Coconut Ladoo or Nariyal Ladoo/Laddu is an Indian sweet that is made with dried coconut flakes, condensed or dried milk and sugar. All the ingredients are mixed over medium heat and whisked till a soft dough is formed. Ghee is added to add flavor and help roll the dough into spherical balls called Ladoo or Laddu. The consistency of the Coconut Ladoo is like fudge- it’s soft, chewy and melts in your mouth.
Growing up we always had an assortment of Indian sweets around festivities, especially Diwali- Mom would make some and we would buy some from a local sweet shop. Out of the sweet shop box, Nariyal Burfi was my favorite, it’s best described as Coconut Fudge Bars. This Coconut Burfi used to be pink in color- not sure if they added any natural ingredient or used food colors, but it looked so tempting and pretty. Fast forward a few years, I was in California celebrating Diwali on campus with my husband. With limited means and access to Indian sweets, I looked through my mother-in-laws old cookbook, which she had lovingly given to her son, and I found this recipe. Apparently, she used to make this dessert when unexpected guests showed for up for dinner:-) This delectable dessert is made with pantry ingredients and can be done in no time. She made this dough on the stove-top by stirring everything together on medium heat for about 10-15 minutes till a soft dough is formed, cooled the mix and rolled the dough into Ladoos.
Her recipe required continuous stirring for the 10-15 minutes. I wanted to minimize that, so I made her recipe in the microwave. Burnt the first batch, over-dried the second batch and then realized that the microwave heating dries out the coconut mix too early, so added a little milk to the third batch and that came out perfect 🙂 Rolled the ladoos and coated them with desiccated coconut- it looked like fudge covered in snow flakes and tasted divine!
As a fun activity for kids, you can add a few drops of baking food color and makes these coconut ladoos colorful too. Take a look at the picture. I added 2 drops of Wilton Pink Gel Food color to the dough and look how pretty it turned out. I think I was more excited to do this than my kids:-)
10-Minute Coconut Ladoo (Coconut Fudge)Print Recipe
In a microwave safe bowl, take desiccated coconut and heat it for 1 minute, taking it out at 30 seconds and stirring it. This helps the dried coconut become moist and release it's flavor.
Add milk, condensed milk and ghee to the coconut and mix well. Pop it back in the microwave for 2-3 minutes, taking it out EVERY 30 seconds and stirring it well. Since microwave temperatures vary, keep an eye on your mix starting at the 2 minute mark. The coconut mix is done when it forms a soft dough. It takes me 3 minutes to accomplish that texture.
Add cardamom powder and mix well. Take a small portion of the dough in your hands and roll it in a circular motion between your palms to form a soft ball. See the video for clarity on this step. Coat the ladoos in the remaining desiccated coconut. Your coconut ladoos are ready!
Fun Variation Add 2 drops of your choice of gel food color to the dough before forming the ladoos. I added 2 drops of Wilson Pink Gel color to get Pink Coconut ladoos!