Thursday, October 19, 2006

Sandy Treats - Rava Laddoo

rava laddoo

Rava/Semolina laddoos

I had a plate of these sitting on the coffee table.

My daughter came back from school, looked at these and said "you went to the park without me??"

The visible distress on her face, the sadness in her eyes, the trembling twitch of the nose, the telltale quiver of the lips, the accusation in her tone - all made me smile!

The temperature has been in the 40s all week and it has been raining most days. No one in their senses would venture out to the playground. But such logic does not mean anything to a 6 year old. She saw what she perceived as evidence on the table. She really thought that I had snuck out to the park and made some sand laddoos without her.

No Siree! these little puppies here are the real McCoys! Not sand, but sand-like rava or semolina laddoos. These happen to be my husband's favorite sweet and this is his request for Diwali. My goodness, I have made my son's favorite, my daughter's favorite and now my husband's favorite.

With each treat that I make for Diwali, my self-conferred halo is growing and glowing :) I don't think I am going to be doing much cooking at all next week!

I have never made rava laddoos before and this is my first attempt at making these. I had to make a quick call to my mom to get these recipes. She is the rava laddoo queen in the family. Her recipe makes plump, fragrant, melt-in-the-mouth laddoos studded with crisp cashews and juicy raisins.

Here is her fail-proof method for making these delicious treats.

rava laddoo ingredients

From top: Golden roasted semolina, sugar, fried cashews, fried golden raisins


1 cup rava (semolina)
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup ghee (you can use less if you want, it is not critical to the recipe)
3 tbsps cashewnuts
3 tbsps golden raisins
1 tsp powdered cardamom powder

  1. Melt the ghee in a saucepan or wok.
  2. Fry cashew nuts till golden brown and remove with a slotted spoon.
  3. Fry the raisins in the same ghee and remove with a slotted spoon.
  4. Fry the rava/semolina gently till golden brown and fragrant. There should be very noticable change in color and aroma when compared with the raw semolina. Set aside.
  5. Mix the sugar and water in a pan.
  6. Heat gently to a rolling boil and keep stirring.
  7. Check the sugar syrup for a 1-string consistency. This means that when you lift the spoon from the syrup and feel the syrup coating the back of the spoon, it should be very sticky. Blow on it a bit before you touch it - it will be hot!. Gently pinch and spread apart your forefinger and thumb. The sugar syrup should trail in a single strand between the two fingers. This is known as "one-string" sugar syrup.
  8. Slowly stir in the the semolina to avoid forming lumps.
  9. Stir in the cashews, raisins and cardamom powder.
  10. Remove from heat and let cool.
  11. When warm enough to handle, squeeze a handful of the mixture between your fingers and palm to form small balls.
Tips: My mixture became a bit powdery and I had to use a few drops of milk to form balls. This is A-OK!

I'm sending these over to lovely Vee of Past, Present and Me for her special edition JFI-Diwali Treats.

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At Thu Oct 19, 11:18:00 AM 2006, Blogger Sangeeta said...


Thank you for this recipe. My husband loves Rava Ladoos and this Diwali I am going to surprise him :)

At Thu Oct 19, 11:29:00 AM 2006, Anonymous Just for fun said...

Wow! wonderful ladoo. My mom's fav. Thanks for sharing with us. Check out my badushah. Happy Diwali!

At Thu Oct 19, 12:36:00 PM 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Fantastic photos! Just love your blog.
Btw, how many cups of water did you add to the sugar to make the syrup?

At Thu Oct 19, 01:22:00 PM 2006, Blogger Cooking Memoir said...

Oh melt in mouth rava laddoo looks great. It is my all time favorite sweet, so i get that all the time from India when some one comes. My mom had made the mix, grinding the rava + sugar in the mill when she came over. So my work is simple, add ghee make laddoos or eat with a spoon.

The photos look great.

