Ask any Indian about their love for Pakora (fritters), you’ll get an answer in the affirmative, 99% of the times. Also, the way specially we Indians make fritters with a variety of ingredients, is quite fascinating. Just like this Ram Laddu. You might think it is a sweet, but it’s not. Ram Ladoo is actually savory fried moong dal and chana dal pakoda, turned into a chaat – a popular street food in Delhi. The topping of fresh radish in it also adds to the uniqueness.
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About Ram Laddu
The term ‘ladoo’ in this dish name may be misleading for many, but the flavors, texture and the overall charm that the Ram Laddu exhibits is more than enough to make one go gaga over it!
When I had heard about this dish for the first time, even I thought these were the usual sweet ladoo. But when I saw and experienced the whole procedure of making a Ram Laddu chaat on the Delhi streets, I finally knew that these were deep fried pakoda with no connection to a sweet or mithai.
The birth of this name is still a mystery till today as no one really knows about how these deep-fried lentil fritters came to be known or called Ram Ladoo.
The scrumptious chaat that is made with the Ram Laddu is not just amazing for any and every food lover, but also is a vegetarian snack that is vegan, no onion, no garlic and kid friendly as well. Don’t add the asafoetida, and it becomes gluten-free too.
About This Ram Ladoo Recipe
The most classic way to have this moong and chana dal Ram Laddu is to make it into a chaat with freshly grated radish (mooli), chutneys and some lemon juice in it. This is such a winner combination that missing it would be such a shame! You have to try it.
While street vendors and eateries in Delhi may have their versions, one consistent ingredient which gives Ram Ladoo chaat its identity is the use of white radish in it. Thus, also making it a street favorite during North Indian winters and monsoons alike.
Even if you are not having it as a chaat, just fry some of these pakoda, team up with a Masala Chai and enjoy the cool weather.
Other than the radish being the USP of this dish, I also add some sweet tamarind chutney which balances the spiciness of the green chutney and pungency of the mooli. Not to forget, the grated mooli brings in an extra crunch that complement the pakoda very well. So, skipping on the radish is not really advisable.
In this recipe of Ram Laddu, I have mentioned only the green chutney. But I suggest you also add the sweet tamarind chutney when you finally serve it. This particular green chutney is also slightly spicy. Want to modify the spice level? Reduce or increase green chilies accordingly.
Assemble the Ram Laddu with its toppings as a chaat and relish the burst of flavors like never before. Or have these golden, crisp fried fritters as a snack by themselves in a nice, chilly weather. Its all worth. Also, check out this Moong Dal Pakoda recipe for another variation.
How to make Ram Laddu
Soak Lentils and Prepare Batter
1. Firstly, rinse ½ cup (120 grams) moong dal and ¼ cup (50 grams) chana dal a couple of times in water.
Then, soak both the lentils in 1.5 cups water for about 3 to 4 hours or overnight. If you want, you can also just use ¾ cup moong dal and skip chana dal.
2. Drain all the water and add the soaked dals in a grinder or blender jar. Also, add the below listed spices and herbs:
- 1 inch ginger, peeled and chopped
- 1 chopped green chili or ½ teaspoon, chopped
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 pinch asafoetida
- ½ teaspoon salt or as required
3. Without adding any water, blend to a consistency which is not too fine, but semi-fine or slightly coarse. Blend in intervals.
Scrape off the sides of the jar and then continue to blend. Do not add any water while blending.
If you are not able to blend, add very less water (a few teaspoons) and then blend. Remove the batter in a bowl and keep aside.
Prepare Spicy Green Chutney & Toppings
4. Take the following listed ingredients in a grinder or blender:
- 1 cup coriander leaves or ½ cup coriander leaves and ½ cup mint leaves
- 1 to 2 chopped green chilies or ½ to 1 teaspoon chopped
- 1 small to medium garlic clove, peeled
- ¼ teaspoon black salt (can also add regular salt as required)
½ teaspoon dried mango powder (amchur powder) – Instead of amchur powder, you can also use ½ teaspoon lemon juice or ½ teaspoon dried pomegranate seeds powder (anardana powder).
5. Add 1 tablespoon water and grind to a smooth chutney. Cover and keep aside.
6. Rinse, peel and grate a small white radish. You will need ⅓ cup grated white radish.
7. Add 1 tablespoon chopped coriander leaves to the grated radish. Mix well and keep aside.
Fry Lentil Fritters
8. Before frying, take the batter and using a spoon or wired whisk begin to beat it, stirring in one direction. Beat vigorously at least for 2 to 3 minutes.
Beating the batter incorporates air, which in turn helps to make the batter light and fluffy. This results in soft texture of the fritters.
9. The batter should look light and fluffy.
10. Heat oil for deep frying in a kadai or pan. When the oil becomes hot, gently drop portions of the batter with a small spoon in the oil and fry the fritters on medium heat.
11. Do not over crowd the kadai with the fritters. Add depending on the size of the kadai or pan.
12. When one side is golden and crisp, gently turn over with a slotted spoon and fry the other side.
13. Flip a couple of times and continue to fry the fritters.
14. Fry the fritters till they become golden and crisp.
15. Remove the fritters with a slotted spoon.
16. Place the fried fritters on kitchen paper towels.
17. Fry the remaining batches of Ram Laddu in the same way.
Assemble Ram Laddu
18. In individual serving bowls or plates, take 6 to 7 Ram Laddu. You can assemble as soon as the fritters are made or while they are warm.
