Besan Ladoo is a luscious and decadent dessert ball that requires just three main ingredients - gram flour (or chickpea flour), ghee, and sugar. This rich and flavorful Indian sweet is a popular delicacy that is commonly prepared during festivals and other celebratory events. The heavenly taste of this sweet treat is sure to leave you feeling satisfied and content. Passed down through the generations, the recipe for besan ke ladoo has become a cherished tradition in many households.
Why you will love this besan laddu recipe?
- This is a tried and tested easy fail-proof recipe that includes step-by-step instructions (and video) along with expert tips and tricks to master the art of crafting the most delicious besan laddu.
- This rich, melt-in-your-mouth dessert is perfect for festivals and celebrations like Ganesh Chaturthi and Diwali.
- These sweet balls are not only easy to prepare but also have a good shelf life. You can store them at room temperature for up to two weeks, making them an excellent treat to have on hand during special occasions or as a quick snack.
What is besan ladoo?
Besan laddu is made by slow-roasting gram flour (chickpea flour) in ghee. It has a nutty aroma and taste. The roasted besan is then laced with powdered sugar and portions of this mixture are shaped into round balls called ladoo. They are so simple to make and one of the most popular Indian desserts.
It is called besan unde in Kannada and this recipe is close to my heart. As a child, I loved watching my mom make them patiently. The entire home would fill with this lovely aroma. When I moved out for college, this was a staple to bring back with me from home, every time I went home. Now, my daughter loves them and can't get enough of them every time I make these delicious laddus. The recipe I am sharing was passed down to me by my mom.
Every state has some variations when making besan ke laddu but what is common is that they use the same basic ingredients. I am sharing all the tips and tricks along with a video you need to make the perfect besan ladoo. Getting the exact measurements and slow cooking are the only critical steps and this recipe nails it for you.
Besan: Besan or gram flour is made with split Bengal gram or chana dal.
Ghee: Also called clarified butter, ghee is a key ingredient in making the laddus.
Sugar: I use powdered sugar to make the laddu. As the sugar is added at the end and is not cooked, it is important that the sugar is powdered well. Else, the laddu will have grainy sugar bits. You can also use castor sugar but make sure you pulse it in a blender to make it a fine powder.
Nuts: I use cashew nuts but you may add other nuts and dry fruits like raisins, almonds, pistachio, etc.
Ground cardamom: Green cardamom powder adds a very good flavor and aroma to the laddu.
Water: One tablespoon of water is a key ingredient here. It gives the right texture to the laddu and also is the easiest way to check if the besan is done. See the video on how it helps make the laddu mixture perfect.
Step 1: Take a heavy bottom pan and add ghee. Let it melt completely (image 1).
Step 2: Add the besan and fry on low heat until the raw smell of besan goes away and it turns slightly golden. Initially, the besan will soak up all the ghee and become dry. Then it slowly loosens up and the mixture becomes smooth (images 2, 3, and 4).
Step 3: Keep stirring the besan and ghee mixture continuously else it may burn. It may take 15-20 minutes for the besan to roast well and turn golden brown. The roasting time depends on the amount of heat (images 5 and 6).
Step 4: Once the besan is roasted well and has a nutty fragrance, add 1 tablespoon of water to it and mix well. Continue stirring for 2 minutes on low flame. See the video for details (images 7 and 8).
Pro-tip: Adding a small amount of water helps in giving a fluffy texture to the besan.
Step 5: The besan mixture turns fluffy and airy after about 2 minutes (images 9 and 10).
Step 6: Turn off the heat. Add cardamom powder and chopped cashew. Mix them well (images 11 and 12).
Step 7: Transfer the besan mixture to a plate or tray. Let it cool down for 10 minutes (image 13).
Step 8: Add powdered sugar and mix well (images 14, 15, and 16).
Step 9: Take small portions of the ladoo mixture and form a round shape or laddu (images 17 and 18).
Step 10: Let the laddus dry for one hour before storing. Perfect and most delicious besan ke ladoo is ready to be served or stored.
Sift the besan before adding it to the ghee. This will help remove any lumps or dried bits from the besan.
Besan is easily available in Indian grocery stores. Some stores also stock a slightly coarse variety called "laddu besan". You can use either coarse or fine besan in this recipe.
Where possible, use good quality ghee or desi ghee to make laddus.
It is really important to fry the besan correctly. If it is underdone, it will give a raw unpleasant taste. If the besan is over-roasted, it may burn. The besan needs constant stirring while being roasted.
Place the pan on low to medium heat for roasting besan. If the mixture is getting too hot, take the pan off the heat for one minute and continue to stir. Then place the pan back on the heat.
Let the besan mixture cool down for 10 minutes before adding sugar. If you put the sugar in hot besan, sugar will melt immediately making the mixture loose, which will make shaping the laddus difficult.
The besan will go through 3 stages - dry, thick paste-like, and liquid. The initial mixture is going to be dry. At this stage, do not get tempted to add more ghee. Keep stirring and the mixture will loosen up.
Make sure the ghee melts completely and the ghee is warm before adding the besan.
You may choose to replace one tablespoon of water with one tablespoon of milk but this will reduce the shelf life of the laddu.
When followed correctly, this recipe will give you the right texture to shape the laddus. However, if you find the besan mixture is too soft and you are unable to form the round laddu shape, place the mixture for 10 minutes in the fridge and try again.
Consider patience as an ingredient here. Continuous stirring and roasting of the besan will take time but the end result is absolutely worth it.
More traditional Indian sweets
Click here to browse through more Indian desserts.
Laddu or ladoo is a popular sweet dish from India that can be made with a variety of ingredients and is shaped like a round ball or sphere. Some of the most popular ones are motichoor ladoo, besan ladoo, rava ladoo, and coconut ladoo. They are an important part of Indian festivals, celebrations, and ceremonies. They are made by cooking the main ingredient (for example, besan, semolina, or coconut), adding sweeteners and nuts to it, and shaping them into round balls.
Besan laddu can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two weeks. You can store them in the refrigerator for a longer life but ghee will solidify making the laddus hard. So it is important to bring them to room temperature before serving as they taste best at room temperature.
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Mom's Besan Ladoo (Besan Laddu)
- 2 cups besan gram flour
- ½ cup ghee
- ¾ cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 2 tablespoon cashews chopped into small pieces
- 1 tablespoon water see notes
- Take a heavy bottom pan and add ghee. Let it melt completely.
- Add the besan and fry on low heat until the raw smell of besan goes away and it turns slightly golden. Initially, the besan will soak up all the ghee and become dry. Then it slowly loosens up and the mixture becomes smooth.
- Keep stirring the besan continuously else it may burn. This may take 18-20 minutes.
- Once the besan is roasted well, add 1 tablespoon of water to it and mix well. This gives a fluffier texture to the laddus.
- Add cardamom powder and chopped cashew. Mix well and transfer it to a plate or tray. Let it cool down for 10 minutes.
- Add powdered sugar. Mix well.
- Take small portions of the mixture and form round shapes or laddus.
- Let the laddus dry for an hour before serving or storing them.
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