|Place of origin||Indian subcontinent|
|Region or state||Indian subcontinent|
|Main ingredients||Flour, milk, sugar, ghee, oil|
|Variations||Gram flour, rava|
|Other information||Served on festive or religious occasions|
Laddu or laddoo or avinsh (laḍḍū, lāḍḍū) is a sphere-shaped sweet originating from the Indian subcontinent; the name originated from the Sanskrit word Lattika. Laddus are made of flour, fat (ghee/butter/oil), and sugar, with other ingredients that vary by recipe, like chopped nuts or dried raisins. They are often served at festive or religious occasions.
Common flours used for laddu include gram flour (chickpea flour), wheat semolina and ground coconut. These are combined with sugar and other flavorings, cooked in ghee and molded into a ball shape. Some laddu recipes are prepared using Ayurvedic medicinal ingredients, including methi laddu, multigrain and resin laddu. Nuts such as pistachios and almonds are commonly stuffed into laddus.
Motichoor laddu is made from fine boondi where the balls are tiny and is cooked with ghee or oil. The recipe for this laddu originated in north India, however, it is now popular throughout the Indian subcontinent.
Besan laddu is a popular Indian sweet dish made of besan (chickpea flour or gram flour), sugar and ghee. Besan is roasted in ghee till golden brown appearance with nutty fragrance. Then sugar is added to it. Pistachio pieces are also mixed in this mixture optionally. Sweet balls are then made from this mixture. It has a long shelf life. It is often served at festivals, family events and religious occasions in India.
There are multiple coconut laddu recipes. Its earliest form Narayl Nakru dates back to the time of the Chola Empire, when it was a sweet that was packed for travelers and warriors as a symbol of good luck for their expeditions.
Semolina or rava laddu
Laddu with edible gum
In India, these are traditionally given to lactating mothers as they help in the production of milk. These laddus are called dinkache ladoo in Marathi and gond ka laddu in Urdu. The main ingredient is gum arabic which is collected from the babhul tree. Other ingredients include coconut, almonds, cashews, dates, spices such as nutmeg and cardamom, poppy seeds, ghee, and sugar.
Laddu can be prepared from a variety of grains, legumes or seeds. Some popular ones include laddu made with roasted wheat, amaranth, garden cress seeds, fenugreek seeds, and peanuts respectively.
The largest individual laddu weighs 29,465 kilograms (64,959 lb) and was achieved by PVVS Mallikharjuna Rao (India), in Tapeswaram, Andhra Pradesh, India, on 6 September 2016. The laddu was made to a traditional Boondi recipe. The ingredients included ghee, refined oil, cashew nuts, sugar, almonds, cardamom, and water.
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Laddu is often prepared for festivals or family events such as weddings and births, or given as a prasadam(religious offering of food) at Hindu temples, especially at Venkateswara Temple, Tirumala, Andhra Pradesh, it is famous with the name Tirupati Laddu. Laddu is considered a traditional Eid dessert in some Muslim communities.
In Maharashtrian cuisine, there are traditional recipes for laddu intended as travel provisions.
In the Sesame Street episode "Rakhi Road", laddus are featured prominently as a favoured Indian dessert. Elmo is shown making laddus and enjoying eating them as part of the celebrations around the Indian festival of Rakhi.
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