Recipe courtesy of Surbhi Sahni

Besan Ladoo

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 3 hr (includes 2 hours chilling time)
  • Active: 1 hr
  • Yield: 12 to 14 pieces
Besan ladoo is an iconic Diwali mithai. It is first mithai recipe I perfected and has been my favorite since childhood. As a kid, my dad used to surprise me and my brother by bringing home a small box of besan ladoos from the local mithaiwala. Made with just five ingredients (chickpea flour, cane sugar, cardamom and gold dust), besan ladoos are naturally gluten-free and easy to make at home with minimal kitchen equipment. They can be hand-rolled instead of pressed into traditional domed molds if you don't have them.



Special equipment:
dome-shaped molds (optional)
  1. Melt the ghee in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Lower the heat to low and add the chickpea flour. Keep the heat super-low while you stir the mixture with a flat-bottom spatula. Continue to stir until the mixture looks like wet breadcrumbs; if the mixture looks very dry, add an extra tablespoon of ghee to moisten it.
  2. Continue to cook the mixture on very low heat for about 40 minutes. Don’t stray too far; it's important to stir the pot frequently to prevent the flour from burning. Within the first 20 to 25 minutes you will smell the chickpea flour, and the mixture begin to soften as the ghee melts into the flour. When the mixture is deep golden brown in color, add the cashews and cardamom. Cook for another 5 minutes to remove the raw flavor of the nuts.  
  3. Transfer the batter to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add the confectioners’ sugar and salt and mix thoroughly. (You can also mix this by hand if you allow the batter to cool enough to touch.) 
  4. At this point, you can either press the mixture into dome-shaped molds, or scoop about 3 ounces out at a time and roll the mixture in your palms to make rounds. If using molds, put the molds in the freezer and then unmold the sweets when firm and refrigerate.
  5. Refrigerate the sweets for at least 2 hours before serving. Remove them from the refrigerator about 5 minutes before serving to bring them to room temperature. Sprinkle the tops with gold dust. The besan ladoo will keep refrigerated in an airtight container for up to a month or frozen for up to 6 months.