Besan Ladoo with a melt-in-the-mouth texture are a divine treat that you will love anytime. Also known as besan ke laddu these are immensely popular across India and made during special occasions like festivals, weddings and celebrations. Treat your family and friends this Diwali with these delicious and aromatic sweets. This recipe with video and easy step-by-step photo guide will help you make the best besan ladoo at home.
About Besan Ladoo
Besan ladoo are aromatic and delicious traditional North Indian sweet balls made with gram flour, ghee, powdered sugar & cardamoms. Besan is the Hindi word for gram flour and ladoo are ball shaped sweet delights from Indian cuisine.
These Besan ke laddu are made by slow roasting gram flour in ghee until it turns aromatic and golden in color. This nutty mixture is cooled down and then mixed with powdered cardamoms and sugar.
Some variations use cashews, pistachios and melon seeds as well. Portions of this warm mixture is lastly pressed down in the palm to shape to balls which are known as Besan ladoo.
Besan ladoo is made almost in every part of India with numerous variations. The traditional version requires nothing more than gram flour, pure ghee, sugar and cardamoms.
Also the traditional version uses coarse besan and boora or bura shakkar which is a kind of sugar made by melting and cooking sugar until it reaches a crystallization stage. Bhura shakkar enhances the taste and flavor of besan ladoo.
The combination of roasted gram flour, sugar and ghee is unbeatable as it results in a great divine aroma, flavor and taste. Like these Besan ladoos, Besan burfi, Mysore pak and besan halwa are also much loved for the same reason.
It is believed that Lord Ganesha loves ladoos. I made these along with Modak during Ganesh Chaturthi. Many kinds of ladoos like Coconut ladoo, Rava laddu, Bondi ladoo and Peanut laddu are also made during this festival.
Making besan ladoo at home is simple and pretty straight forward. But the most important part is to use the correct ratio of flour:ghee & using the right ingredients. Here is how to choose & use them in this recipe.
1. Besan (gram flour): Always choose good quality flour to avoid bitter taste. The best choice is the freshly milled flour or using a fresh pack of besan. Gram flour has a nature to turn bitter within a few months of milling. So always taste it first before using to ensure it is not bitter.
There are different kinds of besan sold in the market with varying levels of texture.
Super smooth flour, moderately fine flour and coarse flour also known as ladoo besan are the most commonly available kinds. The texture of your besan ladoos depend on the kind of flour you use.
If you prefer slight texture in your besan ladoo then use coarse flour or use a small portion of semolina. If you prefer a melt in the mouth texture then choose the smooth and fine besan.
Some people don’t like super smooth besan ladoos as they feel they stick to the teeth and the mouth while eating. So choose your flour depending on how you like your ladoos to be.
2. Sugar: I have used organic sugar. But traditionally bura shakkar or tagar is used. If you are using regular refined white sugar, you may need slightly lesser sugar.
3. Ghee: Using good quality puree ghee helps to make these besan ladoos more aromatic. Homemade ghee is the best . I made it following this ghee recipe.
1. Roasting besan correctly is the key to aromatic and delicious ladoos. If this step is not done properly the aroma does not come out from the besan resulting in raw tasting besan ladoos.
If the flour is over roasted, the ladoos can have a bitter and burnt flavor. So roasting the flour stirring constantly on a medium to low heat is very important.
When the besan is roasted properly it turns aromatic, fluffy & airy indicating it is done. Also taste test it to ensure it is not raw.
2. Consistency of Roasted Besan: After the besan is roasted, the mixture can be in any of the 3 states – solid, semi-solid or liquid state as this depends on the kind of besan and ghee used. So remember not to panic in any case. If your besan mixture turns runny, it will thicken back when the mixture cools down. If it is in a solid state, make sure you roasted it well.
3. Non stop stirring: You have to keep stirring non-stop & continuously without taking a break even for a few seconds especially at the later stage. Otherwise there are chances of the besan getting burnt.
4. Roasting time: I suggest not to go by the time as it depends on the kind of stove, pan and the intensity of the flame. The time frame I have mentioned in the post is just a guideline.
How To Make Besan Ladoo (Stepwise Photos)
1. Measure 1 cup sugar (200 grams) and add it to a blender or grinder jar. Add 4 to 6 cardamoms and grind to a very fine powder. You can use white sugar or demerara sugar. Do not open the lid of the jar immediately after grinding as the sugar drifts everywhere. Wait for a minute and then mix a few times with a spoon and grind well again.
