Soft and mildly sweet, melt in the mouth ladoos made with shredded carrots and stuffed with nuts and mawa. These ladoos are easy to make and need just a few ingredients. Ladoo are sweet dumplings which are a very popular sweet (mithai) in India. Ladoos are made with variety of grains, nuts, fruits, flour, ghee and sweetened with sugar, jaggery, dates etc, they are flavored with cardamom, saffron or rose water. There are number of ways in which ladoos can be made and they are a must on festivals.
These gajar (carrot) ladoos are made with fresh grated carrots, ghee, sugar, coconut and mawa.These are gluten and grain free and can be easily made nut free. Since the carrots are naturally sweet, I did not need add a lot of sugar. This a small batch recipe which makes about 6 to 8 ladoos depending on how big you roll them. Mithai made with gajar(carrots) is a huge hit with my kids since they both love carrots. The aroma of fresh ground cardamom and ghee is aroma of festivals for me.
This recipe is quite similar to how gajar ka halwa is made in north indian homes. Gajar halwa is a dessert made with grated carrots and its absolutely delightful when made the traditional slow cooked way. However, these ladoos do not take that long. They come together much faster. You can also make them without the mawa stuffing, they are still quite delicious.
How to make carrot ladoos?
Step 1 :- We will start by grating the carrots. Use a box grater or any grater that you normally use in your kitchen and use the side which will result in thin & small carrot shreds.This is important for the soft texture of the ladoos. And it shortens the cooking time as well.
Step 2: Once the carrots are cooked in whole milk or half and half we are going to add desiccated coconut and sugar. As soon as sugar is added you will notice that the carrot mixture becomes loose like a slurry. This is because of the moisture of the sugar. However don't worry, it cooks out fast.
Step 3: At the last, once the carrot sugar mixture has dried out, we are going to saute it with ghee and mix in the milk powder (or add grated fresh mawa). Once the mixture is cool, roll ladoos by stuffing mawa in them.
Here are a few things to keep in mind:-
- Use organic carrots and peel them. Select in season carrots for naturally added sweetness.
- The recipe uses ⅓ cup sugar and these ladoos were mildly sweet. You can add upto ½ cup sugar but remember in that case you will have to cook the carrots a little longer for the moisture to dry out.
- Don't use non fat milk powder. Use whole milk powder if possible. I used Nido brand.
- You can add more ghee if you want. I added total 5 tablespoons up but it can go up to 7 tablespoons.
- You can flavor the mawa with saffron, this will make the stuffing nice yellow color.
- These ladoos are pretty easy to make and take about 45 minutes total start to finish.
Gajar (Carrot) Ladoo
For the ladoo
- 1 cup thinly grated carrots, tightly packed (about 3-5 carrots)
- 5 tablespoon melted ghee, divided
- ½ cup half & half (or whole milk)
- ⅓ cup dried dessicated coconut
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- ⅓ cup milk powder
- ½ teaspoon ground cardamom powder
For the Mawa stuffing
- ½ cup mawa
- 1-2 tablespoon chopped pistachios
- ¼ teaspoon cardamom powder
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- Heat up 2 tablespoon ghee in a heavy pan or kadhai. On low medium heat, add the grated carrots to ghee. Saute the carrots stirring continously for 3-4 minutes till they are shiny.
- Add the half and half (or milk) next and mix to combine with the carrots. When you see that the milk is bubbling, reduce heat to low and cover. Let the carrots cook covered for about 7 minutes.
- In the mean time, you can mix the mawa for the stuffing. If your mawa is a solid block, just warm it up lightly in another pan until soft. Transfer to a plate and once little cool, mix in the cardamom, pistachios and sugar. Set aside.
- Uncover the carrots, they would be soft by now and you will see that the liquid has almost evaporated and carrots are little sticky but cooked through.
- Add the sugar and coconut to the carrots and mix. You will see that again there will be liquid in the kadai. Keep sauteeing for another 5-6 minutes stirring regularly until all the mositure has evaporated.
- Add the 2 tablespoon ghee next along with the milk powder. Mix and continue to cook for about 3-4 minutes till you see that the mixture starts to clump around the mixing spoon. You should be able to fold it over itself.
- Remove from heat. Transfer carrot mixture to a plate and mix the cardamom. Let sit and cool down.
- When the mixture is cool enough to touch, spread som ghee in your palm and take a lime size portion of the carrot mix. Flatten it on the palm of your hand and in the center, spoon over ½ tablespoon or the mawa mixture that we made.
- Bring the carrot mixtue together to cover and encase the mawa mixture and roll the ladoo between your palms to make a smooth round.
- Repeat till all the carrot mix is exhausted. Ladoos are ready, decorate as you wish.
- Store refrigerated for 4-5 days.