Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Haliv/Aliv Ladu

Hartalika wishes everyone! Happy fasting to those who are observing it today. Hartalika is celebrated by women in honor of Goddess Parvati on Bhadrapad tritiya (third day of the Hindu calendar month Bhadrapad). I used to observe the fast as a girl - to pray for a husband like Shiva! Now that I have found him, I skip the fasting bit of the celebration ;). Hartalika falls a day before Ganesh Chaturthi. My grandma would scurry around just before the big day trying to fill the pantry with sweets, so none of the visitors who came for Ganpati darshan left without plentiful of them. She made pedhas, barfis and all sorts of laddus. I always had my eye on the Haliv laddus, to replenish the depleted energy after a long day of fasting.

Haliv/Aliv seeds come from an herb called garden cress. They are also known as Aserio seeds. These seeds are rich in iron, calcium and protein. Grandma told us how good they were for women and said, "We didn't have all these energy tonics in my days. We ate haliv ladus or kheer for the essential nutrients." The great thing is, these laddus taste much better than any energy drink you've had! Haliv seeds swell up once soaked, just like sabja we put in faluda. They give a nice, chewy texture. The laddus are quite decadent with the generous use of coconut. The surprise element is the sweet, floral aroma from cloves. You can add some dry fruits if you like, but the laddus are quite rich on their own. Other laddu recipes, like rava and besan, require exact measurements and technique. This recipe is a lot simpler in comparison. The only tedious part is the cooking process.

 Haliv/Aliv Ladu

1/2 Cup Haliv/Aliv seeds (Aserio seeds)
1 Cup coconut water (use regular water if not available)
1 Cup fresh grated coconut
3/4 Cup grated jaggery
2 Tablespoons sugar (if required)
3 Cloves
2 Teaspoons ghee (clarified butter)

  • Soak haliv seeds in coconut water for about an hour. The seeds start to puff up immediately and become slippery. They double in size once completely soaked.
  • Mix grated coconut (you can add some later if needed) and jaggery to the seeds and combine well. Let it sit for another hour. There should be equal or little more amount of coconut as the seeds. 
  • While the seeds are soaking, roast the cloves and grind them to a fine powder. 
  • Heat ghee in a kadhai and add the coconut,jaggery,haliv mixture and cloves powder and cook on low flame, stirring constantly. The seeds need to be cooked for a long time (~20-25 mins) until they become soft. 
  • Once the seeds are cooked through and the mixture comes together, turn off the heat and let it cool. 
  • Make golf ball sized laddus (you probably won't be able to eat a bigger laddu at one time since they are quite heavy). 


  • The sweetness of jaggery depends on the quality. You can add some sugar to achieve desired sweetness. 
  • Soaking the seeds in coconut water adds more flavor. Use regular water if you don't have it. 
  • This recipe makes about 10-12 laddus.


Srinivasn said...

What is the tamil name for aliv seeds

Srinivasn said...

What is the tamil name for aliv seeds

Snehal said...

Hi..I don't know what they are called in Tamil, but you can search for 'gardencres seeds'

Chandra Ranganathan said...

It's called ali vidai in tamil


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