Of the various Ladoo variants that get made with different lentils or dals, this Sunnundalu or Urad Dal Laddu from the Andhra Cuisine is seriously a good one. Not because it is tasty and fairly easy to make, but also because this is one of those recipes where you can use black gram (urad dal) to make a lovely sweet. All you need is urad dal, ghee and sugar to make Sunnundalu recipe. The unique Urad Dal Laddu is also perfect for times when you suddenly have a snack craving!
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Sunnundalu is a unique and special sweet from the cuisine of Andhra Pradesh that is made during Hindu festivals. These are protein rich laddu made with urad dal, ghee and sweetened with sugar or jaggery. The Sunnundalu recipe variants may additionally include flavorings like cardamom powder or some nuts and dry fruits.
Urad dal is called black gram in English and Minapa Pappu in Telugu. Thus this decadent sweet is also referred to as Minapa Sunnundalu in Telugu language.
To make Sunnundalu recipe you could use husked black gram or the ones with husks. The husked black gram can be whole or split depending on what is available to you.
I usually make a lot of sweets as well as savory dishes as the festive season approaches. It is because I really believe that this is the time when its all ok to binge for a while.
The festivities and merriment that come along with this season is always lived to the fullest with good food. We all agree to that, don’t we?
This Sunnundalu is one of my favorite sweets during the festival season, and otherwise too. You may ask why. Simply because it is one of the most hassle-free recipes with just 3 to 4 ingredients that goes into making of this recipe.
All you have to make sure is to roast the urad dal properly in the beginning, and then just proceed as the recipe demands. Which is again, super easy to do.
These ladoos are quite addictive too. I can say this because I always end up eating a ladoo or two while I’m still shaping the mixture.
While I usually prepare medium sized laddu, you can actually shape them smaller and make smaller shaped Sunnundalu which can be stored more easily.
But let me warn you that with these mini laddu in hand, its all the more difficult to stop at one, or two maybe. So, watch out that ladoo intake of yours if you’re making smaller ones.
More on Urad Dal Laddu
As I mentioned already, it is very easy to prepare the Urad Dal Laddu. Though, not very quick to make as there is first the roasting of the urad dal. And second, a waiting time involved while the mixture is cooling to room temperature for you to be able to shape them into laddu.
The crux of Sunnundalu recipe is to really roast the urad dal very well. Or else it can lead you to mean stomach aches and ruin the fun. The roasting bit of this recipe is explained in detail in my step-by-step pictorial section.
The delightful Urad Dal Laddu is also protein rich. So, you are actually eating something good for your health. Just don’t go overboard with them, as anything in excess is bad! I have also just lightly flavored these with some cardamom and not added any nuts or dry fruits. You are free to add.
Like most of the other ladoo with ghee, Urad Dal Laddu also stays good in the refrigerator for a few weeks. You can even keep put the laddu in an airtight box and keep at room temperature for a couple of days.
How to make Sunnundalu Recipe
Roast and Make Urad Dal Flour
1. Heat a thick bottomed pan or kadai on low flame. Add 1 cup urad dal (black gram).
If you want, you can rinse the urad dal first. Spread the lentils on a plate/tray/cloth. Dry the lentils naturally or in sunlight. Once the lentils have dried, then add them in the kadai. If you want you can add directly too.
2. Keep the heat on low or sim and begin to roast the urad dal.
3. Stir often, while roasting.
4. Keep on roasting and stirring for even browning and cooking. Roasting urad dal well is very important. Partially roasted or half-roasted urad dal can give stomach aches.
5. This is the dal after 12 minutes of roasting. The dal needs to be golden and become aromatic. Your kitchen will have the aroma of roasted urad dal.
Also, as mentioned before, use a thick bottomed pan or kadai. If the pan or kadai is not heavy or has a heavy base, then the urad dal will get browned too fast with uneven cooking and roasting.
6. Here is how the urad dal looks after roasting for one more minute. Keep on stirring without a break once the dal begins to get light golden.
7. Now, let the dal cool in the pan itself or you can remove the dal in a plate and let it cool.
8. Once the lentils have become warm or cooled, add them in a grinder jar. Also, add cardamom seeds from 3 to 4 green cardamom pods.
Note that add green cardamoms are optional.
9. Grind to a fine flour. The texture should be fine and floury.
10. Now, take the urad dal flour in a fine sieve.
11. Begin to sift the flour on a plate, tray, large bowl or pan.
12. Here’s some of the urad dal grits remaining. You can add these to rice, dal or even veggies while cooking. Do use a fine sieve, otherwise you will get a gritty and grainy texture in the laddu.
13. Keep the sifted urad dal flour aside.
14. In the same grinder, add ⅓ cup sugar. Here I have used raw sugar but you can use regular sugar. Refer to the “expert tips” section below on using jaggery.
15. Grind to a fine powder and add the powdered sugar to the urad dal flour. If you want you can even sift the sugar and then add.
16. Mix very well.
17. Now, melt ⅓ cup ghee in a pan. You just need to melt the ghee and not heat it.
If adding nuts or dry fruits, you can add some sliced or chopped nuts or dry fruits at this step and fry till they become light golden.
18. Add the melted ghee to urad dal flour-sugar mixture.
19. Mix very well with a spatula or spoon.
20. You see how the mixture looks like, molten and a bit fluid. Now, let this mixture cool down to room temperature and let the ghee solidify.
