Maaladoo ~ the mother of all laddoos!

In Indian Cuisine there are laddoos, laddoos and more laddoos. You name it, and we make a laddoo out of it.

What is a ‘laddoo’?
If one goes by the ingredients used I guess rolled or balled cookies comes closest, though not the exact term. No no….a laddoo is unique and there is no equivalent! A laddoo is not baked, instead the ‘flour’ which may be made of ground beans, legumes, grains etc. is roasted well before being ground into a fine flour. The ground powder is spiced up with cardamom powder or saffron and garnished with raisins and nuts. It is then brought together with either melted ghee/vanaspati, sugar syrup or jaggery syrup.

A self-respecting (Sorry!) An Indian blog is bound to have at least one laddoo recipe, but easycrafts of “Simple Indian Food” tops the list with nearly 11 different varieties – bravo! This shows why when we want to express ‘happiness beyond imagination’ in Hindi we use the phrase ‘Mann mein laddo phootna’. After a spree of baking on my blog, I decided it was time to post another laddoo – a laddoo that has become synonymous with me. One of my aunties who has now become an octogenarian was upset recently because she could not send ‘maaladus’ to me and she knows how much I loved these as a kid! We had our own rhyme at my place:

H….., H….., yes Mama.
eating maaladus?, no Mama.
telling lies?, no Mama
Open your mouth. ha ha ha
(because these ladoos melt down your throat there is no way your Mom would find evidence!)
On a serious note, if you are gluten intolerant and still want to enjoy a sweet bite every now and then all you need to do is look up any one laddoo recipe and proceed with any bean or grain you have in your pantry.

When we were in Chennai, I remember one movie (Don’t know the name) in which Bhanumati, a veteran actor lures dacoits with “Laddoo, laddoo, mitai venumaa”, and the 1957 movie “Maya Bazaar” in which late actor S.V.Rangarao plays the part of Ghatotkacha. The movie was made with NTR playing Krishna, ANR playing Arjuna and S.V.Rangarao playing Ghatotkacha. The female lead was played by Savithri. The movie is a treat to watch. For me Krishna will always be NTR. No one till date can capture the mischief of Krishna like him. For a full review and story please see here. In the movie, Ghatotkacha disguised as Sasirekha makes you laugh your guts out! During a tour of the wedding preparations he sings this song

“Kalyana samyal saadam, kaigari galum pramadam.
Inda gaurava prasadam, iduve yennaku podum.
Poliyodaraiyum sor, porutammana sambar,
poori – laddoo paar, iduve yenakku jor”
The lines reverbrate when I attend marraiges, when I eat on a plantain leaf, makes me crave for “puliyam chaadam/Tamarind rice”, “sambar”, “pooris” and “laddoos”.Translated the lyrics go something like this:
“Its a marraige feast and the feast looks great. I don’t need anything more than this. Wow! there is rice and puliyodarai, first class sambar to go with it. Look at the pooris and laddoos, these are more than enough for me.”Yesterday I prepared the puliyodarai and laddoos inspired by the song. Today I am giving you the laddoos, tomorrow the puliyodarai. (One at a time:))The long and short of laddoos:Shaadi Ke Laddoo:
Laddoos have long been symbolic of festivities and happiness in India till the invasion of European sweets like chocolates, ice cream and things. No wonder we still have the groom/bride being told “Shaadi ke laddoo – jo khaaye woh pachtaaye, jo na khaaye woh lalchaye” – Marriage is similar to a laddo, one who eats it repents, one who doesn’t is greedy for it! Not that it applies any longer to the modern society but the proverb cannot be replaced by chocolate or mithai – laddoo has firmly laid its roots:).Prasadam/Neivedyam Laddoos:
When it comes to prasadams nothing can beat the special taste of ‘Tirupathi Laddoo’ – A heavenly concoction of deep fried boondis soaked in sugar syrup, moulded into a ball with ghee and adorned with raisins, and other dry fruits! It is pure bliss. The other laddoo I have tasted is the one you get at Shirdi in Nashik, and the ones at Siddhi Vinayak in Prabhadevi but they still have a long way to go before they even come close to the popularity of ‘Tirupathi Laddoo’.

