Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Cocomango Laddu (Sweet Meatballs)

It's a tradition in most Indian festivals to make sweets. My mom always made the sweets at home because it was easy to monitor the taste. My mom and my brother had the sweet tooth when I was growing up. My dad and I would like the dish to be barely sweet so when she made the dishes she would usually reduce the sugar content so that we would at least eat some of it.

Today was Rakhsha Bandhan the festival where sisters tie Rakhi on their brothers wrists and pray for their longevity. The brothers are expected to protect and take care of their sisters. I had the kids perform this function in the evening after work and school. Since I hadn't prepared anything ahead of time, I resorted to my time tested recipe of quick Mango laddus ( sweet mango meatballs ).  These sweet meatballs are called 'laddus' in Hindi. They can be made of gram flour, semolina and other types of ground grains. I find that the coconut laddus are the fastest and easiest to make.            


1 cup grated dried (dessicated) coconut 
1/4 cup condensed milk
3 tbsp mango pulp
2 cardamoms pods
1 tbsp golden raisins

Above quantity yields about 20 small laddus.


Crush the cardamom pods and peel the shell. Grind the seeds into a powder. I have a small mortar and pestle made of stainless steel that I use for these type of small quantity grinding. Heat a saucepan on medium heat and roast the dried finely grated coconut. Keep stirring constantly to ensure even roasting. When the coconut starts to turn golden in about 4 - 5 minutes, add the condensed milk and continue stirring for about 5 more minutes. Add the mango pulp, the cardamom powder and the raisins and stir for 5 more minutes. By now the consistency is thick enough to make the stirring/mixing difficult.

Let the mixture cool in a plate. Grease your clean hands with clarified butter (ghee). Take a spoonful of the mango coconut mixture and roll it into a sphere. 

Cooking time : 15 minutes
Rolling time: 10 minutes
Total time : 25 minutes


  • Instead of rolling into laddus pour the cooked mixture in a flat dish with raised edges like a pie dish. Spread it evenly and press firmly. Let it set for 1-2 hours in the refrigerator then with a knife cut in diamond shapes to make coconut mango barfi.
  • You can also add a few strands of saffron for a richer flavor and deeper yellow color.

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