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Five desserts to celebrate Indian festival Krishna Janmashtami

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Today is Janmashtami, an Indian festival which celebrates the birth of Lord Krishna in India. Millions of people of Indian origin celebrate this festival with parades, prayers at temples and delicious food. Laddoos or round desserts have a special place in Indian festivals. Here is a list of five laddoos and the recipe to make them.

1. Motichoor laddoo: This desert is made from gram flour, fried to make boondis and then pulsed into tiny bits which are then made into a laddoos. The original recipe is from

2. Coconut laddoo: This is an all time favorite sweet that is eaten in many festivals. It is made of grated coconut cooked in sugar. You can get the recipe from

3. Semolina or sooji laddoo: These laddoos are made by lightly roasting semolina flour (sooji) in ghee and forming laddoos. The recipe is in

4. Besan laddoo: This is another favorite laddoo made by roasting besan or chickpea flour in ghee an d sugar. This is then formed into rounds or laddoos. You can get the recipe from

5. Atta laddoo: This dessert is made from whole wheat flour or atta mixed with ghee, sugar and chopped nuts and formed into balls. The original recipe is modified from

Besan Laddoo
Besan Laddoo S Biswas

Besan Laddoo

Besan Laddoo


  • 2 cups laddoo besan (coarse gram flour)
  • 1 cup ghee
  • ½ tsp cardamom powder
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • ¼ cup chopped cashews

In a dry, thick bottom pan or kadai dry roast the besan till it emits a nutty fragrance. Now add the ghee and roast the besan in the ghee till it changes color to light brown and starts releasing the ghee. Take the pan off the stove and add the powdered sugar to the besan mixture. Mix for a couple of minutes till all the sugar is fully incorporated. Let the mixture cool for some time, but it should still be warm. Smear a little ghee on your palms. Make 2” balls (laddoos) with the besan mixture. Place on a tray lined with parchment paper. Garnish with chopped cashews and let the laddoos cool completely before storing in an airtight container.

Coconut laddoo
Coconut laddoo S Biswas

Coconut laddoo

Coconut laddos

  • 1 coconut (grated) or 1 pack frozen grated coconut (thawed)
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1 tbsp dried milk powder

In a heavy bottom pan or wok add the grated coconut (fresh or frozen and thawed) along with the sugar. Keep stirring over medium heat making sure the coconut doesn't stick to the bottom and get charred. You have to continuously stir for at least 20 minutes. When the mixture is sticky enough (you need to take a little bit between your fingers and see if it stays together) add the ground cardamom and dried milk powder. The milk powder makes the mixture even stickier and gives it a white color. Remove from heat and make into balls while still hot.

Sooji Laddoos
Sooji Laddoos S Biswas

Sooji Laddoos

Semolina laddoos

  • 1 cup semolina (suji or rawa)
  • 1 tbsp ghee (or butter)
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup khoya (milk solids or mawa)
  • ½ cup mixed nuts (cashews, almonds and raisins)
  • ½ cup milk

Heat the ghee or butter in a shallow frying pan. Roast the semolina in the ghee for 5 minutes over low heat till it is light brown in color (color of sand). Break the khoya into pieces and add to the roasted semolina and keep cooking over low heat. Add the sugar and nuts and cook for 3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and add milk (adding milk when the pan is on the stove would cause the semolina to sputter and can cause burns). Place the pan back on the stove and cook for 5 more minutes until all the milk evaporates and the dough is lumpy and sticky. Remove from the stovetop. Form balls with the hot semolina dough and place them on parchment paper. Apply a little ghee to your palms while forming the laddoos. Let it cool for 1 hour before serving.

Atta laddoo

Atta laddoo


  • 1 cup atta (whole wheat flour)
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup melted ghee
  • A few nuts (almonds, cashews, pistas)
  • ½ tsp cardamom powder

Sieve the atta and dry roast on a skillet till light brown in color. Keep aside. Grind the nuts and cardamom in a food processor. Grind the sugar into a powder. Melt the ghee over low heat. Now mix all the ingredients together making a greasy dough with the atta. While still hot, form into balls to make atta laddoos.