Who says the tastier the dish, the more sinful it is? Coconut and date laddoos (bonbons) are the perfect rebuttal to that axiom.
Learn how to make this delectable sweet packed with nutrition, with no added oils, no processed sugars. And vegan to boot.
The first thing to take care of is to use the freshest, best-quality ingredients. Before you go ‘Duh, why would I use stale, poor-quality ingredients’ let me explain with an example. When you’re making toast, the absolute freshness of bread is not critical. Most taste buds can’t tell the difference between bread baked today or yesterday when you’re having it in the form of toast. But say you’re making sandwich with untoasted bread – now freshness matters a great deal.
The thumb rule to follow:
The lesser the cooking involved in the recipe, the more the need to pick the best ingredients.
If you always have fresh ingredients on hand, more power to you. If like me you need to plan these things, pay special attention to the dates you put into bonbons. Skip the shrivelled bunch you have in the fridge since over two months. Make a sweet chutney out of those; for coconut date bonbons get yourself a fresh pack of premium-quality dates.
- Fresh coconut, grated – 1 cup
- Dates – 1 cup (more if you want it sweeter)
- Flattened rice (chiwra)* – 3/4 cup
- Almonds – 10
- Raisins – 1/4 cup
*Flattened rice not available? You could substitute it with rolled oats that don’t need cooking.
Soak almonds in a cup of water for 6 hours or more. Skin and chop them into fine slivers.
Wash chiwra well, drain and spread out to dry for 5 minutes.
In a non-stick wok, dry roast the chiwra on medium flame, stirring regularly till it is no longer moist (4-5mins). Add grated fresh coconut and stir fry for a minute.
Switch off the heat and mix finely chopped almond slivers and raisins.
[In the picture above: Roasted chiwra and grated coconut mixture, dates, soaked almonds and raisins.]
Deseed and chop the dates into tiny bits.
Mix chopped dates with the chiwra-cocunut-almond-raisin mixture, kneading gently to blend all the ingredients well.
Shape the dough into small balls. Let them rest for an hour. Coconut date bonbons are now ready to eat.
1. Like your sweets sweeter? Take a few extra dates, deseed and grind them. Blend ground dates into the coconut-chiwra mixture before mixing chopped dates.
2. Store in an airtight container, inside the fridge during summer. Best eaten within 3 days – but you needn’t worry about that, they’ll get snapped up in no time!