Besan Ladoo is a popular Indian sweet made from gram flour a.k.a besan, powdered sugar and clarified butter (ghee). Also known as Besan ke Laddu these are round sweet balls made by roasting gram flour and ghee together, and then adding sugar to make a thick pasty dough – that is then formed into delicious, melt-in-your-mouth balls. Make this decadent sweet during festivals like Diwali or Ganesh Chaturthi with my easy fail-proof recipe.
What is Besan Ladoo
Besan is gram flour which is nothing but flour made from split and husked black chickpeas or chana dal. Gram flour is different from chickpea flour that is made with dried white chickpeas. Both have a different texture and flavor.
There are many ladoo varieties, but besan ke laddu is one of the most popular, especially during festivals like Diwali.
This recipe of besan ladoo is made with an easy method. Generally, the most important part of making a tasty laddu is the roasting method.
The ingredients need to be roasted enough so that they are cooked thoroughly which also releases their aromatic flavors. Proper roasting also helps in getting the correct dough consistency so that the balls will form and stay together.
Once you have that down, the rest of this recipe is easy! The roasting method I outline in this post, along with the tips below, will have you making tasty ladoo in no time.
My trick is to dry roast the besan or gram flour first and then add the ghee after some time, opposed to adding the ghee right away.
You then continue to roast it further until it starts giving a nutty fragrance before adding the sugar. Be sure to continue stirring constantly so that no lumps form.
I learned the roasting method I use in this recipe from my mother-in-law, who has been making tasty besan ke laddu for years.
Although it is easy, patience is required so that you don’t roast the ingredients too quickly. Patience and a strong stirring arm!
This foolproof method will give you a laddu with the perfect sweet taste and melt-in-your-mouth texture every time.
An Alternative Method
If you are looking for a challenge, there is an alternative method to the foolproof one used in this recipe and it gives the laddu a slightly different texture.
This second method, the besan or gram flour is roasted in ghee right away until it starts giving a nutty fragrance.
With the ghee added first there is even more stirring required to ensure that the mixture doesn’t get lumpy and has the right final texture.
For this reason, it is a slightly trickier method and is not recommended for beginners.
How to make Besan Ladoo Recipe
Find below my detailed step-by-step guide which will help you in making perfect besan ke laddu.
1. Take a heavy kadai or wok or pan and keep on a low heat. Add 2 cups besan (200 grams) in the kadai.
Use besan or gram flour which is within its shelf-period. Make sure it does not taste bitter or has become rancid.
2. Begin to dry roast besan on low to medium-low heat.
3. Stir often so that besan gets browned evenly and does not burn. When you begin to roast besan, you will see small lumps in the flour. These lumps disappear later.
4. Below you can see, the besan which has been roasting for 12 mins. You can see the color has changed as compared to what it was in the beginning.
Roast Ghee With Besan
5. Then add ½ cup ghee (125 grams). Preferably use the best quality and fragrant desi ghee – Homemade Ghee is always better.
6. Mix thoroughly.
7. Continue to stir often and cook this mixture of besan and ghee.
8. Keep on roasting for about a total of 12 to 15 minutes stirring non-stop. Depending on the thickness & size of pan, intensity of flame the timing of roasting will vary.
9. The mixture will thicken and the color will also change.
10. Soon you will see that the mixture will start releasing ghee and will give a nice fragrant aroma. Some ghee will float on top and and you will see a molten lava kind of consistency where the ghee is floating.
The mixture will also loose sides of the pan and become one. These are the signs that the besan is fully cooked.
If you add the sugar before the besan is cooked fully then your ladoo will have the taste of uncooked besan. So pay attention to these signs. Once you see these signs, you can move on to the next step.
Make Laddu Mixture
11. Remove the kadai or pan from the stove and keep on your kitchen countertop. Add 1 cup powdered sugar or castor sugar or boora (175 grams) and stir well so that no lumps are formed.
You will get the best taste in besan laddu with boora or powdered unrefined cane sugar which is easily available in Indian markets and many grocery stores. For this recipe I powdered ¾ cup sugar in a mixer.
