Coconut Rava Ladoo and Burfi – Coconut Semolina Cashew Sweet Balls. Vegan Recipe Glutenfree option

Happy Lohri everyone! Another year, another Indian harvest festival. Happy Sankranti, Uttarayan, Pongal and other variations as well. :) And another delicious veganized Ladoo. 

I dont know what fascination we have for round things. The Ladoos take ages to make. I’d rather make a large slab and cut it up.(Same goes for truffles versus bars:) Faster and equally delicious.

An Indian festival means a few more words about dairy. Because of the enormous demand for dairy in sweets, everyday food and increasing costs, the sweet shops in India these days use shampoo and oil concoctions and call it milk. Any dairy intense sweet bought during a festival, most likely highly polluted and carcinogenic.

Coconut Rava Burfi

Ghee(clarified butter) is an important element in a lot of Indian desserts and a lot of time people are surprised when I tell them it is not vegan. Ghee is made from butter, made from milk. Ghee is not Vegan. Nor is paneer, milk powder, malai, cheese and  pretty much every Indian sweet. Ghee is easily replaced by coconut oil or cocoa butter in most sweets.

In this Laddu, the fat is provided by the coconut flakes. You can add a bit more coconut oil for a softer, richer version. You can shape the dough into balls or press into a pan and cut up squares and call it a Burfi(bar). 
For Glutenfree version, use with brown rice flour. The burfi/balls wont be as crumbly as in the pictures, since brown rice flour has smaller granules than semolina, but it tastes just the same. 

Vegan Richa: Coconut Rava Ladoo

For more Vegan Indian Dessert recipes see here. Each picture has the recipe post link in the album.

Step by step:

Roast Semolina.

Add cashew and coconut oil mix well and roast for a minute.

Add coconut flour and roast for another minute.

Add sugar syrup. Mix into a lumpy mixture. Sorry, no picture of the lumpy mix. The dough is like a soft cookie dough.
Cool the lumpy dough and make balls or squares.



Coconut Rava Ladoo and Burfi
Makes 8-10 balls. Easily doubled.
Allergy Information: Dairy, Egg, Corn, Soy, Yeast free, Vegan. Can be made nut, gluten free

1/2 cup Semolina flour (or Brown rice flour for Glutenfree)
1/2 cup Coconut flakes(dried)
1 Tablespoon Coconut oil (optional. Omit to make Oilfree)
2 Tablespoons chopped cashew pieces (optional. Omit to make nutfree)
a pinch of salt

Sugar Syrup:
1/2 cup ground raw sugar (or use jaggery powder)
3 Tablespoons water
1/8-1/4 teaspoon cardamom powder(depends on how much you love cardamom:)

In a large pan, dry roast the semolina on medium-low heat for 6-8 minutes until the color changes and it gets fragrant.
Using a blender/processor, blend the coconut flakes to make coarse coconut flour.
Add coconut flour, coconut oil, salt and cashew pieces to the pan. Mix well and roast for 2 minutes.
(Coconut oil and cashew pieces can be left out to make nut free and oilfree)
Meanwhile, in another pan, make the sugar syrup.
Add all syrup ingredients and bring to a boil on medium heat. Continue to heat at medium low until one thread consistency.(few minutes)
Add the hot sugar syrup to the roasting dry ingredients and mix well to form a lumpy mixture.(Best results when both contents are hot)
Take off heat. Cool for 2-3 minutes and form balls – Ladoo.
Or Press immediately into parchment lined or greased baking pan to make Burfi. (I used an 8 by 4 inch pan.)
Cut into squares when still warm. The bars will harden as they cool.
Break into pieces when cool. Store in airtight container for upto a week.

You can make Coconut laddoo and burfi with just Coconut and no grain. Use 1 cup coconut flakes, grind them into coarse flour. Roast for 2-3 minutes with cashews and coconut oil. Add the sugar syrup and press onto parchment.

This Laddoo is being shared at Ricki’s wellness weekend, slightly indulgent Tuesdays,

Meat is easily associated with a direct death, but dairy always slips out from under the kill radar. I am often told about the almost none dairy consumption everyone does in everyday life. Maybe a half a cup of milk. What we don’t realize however, is the other forms in which we end up consuming a load of dairy..
Every tadka in ghee, every ghee filled sweet, every rich creamy paneer curry, every daal with makhan(butter/cream), every sandwich/pizza with cheese, every breakfast fried in butter, every buttercream layered cake, every tea/coffee with milk, and more.

Here is a video with mostly words about a life of a dairy cow. Please watch and share.

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  1. says

    i think the reason we’re so obsessed with rolling desserts into balls is because of the cuteness factor. but, i completely agree with you- SO much easier to press it into a pan. and that way, it’s kinda like eating a brownie square!

    i love that you are so easily able to make dairy filled indian treats vegan and that no one can tell the difference! i love how flaky these look, and how can you go wrong with adding coconut?!

    • says

      I know right. :)) especially with the lower fat versions that i make i have to work quickly to form the ladoos. i much prefer the bars:) no standing in the kitchen required:) and they look pretty too if you cut them into small squares;)

      there are a few cheese desserts that i am still working ont he textures.. lets see if we can veganize them this year!

    • Anonymous says

      Dear Vegan Richa: I’ve tried to make them this weekend, following your instructions to the letter. Unfortunately, the Ladoos came out hard as rocks. I did not even have time to shape them into balls, and had to go to plan B and make Burfi. The flavors were great, but the texture was way too hard … What did I do wrong? Was the simply syrup to hot? I would really appreciate your input on this. Thank you.

