Gond ke laddu are a rich, delicious and wholesome sweet treat enjoyed during the winters in North India. Gond is a kind of plant derived edible gum that has been enjoyed in traditional Indian foods as it is believed to have medicinal values. Whole wheat flour, almonds, cashews, desi ghee are the other key ingredients used to make these energy balls.
Gond ladoo are most often given to women recovering from childbirth. However gond ke ladoo are good for people of all age groups including kids and toddlers. Gond laddu are rich in iron, protein and calcium.
Regular consumption of gond ke laddu for several weeks is said to rejuvenate the entire body by strengthening the bones, improving immunity and digestion. Gond ke laddu provide heat to the body due to the addition of wheat flour (atta), gond and nuts. So these can prevent seasonal cold not only in kids but also in grown ups.
There are many variations you can make to these ladoos by adding poppy seeds (khus khus), dates, dried dates, sesame, makhana etc. In this post I have used only the ingredients that are basic and can be eaten by women after childbirth.
What is gond?
Gond is the hindi term for edible gum. The 2 most common edible gums used in Asian foods are Acacia gum or gum Arabic & tragacanth gum.
- Acacia gum or gum Arabic is the first type of edible gum which is the dried sap of the acacia tree. Kikar is the hindi name to this tree and is widely known as Babul tree in India. Gond that is used to make gond ke laddu is the dried sap of babul tree. Acaia gum or gum Arabic keeps the body warm so it is widely used during winters & is avoided during summers as it is heaty in nature.
- The second type of edible gum is Tragacanth gum. It is known as gond katira or badam pisin in Indian language. It is tasteless & swells up when added to water and turns soft like jelly. So it is used to thicken, stabilize & emulsify foods. It is also added to beverages like jigarthanda and even to shakes & smoothies. Tragacanth gum is extremely cooling in nature & is considered to be beneficial to use during summers.
Health benefits of gond or edible gum
- Gond has about 50% calcium and 20% of magnesium in it. So regular consumption of gond helps to strengthen the bones, spine and teeth.
- Gond also helps in constipation and corrects minor digestive disorders.
- It is also believed that regular consumption of gond (for 3 to 4 weeks) helps in managing arthritis as it is anti-inflammatory.
- It is proven to be great for women with chronic back pain as it helps to strengthen and rejuvenate the backbone.
- Gond helps in lactation and improves the quality of breast milk.
- Lastly it helps the uterus to regain its strength and size after the childbirth.
Tips on using gond
- If you are a breastfeeding mother and has never eaten gond, then please consult your elders, gynac or an Ayurvedic expert.
- Do not confuse gond with gond katira, another kind of ebdible gum. Both are different. Gond is known as Dink in marathi and Antu in Kannada.
- Please buy gond from a reliable source. Uually Ayurvedic shops sell this in India and is also sold in grocery or super markets. In abroad it is sold only in Indian stores and is a seasonal product, not available through out the year.
Tips to make best gond ke laddu
- Always use desi ghee or good quality ghee that is homemade. Desi ghee imparts a great aroma to these gond ladoo.
- Ensure you use a good amount of ghee to fry the gond. There must be enough ghee in the pan such that gond is immersed completely in it. Otherwise it my not puff and cook well.
- Some kinds of gond absorb the entire ghee in the pan so do not add a lot or all at once. Add ghee in batches separately for frying gond and then add more ghee for roasting flour.
- The amount of ghee mentioned in the recipe card was good enough for me to make great tasting gond ke laddu. But the quantity can differ depending on the weather conditions, kind of gond and the flour. So use more if needed.
- Too much ghee in the mixture can flatten the ladoos and may hinder the mixture from binding.
- Too less ghee also may break the gond laddu so use your judgement.
These gond ladoo can also be made during festivals and are great to enjoy as a snack anytime.
