Ragi ladoo / finger millet laddu step-by-step recipe with photos.
About this recipe
Ragi ladoo (nachni ladoo / finger millet laddu) is a delicious refined sugar-free treat made with ragi (finger millet), almonds, and jaggery. These healthy and nutritious ladoos are great for snacks and sweet cravings. They are great make-ahead snacks that are easy to eat and can be packed in lunch boxes.
They are gluten-free, refined sugar-free, and can easily be made vegan-friendly by replacing ghee with coconut oil. They are made with three main ingredients - ragi, almonds, and jaggery.
I really like this recipe as it does not involve making any syrup from jaggery, and checking the string consistency. It is suitable for beginners and can be made even if you have not made ladoos before.
Read on for ingredients, its substitutes, how to store them, and tips for making the perfect ragi laddu.
Benefits of finger millet
Finger millet is a staple of many regions in Karnataka. It is called ragi in Kannada, nachni in Hindi, and ragulu in Telugu. Ragi is considered one of the most beneficial millets and is associated with several health benefits. Ragi is considered to be beneficial in weight management and it helps with controlling blood sugar levels.
This gluten-free grain is high in dietary fiber and has a low GI. This millet is a great source of plant-based protein and is rich in calcium and iron.
Click here to read more about different millets and their benefits.
Ingredients and Substitutes
Ragi flour: I use ragi or finger millet flour for this recipe. Bajra or pearl millet flour also works well for this recipe.
Ghee: I use ghee to make these ladoos. It can be replaced with coconut oil for a vegan version.
Jaggery: The jaggery I used is soft and melts easily. If you are using hard jaggery, grate it before adding. You may also use jaggery powder instead.
Almonds: I like to make this ladoo with almonds. Walnuts or cashew can also be used instead of almonds. You may also use a mix of different nuts.
Sesame seeds and dried coconut: I add these along with almonds.
Step by step instructions
Dry roast almonds, sesame seeds, and coconut separately. Let it cool completely (steps 1,2,3).
Grind them into a coarse powder once they cool down completely (step 4).
Heat ghee and add ragi. Fry on low-to-medium heat for 12-15 minutes, until the raw smell goes (steps 5,6).
Turn off the heat and add the jaggery. The jaggery should just melt and mix with ragi. The heat in ragi is sufficient (steps 7,8).
Combine the ragi with the powdered almond. Mix well (steps 9,10).
Pinch out small portions of the mixture and make a round ladoo. Repeat with the rest of the mixture (steps 11,12).
Storing nachni ladoo
Finger millet ladoo stays fresh at room temperature for up to one week. Let the laddu cool completely before storing. Place them in an air-tight container and store them at room temperature. When taking the ladoo out, make sure your hands are clean and dry.
Any moisture can reduce its shelf life. If the weather is very humid or if the temperature is very high, you may also store it in the refrigerator. Make sure you bring it to room temperature before serving.
Frying the ragi well is very important. It should be completely done and the raw smell should go, and at the same time, it should not burn.
Always fry the ragi on low flame. Be patient and do not increase the flame as the ragi can burn quickly, which will make the ladoo bitter.
You will know the ragi is done when the mixture begins to come together and it starts to leave the sides of the pan. It should take 12-15 minutes.
Turn off the heat when you add jaggery. We just want the jaggery to melt and come together with ragi. The heat in ragi is sufficient to melt the jaggery.
The jaggery I used is soft and melts easily. If you are using hard jaggery, grate it before adding. You may also use jaggery powder instead.
I use ½ cup jaggery and this gives perfect sweetness as per our liking. You may increase the amount to ¾ cup if you prefer a sweeter nachni laddu.
I like to grind the almonds, sesame seeds, and coconut into a slightly coarse powder. This adds great texture to the ladoo. You may choose to grind it into a fine powder. If you are grinding it into a fine powder, take care not to over-process it as it will release fat and have a buttery texture.
Make the ladoo when the mixture is still warm. Do not let the ragi mixture cool down as it will be difficult to make ladoo if the mixture cools down.
If you are unable to make ladoo, heat 1 tablespoon ghee and add it to the mixture.
Click here for more ladoo recipes.
This sweet treat is:
- refined sugar-free and gluten-free
- very healthy
- can be easily made vegan by replacing ghee with coconut oil
- easy to make
Ragi Ladoo | Finger Millet Laddu
- Dry roast almonds in a frying pan until they are crispy. Set aside and let it cool completely
- Next, dry roast sesame seeds until they are light brown. Set aside and let it cool completely
- Next, dry roast desiccated coconut until they are light brown. Set aside and let it cool completely
- Grind the almonds, sesame seeds, and desiccated coconut once they are cooled. Grind into a slightly coarse powder
- Heat ghee in the frying pan and let it melt completely
- Add ragi once the ghee is melted
- Fry on low-to-medium heat for 12-15 minutes, until the raw smell goes
- The ragi is done when it starts to come together and the ghee begins to release
- Add cardamom powder and mix well
- Turn off the flame
- Add jaggery and mix well. The jaggery should just melt and mix with ragi. The heat in ragi is sufficient
- Combine the ragi with the powdered almond. Mix well
- While the mixture is still warm, pinch out small portions of the mixture and make round ladoo
- Serve immediately or store in an air-tight container
Click here to watch nachni ladoo web story.