    • says

      I think the sugar syrup got over cooked. As soon as the sugar syrup is half thread (short 1 thread that breaks) consistency you should be ready to add in the ingredients, becaue within a minute the syrup will become 1 thread consistency. You can also add another Tablespoon of coconut oil, so in case the syrup does get too thick, the oil will help keep the laddoos softer.

  2. says

    Another amazing sweet, Richa. These look perfect (Matt would want them dipped in chocolate or something, knowing him, which I’m sure is totally sacrilegious, but I love the look of them as-is!). And I am so with you on bars vs. balls. Sometimes presentation is everything, but if it’s just for me/me and Matt, I’ll do bars every time.

    • says

      hehe. chocolate is not considered dessert back home but i would coat them in chocolate.. all that crumbly surprise inside once you bite into it.. yumm!

    • says

      You can leave the nuts out. In fact its easier to roll out the balls without the chopped nuts:) Coconut has enough nutty flavor by itself for this delicious ladoo

    • says

      Thanks! Let me know how they turn out! There is only a mild difference in taste between semolina and brown rice flour. Usually the coconut and cardamom will take over:)

  3. says

    Hi Richa,
    That’s a easy recipe. As a South Indian, I make a lot of dishes with coconut milk and rice. My most quick and easy sweet to make on a festive night would be rava ladoo or coconut burfi. I am loving your recipe. I will try this soon. Happy Sankaranti/Pongal to you!

    • says

      Happy Sankranti to you too Vijitha. We hardly ever make anything other than besan ladoo. But i have grown to love coconut in the past few years. and they are so easy to put together and so crumbly without added fat!

  4. says

    Richa! I’m in love with your blog, your recipes, and photos! I can’t wait to try out a couple of your recipes. Especially this one. :) Mmm! Thank you for sharing your recipes with the world.

    • says

      Thanks Gabby. Every few days i get incredulous epressions when i tell people that ghee is not vegan:) and it is one of the easiest things to change up in most dishes!:))

  5. says

    Would love to know some jaggery vegan sweets (I do one with rice, coconut and jaggery) but almost all of them are “wet” – would love to have a dry jaggery sweet recipe.

    • says

      Blogger does not like you.. i found all your comments in spam:) I know right.. i keep trying to make vegan versions in indian stuff. usually the subs are super easy:)

  6. says

    These sound delicious! The life of a dairy cow and her offspring makes me so sad. I don’t think many people realize the intrinsic pain and suffering in the dairy industry. It’s painted with idyllic brushes. It fools many. I’m glad there are loads of plant based options, so that people can enjoy old favorites, and no one has to suffer for them.

    • says

      I know.. lately i have been getting bothered being around people gobbling down loads of butter cheese and stuff. how can they not see. well hopefully some will.. till then I can all enjoy the stuff my mom used to make, without the dairy!

  7. says

    Why does it bother you? Maybe if you could answer that honestly for yourself, it would be a step in the the right direction. After all, in the absence of a totalitarian state, multiplicity of belief and action has been the human way of coexistence. Of course I am fully with you in expressing YOUR beliefs, as a means to INFORM.

    • says

      sumati. Sure everyone is entitled to their beliefs. Say for example the delhi rape. There are some who are bothered by it, some who arent. There are people who believe that the blame lies on the victim herself. Everything so wrong about that heinous crime. I am very bothered by the act itself. but I am also very bothered by the apathy shown by other people by not helping, the apathy and inaction of the police in taking her to the hospital and later the slow moving of the arrest and so on. The apathy of the politicians and others who come out and blab and again blame the victim.. All of this stems from Their Beliefs..and all of that equally bothers me.
      I will be bothered and extremely uncomfortable being around people with such beliefs too.

    • says

      What bothers me about people eating dairy is that I believe most of them are woefully uninformed (like me, just over a year ago) They have no idea how harmful the dairy industry is to the earth, to the animals and to themselves. I didn’t ever consider that cheese had cholesterol and could give me a heart attack, or that the casein is a huge CANCER trigger, or that dairy may have been part of the reason I couldn’t cope with my autoimmune disease (now in remission). I THOUGHT it was good for me. Now that my “brain bulb” is turned on too, I’m horrified by the amount of dairy that is consumed around me. It doesn’t do any good to anyone involved. If people really knew the dark side of dairy, I think many would stop consuming it. Thanks for continuing to educate Richa. If we keep educating instead of pointing fingers, we’re bound to have more people hop on our train :)

    • says

      I dint know most of it 2 years back too. I happened upon some vegan food blogs and then just kept reading and reading all the articles. and then decided it was time to take it off the menu.

  8. says

    Now that I’m finished ranting….I just saw a recipe for the Burfi in a vegan magazine! I was wondering what they were and where the origin of the dish was. Now I know! They look absolutely delightful! Oh and I need to apologize for not reading lately, I was crazy with my challenge and not doing any reading, then my laptop died! I’ve got a desktop, but can’t use it when the kids are up and about (which is nearly always) sigh.

    • says

      no apologies needed. i would be super mad if my machine died.
      Burfi can be Anything. it is small sweet bars of different ingredients.. cheese, nuts, coconut or other things.

  9. says

    thank you so much for this recipe. I am a freelance personal chef and needed to Veganize Rava Ladoo for a client. I will be testing this recipe out on the weekend and will let you know how it is received.


  1. […] An Indian festival means a few more words about dairy. Because of the enormous demand for dairy in sweets, everyday food and increasing costs, the sweet shops in India these days use shampoo and oil concoctions and call it milk. [...] — Richa […]

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