2. Check if the sugar is super fine. It has to be very fine as we don’t want any sand like texture in the besan ladoos. Set this aside.
3. Weigh or measure your besan and ghee correctly. We will need
2 cup besan (210 to 220 grams)
½ cup ghee (8 tbsps) (100 grams)
If you go wrong with the quantities your ladoos may not bind or may turn flat. Fluff up the flour in the jar with a fork and then scoop it to the measuring cup. You can use ghee in liquid or solid form. Both will be same.
4. Add 1½ tablespoons ghee to a heavy bottom pan (from the ghee you measured earlier). Heat it. We are using only 1½ tbsps ghee at this step from the total amount required for the recipe. Add 3 to 4 tablespoons chopped cashews to the ghee and fry them on a medium flame until crunchy. Remove them to a bowl. If you don’t prefer cashews, you may skip them.
6. Lower the flame. Add besan to the same pan. Do not add any more ghee at this stage. Adding all of it at this stage will make it hard to fry the besan well.
7. Mix both of them well. Keep stirring and begin to fry on a medium low heat. You may see small lumps of ghee and besan. Just ignore them.
8. Keep stirring constantly for even roasting and to prevent burning. After 5 mins of roasting, the color of the besan begins to change to a slightly deeper color with a slight aroma.
9. Reduce the flame to lowest, then quickly add the rest of the ghee.
10. Do not stop stirring. Keep stirring to incorporate the ghee well & continue to roast the besan on the lowest flame. The flour will absorb all of the ghee and become lumpy at this stage.
11. As you fry the mixture will turn to a mass.
12. Keep roasting and stirring non stop till the besan smells aromatic and turns deep golden color. Besan will begin to look fluffy and airy, indicating it is ready and done. It took 25 mins for me to reach this stage from the time I added the flour to the pan. Timing may vary depending on the kind of pan and intensity of heat used.
13. As soon as you smell it aromatic, remove the pan immediately from the stove & place it on the counter. If you don’t remove the pan in time, the mixture will burn. In just few minutes you will notice ghee begins to ooze out from the mixture. The color changes to golden and the consistency begins to change.
The quantity of ghee that oozes out depends on the texture of besan & the kind of ghee. Most times it turns to a semi solid stage. But since there are different kinds of besan in the market, the mixture may or may not turn to a runny or semi solid stage. Sometimes it may turn completely runny and watery like. Don’t panic it is just normal & it thickens back after it cools down. So once the mixture turns aromatic. airy and fluffy, stop roasting.
Make Besan Ladoo
14. After keeping on the counter, stir for another 2 to 3 minutes as the besan will continue to cook in the hot ghee. This is how it was after 3 mins. Taste test this to ensure it is not raw. If it tastes nutty it is roasted correctly.
15. Allow it to cool down to a warm temperature. Touch with your fingers and check, it should be warm and not hot. Also if you live in a cold region, make sure you don’t let the mixture become cold because the ghee will solidify and the besan ladoos won’t bind well. Add cashews.
16. Add powdered sugar. If you prefer less sweetness in your besan ladoo reduce the sugar. I use all of the powdered sugar. Ensure the besan has cooled down to warm temperature before adding sugar. If you add sugar to hot besan, sugar will instantly melt and ruin.
17. Mix well to incorporate the sugar with the besan mixture. Knead with your hand. At this stage, it will look dry but as you mix, the warmth in your hand will melt the ghee and help to bind all of the ingredients.
18. The mixture should look something like this. It will be greasy.
19. Take small portions and roll to balls. You will be able to make 16 besan ladoo. Store them in a air tight jar and use with in 3 weeks.
If using coarse besan, ladoo may not look smooth. To give a nice smooth finish, after few hours of making these, place each ladoo in a clean white muslin cloth and roll gently.
I did not use a cloth but just rolled them once more after 30 mins. Store besan ladoo in a air tight jar, away from moisture.
Besan ladoo keeps good at room temperature for at least 3 weeks if handled well. Store them in air tight jars and keep away from high humid places like kitchen counter.
If refrigerated they keep good for 2 to 3 months but ghee will solidify. So reheat them in oven at 80 C or 160 F until the ladoos become slightly hot (little more than being warm). Do not keep for too long the ladoos will melt down. Alternately you may leave them at room temperature during summers.
Please note that patience is the KEY to making awesome besan ladoos. Do not get impatient while you roast the besan. Initially you can roast the besan on a medium flame.
Once it turns hot and begins to change the color slightly switch over to low flame completely until the last stage.
If you feel the mixture is getting too hot at any stage, take off the pan from the stove for a while to bring down the temperature.
