Monday, 4 March 2019

Aliv che Laadu / Halim Ladoo / Garden Cress Seed Power Balls - A miracle worker.

People who lose weight often restrict their calorie consumption. For proper functioning of the human body, it is important that our body receives the necessary nutrients for ideal operations. Lack of optimum calorie intake, leads to deficiencies in the body. Just like our body needs food, similarly, our hair also requires an intake of nutrients for their healthy growth.

Hair loss after weight loss is usually associated with a condition called Telogen Effluvium or fluctuation in the Body Mass Index that causes physical stress, which signals the hair follicles to move into an inactive stage.

Unfortunately our weight loss is almost always coupled with hair loss as well and thus started my quest to find a natural way to grow it back, minus pills, procedures or doctors.

Now, I'm all for natural methods and though slow, they do have long term sustainable benefits.

My research led me to the ancient Indian system of medicine a.k.a Ayurveda and from one such read I came across the miraculous benefits on the human body of Aliv or Garden cress seeds.

Cress, sometimes referred to as garden cress to distinguish it from similar plants also referred to as cress (from old Germanic cresso which means sharp, spicy), is a rather fast-growing, edible herb.

Garden cress is genetically related to watercress and mustard, sharing their peppery, tangy flavor and aroma. In some regions, garden cress is known as mustard and cress, garden pepper cress, pepperwort, pepper grass, or poor man's pepper.

When consumed raw, cress is a high-nutrient food containing substantial content of vitamins A, C and K and several dietary minerals.

Garden cress, known as chandrashoor and the seeds, known as haleev in Marathi, or halloon in India, are commonly used in the system of Ayurveda. It is also known as asario in India and the Middle East where it is prized as a medicinal herb, called habbat al hamra (literally red seeds) in Arabic.

A great source of good fats.

The health benefits of these tiny seeds are numerous, but today I will focus on why they are such a rich and great source of good fats (thereby contributing to the growth of new hair follicles).

* Garden cress seed oil is an excellent source of Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), Phytosterols, antioxidants (tocopherols, Phenolics). α-linoleic acid is an omega-3 fatty acid present in seeds, which is needed for a healthy body. Unfortunately, it cannot be produced in the human body, hence the need to source it from our diets.

* Garden cress oil can serve as an alternative source of omega-3 PUFA, especially for vegetarians.

* Garden cress oil is an excellent source of natural antioxidants needed for radical scavenging
activities in the body.

* Some researchers claim that a regular consumption of Alpha-linolenic acid could be helpful in preventing cardiovascular diseases as well.

The recipe that I'm sharing today is ancient, a preparation made in almost all households across the length and breath of the Deccan belt of India, Aliv che Laadoo or Garden cress seed power balls are a powerhouse of  of iron, folic acid, calcium , vitamins C, E and A. The seeds are high in calories and protein and contain essential fatty acids .Since they contain phytochemicals that resemble estrogen to some extent, intake of these seeds help to regulate menstruation and stimulate milk production in lactating mothers. That is why women are given foods containing Garden Cress following childbirth.

Aliv ladoos are easy to make and taste delicious too.

Lets take a look at the recipe (provided by my dear friend Dipti)

Preparation time: 1 1/2 hour
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Serves: 35 medium sized ladoos

You will need:

Measurements used 1 cup = 200 ml
1/2 cup Aliv / Halim / Garden Cress seeds
1 cup water OR coconut water
3 cups fresh coconut, grated
3 cups jaggery powder OR grated jaggery
1 tablespoon ghee
1/4 cup almond and cashews, chopped
1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder


Soak the garden cress seeds / Halim / Aliv in water in a bowl for at least 1 hour. If time permits soak them for 2-3 hours. On soaking the seed coat swells and gets covered with a slimy layer.

In a large pot add the fresh grated coconut and jaggery powder, almonds and cashew nuts, mix well.

To this mix add the soaked garden cress seeds (skip dry fruits if you don’t want to add them).

Mix well and cook on medium heat until the mixture comes together and leaving the sides of the pan.

This takes about 15 minutes.

Turn off the gas and add in the cardamom powder.

When the mixture cools down a little, roll into balls.

Do not let the mixture cool down completely or the ladoos won’t hold shape.

Consume one everyday.


The garden cress seeds can be soaked in an equal quantity of coconut water or plain drinking water instead of milk.
Any nuts can be used in the ladoos.
The ladoos have a shelf life of about 15-20 days on refrigeration.

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