My mom’s coconut laddu

Everyone has something or the other that never fails to remind them of their childhood. For me it has to be khoye ki barfi and coconut laddu. I spent my childhood in a small town of Madhya Pradesh and my grandmother was a few hours away from us. Everytime we would go visit my grandmother, my mom would make either homemade khoya and fresh barfi out of them or she would make these awesome coconut laddus. I still taste them just talking about them.
A day before we were supposed to leave my mom would spend hours grating coconuts and then make the laddus. Of course by the time we would get there, grandma’s share would be nearly gone. Every time I make them I end up talking with my mom as if for assurance if nothing else. I have to tell you that its one of the simplest recipes. But I still have moments where I feel I am not hitting the right tones. You may be off by bit but you can never go wrong with it! So here it is … my mom’s coconut laddu recipe.

1 cup shredded coconut
1 cup sugar
2-3 cardamom

My mom used to grate fresh coconut without peeling the dark skin off but I just used the store bought shredded coconut. You can go with either of them according to the convinience. Then I just heat a thick bottom pan and throw in shredded coconut. Keep stirring the coconut till it gets hot. Once its hot you’ll notice that it starts to lose oil and you know that its time to add sugar.

Heat will melt sugar and mix it to the coconut making it sticky. When that happens, you know that its time to turn off the heat and let it cool a little.

Crush the cardamom seedsΒ and mix them into the mixture.
Wet your hands, take about 1 tablespoon of the coconut mixture in the hand and make balls out of it. Total mixture should make about 8-10 laddus.


  1. hi Prerna,

    my mother in law made coconut ladoos this diwali using milkmaid(condensed milk). they are my husband favourite plus its very easy to make.
    i like its shape to be just as small as the marbles.

  2. Hi Prerna, I love your photographs.

    I’ve tried this recipe, but it doesn’t seem to work for me. The coconut doesn’t leave any oil. I put it on the lowest heat possible and wait for it to leave oil, but before it does that – it turns brown. So I tried again and again. I decided to add in the sugar as soon as the coconut begins to brown on low heat, but then the sugar doesn’t melt on low heat and if I turn it up, then the coconut browns and it turns out crispy. What can I do to fix this?

    Thank you. πŸ™‚

    P.S. Is there a way I can use milk or something else to help it stick together? I’ve seen other recipes that use milk, but I rather like your recipe and I’m adamant about making it work! πŸ™‚

  3. Instead of crushing the cardamom seeds, can I just used cardamom powder? Or will it not be the same? And after I make the balls, I don’t fry them or anything of that sort? It’s ready to serve?

    Thank you. πŸ™‚

  4. i’m happy to have stumbled onto your site. indian cuisine is tremendous and much-loved by my fiancée and i. i try to make something new each week, so i’ll have to follow you for ideas! i’ve never seen a dessert like this at the indian markets or restaurants. i’ll have to ask my father if he came across it during his travels there.



  5. Hey Deepti,
    Good to see u here! Yes I’m from M.P. I’ve lived for the most of the time in Indore but right now my parents r located i Bhopal.

  6. This looks so straightforward to make, yet absolute delicious! Wondering if you have a recipe for burfi too? I’ve tried to make some, but they always come out very soft (so much so that they don’t hold their shape).

  7. Hey Ms. Meanie,
    I’m so sorry the recipe didn’t come out great on first try.. It does take a lot of trial and error until the perfect result comes out.
    Did you use super finely shredded coconut? The thicker ones don’t often stick together well.
    Coconut doesn’t leave a lot of oil but you can see your dry pan getting shiny that’s when you have to add sugar.
    Usually in American stores you get sweet shredded coconut you don’t really use that.Use the unsweetened one.
    Also don’t heat your pan on high. Keep it on low that would slowly heat the coconut and that would keep it from browning and burning. and don’t cool the mixture all the way. It still needs to be hot enough to be able to turn into balls but it should be cool enough for you not to burn yourself.
    I hope these tips would help. Let me know how it went and if still doesn’t turn out great don’t worry because it took me a while as well to get to that perfect sticky mixture.

  8. Hi Prerna,

    You have a beautiful site! I tried making this recipe and it did not work for me. The coconut did not seem to release enough oil for the mixture to stick together. I cooked it for a while and the coconut just browned before it released the oils. I then added the sugar, but the mixture did not stick — it was basically coconut flakes and sugar. Do you know what I did wrong? Thanks!

  9. I’ve always been a big fan of coconut laddus but never really had the knowledge or courage to make one but now seeing how fast it is I might try making them for sure.
    Hopefully they’ll look as pretty and taste as good as urs.

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