Besan Ladoo (Vegan and Gluten Free)

Healthy, plant-based, gluten-free, and easy to make – this festive Indian dessert is truly a crowd-pleaser, loved by all ages.

Besan Ladoo is an Indian sweet prepared using roasted besan (chickpea flour), sugar and nuts. Traditionally, besan ladoos are made using Ghee (Clarified Butter) to  and shaped into small balls. In my healthy and vegan version, I use ground coconut, cacao butter, and coconut sugar along with nuts and spices. Besan Ladoos are often served as part of festive or religious occasions and are also offered as Prasad after prayers. They are enjoyed on festivals like Diwali and Holi. They also make a perfect bite size snack, for that afternoon picker-upper with a cup of hot tea.

Why am I in love with these ladoos-
✓a healthy dessert or snack and it’s vegan and gluten-free!
✓bite-size portions
✓you can make these head of time – they stay good on the kitchen counter for up to a week
✓they freeze well, so make a big batch
✓perfect crowd pleaser for all ages and any occasion

A few tips –
roast the besan properly- the most crucial step. You know that the besan is roasted-when you can smell the sweet aroma and also the color of the besan will change from yellow to golden-ish.
if you have difficulty in shaping ladoo, cover and refrigerate the mixture for 15 minutes, so that the mixture firms up before you make balls out of it.
besan ladoo stays fresh up to two weeks at room temperature
besan ladoo freeze really well, so make a big batch
do not add sugar when the besan mixture is on the flame. The heat will burn the sugar and you will have some aftertaste

Growing up in Delhi, besan ladoo was my favorite mithai. They 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.

Besan Ladoo (Vegan and Gluten-Free)

Healthy, plant-based, gluten-free and easy to make - this festive Indian dessert that is truly a crowd-pleaser, loved by all ages.

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Allergens: Tree Nuts
  • Servings: 10

Ingredients

  • 1 cup chickpea flour
  • 1/4 cup almonds (chopped)
  • 1/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1/4 cup cocoa butter (melted)
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder
  • 8 strands of saffron
  • pinch of nutmeg powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 4 tablespoons coconut milk (or another dairy-free milk)

Instructions

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

  2. Turn up the heat to medium and add almonds, coconut, and cocoa butter, mixing well and roasting it for 10-15 minutes. Turn off the heat.

  3. Add the coconut sugar, cardamom powder, saffron, nutmeg, and salt. Sprinkle coconut milk into the mixture and mix well. If the mixture doesn't come together, add a few more drops.

  4. Let it cool, and make 1-inch balls from the mixture.

  5. Press crushed cashew and raisins on top.

BON APPÉTIT!