The Pretend Chef

Indian coconut ladoo

soft, sweet and flavourful Indian coconut ladoo

Desserts/ finger food, Recipes | April 24, 2016 | By

Indian coconut Ladoo is soft, flavourful and sweet, it tastes like caramelized coconut ice-cream. Quite similar to Nigerian Coconut candy, but with the addition of milk, it is delectable to the max. It is normally made with freshly grated coconut and is soft but not crumbly.

Indian cuisine is very rich and diverse, their range of sweets, snacks and side dishes always amaze me. During my A’levels studies, I had an Indian form master, Mr Ahmed, who was a very jovial man. Towards the end of our year with him, he invited the class over to his house for a farewell get-together. When we got there, his wife had prepared such an array of snacks and sweets, we were all touched and astonished. Touched by the kind gesture and astonished at the variety that was set before us. That was my second major encounter with Indian food and I was bought over.

So I’d just finished extracting coconut milk from fresh whole coconuts for use in my exquisite Nigerian coconut rice and had the leftover chaff in the sieve.


whole coconut for Indian coconut ladoo

This particular chaff still had some milk in it, so I decided to go Indian with it and make Indian Coconut Ladoo.

shredded coconut for Indian coconut ladoo



  • You can insert a nut or a bit of fruit in the middle.
  • Food colouring can be added to Indian Coconut Ladoo before moulding for a more exciting presentation.
  • It can also be rolled in grated coconut after moulding.

To make Indian Coconut Ladoo:

1 1/4 cup freshly grated coconut
2 cups warm milk
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon cardamom powder or 4-5 pieces whole or crushed.(see below for alternatives)
some nuts or fruits


Put warm milk and sugar in a blender and mix on high speed till well blended.

Put the grated coconut in a saucepan or frying pan, add the milk/sugar mix.

shredded coconut in coconut milk for Indian coconut ladoo

Add the cardamom.

shredded coconut, coconut milk, cardamom in sauce pan for Indian coconut ladoo

Stir and set over medium-high flame.

Bring to a boil and reduce heat.

Stir from time to time, until it thickens and the liquid has almost all evaporated.

Indian coconut ladoo bubbling in sauce pan

Indian coconut ladoo bubbling in sauce pan

Add colouring if using. Stir continuously until it starts leaving the sides of the pan.

Indian coconut ladoo in sauce pan

Empty the hot Ladoo into a tray, spread it out and leave to cool.

Indian coconut ladoo in tray

When cool, rub some ghee or vegetable oil on your hand, take a bit of the Indian Coconut Ladoo, and mould into a ball. Put in a plate, or roll in grated coconut.

If you are using nuts, take a bit of ladoo, mould into a ball, make a hole with your thumb and insert fruit or nuts. Cover and roll again.

soft, sweet and flavourful Indian coconut ladoo  

Serve with a mango lassi.


  • You can use other flavourings in place of cardamom e.g lemon or orange rind (grated or whole. If whole, removed before moulding), allspice, lemon grass, scent leaf, mint or vanilla.
  • Usually, the brown part of the coconut flesh is peeled off to make ladoo, but I don’t bother. The brown bits actually give it character, or maybe I am just too lazy to bother.
  • Indian Coconut Ladoo is normally made with freshly grated coconut and not the chaff, I just wanted to repurpose this chaff. Thrifty me!
  • Try coating it with chocolate syrup, delicious.

If you enjoyed my Indian coconut ladoo, you will also enjoy my Funnel cake, Sugar cookies, Hush puppies, coxinha, Brazilian chicken fritters and Tigernut energy balls.

Do you have any comments, questions or suggestions, please leave a comment below.

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  1. Chinasa
    May 13, 2016

    Will definitely try it out

    • gaga
      May 13, 2016

      @Chinasa, Please do try it and let us know how it turned out.

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