Besan Ladoo

Besan Ladoo is popular Indian sweet made with gram flour (besan), ghee and sugar! It's often made for festivals and special occasions!
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Besan Ladoo is one of the most popular Indian sweets.

Made with gram flour, sugar and ghee, this dessert requires only a handful of ingredients but tastes amazing!

8 pieces of besan ladoo arranged in a round plate

Festivals are incomplete without sweets and in India festivals are incomplete without ladoos.

Ladoo, an Indian sweet can be made using various ingredients and is round in shape.

We make ladoos out of so many ingredients, there’s motichoor ladoo, aata ladoo, coconut ladoo, rava ladoo, this ladoo, that ladoo and this list is endless.

Out of all these amazing ladoos, besan ladoo is my absolute favorite.

What is Besan Ladoo

Besan Ladoo is a round dessert ball made with gram flour which is called besan in Hindi and hence the name.

Flour is roasted with ghee (clarified butter) and then sugar is added and then it’s shaped into round balls.

Nuts and raisins can be added. Some people also add sooji (rava/semolina) to the besan for the crunch.

However I personally prefer this ladoo plain, minus the sooji.

It is definitely my favorite ladoo and also one of my favorite sweets ever.

Back home during Diwali, I would always scan through the sweet boxes to see if any one of them had besan ladoo in them.

My nani (maternal grandmother) used to make the besan ladoo. So I kind of grew up eating these homemade ladoos.

I have so many memories associated with them. I don’t think my ladoos can ever match hers though as they were simply the best! 🙂

besan ladoo served in a blue bowl with some diyas in the background

Tips to Make Besan Ladoo

So, the ingredient list to make these ladoos is pretty small but here are few things to keep in mind!

Roast the besan properly: the most crucial thing to keep in mind while making besan ladoo is to make sure the besan is roasted well.

It will take time and you will need to have lot of patience.

Do not rush this step! If you don’t roast the besan properly, the ladoos will taste bitter and raw.

And how would you know that besan is roasted? You will be able to tell from the aroma and also the color of the besan will change to a golden-ish hue.

Also, the besan turns into a smooth paste once it’s cooked (see pictures below in the recipe steps).

But don’t over roast it either else you will burn it.

Keep the heat on low at all times: equally important is to keep the heat to low at all times. If the heat is high, the besan will turn brown and even burn while still being raw.

besan ladoo placed in a plate with few them of broken to show the inside

Keep stirring continuously: yes, this recipe is a good hand workout. You need to stir continuously as you roast, which will be around 20 to 25 minutes! But the end result will be worth it, trust me!

Let the roasted besan cool down before adding sugar: once the besan has roasted let it cool down for at least 15 minutes before adding the sugar.

If you add the sugar while besan is still warm, the sugar will melt and loosen up the mixture and you won’t be able to bind the ladoos.

Roasting time may differ depending on intensity of heat, thickness of pan: please keep in mind that roasting time needed for besan may differ. It takes me around 25 minutes of low heat to roast the besan, it might take you 15 or 50. It depends on several things including if you have gas, induction, coil. It also depends on intensity of heat (medium, low, low-medium) and the thickness of the pan you are using.

If you are not sure rely on aroma of the besan rather than the time, you should smell that nutty aroma.

And that’s about it. If you keep these things in mind, you will end up with good homemade Besan Ladoos.

They are truly my favorite sweets to make and I make them every single Diwali or any for any other festival for that matter.

 

Method

Before you start, sift the besan and then measure it. It should come to 1 cup (125 grams). Keep it aside.

1- To a heavy bottom pan, add the ghee and let it melt on low heat.

2- Once the ghee melts, add the sifted besan to the pan. Heat should be low at all times.

3- Mix the besan and the ghee together, at first it will form a clump.

4- Don’t worry and keep stirring, it will start to loosen up a bit. This is how it looks like 7 to 8 minutes after adding besan.

step by step picture collage of making besan ladoo

5 & 6- Keep stirring continuously on low heat. Besan will continue to loosen up and after around 15 minutes (picture 6), it will turn into a smooth paste like consistency.

7- I roasted the besan for around 25 minutes on low heat until it had a nice golden-ish color. Your kitchen will also be filled with a aroma by then. This time may differ depending on several things (please see notes).

8- Remove pan from heat. If you want transfer the besan to another container so that it doesn’t cook further and doesn’t burn.

I didn’t transfer it. So after removing pan from heat, I kept stirring for 2 to 3 minutes until it cooled down a little.

