My Favorite Diwali Treat – Rava Ladoo

Diwali, to me, means devouring all the delicious “faral”, a bunch of savory snacks and sweet treats that are made especially for the festive season. It’s similar to cookies and other baked goodies that are made especially during the holiday season. Every Diwali, mom and dad send a big package of homemade faral, including chakli, chivda, shankarpali, karanji, ladoo, etc. This Diwali, I’m making a little something at home. I’m putting a modern spin on my mom’s signature rava ladoo and turning them into Fresh Coconut & Almond Flour Ladoo/Laddu.

Fresh Coconut & Almond Flour Ladoo/Laddu

While I mostly tend to stick to the savory side, I do occasionally indulge in one of my favorite sweet treats, the rava ladoo, in my mother tongue, Marathi, or the sooji laddu, in Hindi. These are round ball shaped sweet treats made using equal amounts of fine rava/sooji i.e. semolina, fresh grated coconut and sugar and are scented with fragrant green cardamom and speckled with golden raisins. The traditional recipe is nut-free, but you might find variations with nuts, typically with chopped cashews or almonds.

My Modern Spin on Mom’s Recipe 

If you’ve been a follower of my blog, you know that I love to play in my kitchen and put modern spins on classic recipes. A few years ago, I made coconut ladoos for Diwali, by turning the volume up on my mom’s classic coconut laddoos with the addition of saffron and chopped pistachios. This time, I decided to give my mom’s traditional rava ladoo recipe a modern twist by replacing the key ingredient, rava/sooji/semolina/farina, with superfine blanched almond flour. Thus a new recipe for Fresh Coconut & Almond Flour Ladoo/Laddu was created!

Fresh Coconut & Almond Flour Ladoo/Laddu

I’m not a fan of raisins (but I LOVE them in rum ‘n raisin ice cream!), so I used chopped pistachios instead and the resulting almond flour ladoos turned out ahmazzing! They looked and felt just like the classic rava ladoos but were richer and nuttier to taste with the almond flour.

Fresh Coconut & Almond Flour Ladoo/Laddu

Vegan, Gluten Free and Dairy Free Ladoos 

For my Fresh Coconut & Almond Flour Ladoo/Laddu, I followed the exact process that my mom taught me for making her signature rava ladoos. Similar to how mom starts by toasting the rava in ghee, I begin by toasting the almond flour in coconut oil. Instead of using ghee like in the original recipe, I opted for coconut oil to double down on the coconut flavor from the fresh grated coconut that is combined with sugar and almond flour. 

Fresh Coconut & Almond Flour Ladoo/Laddu

With this switch to coconut oil, my recipe for the ladoos becomes vegan. In addition, by switching the key ingredient in mom’s rava ladoo recipe from semolina to almond flour and using toasted coconut and almond milk to soak the saffron, my recipe becomes both dairy-free and gluten-free.

Fresh Coconut & Almond Flour Ladoo/Laddu

Flexible Recipe for All Dietary Preferences

As I popped one ladoo into my mouth, I was pleased with the delicately sweet taste and the rich, nutty flavor. I also gave myself a pat on the back for coming up with a Diwali sweet treat recipe that’s super flexible and checks all the boxes:

✔️ gluten-free

✔️ dairy-free

✔️ vegan

✔️ can be made nut-free by reverting back to my mom’s original recipe made with rava/sooji and raisins

✔️ is a small batch recipe that is perfect for a little indulgence, in case you’re counting calories

Now that’s something worth celebrating, isn’t it?! So this Diwali, use this super easy and super flexible recipe and treat yourself to a decadent sweet treat that fits your dietary preferences!”

Fresh Coconut & Almond Flour Ladoo/Laddu
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Fresh Coconut & Almond Flour Ladoo/Laddu


  • Author: Vasanti
  • Yield: 12 1x

Description

A modern spin on an Indian classic – rava or sooji ladoos/laddus, that are perfect treats for festive occasions. This small-batch, vegan, gluten free and dairy free recipe is made using coconut oil, fresh coconut, almond flour and almond milk along with nuts and spices.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1/4 cup toasted coconut almond milk or unsweetened almond milk
  • a pinch of saffron strands
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil + some to grease your palms for shaping the ladoos
  • 1 cup blanched almond flour (see Variations)
  • 1 cup grated fresh or thawed frozen coconut
  • 1 cup granulated sugar (see Variations)
  • 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
  • 2 tbsp chopped toasted pistachios (see Variations)

