While speaking of pregnancy one often always thinks of those nine-months during which a mother’s diet is very important. The phase that follows is often neglected from the discourse. Turns out that the new mother is almost as vulnerable, just as when she was expecting and requires good care and a wholesome diet. Traditionally in India, new mothers are offered certain foods during the first forty days after childbirth to gain strength and nourishment, and one such treat is the famous ‘Gondh ka Laddoo’.
Made with edible gum(gondh), desi ghee, sugar, raisins and a whole lot of chunky nuts and dry fruits; the ladoo is high in calories and is required to meet the extra calories needed by a new mother while she’s breastfeeding the new-born. The laddoo is believed to speed up recovery and provide her with vital nutrients to regain her strength after delivering a child.
It is a common tradition for mother in-laws or grand-mothers to make these laddoos at home. If we go back in history, it is believed that ladoos were originally invented for medicinal purposes by the father of Indian surgery and medicine Susruta. For instance, the ‘Til ka Ladoo’ that we all relish today. Back in the 4th century B.C, Susruta began using it as an antiseptic to treat his patients. The combination of sesame seeds, jaggery and peanuts was known to have immense healing properties. The Gondh ka laddoo follows a similar legacy.
Meher Rajput, Nutritionist at FITPASS says, “Gondh has many Nutritional and Ayurvedic benefits.It is tasteless and odourless and turns to gel like substance, if soaked in water.
It can be mixed with other herbs like Methi dana, Sauf, Black pepper, Till seeds and Ajwain .
These laddoos help in lubricating the joints and reduces back pain along with other joints pain. It can be served to lactating mothers for the nourishment of their body. It’s rich in fat & fibre and can be given to lactating mothers to build their immunity as it helps stimulate the immune system.
She adds, “It doesn’t have any major side effects, but excessive intake may cause constipation and mild abdominal discomfort. It’s advisable if you are taking Gond ( in any form ) , you should drink plenty of water along as in rare cases there are chances of Constipation and blocked Intestine. “
Sonia Narang, Fitness and Wellness Expert, Oriflame India says, “Gondh is very nourishing and is rich in calcium and protein. It helps one develop strong bones and prevent back pain. A single gondh ke ladoo will provide enough energy that will last for hours. Since it is usually made with very nutrient dense ingredients like gond, whole wheat flour, ghee and nuts, it is a perfect energy food for a mid-meal .Gondh is said to increase the production of breast milk.
Traditionally made with many ingredients like home-made desi ghee, edible gum, wheat flour, sugar, dried melon seeds, pumpkin seeds, almonds, cashew nuts , dried coconut, walnut, pistachios, cardamom powder and poppy seeds. The laddoo is rich and wholesome. While it may serve as an excellent health booster for nursing mothers, it is advisable that they should consumed in moderation as excess calories can be fattening, and can prove to be a challenge for those looking to shed the post pregnancy weight at the earliest. This traditional treat is not exclusive to pregnant women, the Gondh ka Laddoo is one of the most sought-after mithais prepared by many Indian households and also offered by many sweet shops.
Here is a quick recipe by Alpa M, food blogger and You-tuber at ‘Something’s Cooking with Alpa’,
- Tragacanth Gum Herb /Gond Katira/ Gond/ Dink / Edible Gum Ladoo – 125 Grams
- Kharek / Dry Dates/ Chhuhaaraa (Powdered) – 500 Grams
- Dry Coconut (Grated) – 500 Grams
- Jaggery / gud (Grated or finely chopped) – 500 Grams
- Ghee / Clarified Butter – 500 Grams
- Almond / Badam – 125 Grams
- Khuskhus / Poppy seeds – 50 Grams
- Aliv seeds/ Garden Cress seeds / Haliv / Halim – 50 Grams
- Sauf / Fennel Seeds – 50 Grams
- Elaichi / Cardamom – 50 Grams
- Methi dana / Fenugreek Seeds – 30 Grams
- Jaifal / Nutmeg (Roughly crushed) – 1
How to make Gondh ke Ladoo:
1. Dry roast the following ingredients:Grated Coconut (Until colour starts changing to light brown), roughly crushed Jaifal, Aliv Seeds, Methi Dana, Sauf, Kharek, Khuskhus, Badam,Elaichi.
2. Add the above all dry roasted ingredients in a blender and blend until you get a fine or slightly coarse powder.
3. In a Kadhai add 1 tbsp of Ghee once it’s hot add 1 tsp of Gondh and cook for 3-5 seconds or until the Gondh fluffs up. Remove in a big mixing bowl and keep aside.
4.Repeat the same process for the rest of the Gondh. Make sure you dont add all the gond in the ghee at once, the Gond can remain uncooked in the middle.
5. In the same kadai add 1 tbsp of Ghee. Once hot, add the jaggery and stir till the jaggery melts and starts showing bubbles. Turn of the flame.
6. Add this melted jaggery in the mixing bowl along with the Gondh.
7. Add all the dry roasted and blended powdered ingredients as well.( dry coconut, Aliv Seeds,
Jaifal, Methi dana,Sauf, Kharek, khus khus, almond, Elaichi) Mix well till all the ingredients
are well incorporated with each other.
8. Apply ghee on the palms and roll into round balls. Store in a airtight container.