What do I say about my favorite laddoos….the soft, yellow balls of sheer pleasure that just melt in mouth! Any foodie would vouch for it! Even our Ganpati Bappa….it’s his favorite sweet after all…he loves it when devotees offer modaks (ladoos) during Ganpathi to please him & returns their prayers with blessings & happiness! Even Lord Krishna couldn’t resist himself the temptation of this sweet…his baby form is popularly known as laddoo gopaal among devotees!
Laddoo or laaadoo as we call it is a sweet of good times…a sweet that when shared spreads happiness and foster brotherhood irrespective of caste or class. No matter who voted for whom, when election results are out, no one minds popping up laddoos distributed by the winners. No Independence day function goes complete without laddoos. As kids we used to get up early & rush to sing patriotic songs in our colony’s Independence Day function…just to get an extra laddoo or two distributed after flag hosting. The greed was carried even to the temples where I used to demand the bigger laddoo from panditjee, as if it is the birthright of every child…and with a humble smile, he used to oblige me while my mother used to have this “ye kab sudhreygee”look!
Our relation with laddoos begins the day we come into this world! Laddoos are distributed among family and friends upon the arrival of a laddoo gopaal (little one…since children are an incarnation of God) in the family. I have lost count now of the number of times I have stuffed 2-3 laddoos at a go in my brother’s mouth during Rakhi. It’s a usual sight to see parents distributing laddoos among neighbours when their little champ passes with flying colors (pappu pass ho gayaaa!)…It’s a treat to the eyes when fans of all castes & creeds for once come together to share their pride with laddoos, dhol beats & firecrackers when India wins that cricket series!
Since our auspicious Lord Ganesha is roped in whenever a new chapter of our life begins, how can laddoos be left behind? Whether it’s buying of a car, a new house or beginning of new business, laddoos are everywhere! In the big fat Indian weddings, ladoos are as important as priest … ladoos are a must in the bhaji (or assortment of sweets distributed to relatives and friends during weddings). Bride and groom to be are treated with laddoos when the match is fixed (ooops…finalized) is to bring sweetness in their relationship. A young bride bringing with her laddoos to the family is considered a sign of her bringing happiness, prosperity and sweetness in the family. Laddoos are given to a new mother to recuperate with the physical strain of bearing a child. Any puja, any havan goes incomplete without laddoos. No matter how strict a mother is, her little one stealing laddoos from the home temple is overlooked as it’ s the family’s laddoo gopaal satiating his taste buds!
Who can forget the aroma from box of laddoos our loving mothers send to our hostels! The til (sesame) laddoos prepared by my mother in law during winters is one of the hardest things to resist & I fulfill my duty as a loving bhabhi by secretly doling out special servings to my brother in law, much more than his budgeted per day limit. Whatever be the occasion…a laddoo stuffed in mouth is sure shot mantra to bring a smile on your face…try eating a laddoo without smiling!
Though in India, laddoos come in many varieties, (gramflour, coconut, sesame, edible gum, moong daal), all are progenies of the traditional motichoor laddoos, also known as boondi ladoos. Made of Bengal gram, sugar, nuts and desi ghee (clarified butter), perfecting the art of ladoos is not everyone’s cup of tea. You will find that the flavor of laddoos will change at every shop; each giving its signature flavor to the age old recipe. Laddoos prepared in villages are extra big and extra sweet (just like the people there!)… You and I might not be able to manage more than one laddoo. But it’s a treat for villagers who, used to strenuous physical activity gobble up anywhere between 20-50 ladoos in a single session! As warriors sing their tales of triumph, women at village feasts are often seen sharing counts of ladoos they had…competing with their friends…a’ la Hot dog eating contests!
I’ve been fortunate to savour some of the best ladoos in town. During my sister’s wedding, special Halwai was arranged from the walled city to prepare ladoos to be sent to the groom’s family. My wedding bhaji had a generous quantity of boondi and besan ladoos which I even carried to my honeymoon, much to the amusement of my husband! Such is a Dilliwalla’s love for ladoos.
In Delhi, it’s not hard to find ladoos to suit your palate. Evergreen Sweet House at Green Park market serve awesome motichoor ladoos. Found by a skilled halwai, Late Shri Radha Krishan Chopra in 1961, Evergreen Sweet House export to USA, UK, Italy, Germany, Kuwait, Australia & The Kiwiland! Once on a visit to Goa, our host asked us specially to bring laddoos from Evergreen and the staff at counter swelled with pride when I told him their soaring popularity.
Evergreen Sweet House,
S-29 & 30, Green Park Main Market, New Delhi – 110016.
Phone: + 91-11-26521615/ 26514642
The Haldiram’s & Bikanervala’s too do a decent job at dishing out ladoos. However, the taste may vary from outlet to outlet. After all, every second sweet shop in Delhi is christened Bikanervala !
Any visit to Bengali market goes incomplete without a visit to Nathu’s sweets there. After gorging on their very famous chhole bhature, my taste buds just want their laddoos. They serve really and sumptuous ladoos and it requires a lot of effort to control your temptation beyond 1 laddoo.
23,24,25 Bengali market
23,24,25 Bengali market
Almost every Army person coming back from Jalandhar is seen carrying laddoos from lovely sweets (popularly known as “lovely ke laddoos”) for his family and friends back home. I recently checked their website & u can order ladoos online for 230.00 (a little less than $5.00). I am yet to savour them but have heard so much and really look forward to.
On an official trip to Kanpur, my husband once called me and said he is getting Thaggu ke ladoos….i found the name quite unreal and initially dismissed as a joke but found that “Thaggu ke laddu” really do exist! The name Thaggu, or the hindi word for thief, really steals hearts of those who savour them. The shop is so confident about their ladoos that the packaging mentions “Aisa koi saga nahi jisko humney thaga nahi”….Made from cashews, semolina, nuts, almond etc the ladoos really will steal your hearts away. I loved their special ladoos & doodh peda…a must try. The shopkeeper tells with immense pride about Abhishek Bacchhan having shot the move “Bunty aur babli” there. The owner Mr. During the Ash-Abhishek wedding, the owner of thaggu ke laddu Mr Prakash Pandey even carried a hamper of laddoos prepared specially for the wedding.
Thaggu ke laddu
Outlets at Bada Chauraha, Kakadeo, Swaroop Nagar, Canal Express Road & Govind Nagar in Kanpur
Tewari Bros. at Connaught Place are famous for their desi ghee motichoor ladoos….it’s a small sleepy shop with neat stacks of sweets. The smell of pure ghee surrounds the air the moment you enter the shop. Though heavier on the calorie side, the laddoos are so soft and juicy that they break if not handled with care. Their ladoos just melt in your mouth and the aroma of pure ghee leaves you with a royal feeling.
73, Municipal Market, Connaught Place, Delhi, 110001
Phone: (+91) 11 23411765, (+91) 11 23413313
With so many options to choose from, Delhi is truly a delight for the sweet buds…and the amazing variety of laddoos here will have you asking for more! So, go, take your pic!!!
P.S. A big thanks to Tewari bros. whose laddoos inspired me to share my laddoo thoughts with you. A little heavy inspiration though, as I have almost finished the 250g box and will have to sweat it out in the gym for days to burn it out! But the calories are worth it…a must try whenever you visit Delhi!