Monday, October 24, 2011

Oats & Dry Fruits 'n' Nuts Ladoo / Laddu - A Healthy Sweet - With No Added Sugar

My (kid) sister wanted to surprise my parents on their wedding anniversary and asked me for a recipe that's quick and easy to prepare. Of course, a sweet would be very apt and better yet, if there's no cooking involved. She doesn't like to sweat long hours in the kitchen and wanted to come up with something smart yet elegant and yummy. Dry Fruits and Nuts Laddu was the result!

I vaguely remember spotting Haldiram's Dry Nuts Laddu on the racks when I shopped at a local Indian store. But I haven't tried it and didn't even look at the ingredient list. But something magical happens when you're quizzed by your younger sister, especially when you have claimed yourself to be a much better chef than she is! I looked into my fridge and pantry and there was a quick train of ideas. I know amma always stocks up her kitchen with Oats. Some dry fruits like Dates, Raisins, Figs would also be generally found in the fridge. So, here comes the Laddu with Nature's richest sources of nutrition.

 Oats & Dry Fruits Laddu

Yield - About 12 Laddus 
Time - 40 minutes

What I Used -

Oats - 2 cups
Cashewnuts - 15 + 12
Almonds / Badam - 15 nos.
Walnuts - 8 nos. (can add other nuts like pistachios, macadamia  and much more)
Raisins - 50 grams
Dates (Seedless)- 100 grams
Dried Figs - 10 (optional, I didn't have figs, so I increased the quantity of Dates)  
Ghee - 2 tsp (optional, for flavor)
Cardamom - 3 pods (crushed)

You can also add Chocolate chips or Butterscotch chips. I was really tempted to add Choco chips but omitted them at the last moment, wanting to keep this sweet purely Indian.  Whatever! :P

How To -

  • Fry Oats in a teaspoon of ghee on medium flame and roast it a bit. Allow to cool then powder using an electric mixer/ food processor. You can actually skip ghee, I just added it for the flavor :) 
    • Oats gives the mass required. 

  • Microwave the Nuts - Cashewnuts, Almonds and Walnuts , for about 2 minutes. Alternatively, toast the nuts (without oil/ghee) on a tawa / shallow pan on low heat. This helps to release the natural oils in them, which is essential to bind/hold the laddus together.

  • Allow to cool for 10 minutes and then powder each of the nuts separately, really fine. You can see that they might be slightly sticky.

  • Crush the cardamoms as fine as possible. Do not use the outer covering. Save that while making Masala Chai. :)

  • Mix together, powdered Oats, Nuts and Cardamom powder. These are the dry ingredients.

  • Meanwhile, microwave Dates for a minute (if you're taking it out directly from the fridge) and then grind to a paste.

  • Grind raisins separately into a paste.

  • Mix the Dates-paste and the Raisins-paste with the dry ingredients using your fingers first. Then, give all of them a whizz together, in the food processor.

  • Here's when you taste if the sweetness is sufficient for you or not. If less, grind more dates or raisins or figs and add. 

Dry Fruits n Nuts Laddu

  • Now, make small balls/laddus and stud a cashew in each one, if you like. I fried about 12 cashews in ghee and then picked one each for every laddu.
Oats & Dry Fruits Laddu

Sending this to  Khushi's My Diwali, My Way, Serve It- Festival Potluck and  Dr. Sameena's Diwali Sweet recipes


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