Ragi laddu, also known as nachni ladoo or finger millet laddu, is a delectable treat that is free from refined sugar. It is crafted using ragi flour (finger millet), almonds, and jaggery, making it a healthy and nutritious option for satisfying your snack and sweet cravings. These laddoos are perfect for preparing in advance and can be conveniently packed in lunch boxes.
Not only is ragi laddu gluten-free and refined sugar-free but they can also be easily modified to suit a vegan diet by substituting ghee with coconut oil. The key ingredients for ragi ladoo are finger millet flour, almonds, and jaggery. Ragi laddu is an easier alternative to mixed millet laddu.
What makes this recipe particularly appealing is that it eliminates the need for making jaggery syrup and checking its string consistency. This simplicity makes it beginner-friendly and achievable even for those who have never attempted making ladoos before. Continue reading to discover the ingredients, their substitutes, storage suggestions, and tips for creating the perfect ragi laddu.
Why you will love this recipe?
- Healthy and nutrient-rich: This recipe is a healthier alternative to traditional sweets as it is refined sugar-free and gluten-free. Ragi (finger millet) is highly nutritious, rich in fiber, and packed with essential minerals. The use of jaggery as a sweetener adds natural sweetness and is a healthier option compared to refined sugar.
- Refined sugar-free: This ragi laddu recipe is crafted without the use of refined sugar, making them a healthier option. The natural sweetness comes from jaggery, a more wholesome alternative.
- Easy to make: This recipe is beginner-friendly and does not involve complicated techniques like making jaggery syrup or checking string consistency.
- Customizable: This ragi laddu recipe can be easily customized to suit dietary preferences. By replacing ghee with coconut oil, it becomes suitable for a vegan diet. Additionally, you can use nuts as per your liking or add spices like ground cinnamon to enhance the flavor according to your liking.
- Make-ahead and portable: Ragi laddu is great for meal prepping as it can be made in advance. They are convenient to pack as snacks for school or work lunches, picnics, or while traveling.
Ingredients and substitutes
Ragi flour: I use ragi or finger millet flour for this ragi laddu recipe. Bajra or pearl millet flour also works well for this recipe.
Ghee: I use ghee to make these delicious nachini ladoos. It can be replaced with coconut oil to make vegan ragi laddu.
Jaggery: The jaggery I used is soft and melts easily. If you are using hard jaggery, grate it before adding. You may also use jaggery powder instead.
Almonds: I like to make this nachni ladoo with almonds. Walnuts or cashew can also be used instead of almonds. You may also use a mix of different nuts.
Sesame seeds and dried coconut: I add these along with almonds to enhance the nutty taste and texture of ragi laddu.
Step-by-step instructions to make ragi laddu
Step 1: Place a frying pan on medium heat. Add the almonds and dry roast them until they crisp up (image 1).
Step 2: Set them aside and add sesame seeds. Dry roast until they are lightly golden and aromatic (image 2).
Step 3: Next, dry roast the desiccated coconut until they are light brown (image 3).
Step 4: Once they cool down completely, grind them into a coarse powder (image 4).
Step 5: Now, heat ghee in the frying pan and add ragi flour. Fry on low-to-medium heat for 12-15 minutes, until the raw smell goes (images 5 and 6).
Step 6: Turn off the heat and add the jaggery. The jaggery should just melt and mix with ragi. The heat in ragi is sufficient (images 7 and 8).
Step 7: Combine the ragi-jaggery mixture with the powdered almond mixture. Incorporate the ingredients well (images 9 and 10).
Step 8: Pinch out small portions of the mixture and make a round ladoo. Repeat with the rest of the mixture (images 11 and 12).
Frying the ragi well is very important. It should be completely done and the raw smell should go, and at the same time, it should not burn. Always fry the ragi on low heat. Be patient and do not increase the flame as the ragi can burn quickly, which will make the ladoo bitter.
You will know the ragi laddu mixture is done when it begins to come together and starts to leave the sides of the pan. It should take 12-15 minutes.
Turn off the heat when you add jaggery. We just want the jaggery to melt and come together with ragi. The heat in ragi is sufficient to melt the jaggery. The jaggery I used is soft and melts easily. If you are using hard jaggery, grate it before adding. You may also use jaggery powder instead.
I use ½ cup jaggery and this gives perfect sweetness as per our liking. You may increase the amount to ¾ cup if you prefer a sweeter nachni laddu.
I like to grind the almonds, sesame seeds, and coconut into a slightly coarse powder. This adds great texture to the ragi laddu. You may choose to grind it into a fine powder. If you are grinding it into a fine powder, take care not to over-process it as it will release fat and have a buttery texture.
Make the ragi ladoo when the mixture is still warm. Do not let the ragi mixture cool down as it will be difficult to shape the ladoo if the mixture cools down. If you are unable to make round balls from the mixture, add one tablespoon of warm ghee and mix it well. This will help in shaping the laddu.
How to store ragi laddu?
Allow them to cool: Let the ragi ladoo cool completely at room temperature before storing them. This helps prevent condensation and maintains their texture.
Choose an airtight container: Transfer the cooled ragi laddu to a clean, dry, and airtight container. Ensure that the container is tightly sealed to prevent air exposure and moisture from getting in.
Store in a cool, dry place: Find a cool and dry spot in your kitchen or pantry to store the container. If you are storing multiple layers of nachni ladoo, you can place a sheet of parchment paper between each layer. This helps prevent sticking and maintains their individual shape.
Refrigeration (optional): If you live in a warm or humid climate or if you want to extend the shelf life, you can refrigerate the ragi ladoo. Place the airtight container in the refrigerator to keep them fresh for a longer period. Before consuming, allow them to come to room temperature to regain their desired texture.
More millet recipes
Yes, you can replace jaggery with sugar in the ragi ladoo recipe. While jaggery adds a distinct flavor and is considered a more natural and wholesome sweetener, sugar can be used as a substitute if desired.
Ragi is easily available in Indian grocery stores and health food stores. They are also available in online stores like Amazon.
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Ragi Laddu (Nachni Ladoo)
- 1 cup ragi flour finger millet flour
- ½ cup almonds
- 2 tablespoon sesame seeds
- ¼ tablespoon dried coconut
- 3 tablespoon ghee
- ½ - ¾ cup jaggery
- ½ teaspoon cardamom powder
- Place a frying pan on medium heat and add the almonds. Dry roast them until they are crispy. Set it aside and let it cool completely.
- Next, add the sesame seeds and dry roast them until they are light brown. Set it aside and let it cool completely.
- Next, to the same pan, add the desiccated coconut and dry roast it until they are light brown. Set it aside and let it cool completely.
- Once they cool down, grind the almonds, sesame seeds, and desiccated coconut into a slightly coarse powder. Transfer to a large bowl.
- No, add ghee to the frying pan and let it melt completely.
- Add ragi once the ghee is melted. Fry on low-to-medium heat for 12-15 minutes, until the raw smell goes.
- The ragi is done when it starts to come together and the ghee begins to release.
- Add cardamom powder and mix well. Turn off the heat.
- Add jaggery and mix well. The jaggery should just melt and mix with ragi. The heat in ragi is sufficient.
- Combine the ragi-jaggery mixture with the powdered almond mixture.
- While the mixture is still warm, pinch out small portions of the mixture and make a round ladoo.
- Serve immediately or store in an airtight container.
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