Ladoos are an eternal favorite dessert in India and this Peanut and Sesame Ladoo probably is one of the easiest, healthiest and tastiest version. It is made with mostly pantry staples and is low on wet ingredients. Hence, these are very easy to make and store!
If you have never had one, Ladoos are spherical shaped sweets that are mostly made from chickpea flour. I grew up mostly eating the deep fried version which are very popular and served during weddings, festivals etc. However, in the recent few months I noticed there are so many varieties and I had never tried them. It is time to make some changes and my first stop is the peanut and sesame ladoo. You can also make it just with peanuts or sesame alone but why choose one when you can have both?
This dish goes beyond just satisfying your sweet tooth. I say that because, these ingredients including coconut, peanut and sesame are meant to go together and nourish your body especially during the winter months.
So what do you need to make the ladoos?
- Unsalted and raw peanuts
- White sesame seeds
- Desiccated coconut flakes or shredded coconut
- Jaggery (sweetener – check below for possible substitutions)
- 30-45 mins
The roasted peanuts, sesame and coconut bring together proteins, fats, minerals along with the delicious and aromatic ghee and cardamom. You can also add a hint of ginger powder(optional) to bring an extra element of warmth to these sweets.
Dry roast the peanuts and let it cool down. If you use peanuts that still have their skin on, you will need to remove them once they cool down. When the peanuts were cooling down, dry roast the sesame seeds as well. If you use the white sesame seeds, it’s easier to see when get browned since they obviously change in color. If using black sesame seeds, look out for the shine that envelops the seeds because of the oils released and also you will be able to detect the delicious smells! Once the peanuts and sesame seeds have both cooled down, add them to a food processor and coarse blend it for a few seconds.
Heat a deep sauce pan and add some ghee to warm it up. Now place the jaggery blocks and add some water. As the water warms up, gently move the jaggery around to help soften and chip away at them. Eventually all of the jaggery pieces will melt in the water and the color of the water changes to a deep caramel color. Let the liquid gently boil until it reduces for 4-5 mins. The idea is to have enough liquid to help coat of the powdered peanut-sesame mixture and bind them. At this point add the dry mixture but keeping aside half a cup of it for coating the ladoos later. Also add the shredded coconut, cardamom and mix well. Let the mixture sit on the stove for 3-4 mins before removing from heat.
How to shape the ladoos
After 10-15 mins, it was time to shape them in to laddoos! Before you start, make sure the mixture is at the right temperature for you hold in your hand and shape them. Before starting, place the peanut-sesame mixture that you kept aside earlier on a plate. Then, put a decent sized quantity in your palm and gently gave it a squeeze. This will help bind them together and then slowly keep moving them in your palm before shaping in to a sphere. You will notice bits falling out here and your hands getting all sticky but I promise it will all be worth it when you take that first bite! Now roll the laddoo in the peanut-sesame mixture and placed on another plate. Repeat until all of them are done.
Substitutions for Jaggery
Jaggery is unrefined sugarcane extract that still contains molasses and is usually available in the form of blocks. They have a distinctive dark caramel color and very easily found at your local Indian store. I highly suggest trying to get your hand on some because it is difficult to replicate its flavor. However, if you are unable to find any near you or online, I would suggest using blackstrap molasses or maple syrup. I would also suggest trying it with palm sugar if that is easily available. If you are using the molasses or maple syrup, you would want to use minimal or no water since they contain more moisture than jaggery.
Peanut and Sesame Ladoos
- 2 cup Peanuts Raw and Unsalted
- 1/2 cup White Sesame Seeds
- 2/3 cup Jaggery
- 1/2 cup Shredded Coconut
- 1/2 tbsp Cardamom powder
- 2 tbsp Ghee
- 1 cup Water
- Roast peanuts in a pan until well browned. Once cooled, remove skin and keep aside.
- In the same pan, roast sesame seeds until browned as well. Remove and keep aside to cool.
- Add the peanuts and sesame to a food processor and coarse blend. Make sure it is not finely ground for added texture.Reserve half a cup of this mixture for coating the ladoos later (optional)
- Heat a medium sauce pan and add ghee. Once the ghee has melted, place the pieces of jaggery and move it around gently. Now add the water.
- Once the water starts boiling, start stirring the jaggery pieces and slowly chip away to help it completely melt. The water will turn in to a dark caramel color.
- Let it reduce for 3-4 more mintues.Now add the peanut- sesame mixture, shredded coconut, cardamom powder and mix well. Once almost all of the liquid has evaporated and it has turned into a sticky mixture, remove from heat and keep aside.
- After 15 mins or when you feel comfortable holding the mixture in your hand, remove a fist sized amount and gently press in your fist. This will help the mixture in holding shape. Now gently move it around in your palm using your fingers to shape in to a sphere/ball. Feel free to use both hands if that makes it easier.
- Place the reserved peanut-sesame mixture in another plate. Roll the ladoo in this mixture and place in another plate/serving tray. Repeat until remaining mixture has been shaped.
- The ladoos will keep well in room temperature for 7-10 days. It can be refrigerated as well. Make sure you warm it up a little before enjoying!
- I would expect they can be frozen for up to 6 months since they should keep their texture.Let it thaw out completely and warm it up before consuming.