These easy to make jaggery and peanut laddus are the perfect pick me ups and guilt-free desserts to make during the festive season. Freshly roasted peanuts and jaggery combine together in these nutty and earthy balls.
Made with peanuts, jaggery, dry fruits powder, and seeds, these peanut laddus are nutrition packed energy balls. You can snack on them for a morning protein boost, or for satisfying an in-between-meals hunger, or a healthy dessert. Jaggery is a healthy, natural alternative to regular sugar. It is rich in fiber, antioxidants, and minerals. Plus the dry fruits powder and hemp and chia seeds add to the nutrition.
With the festival season starting in Indian homes, all families are busy making delicious sweets. I got the idea for these peanut laddus from a fellow blogger, Bhawana when I was looking for Navratri sweet ideas. I wanted to make small gift packs for friends here as a token of start of the Indian festival season! Laddus are perfect for that as they can be easily packed and stored for long.
Normally we make laddus with wheat or semolina or gram flour, all of which are not eaten during the 9 days of Navratri. Navratri is a Hindu festival that marks a change of season. There are two Navratris in the year. Chaitra Navratri which falls during March-April marks a change from spring to summer and Sharad Navratri which falls in October marks the change from autumn to winter. As the seasons change our bodies need time tapt to them and eating a light diet helps in building immunity and preparing our system for the new season. Fasting is a great way to detox and sooth your body. People abstain from foods that are heavy on the digestive system like wheat, rice, onion, garlic, eggs, meat, alcohol etc and eat light meals like Sabudana khichdi and fruit salads.
During Navratri, most people eat fruits and nuts during the day and a full meal for dinner. In our home, mom used to make small healthy treats and keep on the dining table which we could eat to satisfy that little hunger. These peanut and jaggery laddus are perfect for just that! Small, sugar-free, and packed with nutrition. They really do a great job at keeping hunger at bay. And they were perfect as food gifts.
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4 ingredients jaggery and peanut laddus
Ingredients (1cup = 240ml; 1tbsp = 15ml; 1tsp = 5ml)
- ½ cup peanuts
- ⅓ cup jaggery , broken
- 2 tsp dry fruits powder (also add some green cardamom powder and saffron)
- 1 tbsp mix of hemp and chia seeds , optional
- Dry Roast peanuts on low heat. Keep stirring so that they don’t burn.
- Remove on a plate & let cool. Rub the roasted peanuts between your palms to remove the skin.
- Place the peanuts in a mixer and pulse on low. Be careful not to pulse at high speed else you will get peanut butter!
- Add Jaggery & pulse again on low.
- Add dry fruits powder, hemp, and chia seeds. Pulse.
- Open the jar, loosen the mixture with a spoon and pulse again till it is lumpy. The oil from the peanuts is sufficient to bind the laddus together.
- Empty into a bowl and lightly mix with fingers.
- Take a small amount in your palms and press to shape into a ball/laddu.
- Repeat with the remaining mixture.
- Shape the balls once more to press and roll any rough edges and make them into smooth rounds.
- Sprinkle with powdered dry fruits and serve.
- While I have used regular desi jaggery broken into pieces, you can also use jaggery powder or coconut sugar.
- The only step that takes some time in the recipe is removing the skin of peanuts after roasting. I did have quite some peanut skins lying around my kitchen table but it is easy. Just rub the roasted peanuts and the skin comes off.
- Chia and Hemp seeds boost the protein and healthy fats in these laddus but they are optional. The taste is all in the peanuts and jaggery.
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This recipe is also posted on my weekly Indian Express Column: Express recipes