Laddu or laddoo (Hindi: लड्डू; Malay: kuih laddu; Indonesian: kue laddu) is a spherical sweet originating from India and spread through the Indian subcontinent and the Malay world. Laddus are primarily made from flour, fat (ghee/butter/oil) and sugar or jaggery. Laddus are often made of gram flour but can also be made with semolina.[1] Sometimes ingredients such as chopped nuts and/or dried raisins can also be added. The type of ingredients used vary by recipe.

Region or stateIndia, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore and Thailand
Main ingredientsFlour, sugar, ghee, Dry fruits
VariationsGram flour, rava
Laddus packed for wedding ceremony

Laddus are often served during festive or religious occasions.[2][3]


Laddu is derived from Sanskrit लड्डुक (laḍḍuka; a kind of sweetmeat).


At the Harappa archaeological site near Binjor in western Rajasthan, seven similarly sized laddus, consisting of legumes and cereals such as barley, wheat, chickpea and mung bean, were found in intact form, along with two figurines of bulls and a hand-held copper adze, during 2017 archeological excavations.[4][5] According to Rajesh Agnihotri, the presence of bull figurines, adze and a Harappan seal along with the food balls indicates that Indus valley civilization people might have revered these items to perform some kind of ritual.[4][5]



Common flours used for laddu include gram flour (chickpea flour), wheat semolina and ground coconut. These are combined with sugar and other flavorings, cooked in ghee, and molded into a ball shape. Some laddu recipes are prepared using Ayurvedic medicinal ingredients, including methi laddu, multigrain, and resin laddu. Nuts such as pistachios and almonds are commonly stuffed into laddus.

Boondi laddu

Boondi laddu
Motichoor Laddu

Boondi laddu or bundiar laddu is made from bengal gram flour (besan) based boondi.[6] It is often served on festivals such as Raksha Bandhan and Diwali.

Motichoor laddu (Moti-choor means crushed pearls in Hindi[7]) is made from fine boondi where the balls are tiny and are cooked with ghee or oil. The recipe for this laddu originated in north India and is now popular throughout the Indian subcontinent.

Besan laddu

Besan laddu decorated with silver foil and almond chips.

Besan laddu is a popular Indian sweet dish made of besan (chickpea flour or gram flour), sugar, and ghee. Besan is roasted in ghee until it has a golden brown appearance with a nutty fragrance. Then sugar is added to it. Pistachio pieces may also be included in the mixture. Sweet balls are then made from this mixture. It has a long shelf life.[8] It is often served at festivals, family events and religious occasions in India.

Coconut laddu

Coconut laddu

There are multiple coconut laddu recipes. Its earliest form Narayl Nakru dates back to the time of the Chola Empire, when it was a sweet that was packed for travelers and warriors as a symbol of good luck for their expeditions.[9]

Paan laddu

In the Malay world, laddus made with palm sugar are known as klepon (in Indonesia) or onde-onde (in Malaysia, Brunei and Singapore).


Peda (cream balls) is a popular dessert in the Indian subcontinent, prepared from khoa (milk solids by evaporation). In India, among Hindus, it is often prepared as an offering to the gods.[10][11]

Semolina or rava laddu

This is a laddu prepared from rava (semolina), sugar and ghee. A variant on the recipe includes khoa cheese as an additional ingredient.[12]

Sesame laddu

Till laddu made with sesame seeds and then mixed with gur (unrefined sugar) to form balls are famous in India and Bangladesh during the months of winter.

Laddu with edible gum

In India, these are traditionally given to lactating mothers as they help in the production of milk.[13][14] These laddus are called dinkache ladoo in Marathi and gond ka laddu in Hindi. The main ingredient is gum arabic which is collected from the babhul tree. Other ingredients include coconut, almonds, cashews, dates, spices such as nutmeg and cardamom, poppy seeds, ghee, and sugar.[15]

An alternative multigrain recipe will have a portion of gum replaced by grains and legume flours such as besan, urid, ragi (nachani in Marathi) and wheat.[16]

Texas laddu

Texas Laddu - Peanut Butter and Chocolate

This version of laddu is typically made with peanut butter, chocolate syrup, and flavored whiskey. A non-alcoholic version substitutes water for whiskey. The taste is similar to a Rum ball and Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. Some of the ingredients are smoked.

Other types

Laddu can be prepared from a variety of grains, legumes, and seeds. Some popular ones include laddu made with roasted wheat, amaranth, garden cress seeds,[17] fenugreek seeds, and peanuts.[18]

World record

The largest individual laddu weighs 29,465 kg

The largest individual laddu weighs 29,465 kilograms (64,959 lb) and was achieved by PVVS Mallikharjuna Rao (India), in Tapeswaram, Andhra Pradesh, India, on 6 September 2016.[19] The laddu was made to a traditional Boondi recipe. The ingredients included ghee, refined oil, cashew nuts, sugar, almonds, cardamom, and water.

