Kali Dal, Bhuna Gosht and Aubergine Raita as she regaled us with stories of learning how to drive in Indonesia, growing illegal herbs at home and a chance meeting with Gary Glitter.

Eddy, Absolutely Fabulous, we gasped before falling off our chairs and finally calling it a night.

Recovered from the evening of curry, I searched my cookbooks for inspiration on Sunday. It had to be Besan Ladoo a ghee-laced, sugar-soaked, decadent Indian sweet. Tipped as a great snack for children, by a mum in one of my cookbooks.

Strange, that. I’m no expert, but to me they’re the sort of thing that you’d give your child if you wanted them to fly around the room at midnight.

But then again, wouldn’t life be rather dull without unconventionally fabulous mamas?



Makes 8:

  • 125gm Besan or gram flour
  • 165gm granulated sugar
  • 100gm ghee
  • 10 pistachios, shelled
  • 4 whole cardamoms


Crush the pistachios and cardamom. I used my coffee grinder but you could just smash them up in a mortar and pestle.

In a small non-stick pot, bring half the ghee to heat over a low flame. When it is warm, add the besan and stir well mixing it in.

Keep adding the rest of the ghee bit by bit and then stir in the sugar, ground pistachios and cardamoms.

Now stir this mixture well for about 20 minutes until the raw smell of the besan disappears to fill your kitchen with a glorious aroma.

Leave the mixture to cool slightly. When it’s warm enough to handle, fashion little balls out of it and leave to set in your fridge until cool and hard. Store in an airtight container and keep them all for yourselves!



14 Responses to “Besan Ladoo”

  1. Shipra Singh Says:

    March 15th, 2018 at 10:34 am

    My Husband loves Loddo so much and thanks to sharing this easy way to make Besan ladoo.


  2. mycookinghut Says:

    July 10th, 2008 at 12:07 pm

    Never tried this before but looks good to me!!

  3. Kudzu Fire Says:

    July 5th, 2008 at 3:01 am

    looks scrumpitious

  4. dollybasu Says:

    June 28th, 2008 at 4:54 am

    wish u were here to see your nanis face looking at yourbesan ka laddoos . ha ha ha now she thinks i brought u up fine , ho ho ho ho

  5. Eeshani Says:

    June 25th, 2008 at 7:01 pm

    Yummy, yummy, yummy! Whenever you can, could you share with us your thoughts on the aam kheer recipe in “The Calcutta Kitchen”? I tried it this weekend, came out pretty well, but I’d love to see what better things you can do with it.

  6. sia Says:

    June 25th, 2008 at 7:00 am

    i guess i should self-invite to one of ur parties mallika 😉 laddos look heavenly…

  7. Fraser Says:

    June 24th, 2008 at 2:33 pm

    Fun evenings with great food! What more could you ask for!!!!

  8. JennDZ_The LeftoverQ Says:

    June 24th, 2008 at 7:51 am

    Sounds super yummy to me! Count me in for a few at midnight! Maybe an espresso too!

  9. Asha Says:

    June 24th, 2008 at 5:12 am

    Looks like a fun party! Older people are always more fun than young ones! 😀
    “Sugar laden sweets”, I agree. I don’t buy any sweets from Indian store. They are always sweet beyond my imagination. Homemade, we can aways control how much we add.
    Bad idea to give these sweets to kids, specially boys just before bed. My son gets jittery eating a chocolate after dinner, he won’t get them anymore!:))
    Besan ladoo looks yummy though! 🙂

  10. 30in2005 Says:

    June 24th, 2008 at 1:04 am

    Dude-ette, you are no good for women who are trying to eat fewer sweets! My mum used to make the most delicious besan ladoos when we were kids. I wonder if these are like those?!

  11. arundati Says:

    June 23rd, 2008 at 11:44 pm

    haha….fly around the room at midnight!! that is a fabulous line….and rings true too!! laddoos look lovely!! LLL!!

  12. Bharti Says:

    June 23rd, 2008 at 7:26 pm

    LOl..moms usually “time” the sweet snacks…unless they’re crazy of course. Sweet snacks are at and go crazy in the backyard.

  13. Elisabeth Winkler Says:

    June 23rd, 2008 at 3:08 pm

    I want to make this too but I have never bought ghee – it always seems to be in big pots. Is it better to try to make my own ghee? And is there a “quick” way to do so?

    Your blog made me smile and three cheers for 60+ women having fun – beacons lighting the way!

  14. Broom Says:

    June 23rd, 2008 at 1:30 pm

    I was being a good girl and following a strict calorie-controlled diet and exercise regime for 10 days. And then I saw this post.
    ‘Nuff said

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