Image Source: Ayurvedic Living

Laddus are since ancient times a favored way of integrating a huge amount of “superfood” ingredients at once.

Laddus are one of the best ways to mix the finest flours, seeds, nuts, herbal powders, oils, jaggery, ghee and honey together, and with a great taste.

  • Laddu comes from the Sanskrit ladduka, which means a “small ball”
  • Common ingredients include grains, pulses, semolina flour, as a base to which items such as sesame, dry fruit, nuts and various medicinal herbs are added, blended with ghee, oils and jaggery
  • The result is a very nutritious food, easy to take as a snack
  • Many laddu recipes exist, from simple desserts, to the very powerful medicinal ones
  • Medicinal laddu recipes were designed by ancient sages such as Susruta, who describes medicinal laddus that he created as small edible balls with dosages of herbal medicine so that the drug could be effortlessly consumed by patients.
  • The ancient principles behind laddu is what make them differ from the modern made-up recipes popular on the organic market, such as “vegan chocolate balls” etc
  • Because of their extraordinary content, laddus are also used as offerings (prasad) to the gods

  • There are about 300 varities of laddus mentioned in ancient scriptures
  • In the Nalanda university, laddus were be served as part of the daily breakfast for students to keep their mental, physical and spiritual health
  • The Indian cookbook Nimatnama-i-Nasiruddin-Shahi (‘Naṣir al-Dīn Shāh’s Book of Delicacies’) gives several recipes for laddus made with white flour, dried fruits, rosewater, camphor and musk
  • Specific laddus were given to teenage girls to balance their hormones
  • Soldiers were packing strengthening and immune-strengthening laddus

Laddus are divided into two broad categories: medicinal laddus that include ayurvedic herbs, and nutritious laddus based on dried fruits and nuts.

Ayurvedic laddus

  • Besan laddu
    • The most simple laddu.
    • Besan (chickpea flour) is fried in hot ghee, then sugar and cardamom powder are mixed in.
    • The mixture is formed into balls and allowed to cool and solidify
    • Recipe here.

  • Foxtail laddu
    • Was used as vitamin pills.
    • Soldiers and travelers used to consume these laddus to keep their immune system strong
    • Recipe here

Source: Gautam Pragya

  • Makhana laddu
    • Served to pregnant woman as a nutritional diet addition
    • Makhana (Lotus seeds)  is a digestive for all age groups
    • Due to its astringent property, it is relieves one from diarrhea and helps improve appetite
    • Recipe here

  • Til (Sesame) Laddu
    • Sesame seeds with jaggery is the base for this laddu
    • Traditionally when a teenage girl attains maturity sesame laddu had to be fed to the girl to make her bones strong
    • Adding cardamom, saffron, cashew enhances the taste of sesame laddu
    • Recipe here

  • Karkidaka Laddu
    • Ingredients: Fenugreek, Cumin Seeds, Ajwain, Kalonji (Nigella Seeds), Black Sesame seeds, Halim (Garden cress seeds), Cardamom, Ginger Powder, Grated Coconut, Jaggery
    • Recipe here
  • Moong daal (Green Gram) laddu
    • Process involves here drying the lentils, making powder, adding rich ghee and hand blended jaggery and making smooth balls in hands.
    • These laddus used be offered to Gods and kings
    • Recipe here
  • Boondi laddu
    • Made from besan (chickpea powder), cashew nuts, cardamom, ghee, oil, sugar candy, raisins and almonds
    • Recipe here

  • Shahi (dry fruit) laddu
    • Highly nutritious, made of Figs, Apricots, Black Dates, Almonds, Pista, Cucumber seeds, Sunflower seeds, Pumpkin seeds, Melon seeds, Walnut, Chironji nuts, Nutmeg, Cardamom, Saffron
    • These laddus are best consumed every morning with a glass of warm milk
    • Recipe here
  • Jaape Ke laddu
    • Ayurvedic combination to build stamina in the newly mother and to get back in shape.
    • Served with hot milk
    • Recipe here

  • Gond Ke laddu
    • Ingredients include Arabica Gum (Gond), wheat flour, coconut, Ghee, brown sugar, maple syrup, cardamom
    • Recipe here

Lord Ganesha is often depicted holding laddus or modak