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It’s Lohri time! Spread sweetness with popped jowar ladoos

Enjoy these decadent ladoos for Lohri this year!

Written by Shalini Rajani | New Delhi |
January 10, 2021 2:18:51 pm
Lohri food, easy recipes, indian express newsEnjoy the goodness of these delicious laddoos this festive season. (Photo: Shalini Rajani/Designed by Shambhavi Dutta)

The first festivals in 2021 are here in my kitchen. Lohri, Makar Sankranti, Pongal, Bihu, and many other names with their own regional significance. India loves its festivals as they keep us motivated all through the year. The quest for me has always been, how can I make food healthier.

When one of my students of 6 weeks millets journey sent a riddle for everyone in the WhatsApp group, I had the idea of Lohri special millet recipe this week.

I am all set to start the new batch of online 6 weeks millet journey from today. And the next batch is starting from January 30, 2021. You can reach out to my Instagram handle to know more. But before that, here’s something you shouldn’t be missing for Lohri this time. If Lohri is all about popcorn and peanuts, time for you to bring in some millet love. Experiment with jowar pops and you will have caramelised treats in no time. Refer to the recipe video attached. You will have many ideas and improvisations to this recipe.

Have a great time!

Popped jowar ladoos (Makes 8 ladoos)

Enjoy this guilt-free recipe! (Photo: Shalini Rajani)


  • 4 tbsp whole sorghum (I used half white and half red Jowar)
  • 2.5 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 1.5 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1/2 cup peanuts
  • 30 gm salted butter
  • 1/4 cup organic jaggery (melted in 2 tbsp water)


1. To pop jowar pearls, make sure the grains are thoroughly washed and dried.


2. In a deep iron wok, dry roast jowar pearls as shown in the video. Take a piece of cloth to restrict them from falling off the wok. Keep the flame on medium-low. Please remember that too high flame will burn them and too low won’t pop them. Adjust the flame accordingly.

3. Once done, roast peanuts, peel and crush coarsely.

4. Roast sesame seeds and mix them to peanut, popped jowar.

5. For the caramel, heat butter and add coconut sugar. Once it melts and thickens, add popped jowar, crushed peanuts, and sesame seeds. Mix it well and you can have them like this as an anytime snack.


6. For laddus, you need to bind it well. And for that, I used organic jaggery. Just mix it with very little water and allow it to melt. Do not overcook.

7. Add melted jaggery on top of the caramelised mixture. Mix with hands when it is still warm.

8. Start forming ball size laddus and keep wetting your hands just in case it gets too sticky.

9. Save them for your Lohri celebrations and share the goodness with your loved ones.

10. Try to consume them within a week.

Health benefits of sorghum, sesame seeds and organic jaggery

Sorghum Millet (Jowar) is a powerhouse of essential vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals. It is loaded with good amounts of calcium, copper, zinc, phosphorous, potassium, and cell-building B vitamins. The presence of these essential nutrients boosts immunity and helps to keep the ailments at bay.


Sesame seeds are a good source of healthy fats, protein, B vitamins, minerals, fibre, antioxidants, and other beneficial plant compounds. Regularly eating substantial portions of these seeds aids blood sugar control, combats arthritis pain, and lowers cholesterol.

Organic Jaggery is an excellent storehouse of natural carbohydrates. Rich in fibre and minerals like iron, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus, organic Jaggery is a boon to the digestive system. Rich in antioxidants, it also purifies the blood and respiratory tract. Extensively used in Ayurveda as a remedy for respiratory illnesses.


Shalini Rajani is the founder of Crazy Kadchi and holds innovative Millets Cooking Workshops for all age groups.

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First published on: 10-01-2021 at 02:18:51 pm

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