The Maa of them all …
is a ‘maaladu’. Maaladu is prepared with ‘bhuja hua chana’, dariya dal, chutney dal, pottukadalai or roasted gram. It has a melt in the mouth texture and is typical of Tamilian Brahmin Cuisine.


Roasted gram/bhuja hua chana/dariya dal/chutney dal/pottukadalai – ground to a fine powder – about 4 cups.
Sugar – Finely powdered – About 3 cups
(is taken generally in the ratio of 1:1. I take 3/4 cup sugar for 1 cup of gram powder)
Vanaspati (You may use ghee) – About 1 and 1/2 cups
Cardamoms – 7 to8 powdered.
Raisins and roasted cashews – About 1/4 cup together (I omitted)

Preparing the gram – Sieve and powder again and sieve to get a very fine powder.
Preparing the sugar – Prepare the sugar same way as we do not want any crystals. Sieve and use the powder you get.
Ghee – Melt in a kadhai.
Now mix the dry ingredients together. Add hot melted ghee a ladle at a time and using a spoon incorporate the mixture. When it becomes crumbly and just starts coming together start collecting the mixture into small balls softly bouncing them in the palm and holding it till it forms a not so firm ball. Set aside. It will firm up as it cools. Do not add all the ghee at the same time, as the balls have to be prepared while still warm.

This is my second entry to Jukebox!

For Food related sayings in Hindi please visit my other blog here.
For those interested in ‘designing your copyright logo’, I just posted it here.

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Have your say

  1. Lol about rolled cookies? Banumathi I love the way she talks… But not seen such old movies…
    Great story…. for ladoo!

  2. Lovely post, sorry LADOO POST,Mere mann mein to laddoo hi laddoo hain.But let me confess dearie,I am not a laddoo person.I love pooris but never laddoo,I am not sure why..Mere liye bas roti/poori hi kaafi hain, Sunshine ji. Cheers

  3. mmm. yummy laddus.

  4. I just loved reading ur post it was really nice post…
    These ladoos are new for me, will try this next time when I make ladoos

    Enjoy festivities by participating in Christmas Feast Event

  5. Wooo these are coming quick! i saw the event in ur last post.. while i was actually listening to something! what a fun event. lemme see isf i can come up with something.

    I was not aware of this version of “johnny johnny…” ROFL

  6. As a kid, i used to eat a powdered combination of pottukadalai & sugar as a snack πŸ™‚ something I could whip up whenever i wanted. Love this laddu.

  7. Cham, you should see one at least for the histrionics! I used to like Bhanumati for quite some time.

    Sweatha, OK! Let me know and I will make some pooris too:). Even I am not a laddoo person but there are some exceptions.

    Uma, thanks, cute picture for the month!

    Purva, thanks. Yes, I have some ready for you:)

    Soma, am on leaves so got lots of stuff in my drafts;). I am waiting to see what you come up with!

    Laavanya, my Mum used to give us that when we used to play mami mami!

  8. Maa laadu is absolutely my favorite and yours looks yum, would love to have one right now πŸ™‚

  9. thta a nice post….u hve worked a lot on it,..:-)

  10. Harini, I have read Roald Dahl, but not ‘The Twits.’Will certainly read it once I lay my hands on it. Currently reading a Sheldon.

