Besan Laddoo. Sweet Chickpea flour balls. Glutenfree Vegan recipe

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Another month, another festival! Another occassion to whip up some Indian sweets. Ganesh the Hindu festival celebrated on the occasion of birthday of Lord Ganesha, the son of Shiva and Parvati. Ganesha is widely worshipped as the god of wisdom, prosperity and good fortune and traditionally invoked at the beginning of any new venture or at the start of travel.

In Hindu-ism, a large number of personal gods (Ishvaras) are worshipped as murtis/idols. There are several gods, human incarnations of gods and so on. Whenever I write something about any festival or practices, I realize how little I know about the religion.

Lately, my internal questions about the gods and their practices has led to a lot of conflict. I think a lot of us go through something similar when our known religious beliefs dont necessarily gel well with our practiced beliefs. in this case, trying to be vegan in all possible ways.

For example, Traditional stories tell us that Lord Ganesha was created by goddess Parvati. Parvati created Ganesha out of sandalwood paste and breathed life into the figure. She then set him to stand guard at her door while she bathed. Lord Shiva returned and, as Ganesha didn't know him, Ganesha didn't allow Lord Shiva to enter. Lord Shiva became enraged, severed the head of the child and entered his house. After realizing that he had beheaded his own son, Lord Shiva fixed the head of an elephant in place of Ganesha's head. In this way, Lord Ganesha came to be depicted as the elephant-headed God.(This is just one of the stories among many)

Its confusing, isnt it. Why would a God be so enraged, then take a child's life and then to bring the child back, take an elephants life. Dont ask me, I am as confused as can be. The answers might lie in the Hindu texts and scriptures, which I guess I will have to start reading.

Till my mind figures things out, everyone around us and we as a family, continue to celebrate the occassion. To celebrate being together, to celebrate the fortune and wisdom that has been bestowed upon us, to celebrate the goodness around. One of the sweets that makes an appearance during the celebration is a ghee laden Chickpea flour Laddoo. This one is dairy free. You can find my Chickpea flour and Semolina Laddoo from last years celebration here. This recipe is glutenfree and is lightly adapted from Dassana's Besan Laddoos.

1/4 cup chickpea flour ready to be roasted. Yes, i make small quantities, since between the 2 of us, we hardly ever finish any sweets, except probably chocolate ;) I will make a larger batch on the weekend if we visit friends.

Roast for 5 minutes, then add cocoa butter and coconut flakes and mix.

Roast on and on until the chickpea flour darkens and leaves a nutty aroma.

Add ground sugar and spices and mix.

Add coconut milk and mix to form a lumpy mixture. Add less or more. Take off heat and cool for a minute.

Make balls when the mixture is cool enough to handle. The mixture does tend to get crumbly as it cools because of the low oil content. To make balls of a cool mixture, warm the mixture on stove a bit, add a bit of oil or maple/agave syrup and form balls.

You can make a fat-free(oil free) version like this Wheat laddoo recipe.

Sweet deliciousness.

Besan Laddoo. Sweet chickpea flour balls with cardamom and nutmeg
Gluten, grain, dairy, soy, nut, corn free recipe can be nutfree
Cook time: 30 minutes . Makes 7-8 small balls, easily doubled.

1/4 cup chickpea flour
1 Tablespoon shredded coconut(dried small flakes , optional)
1 Tablespoon pure food grade softened cocoa butter( or 1-2 Tablespoons oil)
2.5 Tablespoons sugar(I used ground raw sugar)
1/8 teaspoon cardamom powder
generous pinch of nutmeg powder
pinch of salt
1 Tablespoon coconut milk( or non dairy milk)

Add chickpea flour to a pan and Dry roast for 5 minutes on low heat. stir once or twice.
Add coconut flakes and cocoa butter, Mix well and roast for 15 minutes.
Press down and mix well every 3-4 minutes.
If making a large batch add enough cocoa butter or oil, so the mixture does not appear dry.
Add sugar, salt and spices and mix well. Roast on another 3 minutes.
Sprinkle coconut milk on the mixture and mix.
If the mixture doesnt comes together add a few drops more.
(You can add enough to make one big lump to make it easier to shape)
Take off heat. Let cool for a minute or so until warm to handle.
Make balls of the mixture. Press crushed cashew or pistachios or raisins on top.


  1. Ladoos look awesome! I never heard about cocco butter. Interesting substitute! Happy festival to you and your family Richa!

    1. Thanks Manali! Same to you all!:)

    2. Cocoa butter is edible fat extracted from the cocoa bean.

  2. Did not think of cocoa butter and I have it! Will make some next weekend.:) Today is all about modaks. These look maha-delish.

