Narkel Naru is one of those quintessential sweets, which a Bengali any place in the world, would swear by. In simple terms, its ladoo made with coconut and jaggery, but Bengal style. Winters in the eastern part of India also mean the season of ‘nolen gur or jhola gur’ which is the date palm jaggery. So, a classic recipe of Gurer Narkel Naru would essentially be made of this jaggery variety. Although, if you reside in any other parts of the country, you can use the regular jaggery too.
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What is Gurer Narkel Naru
Since the name of the dish is in Bengali language, the words when translated to English mean the following:
Gurer – of jaggery (the Bengali suffix -er means ‘of’)
Narkel – coconut
Naru – ladoo
So, when put together the dish name literally means ladoo made with jaggery and coconut. The main ingredients of recipe are these 3 ingredients and it is pretty much the same across the Bengali food culture.
However, individual households or special sweet shops may claim having their secret recipes with the addition of extra flavorings or the use of a different variety of jaggery (gur).
Some people or mithaiwalas (Indian sweet sellers) may also use sugar instead of jaggery, and add Khoya (Mawa) (evaporated milk solids) as well in their recipes. But, if you ask me, these are nothing close to the original dark brownish Gurer Narkel Naru. The ones made with sugar are called Chinir Narkel Naru or Sada Naru.
While this delight is apt for any religious festival, Bengalis can’t imagine their Durga Puja or Lakshmi Puja without the Narkel Naru. It is also perfect during festive celebrations as the recipe is simple as well as gets done within minutes. So, even if you are making a large batch, you’re not going to take a lot of time.
More on this Narkel Naru
I have said it before and saying it again that these coconut ladoo with jaggery are the simplest and easiest ladoo one can cake. Plus, they taste literally divine.
The first time I made Narkel Naru was to offer Lord Ganesha as the naivedyam during Ganesh Chaturthi festival. Since then, I pretty much stick to these for any religious and festive occasion.
In this recipe of Gurer Narkel Naru, I have used organic jaggery. So, I did not have to make a syrup and filter it before adding. If you are using regular sugarcane or palm jaggery, make a syrup of it with very little water and strain the syrup to remove impurities. It is only then fit to be added to the coconut.
One of the non-Bengali variations of the Narkel Naru are these Nariyal Ke Laddu. Though both are made with coconut as the prime ingredient, the basic nariyal ladoo also have other ingredients added to it. For instance, you can make it in 3 ways.
- Firstly, with fresh grated coconut and sweetened condensed milk with a cardamom flavor.
- Secondly, with unsweetened desiccated coconut powder and sweetened condensed milk. Ladoo made the first and second way can be coated with desiccated coconut before serving.
- Thirdly, with unsweetened coconut powder and sugar syrup.
All these recipes are quite instant and you can make the coconut ladoos quickly by following these methods. The one thing that’s common between the Gurer Narkel Naru and these is that all of them are super duper delish.
How to make Narkel Naru
1. First, heat a heavy kadai or pan. Reduce the heat to low and add 2 cups fresh grated coconut.
2. Stirring often, roast the coconut for 4 to 5 minutes.
3. Do not brown the coconut. The roasting is just to get rid of some moisture from the coconut.
4. Then, add 1 cup organic jaggery powder or organic chopped or grated jaggery.
5. Mix it very well with the coconut.
6. Stirring non-stop, cook the coconut-jaggery mixture for about 6 to 7 minutes.
7. The jaggery will melt and the mixture will slightly thicken. Do not cook too much as then the ladoos can become hard.
To test – take a small portion and let it cool down a bit. Then, try to form a tiny ladoo with it. If the mixture can be easily shaped into a tiny ball, the ladoo mixture is ready.
Switch off the heat and keep the kadai on the kitchen countertop.
8. Add ½ teaspoon cardamom powder. You can skip cardamom powder if you do not have it.
9. Mix very well and let this mixture cool down completely.
10. Spread a bit of ghee on your palms and taking small to medium size portions, make neat balls. Instead of ghee you can also use coconut oil.
Store them in an air-tight container and refrigerate. Depending on the color of jaggery, the color of ladoo will vary from light brown to dark brown. This recipe makes about 10 ladoo.
11. Offer Narkel Naru as a naivedyam to the deities or serve to your family.
- While using regular jaggery, mix it in very little water to make a syrup and strain it filter the impurities out. Then, use it for the recipe.
- Other jaggery variety that can be used for this recipe is the winter special date palm jaggery or nolen/notun gur. This is also called khejur gur. While the liquid form is called jhola gur, the solid form is the patali gur. Both varieties are a treasure to Bengali cuisine.
- You can add some crushed or finely chopped dry fruits or nuts in the Gurer Narkel Naru.
- Store it in airtight containers and keep in a cool, dry place. This way ladoo are good for 2 to 3 days. Otherwise, refrigerate for about a week or so. Serve during festivities or relish on any regular day as a sweet snack or an after-meal dessert.
- You can halve, double or triple the Narkel Naru recipe.
Please be sure to rate the recipe in the recipe card or leave a comment below if you have made it. For more vegetarian inspirations, Sign Up for my emails or follow me on Instagram, Youtube, Facebook, Pinterest or Twitter.
Narkel Naru (Coconut Ladoo With Jaggery)
- 2 cups fresh grated coconut
- 1 cup organic jaggery powder or organic chopped or grated jaggery
- ½ teaspoon green cardamom powder – optional
- 1 to 2 teaspoons ghee for greasing palms, you can also use coconut oil
- First heat a heavy kadai. Reduce the flame to a low and add fresh grated coconut.
- Stirring often roast the coconut for 4 to 5 minutes on low to medium-low heat. Make sure not to brown the coconut. The roasting helps to get rid of some moisture from the fresh coconut.
- Then add the jaggery powder or grated jaggery.
- Mix it thoroughly with the coconut.
- Stirring non-stop cook the coconut and jaggery mixture for about 6 to 7 minutes on low to medium-low heat.
- You will see that the jaggery will melt and mixture will slightly thicken. Do not cook too much or for long as the ladoo can become chewy or hard. To test the doneness, take a small portion of the mixture and let it cool down a bit. Then try to form a tiny ladoo with it. If the mixture can be shaped easily into a tiny ball, the ladoo mixture is ready.
- Switch off the the heat and keep the pan on the kitchen countertop.
- Add green cardamom powder.
- Mix very well and let this mixture cool completely at room temperature.
- Spread a bit of ghee or coconut oil in your palms and taking small to medium sized portions. Shape into neat round balls.
- Offer Narkel Naru to the deities or serve as a sweet to your family.
- Store the leftovers in an air-tight container and refrigerate. Depending on the color of jaggery, the color of Narkel Naru will vary from light brown to dark brown.
- If using regular jaggery, then make a syrup of it with very little water and then strain the syrup. Then use this jaggery syrup and add to the coconut.
- Remember not to cook the coconut and jaggery mixture for too long as overcooking can result in a dense and chewy texture.
- This Narkel Naru recipe can also be halved or doubled or tripled.
- Palm jaggery can be used instead of sugarcane jaggery to make the ladoo.
Nutrition Info (Approximate Values)
This Narkel Naru recipe post from the archives first published in September 2017 has been republished and updated on 12 July 2022.