As soon as you hear the name of the sweet delicacy, Ladoo, aren’t you tempted to grab one and pop it in your mouth? You must have eaten a ladoo umpteen number of times.
But have you ever wondered what is the history of the sweet delicacy?
It being Diwali time while you are having yet another Ladoo, we are here with all the supposed fun facts of the sweetmeat.
So let us take the pleasure in enlightening you about the history of Ladoo and let us just say there are many versions to it.
i) The renowned food historian KT Acharya in his book ‘A Historical Dictionary of Indian Food’ writes about the sweet delicacy, “It is mentioned in Kannada literature of a few centuries ago (Supa sastra of Mangarsa, written in 1516 AD), and as a food item of Bihar about a century ago. The sculpted or painted figure of Ganesha frequently holds in one hand what appears to be balls of motichur, as in the great Lingaraja temple of Bhubaneshwar (as recorded by Ayodhya Prasad Shah in the ‘Life in Medieval Orissa’).”
ii) If the history of Ladoo is researched upon, some suggest that Ladoos were originally invented for medical purpose by the father of Indian Surgery and Medicine, Susruta. It is believed that the Til Ke Ladoo was used by Susruta as an antiseptic for his surgical patients back in the 4th century B.C.
Ayurvedic scripts are filled with recipes that can be considered as the initial mention on the ladoos.
iii) The Eastern folklore story about the discovery of the sweet is different, believing that the invention of Ladoo was an accidental discovery. They say a Vaid’s assistant was pouring ghee in a mix but he happened to pour more of it and to cover it up, he gave it the shape of round disc which eventually turned out to be round shaped ladoo we have today.
iv) It is said that medicinally ladoos were given to teenage girls to keep their raging hormones in check. In fact it was for treatment that led to the invention of some famous ladoos – sonth, methi and makhana.
v) The Nariel Nakru Ladoo of the South has a place in history of the Chola Empire. Supposedly it was packed as a good luck symbol for the warriors and the travellers for their expeditions and success.
vi) The popular Shahi Ladoo can be considered as a gift of the Persian invasion. The invasion brought in food items like dates and figs and with the Persian invasion, figs and dates were added to the mixture of ladoo and thus came to the fore, the Shahi Ladoo.
vii) Are you aware of the famous Thaggu Ke Ladoo of Kanpur? The ladoo was created by Mattha Pandey also known as Ramavtar.
In the British era sugar was imported. Mattha Pandey being a follower of Gandhi, when he realized his ladoo had Sugar in it, he named it ‘Thaggu Ke Ladoo'(Ladoo For The Cheat).
viii) When it comes to Ladoos who can forget the Tirupati Ladoos? The offerings of Ladoos at the Tirupati Balaji Temple started as early as somewhere in 1715. This makes the practice more than 300 years old.
ix) Unconfirmed and disputed records also say that Ladoo originated during the era of Chandragupta Maurya in the Mithilanchal region in Bihar.
Ladoos are of different types. From coconut ladoo, to til ke ladoo, to besan ke ladoo, to motichoor ladoo, to malai ladoo and many more exist. Every ladoo is tasty. And this sweetmeat is a must have for everyone with a sweet tooth.
Eat ladoos to the fullest this Diwali. Happy Diwali!