Irrespective of the season or time of the day, we all have our list of foods to avoid, this list usually includes candy, chocolates, pizzas, pasta etc. The idea is to avoid ingesting huge amounts of corn syrup, refined flour and additive-laced stuff. In our enthusiasm to clean our diets, we have been avoiding healthy treats as well. Any homemade snack is 100 times more nutritious than one found over the counter. So then, how about a laddoo? Yes, you read it right, what better way to get kids and adults to enjoy a guilt-free sweet.
This is not an ode to the
motichoor or besan laddoo alone, but a nod to the healthy sesame seeds, jaggery and roasted peanut laddoos our grandmothers fed us. These little bombs of high calcium and good sugars kept us active. Despite the numerous diet charts we pin on our refrigerator doors, it is the simple sweet options like jaggery, dates, raisins and nuts that we need to reach out for a protein fix. It is time to make them part of our diet again.
Here are some instant energy, high-protein pops you can rustle up at home. These are sugar-free, and ideal for a long journey, to the playground or the office snack box.
Dry fruits ladoo - no sugar, no jaggery
250 gm seedless dates / karjur
100 gm pistachios chopped
100 gm cashews chopped
100 gm almonds chopped
A pinch of cardamom powderMethod:
Chop the seedless dates into halves. Take the chopped dates into a dry blender and coarse blend. Heat some ghee in a deep pan, add the chopped dry fruits and toss them for a few minutes, till fragrant. Add the date mixture to the pan. Make sure you mix it well with the dry fruit. Sprinkle cardamom powder, and continue stirring the thick mix on a medium flame for 2 min. Then on a low flame for another 2 min, till the roasted dry fruit has combined with the date mixture that has become soft due to the heat of the pan. Take this laddoo mixture into a large plate, and start rolling off bits of the mixture into smooth balls. You can store them in an air tight container. Ragi laddoo
250 gm Ragi flour
100 gm dates chopped
100 gm peanuts roasted
50 gm raisins
A pinch of cardamom powderMethod:
Roast Ragi flour in a skillet, stirring till the raw smell is gone. This may take around 8 -10 mins on a medium flame. When the flour is roasted transfer it to a plate to cool. Chop the dates and raisins into small bits. In a dry blender, add the chopped dates, raisins and roasted peanuts. Grind to a coarse paste. Do not make it super smooth, the texture of this mix has to be chunky. In the same blender add the cooled roasted ragi flour, cardamom powder to the mixture of dates, raisins and peanuts, and grind again. Again, make sure you grind for less than 10 seconds, we only need to get it all fused together, as a rough chunky dough. Take this dough out into an open plate, knead and roll into laddoos. Peanut-sesame-coconut laddoos
250 gm peanuts
100 gm jaggery
50 gm white sesame seeds
50 gm dry grated coconut
A pinch of cardamom powder
2 tbsp ghee
Method:1.Roast peanuts till the skin is peeled. Rub off the skin and blend to a coarse powder in a dry blender. Also roast sesame seeds and the dry grated coconut, and keep aside to cool.
In another skillet, heat ghee and add jaggery. Stir jaggery till it is melted, do not overcook. To the melted jaggery add the roasted sesame seeds, the dry grated coconut and cardamom powder. Finally, add in the coarse peanut powder and mix till combined. Mix it for half a min over the flame. Then transfer to a large plate to cool. When slightly warm, ply the dough to shape it into laddoos.