Date Laddu
20 Min

Date Laddus

If there were an equivalent to a cookie in India, it would be the laddu — spherical sweet treats loved by all, kids and adults, rich or poor. They often are distributed in temples as sacred offerings and were known to be a particular favorite of Ganesh, the god of good fortune and remover of obstacles. (Yes, only in India do our gods have food preferences.) Any happy occasion is the perfect excuse to make and distribute ladoos to friends. Like most other Indian sweets, there are dozens of varieties made with a combination of nuts, milk, sugar, lentils, ghee and more ghee! Here I offer you a very simple ladoo to make for your loved ones this week to celebrate St. Valentine. It is made and sweetened with dates and pistachios, scented with cardamom and brightened with a lemony bite from the coriander seeds. These ladoos will keep for weeks in your refrigerator, too.
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Cook Time

20 Minutes



Step 1
Soak the dates in bourbon for 2 to 3 hours.
Step 2
In a food processor, chop the dates, coconut, pistachios, cardamom and salt and remainder of soaking bourbon.
Step 3
Heat the ghee until just shy of smoking and add the coriander seeds. Within 2 to 3 seconds, pull the ghee off the heat and add the chili powder. Pour into the ladoo mix. Mix with fingertips to evenly distribute the spices. Roll into 1-inch balls.
12 dates, pitted
4 tablespoons bourbon
1/2 cup grated coconut
1/2 cup pistachios
Generous pinch of ground cardamom
Pinch of sea salt
2 tablespoons ghee
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
Pinch of chili powder

Notes & Variations

  • Fresh coconut is always best, but if not available use frozen or dry grated coconut.
  • Replace the bourbon with rum, whiskey, or orange juice.
  • Cardamom can be replaced with cinnamon or nutmeg.
  • Replace the ghee with butter or coconut oil.
20 Min

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Dates are a great sweet substitute!