1. Pulse the coconut and the cardamom powder together in a grinder till the texture of the coconut has become a little like sand. Do this only if the coconut is not grated very finely. Do not add any water to grind.
2. In a heavy, broad based pan or skillet heat 2 tablespoons ghee and roast the semolina on a very low flame. Ensure that the pan is not over crowded. Take care to stir it with undivided attention. It will take 3-5 minutes for the colour to slowly change to a light golden hue. You will also get a delicate aroma of roasted rava. Remove from the heat immediately before it burns.
3. In the same pan (wiped clean of any rava remnants) heat some more ghee and roast the nuts and raisins one after the other until the nuts are golden in colour and the raisins have puffed up a little - again, keep an eye out and don't let the contents burn *see notes. If you like remove & reserve a few nuts and raisins for decoration and add the rest.
4. Add the coconut & cardamom mixture and roast on a medium heat for half a minute. Add the sugar and stir well - the sugar will slowly begin to melt. Finally add the roasted rava and give all the contents a good mix.
5. Turn off the flame, add the milk in parts and mix for a couple of minutes. Cover the pan and let the mixture sit for another minute. The rava if uncooked at the roasting stage will gently cook under the steam. * see notes
6. Open the pan and when the mixture feels comfortably cool to handle grease your palms with drops of ghee and gently compress lime sized portions of the mixture into your palm. Place a raisin and cashew nut on the surface to give it a decorative touch. You may need to give it a little squeeze so that the laddoos don't crumble. Place laddoos on a plate to cool.
7. Once the laddoos have cooled completely store in an airtight box and consume within 2 days if kept at room temperature. They will keep well for almost 5-6 days when stored in an airtight box in the fridge.
1. If you don't have fine granulated sugar, powder your regular sugar in a grinder.
2. If you are using an electric hob (hotplate/ceramic/induction hob) then remove the pan off the heat and place it elsewhere - this is because electric hobs take longer to cool as compared to gas stoves and hence you may end up scorching the rava (the colour will turn to dark brown which is avoidable)
3. Applying ghee to your palms before preparing the laddoos will prevent scalding of your skin as the mixture would be really hot.