19. Top the fritters with the green chutney. You can add less or more. You can also add sweet tamarind chutney at this step.
20. Then, top with the grated radish and coriander leaves mixture.
21. Squeeze some lemon juice on top.
22. Sprinkle some chaat masala and black salt (optional).
You can also keep the chutney and toppings in small bowls and place them on the dining table. So that each person, takes these as per his or her requirements.
23. Serve Ram Laddu and enjoy them as a nice winter snack.
- You can make the Ram Laddu with only moong dal as well. Skip the chana dal then.
- Make sure to grind the batter, in intervals, without any water. But if you are facing difficulties in grinding, add little water and then continue grinding.
- Before frying the pakodas, whisk or beat the batter vigorously (atleast for 2 to 3 minutes), stirring in one direction. With this, air will be incorporated in the batter and you will have a light and fluffy batter. With this kind of batter, you will have soft textured pakodas.
- You can serve the Ram Laddu with green chutney, sweet tamarind chutney or both the chutneys. But don’t skip the grated radish as this is what makes this dish special.
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Ram Laddu | How to make Ram Ladoo
- ½ cup moong dal – 120 grams (split and husked mung lentils)
- ¼ cup chana dal – 50 grams (split and husked bengal gram)
- 1.5 cups water – for soaking
- 1 inch ginger – peeled and chopped
- 1 green chilli – chopped or ½ teaspoon chopped
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 pinch asafoetida (hing)
- ½ teaspoon salt or add as required
- oil as needed for deep frying
For spicy green chutney
- 1 cup coriander leaves or ½ cup coriander leaves + ½ cup fresh mint leaves
- 1 or 2 green chillies – chopped or ½ to 1 teaspoon chopped
- 1 garlic – small to medium-sized, peeled and chopped
- ¼ teaspoon black salt or regular salt or add as required
- 1 tablespoon water – for grinding
- ½ teaspoon amchur powder (dry mango powder) or ½ teaspoon lemon juice or ½ teaspoon anardana powder
Toppings for ram ladoo
- Tamarind Chutney – as needed, optional
- ⅓ cup grated white radish
- 1 tablespoon chopped coriander leaves
- lemon juice or lime juice, as required
- chaat masala as required
- black salt as required
Soaking lentils and preparing the batter
- Firstly rinse both the lentils a couple of times in water. Then soak them in 1.5 cups water for about 3 to 4 hours or overnight.
- Drain all the water and add the soaked dals in a grinder or blender jar. Also add ginger, green chilli, cumin seeds, asafoetida and salt.
- Without adding any water grind to a consistency which is not too fine, but semi fine or slightly coarse. While grinding, grind in intervals. Scrape of the sides of the jar and then continue to grind. Do not add any water while grinding. If you are not able to grind, then add very less water (a few teaspoons and then grind or blend).
- Remove all the batter in a bowl and set aside.
Preparing spicy green chutney and toppings
- In a small grinder or blender, take all the ingredients mentioned under the heading "for spicy green chutney" above.
- Grind to a smooth chutney. Cover and set aside.
- Rinse, peel and then grate a small white radish. You will need ⅓ cup grated white radish (mooli).
- Add 1 tablespoon chopped coriander leaves to the grated radish. Mix well and set aside.
Frying ram ladoo
- Before frying, take the batter and using a spoon or wired whisk begin to beat it stirring in one direction. Do this vigorously at least for 2 to 3 minutes. Beating the batter incorporates air, which in turn helps to make the batter light and fluffy. This results in soft texture of the fritters.
- The batter should look light and fluffy.
- Heat oil for deep frying in a kadai or pan.
- When the oil becomes hot, then on a medium heat, fry the fritters. Carefully, with a spoon, gently drop the pakora batter in the hot oil.
- Do not over crowd the kadai with the fritters. Add depending on the size of the kadai and pan.
- When one side is golden and crisp, gently turn over with a slotted spoon and fry the other side.
- Flip a couple of times and continue to fry till the fritters become golden and crisp.
- Remove with a slotted spoon.
- Place them on kitchen paper towels.
- Fry the remaining batches of ram ladoo in the same way.
Assembling ram laddu
- In individual serving bowls or plates, take 3 to 4 ram laddu.
- Top up with some green chutney. You can add less or more. You can also add sweet tamarind chutney at this step.
- Then top up with the grated radish and coriander leaves mixture.
- Squeeze some lime or lemon juice according to taste preferences.
- Sprinkle some chaat masala and black salt (optional). You can also keep the chutney and toppings in small bowls and keep them on the dining table. So that each person, takes these as per his or her needs.
- Serve Ram Laddu and enjoy them as a nice snack.
- Omit adding chana dal if you prefer. Instead add a total of ¾ cup of moong lentils.
- For a spicy chutney topping for ram laddu, increase the green chillies.
- To get more flavors and taste, do add sweet Tamarind Chutney.
- To make the recipe gluten-free, do not add asafoetida.
- Use regular salt or pink salt if you do not have black salt. Add as needed.
- Fry the fritters on medium to medium-high heat. Do not fry on a low heat as they will absorb too much oil. Frying on a very high heat will make them cook quickly outside but the inside will be undercooked.
Nutrition Info (Approximate Values)
This Ram Laddu recipe post from the blog archives first published in December 2016 has been republished and updated on 27 July 2022.