Kesar Malai Ladoo

These melt-in-mouth Kesar Malai Ladoo require only a handful of ingredients.

Made with milk, sugar and flavored with saffron and cardamom, these are must for the festive season.

kesar malai ladoo on a silver plate with saffron strands placed on the side

I love making Bengali sweets at home. Whether it’s the rasmalai, sandesh or rasgulla, I love them all.

Milk forms the base of a lot of bengali sweets. Isn’t it amazing how so many different sweets can be made using the same basic ingredient- milk?

This Kesar Malai Ladoo is yet another sweet made by curdling the milk.

Kesar= saffron, malai=cream so these ladoos have saffron and cream and of course milk and sugar!

These Kesar Malai Ladoo

✔ require only a handful of ingredients

✔ made with basic pantry ingredients like milk and sugar

✔ make a pretty festive sweet

✔ great to make for Diwali potlucks!

Although the ingredient list for these ladoos isn’t big, it does take some for them to come together.

The curdled milk (chena) and cream need to be cooked with sugar until it reaches a consistency where you can roll it to make ladoos.

And that takes time!

You have to cook it on low heat, stirring continuously. So yeah, it’s a good arm workout and require some patience.

At some point, you might feel like the mixture is too wet and you could never roll it into ladoos, but trust me you can and you will.

Just cook it until it reaches the desired stage. It takes around 15 minutes of constant cooking and stirring on low heat to reach that stage.

To check if it’s done, just take some amount of mixture from the pan and try to roll it.

If you can roll it into a round shape, it means it is done and you can then remove pan from heat.

If not, continue to cook for some more time.

stack of kesar malai ladoo arranged on a tray

I have added some nuts to the ladoos though that is totally optional.

You can skip the nuts if you like.

I also flavor the ladoo with kewra water (an extract distilled from the flower of the Pandanus plant) and cardamom, you can chose to skip either one of these.

In India, these ladoo would use fresh cream but since here that’s hard to do, I have used heavy cream and it worked well for the recipe.

If you are looking for a last minute Diwali sweet, give these Kesar Malai Ladoo a try.

You might not be able to stop at one!

Storing the Ladoo

Since these ladoos are made from fresh milk, they do not have a very long shelf-life.

They should be kept refrigerated and consumed with in 2 to 3 days for best taste.

Method

1- Add 1 liter milk to a heavy bottom pan on medium heat. Let the milk come to a boil.

2- When it comes to boil, turn off the heat and add 1/3 cup water to the milk. Let it cool down 1 to 2 minutes. This results in softer chena.

3- After 2 minutes, start adding vinegar, little by little.

4- Stop adding as soon as the milk curdles.

step by step picture collage of making kesar malai ladoo

5- Using a fine strainer, drain the whey and collect the chena. You may also use a cheesecloth here (lined over a strainer).

Wash the chena with cold water to get rid of the vinegar taste. Let it drain for 15 to 20 minutes to get rid of excess water. Some moisture is fine.

In case using a cheese cloth, squeeze water tightly from the cloth and then let it hang for 15 to 20 minutes.

This will be 1 heaping cup chena. You can use grated panner (store bought too).

6- Once it has drained for 15 to 20 minutes, transfer the chena into a food processor. Pulse it in food processor, 1 to 2 times so that it’s smooth.

You may also do this by hand, I prefer the processor.

7- Meanwhile soak saffron in 2 tablespoon warm milk. Set aside.

8- Heat a non-stick pan on medium heat and add cream to it. Let it cook for 2 minutes on medium heat.

step by step picture collage of making kesar malai ladoo

9- Then add the chena to the pan which we had pulsed in the processor.

10 & 11- Followed by prepared saffron milk and sugar.

12- Lower the heat to “low”. Use a whisk to mix it all together so that there are no lumps.

Add few drops of kewra water, if using.

step by step picture collage of making kesar malai ladoo

13- Continue cooking the mixture. It will start leaving the pan around 8 minutes of cooking on low heat but it will still be very wet/liquid-y.

14 & 15 Add cardamom powder and continue to cook until mixture looks dry enough.

16- Take a small amount from the mixture and roll it- you should be able to roll and make a ball. It takes around 15 to 17 minutes on low heat to reach this stage. Keep heat to low at all times.

step by step picture collage of making kesar malai ladoo

17 & 18- When you can form a ball, remove mixture from heat and transfer to a plate. Let it cool down a bit, then add nuts and mix.

