Lactation Snacks and Foods – Gondh Laddu
A popular snack for lactating mothers in India, especially in winter is “Gondh Laddu”.
Gondh Laddus are energy orbs made with “Gondh”(edible gum) roasted and powdered nuts, dried fruit, roasted grains, warming spices, ghee and jaggery/whole sugar.
Gondh or rather Kikar Gondh one of many types of edible gum) is used in lactation laddus. It is also known as Acacia gum. It is obtained by drying the sap of the “Babool” tree that grows in the dry and desert regions of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Punjab.
The Babool tree is revered and known as the “healing tree” because it is highly medicinal in nature. It’s leaves, flowers, bark, stem, sap and roots have medicinal value and are used for a number of ailments.
Gondh (Also called Kikar Gondh or Dink not to be confused with other types of Gondh) is water soluble and forms a gel which makes it easy to mix with a range of ingredients. Gondh is traditionally used in remedies to tackle ailments like diarrhea, cough and congestion. Gum Arabic or a refined form of Gondh is a very common food additive in modern foods like ice cream and non-dairy milks where is it used for it’s emulsification and binding properties – though not for it’s medicinal value.
Traditional use of Gondh as a remedy and lactation boosting supplement
“Gondh is widely used in traditional postpartum preparations and is great for boosting immunity, stamina and health. It is most popularly known to treat weakness and boost energy and stamina.
Babool is excellent for boosting energy and gondh which is its byproduct is beneficial for people with a weak nervous system, anxiety and depression, piles and low vitamin D levels.
Gondh is also excellent for people with lung-related issues, weakness and fatigue. It is rich in calcium and protein. It also helps in boosting breast milk production. Goat and camel milk are believed to be highly nutritious, and both these animals feed chiefly on babool which gives out gondh.
Gondh also works wonders as a skin-care agent. You can begin by soaking gondh crystals in water overnight and add ingredients like egg white, almond powder and milk to form a nourishing mask for the face.
A Recipe for Gondh Laddus
- 250 grams whole wheat flour or 2 heaped cups whole wheat flour
- 100 grams gond or ½ cup gond
- 200 grams sugar or 1 heaped cup sugar or 200 grams powdered sugar or 1 cup grated or chopped jaggery
- 2 tablespoons almonds
- 2 tablespoons cashews
- 2 tablespoons pistachios – optional
- 2 tablespoons raisins
- 1 teaspoon green cardamom powder – optional
- ½ cup desi ghee + 4 tablespoons at room temperature or 175 grams
Making powdered sugar
- Take sugar in a high-speed grinder or blender.
- Grind to a fine powder. Remove in a plate and set aside.
- Keep all the ingredients ready before you begin. Heat desi ghee in a heavy kadai. Please do not use a non-stick kadai. A heavy iron kadai or aluminium kadai works best for frying gond.
- Let the ghee melt. Keep heat to medium-low.
- Add almonds. stirring often fry almonds till their color changes and then remove with a slotted spoon. Keep aside.
- Now add cashews. stirring often fry cashews till they become light golden or golden. Remove with a slotted spoon and keep aside.
- Add pistachios. Fry for some seconds till their colour changes. remove and keep aside.
- Now in the same ghee, add one piece of gond.
- If the gond comes up gradually and puffs up, the oil is ready for the gond to be fried. If the gond settles down in the oil, then increase the flame and let oil become hot. If the gond comes up quickly, then oil is very hot. Reduce the flame to lower the oil temperature.
- Add gond in two batches. If you are an experienced cook, then add gond in a single batch.
- Stir non-stop and fry gond till all of them puff up.
- The gond pieces have to be fried evenly. So stir non-stop. Fry them well in ghee and do not burn them.
- Remove the puffed up gond in a slotted spoon. Keep the fried gond aside and let it cool.
Roasting wheat flour
- Reduce the heat to a low and then add 2 cups whole wheat flour in the same ghee.
- Mix flour very well with ghee. Begin to roast flour with the ghee.
- Meanwhile when atta is getting roasted, add fried nuts in a grinder jar or spice-grinder. Also add the fried gond in a dry grinder jar.
- Pulse and grind to a semi fine or coarse powder. You can keep the nuts whole if you prefer instead of powdering them.
- Do note that atta is getting roasted when you grind the fried gond. If you are not able to multitask then switch off heat after frying gond. Crush gond in grinder. Then switch on heat again and let ghee become slightly hot. Add atta and roast. You can also use a belan (rolling pin) and crush gond. Keep the powdered gond and nuts aside.
- Continue to keep on stirring and roasting the atta.
- Roast atta till its color changes and you get a nutty aroma.
- Then stir nonstop when you see the flour changing its color.
- Stir and roast till the atta becomes golden or brown. Overall it took me a total of 17 minutes for the atta to get roasted to perfection.Note that the timing will vary with the material, size and thickness of the kadai or pan. If you use steel kadai, then it will take less time.
Making gond ke laddu
- Switch off the heat. Keep the kadai down and raisins and cardamom powder.
- Next add the powdered sugar. add the crushed gond and nuts mixture.
- Begin to mix with a spoon. While mixing, break the sugar lumps if any in the ladoo mixture with a spatula or spoon. Mix very well.
- When the laddu mixture is still hot and the heat is tolerable to you, take a heaped size portion of it in a spoon or in your palms. Shape in a round ladoo.
- In case the heat is not tolerable, then do wait for some minutes. Avoid burning your hands. If the mixture does not hold shape, then add 1 to 2 tablespoons ghee. Note that the ghee should be in a semi-solid state at room temperature.
- Make medium sized ladoo from this whole mixture. Store them in an airtight steel container (steel dabba).
- They stay good for a couple of months. This recipe can be easily doubled or tripled. From this gond laddu recipe, you can make 17 to 18 laddu.
- Serve Gond ke Laddu just by itself or with some hot or warm milk.