Using a mortar and pestle, gently pound 6 cardamom pods to crack them open. (See Chef’s Tips). Remove and discard the outer green skin from the mortar. Grind the cardamom seeds into a fine powder. Set aside.
Place a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-low heat. Add the almond flour, stir with a heatproof spatula until just warm and fragrant; 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer into the bowl of a small food processor fitted with the blade attachment or a blender to cool slightly.
Add the unsweetened coconut to the hot skillet. With the heatproof spatula, continuously stir until slightly toasted and pale golden; 1 to 2 minutes. Do not brown. Remove and add the coconut to the almond flour and allow to cool; 5 minutes.
Pulse the almond flour and toasted coconut until the mixture becomes a powder. Scrape the bowl down as necessary. Add the Redpath® Golden Yellow Sugar and salt to the powdered mixture. Process until thoroughly blended, and the almond flour begins to release some of its oil.
In the same skillet, over medium-low heat, melt the coconut oil. Add the chopped pistachios and golden raisins, stirring until pistachios are fragrant and raisins are slightly softened; 2 minutes. Turn off heat and add the ground cardamom, stirring to coat the pistachios and raisins. Add the pistachio mixture, rose water (or orange blossom water), and water to the food processor, pulse several times or process at 5-second intervals until mixture begins to clump. Squeeze a small amount of the mixture to see if it holds together. If it doesn’t, pulse a few more times until it holds its shape.
With a small ice cream scoop, portion (approximately 2 tablespoons / 26 grams per piece) and roll the mixture into balls (see Chef’s Tips). Work quickly as the mixture will become increasingly difficult to roll as it cools. To prevent the mixture from sticking to the scoop or hands, lightly grease with coconut oil periodically.
Rolled balls can be served as is, rolled in coconut, and/or decorated with a slivered or sliced almond or dried rose petals.
Store badam ladoo in an airtight container for up to 4 days at room temperature layered between parchment paper or a week in the fridge (let come to room temperature before serving).
*If cardamom pods are unavailable, use about 1 teaspoon (2 grams) of ground cardamom in its place; the resulting ladoo may not be as aromatic as it is with freshly ground cardamom.
*The bottom of a heavy saucepan can be used to break open cardamom pods. Place pods onto a cutting board, and with the bottom of a pot or pan, break open the green outer layer of the pod and discard. With a downwards grinding motion, grind the seeds into a powder. Alternatively, place seeds into a spice grinder and process until fine.
*Almond meal may be substituted for the almond flour, though the resulting ladoo will be speckled throughout with almond skin.
*The mixture can also be portioned using a tablespoon or by eye to form 1- to 1½-inch balls. If the mixture is still not moist enough to hold together after processing, mix in 1 teaspoon (5 ml) of melted coconut oil at a time until it can form a ball.
*Golden raisins can be substituted with the same amount of any chopped, dried fruit (e.g. cranberries, apricots, dates, figs).
*Pistachios can be omitted or substituted with other raw nuts (e.g. almonds, cashews, walnuts).
*If rose/orange blossom water is unavailable, substitute with pure vanilla extract, or omit altogether. For a more pronounced almond flavour, omit rose/orange blossom water and substitute with ½ teaspoon (2 ml) pure almond extract.
*Redpath® Dark Brown Sugar can be substituted for the Redpath® Golden Yellow Sugar for a more pronounced caramel and earthy undertone in the ladoos. Note that the colour will be darker when making this substitution.