(And the tastiest too!) These simple 4-ingredient ladoos are so creamy and delicious, I couldn’t stop eating them even before they cooled down. Did I mention it’s a one-pot recipe?!

ACTIVE TIME: 1 hour
TOTAL TIME: 1 hour
SERVINGS: 12
CALORIES: 99 calories per serving
COST: CAD $0.11 per serving
FRIDGE: haven’t tried yet, but they keep just fine at room temperature for a week
FREEZER: haven’t tried yet

Ingredients

  • 60 g butter or ghee (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 heaping cup besan aka chickpea flour
  • 5 whole cardamom pods, blended into powder in a high-speed blender, or 1/4 tsp cardamom powder
  • 1 cup powdered sugar (or less if you prefer)

Instructions

  1. Melt butter or ghee in a small saucepan on medium heat.
  2. Add chickpea flour and mix evenly with a spatula or wooden spoon to form a crumbly mixture.
  3. Stir continuously until butter starts to come out of the mixture, creating a paste that resembles thick peanut butter. (You may want to turn heat to medium-low at this point, so you can be lazier and stir less often while reducing the chance of burning it.) This step takes a looong time so don't get impatient or give up hope! Your first sign that the mixture is almost there is when it starts getting darker in places.
  4. Turn off the heat and mix in the powdered sugar and cardamom.
  5. When it has cooled enough to handle, take handfuls of the mixture and roll with your palms into ping pong-sized balls. Place on a piece of plastic wrap or parchment paper and let it cool before enjoying (optional).

Nutrition and Cost Breakdown

nutrition and cost information for ladoos

Recipe notes

I used my Blendtec to grind up the cardamom pods. You could also use a mortar and pestle to grind them up. Note that it doesn’t have to be super uniform and fine.

warm besan ladoos

See the step-by-step pictures below for an idea of what your recipe should look like at each stage; it’s important not to rush the process!

Because this recipe is made with chickpea flour, it also has the benefit of being gluten-free, for those with celiac disease. Also, ghee is lactose-free, so that’s a good option for the lactose-intolerant peeps.

Cooling the ladoos is optional, but the inner texture is different when eaten warm (more chewy, like peanut butter) vs room temperature (crumbly and “flaky”). I like both! This is what the inside of a still-warm ladoo looks like. Very similar to peanut butter cookie dough!

A mind-numbingly easy recipe

So me and my Indian coworker both love food, and during one conversation about what we wished we were eating that day, he brought up ladoos. The first (and only) time I’ve eaten ladoos was in my first year of uni when my roommate had brought them all the way from India. Even though that happened over a year ago, I haven’t forgotten the unique taste and texture.

So when my coworker mentioned ladoos, I was instantly reminded of this experience. I googled the ingredients and was surprised to find out they are actually pretty simple, and I already had all the ingredients in my pantry! I told my coworker I was going to make ladoos one of these days and bring them in for him to try. He seemed skeptical at the time, tbh. It’s probably been a month since I first made that promise, but hey a late delivery is better than never, and I’m sure he didn’t mind. In fact, he loved these ladoos so much he saved an extra one to bring home for his sister.

A lot of ladoo recipes call for other ingredients to add in like cashews or other flours, but I wanted to keep mine simple so I could enjoy the pure taste of roasted chickpea. It’s pretty rare to find chickpeas in a sweet dish, but it really shines in this recipe. Of course, you can add other things to if you want—like cookies, ladoos have endless variations. I’m sure most chopped nuts would work well, as would dried coconut. Maybe even chocolate chips?

Photos

ladoo mixture will initially look crumbly

After initially mixing chickpea flour into the butter, it will look very crumbly and dry.

butter begins oozing out when mixture is ready

Eventually (and it may feel like forever), the chickpea flour will darken, butter will start leaking out, and the dough will look wet.

mixture becomes a paste

At this point, you can turn the heat off.

pouring sugar into ladoo mixture

Add sugar and cardamom to the ladoos.

mixing cardamom and sugar into mixture

Mixing thoroughly…

ladoo mixture should not stick

If it’s ready, the mixture should not stick to the saucepan or your hands when you start handling it.

roll into ladoo!

Roll into small balls!