Making besan ladoos is a lot of arm work as it involves stirring continuously. If you have weak arms, please do not attempt this without a helping hand.
Besan Ladoo Recipe (Besan Ke Laddu)
For best results follow the step-by-step photos above the recipe card
Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )
- 2 cup besan (1x – 210 to 220 grams gram flour)
- ½ cup ghee (1x – 8 tbsps, 100 grams clarified butter)
- 1 cup sugar (adjust to taste) (or boora shakkar or powdered jaggery)
- 4 to 6 green cardamoms (elaichi (or ⅔ tsp ground cardamoms)
- 3 to 4 tablespoons cashews chopped (optional)
- Powder sugar and cardamom pods finely in a grinder/blender jar. Set aside.
- Heat a pan and add 1½ tablespoons ghee.
- When it melts, add chopped cashews and fry them until lightly golden. Remove them to a small bowl.
- Add besan to the same pan. On a medium low flame keep stirring and begin to roast the besan for 5 to 6 mins. You may see small lumps of ghee and flour. Just ignore them.
- After 5 mins, it begins to turn slightly aromatic & changes to a slightly deeper color. Regulate the flame to lowest immediately.
- Add rest of the ghee. Mix well and keep roasting on a low flame stirring continuously without stopping. Otherwise it may burn.
- Besan will absorb all of the ghee and turn lumpy at this stage. Just continue to cook it stirring constantly.
- After a while besan begins to turn deep golden in color and aromatic. It also turns airy and fluffy. Your kitchen will be filled with a aroma indicating the flour is well roasted. It took 25 mins for me to reach this stage. Timing may vary depending on the kind of pan and intensity of heat used.
- Note: Depending on the kind of besan, at this stage your mixture may be in a solid, semi-solid or liquid state. But there is nothing to panic even if it becomes very runny and looks like water or even if it remains in a solid state. If it is runny it will thicken back when it cools down.
- Be cautious at this stage & remove the pan quickly from the stove. Begin to cool down by stirring it for another 2 to 3 mins.
- Cool little bit of the roasted besan and taste test it. It should be nutty and not taste raw even a bit.
- Cool down the roasted besan completely. This step is important.
How To Make Besan Ladoo
- When the besan cools down add powdered sugar. If you prefer less sweetness in your ladoos, add little lesser than mentioned in the recipe. I use all of the powdered sugar.
- Mix very well to combine the sugar. At first your mixture may seem dry but keep mixing or knead it with your hand. The warmth in your hand will melt the ghee and bind all of them well.
- Take small portions of this and press down in your palm to roll to balls. You can make about 8 ladoos.
- Store besan ladoo in a air tight jar at room temperature and use within 3 weeks. Alternately you can refrigerate them for up to 2 to 3 months. Reheat them in microwave for 15 to 20 seconds or in the oven at 80 C or 160 F for a few minutes until they become warm.
- Choose fresh besan or least cut open a new pack of besan to avoid bitter taste. Stale flour often tastes bitter. So avoid it.
- Under roasting the flour will leave a raw smell of besan to the ladoos. So roast until you begin to get a nice aroma and the color changes to deep golden.
- Do not use the entire ghee at the beginning to roast the besan. Adding all the ghee in the beginning makes the flour mixture heavy. It is hard to roast the besan.
- It only takes a minute for the well roasted besan to burn. So be extremely cautious at the final stage. Once done remove it from the stove.
- Ensure the flame is medium until the besan turns hot. Later regulate to low flame till the end until the besan turns golden & aromatic.
- When the besan is done, you will get a very nice aroma. This is the indication to remove from the stove. It may or may not turn semi-liquid depending on the flour. Sometimes it turns to a semi-liquid stage after it is removed from the heat.
- The most important point is to add sugar only when the roasted besan cools down. If you add sugar to hot besan, then sugar will melt and the mixture turns runny. You won’t be able to bind the mixture.
Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.
For best results follow my detailed step-by-step photo instructions and tips above the recipe card.
NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)
© Swasthi’s Recipes
Besan Ladoo Recipe first published in September 2015. Updated and republished in October 2022.
I’m Swasthi Shreekanth, the recipe developer, food photographer & food writer behind Swasthi’s Recipes. My aim is to help you cook great Indian food with my time-tested recipes. After 2 decades of experience in practical Indian cooking I started this blog to help people cook better & more often at home. Whether you are a novice or an experienced cook I am sure Swasthi’s Recipes will assist you to enhance your cooking skills.
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