I too make kaju kathli, but not the traditional way. I put in the microwave and take it off in the halwa stage. Had blogged about it sometime back. Your method sounds easy too.

Have a nice diwali!

At Thu Oct 19, 01:33:00 PM 2006, Anonymous shilpa said...

Ahh your 3 sweets in a row look amazing and very suitable for the festive season. Now I am also getting some inspiration to prepare something sweet :D.

At Thu Oct 19, 01:39:00 PM 2006, Anonymous Shobha said...

Wonderful pictures and very organized way of laying out the recipe makes it simple for anyone to try it out. Happy Diwali


At Thu Oct 19, 02:02:00 PM 2006, Anonymous Priya S&S said...

Rawa Laddoo looks delicious Saffron. Iam planning to make both kaju kathli and badam halwa for this diwali. But will give this a try soon.

At Thu Oct 19, 02:23:00 PM 2006, Blogger Priyamvada_K said...

Interesting recipe, Saffron. My mom makes it different - dry roast the rawa, and grind it to fine powder. Use powdered sugar also, and mix both. Then, heat ghee, roast cashews and raisins and pour hot ghee into rawa-sugar powder mix. Mix well, and make into balls.

Will try out your method this time, and see.


At Thu Oct 19, 02:43:00 PM 2006, Blogger Latha said...

Hey Saffron,

Wish I could grab one of those Rava Laddoos! I am plannign on making rava laddoos tonight. My mom's recipe is sligthly different. Like I said, I am very tense when makign sweets. So lets see how mine turn out :-)
Your kaju kathli recipe seems so easy! Where do u have all this energy to make all those favorites!
Thanks to u and Asha I am slowly getting into the festive mood :-)
Happy Diwali to you and your family!

At Thu Oct 19, 03:12:00 PM 2006, Anonymous Vee said...

hmmm...I have a rava treat up my sleeve, too...Not too different from the ladoos. Now, Only If I have the time to post it.

Looks Lovely, SH!!

At Thu Oct 19, 07:40:00 PM 2006, Anonymous wr said...

you might want to check out this lady copied ur besan burfi pictures to her blog. i think thats not ethical.

At Thu Oct 19, 08:47:00 PM 2006, Anonymous Lera said...

Wow, Rava ladoos....yummmmmmmmm.Happy Diwali saffron hut!

At Thu Oct 19, 09:35:00 PM 2006, Anonymous Linda said...

ooh... I don't know which I'd rather try first, the "sand laddoo" or the "cashew laddoo" :)
Adorable stories, and some gorgeous sweets I can aspire to!

At Thu Oct 19, 10:56:00 PM 2006, Anonymous Manisha said...

Don't blame your daughter for thinking that! The very first post I read on your blog was the one about sandy laddoos. And that was what came to mind as soon as I saw these beauties!

You're a wonderful mom and wife, SH. You've made everyone's favorite sweet. What is your favorite sweet? I hope you have someone close to you who will make it for you or with you in mind. Especially during this wonderful festive season.

Happy Diwali to you, your husband and your adorable children!

At Thu Oct 19, 11:32:00 PM 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love Rava laddoos, for some reason I did not even think of these until I saw your blog, but too late now. Lovely Picture!

Happy Diwali to you and your family

At Fri Oct 20, 12:12:00 AM 2006, Blogger Praveena said...

Saffron, you have got a hat trick! Nice treats for Diwali! I can see my halo starting to grow as I attempt to make this for my better half! :)

At Fri Oct 20, 04:29:00 AM 2006, Blogger Nandita said...

Warm Diwali wishes dear - Haha the sand ladoos made me smile once again!

At Fri Oct 20, 06:48:00 AM 2006, Anonymous mandira said...

wow, your ladoo and kaju katli look delicious... kaju katlis are my favorite! Have a wonderful diwali :)

At Fri Oct 20, 07:15:00 AM 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your rava ladoos look good.My mom
makes excellent rava ladoos,it just melts in the mouth.Great photography.