Instructions

  • Start by infusing the milk with saffron.
  • Warm up the milk in the microwave oven for about 1 minute or in a saucepan over the stove till it starts steaming and tiny bubbles appear.
  • Sprinkle the saffron strands over warm milk in a bowl.
  • Allow the saffron to soak in the milk until ready to use.
  • Heat a nonstick sauté pan over medium heat and melt the coconut oil.
  • Add the almond flour to it in the pan.
  • Toast the almond flour over medium heat, for about 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently, till it turns light brown in color.
  • Transfer to a bowl or a plate until you are ready to use.
  • In the same pan, combine the grated fresh coconut, granulated sugar and the saffron infused milk.
  • Heat over medium heat, till the sugar melts and the mixture starts bubbling.
  • Let the mixture bubble for 2 minutes on medium heat, allowing the sugar to caramelize and turn the mixture light golden yellow.
  • Turn the heat off and stir in the toasted almond flour or rava/ sooji/ semolina.
  • Stir to combine well and add in the ground cardamom.
  • Add in the chopped toasted pistachios and stir to combine.
  • Roll the ladoos while the mixture is still warm, but cool enough to handle.
  • Use an ice cream scoop to measure equal amounts of the mixture to make the same sized ladoos.
  • Transfer the mixture with the help of the ice cream scoop to clean, greased palms. Press firmly to bind it together and roll into round ball shaped ladoos.
  • Serve immediately (see Notes for storage information).

Keywords: Healthy Recipes, Raksha Bandhan Special, Diwali Special

Step-by-Step Details

Step: 1

Start by infusing the milk with saffron. Warm up the milk in the microwave oven for about 1 minute or in a saucepan over the stove till it starts steaming and tiny bubbles appear. Sprinkle the saffron strands over warm milk in a bowl. Allow the saffron to soak in the milk until ready to use.

Step: 2

Heat a nonstick sauté pan over medium heat and melt the coconut oil.

Step: 3

Add the almond flour to it in the pan.

Step: 4

Toast the almond flour over medium heat, for about 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently, till it turns light brown in color.

Step: 5

Transfer to a bowl or a plate until you are ready to use.

Step: 6

In the same pan, combine the grated fresh coconut, granulated sugar and the saffron infused milk.

Step: 7

Heat over medium heat, till the sugar melts and the mixture starts bubbling.

Step: 8

Let the mixture bubble for 2 minutes on medium heat, allowing the sugar to caramelize and turn the mixture light golden yellow.

Step: 9

Turn the heat off and stir in the toasted almond flour or rava/ sooji/ semolina.

Step: 10

Stir to combine well and add in the ground cardamom.

Step: 11

Add in the chopped toasted pistachios and stir to combine.

Step: 12

Roll the ladoos while the mixture is still warm, but cool enough to handle. Use an ice cream scoop to measure equal amounts of the mixture to make the same sized ladoos.

Step: 13

Transfer the mixture with the help of the ice cream scoop to clean, greased palms. Press firmly to bind it together and roll into round ball shaped ladoos. Serve immediately (see Notes for storage information).

Recipe FAQ’s and Notes

How to Store

Transfer ladoos to an airtight container and store at room temperature in a cool, dark place for 1-2 days or in the refrigerator for up to a week. Let them sit on the counter for about an hour to come to room temperature before serving.

Freeze Upto 3 Months

You can freeze prepared ladoos in a freezer safe container or plastic bag for up to 3 months. Let them thaw in the refrigerator overnight and then come to room temperature on the counter before serving.

Recipe Variations

Make my mom’s original rava ladoo by substituting almond flour with rava/sooji/semolina/farina. You can use ghee in place of coconut oil and regular milk instead of almond milk. Finally, substitute raisins soaked in warm water for 10 minutes for pistachios.

Happy cooking
Vasanti

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Hi I’m Vasanti
…and I ❤️cooking ‘n clicking!!
I share a modern take on Indian cuisine made using nontraditional techniques and ingredients, while staying true to its authenticity. You’ll also find classic recipes from my beloved Maharashtrian culture and heritage.



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