Try this recipe for besan ladoos, then check out our kaju katli, spiced coffee kulfi, and more Indian-style recipes.


  • 160g ghee
  • 275g gram flour, sifted
  • 165g cocoa powder
  • 1½ tsp sea salt flakes, plus extra to serve
  • 25g coarse semolina
  • 10 pods green cardamom, seeds crushed to a powder
  • 50g toasted flaked almonds, roughly chopped
  • 175g icing sugar
  • 100g dark chocolate
  • 4-5 sheets edible gold leaf, to decorate (optional)


  • STEP 1

    Melt the ghee in a large pan, then add the gram flour. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 20 minutes, stirring continuously. The mixture will go through a few stages: first, it will feel like a hard clump (keep mixing, pressing into the bottom of the pan, then folding over so it doesn’t burn on the bottom); after 15 minutes, it will start to soften; and after 20 minutes the ghee will start separating, giving you a velvety, thick, custard-like mixture. Keep cooking and stirring for a further 10 minutes. Eventually, it will darken in colour, turn a little grainy and smell nutty. This will take 30-35 minutes.

  • STEP 2

    Very carefully scrape the hot, grainy mixture into a large bowl, then stir through the cocoa, salt, semolina, cardamom and almonds. Cool for 25 minutes, then mix in the sugar, ensuring it’s fully incorporated.

  • STEP 3

    Use your hands to squeeze together golf-ball-sized pieces of the mixture, then arrange on a baking sheet lined with baking paper and chill for 30 minutes.

  • STEP 4

    Remove from the fridge and reshape any that have softened back into balls. Tip the dark chocolate into a heatproof bowl and melt in short bursts in the microwave or over a pan of gently simmering water. Dip the bottoms of the ladoos into the melted chocolate, then return to the lined baking sheet and chill for another 30 minutes until set. Garnish with gold leaf, if using, and a sprinkle of sea salt flakes.


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