On Anu’s naming ceremony (12th day after her birth), a friend’s mom gave me homemade Aliv (garden cress seeds) laddoo. I loved them (I am a laddoo person you see :-)). My mom was happy that I took an instant liking for Aliv laddoo because she had planned to feed me Aliv laddoo as part of my post-natal diet (I ate Aliv laddoo regularly during till first 6 months of exclusive breastfeeding, click here to read about my very Indian post-natal diet).

Traditionally in India, aliv is considered a postpartum superfood. It is rich in Calcium and Iron required for lactation and recovery from childbirth.  And apparently, Aliv also helps to keep away the maternity blues.

Here is my mom’s Aliv Laddoo recipe. Hope you like it.

Ingredients for making Aliv laddoo:

  • Aliv (gardencress seeds) – 1/2 cup
  • Fresh coconut (grated) – 2-3 cups
  • Jaggery – 1 cup
  • Dry fruits – as per liking  (optional)
  • Edible gum – 1 spoon (optional)

All the ingredients are easily available in your local kirana stores or supermarkets.

Preparation for Aliv laddoo:

The recipe for Aliv laddoo is easy, requires prepping the ingredients. Aliv should be soaked well for making laddoo. If you are using edible gum, roast it before using it.

  • Aliv: Soak aliv in sufficient quantity of water for 8-10 hours. The soaked aliv start to swell in a couple of hours. Add water every 2-3 hours if required till aliv becomes pulpy and slightly sticky. Remove excess water before making laddoo.
  • Edible gum: Roast edible gum in ghee on low flame till it becomes crispy. Cool it, grind it and keep aside.
  • Coconut: Grate fresh coconut (‘ola naral’ as we call it in Marathi). If fresh coconut is not available, use desiccated coconut or grate dry coconut.
  • Dry fruits: If you plan to add dry fruit powder, roast cashew, almond, pistachio and walnut (or dry fruits of your choice) for few minutes on low flame. Cool it and grind it to a coarse powder. If you do not want to use powder, just break dry fruits into small pieces.
  • Note: You can also add raisins to the laddoo without grinding or breaking

Except for soaking aliv, preparation time is less than 30 minutes.

Making the Aliv laddoo:

Take jaggery in a thick pan, heat it on a low flame till it melts a bit. Add grated coconut and soaked alive to the melted jaggery. Mix well. Keep on low flame for couple of minutes. Switch off the heat. You can optionally add dry fruits (pieces or powder) and crushed edible gum. Mix well, heat the mixture a bit if jaggery is dry.

Now shape the mixture into small laddoos and store in the fridge (especially during summer).

Simple and yum!

Useful Tips: Grate the jaggery before heating for ease of melting and mixing. You may add a small quantity of crushed nutmeg (Jaiphal) and cardamom (Choti elaichi) to the mixture. If you love ghee, add 1-2 spoons of ghee to the mix.