Diwali & Dasara Special Sweet | No deep-fry, Very less ghee Motichur Laddu | Motichoor Ladoo | Healthy Ladoo recipe

Motichoor literally means "crushed pearls" which is usually made by deep-frying the tiny spheres of besan batter in ghee or oil. Those crushed pearls are then soaked in the sugar syrup and shaped into big spheres that we call as Motichoor Ladoo or Motichur Laddu.

Since festivals are coming on the way, everybody would be curious to try different festive sweets, right? For a healthy twist, I make this most famous festive sweet 'Motichoor Ladoo' very healthy using just a tablespoon of ghee. Try this recipe for Dasara or Diwali, and enjoy the festive season without compromising the health and taste.

Motichoor Ladoo is one of the fabulous festive sweets, very popular in the tradition of India. The besan globules, as they are deep-fried, tend to absorb more oil or ghee knocking the mouth-melting sweet out to the unhealthy spot. Having said that, how can we ignore the beautiful Ladoos which would be just ready to melt-in-the-mouth?

So, the idea here is to retain the same texture, colour and taste of the Motichur Ladoo knocking out the unhealthiness from the Motichoor Ladoo. Do you know what I do? I just skip the deep-frying part. But, what shall we do if deep-frying the besan globules is not done? The answer is very simple. STEAM-COOKING.

With the besan flour, the texture would not be perfectly achieved. So, Channa dal is what we use to work perfectly in giving the right texture. Channa dal, after getting involved in a few process would be steam-cooked which let us cross the bridge safely without deep-frying. The Boondi that we gotta get from the Steam-cooked channa dal is perfect to make the Motichoor Ladoo.

What's Special in this Motichoor Ladoo?

  • Usual deep-frying of besan globules is skipped in this recipe. Instead, the Steam-cooking process is followed to make the Motichoor Ladoo healthy.
  • Only one tablespoon of ghee is used to make this Motichoor Ladoo. And the taste just excels like the actual Motichoor Ladoo excluding the greasing oil or ghee in hands.
  • Almost in all the sweet stalls and even in households too, artificial food colouring is added to get the beautiful orange or yellow colour to the Motichur Ladoo. In this recipe, only natural colouring agents like turmeric powder and Kesar is used to make the Motichoor Ladoo more inviting. Both natural colours work great enough to lend the appetizing look to Motichoor Ladoo. Also, adding turmeric powder doesn't impact any change in the taste of Motichoor Ladoo.
  • Rock candy is used here instead of white sugar. You could go for organic sugar as well. Jaggery could be used as a sweetener, but it changes the authentic taste of the recipe.

Few Tricks to make a Perfect Motichoor Ladoo:

  • While grinding the steam-cooked channa dal, make sure it is coarsely ground to get the perfect texture in the Motichoor Ladoo.
  • If deep-fried, the absorption of syrup would be easier for the Boondi. But, for the Steam-cooked Boondi, it has to be soaked in the syrup for a while to better suck up the syrup into the Boondi. So, rest the Boondi in the syrup for about 10 minutes to get the Perfect Motichoor Ladoo.
  • Kesar (or saffron strands) is a great flavour enhancer which also helps in getting the right colour. So, I suggest not skip it in the recipe.
  • I love adding more nuts to my sweets. Cashews, almonds, pistachios & golden raisins are chopped and added here to add a lovely crunch to the Motichoor Ladoo.

Just think of the Boondi that is completely dunked in oil, and compare it to this completely oil-free Steam-cooked Boondi. Though the process involved in this recipe seems to be a bit long, when viewing from the health perspective, this 'No deep-fry' Motichoor Ladoo is the real winner.

Furthermore, you could flavour the Motichoor Ladoos with black cardamom seeds also which gives a strong smoky flavour to the Ladoos. I personally like to use green cardamom pods which I believe would elevate the taste of Indian sweets to the next level.

The mentioned ingredients make 13 delicious and juicy Motichoor Ladoos. This recipe can be easily doubled or tripled to pack them as a healthy festive gift for your neighbours. 

⏲ Soaking time: 1 hour
Preparation Time: 30 minutes 
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
🍴 Yields: 13 Motichoor Ladoos

Motichoor Ladoo

A melt-in-the-mouth, delicious, soft and juicy spheres prepared with besan (channa dal) as the base sticking to 'no deep-fry', 'steam-cooked', and 'very less ghee' version to make them extremely healthy without compromising the taste.

