Vegan Besan Ladoo (No Ghee)

The best Vegan Besan Ladoo

This vegan besan ladoo without ghee tastes just like traditional besan ka ladoo.

These are crowd pleasers, loved by all ages.

If you are new to making Indian desserts, you must know that they are very labor-intensive or as elders would say “made with love.” These deserts require a watchful eye throughout the entire process, but the reward is absolutely worth it. This besan ladoo without ghee recipe is actually one of the easiest desserts to make and because they are bite-sized, having one, two, or a few will not give you any food guilt.

What Is Besan Ladoo?

Besan Ladoo without ghee is a healthy, plant-based, desert that is known in almost every Indian household. For Diwali and other celebrations, this dessert is bound to be part of the enormous and delectable spread, something that excites me. Besan ladoo is a crowd-pleaser and brings back so many memories of enjoyable times in India, it is a very special dessert that my family absolutely enjoys.
Traditionally, these little delectable round balls are made with gram flour, known as besan, in Hindi, flour roasted with ghee, clarified butter, and sugar. This is all made on the stove and then round balls are made by hand. Sometimes raisins, nuts, or other toppings are added. This besan ladoo without ghee recipe has chopped almonds and shredded coconut, the perfect amount of crunch for these little heavenly bites.Vegan Besan Ladoo ( No Ghee)

Can You Make Besan Ladoo Without Ghee?

Ghee is a form of clarified butter and is very common in traditional Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine. Yes, you can definitely make besan ladoo without ghee. Even though ghee is a very popular ingredient in traditional besan ladoo, by replacing it with cocoa butter, we are still keeping the same moisture, flavor, and texture while eliminating extra fat and calories, cocoa butter is a wonderful substitute, one that works marvelously in this recipe.

Is Besan Ladoo GLUTEN-FREE?

Besan ladoo is gluten-free and made with chickpea flour, also called besan or gram flour. It is made with garbanzo beans which is naturally gluten-free and a comparable all-purpose flour substitute in breads and cakes. Best of all, your tummy will thank you because there will be no bloating and uncomfortableness after eating these delicious bites.

Is Besan Ladoo Healthy?

Besan ladoo made the traditional way may not be the healthiest dessert, although very delicious. In my quest to still enjoy these types of Indian desserts, there are lots of experimenting with different ingredients. This version of besan ladoo without ghee is my healthy spin on this popular Indian treat without sacrificing any flavor. The besan, or chickpea flour is rich in vitamins, minerals, and fibers. Instead of ghee, this recipe calls for cocoa butter, coconut sugar replaces refined sugar, and there are other ingredients like saffron, coconut milk, cardamom, and nutmeg which all have health benefits. This will be your new non-guilty pleasure!

Tips for Making Vegan Besan Ladoo

Even though this besan ladoo without ghee recipe is so straightforward, there are a few things that can make it even easier, feel free to share your tips below as well.

  • Try using fresh chickpea flour when making this besan ladoo without ghee, be sure to check the expiration date on the bag.
  • Be patient as you roast the chickpea flour, this is one of the most important steps. Low and slow wins the race here! Keeping the heat to an even low and steady temperature will ensure nothing burns.
  • Heads up, if you plan on doubling this recipe, it will increase your roasting time.
  • Keep stirring as your mixture comes together, be prepared to work those muscles.
  • You can add some olive oil to your palms before shaping the balls, this will prevent the mixture from sticking to your hands.
  • If your ladoos are not round, let them rest for a couple of minutes and try reshaping.
  • You can use a melon baller or a mini-ice-cream scooper to help with this step, just spray with some olive oil.
  • If your dough comes out too dry, slowly add a couple of drops of warm cocoa butter to the mixture.
  • If you do not have coconut milk on hand, any other dairy-free substitute will work.

Tips for making vegan besan ladoo.Common Mistakes When you make Besan Ladoo

  • Before perfecting this besan ladoo without ghee recipe, there was bound to be some kitchen disasters, so here are a few lessons learned:
  • Using a small pan- This mixture will need a lot of room to cook properly so use a large enough pan. Rushing this step will make the flour bitter and raw, the color should be golden at the end
  • Rushing to add sugar- Be sure to turn off the heat before adding the sugar otherwise the sugar will melt and your ladoos will not bind.
  • Letting the dough rest too long- As the dough is still pliable and warm, that is the best time to shape into the balls, if not your dough will start to crack and harden.

Why I Love This Traditional Indian Dessert

I love these desserts so much because the aroma and spices bring back memories that take me straight to India. Those memories are so precious; I can remember my mom and grandmother starting to make these in the early evening for Diwali, (India’s biggest holiday of the year), the breeze blowing through our opened kitchen windows, the laughter and conversations always fun and enlightening amongst the three generations. They would let me help a little while eagerly awaiting to grab the first one to gobble. Cherishing these memories forever and hopefully, this recipe will be handed down to my kids, my grandchildren, and so on for years to come, with everyone adding their spin on it.


Vegan Besan Ladoo are my favorite sweets to make and I make them every single Diwali. Here is another dessert rava ladoo – this one is my husband’s favorite.

Vegan Besan Ladoo (No Ghee) Ingredients

  • Chickpea Flour- the base of our besan ladoo without ghee recipe and lends a mild nutty flavor.
  • Almonds- for the perfect crunchy texture.
  • Shredded Coconut- adds just the right amount of sweetness and texture without stealing the spotlight.
  • Cocoa Butter- includes just the right amount of moisture to bind this ladoo together.
  • Coconut Sugar- it is a healthier alternative to processed sugar.
  • Cardamom, saffron, and nutmeg- the combination of these spices is really the essence of these ladoos. Together, they give this dessert a sweet, warm, and irresistibly aromatic note. A little goes a long way!
  • Salt- always a pinch of salt to round all the flavors out.
  • Coconut Milk- a perfect non-dairy option to add moisture and bring this dough to the perfect texture.

