Senaga Pappu Laddu ~ Chana Dal Laddu

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Nutty, aromatic, yummy senaga pappu laddu is a 3 ingredient, gluten free, no bake easy Indian dessert! It is also one of the preparations during Bathukamma festivities.

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What is Senaga Pappu Laddu?

Laddu is one of the most popular Indian sweet. Preparation of laddu/ladoo depends on the ingredients used. Chana dal is senaga pappu in Telugu, also known as Bengal gram and is one of the most commonly used pulse in Indian cooking. It looks similar to split yellow peas but from a different family.

Since these laddu are shaped using Bengal gram flour, it is called Bengal gram or senga pappu laddu. There are other laados prepared using this flour but the preparation has a few additional steps and flour is not directly shaped into laado.


There are 4 ingredients in the recipe but cardamom seeds are used for aroma and flavor. It is optional less than ½ teaspoon. Hence we can call this 3 ingredient recipe.

  • Chana Dal
  • Sugar
  • Butter or ghee
  • Cardamom seeds optional

How to prepare

To prepare chana dal laddu, roast dal until light brown, cool, grind to a powder. Mix the powder (flour) with granulated sugar or powdered sugar & cardamom powder, ghee and shape into round spheres. That’s it! Isn’t it an easy peasy recipe!!

An alternative to senaga pappu laddu is besan laddu. Besan is gram flour (chana or black chickpeas flour) and using besan eliminates grinding the dal. Just roast flour in ghee, mix with sugar and then shape into laddu.


Can we wash chana dal before roasting?

Yes. You can wash dal and be careful not to keep the dal in water for too long. Wash, lightly dry on a cloth or paper towel and then dry roast.

Do I have to grind the sugar?

Yes and no. It depends on the sugar you are using. Granulated sugar we get in the USA is not as granular as in India. So, I have used it as it is with out powdering, though powdering is recommended. You can also super fine sugar.

I don’t have ghee? Can I use butter?

You can make ghee using unsalted butter. Melt butter in a pan and cook on medium – medium low flame for about 20 – 25 minutes until milk particles grown and collect at the bottom of the pan. Strain ghee and use.

What is Bathukamma?

Women in Telangana, India celebrate Bathukamma for nine days starting from Bhadrapada amavasya to ashtami, which usually falls in late September or early October. Last day of Bathukamma is Saddula Bathukamma and celebrations are on a large scale with at least 3 to 9 varieties of prasadam. Senaga pappu laddu mixture (you need not shape it into a laadu) is one of them. Check the Saddula Bathukamma, festive thali for more bathukamma recipes and information about the festival.

Detailed, Printable Recipe

Senagapappu Laddu ~ Chana Dal Laddu

Chana dal laddu is an easy sweet prepared with chana dal flour, sugar and ghee.

5 from 7 votes


Course: Dessert, Indian Sweet
Cuisine: Indian, South Indian
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Cooling Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 12 pieces
Author: Usha Rao


  • 1 cup Chana Dal
  • ¾ cup Powdered Granulated Sugar check note
  • teaspoon Cardamom Seeds
  • ¼ – ⅓ cup Ghee I used ¼ cup


  • Wash chana dal and immediately pat dry with a kitchen towel. If time permits, dry on the kitchen towel for 10-15 minutes. DO NOT soak the dal. This step is optional.
  • Roast chana dal on medium flame until aromatic and golden brown. Do not burn the dal.
  • Spread on a plate and let cool.
  • Grind sugar and cardamom seeds to a fine powder and keep aside.
  • Grind roasted dal to a fine powder.
  • Mix together both the powders and taste the mixture for sweetness. Add more powdered sugar depending on how sweet you want the laddu.
  • Add ghee, mix well and shape the mixture into small balls. If the laddu doesn’t hold shape, add more ghee.
  • To make the binding easier, I added powdered sugar to chana dal powder, pulsed it once in the mixer, added ghee and pulsed it for few more seconds. Transfer to a bowl, mix everything well and then shape the laddus.
  • Yields dozen laddu, depending on the size.


  • Substitute – Black chana is a good substitute for chana dal. I did not use it but heard it is a good substitute. Or use besan ~ gram flour instead. Follow this recipe for besan laddu.
  • Sugar – I used ¾ cup powdered sugar but can easily use ¾ cup sugar, powdered. ¾ cup sugar = ¾ cup + 2 tablespoon (almost 2 tablespoon) powdered sugar.
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