    I have maintained that the physical manifestation given to Hindu 'Gods' come from heroes of yore. Maybe over the generations we have added colourful tales to make them sound more heroic or to differentiate them from ordinary mortals. I chant simply because Sanskrit is an extremely beautiful, lyrical language and I like the sounds it can create through breathing exercises. That said, I do think our authors did a great job with reality and myth. We were pretty advanced technologically. People acutally flew across oceans and apparated with ease. I love the stories, and I can rejoice and cry with the incidents that happened, and am constantly inspired.:D

    A rather long comment!!

    1. Thanks for dropping by Harini. yes do give cocoa butter a try :) Modaks never made an appearance at our place, though i would snag a few from the neighbors:)

      We definitely were advanced if things are to be believed true.. We cloned 100 kauravas!:)
      I love the stories and the chants too. The deeper meaning in so many of the verses. I miss speaking to our family panditji who always had modern day explanations for so many things.

      Wish you and your family a happy Ganesh chturthi!

    2. To Harini,
      If i don't revel and rejoice in Hindu mythology, I have suffered a tragic loss of innocence. If I don't practice the religion ( perhaps due to a teenage rebellion against kanya puja or slaving in the kitchen,or both!), I miss out on joyous, soul and spirit uplifting celebrations of of life and community. If I don't espouse the core philosophical tenets, then perhaps Hinduism is not for me. Would you agree?
      To Richa, I defer.

  3. These looks so good Richa! Thank you for the visual on how to make them! loved that. Do they hold up well or delicate? I am wondering if I could send them in the kids lunches?

    1. yes they do. once you make the balls and they cool down, they dont break easily.. shake away in the lunch boxes :)
      You can add a bit more cocoa butter and coconut milk to make one large lump to make it easy to shape into balls. Let me know when you try them:)

  4. You always have amazing recipes ! This looks so delicious ! Beautiful photos also..

  5. I can totally grab one and pop in my mouth immediately.. Love the cliks...

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  6. Coconut milk in besan laddus, great idea, R! Never tried using cocoa butter though. We learn so much from you!

  7. I've totally had these before, several years ago, and they were so delicious! I love your updated vegan version of course. Thank you for sharing!

    1. the usual ones have the same amount of clarified butter as flour:) all that sweet and fat is going to taste good:) these taste almost the same!

  8. Besan ladoo, way to go.I love the ones sold at the local Indian store.I enjoy the vegan version of it.

  9. there are no gods ... your mind tells you this, no so?

  10. prefect laddoo..looks sooo delicious

  11. I'm feeling so inspired by these unique sweets... I wonder if I could substitute green pea flour for the garbanzo? I still have a ton of it left, so it's definitely worth a try!

    1. give it a try:) i think it should work out. just a different pea:). for all the flour sweets, the key is a good roast, else they end up tasting like flour. let me know when you do!:)

  12. These look awfully yummy! I loved this post and story behind the one god. So interesting! Thank you so much for sharing with us!

    1. Thanks Kristy! since you are stepping into some curry cooking, some sweets will soon follow:)

  13. Love it, these look amazing! I'd like to invite you to link it up at our Gluten Free Fridays recipe party that is going on right now! :) Hope you can join us!

    1. Thanks for linking up at our Gluten Free Fridays party! We had some fabulous entries this week! Our gluten free blogger directory is growing too! I have tweeted and pinned your entry to our Gluten Free Fridays board on Pinterest! :) See you next Friday! Cindy from

  14. Beautiful clicks and an awesome recipe. Love the laddoos. Thanks for sharing.

  15. These sound delicious but they are also a very wholesome treat. Thank you for sharing the recipe with us at Hearth and Soul.

  16. So delicious! In fact I almost made besan ka halwa today, but instead opted for suji. Hope you had a wonderful celebration :)

  17. your ladoos are looking better than mine. adding coco butter is a healthy option. hope the celebrations are going on well there with you & family.

  18. Lovely Lodoos Richa, have a great celebration!

  19. I made this last night and subbed cocoa butter for coconut oil. They were a hit at my potluck. Thanks!

  20. Nice Recipe!!!!
    Can I use Raw cream butter instead of cocoa butter for storing Laddoos for short span of time?

    1. coconut oil or coconut butter would work better. I have not used dairy butter for years now to know how it will hold up.


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Hi! I am Richa. I love to whip up plant-based meals which make me and hubbs swoon and not miss any animal or animal products in them. Find out more About Me here.

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