Pottukadalai Maa Laddoo or laddoos made from fried gram are a big favourite at our place. All of us love them to bits, melt-in-the-mouth delicious as they are. Today, I’m going to share with you all the recipe for these beautiful laddoos.
A little story about these Pottukadalai Maa Laddoo
The bub’s Montessori has been doing small activities in their online sessions every day, in preparation of Ganesh Chaturthi, which is just around the corner. One day, they made a flower garland, the other day they were taught how to light an earthen diya. Yesterday, they made a Ganesha out of clay, and today’s activity was the making of these fried gram laddoos.
Pottukadalai Maa Laddoo makes a frequent appearance on our dining table, but I have never really had a chance to photograph them or note down the recipe here. Today’s school activity gave me the perfect foil to do so, and I’m very glad for that. I’m super happy the bub now knows how to make these. So, here we are!
What goes into these laddoos?
These laddoos are made using fried gram or roasted gram, aka ‘Pottukadalai‘ in Tamil. Pottukadalai is made from chickpeas (chana), and is a wholesome ingredient known to possess a good amount of protein, fibre and essential vitamins, as well as many health benefits. The fried gram are roasted and ground to a powder, to a flour-like texture (‘maavu‘ or ‘maa‘ in Tamil), which is where these laddoos get their name from.
Here, I have used refined sugar so as to keep the colour of the laddoos a pale cream. You can definitely substitute the sugar with jaggery powder, if you so prefer.
Ghee is used to bind these laddoos, here. If you would prefer a vegan version, substitute the ghee with coconut oil – I haven’t really tried this out, but I’m guessing it should work.
These Pottukadalai Maa Laddoo are completely vegetarian and gluten-free. They aren’t vegan because of the addition of ghee but, like I was saying earlier, they can easily be adapted for those following a plant-based lifestyle.
How to make Pottukadalai Maa Laddoo
It is a breeze to make these Pottukadalai Maa Laddoo, almost child’s play. If the bub could make them so easily, anyone can. They need minimal ingredients and can be put together in a matter of minutes. For the little effort they require, these laddoos do taste incredibly delicious!
Here is how we go about making them.
Ingredients (makes 12-15 laddoos):
- 1 cup split fried gram (pottukadalai)
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup ghee or as needed
- 1/4 teaspoon cardamom powder
1. Get a heavy-bottomed pan nice and hot, then add the fried gram in. Now, reduce the flame to medium. Dry roast on medium heat for about 2 minutes, or till they begin to brown. Take care to ensure that they do not burn. Transfer to a plate and allow the roasted fried gram to cool down fully.
2. In the meantime, grind the sugar to a fine powder. Keep ready.
3. Also heat the ghee lightly. Keep it warm.
4. When the roasted fried gram has completely cooled down, grind it to a fine powder. Transfer this to a large mixing bowl.
5. Add the powdered sugar and cardamom powder to the mixing bowl too. Mix well, ensuring that the ingredients are well incorporated together.
6. Now, add the warm ghee little by little to the bowl, mixing gently. Add just as much ghee as needed for the mixture to attain a consistency like wet sand. You should be able to form balls out of the mixture – balls that hold their shape. Stop adding in ghee at this stage.
7. Form small, firm balls out of the mixture. Your Pottukadalai Maa Laddoo are done – store them in a clean, dry, air-tight box and use as needed.
Tips & Tricks
1. Make sure the fried gram does not burn while roasting. It just has to lightly brown, for its fragrance to come through. Do not over-roast it. A heavy-bottomed pan works best for the roasting.
2. Ensure that the roasted fried gram has completely cooled down, before you grind it.
3. The sugar should be ground to a fine powder. Use more or less, as per personal taste preferences. The above quantities work perfectly for us.
4. Use slightly melted, warm ghee for best results.
5. Fried raisins, cashewnuts and almonds can be added to the laddoos too, to make them richer. Here, I haven’t, and have kept them really simple and basic.
6. Like I was saying earlier, you can use jaggery powder or a healthier alternative to sugar too. Coconut oil can be used as a vegan alternative to ghee, too, though I have never tried that out.
7. These laddoos stay well for about 10 days when stored at room temperature in a clean, dry, air-tight box.
8. Use just as much ghee as needed to be able to form smooth laddoos, free of cracks, from the mixture. I needed a wee bit less than 1/2 cup for the above preparation.
Did you like the recipe? Do tell me, in your comments!