Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About
(sometimes ladoo) the Hindi word for ‘a spherical sweetmeat’, a category of Indian confectionery defined by shape rather than ingredients, which vary to an almost infinite extent.

These confections are typically based on a cereal or pulse flour or meal (e.g. semolina, rice flour, soya or mung bean or besan flour). These basic ingredients may be fried in ghee; may be enhanced with small pieces of dried fruit, nuts, cardamom seeds, or grated coconut; and are usually mixed with sugar or syrup and formed into balls while still warm. Some laddu are made from a mixture of khoya (see milk reduction) and sugar formed into balls without cooking. Laddu are often quite large, with a diameter of 3–4 cm (1.5"), but others are relatively small. A yellow colour is popular. Some laddu have special significance as festive sweets, e.g. at weddings.