Gond ke laddu
Gond ke laddu
Ingredients (1 cup = 240ml )
- 1¼ cup wheat flour or atta
- ¾ to 1 cup jaggery powdered or gud (I used ¾) or powdered sugar
- ½ cup ghee (more if needed)
- 1/3 cup gond about 65 grams or edible gum or antu
- 2 tbsp dried coconut or copra – optional
- ¼ cup almonds & cashews (chopped or pulsed in mixer)
- 1 tbsp chironji optional
- ¼ tsp cardamom powder or elaichi
Preparation for gond ke laddu
- Clean gond well removing pieces of bark or stones if any. It is good to buy cleaned gond.
- Heat 1 tbsp ghee in a heavy bottom pan. Fry the almonds, cashews and chironji until slightly golden. Then add coconut and fry just for a minute. Remove and set aside.
How to fry gond
- Pour ¼ cup more ghee to the pan and heat it. The ghee has to be medium hot not very hot otherwise gond will turn bitter. Check if the ghee is hot by dropping 1 small piece of gond, it has to be rise and puff well.
- Fry gond on a medium heat stirring well. Soon the gond will puff and turn light. Remove this as well to a plate and coarsely crush this with a rolling pin. If you like it fine, blend it with few fried nuts. Keep this aside.
- Next pour 3 tbsps more ghee and heat. Saute wheat flour in this stirring often until it turns aromatic and deep golden. Remove from the stove.
- Add the fried cashews, almonds and gond. Also add in cardamom powder. Mix all of these and let the temperature slightly come down but still hot.
- Then add in jaggery and mix well to incorporate the ghee in gond with the laddu mixture. If using sugar, powder it and use.
How to make gond ke laddu
- When the mixture is still hot, take small portions of this and roll to balls. If the mixture is too dry heat 1 to 2 tbsps ghee and pour it.
- Store gond ke laddu in air tight jar and use upto a month.
Preparation for gond ke laddu
1. Heat 1 tbsp ghee.
2. Fry chopped almonds and cashews until lightly golden. You can also fry the whole nuts, cool and coarsely crush in blender.
3. Add dried coconut and fry lightly. You can add more or skip this. Dried coconut is a rich source of calcium. Do not use fresh coconut as it reduces the shelf life.
4. Saute just for a minute.
5. Remove all of these to a plate. If you are using khus khus add them now and fry until they turn golden & crunchy.
How to fry gond
6. Add gond to a plate and clean up if it is not clean. You may find tiny pieces of the bark or stones stuck to the gond, just discard them.
7. Pour ¼ cup ghee to fry the gond. It will puff well if a good amount of ghee is used and fried well on a medium high flame. Unpuffed gond can cause stomach problems and sticks up to the tooth while eating.
8. When the ghee turns hot, check if it is hot enough by adding 1 small piece of it. It has to puff well. Then add the gond to it. Do not use a nonstick pan as it will scratch up. The gond must be fully immersed in ghee otherwise they will not puff. Frying in very hot ghee can make it bitter.
9. Keep stirring and fry until all of it has puffed well. All of the ghee will be absorbed by the gond.
10. Remove it to a plate. Gond will absorb all of the ghee. Crush it well with the base of a cup or just pulse it in a mixer.
11. If you think your gond is not very clean, then clean up the pan with a tissue. You may find some unclean particles in the pan. Pour 3 tbps more ghee and heat up. Add atta or wheat flour.
12. Saute on a medium to low flame until it turns deep golden and aromatic. The atta should not have any raw taste in it.
13. Turn off the stove. You can add crushed gond or pulse it in a mixer. I went ahead pulsing it with some nuts as my kids don’t like the crushed one.
Making gond ke laddu
14. Remove it from the stove. Add the nuts, cardamom powder and gond. Mix everything well.
15. Add powdered jaggery or powdered sugar. If using grated jaggery, make sure you grate it fine.
16. Mix well to incorporate the ghee in the gond with the rest of the mixture.
17. Roll to balls when the mixture is slightly hot. If needed pour some hot ghee if you have a trouble binding them. I did not use any extra.
Store gond ke laddu in a air tight jar and use up to a month.