  11. Now I am a dessert person, a laddoo person, halwa person everything. I can eat it whole day as long as I know how much fat goes into it. But you say 1 1/2 cups of ghee? Yikes! That hurts πŸ™

  12. He he he rolled like a laddu laughing while reading this post πŸ˜‰
    I do not have a sweet tooth at all and watching a person eat ladoo(esp motichoor laddoo)make me run for something spicy to eat.But i love making Wheat flour ladoos for my family who just adore these delish balls of flour
    Nice recipe ,very new to me πŸ™‚

  13. Thanks all!

    RC, You will not be using the entire quantity, but you will have to heat more that what is necessary, because you have to have enough to ladle out. You will also end up with nearly 10 laddus so you don’t really eat much – see, thinking of it this way makes it easier:). And when you taste it, it won’t at all hurt!

  14. Adlak's tiny world

    Ha ha ha nice write up… enjoyed reading and enjoyed the ladoos. They seems to come exactly aiming my mouth i gues. AA…nothing jus opened my mouth to catch it….

  15. Great story for laddoo…i love the song kalyana samayal saadham..wat an goldie oldie song…laddoos looks delicious…

  16. wonderful post..I too love that song.Ladoos are yummy

  17. Atlast i got your blog, i could not catch u from your comment on my blog, when i tried to open your blog i did not get any details, duno why.
    Its worth searching for your blog, really enjoyed(WILL ENJOY) all your posts and your creations. Thanks.

  18. lol…I guess I know what u mean lol…

  19. Hi hi i love this post.
    You are really creative with this jukebox event.

  20. H,sau ur comment on sweet potato rolls now only.No mine did not harden.I had few remaining next day,they were soft only and when I warmed then in the microwave for 30 secs,then for 1 minute or so they smelled of sweet potato,but still were soft.May be its the sweet potatoes.Actually I get better sweet potatos and tapioca than what I got in Blore.Sorry I was late in answering.

  21. Hola! You’re invited to join us on a BEAR-y special meme, have fun! πŸ™‚


  22., that’s quite an extensive research there on ladoos! And funny too. And the translations sound hilarious in English!

  23. I adore that song!! Beautiful laddoos! πŸ™‚

  24. Ha ha, what a funny title! Lovely ladoos… that too with pooris! Yummy

  25. My favourite laddoos are maaladdoos too. πŸ™‚ I like rawa laddos too.
    Except that at my age, I need to be carefula bout eating them or I’d look like one too! I think I’m not very far from there, though:)

    My husband loves humming the “Kalyana samayal saadam..”. Not surprising since he loves Kalyana saapadu.:D

  26. ah, maaladu. my second contingent came from india, and now thats gone too.. πŸ™
    the way you described it, i can totally see my mum and dad at it!

  27. err. i meant consignment. blame it on the malaadu

  28. ha ha ha.. that was a very nice post! nice version of the Johnny johnny.. he he he.. I have never tried making laddus at home. Kind of scared to roll them. I have kept one recipe ready.. lets c when I have the guts to make it will do so.. Yours looks delicious!

  29. Hey Harini, thanks for pointing that out. But exactly which link are u talking about.. I mean the link on my entry to u…or the one from my comment…which one?
    However I did see that STORM was spelt as STROM here on my URL when I was commenting here on ur blog.
    corrected it now. (I got butter Is there any place else I need to correct too???
    Do let me know plz.

  30. lol for the maaladus rhyme.Frankly harini,the only kind of laddo I made were the urad laddu.The maaladu recipe with all the mix of lentils is very similar to the urad laddu,gotta try those:)

  31. Lovely post, Sunshinemom, and love your laddoos. Laddoos are truly so intricately meshed into Indian festival culture: I remember the women in our family making stacks of all kinds of them for Diwali, and during Sankrant we’d look forward to almost breaking our teeth on the tilache laadu πŸ™‚ But my favorite was the soft motichoor laddu that my aunt always served during her annual Satyanarayan pooja dinner for the family.

  32. loved reading the post….a fun time I did have….

    why are some of your images not says picture either moved or deleted.

  33. yummy laddoos and great picture.

  34. Even I like the Ghatothkacha movie very much, especially Ranga Rao.

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