Edited by Sanjana Hira
Dear Pen Pal,
It’s finally Diwali season and along with it arrives the annual coconut ladoo competition! Last year, my father managed to eat six and beat my brother and me who ate three and four each (I know, those scores are weak). But this time around, I will actually be helping mom make each ladoo. Since she shared the recipe with me, I shall share it with you:
You simply need 2 cups of fresh coconut, ¾ cups of sugar, and 1½ cups of milk! Also, my brother is allergic to cashews so we personally don’t use cashews and cardamom powder, but you can if you prefer more flavour. You will need 2 tablespoons of cashews and ¼ teaspoon of cardamom.
Now, while making the ladoos themselves, be patient and make sure to have your stove on a low flame, otherwise the mixture will burn. Add your coconut and milk to a large steel container and stir it well on a low flame. Once you’re done stirring, the coconut should be completely wet. Then, add the sugar or, if you have a sweet tooth like me, you can add a full cup of sugar instead. After adding the sugar, all you need to do is stir and you will notice that the sugar will start to melt and the mixture will become watery. That’s good! It means you’re doing it right.
The process takes a while — about 20 minutes — for the milk to evaporate and for the mixture to go from watery to crumbly. If you have come this far, you’re almost done with the recipe! Now comes the test of patience. You need to let the crumble cool down for 10 minutes and be mindful not to touch your mixture at this point.
Once cooled, you can add the optional cashews and cardamom powder and start preparing the ladoos! Make small balls from the mixture using your hands and make sure that the balls are more or less the same size. If you choose to, you can roll them in desiccated coconut for a stronger coconut flavour. And that’s it! This recipe serves 11 and you can keep the ladoos for one week, so I make sure to finish them off every Diwali season.
I hope you try out the ladoos and have your own competition! I like to serve them cold, but you can heat them up too!
This article is part of an HCAU x HC at UCLA Halloween and Diwali Collaboration! Be sure to check out the other articles on their site here: