Coconut oil is so in these days. People around the world are going gaga over the benefits of including this “wonder oil” in your diet and lifestyle. I bet South of India is laughing its bu** off right now, since they are the ones to be using Coconut oil for ages! With no appreciation or recognition what so ever. And now all of a sudden the genie is out of the bottle making everyone look younger and healthier.
All that what’s said about health benefits of Coconut oil is true though. It is definitely a wonder oil, which when consumed in a moderate amount, helps towards maintaining a good health overall. It’s like Yoga, you have to do it right to get the benefits out of it.
Having said that, I do use coconut oil a lot in my kitchen these days. And I absolutely love the slightly sweet and fragrant taste it brings to my cooking. Making not only the curries and stir fries taste better but also the sweets I make occasionally.
Like this one, Coconut Laddu (or laddoo) I made a few days ago. The original recipe called for Ghee but since I already use ghee a lot in my diet, I made these using coconut oil. which was a great decision since the coconut-y taste was so upfront yet mellow in these.
Coconut laddu is a very traditional Indian sweet typically prepared during festivals like Ganesh Chaturthi, Onam, Dussehra etc in India. It is super easy to prepare and is amazing in taste. Its like eating fresh snow, if you know what I mean. The moment you pop these in your mouth, they melt bursting out fresh flavours.
(Damn! All this writing is making me crave for these now).
Anyway, so I used the coconut oil sent by Vita Coco for this recipe. I have used a few of other brands like KTC, Natco etc. and this is one brand which I have liked the most so far. It has that nutty and aromatic taste which reminds me of my childhood when Mum used to prepare dishes in locally produced Coconut oil. And yes, I am adding Coconut oil to my face packs and hair packs too.
Coming back to the laddus, these are an absolute delight to make especially when you are in a hurry. And there is no preps involved if you are using the frozen grated coconut. I had pulsed the coconut with the skin on in the blender at home and hence the colour is a bit darker than usual. Traditionally, coconuts’s skin is scrapped off first and then then the whiter part is used in making laddus. So most of the coconut laddus you would find online would be shiny white. Whereas, these are tad dense and a shade darker. They are equally good in taste though, and what do they say about keeping the skin on? It’s healthier!
So here is the recipe for the melt in mouth, magical and utterly delicious coconut sweet balls.
What you need?
- 1 coconut- would make about 1 cup of freshly grated fine coconut
- ½ cup sugar- I used a tbsp. less than this
- ½ tsp cardamom powder
- 1 tsp coconut oil
How to make?
Combine the grated fresh coconut, sugar and coconut oil in a heavy bottomed pan. Allow the sugar to melt by cooking on a low-medium gas setting. Keep stirring frequently until you get a thick mixture. Would take around 8 – 10 minutes.
When the mixture thickens, add the cardamom powder and give a good last stir. Turn off the flame and allow it to cool a bit.
While its still a bit warm but touchable, pinch a spoonful from the mixture and shape into round balls by pressing between your palms. Serve fresh and finish off in 5-7 hours.
These laddus are very fragile and break off easily. So take care to keep them in an airtight container and not move them around rigorously.
Shaping the laddus does take a bit of practice initially but after 1-2 balls you would know how to do it so don’t worry about that.
You may refrigerate these laddus but do finish them within 24 hours of preparing else the coconut would start drying off soon.
Feel free to use ghee instead of coconut oil as per the original recipe. It does taste nice that way too.
Other Indian sweets/desserts that you might like: