Hello peeps. The more I make certain Indian recipes, family recipes, the more I am convinced our parents, our ancestors generally knew how to treat their bodies and what sort of food to put inside them :). The so called energy balls that is now such a craze amongst so many (+1 me :)) was something that was normal in our parents gen and their parents gen. No one called them energy balls/ bliss balls etc, no one dissected the various elements of goodness in it and why these should be consumed every now and then, no one dissected the amount of protein per ball consumed either :). I love all energy balls/ bars and I make them quite a bit but when I was making these malaadus I was smiling :). Cos growing up we considered these as sweets and that’s what is stuck in my head till date. I made these for diwali and as I was rolling these into balls is when I was smiling when I realised this is actually healthy :D. Looking at maalaadu in a completely different light now :D.

Anywho, maalaadu transports me back to my childhood and involves my Chandra perima (Amma’s elder sister). I loved her maalaadus (my favourite till date) the most and when she came to meet me in my hostel once, she made a huge batch of maalaadus for me and my friends :). I love how food either kindles or creates memories :D. My cousin Madhu (perima’s daughter) makes these laadus ditto and infact over the years now she has added more health elements to the simple humble and awesome maalaadu but somehow has succeeded in retaining that base taste. I have been meaning to learn this recipe from her for so long and finally a weeks back when I was in her house watched her make it and noted down the measurements & steps. I am so so thankful & grateful to anyone who is taking the time out to teach me my favourites. Thanks Mad and thanks Peri :). Made sure to make a batch of these for diwali and gave it to a few friends as well. Some friends liked it so much that out of the list of savouries & sweets we gave a few specifically asked for this :). My baker friend Accu & her entire family loved this. Getting a thumbs up & love from Ron (Accu’s second) is super hard. He is a very picky and choosy eater cos he mega eats first with his eyes, then nose and only then mouth :D.

So peeps, make these and you will love these. I am not kidding but I would be very surprised if anyone dislikes this. My dear lovely jovely north indian friends, this is not besan laddoo hehehehe.

Prep Time
5 mins
Making balls
10 mins
Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 40 small balls
  • 1.5 cups pottu kadalai/ roasted gram/ roasted channa dal
  • 0.5 cups almonds
  • 3 tsp flax seeds
  • 9 nos roughly pounded caradamom
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup melted ghee
  1. Using a mortar pestle, roughly pound the cardamom pods.

  2. In a mixer jar (medium size in mine), place all dry ingredients except sugar – 1.5c pottu kadalai, 05.c almonds, 3t flax seeds, 9 roughly pound cardamom pods, Give it a rough mix with your fingers/ silicon spatula.

  3. Grind till you have a fairly smooth powder (just make sure to scrape the bottom whenever you open to check till you get the powder consistency).

  4. Now add 1c sugar and grind it all till smooth.

  5. Dunk the powder mixture on to a wide bowl.

  6. Heat 1/2c melted ghee in microwave for 1 minute.

  7. Pour 3/4th of the hot ghee over the powder mixture and slowly start mixing them together.

  8. Pour the remaining ghee as well if your mixture is just crumbles and isn't coming together. I used the entire 1/2c ghee and it was perfect.

  9. The consistency we are looking for is something where you can form a few big balls without it breaking (we are not looking for 1 big pliable dough).

  10. At this stage, start making small firm balls using roughly 1-1.5tbsp of the mixture.

  11. You can store these at room temperature in an airtight container easily for a few weeks.

Recipe Notes
  1. If you want to make these nutfree, then just use 2 cups pottu kadalai/ roasted bengal gram.
  2. These maalaadus are nice and sweet. So if you are looking for something a tad less sweeter or generally want to keep it healthier, use 3/4c sugar. 
  3. You are most welcome to swap white sugar with brown sugar or coconut sugar or jaggery powder. This is something that reminds me of my childhood so I don’t want to make it healthier than what my cousin has made right now :).
  4. You won’t be able to make firm balls if the ghee is either more or less. More, the balls will form but break when you try and make it firm. Less, you cannot even form balls :).
  5. Make sure to warm the ghee. You can also heat the ghee on stovetop. 

Stepwise pictures

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