21. Here is the same mixture after cooling down. It has become dense and now you can easily shape the mixture into laddu.
22. Make small to medium size ladoo from the mixture. From the warmth of your hands, the laddu will soften while you shape them.
23. Prepare more laddu with the remaining mixture.
24. You can offer Sunnundalu or Urad Dal Laddu to the deities as naivedyam or serve to your family. Store the remaining laddu in an air-tight box or jar and refrigerate.
- Preparing dal: If you are rinsing the urad dal first and then using it for the Sunnundalu recipe, then spread the rinsed lentils on a cloth or tray/plate. Keep it to dry the lentils naturally. You can also keep it in sunlight. Use once completely dry.
- Roasting dal: You have to roast the urad dal very well in order to avoid stomach aches later. For this, keep stirring while roasting for even browning and cooking. The lentils should become fragrant and golden once properly roasted.
- Jaggery: When using jaggery, you can finely grate it if using a block. If you have jaggery powder then make it to a fine powder in the grinder – as they may have tiny hard lumps.
- Cooking utensil: It is best to use a thick bottomed pan or kadai. If it is not so, then the urad dal tends to brown faster, but is unevenly cooked or roasted.
- Sifting: Use a fine sieve for a perfectly grit free and grain free texture in laddu. Once the ground urad dal is sifted, there’ll be some urad dal grits remaining on the sieve. You can add it while cooking vegetables, dal or rice.
- Ghee: Only melt the ghee to be added in the urad dal-sugar mixture, and not heat it. If you plan to add dry fruits or nuts in this recipe, this is the time. Add sliced or chopped nuts or dry fruits and fry in the ghee till they turn light golden.
- Storage: Sunnundalu keeps well when refrigerated for some weeks. Alternatively, pack them in airtight containers and keep at room temperature. This will suffice for a few days.
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Sunnundalu Recipe | Urad Dal Laddu
- 230 grams urad dal or 1 cup urad dal (black gram) – hulled and split
- 70 grams raw sugar or ⅓ cup sugar, can use regular sugar
- 80 grams Ghee (clarified butter) or ⅓ cup ghee at room temperature
- 3 to 4 green cardamoms
Roasting and preparing urad dal flour
- Heat a thick bottomed pan or kadai on a low flame. Then add 1 cup urad dal in it.
- If you want you can rinse the urad dal first. Spread the lentils on a plate or tray or on a cloth. Dry the lentils naturally or in sunlight. Once the lentils have dried, then add them into the kadai or pan. If you want you can add directly too.
- Keep the heat to a low and begin to roast the dal.
- Continue to stir often while roasting. Keep on roasting and stirring for even browning and cooking. Roasting urad dal very well is very important. Half-roasted urad dal can give stomach aches.
- The dal needs to be golden and become fragrant.
- Keep on stirring without a break once the dal begins to get light golden.
- When the urad dal become golden, then cool them in the pan itself or you can remove the dal in a plate and let it cool.
- Once the urad dal have become warm or cooled down, add them in a grinder jar. Also add cardamom seeds removed from 3 to 4 green cardamom pods.
- Grind to a fine flour. It should have a fine texture and be floury.
- Now take the urad dal flour in a fine seive.
- Begin to sift the flour on a plate or tray or a large bowl or pan.
- Keep the sifted urad dal flour aside.
- In the same grinder, add the sugar.
- Grind sugar to a fine powder.
- Now add the powdered sugar to the urad dal flour. If you want you can even sift the sugar and then add.
- Mix very well.
- Now melt ghee in a pan. You just need to melt the ghee and not heat it.
- If adding nuts or dry fruits, you can add some sliced or chopped dry fruits at this step and fry them in ghee till they become light golden.
- Add the melted ghee to urad dal + sugar mixture.
- Mix thoroughly with a spatula or spoon.
- After mixing, the sunnundalu mixture will have a molten consistency and will be a bit fluid. Let this mixture cool at room temperature and let the ghee solidify.
- Once the mixture becomes dense, then you can easily shape the mixture into laddu.
- Make small to medium sized urad dal laddu. From the warmth of your hands, the laddu will soften while you shape them.
- Prepare the remaining sunnundalu like this with all of the mixture.
- You can even offer sunnundalu to the deities as naivedyam or serve to your family.
- Store the remaining Sunnundalu or Urad Dal Laddu in an air tight box or jar and refrigerate.
- You can use either whole urad dal or split dal that have been hulled or husked.
- Remember to roast the urad dal really well. They should be half-cooked as this can cause stomach aches.
- If using a soft jaggery block, then grate it and add to the urad dal flour.
- If using jaggery powder, grind it to a finer texture in a mixer-grinder as sometimes packaged jaggery powder have tiny jaggery lumps in it.
- You could omit adding the cardamom powder. Also opt to add nuts and dry fruits of your choice if you like. Chop them and then use as listed above in the recipe instructions.
- Easily scale up the recipe if making a larger batch. Note that you will need a large pan or kadai when roasting lentils if you have increased the quantities. Alternatively you can batch roast the lentils twice or thrice in the same pan.
Nutrition Info (Approximate values)
This Sunnundalu recipe post from the archives first published in August 2016 has been republished and updated on 17 July 2022.