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A traditional recipe: trade in high-calorie sweets for tasty healthy Indian treat

POSTED February 18, 2022

A traditional recipe: trade in high-calorie sweets for tasty healthy Indian treat

Children, women and the elderly are said to have a lot to benefit from this time-honoured snack

By P. Sree Latha, program director, Rural Organization for Poverty Eradication Services, one of our partners in India

Laddoo balls, a tasty healthy Indian treat

Did you know a staple food of ancient India was millet, a grain from the grass family?

Our forefathers in India ate millet to keep strong and live a long, healthy life. Sweet and tasty, millet is packed with fibre, protein, amino acids, calcium, iron, zinc, folic acid, vitamin B and more.

The health benefits of millet have be lauded for centuries. In fact, this grain is said to support digestion, improve appetite, improve sleep and lactation for new moms, among other benefits, including being extremely nourishing, especially to children, the elderly, pregnant women and new moms.

What’s better? The ingredients in this nutty, healthy Indian treat are easily accessible and affordable.

So, next time you sip your tea in the evening, consider complementing it with this tasty treat as an alternative to high-calorie, processed food.

Laddoo recipe (or Nutri powder)


Foxtail millet

Horse gram   

Bengal gram (chickpea) 

Green gram (mung)  

Indian corn       

Black gram (vigna mungo)

Finger millet   

Little millet  






Pearl millet

Sorghum millet

Proso millet

Kodo millet

Barnyard millet


250 grams

250 grams

250 grams

250 grams

250 grams

250 grams

250 grams

250 grams

250 grams

250 grams

250 grams

250 grams

250 grams

250 grams

250 grams

250 grams

250 grams

250 grams

1,000 grams


  • Combine all ingredients, except jaggery, in an iron or aluminum pan and roast on the stove’s low setting until golden brown. Keep a close eye to avoid burning.

Ingredients for laddoo powder in an aluminum dish

  • After cooling, use a food processor to grind the ingredients into fine granules and set aside.

Laddoo powder in an aluminum tray

  • In a separate pan, heat jaggery with enough water to create a syrup.
  • Combine wet and dry ingredients and form into small round balls. (No need to refrigerate unless you plan to store them for longer than seven days.)

Forming laddoo balls, close up of hand


145 Nutri Laddoo balls

Alternative preparation options

  • You can mix jaggery with warm milk and ghee instead of water, but the Laddoo balls will only keep for five to seven days.
  • Instead of making Laddoo, you can eat the powder (which has a shelf life of about 15 days) or mix it with milk.
  • You can cut the recipe in half to make 72 Laddoo balls if less is needed.

To learn more about our programs in India, visit

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