Then add the cardamom powder and mix and now let the besan cool down for at least 15 to 20 minutes. Do not add sugar to hot besan else the sugar will melt and then you won’t be able to bind the ladoos.

step by step picture collage of making besan ladoo

9- After 15 to 20 minutes, the besan would cool down and be easy to touch. Add in the sugar and nuts/raisins (if using).

10- Mix everything together until the sugar and nuts are well combined.

11- You will get a smooth besan dough.

12- Now, pinch a small bowl from the dough. Press and roll between your palm to form a round shape. Repeat with the remaining dough.

You would get 8 to 10 ladoos. Don’t worry if they don’t look perfectly round.

Once you shape them, let them sit for 5 to 10 minutes and then shape again if they don’t look perfect. Just don’t wait for too long else it will set and then it will be difficult to change the shape.

step by step picture collage of making besan ladoo

Store besan ladoo in airtight container and enjoy! You may garnish with nuts or edible silver leaves (chandi ka vark).

besan ladoo arranged in a round plate

If you’ve tried this Besan Ladoo Recipe then don’t forget to rate the recipe! You can also follow me on Facebook and Instagram to see what’s latest in my kitchen!

This post has been updated from the recipe archives, first published in November 2013.

Besan Ladoo

8 pieces of besan ladoo arranged in a round plate
Manali
Besan Ladoo is popular Indian sweet made with gram flour (besan), ghee and sugar! It's often made for festivals and special occasions!
4.95 from 34 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Course Sweets
Cuisine Indian
Servings 10 ladoos
Calories 109 kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 cup besan gram flour, sifted, 125 grams (measured after sifting the flour)
  • 1/4 cup ghee clarified butter, 60 ml, not melted
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar 65 grams, also known as confectioners sugar, you can add more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom powder
  • 2 teaspoons chopped nuts like almonds, cashews optional

Instructions
 

  • Before you start, sift the besan and then measure it. It should come to 1 cup (125 grams). Keep it aside.
  • To a heavy bottom pan, add the ghee and let it melt on low heat.
  • Once the ghee melts, add the sifted besan to the pan. Heat should be low at all times.
  • Mix the besan and the ghee together, at first it will form a clump. Don't worry and keep stirring, it will start to loosen up a bit. (See pictures above to see how it looks at every stage!)
  • Keep stirring continuously on low heat. Besan will continue to loosen up and after around 15 minutes (see picture 6 above), it will turn into a smooth paste like consistency.
    I roasted the besan for around 25 minutes on low heat until it had a nice golden-ish color. Your kitchen will also be filled with a aroma by then. This time may differ depending on several things (please see notes).
  • Remove pan from heat. If you want, transfer the besan to another container so that it doesn't cook further and doesn't burn.
    I didn't transfer it. So after removing pan from heat, I kept stirring for 2 to 3 minutes until it cooled down a little.
  • Then add the cardamom powder and mix and now let the besan cool down for at least 15 to 20 minutes. Do not add sugar to hot besan else the sugar will melt and then you won't be able to bind the ladoos.
  • After 15 to 20 minutes, the besan would cool down and be easy to touch. Add in the sugar and nuts/raisins (if using).
  • Mix everything together until the sugar and nuts are well combined. You will get a smooth besan dough.
  • Now, pinch a small bowl from the dough. Press and roll between your palm to form a round shape. Repeat with the remaining dough.
    You would get 8 to 10 ladoos.
  • Store besan ladoo in airtight container and enjoy! You may garnish with nuts or edible silver leaves (chandi ka vark).

Notes

  1. If you want crunch in your ladoo, you can add few tablespoons of sooji (rava/semolina). Another good idea will be to add fine caster sugar in place of powdered sugar. I personally love that in my ladoo but since it's not easily available, I often make the ladoos with powdered sugar.
  2. If your ladoos don't look perfectly round after you shape them, wait for 5 to 10 minutes and then roll between your hands to shape them again. Don't wait too long though, else ladoo will set and then you won't be able to change the shape.
  3. If you prefer sweeter ladoos, you may add 3/4 cup of powdered sugar.
  4. Roasting time may differ depending on intensity of heat, thickness of pan: please keep in mind that roasting time needed for besan may differ. It takes me around 25 minutes of low heat to roast the besan, it might take you 15 or 50. It depends on several things including if you have gas, induction, coil. It also depends on intensity of heat (medium, low, low-medium) and the thickness of the pan you are using. If you are not sure rely on aroma of the besan rather than the time, you should smell that nutty aroma.