19- Start making round ladoos from the mixture, take a small portion from the mixture and press between your palm and then roll to form a round shape.

20- Repeat with the remaining mixture. I got 9 ladoos, around 24 grams each.

step by step picture collage of making kesar malai ladoo

Decorate with chandi vark and saffron strand. Store Kesar Malai Ladoo in the refrigerator for 2-3 days!

overhead shot of kesar malai ladoo arranged on a silver plate with saffron strands placed on the sides

If you’ve tried this Kesar Malai Ladoo then don’t forget to rate the recipe! You can also follow me on FacebookInstagram to see what’s latest in my kitchen!

Kesar Malai Ladoo

These melt-in-mouth Kesar Malai Ladoo require only a handful of ingredients. Made with milk, sugar and flavored with saffron and cardamom, these are must for the festive season.

kesar malai ladoo on a silver plate with saffron strands placed on the side
Course Dessert
Cuisine Indian
Keyword kesar malai ladoo, malai ladoo
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 17 minutes
Servings: 9 ladoo
Calories: 162 kcal
Author: Manali
5 from 1 vote
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Ingredients

  • 1 liter whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon + 1/2-1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • saffron strands, dissolved in 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1/3 cup +1 tablespoon powdered sugar, or to taste
  • few drops kewra water, optional
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom powder
  • 1 tablespoon chopped nuts, optional
  • chandi ka vark, edible silver leaves, for decorating

Instructions

  1. Add 1 liter milk to a heavy bottom pan on medium heat. Let the milk come to a boil.

    When it comes to boil, turn off the heat and add 1/3 cup water to the milk. Let it cool down 1 to 2 minutes. This results in softer chena.

  2. After 2 minutes, start adding vinegar, little by little.

    Stop adding as soon as the milk curdles.

  3. Using a fine strainer, drain the whey and collect the chena. You may also use a cheesecloth here (lined over a strainer). 

    Wash the chena with cold water to get rid of the vinegar taste. Let it drain for 15 to 20 minutes to get rid of excess water. Some moisture is fine. In case using a cheese cloth, squeeze water tightly from the cloth and then let it hang for 15 to 20 minutes.

    This will be 1 heaping cup chena. You can use grated panner (store bought too).

  4. Once it has drained for 15 to 20 minutes, transfer the chena into a food processor. Pulse it in food processor, 1 to 2 times so that it's smooth.

    You may also do this by hand, I prefer the processor.

  5. Meanwhile soak saffron in 2 tablespoon warm milk. Set aside.

  6. Heat a non-stick pan on medium heat and add cream to it. Let it cook for 2 minutes on medium heat.

  7. Then add the chena to the pan which we had pulsed in the processor. Followed by prepared saffron milk and sugar.

  8. Lower the heat to "low". Use a whisk to mix it all together so that there are no lumps.

    Add few drops of kewra water, if using.

  9. Continue cooking the mixture. It will start leaving the pan around 8 minutes of cooking on low heat but it will still be very wet/liquid-y.

  10. Add cardamom powder and continue to cook until mixture looks dry enough.

    Take a small amount from the mixture and roll it- you should be able to roll and make a ball. It takes around 15 to 17 minutes on low heat to reach this stage. Keep heat to low at all times.

  11. When you can form a ball, remove mixture from heat and transfer to a plate. Let it cool down a bit, then add nuts and mix.

  12. Start making round ladoos from the mixture, take a small portion from the mixture and press between your palm and then roll to form a round shape.

    Repeat with the remaining mixture. I got 9 ladoos, around 24 grams each.

  13. Decorate with chandi vark and saffron strand. Store Kesar Malai Ladoo in the refrigerator for 2-3 days!

Recipe Notes

These ladoos are lightly sweetened, you may increase the quantity of sugar if you want. 

Nutrition Facts
Kesar Malai Ladoo
Amount Per Serving
Calories 162 Calories from Fat 81
% Daily Value*
Fat 9g14%
Saturated Fat 5g31%
Cholesterol 29mg10%
Sodium 53mg2%
Potassium 161mg5%
Carbohydrates 16g5%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 16g18%
Protein 4g8%
Vitamin A 375IU8%
Calcium 134mg13%
Iron 0.1mg1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

3 thoughts on “Kesar Malai Ladoo

  1. 5 stars
    I really like the style of your blog. I am interested in researching dishes of different national cuisines, and your blog is a real treasury. I have not tried to cook such sweets before and even anything similar, but now I’ll try it for sure. Thank you for your work!

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