At Fri Oct 20, 08:29:00 AM 2006, Blogger Foodie's Hope said...

Rava Laddo, grainy sandy indeed! Love them!! Thanks!Love the pics too!!

Happy Diwali!!:)

At Fri Oct 20, 08:34:00 AM 2006, Blogger DSR said...

Hi Saafronhut,
I made the Almond Halwaa for Diwali yesterday and came out awesome...received raving review from the family :) Also, can you please post a simple recipe for vegetarian pulav on your blog? I have never been able to perfect that one!
Thanks and HAPPY DIWALI to all!!

At Fri Oct 20, 08:34:00 AM 2006, Blogger DSR said...

Hi Saffronhut,
I made the Almond Halwaa for Diwali yesterday and came out awesome...received raving review from the family :) Also, can you please post a simple recipe for vegetarian pulav on your blog? I have never been able to perfect that one!
Thanks and HAPPY DIWALI to all!!

At Fri Oct 20, 08:38:00 AM 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I make rava laddoos in a different way. That is my MIL's recipe. We roast and grind the rava and add some grated and slightly fried coconut to that mixture along with other ingredients. Yours looks better though...I liked that sandy texture which the other recipe failed to retain.i am going to make it today for the diwali ..thanks for the recipe 'smt.saffron' he.he

At Fri Oct 20, 08:57:00 AM 2006, Anonymous Mythili said...

Where do you live? Tell me tell me tell me..pleasee. I will drive up there... those laddoos are too tempting...

(thats some display of despo)

Great presentation and great photos.

At Fri Oct 20, 01:56:00 PM 2006, Blogger Krithika said...

Delicious looking ladoos. Great pics ! Happy Diwali, SH.

At Fri Oct 20, 01:57:00 PM 2006, Anonymous Indira said...

aah.. poor baby! I hope your darling daughter had a good laugh after tasting these sand laddus.:)

Simply gorgeous, SH, both rava laddus and Kaju sweet.

Happy Deepavali to you and to your lovely family. May your halo expand forever filling us with its warm glow.:)

At Fri Oct 20, 03:20:00 PM 2006, Blogger Faffer said...

Thanks so much for these lovely recipes. The only problem though is I'm unable to decide which of these 3 sweets to make tomorrow :))

Happy Deepavali to you and your family.

At Sat Oct 21, 01:07:00 AM 2006, Blogger Meena Kandlakuti said...

happy u and ur family members....nice dishes for diwali..enjoy!

At Sat Oct 21, 02:11:00 AM 2006, Blogger Menu Today said...

Hi SH,
Yummy Looking laddoos. Nice pic.
Wishing you and your family members "happy Diwali".

At Sun Oct 22, 04:32:00 AM 2006, Blogger Faffer said...

I tried your Badam Halva yesterday. It tasted great! But I couldn't roll it into balls despite refrigerating it. I removed the halva from heat the moment it started to splatter. Thanks for the recipe -it's a keeper. I must share this recipe with my mom, hers calls for atleast 1 cup of ghee!!!

At Sun Oct 22, 08:46:00 AM 2006, Anonymous Lakshmiammal said...

Wow, Great pictures.Great treat for our eyes.

At Mon Oct 23, 11:52:00 AM 2006, Anonymous Sruthi said...

Hi SH,
Scrumptious Delicacies...Yummmy!!!!
I tried your Almond halva,Kaju Kathli n Rava Ladoo.Winner!!!!
you didn't mention the proportion of water needed in rava ladoo....i assumed it to be 1/2 cup.It came out good.
You may not know but i am one of many, many admirers out there but never left comments.I had to this time....Thanks for sharing the recipe.
Happy Diwali and a Prosperous New Year to you and your family.

At Mon Oct 23, 01:52:00 PM 2006, Blogger Saffron said...

