Soft and creamy, motichoor keh ladoo are one of the most sought after desserts in the garrison city.
Ladoo is a traditional Indian sweet and is mentioned in folk stories. The sweet was served to rajas and maharajas and is still one of the most popular sweets in religious functions.
The round, yellow dessert is made from gram flour, oil, sugar, cardamom, saffron and nuts all of which are mixed together.
The mix is shaped into balls and fried in butter oil before they are put in sugar syrup. The balls are garnished with pistachios and silver paper.
Many people serve ladoos at festivals and special occasions and distribute it among family and friends. Children like the sweet for the colourful toppings.
Many shops across the city offer ladoos, many of which are located along Murree Road, Saddar, Raja Bazaar and in many lanes in the city. Customers can tell if the ladoos are fresh from the taste.
“The ladoos are named motichoor keh ladoo after pearl shaped drops which come together to form a bigger drop. We have been making ladoos for 60 years and they are one of our most popular items. We use traditional recipes from our native Amritsar,” said Chaudhry Zafar, owner of Sweet Palace.
“He said vegetable oil was used for frying ladoos in his shop. “Our ladoos taste better because of the good quality of ingredients,” he said.
He said chefs trained in making traditional sweets work in the shop and that the taste is maintained according to the customer’s taste. He said no preservatives and chemicals are used so the flavour does not change.
A sweet shop owner at Bhabara Bazaar, Mohammad Sajjad said there are many flavours of ladoo including motichoor keh ladoo, malai ladoo, khopra ladoo and paira ladoo which is made from condensed milk.
He said people like motichoor keh ladoo best as the recipe was simple and they are not that heavy.
“I have always loved ladoos because they are soft and sweet and I still like them. Ladoos and jalebi could be found in every house when we were children,” said Raja Jehandad Khan, former vice president Rawalpindi Cantonment Board.
You would always want to buy ladoos when you saw them arranged in the displays in sweet shops and they would have colourful toppings with nuts, he said.
A customer at a sweet shop in Westridge, Ahmad Malik said ladoo is one of the most popular deserts and is served in most functions.
“The sweet is deep fried and soaked in sugar syrup like jalebi and gulab jamun,” he said.
“I used to love ladoo and gulab jamun when I was a child. I can point you towards the best shops in the twin cities which make the best ladoos because I have tried them all,” said Hassan Qureshi, a resident of Chaklala Scheme III.
He added that he cannot resist buying the desert when he visits a sweet shop, as the ladoos melt in your mouth.
“The dairy products used in the recipe are good for children and the elderly and it is best had after a spicy meal,” he said.
Originally published in Dawn, June 26th, 2017