Wednesday, September 26The Voice of London

Diwali Sweets: How to make and what to avoid

Today marks the start of the festival of lights – Diwali. For a lot of people this is a wonderful time to make incredible food. Unfortunately, I’m not one of these people so here is my guide on how not to make the traditional Diwali sweet, Laddoo.

Words: Toni Hart, Subeditor: Lyubomira Ivanova , Photos: Toni Hart

Source: Flickr
Source: Flickr

Diwali is the festival of lights, celebrated by Hindus, Jains and Sikhs. The date of the festival changes every year as it is determined by the position of the moon. This year it starts on the 11th of November and the celebrations are set to last four to five days. Like most celebrations, food is one of the most important parts that make up the festivities.

To mark the occasion I intended to cook some traditional Diwali recipes and to share my creations on here. However, this didn’t quite work out because, well, I can’t cook. So I chose some non-cook sweet recipes to try and, surprise surprise, they turned out terrible because (you guessed it) I’m a terrible cook!

I really hoped these sweets would turn out nice, edible at least, because the pictures looked so tasty. But mine smelled like putty and tasted like playdough, this could be down to the fact that I got the ingredients mixed up.

So if you would like to know how to make Laddoo’s  and things to avoid, see the recipes below.


Sugarless Dates Sesame Laddoo


2 cups of white sesame seeds

1 1/2 cups of chopped dates

1 cup of dry grated coconuts

(I actually forgot to buy the main ingredient for these sweets, the sesame seeds. So my Laddoo’s were essentially dates rolled in coconut.)


Step 1. Finely chop the dates after they’ve been deseeded.

Step 2. Dry roast the sesame seeds in a wok for 1-2 minutes on a medium flame, or until light golden brown. Once cooked, put the sesame seeds aside to cool. Or if, like me, you forget the sesame seeds you can skip this step and move on to step 3.

Step 3. Add the coconut to the cooled sesame seeds and grind to a powder, but do not grind too fine.

Step 4. Add the chopped dates and mix well. Unlike me, you should now have a nice mix of sesame powder, coconut powder and dates.

Step 5. Take a small amount of mixture and roll into a small ball. Or you can roll the dates in the coconut and attempt to press these into a presentable ball.

Your Laddoo’s are now ready to eat.

This is how your Laddoo’s should not look, if you can see this much coconut in your Laddoo you should go back to Step 1 and try again.

Sesame Laddoo
An attempt to make Sagarless dates susame laddos


Instant Coconut Laddoo


1 cup of dry coconut powder

1 cup of milk powder

3/4 cup sugar free powder

5-6 teaspoons of boiled milk

12 raisins for garnish

I wasn’t able to find coconut powder in the supermarket. When I asked a member of the staff, he recommended using corn flour. Please do not do this. They will ruin your Laddoo’s.


Step 1. Mix the coconut powder, milk powder and sugar powder in a bowl.

Step 2. Slowly add the milk and shape into balls. I made the mistake of adding too much milk, way too quickly. This resulted in my Laddoo’s being too sticky to form into balls so I tried adding more coconut. Please, do not do this. They ended up being so hard I could probably have broke a window with them.

Step 3. Garnish each Laddoo with a raisin. Something, which I managed to do.

Leave them to chill for a few minutes, then they are ready to enjoy.

My coconut Laddoo’s surprisingly looked okay. They tasted a lot worse than they looked.

DSCF6243 resize
While they might not look as bad, the taste of these instant coconut laddos was not that great

That is my guide on how to make Laddoo’s and what to avoid. I have learnt that to make an edible Laddoo, simply use the correct ingredients and do not listen to the advice of Sainsbury’s staff.