12. After adding sugar mix really well. Begin to mix with all the strength from your hands. You have to mix this part vigorously so that the powdered sugar melts in the flour and ghee mixture.
13. Mix very well. The entire sugar has to be mixed evenly with the roasted besan and ghee mixture.
14. Add the 1 to 2 tablespoons raisins (chopped), 1 teaspoon green cardamom powder and 10 to 12 cashews which have been finely chopped.
You can use any nuts like almonds, pistachios, pecans, walnuts, pine nuts. Just finely chop them before adding.
15. Mix again very well and let the ladoo mixture become lukewarm or cool at room temperature.
Make Besan Laddu
16. Then shape into medium-sized ladoo with your palms. If you are not able to shape in balls then freeze the mixture for 5 minutes or refrigerate for 20 minutes.
Depending on the quality and consistency of ghee as well as the room temperature you may be able to easily shape these or not.
If the mixture looks very dry then add 2 to 3 tablespoon of hot melted ghee and mix again. Let the mixture cool again and then shape into laddu.
17. Store besan ladoo in an airtight steel container.
18. Serve Besan Ladoo. While serving you can garnish with some chopped nuts or cashews like I have done.
How to store Homemade Besan Ladoo
Besan ke laddu keeps well for a month and more at room temperature. Keep in a clean air-tight jar or container in a cool dry place. You can use a steel jar.
In a highly humid and hot temperature, refrigerate them. Refrigeration makes the laddu dense or hard as the ghee in it solidifies. Before eating let the laddu come at room temperature, so that the ghee softens.
If you live in a cold place, then reheat the laddu in an oven at low temperature of about to 77 to 93 degrees Celsius (170 to 200 degrees Fahrenheit) until the ghee softens and the ladoo becomes lukewarm.
- Roasting Besan: It is very important to roast the besan (gram flour) very well until it starts releasing ghee and also starts giving a nutty fragrance. Roast the gram flour on low or medium-low heat and keep on stirring continuously. Depending on the pan thickness, size and intensity of flame, the timing of roasting will vary.
- Besan: This recipe works well with both the finer textured besan as well as the coarser textured besan. If you make the ladoo with the coarser variety of besan, the texture of the ladoo will be grainy.
- Sugar: The sugar that is traditionally added is what we call “boora” or “bura” in Hindi. Boora is ground unrefined sugar and made with sugar which is not processed or bleached, but nowadays you can also see boora made with refined sugar in the Indian markets.
- Powdered Sugar: You can even add powdered sugar or confectioner’s sugar or castor sugar to your besan ladoo recipe. But with castor sugar or powdered white sugar the taste is different as some brands add corn starch in them. Most of the times I powder raw sugar in a mixer-grinder. For this besan ladoo recipe I have powdered ¾ cup sugar in a mixer that yields about 1 heaped cup of powdered sugar.
- Adding Sugar: If you add the sugar before the besan is completely cooked then the laddu will have the taste of undercooked besan. Also, once you add the sugar then stir continuously so that no lumps are formed.
- Shaping and Forming Ladoo: If you are unable to form the besan ladoo once the mixture has cooled completely, then keep the mixture in the fridge for 20 to 30 minutes. The ghee will solidify a bit and you will easily be able to form the ladoo. If the mixture looks to dry or floury while shaping laddu, then add 2 to 3 tablespoons of warm melted ghee. Mix well and let the mixture cool again before shaping.
- Scaling: Double or triple this besan ladoo recipe and store the extra in an airtight steel container for a quick and easy snack or dessert all week.
Besan ladoo is a great kid-friendly sweet as it has a great taste along with the health benefits of the gram flour.
To make besan ladoo recipe even more healthy, you can add dry fruits and nuts like almonds, raisins, cashews, pecans, walnuts, pine nuts or pistachios.
