Rava laddu is a South Indian Sweet made with semolina, sugar, ghee, cashews and raisins. Rava is the Indian term for semolina & laddu are sweet balls. Also known as suji ladoo in other parts of India, these are usually made during festivals & are great to gift. These rava ladoo are delicious, aromatic and have a melt in the mouth texture with a slight crunch.
There are a few different ways rava laddu is made. Here I have shared the way my mom would make for us. Like besan ladoo, these are also made with only pure ghee. No water or milk or sugar syrup is used here so they keep good at room temperature for a month.
However if you do not prefer ghee at all you can still make these with milk. But the texture of the ladoos made with milk is different.
So if you want to make rava ladoo with milk, then make the mixture & store it in a jar for upto a month. When needed just take a portion of this to a bowl and bind it with some milk. It only takes 5 to 6 mins to bind 4 to 5 ladoos.
Preparation for rava laddu
1. To a pan, add 1 cup semolina and ¼ cup desiccated coconut. Begin to dry roast on a medium heat stirring continuously for even roasting.
2. After 6 to 7 minutes you will begin to smell it good. Turn off the stove. Rava should be crunchy& light at this stage. It should get an even light golden color & do not brown it. Keep this aside to cool.
3. Meanwhile add ¾ cup + 1 tablespoons sugar (165 grams) to a grinder jar. Also add cardamom powder or 3 whole cardamoms.
4. Grind it to a fine powder. Let the sugar rest in the jar for 3 to 4 mins.
5. Then add roasted semolina and coconut. Grind it again well. Take a generous pinch of this powdered semolina and taste test it. It should be slightly coarse and not too coarse. You should feel the slight crunch in the semolina. If it is too coarse then grind it further for a little longer.
6. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and keep aside. If you prefer to use milk, then transfer this to a clean air tight jar and store it. When needed, add some roasted nuts and pour little warm milk and bind it.
How to make rava laddu
7. Pour 4 tbsps + ¾ tablespoon ghee to a hot pan. Add cashews and fry them until light golden. Then add raisins and give a good stir. Turn off.
8. The residual heat will fry the raisins further.
9. Then pour this hot ghee along with nuts & raisins to the rava ladoo mix. Ensure you don’t use your hand immediately as the ghee is very hot. Use a spoon and mix it well to incorporate with the mix.
10. Then use your clean dry hand and mix everything well.
11. While the mixture is still warm, take small portions of this to your palm and press down well to bind it. You will need to press down each rava ladoo at least for 60 to 90 seconds. (Check video)
11.Cool them completely. Store in an air tight jar and keep in a dry place free from moisture. They will last for a minimum of 1 month.
Ingredients & Substitutes
Coconut: My mom always made these with copra (dried coconut) as it is more nutritious. You can use desiccated coconut or copra. If you want to use fresh coconut, then dry roast it separately on a very low heat until all the moisture evaporates. Ladoos may not keep good for more than 7 days. So refrigerate them.
Ghee: Please use good quality ghee. I prefer this homemade ghee. Do not use overcooked ghee as it alters the flavor of ladoos & the taste of ghee will be overpowering.
Semolina: To make these most commonly, Bombay rava (upma rava) is used. But they can also be made with chiroti rava.
Tips to make rava laddu
Frying rava: The key to making good rava laddu is to fry the rava well on a low to medium flame. It should begin to smell good, aromatic & not have a raw flavour. Do not brown it as the aroma completely changes.
Texture of rava ladoo mixture: Rava ladoo is not made with fine powder. The main taste comes from the slightly crunchy rava in the ladoos. So always powder the roasted rava to a slight coarse powder and not super fine.
If you make it fine like flour, the ladoos will stick to the mouth while you eat.
Ingredients (1 cup = 240ml )
Ingredients for rava ladoo
- 1 cup rava (160 grams, semolina or suji) (refer notes)
- ¾ cup sugar + 1 tablespoon (165 grams)
- ¼ cup desiccated coconut or copra (25 grams, optional)
- ¼ cup ghee + (¾ tablespoon) (refer notes)
- 1 teaspoon cardamom powder (or 5 cardamom pods)
- 10 raisins
- 10 cashews (broken)
How to make the recipe
Preparation for rava laddu
- Add semolina & desiccated coconut to a pan and dry roast it on a medium to low flame stirring constantly for 6 to 7 mins.
- It has to be evenly light golden without browning or burning. When it turns aromatic, light and crunchy, turn off the stove. Transfer this to a plate & cool down.
- To a grinder jar, add sugar and cardamoms. Grind it to a fine powder and rest it in the jar itself for 2 to 3 mins.
- When the semolina cools down, add it to the same grinder jar.
- Grind to a slightly coarse powder. Taste test this. It has to be slightly coarse and not very coarse. If it is too coarse the ladoos will not bind.Transfer this to a mixing bowl.
- Pour ghee in a hot pan. Add cashews & fry on a medium flame until light golden.
- Then add the raisins and stir for 30 seconds. Turn off the heat.
- Pour this hot ghee along with nuts and raisins to the rava laddu mixture.
- Stir it with a spoon and not use your hand yet as it is too hot.
How to make rava laddu
- Once the ghee incorporates well, use your hand and mix everything well.
- Take small portions of this mixture to your palm and press down hard with your finger to form a ball. (Check video).
- Form the ladoos while the mixture is still hot. You will be able to make 10 to 11 rava laddus.
- Store them in an air tight jar at room temperature and use up within a month.
NUTRITION (estimation only)
- Use fine semolina also known as bombay rava or upma rava.
- If you prefer to use only milk and avoid ghee completely, then read my tips in the post.
- If you use copra you may not need the extra 3/4 tablespoon ghee as copra releases some oil when powdered.
- This recipe is not forgiving, so stick on to the measurements. If you change the quantities the mixture may not bind to ladoos.
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.