These round treats are a coconut lover’s dream — and best of all, they’re just three ingredients. Coconut laddoo is a type of mithai, or sweet, typically found in South Asian shops and served for celebratory occasions. While many types of mithai are milk- or nut-based, this one lets the coconut do all the talking, and a little bit of cardamom provides a floral edge. This particular variety is a crowd favorite at Jayasri Sweets in Herndon, Va., and the recipe comes from the shop’s owner, Jayasri Gampa. This recipe works best with fresh coconut (frozen is fine); dried coconut doesn’t have enough moisture for the mixture to hold together.
- Serves: 16 persons
- 4cups/480 grams lightly packed unsweetened grated frozen (thawed) coconut, or grated fresh coconut
- 4cups/804 grams granulated sugar
- ¼teaspoon ground cardamom (optional)
Step 1Combine the coconut and sugar in a large, heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven and mix well. Cook on medium-low heat, stirring frequently and scraping the side and bottom of the pot, until the sugar has melted and starts to bubble, about 15 minutes.
Step 2Remove from the heat and stir in the cardamom, if using, until incorporated. Let cool slightly, undisturbed, until the mixture forms a very slight crust on the surface but is still moist and sticky underneath, 20 minutes.
Step 3Using your hands, form the mixture into 2-inch balls (you can make smaller balls if you prefer). Let cool until the laddoos are firm, 10 to 15 minutes. Serve the coconut laddoos immediately or store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.