Maa laadoo Recipe

A very happy and Prosperous Diwali to all.

Maa laadoo is a sweet dish prepared in Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Maa here is not to be confused with the Hindi Maa meaning mother. Maa here is the short form for Mavu (flour) as this laddu is prepared with the flour of fried dal or pottukadalai or  porikadala ( Tamil and Malayalam ) or  urikadale (Kannada) or chutney Pappu (Telugu) or Dalia (Hindi). This dal is prepared from soaked chana, hence is very nutritious and also since it is prefried, this kadalai is supposed to be easily digestible. May be for this reason, in many temples of Karnataka, powdered porikadalai with sugar is given as Prasadam (that is the Mavu for this laadoo)


Although Boondi laddu  is pronounced as laddu, Maa laadoo for some reason known as Maa laadoo.

This laddu is not very popular in Puthucode, where I grew up. We had only Boondi laddu or kadalai urundai, again prepared with the same dal and jaggery. May be I will post the recipe for that later. I came to taste this laddu during my younger brother’s wedding. His wife is from Southern Kerala, where no function is complete without this laddu. Since then, I had the opportunity of tasting this laddu many times as my dear sister-in-law prepares it quite often. I myself had never prepared this laddu, as I was not sure how this fine flour will keep shape with the strength of only ghee. Last month, when our younger son (need I say, handsome and charming) visited us, I wanted to send some sweets to my adorable and sweet grandchildren. Incidentally somebody was demonstrating Maa laadoo preparation in the TV and I thought let me give a try. Our elder son likes this laddu  often prepared by his aunt, so I braved myself to give it a try.

In the first trial I just prepared with 2 tbsp. of dal and sugar so I could fix the right quantities of various ingredients used. Many a times the proportion of ingredients demonstrated by the presenters of TV shows doesn’t turn out right. My elder son certified the taste and I proceeded to make in larger quantity, this time with 1 cup. I myself was surprised that I could think in terms of tablespoons and 1 cup measurements for preparing sweets. The lessons taught by my wrist problem; Do everything in moderation, you would be ok, try to stress it out , you are in trouble.

The preparation itself is very simple and you  don’t need much ingredients and you don’t have to fry things in oil. Much of the preparation is done away from the stove.

I don’t remember my sister in law frying the dal prior to powdering it, but the TV presenter said to fry it and I fried the dal. The first time I fried it very lightly. And my son said it had a raw taste, so the next time I fried it till a nice aroma arose from the dal .

The net result however was encouraging and I am sure I will prepare this sweet more often in future. 

Now for the recipe.


Fried dal.   1 cup

Sugar.         1 cup

Ghee.          1/2 cup

Cardamom powder 1 tsp.


Whole cardamom.  2 nos.

Cashew nuts 1 tbsp.

Raisins.     1 tbsp.


Roast the fried dal until a nice aroma comes out of it, for about 2 to 3 minutes. Be careful not to over fry or it will have a burnt taste. A very light pink colour is good enough. If you are using whole cardomom add to the dal  at the end of roasting. 

Powder the dal and sugar and cardomom together to a very fine powder.

Heat 1 tbsp of ghee, fry the cashew nuts and raisins, and add to the powdered mixture.

Take the powdered mixture in a wide mouthed pan or a shallow plate. Heat the remaining ghee, without smoking it. Add to the powder and  mix well. Allow it to cool a bit. Shape into small laddus   still warm. Your tasty Maa laadoos are ready to be savoured.


Happy Diwali.


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