I was thinking of taking a break from recipes to focus on the Durga Puja festival which is a time for fun and food. But that will take a little time. So on this auspicious occasion of Dassera, I would like you to have a taste of something sweet and healthy --- Coconut Laddoos. Long, long ago when sweetmeat shops were not dime a dozen as they are now and most people lived in the villages tending to their land and did not need to migrate to the city to earn a living, every house in West Bengal -- whether rich or poor-- had coconut trees (as was the case in all the coastal regions of the country). Coconut laddoos and the water of tender coconut were offered to unexpected guests; indeed very healthy and nutritious.
This is a simple and healthy sweet dish. The benefits of coconut are well known and jaggery is definitely healthier option than sugar.
- One fresh Coconut.
- Chemical free jaggery. (The quantity of jaggery will depend on the quantity of the coconut. It should be enough to give you sweet laddoos).
- Grate the coconut.
- Break the jaggery into small pieces and mix it with the grated coconut. (See photo).
- Now transfer the mixture to a heavy- bottomed vessel or a non-stick vessel and place on gas stove. Light the flame.
- Stir the mixture. You may add a little water to speed up the melting process of the jaggery. Take care to see you do not add too much water; excess water will make it difficult for you to make the laddoos.
- Stir continuously till all the water evaporates and the jaggery blends well with the coconut to form a sticky mass (see photo).
- Remove from heat and make equal size laddoos.