What to Use? [1 cup=200 g]
  • Channa dal - 1 cup
  • Ghee - 1 tbsp
  • Chopped nuts & raisins - 1/4 cup (cashews, almonds, pistachios & golden raisins) 
  • Rock candy - 1 cup (or organic sugar)
  • Water - 1/2 cup
  • Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp (for steam-cooking) + 1/4 tsp (for syrup)
  • Saffron strands (or Kesar) - a few  
  • Cardamom powder - 1/4 tsp

Steps Involved:    
  • Wash and soak a cup of channa dal for an hour.
  • Drain-off the water completely and grind to a coarse paste without adding any water.
  • Add some turmeric powder to the ground channa dal and mix well to get the nice yellow colour.
  • Make small chunks and steam-cook the channa chunks for about 10 minutes.
  • Cooldown the steam-cooked channa chunks and grind to get a coarse Boondi.
  • In a pan, ghee-roast some chopped nuts & raisins and keep aside.
  • To the same ghee, add the Boondi, stir fry for a minute and keep aside.
  • Add water to the rock candy or sugar and make a syrup.
  • Add turmeric powder, Kesar and cardamom powder to the syrup.
  • Add the Boondi to the syrup, mix, close with a lid and allow it to rest for 10 minutes.
  • Now, add the ghee-roasted nuts, mix and make Motichoor Ladoos.
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For comforting the easy understandability of the recipe, the step by step, detailed procedure along with the picture is shown below:

Step-by-Step Procedure with Pictures

How to Make?

  • Take a cup of channa dal in a bowl. Using a good quality channa dal matters a lot in lending an authentic taste to the recipe.
  • Wash the dal twice and soak the channa dal for not more than 1 hour.
  • Drain-off the water completely and transfer the drained channa dal to the mixer jar.
  • Grind to get a slightly coarse paste. Make sure, you grind without adding any water and don't forget to scrape down the sides to evenly grind the channa dal.
  • Add some turmeric powder to the ground mixture and mix well. Turmeric powder adds a nice yellow colour to the channa dal mixture.
  • Make small chunks out of the channa dal mixture and arrange them in a greased idly or idiyappam pan.
  • Cook the channa chunks in the steam for about 10 minutes.
  • Let the steam-cooked channa chunks cool down completely. Transfer to a mixer jar and operate in a 'pulse' mode to get the coarse Boondi mixture.
  • Now, add a tablespoon of ghee to a pan. Just a tablespoon of ghee is enough for this Motichoor Ladoo. You could add more ghee if you want.
  • Chop or slice some almonds, pistachios, cashews and add them along with the golden raisins to the sizzling ghee. Roast them well and keep aside.
  • To the same ghee, add the Boondi. This step is optional. But, adding Boondi to the ghee and stir-frying it for a while helps to absorb the ghee and seep out the soothing aroma.
  • Stir fry the Boondi for a minute and keep it aside. Don't overdo.
  • In a pan, add a cup of rock candy with half a cup of water to make rock candy syrup. You could use organic sugar as well.

  • Add some saffron strands to the syrup. This acts as a flavouring as well as the colouring agent.
  • Add some turmeric powder to the syrup. This helps in adding a nice yellow colour to the Motichoor Ladoo.
  • Add in the cardamom powder to flavour the syrup.
  • Stir well to dissolve the rock candies completely. The syrup has to be just sticky to touch.
  • Add in the Boondi to the syrup and mix well until it gets incorporated with the syrup.
  • Close with a lid and rest the Motichoor Ladoo mixture for about 10 minutes. This soaking time is needed to absorb the syrup into the Boondi and make the Ladoo juicy.
  • Add the roasted nuts & raisins to the Ladoo mixture and mix well.
  • Make Ladoos with the mixture. You could add some ghee to the hands if it is too sticky to form a sphere. You will be getting 13 Motichoor Ladoos from the measurement given above.
  • Garnish the Ladoos with some sliced pistachios and saffron strands. Enjoy the healthy festive sweet with no limits!

Visual Treat:

 Video for "Motichoor Ladoo" recipe:


  • The syrup has to be just sticky when touched with the fingers. If the Ladoo can't hold the shape, the problem should be in the syrup consistency.  Stir the Ladoo mixture for two more minutes and try making Ladoos.
  • The ratio of sugar and water for syrup should be 1:1/2 and the ratio of channa dal and sugar should be 1:1 to get the perfect sweet and juicy Motichoor Ladoo.

Healthy Festive Treat! With no compromise in Taste!


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