Sangeeta surprise? that's a very sweet thought. I'm sure he will love them :)

JfF Your badushah look gorgeous! I'm very tempted to make them now!

Anon About 1/2 cup. Thanks for pointing it out. I've also modified the recipe.

Cooking Memoir Ooh! that sounds good too. I'll wait for it on your blog :)

Shilpa You don't need any inspiration!! you are one of the most regular bloggers around :)

Shoba Thank you!

Priya Cool! I'm sure you will like it :)

Priyamvada Another blogger mentioned the same recipe! Looks like there are many variations of rava laddoo...all very yummy!!

Latha Ya, get in the mood and have a wonderful Diwali!

Vee Lots of lovely treats for your roundup, Vee!

wr Thanks for alerting me! I sent her an email and looks like she has taken it out.

Lera Happy Diwali to you and yours as well!

Linda Thanks so much! I'm sure you will enjoy making them :)

Manisha awww, you are really nice! Thanks! My favorite sweet? hmmm..."all of the above" !!

Shankari Thanks! well, for the next suitable occasion, you know what to make!

praveena Whoa! your halo is blinding me all the way over here!! You must have been busy :)

Nandita, Mandira, Anon, FH Thanks! Happy Diwali to you and your too!

DSR Thanks! glad the recipe worked for you. Stay tuned for a recipe for veggie pulav!

Maneka Yes, this recipe has nice mouthfeel to it. Hope you like it.

MythiliJust a hop away on the 'Net dear!

Krithika, Indira, Faffer, Meena, MT, laxmiammal Thanks for the nice words. Happy Diwali to you and yours!

Faffer From your desc. it seems like the halva could have cooked a little bit more. Anyways, I'm glad you liked the "low-fat" recipe!

Shruti Yay! you tried all 3??
that's wonderful! thanks for the nice words and Happy Diwali to you and yours as well!

At Mon Oct 23, 02:39:00 PM 2006, Blogger Alison said...

Oh does this look yummy or what? I am a healthy cook and always on the look out for healthier versions of our authentic Indian food... will definitely try this!!!

At Mon Oct 23, 03:54:00 PM 2006, Anonymous Priya S&S said...

Hi saffron !
Tried your Kaju Kathli and badam halwa, both taste great ! Thank you !

At Tue Oct 24, 11:31:00 AM 2006, Anonymous rp said...

I think I just grew an extra sweet tooth after visiting your blog.
SH, do you fry the semolina in ghee too? Also you turn off the stove just after adding the semolina and nuts and raisins to the sugar syrup, right? What is the consistency of the mixture then? Would it be like a paste?

At Tue Oct 24, 05:30:00 PM 2006, Blogger Ashwini said...

Saffron you are a loving mom and wife arent you?
I loved, loved all the treats you posted for the festive season.
Hope this year is filled with lots of joy, peace and good food for you and your family :-)

At Tue Oct 24, 06:37:00 PM 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is this the same as Rava Kesari made into balls?

At Wed Oct 25, 06:30:00 AM 2006, Blogger Saffron said...

Alison Welcome! do give it a try..I'm sure you will like it :)

Priya Hey thanks! Glad the recipes worked for you!

RP Yes, yes and yes!! you are correct in all 3 answers :)

Ashwini Oh, you are too kind! Thanks and Best Wishes to you and yours as well.

Anon No, this is different from rava kesari. Kesari is much softer than these laddoos. The water/rava ratio is different.

At Wed Oct 25, 06:43:00 AM 2006, Blogger KrishnaArjuna said...

Laddus look absolutely delicious SH.
Just by looking at all the sweets I have gained some weight :-)

At Wed Oct 25, 04:36:00 PM 2006, Anonymous Anu said...

Yesterday when I read your post, it was about 9PM. I was so tempted seeing the picture that I had to give it a try then itself. I finised making our dinner and made some ladoos. They tasted great. But, when I came back from work and had them today, they were very hard. What do you think went wrong? How long(appx.) should I boil the sugar solution to obtain 1 string consistancy? Thank You

At Fri Oct 27, 02:06:00 PM 2006, Blogger Alison said...

