Malaadu / Maa laddu, these are tightly packed rounds, made with roasted gram flour, ghee, sugar and cardamom and combined with cashew nut. The hand-rolled laddus are bite-sized Indian sweet treat, very beginner friendly, quick and easy to make. Maladoo is a semi-soft laddu that tastes exactly like soan-papdi but way easier to make.
A towering platter of any variety of Indian ladoos is just as festive to look at as it is to indulge in. When you want to make a traditional sweet quickly take a look at my recipe for 15 minutes coconut laddu too. It has been ever popular in Pinterest since 2014. Our much traditional Besan laddu and Kerala special ellunda are some of the other laddus on the blog.
WHY YOU SHOULD TRY THIS RECIPE :
Ma laadu is a quick and easy, no-cook traditional South Indian sweet. With just 3 basic ingredients you can make a sweet at any time, cashew and cardamom being flavor add ons.
- Taste : These laddus are sweet and nutty in taste. The cardamom and ghee flavor together is simply to die for.
- Texture: The texture of the ma laddu is very powdery. It is firm yet break off easily when bit into.
- Time : This laddu takes max 15 minutes from start to finish to make.
- Ease : A no-fuss sweet delight to make with simple ingredients that are easily available year round. A quick and easy Indian sweet to make without any expertise. Ideal to take for potlucks or other prayer gatherings as it is easy to transport simply serve on cupcake liners.
Traditional occasions to make maalaadu :
The festive and auspicious occasions are many to make maladdu in Tamilnadu and Kerala border. Malaadu can be made as prasadams for Ganesh Chaturthi, Navarathri, Diwali, Karthigai deepam, etc. It is also a tradition to send sweets and snacks with the new bride to the grooms house for the first time, for baby shower etc and maladdu tops the list.
Ingredients for making Malaadu / Maa laddu - No cook sweet :
- Roasted bengal gram / dalia split / Pottukadalai - This is not the regular channa dal but a pre roasted variety available in Indian stores. When you try eating the lentil it should crumble without any effort. Do not confuse it with the cooking variety of dal or chickpeas split (that it is stone hard and does not soften without long cooking )
- Sugar - Plain granulated sugar powdered sugar helps to mix quickly and hold the round shape.
- Ghee - is the moistening agent and holds the shape. Less is more in this recipe
- Cashewnut adds nutty flavor and garnish to the laddu.
- Cardamom - Enhance the flavor of the laddu to next level.
Secrets of getting maa laddu right:
- Use fresh ingredients. Since no cooking is done the taste and smell depends on the freshness of ingredients. Warming up the Dalia slightly freshens the lentil smell.
- Ghee should be really hot. This helps in binding the laddu together as it melts the sugar slightly and attain a wet sand consistency without adding too much.
- Adding too much ghee can make the malaadu soft and squishy.
- After powdering the ingredients sieve it through a mesh and powder it once more for fine dust like consistency.
- Work your way fast after adding the hot ghee else the laddu shape is hard to achieve.
- If you find the laddu is not forming shape and crumbling microwave the mixture for 20-30 seconds and try again. Do not be tempted to add any liquids.
Steps for making Malaadu :
Even though we are buying the pre roasted bengal gram it is always better to heat up slightly and freshen up the flavor. Make sure the gram needs to warm up only. Do not dry roast again as the color may change.
Powder the cardamom without the outer peel for smooth texture. Use a coffee grinder, mixee or a good blender for powdering.
Sieving the mixture with a fine mesh is a very important to get an even texture. It will firm up as it sits.
The heat of the ghee is an important element in slightly melting the sugar and binding the laddu correctly. If you let the ghee cool down it will not bind well. Look at the pic above how I am holding the mixture together and it holds the shape- That is the wet sand texture we are looking for.
Serving and storage :
- Malaadu is often served as a sweet after prayer offering. In the olden times it was considered highly nutritive and protein rich especially for people recovering from illnesses trying to regain health. Do keep in mind unlike today the bengal gram peeling, splitting roasting etc was not mechanized.
- Serve this malaaddu as an after meal sweet instead of heavy puddings and pies. This Indian sweet meat serves as a portion controlled bite-sized individual sweet treat.
Make ahead : While fresh laddus taste the best you could make a day in advance and leave it in air tight container on the counter in cold climate. In hotter weather ghee tends to get rancid quickly so keep that in mind.
Storage and left overs :: Store in airtight container on the counter from 5 to 7 days Refrigeration may harden the laddu and change the consistency too hence not recommended.
Note : Depending on the freshness of the ingredients and if you live in a cold climate the malaadus can last for 10 days or more in room temp, airtight containers.
Malaadu / Ma laddu
- 1 cup Dalia split Roasted split bengal gram
- 3/4 cup Sugar
- 3 tbsp Ghee may need slightly more
- 10-12 Cashew nut split and broken pieces
- 4 pods Cardamom
- Slightly warm up the Dalia split to freshen up the lentil flavor. Move away from heat and allow to cool.
- Powder the Dalia , sugar and cardamom. Sieve and powder again until this reaches fine dust consistency.
- Fry the cashew nut in ghee keep few of the better looking pieces aside. Now pour the entire HOT ghee and cashew nut pieces into the powdered mixture and mix well with a fork. It should be of wet sand consistency. When this comes to bearable heat roll out small rounds with your hand. Work on it quickly as it will dry out fast.
- Keep one cashew nut half per round and shape evenly. Make small laddus.The laddus will firm up as it sits so even if it is slightly soft and crumbly as soon as you make it don't worry. Keep in room temperature in air tight container, Use up with in 5-7 days.
- If the laddus are not shaping at all add a tbsp or two of really hot ghee to re-shape.
- The texture is very dry and powdery so exercise caution when serving to small kids as it may cause choking hazard.
Malaadu / Maa laddu - No cook Diwali sweet and let me know your feedback.