Coconut Ladoo Recipe (2 ingredients!)

October 17, 2020

Coconut ladoo are an easy Indian sweet treat to make to celebrate Navratri or Diwali. My simple recipe uses just 2 ingredients and comes together in minutes!

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Prep Time 15 mins

Cook Time 5 mins

Total Time 20 mins

a person holding a plate of coconut ladoos

So Navratri is pretty much cancelled this year, but that doesn’t stop us from having fun at home! Aside from garba and dandiya, my favourite thing about Navratri has to be the food. Namely these coconut ladoos. These perfect little bites of sweetness are a must-make for coconut lovers, and the recipe is foolproof!

To make coconut ladoo, you need just 2 ingredients: desiccated coconut and condensed milk. It’s really that simple!

a dish of coconut ladoos garnished with flowers and chopped pistachios

Desiccated coconut vs. shredded coconut

It’s important you use the right sort of coconut for this recipe so the coconut ladoo mixture holds together. If you live in the United States, you may find shredded coconut in your supermarket – this is NOT what we want for coconut ladoos!

Shredded coconut is a lot larger and strandier than desiccated coconut which is finer in texture. If you cannot find desiccated coconut in your supermarket, you can make your own at home using this handy guide from Alpha foodie!

Can I make coconut ladoo with condensed coconut milk?

Yes! This recipe is easily made vegan by using condensed coconut milk in place of the condensed milk. I like Nature’s Charm brand!

a tower of coconut ladoos

How to make coconut ladoo step-by-step:

The first step to making coconut ladoo is to lightly toast the coconut in a frying pan until it *just* starts to turn golden (photo 1). Toasting the coconut brings out the flavour, so definitely don’t miss this step!

Next, we’ll drizzle the condensed milk into the toasted coconut (photo 2). I can’t be the only one who’s obsessed with condensed milk? Like, could eat it straight off the spoon level of obsessed?

how to make coconut ladoo steps 1+2

It’s important not to add all of the condensed milk at once, to ensure we have the right consistency (photo 3).

At this point, try to roll a ladoo and assess the consistency. You are aiming for the mixture to be slightly sticky to the touch, and you should be able to roll the ladoos by first pressing the mixture within your hand (by folding your hand in half) and finally using the centre of both hands to roll the ladoo into a perfect sphere (photo 4).

how to make coconut ladoo steps 3+4

Tips for making this recipe perfectly:

  • Immediately transfer the toasted coconut to a mixing bowl. Once your desiccated coconut just begins to turn golden-brown, remove it from the heat and transfer the coconut to your mixing bowl. If you leave it in the pan it will toast further and can even burn. Not cool.
  • Add the condensed milk gradually. The mixture should be slightly sticky to touch before rolling out – once you attempt to roll the ladoos you will soon tell whether the mixture is perfect in consistency or whether it needs more coconut/condensed milk.
  • Wash your hands in between rolling. Once you’ve rolled out 3-4 ladoos you may notice them to start having a rough exterior as opposed to a smooth one. This is due to the excess coconut on your hands – once you wash your hands, your rolled ladoos will be nice and smooth again!
close up of some coconut ladoo

Variations on this recipe:

Coconut ladoos are perfectly delicious alone, but if you’re feeling extra, try one of these tasty upgrades:

  • Add 1/4 tsp cardamom powder. This is my personal favourite as I am cardamom OBSESSED at the moment!
  • Mix in a little rose syrup. This sticky pink liquid has delightful rose flavour and produces beautiful looking (and tasting) pink ladoos!
  • Add some ground pistachios to make coconut pistachio ladoos! You could also try subbing part of the condensed milk for homemade pistachio almond butter to add extra flavour.
  • Add 1-2 tbsp cocoa powder. This one’s for the chocoholics! I recommend mixing the cocoa powder into the desiccated coconut before adding the condensed milk to ensure its well incorporated.

Some like to coat the ladoos in sugar after rolling. You could even mix some hundreds and thousands into the sugar for extra colour! You can also garnish your ladoo with chopped pistachios, almonds or even rose petals!

coconut ladoo on a dish

Ways to use up leftover condensed milk:

This recipe uses 1/2 cup condensed milk, and even after taking account potential condensed milk addictions, you may have a little left over!

A particularly tasty way to use up leftover condensed milk is to make Vietnamese iced coffee – a delightful upgrade on the classic iced coffee that replaces milk and sugar with condensed milk. If you have a sweet tooth you’ll love it! I like to make my classic iced latte recipe sans sugar and add condensed milk to taste.

And of course, another way to use up your excess condensed milk is to make some more ladoos! This recipe is easily doubled or even tripled to accommodate a larger crowd.

More Indian recipes:

I hope you have a great Navratri, friends! And as always, let me know if you try this recipe! If you do, I’d love for you to tag me on Instagram @shivanilf using the hashtag #shivanilovesfood so I can see how it goes šŸ™‚

a girl holding a plate of coconut ladoos

Coconut Ladoo Recipe (2 ingredients!)

Coconut ladoo are an easy Indian sweet treat to make to celebrate Navratri or Diwali. My simple recipe uses just 2 ingredients and comes together in minutes!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 10 ladoos
Calories: 161kcal
Author: Shivani Raja

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups/ 150 grams Desiccated Coconut
  • 1/2 cup/ 165 grams Condensed Milk or condensed coconut milk
  • 1/4 tsp Ground Cardamom optional; see recipe notes for variations

Instructions

  • Add the desiccated coconut to a frying pan or wok over medium heat. Warm the coconut, stirring frequently, until it just begins to brown. At this point, take the pan off the heat and immediately transfer the coconut to a medium-size mixing bowl.
  • Add roughly 3/4 of the condensed milk to the bowl and stir with a spatula until well-combined. We are aiming for a mixture which is slightly sticky to the touch – the best way to tell is to try to roll a ladoo and see if the mixture holds together. Adjust the consistency by adding more condensed milk or coconut until you can easily roll the ladoos.
  • When rolling the ladoos, I use a two-step method: first press the mixture within your hand (by folding your hand in half), switching between hands as necessary, and secondly use the centre of both hands to roll the ladoo into a perfect sphere.
  • Enjoy the ladoos plain, or coat in sugar after rolling. You can also garnish your ladoo with chopped pistachios, almonds or even rose petals!

Shivani’s Tips

  • Recipe variations:
    • Mix in a littleĀ rose syrup.Ā This sticky pink liquid has delightful rose flavour and produces beautiful looking (and tasting) pink ladoos!
    • Add someĀ ground pistachiosĀ to make coconut pistachio ladoos! You could also try subbing part of the condensed milk forĀ homemade pistachio almond butterĀ to add extra flavour.
    • AddĀ 1-2 tbsp cocoa powder. This oneā€™s for the chocoholics! I recommend mixing the cocoa powder into the desiccated coconut before adding the condensed milk to ensure its well incorporated.
  • Tip: Running low on desiccated coconut to adjust the consistency of your mixture? Try adding a little coconut flour instead!Ā 
Ā 

NUTRITION

Serving size: 1 ladoo
Calories: 161 kcal | Fat: 12.3g | Saturated Fat: 10.6g | Cholesterol: 5mg | Sodium: 26mg | Carbohydrates: 12.4g | Fiber: 2.8g | Sugar: 9.6g | Protein: 2.4gĀ 

Did you make this recipe?

Tag me on Instagram @shivanilf and use the hashtag #shivanilovesfood!

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