Ingredients to make vegan besan ladoo

If you choose to enjoy this delicious no-ghee vegan besan ladoo recipe today, you are in for a special treat! Even though the ingredients in this recipe are very simple, once combined, the result is a dynamic and flavorful dessert. These ladoos are so scrumptious that they will be perfect for your next religious celebration, dessert swap, or package in a nice box for a girlfriend, neighbor, or co-worker.

Here are a few highlights!

  • We used coconut milk which makes this besan ladoo without ghee, dairy-free.
  • We used chickpea flour which makes these ladoos gluten-free.
  • Healthy version alert! We used cocoa butter instead of the traditional ghee here.
  • With the additions of cardamom, nutmeg, and saffron, the fragrance is hard to miss when you pop one of these ladoos in your mouth.
  • No guilt zone!

Nutritional Information

  • There are a multitude of health benefits to this Besan Ladoo without Ghee if prepared as directed.  Here are a few you can gain by using the ingredients in this dish
  • Chickpea Flour- Rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals, chickpeas may improve digestion, help to maintain healthy blood sugar levels, and reduce the risk of several diseases like cancer.
  • Almonds- Rich in unsaturated fats and fiber and can prevent heart disease, lower cholesterol levels, strengthen the immune system, and protect against diabetes.
  • Shredded Coconut- Is a good source of Fiber, Zinc, and Iron, and may improve heart health, aid in digestion, and strengthen the immune system.
  • Cocoa Butter- It is high in antioxidants and improves inflammation and scars on the skin.
  • Coconut Sugar- Contains vitamin C, Iron, Potassium, and Zinc, and may help in improving gut health and slowing glucose absorption.
  • Cardamom- Packed with antioxidants, it may lower blood pressure, and help with digestive problems.
  • Saffron- A powerful antioxidant, may reduce PMS symptoms and may reduce appetite.
  • Nutmeg- It is great for your skin, helps stimulate brain activity, and regulates blood pressure levels.
  • Coconut Milk- Can help with weight loss, lowering cholesterol and blood pressure levels, and improve digestion.
  • It’s healthy.
  • It’s vegan.
  • It’s gluten-free.
  • It’s dairy-free.

How did your besan ladoo come out? Leave a comment below and be sure to send me pictures @veggiecurean!

Vegan Besan Ladoo (No Ghee)

This vegan besan ladoo without ghee tastes just like traditional besan ka ladoo. these are crowd pleasers, loved by all ages.

  • Cuisine: dessert
  • Keyword: Diwali, gluten-free, dairy-free, Indian
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Allergens: Nuts
  • Servings: 10


  • 1 cup chickpea flour
  • ¼ cup almonds, chopped
  • ¼ cup unsweetened coconut, shredded
  • ¼ cup cocoa butter, melted ( or coconut oil, at room temperature)
  • ½ cup coconut sugar (or regular sugar)
  • ½ teaspoon cardamom powder
  • 8 strands of saffron
  • A pinch of nutmeg powder
  • A pinch of salt
  • 4 tablespoons coconut milk (or another dairy-free milk)


  1. In a large pan on low heat, add the chickpea flour and dry roast it for about 5 minutes, stirring once or twice. 

  2. Turn the heat to low-medium and add almonds, coconut, and cocoa butter. Mix well while roasting for 10-15 minutes. Turn off the heat.

  3. Add the coconut sugar, cardamom powder, saffron, nutmeg, and salt. Slowly add the coconut milk to the mixture and combine well. If the mixture doesn't come together, add a few more drops of milk.

  4. Let it cool for a few minutes and make 1-inch balls from the mixture.

  5. Place on a lovely platter and enjoy!

Pro Tips & Meal Prep Ideas

  1. Besan Ladoo can stay fresh at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

  2. These bite-sized treats can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 months.

  3. Adding sugar while the besan ladoo is on the stove can cause the sugar to burn and cause an aftertaste.

  4. It’s important to roast the besan properly, once the aroma of the besan starts to permeate your kitchen and the color starts to turn golden, it is ready.

  5. Refrigerating the mixture for about 15 minutes can help make the mixture easier to handle when rolling the balls.

  6. Try rolling balls into some crushed cashews, pistachios, and raisins for some added crunch and sweetness.

How did your besan ladoo come out? Leave a comment below and be sure to send me pictures @veggiecurean!


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Comments? Questions? Please share!

  • Minnie

    Hello, where do I find cocoa butter? And how long does it keep in the fridge?, Thanks

    • veggiecurean

      Hi Minnie, you can find cocoa butter at Whole Foods or any other health food store and also on Amazon. If you do not have access to any of those stores, you can also try specialty chocolate stores. Cocoa Butter is edible fat extracted from the cocoa bean.
      It comes in solid chunks that can be stored at room temperature, on the kitchen counter or pantry for up to 2 years. You do not need to refrigerate it. Hope you enjoy the recipe.

  • Kiran

    What can I use if I can’t find cacao butter? I still want to keep them vegan.. Can I use coconut butter?

    • veggiecurean

      Yes! You can use coconut butter. Please do note, that if you use coconut butter these ladoos will have coconutty taste to them. Enjoy!

  • Puja

    These taste just like the besan ka ladoos I had growing up. I served them for dessert last weekend and no one could believe that these are vegan. I am making them again for sure.

  • Sammy

    I made these this past weekend and everyone in the family loved them. Thanks for sharing.,

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