Naivedhyams/ Festival Offerings.

Festival Treats – Boondhi Ladoo.


Every year we loved and enjoyed Vinayaka Chathurthi as it was always the first of the many hindu festivals. It heralded the onset  of the other religious festivals like Sri Krishna Jayanthi, Navarathri, Saraswathi Pooja, Vijayadasami, Deepavali, Karthikkai Deepam, Thiruvadharai etc. Every festival was important in it`s own right and had its own religious significance. When we were little kids, collectively the festival season excited us for many small reasons – the family gets together and everyone celebrates, new clothes are bought for one and all and of course the great eats….the “Bhakshanams”, the multitude of sweets and savories that the women of the family get together and plan to make  for the festivals. Sometimes, friends would also join in and synergise efforts and share the results.

Some of the more important festivals are Navarathri and Deepavali. These two festivals are both joyous in their celebration of good over evil and in its bringing together people to unify as one, in front of the Lord. Boondhi Ladoo has always been a favourite of mine as I used to watch Madurai amma make it every Deepavali. The most important utensil required for this is the Boondhi Making Ladle- or Boondhi Jarani or Boondhi Karandi , and madurai amma had hers made in heavy iron. I love all her utensils  – boondhi karandi, appa kaaral, kadai , all of them heavy and solid and gleaming  from the loving washes over the years with soaked tamarind and lemon.

I saw my Boondhi Karandi at Patel`s on Devon Avenue in Chicago, and I had to make it mine. I was waiting to try it out and see if the Boondhis were coming out ok and it was pretty good. A great buy for $7.99 I would say!!!


1 cup Besan.

1/2 cup water for the Besan.

1 1/2 cup Sugar.

1 cup water for the syrup.

Chopped Cashews.

Powdered Cardamom.

Pinch of Edible Camphor (Pacha Kalpooram)

A little bit of milk for making Ladoo Balls.

A pinch of saffron soaked in warm milk.

4 or 5 Cloves.


For the first time ladoo makers I have tried to provide a lot of little tips, where I found I used to make mistakes.

  • The first step in the preparation of Boondhi for the ladoos is making the besan batter. It`s important to “try” to make boondhis or drops which are spherical without a “tail”. The tail would come if the water content in the besan is a little more then necessary.
  • The second point to be noted is that the boondhis should not be fried to a point where they  are too crisp. This would also not render the easy making of ladoo balls.
  • Take a bowl and add the besan making sure that there are no clots. Sieve if necessary. I used SWAD Super Fine Gram Flour which does not need any sieving.
  • Add the 1/2 cup water and using a whisk, stir it all in briskly. The whisk also helps in the uniform mixing without clots. If needed you might have to add 1-2 tbsp of water more. This is how it should look like.


  • At the same time keep a heavy bottomed vessel on the stove. Add sugar 1 and 1/2  cup and the 1 cup water. Give it a quick stir and keep it on medium high on the stove.
  • Use a spatula and keep stirring. Also take a kadai with oil and put on medium flame on the stove. This is for frying the boondhi.
  • Stir the sugar syrup now and then until it reaches “One Stick” consistency. This means when you take a little of the syrup in your index finger and lightly tap it on the thumb, it should pull to a single string.
  • On my electric stove this took about 11-12 minutes. This would vary depending on the size and thickness of the vessel you use for the syrup, LPG/Electric stove, and the kind of appliance, different kinds of sugar etc. I used C&H White Sugar from the store.
  • Remove from the heat and set aside. Add 1 tbsp of milk in which the saffron is added.
  • Gently take a spoon of the besan batter and pour on to the perforated Boondhi Ladle, holding it over the hot oil. The little drops of boondhi fall on to the oil.
Boondhi in hot oil.
Boondhi in hot oil.
  • If it falls too fast, with tails, this means the water content is a little more, so add a spoon of besan and mix it in again.
  • When the boondhi hits the oil, it will immediately hiss and get fried. As soon as this sound stops, gently ease out all the boondhis from the oil and add it to the sugar syrup vessel.
  • Repeat and complete until all the besan batter is used up. Add all the boondhis to the sugar syrup.
Boondhis soaking in sugar syrup with cloves, saffron & cashews.
Boondhis soaking in sugar syrup with cloves, saffron & cashews.
  • Now add crushed cardamom powder, cloves, a pinch of the “pacha karpooram” (Edible Camphor) and cashews and raisins fried in ghee.
  • Mix all these well in to the boondhi mixture.
  • Allow a few minutes so you can handle the boondhi in the sugar syrup with your bare hands. it should be more warm. Not too luke warm as this would not render it to mould in to a ball, as the sugar would crystallise.
  • Now spoon a ladle on to your hands and gently shape in to a ball. I use a little milk to wet my hands before I mould them in to firm ladoos.
  • In the process, If you feel that the boondhis are not at all sticky and have no moisture, place the vessel in the stove, for a minute. This would melt the sugar around the boondhis a  little but still be warm enough to shape in to balls.
  • This quantity of besan yielded around 20 medium sized ladoos.
Soft and succulent Boondhi Ladoos.
Soft and succulent Boondhi Ladoos.