I have been thinking about these sandy treats since I visited your blog... My... do they looko yummy??!!!

I am a new food blogger. I have added your lovely blog to my blogroll. I hope you dont mind!

At Mon Oct 30, 11:36:00 AM 2006, Blogger Saffron said...

KA I know what you mean!! I'm scared to step on the scales sometimes after too much blogging :)

anu If they went hard, then yes, the sugar syrup probably boiled for too long. You can add a few drops of milk to soften the laddoos before shaping them into balls. Boiling time varies with the BTU of the stove, the vessel etc, so I am afraid to give to any times!! I would say it happens quite quickly after the syrup comes to a vigorous boil. Hope that helps!

Alison I'm honored! thanks!

At Sun Dec 31, 09:49:00 PM 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just tried out your rava laddoos as they use a different technique. My earlier ventures havent been very successful. But, these turned out good. But, I too had to use milk to make them easy to work with.Would you mind if I put a link on my blog for your recipe ?
I dont know how this works and thats why I am asking

At Mon Mar 05, 07:09:00 AM 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks a lot for a wonderful recipe


At Mon Nov 05, 06:04:00 AM 2007, Anonymous kamla bhatt said...

Thanks for sharing this recipe. I know the hard work and creativity that goes into making these dishes, and I truly appreciate your sharing them with all of use. I tried this recipe earlier today and here are my notes:

1. Decrease the sugar by a three tablespoons if you are using Indian sugar. In the USA the sweetness of the sugar tends to be a little less sharp. In the current recipe the sugar is a tad too much and I have a very sweet tooth :-)

2. I tossed in a couple of tablespoons of sweetened khoya to cut back on the excess sugar. If you increase khoya by a couple more spoons the rava ladoo takes on a very different flavor, which is actually quite nice.

Once again, thanks.

Kamla Bhatt

At Thu Nov 08, 11:49:00 AM 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I tried out your recipe for laddoos and they turned out just great! Thanks for the detailed instructions. I was a bit apprehensive about the sugar syrup string part, but that went well, whew. I also sprinkled some saffron strands in the rawa and now have some delicious 'Saffron rava laddoos' for Diwali.

At Sat Aug 23, 08:01:00 PM 2008, Blogger Nitu said...

Thanks for the recipe!
It took longer than expected. Initially, rava was floating in the sugar syrup (not sure if I messed up with the one-string consistency). I added almost 1/4 cup more rava and 1/2 cup coconut. It turned out great after that. Not sure if my sweet tooth is less sweeter now, but I agree with one of the earlier comment: we should add little less sugar than what the recipe suggests.

At Tue Jun 16, 11:54:00 AM 2009, Blogger PUSHTIWEBINDIA.COM said...

After visiting page, my wife had tried rava and my god what a taste it was? Really very nice recipe! Keep it up.

Gaurang Goradiya
Website Developer in India

At Tue Sep 08, 02:05:00 PM 2009, Anonymous Rumela said...

First of all thank u so much for posting this recipe :-) I love rava laddoos and more than me, my husband is a big fan of these….I will try to make it when I have all the ingredients around. Looks so simple!! thank you for shearing your post.

At Sun May 16, 10:10:00 PM 2010, Blogger Kosmos said...

hi... nice....

-Ghee Manufacturers-

At Tue Oct 18, 09:58:00 PM 2011, Blogger Poori said...

Looks heavenly.....going to try this out for deepavali next ur blog btw :)

At Mon Mar 21, 12:41:00 AM 2016, Blogger Jayanta Ghosh said...

I came across your blog while looking for some ladoo recipes and liked a lot. How amazing! I will keep an eye on your post.
Hospitality Management courses in kolkata


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