Tirupati Laddoo Recipe Will Be Made Minus Nandini Ghee
Image Credit: vijaysweets

If you’ve ever had a chance to experience biting into a cardamom-scented Tirupati laddoo, embedded with rock sugar crystals and raisins, you’re in for some disappointing news. Karnataka Milk Federation’s Nandini dairy, which has been the supplier of ghee to the temple’s kitchens where these laddoos are made, will no longer be the source of the ingredient, all thanks to the hike in milk prices, starting tomorrow.

The federation’s president, Bhima Nayak made the official announcement, also adding that there may be a compromise in quality, as the Tirupati temple management found a different supplier to continue to price their laddoos affordably. These GI tagged laddoos, synonymous with the Balaji temple, are as popular as the pilgrimage site, with lakhs of devotees thronging stalls to pick up their share of laddoos, when they pay a visit to the temple.

Nayak, in his statement, added that, “When it comes to ghee, we have maintained the highest standard. Until now, they were using Nandini ghee for Tirupati laddoo. However, the past year, there has been call for a tender and the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams want us to provide ghee at competitive prices. Despite providing the highest quality ghee, we are unable to provide it at a low cost.”

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The laddoos, that are considered to be a prasad offerings blessed by the resident deity of Lord Balaji, received its GI tag on the 15th of September, 2009, under the foodstuff category as per the 1999 patent. Prepared in a laddoo potu – or a kitchen space meant specifically for the preparation of this delicious sweet – ingredients are moved around using three conveyor belts, due to the sheer quantities in which they are used.

The traditional recipe of the Tirupati laddoo has only been changed six times, in the history of the temple’s existence – the main factor being the rising demands, that needed the recipe to be multiplied and modified. Available in three variations, namely the proktham laddoo – the original prasad that is distributed to all visitors, asthanam laddoo – prepared for special occasions and Kalyanotsavam laddoo – the rarest of them all, prepared only for devotees who participate and volunteer to serve during the festivities.