2 1/2 cups grated coconut, fresh or frozen (unsweetened) (Or dried if you can´t find fresh.)
1/2 – 3/4 cup sugar (according to taste)
1 – 2 tsp powdered cardamom
rose essence (optional)
4 cups milk
OR 2 cups milk+1 cup evaporated milk
OR 2 cups evaporated milk
Add 4 cups milk to a pan and boil till reduced to half in volume. I used 2 cups milk and 1 cup evaporated milk. So it takes less time to reduce to about 2 cup. You may as well use 2 cups evaporated milk straight away. I also added 3 – 4 cardamom pods while boiling the milk and removed them when reduced. This is just because I wanted a strong cardamom flavor.
Mix in the sugar into the milk until dissolved. (I used only ½ cup)
Add the grated coconut. Continue cooking on low heat, stirring frequently until the milk almost dries up. The mixture will start coming away from the sides of the pan. This will take around 20 minutes.
Add the cardamom powder and rose essence when it’s almost ready. (The flavor of cardamom is lost when subjected to heat for too long.)
Do not dry the mixture too much else you won’t be able to make balls. What you can do is; when you think its ready take a small amount of the mixture and try to make a ball. If you find it too moist then cook for slightly longer.
Switch off the heat and let the mixture cool slightly. When still warm to touch, make small balls by rolling between your palms. The ladoos will dry up and become firm once completely cooled.
Store the coconut ladoos in the refrigerator. These keep well for several days.