I’ve got a rapport with vegan cashew ladoos since ages. This is a tea time snack which always holds a special place in my heart. During my childhood days when I used to stay with grandparents, this was a novel and luxurious eatable. Why? As it was not only made with wholesome cashews which were grown in our own farm but also the sweets like ladoos, jilebis and other popular sweet snacks were rare in those days. Buying food and dining out was not much appreciated according to Indian culture. Everything was home made for members and especially for guests. Both my grand moms were experts at making this snack and were awesome cooks who created a niche of their own. Many of their dishes taste still lingers in my sensory organ.
We made it usually in the cashew season. It was a grand affair. Of course, there was no mixer grinder or food processor. It was all done manually in Chakki or miller made of granite. Below is the picture of the miller I mentioned. We call it Ural and Olakka in our language. Its basically bigger version of mortar and pestle. Ladies stand on either side or around the mortar and grind rice, wheat, nuts and powder it grinding it in a rhythm and singing during festival season and wedding times.
This might be the reason why food tasted different and tastier in those days. Moreover, fresh homegrown fruits and veggies without pesticides have also made the difference in flavor.
Coming to our today’s dish, this is a simple easy to make vegan ladoo which is very tasty. You can make this without rice also. I’m sticking to the traditional recipes when I do the blog posts and videos just to make sure that you get the basic idea of the dish. You can make your own permutations and combinations for this while making at home.
I’ve used whole cashews here for this ladoo. Basically when they made it in the older times , they took the broken cashews and left overs for this purpose. The higher the quality of the cashews, the tastier it will be.
In the basic recipe fresh grated coconut is usually ground along with rice and cashews which are home grown. Since we get scraped coconut from super market and due to the climatic conditions of the gulf region, I found it better to roast the coconut a bit so that the ladoos remain fresh for a week. I did not store it in the fridge. You can do that if you are making more in quantity. Toast the coconut until the steam starts coming and you get a nice aroma. It should not change its color, texture and freshness.
Regarding the rice, normally, parboiled rice is the best combination for this. I haven’t tried with any other rice as I felt other varieties won’t give the crispness, taste and binding factor as the parboiled variety give. Soak the rice in water for one hour. Drain and dry it completely as there should not be any water content. When you dry roast the rice you can hear crackling sound, once this get over and the rice turns golden in color, then that is the signal that your rice is ready for powdering. After roasting cool down all the ingredients before grinding it into powder. Otherwise it will become messed up and oil will start coming from cashews and coconut.
Usually, we powder the molasses and jaggery and use. I do not prefer that as I always find impurities in the jaggery which we get in the market. That’s why I have melted the molasses and made it into one string consistency and added it to the powdered mixture. The quantity I have used here is less as we preferred lesser sweetness. If you are on a higher sweet tooth side, go with more of the jaggery.
Enjoy this delicious ladoo and make it for this festival season.
Wash and soak the rice for one hour. Drain and spread it to dry.
Dry roast the rice until crackled up and golden in color.
Dry roast the cashews until golden in color and crisp.
Dry roast the coconut until the steam comes and you get good aroma.
Cool down all the ingredients.
Powder everything separate and add into a bowl.
Add the molasses and mix well until well combined.
Roll into ladoos.
Serve with tea.