Ragi Laddoo

Ragi, or finger millet, is traditionally grown and consumed in tribal areas of Odisha. Ladoo made of this millet is nutrient-rich—a healthy dessert for all generations. This ragi laddoo mix is supplied to children at Anganwadi centres through women self-help groups in Sundargarh and Keonjhar districts of the state.
Ragi flour 250 grams
Jaggery 125 grams
Groundnut 25 grams
Ghee 25 grams
Sesame seeds 25 grams
Green cardamom powder ¼ teaspoon

Keep two pans, a big and a small bowl, a large plate, and a strainer handy.

Powder the cardamom right at the start.


Heat a medium-sized pan on a low flame for 2 minutes. Add ragi flour and dry roast it on a medium flame for 6 to 8 minutes.


Once it begins to exude the aroma of roasted ragi, transfer the flour to a bowl and let it cool.


Add groundnut to the pan and dry roast on a low flame for 10 minutes, until they turn brown. Stir continuously so that it doesn’t burn. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.


Add sesame seeds to the pan and dry roast on a low flame for a few seconds, stirring continuously. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.


Add 100 ml of water and jaggery to a pan and heat on a medium flame, until it turns into a sticky syrup.


Strain the syrup to remove any impurities and set aside.


Heat ghee in a fresh pan and add roasted ragi flour, roasted groundnuts, cardamom powder and one third of the roasted sesame seeds and mix.


This initiative also provides income to women self-help groups that are involved in preparing the ragi laddoo mix. Photo by Odisha Millets Mission.

Add the jaggery syrup and mix well.


Grease your palms with ghee and shape the mix into small round balls.


Spread the remaining roasted sesame on a plate, and roll the balls on this to coat them with the seeds.


Ragi Laddoos are served to 1.5 lakh pre-school children in 6,077 Anganwadi centres as an additional supplement in Odisha’s Keonjhar and Sundargarh districts, as part of the state nutrition programme. Photo by Odisha Millets Mission.


Roast sesame carefully; if it is toasted too much, the ladoos will taste burnt.


Once prepared, store in an air-tight container; it keeps for up to three days.


You can also use powdered sugar instead of jaggery. If you do, you can skip making the syrup; instead add powdered sugar in the warm flour mix, and bind it as a ladoo. Or you can store the mix in an air-tight container so you can roll the laddoos just before you serve them.

This recipe is part of the Millet Revival Project 2023, The Locavore’s modest attempt to demystify cooking with millets, and learn the impact that it has on our ecology. This initiative, in association with Rainmatter Foundation, aims to facilitate the gradual incorporation of millets into our diets, as well as create a space for meaningful conversation and engagement so that we can tap into the resilience of millets while also rediscovering its taste.


 Our thanks to OMM and WASSAN, for coming on board as knowledge partners on the Millet Revival Project 2023.


Rainmatter Foundation is a non-profit organisation that supports organisations and projects for climate action, a healthier environment, and livelihoods associated with them. The foundation and The Locavore have co-created this Millet Revival Project for a millet-climate outreach campaign for urban consumers. To learn more about the foundation and the other organisations they support, click here.

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