These bliss balls taste so good you may end up thinking they are too good to be healthy. These bliss balls get sweetness from sultanas, nuts, and fennel and are free from refined sugar. They are packed with nuts and seeds and even spices which aid digestion and nutrient absorption. An ideal go-to for when you have a sweet craving, they satisfy that sweet craving in a guilt-free way. Need breakfast on the go? My bliss balls have you sorted!
The combination of ingredients in these bliss balls comes from thandai, a drink consumed during Holi, the festival of colour, in India.
Holi is a Hindu festival marking the arrival of spring. It falls on the last full moon of the lunar calendar. The day before Holi, a bonfire is lit that signifies letting go of the past, starting afresh, and winning the positive over the negative. As with all Hindu festivals, Holi has many significances; however, one common thing throughout the festival is playing with colours and eating delicious food. Since Holi is all about resetting, thandai is a popular drink as it also helps you take care of your body as the season changes. This inspires my bliss balls.
Right then, let's cook!
- Whole almonds
- Cashew nuts, Unsalted
- Pisachio nuts, shelled and unsalted
- Melon seeds
- Poppy seeds
- Desiccated coconut
- Black peppercorns
- Green cardamom
- Fennel seeds
- Dark chocolate (70%)
- Cinnamon Powder
See the recipe card for quantities.
First, in a bowl, soak the sultanas in the boiled water for about ten minutes to rehydrate them.
While the sultanas are soaking, individually grind the almonds, cashew nuts, pistachio nuts and melon seeds. Peel the cardamom and grind the seeds and also grind the peppercorns. Finally, grind the poppy seeds. Add the poppy seeds gradually to the grinder instead of all at once to avoid the release of oils.
Add all ground ingredients and the ground cinnamon to a bowl and mix thoroughly.
After about ten minutes of soaking, blend the sultanas (and the water they are soaked in) to a rough paste. Add this paste to the dry thandai mix and thoroughly incorporate them together.
Divide this wet mix into 30 gms portions and roll them into ball shapes.
Now melt the chocolate that will cover the Thandai bliss balls. In a saucepan, heat some water to a simmer. Place a heatproof bowl over it. Break up the chocolate and melt it in the bowl.
Take a plate and spread out the desiccated coconut to cover the chocolate-coated Thandai bliss balls.
Give the melted chocolate a quick mix to make sure it is smooth, and then, using a fork, cover the Thandai balls in chocolate.
Once the Thandai bliss balls are completely covered in melted chocolate, remove excess chocolate, transfer them to the plate of desiccated coconut and gently roll them until they are covered. You may need to sprinkle some of the coconut onto any bare patches of chocolate.
Finally, pop the Thandai bliss balls into the fridge until the chocolate has set.
How To Video
Here is a video guide to making thandai bliss balls.
You can replace the nuts listed in the recipe with those you prefer; stick to the quantities given.
If you do not have melon seeds, you can replace them with sunflower seeds.
If you don't like 70% dark chocolate, replace it with your percentage choice; don't go below 54%. Milk chocolate doesn't work well with coating, so I don't recommend that.
If you don't like coconut, you can either leave it out or use your choice of coating. Fruit powder, cocoa powder - the possibilities are endless.
I highly recommend a spice blender for the spices, especially the poppy seeds, which tend to release their oil very quickly.
These bliss balls can be stored in the fridge for up to a week in an airtight box.
You can also freeze them for up to three months defrost them in the fridge overnight.
Blend the nuts separately, and don't overload the blender. If you add too much or blend for too long, the nuts will release their oil and clog the blender. The same with the spices and seeds, blend individually and small quantities.
Thandai Flavoured Bliss Balls
- Digital scales
- Food processor or blender
- Spice blender or a dry blender
- 145 gms Almonds
- 130 gms Cashew nuts
- 120 gms Pistachio without shell, unsalted
- 35 gms Melon seeds
- 35 gms Poppy seeds
- 15 gms Fennel seeds
- 20 Green cardamom
- 20 Black peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon Cinnamon powder
- 30 gms Sultanas
- 200 gms Dark chocolate 70%
- 100 ml Boiling water
- 100 gms Desiccated coconut
- Soak the sultanas in boiling water for approximately ten minutes.
- Grind the almonds, pistachio, cashews and melon seeds individually into powder.
- Peel the cardamom and grind the pods into powder along with the black peppercorns
- Grind the poppy seeds into a powder. Add the seeds a little at a time.
- Add all the powdered ingredients and the cinnamon powder to a bowl and mix thoroughly.
- Blend the soaked sultanas into a rough paste. Add the sultana paste to the powdered ingredients and mix to combine.
- Pinch out 30gm portions of the mix and roll into a ball shape
- Set a pot of water on simmer and place a heatproof bowl over it. Add the dark chocolate into the bowl to melt.
- Spread out the desiccated coconut on a plate or in a bowl and place it near the melting chocolate.
- Once the chocolate has melted, mix it into a smooth liquid and turn off the heat. Leave the bowl in the water bath.
- Place the thundai balls into the melted chocolate using a fork, and coat thoroughly. Remove excess chocolate. Transfer the chocolate-coated balls into the desiccated coconut and roll to coat. You may have to sprinkle some on top to coat.
- Transfer the balls into the fridge to cool. Once the chocolate is set, the bliss balls are ready to eat.
In a professional kitchen, food hygiene and safety is a top priority, and from the very beginning of training, I practised good habits and routines. Of course, it is also very, very important to practice good food hygiene and safety at home. Here are some fundamental practices to adopt in the kitchen.
- Wash your hands regularly while preparing, handling and cooking food
- Wipe down counter tops and high contact points regularly
- If you cook meat and fish, do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat. Use separate chopping boards for meat and fish. Wash your chopping boards immediately after use.
- Thoroughly cook food to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods (more than 2 hours)
- Store food correctly
For more details of food hygiene and safety in the home, visit the UK Government's Food Standards Agency webpage.