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Indian Coconut Ladoo and the story of Ganesh

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Last Sunday we had a friend from India hosting cooking class. She taught the girls (her daughter and mine) how to make Ladoo’s or sweet coconut balls. She said these were Ganesh’s favorite dessert, and so she also read a book about who Ganesh was and how he got his elephant head. While she was cooking with the girls, I took pictures on how to do the entire process, so here’s a photo-documentary on how to make this very yummy and super easy Indian dessert:


1 8 oz. can of sweetened condensed milk
1 cup shredded coconut plus 1/2 cup for rolling
1/2 cup golden raisins
1 tsp ground cardamom (for happiness, as our hostess put it)
1 TBS ghee or clarified butter plus more to oil your hands

How to make them:

making-indian-ladooHeat ghee in a heavy pan under low heat. Add the raisins and move them around for about a minute to moisten them. Transfer to a plate, draining the ghee first.


Next, pour the sweetened condensed milk on the pan.


Add the shredded coconut and mix well, moistening all the ingredients. Add the tsp of cardamom too.

coconut-mix-ladoosCook all the ingredients mixing well, until all the coconut is integrated to the condensed milk.

adding-raisins-ladoos Pour the coconut mix over the raisins and mix well. Let it cool off for about 10 minutes. At this point our hostess used the time to read the story of Ganesh to the girls.

oiling-hands-ladoos Once the mixture is cool, pour some ghee to oil your hands well.

making-ladoos Take a handful of mix and form into a ball with your hands.

Shaping-LadoosTry to make sure each Ladoo has at least one raisin if you can!

Rolling-coconut-ladoos Roll the Ladoo on more shredded coconut.

Finished-Ladoo And you’re done!

Indian-Ladoos-DiwalliShape the rest of the mix into balls to have a whole plate full of delicious Ladoo!

The story we read was in this book:

IMG_1456The story of Ganesh is a little bloody, as it involves a kid who loses his head and needs to have an elephant’s one instead. I also have a book on this myth and is way bloodier than this particular version, where the boy’s head turns into ash instead of being beheaded. I, for one, feel that myths and fairy tales should not be sugarcoated for children, but that’s just me… Hope you enjoy the Ladoo and the story too!

About Erika

Worked in film and TV for several years before having my two wonderful children. Now I try to bring that creative input into my home to raise my kids. Hope you enjoy following this journey!
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  1. These look delicious! We studied India for a year and Ganesh was one of the kids favorite Hindu deities – wish we’d made these treats 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  2. These look so yummy!!!!! I want to try them. I love exposing the kids to many cultures.

  3. Pingback: One of the Oldest Recipes in the World -

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