Thursday, August 19, 2010

Aaji's Rava Ladoos ( Semolina Sweets )

My Grandmother makes the best Rava Ladoos ever. In India we make ladoos for festivals or any celebratory function at home. There are so many kinds of ladoos, some of the most prominent ones are the quintessential besan ladoo, the revered boondi ladoo and the festive rava ladoo.

I love them all but the rava ladoo holds a special place in my heart because this recipe has been passed down from my grandma to my amma and now to me. When we were small we spent three year at my grandparents house. This time with them made us more Indian then we ever were -  we learnt the language, the customs, the food and the festivals and also we got to meet most of our extended family. Grandma made sure that all festivals were celebrated properly and she and my aunties made all the foods and sweets.

Rava ladoo is her speciality, she makes the best ladoos I have ever had. They are moist and fragrant and they melt in your mouth. Her rava ladoos are so addictive that it is difficult to stop at just one. I love the contrast of textures offered in the slightly chewy coconut, plump raisins and nutty cashew nuts.

So if you are looking for the best tasting, moist and fragrant ladoos then this is your recipe. Your teeth will thank you as you will not have to test their strength while biting into them.

Rava Ladoo

makes about 20 ladoos


2 cups semolina flour / rava / sooji
1 tbsp ghee / clarified butter
1 cup fresh grated coconut ( optional, but recommended )
2 tbsp raisins
2 tbsp cashew nuts
1/4 tsp cardamom powder / elaichi powder
1 1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water

  1. In a small saucepan add the sugar and water and place on medium heat to boil.
  2. Simultaneously in another large saucepan, on low heat, melt the ghee, to it add the semolina, raisins and cashew nuts. Mix together and add the coconut. Toast the semolina mixture on low heat for 5 -10 minutes , make sure that you do not brown the semolina as this will result in brownish colored ladoos and we are aiming for creamish colored ladoos.
  3. Once the sugar syrup begins to boil, check - with your candy thermometer if it has reached 220 degrees F - or half thread to one-thread / string consistency ( note that this does not take very long - about 3 to 4 minutes after it begins boiling). To test this place a drop of cooled sugar syrup between your thumb and forefinger. Touch these two finger together and then pull them apart slowly, if you see a string form between your two finger then the syrup is ready. Remove from heat and pour it over the semolina mixture. Remove the semolina mixture from heat and stir in the sugar syrup thoroughly till it is all mixed in.
  4. Set it on the counter to cool. Once it cools down, form small round balls in your palms. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

I am also sending this recipe to Kalyani's Indian Mithai Mela, that she is hosting this month.


  1. by semolina, do you mean semolina flour? as in pasta?

  2. Yes that is what I meant...sorry about that. I will correct it presently. Thank you so very much .