Oil-free Wheat Laddoo/Laddu and Choorma - Sweet Wheat cardamom balls. Vegan recipe

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Its that time of the year again, where Indians celebrate another festival(we have loads of them, half of which I dont necessarily know about). Rakhee or Rakshabandhan- which literally translates to a bond for protection, is on 2nd August. This festival celebrates the relationship between brothers and sisters. The ceremony involves the tying of a rakhi (sacred thread) by a sister on her brother's wrist. This symbolizes the sister's love and prayers for her brother's well-being, and the brother's lifelong vow to protect her.

It seems to have originated in the time of kings, when the queens or sisters needed help saving themselves or their kingdom from other kings/armies, they would call upon their dude bros to come by themselves or with their armies.

And as with all celebrations, the ceremony might vary from region to region, but there is always celebratory food in the form of Indian sweets, which usually are loaded with dairy(ghee, butter, cheese, cream).
If you are thinking about why not Ghee. Well, 1 pound of Ghee(clarified butter) comes out of about 28 pounds of milk! Now, lets see how the baby calf and the cow feels about that.

The usual recipe calls for ghee, half the amount of flour. I have made Laddoos before by swapping out the ghee with oil and they come out just fine. I did however want to try a refined oil/vegan butter free whole ingredient version. I used both home milled whole wheat flour and store bought, almond flour, maple syrup and no oil for these. The laddoo comes out extremely delicious, crumbly, and you seriously do not miss the oil! You can leave the mixture as is, if in a hurry and use as Choorma(Sweet crumble) or make balls. You have to try these and believe me, you wont need the ghee/oil or other refined fat at all.

You can make these gluten-free with Chickpea flour like my besan laddoos. Be sure to roast the flour well. What is your fave Indian sweet.

Wheat flour being roasted..

Roast roast more

Add sugar, almond, cardamom, roast a minute, then add maple

Mix Maple well, Switch of heat, spray 2-3 sprays of water and mix well. you can serve this as is once cool.

Choorma in natural light. It gets slightly lighter when it cools and dries. Form balls when still warm. Use another light spray of water to help form the balls if needed.

Crumbly, delicious choorma. Add roasted or raw chopped nuts and raisins to this and serve.

Whole Wheat Laddoo Balls and Choorma recipe
Oil, Dairy, egg, soy free
Ingredients: 8-10 balls, easily doubled
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
2 Tablespoons ground raw sugar(reduce to 1 if you dont like very sweet laddus), or powdered jaggery or sweetner of choice
2 Tablespoons ground raw almond
1/8 teaspoon cardamom powder
2 Tablespoons Maple syrup ( you can try agave or date syrup or any sticky sweet syrup)
few sprays of water

In a pan, dry roast the wheat flour on low heat for 25-30 minutes, stirring every 2-3 minutes.
Once the wheat flour gets lightly browned and you can smell the roasted aroma, add in the ground sugar, cardamom and almond flour and mix well.
Roast for another minute.
Add in the maple syrup, mix well and take off heat.
Spray water on the mix 3-4 times mixing continuously with the spatula and pressing a little to see if a few lumps are formed.
Let it cool slightly till easy to handle, then knead it using you hands for a minute, so the nut oil and the maple incorporate well and help with the sticking.
You can serve this lumpy mix, similar to the wheat choorma as is, or make balls/laddoos out it.
You can add roasted or raw chopped nuts and raisins to the mix.(dont add too many if making balls)
Use a spray of water or 2 more to make balls if needed.
Garnish with chopped raw pistachios.
Consume same day or store in airtight container in refrigerator for a few days.

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  1. wow, girl! look at you making another oil-free treat! they look delicious!

    and i love when you talk about indian traditions- they are so fascinating!

    1. these taste the same as the with oil ones. so i think i am going to stick to making all laddoo balls this way:)

  2. These look so delicious! How great that you don't miss anything in them by skipping the oil! I had never thought about how in American culture we don't have any holidays that separate the bonds of siblings. What a lovely sentiment behind Rakhee!

    1. Thanks Cadry. I dont know how all these celerations really came about. We celebrate all sorts of relations really, parents, kids, women, siblings, lots of good over evil dates:)

  3. This is an entirely new sweet to me, but it sounds so intriguing! I really don't even see why you would need oil in the first place, judging by how wonderful your rendition looks. :)

    1. I think no one bothered to change the recipes since ages, since ghee is considered to make everything rich which is needed for celebrations or some logic like that:)

  4. Richa, I ran into the kitchen as soon as I saw the list of ingredients, for once I had them all. Love the fact that it tastes so delicious even without any ghee/oil. Just had the last spoon and will be making this often, though I'm going to try using jaggery next time! Loved it!!

    1. Awesommme!! Thanks for trying it out Poornima! Its so soft with a deep roasted flavor right, even without all that added ghee. I am so hapy you liked it. yes, jaggery would work amazingly too. out indian store is always out of powdered jaggery, so i end up using raw sugar. xoxo

  5. Abhinav read your post in his feed... and is begging [read: ordering] me to make these :)
    Hugs :)

    1. nice! make it:)) and of course call me to tell me how you liked it!

  6. Great idea to substitute ghee with maple syrup.ITs much better than using white sugar. Will keep this in mind the next time I make some sweet.

  7. Wow they were seriously so yummy!! Although I did add a little sesame oil and coconut oil, just to add some richness... the idea to use water to make laddus out of the churma was superb and worked was just fine for an inexperienced person such as me. The best part - I didn't have to think what to make... At the next festival ... I am just going to wait for your suggested recipe :) LOVE you Richa :)

    1. Thanks Deepti! The maple and water make it quite nicely crumbly. Make another batch without the oil and see if abhinav misses the oil or not. add some ground cashew instead for a richer texture!:))

  8. your post has come now in mail & raksha bandhan is over here. i would have made these today had i seen the post yesterday or today morning... anyways it is not late. i will still make them.

    i love churma and churma ladoos. i shall make these ladoos with jaggery. i will add some oil though. will let you know.

    1. we dont need an occassion to eat sweet do we:) let me know how it turns out. make a tiny batch without oil too and see if anyone can find the difference:)

  9. I love how you always use such strong delicious spices!

  10. Laddoos look great, Richa!! And sounds like we can pop as many as we want into our mouths considering they are so guilt-free. :)

  11. Scrumptious - Cardamon is one of my favorite flavors.

  12. Looks delicious, would love to try it sometime.... I wish! Incidentally, speaking of rakhi and such Indian traditions, did they develop concurrent with gladiator sports, I do wonder, because of the timeless durability :)

  13. I like the rceipe and more so I love the article you have woven. I am going to share it with all my friends.. I am not vegan but I am vegetarian, after reading this I am even thinking to leave Eggs .. :(

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