  • Try out the boondhi ladle with the batter to see how the batter falls. You can keep the boondhi ladle on the mixed besan batter itself to see results. Then adjust the consistency of the batter.
  • Do not allow the boondhis to fry for too long as this would make them too crisp. I did this once and I had to be satisfied to eat plain sugared boondhis as I could not bring them to have any cohesiveness to make balls!!
  • The sugar syrup  has to be a syrup consistency, which is slightly thicker than water. Making it too thick would mean , difficult times ahead. Simply add a little more warm water and thin out the consistency as required.
  • Do not add too much of cloves or edible camphor as this would spoil the taste and aroma of the ladoos.
  • Ladoo is not a difficult sweet to make, if you follow these simple hints. Try them out at least once before the festival, to note down the timings and results in your kitchens.

Sending these soft and sweet ladoos to WYF – Festive Treats Event happening at SimpleIndianFood.

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42 thoughts on “Festival Treats – Boondhi Ladoo.

  1. I don’t know which deserves higher credit, the wonderful looking ladoos or the absolutely perfect photography! .. and yes your ladoos are so tempting that I can’t wait to try making ’em 🙂

  2. Shobha,
    when I saw you online for long last evening, I knew you were putting this up as told earlier to me. Very nicely instructed post. Glad the boondi jaarini worked so well. Yummy laddoos.

  3. good one shobha, well presented as always, the detailing and pics are awesome 🙂 the laddos have turned out droolworthy 🙂
    Keep rocking 🙂

  4. Hi,

    @ Parita,
    Please do try them. I have tried to instruct step by step along with common mistakes.

    @ Suparna,
    They were simply sweet, soft and drool!!!

    Please do try it. Many times the fruits of labour are very sweet…

    @ Shaista, Priya,
    Thanks for your comments.


  5. Hi Lata,

    Although I tried the ladoos last week I was postponing hte post as I needed to really pen my thoughts down in steps to help first timers and people who have not tried it before. Thanks for your encouraging words.


  6. Shoba,

    Wonderful post. Thank you so much. I’m going to try and make this for Diwali – the last time I went to India I even got the Bhoondi ladle..will keep my laptop next to the stove – follow your instructions and make it – and will also blog about it! hahha..Thanks for a wonderful recipe!

  7. Wow! Great ladoos! I have decided. I am trying this for Deepavali this time. I always used to think ladoos were the difficult one to make. Your recipe is clear as crystal. Thank you Shoba.

  8. WOW Those laddus look yummy…i will try those for Dussera…Thanks a lot for the recipe…and if possible could you please post a picture of the boondi sieve so that I would pick up a the right one when I go grocery shopping…Thanks a lot!!!

    And you have a great website here…I visit almost daily to check the updates 🙂


  9. My mom used to make these and I absolutely love them..thanks a lot for participating and reminding me of those good old days

  10. wow the laddoo is too tempting my fav too. Hey thanks for dropping my blog dear otherwise i would have missed urs.. really u have wonderful recipes keep going will be soon here. And keep the followers na will be be following from now onwards.

  11. hi,
    its weekend and my 3year old gayathri was demanding something special 4 the evening. i saw this wonderful recipe of boondhi ladoo. my little one is very fond of ladoo. luckily i had besan in stock. i tried this out. came out sooo well… vry good recipe.
    thanx 4 giving step by step procedures 4 making ladoos..
    waiting 4 your next posts….
    thank u so much.

  12. sweet!!! very well thought and implemented not only this receipe but all with consistency….i felt as if i’m attending Indian cookery class in West….and next batch of newly marrieds girls don’t have to write diaries of receipe’s when they r migrating….very helpful…keep up yr work with more innovative stuff…way to go!!!!

  13. i can just get the smell of those delicious looking ladoos , these are one of my favs.i dont have the laddle , what can i use ?

  14. Hi Karisma,

    You are welcome to borrow my ladle. Optionally IF you have one of those ladles with holes, you can use those too. Only it would take a lot longer!!!
    Patel`s t Chicago should be able to help you out too!!!

    Rgds, Shobha

  15. @ Bhargavi,

    Thank you for the comments. Please do keep visiting.

    @ Lakshmi,

    Glad that it turned out well. Thanks so much for the feedback.


  16. Hi,

    I am prathiba l. rao from “The indian food court”. Your ladoos look simply fabulous. U have a wonderful blog.

  17. Shoba, I tried this and came out perfect. Thanks for the detailed recipe.Happy Deepavali !!

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