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Rich and nourishing, these easy to make sweet treats (traditionally known as laddus) are perfect for Diwali and for the winter season that follows. My partner, Chef Sanjai, and I had so much fun when he made these delights for our own Diwali celebrations.
Laddus were traditionally meant to be desserts, but who’s stopping you from having them as an anytime snack!
Almond flour – 1 cup
Dried Figs – 5/6 pieces
Ghee – 3-4 tsp.
Sugar – ½ cup
Saffron – 1/8th tsp.
Green Cardamom – 8/10 pods
Rose water (optional) – ½ tsp.
Soak saffron in 2 tsp of hot water.
Soak the figs in 1 cup of hot water for about 30 minutes.
Discard the water, and puree the figs in a blender.
Heat a pan on medium heat, add about ½ tsp. ghee and the figs puree, stirring continuously until it becomes dark and dough-like consistency. Set aside.
In the same pan, add about 1/3 cup of water, then add sugar, dissolve to make simple syrup. Mix until it thickens to one strong consistency. Add saffron water and let it become fragrant.
Add the almond flour, cardamom seed powder, and 2 tsp. ghee to the saffron simple syrup. Mix well until a smooth dough-like consistency is reached so that it doesn’t stick to the pan.
On a smooth surface – clean kitchen counter, granite stone, or on a layer of aluminum foil on your chopping board – apply the ¼ tsp. ghee and gently spread it all over.
Put the almond dough on this surface, let it cool a little, then knead it like a dough (at this stage you can add rose water, if using) and roll it into cylindrical shape. Do the same to the fig dough. Lay the two dough rolls side by side.
Twist both rolls into one, break off smaller pieces, and roll them into laddus. Garnish with slivered almonds more saffron if you'd like - it's Diwali after all!
Tip: Use almond flour made of blanched almonds. If not using flour, you can soak whole almonds for 1 hour, peel the skin, dry, and make into flour.
Acharya Shunya is a globally-recognized spiritual teacher and Vedic lineage-holder who awakens health and consciousness through the Vedic sciences of Vedanta, Ayurveda and Yoga. Her life partner, Chef Sanjai has resurrected forgotten yet seasonally pertinent, healing and delicious ancient recipes and developed original recipes too, inspired by ancient Ayurvedic texts from 1 BCE to 16 CE.
Together, for the last 12 years, they have been the driving force behind their wisdom school Vedika Global's much awarded Ayurveda program, Alchemy through Ayurveda with its emphasis upon health through in depth knowledge of healing foods, spices and recipes.
Check out Acharya Sunya's best-selling book on the Vedic art of mind + body + soul well-being and health, Ayurveda Lifestyle Wisdom (Sounds True, 2017), which highlights Chef Sanjai's top 30 recipes for everyday health, spring detox, overcoming indigestion, etc. They have also recorded a unique series of classes together available in the Ayurveda Ancestral Herbal Library. In these classes, they share rare, lineage-based Ayurvedic recipes for handcrafting health with the power of Ayurvedic superfoods, spices, herbs and garden flowers. They are now co-authoring an Ayurvedic Cookbook. Acharya Shunya's second book with Sounds True is to be released in 2020, titled, Sovereign Self, Claim Your Inner Joy and Freedom with the Empowering Wisdom of the Vedas, Upanishads, and Bhagavad Gita. She is a keynote speaker at national and international conferences and serves as an advisor to the Indian Government in matters pertaining to global integration and cultivation of Ayurveda and Yoga.