Nutrition

Calories: 109kcalCarbohydrates: 13gProtein: 3gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 12mgSodium: 8mgPotassium: 102mgFiber: 1gSugar: 7gCalcium: 5mgIron: 0.6mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @cookwithmanali or tag #cookwithmanali!

 

109 thoughts on “Besan Ladoo

  1. Hi,
    I have to agree with Rags…it took me almost 50 mins on low heat to get the right consistency. Good thing I trusted my instincts and kept roasting instead of removing from heat. It turned out well in the end. I have to say that either the recipe needs to be tweaked or you have to give approximation.

    Happy Diwali

    1. Janie I just made this yesterday again for Dussehra and it got done in 25 minutes, I make besan ladoo very often and it has never taken me beyond 30 minutes. So much depends on whether you are using gas, induction, coil, then the intensity of heat- medium low, medium, low then the thickness of pan – light pan, super thick pan . These all things can impact time. I can share what 100% works for me every time but these things I cannot control. Yes it’s a good idea to rely on aroma, roasted besan has a very distinct nutty aroma which can tell when it’s done.

  2. I am sorry, but this recipe for me was a complete disaster. I believe 25 minutes on low heat is not enough. I did it for 30. Didn’t want to do it longer as I was worried the besan may burn, as is warned in the recipe. The besan was raw at the end. By the time I realized that the besan is not done, the sugar was already added. The laddoos were off-white in color, nowhere close to the rich yellow they should be. My wife was not at all impressed with my work.

    I used ingredient proportions exactly as per the recipe. At the end of 30min, the besan was not pasty as is shown in the pictures. It was lumpy with lumps around 3-5mm in diameter. I had to press and break them with the spatula.

    In order to fix the mess, I put the entire mixture back on heat despite sugar having got added. Added some more ghee and then cooked on medium heat for 15-20 minutes or so. That fixed it, though the laddoos turned out darker in color, and harder (due to caramelization of sugar), and with more ghee than should have been there.

    Suggestions:

    1. I think the focus in this recipe is too much on time. Instead a range of time needs to be mentioned (30-45 minutes on low heat). Realize that time will vary with the pan, source of heat etc. Secondly it is not necessary that the heat should be at the lowest point as is repeatedly mentioned in the recipe.

    2. I think the focus should be on the insight that the besan should become pasty, and yellow. I know it is mentioned, but with the focus on watching the clock and warnings about burning, this critical insight may get neglected as it happened with me.

    3. While the pictures in the recipe show what the mixture should look after certain number of minutes, it should also cover what to do if the actual is very different from the pictures.

    Please make the recipe idiot-proof for people like me 🙂

    Thank you!

    1. Thanks for trying and sorry that it didn’t work for you. This is a full proof recipe, this blog is my full time job and I do take my job very seriously and do not post anything that hasn’t been tested several times in my kitchen. 🙂 25 minutes in plenty time for besan to roast, I am not sure how yours was still not cooked after 25 minutes. The thickness of the pan and heat can definitely play a part but it’s very unlikely that besan will still be raw after 25 minutes. I have given the measurement in grams too because sometimes cups measurements can go wrong and that can cause the recipe to flop. Maybe you used more besan than the recipe calls for. Also did you use powdered sugar (also known as icing sugar/confectioners sugar) and NOT white sugar which you grind in your mixer to make powder? Because that can also change things. I definitely want my readers to succeed and I am sorry this didn’t work for you.

      1. Thanks for your response. Yes, I did use powdered sugar. In any case sugar is to be added only after the besan is roasted so that may not be the reason for the besan remaining raw.

        I will try again with higher heat and let you know.

        Thanks

  3. 5 stars
    I tried the recipie and the aroma was too good. I added some kesar and the orange colour was very nicely done. I did the same way but after adding the sugar and it didn’t harden so I kept in the fridge for 8 to 10 minutes.
    They turned out nice round shape ladu. Thanks for the recipe.

  4. Hi Manali,
    Thanks for sharing recipe. I tried this one but somehow my batter was flowy and couldn’t bind it in laddoos. I spread it across the plate and cut into pieces. They taste yummy buy don’t know what went wrong. Thank you

    1. when did you add sugar? maybe the besan was still warm when you added the sugar. Also if this happens, you can always add some crushed nuts or almond flour or roast more besan and add to bind everything.

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