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Easy Besan ke Laddu Recipe
- 2 cups gram flour (besan) – 200 grams
- ½ cup Ghee (clarified butter) – 125 grams, add more ghee, if required
- 1 cup powdered sugar (heaped) or boora or castor sugar or confectioner's sugar – 175 grams (powder ¾ cup white sugar or raw sugar in a mixer-grinder, small blender)
- 1 teaspoon cardamom powder or 5 to 6 green cardamoms, powdered in a mortar-pestle
- 1 to 2 tablespoons golden raisins – chopped
- 10 to 12 cashews – finely chopped
- Dry roast the besan in a heavy kadai or pan on low to medium-low heat for about 10 to 12 minutes.
- Keep on stirring continuously right from the beginning. So that the besan is not burned and cooks evenly.
Adding ghee and roasting further
- After 12 minutes of total roasting time, add the ghee.
- Mix very well and continue roasting the besan for some more 12 to 15 minutes stirring non-stop.
- You will see that the mixture will start releasing ghee and will give a nice fragrant nutty aroma. Some ghee will float on top and and you will see a molten lava kind of consistency where the ghee is floating. The mixture will also loose sides of the pan and become one. These are the signs that the besan is fully cooked. Once you see these signs, you can move on to the next step.
- Remove the pan from the stove-top and place it on your kitchen countertop. Add powdered sugar.
Adding powdered sugar
- Begin to mix with all the strength from your hands. You have to mix this part vigorously so that the powdered sugar melts in the roasted besan and ghee mixture and no lumps are formed.
- Add the powdered cardamom, raisins and cashews. Mix again.
- Once you have mixed the ladoo mixture well then let it become lukewarm or cool at room temperature.
Making besan ladoo
- When cooled, make small or medium-sized besan ladoo and store them in an airtight steel container. If you are not able to shape in balls then freeze the mixture for 5 minutes or refrigerate for 20 minutes. Depending on the quality and consistency of ghee as well as the room temperature you may be able to easily shape these or not.
- Serve besan ladoo garnished with some nuts.
- Besan laddu keeps well at room temperature for a month. Keep in a clean covered jar or container in a cool dry place. You can use a steel jar.
- You can refrigerate these. But on refrigerating the ghee in the laddu solidifies making them dense or hard. So before serving, let them thaw completely.
- Besan: You can use both the finer variety of besan or the coarser textured besan. Just ensure that the besan is fresh and has not gone rancid.
- Roasting: The besan has to be roasted very well so that it starts releasing ghee and gives a nutty fragrance. Roast the gram flour on low to medium-low heat and keep on stirring non-stop. Depending on the pan thickness, size and intensity of flame, the time of roasting will differ.
- Sugar: The sugar that is traditionally added is called as”boora” or “bura” in Hindi. Boora is basically ground unrefined sugar. It is made with sugar which is not processed or bleached, but nowadays you do get boora made with refined sugar in the Indian markets. You can even add powdered sugar or castor sugar or confectioner’s sugar. Most of the times I powder raw sugar in a mixer and add. With castor sugar or powdered white sugar the taste is different as some companies add cornstarch in them.
- Adding sugar: If you add sugar into the gram flour before it is roasted well, then the uncooked gram flour will have a raw taste in the finished ladoo and you won’t get the perfect sweet taste. Also, once you add the sugar then stir continuously so that no lumps are formed.
- Shaping: If you are unable to form the besan ladoo once the mixture has cooled completely, then keep the mixture in the fridge for 20 minutes. The ghee will solidify a bit and you will easily be able to form the ladoo. If the mixture looks to dry or hard, then add 2 to 3 tablespoon of hot melted ghee and mix again. Let the mixture cool again and then shape into laddu.
- Scaling: You can easily double or triple this recipe and store the extra laddu in an airtight steel container for a quick and easy snack or dessert all week.
- Nuts & Dry fruits: You can add nuts like almonds, pistachios, pecans, walnuts and pecans. You can even add a pinch of saffron strands.
- Note that the approximate nutrition values is for 1 besan laddu.
Nutrition Info (Approximate Values)
This Besan Ladoo recipe post from the archives, first published in Oct 2013 has been republished and updated on 21 October 2022.