Melt in your mouth besan ke ladoo that are filled with cashews, pistachios and fennel. These chickpea flour energy bites are perfect in winter!
During the colder months gajar ka halwa, panjiri and besan ke ladoo are desserts that instantly come to mind. Chickpea flour in Hindi is called ‘besan’ and ‘ladoo’ is a round shaped sweet ball. Besan ke ladoos instantly remind me of the winter months and how my Dadima would lovingly fill tin boxes full of them for friends and family.
While preparing dishes for my family, I always find myself thinking about which ingredients are in season and what my grandmothers prepare accordingly. Cooking seasonally was something that our grandmothers did out of need but even in this day and age when everything is available year round, some of those seasonal recipes still make sense.
Take these besan ke ladoo, they are filled with nutrient rich ingredients like chickpea flour, semolina, edible gum, fennel seeds, roasted nuts and ghee. Besan/chickpea flour is easy to digest, high in protein and folate content, has a low glycemic index and it’s gluten free. Since it’s also known to help prevent birth defects of the brain and spinal cord, you’ll often find pregnant women eating besan in many forms, sweet and savory. Semolina is high in energy and easy to digest. Edible gum, called gondh in Hindi is often used during the winter months and by the elderly as it helps strengthen joints. Fennel aids in digestion which is helpful during the cold months when meals tend to be heavy and heartier. Nuts are added as they are high in protein and energy.
After adding up the benefits from the ingredients in these besan ke ladoo, it’s easy to see why they’ve been encouraged to make and eat for generations.
Below I’m sharing a simple recipe for energy filled besan ke ladoo. If you’re gluten free, omit the rava/semolina, I added it for texture and it’s not mandatory to the recipe. These ladoos can last for a few months if cooled and stored properly in an airtight container.
- 1 cup besan/chickpea flour
- 1 tablespoon rava/sooji/semolina flour
- ½ cup powered sugar
- ⅓ cup + 1 tablespoon ghee, melted
- 1 tablespoon gondh/edible gum
- 2 tablespoon cashew, chopped
- 2 teaspoon pistachio, chopped
- 1 teaspoon sounf/fennel seeds
- ½ teaspoon cardamom powder
- Start by dry roasting the nuts and fennel on medium heat for 2-3 minutes, mixing frequently. Remove from heat and reserve for later.
- Dry roast the besan and rava on medium low heat until the flour is fragrant and starts turning darker in color. Remove from heat and reserve for later.
- In the same pan add a tablespoon of ghee and fry the edible gum until it pops and almost doubles up in size. Drain on a paper towel and keep aside.
- In the hot pan add the besan and rava. Add the ghee cook on a low heat. Stir continuously until the flour is fragrant and the color turns pinkish golden-brown. The mixture will become light and fluffy when it is ready.
- Mix in the chopped cashews, pistachios followed by the edible gum and cardamom powder.
- Turn off the heat and add in the powdered sugar, mixing constantly.
- Let the mixture rest until warm (don't cool down completely else it will be difficult to form the ladoos)
- Take a small amount in your palm, a little more than a tablespoon and shape them into round balls to make the besan laddo. Repeat and make about 16 ladoos.
- You can leave as is or garnish with chopped pistachios.
- To store, cool the besan ke ladoo completely and keep them in an airtight container.