Cultural references

In the Sesame Street episode "Rakhi Road", laddus are featured prominently as a favored Indian dessert. Elmo is shown making laddus and enjoying eating them as part of the celebrations around the Indian festival of Rakhi.[20]

A laddu weighing 6,300 kg was made for a Ganesh festival in Andhra Pradesh, India in September 2012. This was claimed to be the largest known laddu.[21]

In the movie English Vinglish, the protagonist Shashi Godbole (Sridevi) is a housewife who makes and sells laddoos for a living.[22]

The Netflix series Mighty Little Bheem features laddus on several episodes.[23]

See also


  1. बेसन के लड्डू बनाते समय इन 8 बातों का ध्यान रखें। Besan ladoo with Tips and Tricks (in Hindi). Nishamadhulika. 5 November 2018.
  2. "Sweet shops make hay in Diwali shine". The New Indian Express. 31 October 2013. Retrieved 17 January 2019.
  3. Sangeetha Devi Dundoo (31 October 2013). "As good as home". The Hindu. Retrieved 17 January 2019.
  4. Agnihotri, Rajesh (1 June 2021). "Microscopic, biochemical and stable isotopic investigation of seven multi-nutritional food-balls from Indus archaeological site, Rajasthan (India)". Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports. 37: 102917. doi:10.1016/j.jasrep.2021.102917. ISSN 2352-409X. S2CID 233578846.
  5. Tewari, Mohita (25 March 2021). "Harappan people ate multigrain, high-protein 'laddoos': Study". The Times of India. Retrieved 21 June 2021.
  6. Krondl, Michael (2011). Sweet invention a history of dessert (1st ed.). Chicago, Ill.: Chicago Review Press. p. 17. ISBN 9781569769522.
  7. "Motichoor Ladoo (Laddu): A Sweet Dip in the History of India's Favourite Festive Treat".
  8. Collingham, Lizzie (2007). Curry : a tale of cooks and conquerors. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 105. ISBN 978-0195320015.
  9. Madhulika Dash (16 October 2004). "Food Story: The journey of ladoo from a medicine to the much-loved Indian sweet". The New Indian Express.
  10. Kumar, K.R. "Packaging Aspects of Milk & Milk Based Products". Plastics in Food Packaging (PDF). Mysore, India: Central Food Technological Research Institute. p. 198.
  11. Sanjeev Kapoor. Mithai. Popular. ISBN 9788179917121.
  12. Kachru, Braj B.; Bhatia, Vijay, eds. (2006). The handbook of world Englishes (2. print. ed.). Malden, Mass.: Blackwell. pp. 395–396. ISBN 9781405111850.
  13. Kajale, Neha, et al. "Effect of traditional food supplements on nutritional status of lactating mothers and growth of their infants." Nutrition 30.11 (2014): 1360-1365.
  14. Singh, Mayank (2012). "Traditional Herbal Care of Human Health in Jaunpur (U.P.)" (PDF). Indian J. L. Sci. 1 (2): 61–65. Retrieved 13 April 2016.
  15. "Dinkache ladoo, Gund ladoo, Gond Ladoo, Gond Ka Laddu.....Easy Recipes on". Retrieved 11 April 2016.
  16. Naidu, Bhargavi G., Kirti J. Shirke, and Anuradha Shekhar. "Research Paper Open Access." (2012).
  17. Shwetha Y., 2014. Therapeutic Effect of Garden Cress Seeds on Diabetics and Hypertensive Subjects (Doctoral dissertation, University of Agricultural Sciences GKVK, Bangalore).
  18. Pathak, Sarita Srivastava, Sema Grover, P., 2000. "Development of food products based on millets, legumes, and fenugreek seeds and their suitability in the diabetic diet". International journal of food sciences and nutrition, 51(5), pp. 409–414. PMID 11103307. doi:10.1080/096374800427019.
  19. "Largest laddu (individual)". Guinness World Records.
  20. "Episodes". Sesame Workshop. Retrieved 3 February 2018.
  21. "6,300 kg Tapeswaram laddu creates record". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 27 September 2012.
  22. Bhandari, Aparita (4 October 2012). "Bollywood veteran Sridevi returns in English Vinglish". Toronto Star. ISSN 0319-0781. Retrieved 13 October 2017.
  23. "Tiny Indian superhero a mighty hit with young fans on Netflix". South China Morning Post. 2020-10-08. Retrieved 2023-01-07.
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