Ramadan is the holiest month in the Muslim year. The Islamic calendar is based on the lunar calendar. Ramadan starts and ends at a different time of the year every year and lasts between 29 to 30 days. On the new moon sighting, Muslims greet each other with “Ramadan Mubarak!” (“Blessed Ramadan”).

My vanilla-cardamom cake, filled with rose-cardamom whipped cream, is decorated in a night sky theme, paying homage to the sighting of the new moon, marking the start of Ramadan, and the crescent moon and star, symbols of Islam.

In Ramadan, Muslims who are able and of age (excluding pregnant/nursing women, children, elderly and those with health issues) fast from dawn until sunset. Before starting the fast, a light pre-dawn meal, suhoor, is eaten. After sunset, the fast is typically broken with water and dates, followed by prayers and the fast-breaking meal, iftar.

Not eating or drinking during the day allows us to focus on our spirituality and relationship with God. We learn the teachings from the Quran, the Muslim holy book, aiming to become better individuals during Ramadan, and onwards. Muslims believe that God revealed the first verses of the Quran to Prophet Mohammed during Ramadan. Like many Muslims, my family attends the special Ramadan night prayer, taraweeh, at the mosque

During Ramadan, we engage in extra charity, generosity, and worship. Sharing meals is an important tradition, and my family hosts iftar meals for our community. Muslims come from all over the world. Traditional Ramadan foods are often from one’s ethnic heritage and culture. A dessert I like to share at iftar is coconut ladoo.

Coconut ladoo, a traditional South Asian dessert, are soft, creamy, coconut fudge balls. Made with shredded coconut, condensed milk and cardamom, they are a simple, tasty treat. Try the recipe below!

Coconut ladoo

Coconut ladoo, a traditional South Asian dessert, are soft, creamy, coconut fudge balls. Made with shredded coconut, condensed milk and cardamom, they are a simple, tasty treat. Try the recipe below!

Coconut Ladoo Recipe

4.29 from 7 votes

Ingredients
 

  • 2 Cups Desiccated Coconut
  • ¾ Cup Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • ¼ Cup Milk
  • 1 Teaspoon Ghee/Clarified Butter
  • A pinch of ground cardamom

Instructions
 

  • In a pan over medium heat add ghee or butter and let it melt completely.
  • Add dried desiccated coconut and roast it on low-medium heat for 3-4 minutes (or until it becomes fragrant), while stirring continuously.
  • Add condensed milk and stir to combine.
  • Add milk and cook for an addition 3-4 minutes, or until the coconut absorbs all of the milk. Add the cardamom powder and mix.
  • Test a small amount of the coconut-milk mixture by taking some of it and rolling it into a ball. If it holds its shape, turn off the heat and let the mixture cool for 10 minutes. If you find the mixture is a bit dry, you can add some milk to moisten it a bit.
  • At this stage, if you would like to make your ladoo in different colors, add a few drops of food coloring to your coconut mixture and mix well. Separate the mixture into as many different bowls for each color).
  • Form your coconut ladoos by taking about a tablespoon of the mixture in your hands and forming a soft ball.
  • Coat each ball in dry desiccated coconut.
  • Cool the ladoo and serve right away, or store in an airtight container for 7-10 days.
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