Monday, May 9, 2016

Recipe: Bibi's Easy Rose, Coconut, & Cardamom Laddoos

Hi, I'm Bibi and I'm honored to do a recipe guest post on Alex's blog today! If you'd like to learn more about me please check out my interview here or visit my blog Keep Calm & Curry On.

These delicately flavored laddoos are elegant enough to serve as a dessert at a posh dinner party or holiday gathering yet easy enough to make for an after school treat. The classic Desi pairing of light rose, aromatic cardamom, and rich coconut are combined with lush milky sweetness in these dainty treats. Deliciously soft and chewy these pretty pink laddoos are a hit with both grown ups and kids alike!

I first saw this recipe on a Nestle website featuring recipes for kids. It looked so easy I doubted it would really taste like mithai or the traditional milk based sweets of South Asia. Was I ever pleasantly surprised! The can of sweetened condensed milk make these taste just like the traditional laddoos made by the time consuming process of reducing milk. This is such a great recipe to make with children, depending on age they can help with the brief cooking and mixing steps as well as have tons of fun rolling the mixture into balls and dredging them with coconut.

- 1 can sweetened condensed milk (390g)
- 3 cups desiccated coconut
- 1 tsp butter or ghee
- 2 Tbsp rose syrup (or Rooh Afza)*
- seeds of 9-10 green cardamoms, ground coarsely
- 1 drop coconut flavor (optional)
- 1 drop red food coloring (optional)
- additional desiccated coconut to roll laddoos in

Here's what to do:

1) Combine 3 cups desiccated coconut, can of sweetened condensed milk, rose syrup, ground cardamom seeds, coconut flavor, and butter or ghee in large heavy bottomed skillet or kadhai and mix well.

2) Heat pan with mixture over a low flame stirring continuously. Keep stirring until mixture pulls away from the pan and forms a mass. This should take about 7-8 minutes at the most.

3) Remove pan from heat and transfer mixture to a heat proof bowl. Allow mixture to cool to room temperature or place in airtight container in the refrigerator for an hour. (I usually put it in the fridge as my family tends to "sample" whatever is out on the counter. I am told it is for "quality control" purposes. :::eye roll:::) When cooled form tablespoonfuls into balls. I use a cookie scoop to get uniform amounts. Coat your palms with butter, ghee or coconut oil if mixture sticks to your hands.

4) Roll laddoos in desiccated coconut if desired. Refrigerate finished laddoos in an airtight container for 30 minutes before serving to set. These will keep for up to a week in an airtight container in the refrigerator. This recipe made 20 tablespoonful sized laddoos.

Helpful hints:

*If you don't have rose syrup or Rooh Afza you could use 1-2 drops of rose essence or 1 teaspoon of rose water plus 1 drop red food coloring for flavor. If you're not familiar with the iconic Desi sharbat syrup of Rooh Afza there's a post on my blog about it here.

If using fresh grated coconut, increase the amount to 4 cups and omit ghee or butter.

You can make many variations in flavors and colors with this recipe. I've made them with pistachios and saffron threads soaked in 1 Tbsp water for 20 minutes which came out a brilliant yellow. I've made them pure white by adding no flavor except for coconut essence. I've even made blue laddoos by adding curacao syrup.

I hope you enjoy this recipe and do come visit me at Keep Calm & Curry On for more culinary fun!


  1. Yummy! I want one (or two or three). And they're so pretty!

    1. Hi Mani,
      They tasteas good as they look 7 they are soooo easy to make!


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