Adadiya – Indian Sweet made in the winter

Adadiyas have lots of childhood memories for me.  During the cooler months in Kenya,  my dad used to make these  Adadiyas and they used to be so good that people used to order them from him.   At that time, I was young and spoilt and would never eat them as for some reason I didn’t like the smell!!    Now that I have started to make them, I love them and although I am a diabetic and shouldn’t have them, I have been known to sneak a bite from my hubby’s plate. This sweet is considered to be a healthy dish to have during the winter months. It is believed that eating one adadiya for breakfast during the winter months helps to keep you warm throughout the day.

It’s been over a year since I last made adadiyas so it’s always good to test out my recipe and try some variations to it. This time I made the adadiyas with less sugar and more almonds and added spices such as cardamom, ginger, nutmeg and saffron.

Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 2:00 hours

Ingredients for 35 small adadiyas:

• 2 cups of coarse black gram flour now being referred to as adad flour – hence the sweet is called adadiya!! (NOTE: The weight of the gram flour and ground almonds should be 500 gms) 
• ½ cup ground almonds
• ½ cup milk
• 2 cups ghee (clarified butter)
• ½ cup of edible gum arabica  (Gund). More information about the edible gum is here.
• 1½ cup of sugar which should be ground using a  coffee grinder
• ½ cup of finely sliced almonds
• ½ cup of cashew nuts
• 1 Tsp of a mixture ground cardamom (Elaichi)
• ½ tsp ground nutmeg (jaifur)
• ½ tsp ground ginger powder (sonth)


1. Take ¼ cup of ghee and ½ cup of milk and mix it with the adad flour and leave aside for 15 -20 minutes. (Some Gujaratis refer to this process as “Drabo”).  This process helps create a breadcrumb like texture for the adadiyas.  This process is used for other Indian sweets too.

2. Heat ½ cup of ghee and when it’s hot, add in a few bits of the edible gum to the ghee. As the ghee is hot, it will cook and pop the gum. Once cooked, leave aside. If the cooked gund pieces are very big then crush the using a mortar. It is believed that gund help keep your joints healthy.  

3. Mix the adad flour which was resting  and sieve it using a large hole sieve or colander.  This helps to create a nice bread like texture for the adadiya.

4. Add all the remaining ghee into a wok and let it heat on a medium flame.

5. Add in the adad flour and keep stirring. The following pictures will show you how the colour of the flour goes from light to dark golden – almost brown,

6. Once the mixture is golden, add in the edible gum.

7. Now add the sliced almonds and the spice mixture of ground cardamom, ginger powder, saffron and ground nutmeg.8. Stir well and turn off the heat.

9. Add in the ground sugar and mix well.10.  Once the mixture is cool enough for you to handle, take a golf ball size of the mixture and form the typical adadiya shape which looks a bit like a flat mountain.  I used a plastic mould which are available in most Asian kitchenware stores.  if you are not good at making these shapes, you can spread the mixture out on a greased dish and garnish it  with cashews and sliced diamonds. Both styles look nice and taste wonderful.  

Mina’s Tip: if the adadiyas are difficult to bind, you can add 2-4 tablespoons of hot milk to the mixture and stir.  This will give the mixture a bit of moisture and enable you to make the adadiyas.

Does anyone have a good explanation for why Indian sweets with gund are good for us – e.g Adadiyas in the winter and katlu after having a baby?