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Makar Sankranti is one of the few Hindu festivals that falls on same date every year (14th Jan). While most of the Indian festivals are celebrated by observing Lunar calendar, Makar Sankranti is one of the few festivals which is celebrated as per Solar calendar. Makar Sankranti is a compound word made of two different words, Makar refers to Capricorn and Sankranti means transition. Every month Sun transitions from one zodiac sign to other, and in month of January every year, Sun transitions into Capricorn. This also marks end of winter solstice and start of longer days. To put it in words of Sadguru ‘from Makar Sankranti onward, winter is being relieved step by step’.
In every state in the country, this festival is also celebrated as harvest festival- harvest of rabi crops. This is the most joyous occasion as it marks the first Hindu festival of the year, and each state has its own name for this festival. So, while Maharashtra observes Makar Sankranti, Punjab celebrates Lohri and Tamil Nadu celebrates Pongal on this day. Some of the other names for this festival is Uttarayan, Maghi and Khichdi.
In Maharashtra, people celebrate this festival not just as a harvest festival but to celebrate a triumph of Goddess Sankranti over demon Sankarasur . Women specially wear black saree, the color which is not considered as auspicious otherwise, signifying end of the black period and welcoming the happy period. An important tradition of Haldi Kunku is followed on Sankranti by married women when they exchange Sugad (clay pot filled with seasonal fruits & vegetables, puffed rice, sesame seeds, Jaggery, Ladoos, etc.).
In Maharashtra, people celebrate this day with great enthusiasm and often greet each other with the words तिळगुळ घ्या, आणि गोड-गोड बोला / Til-Gud ghyaa, aani goad-goad bola” meaning ‘accept this Til-Gud (sweet) and speak sweet words’. The underlying thought in the exchange of Til-Gud being to shun the animosity and hostilities and resolve to speak sweetly and remain friends. This signifies the importance attributed to the preparation of Til Gud during this festival. Besides the religious beliefs associated with Til-Gud Ladoos, which makes eating it a much followed practice, consumption of Til-Gud ladoos is also essential as per the principles of Ayurveda.
As per the Ayurveda knowledge, Winter is the period when Vata gets aggravated in human body causing much distress in body like joint pain and sore muscles. This aggravated levels of Vata can be controlled by eating sweet and oily combination of Til-Gud. Sesame seeds and Jaggery are rich source of Iron. Sesame seeds is also high in manganese, magnesium, vitamin B1 and dietary copper. Being an excellent source of dietary copper, sesame seeds provides relief in case of joint pain during winter. Know more here
Today we are happy to share with you this Til-Gud Ladoo recipe. One of our viewer on YouTube, Alkaji has requested e to share the recipe for crisp ladoos. Here are some quick tips for making crispy ladoos:
- Keep the roasted ingredients i.e. sesame seeds, dry coconut and peanuts in air tight container until you make a syrup of jaggery. This prevents these ingredients from turning soggy.
- Roast the ingredients to an even brown color.
- If there could be ‘the single most important tip’ it would be to use Chikki Gud for making syrup as it has desired stickiness to form the ladoos. There are different variety of Gud that is available in this season. You may have to ask your grocer for ‘Chikki Gud’ which you shop for the ingredients of Til-Gud Ladoos.
- While making jaggery syrup, chop the jaggery in small chunks in order to melt them quickly.
- Melt jaggery on a slow flame, stirring continuously to distribute the heat.
- Once jaggery melts, its color slightly changes to golden yellow from yellow. At this stage you must subject this syrup to what we call ‘consistency check’. To check the consistency of the syrup, add few drops of syrup in a bowl of tap water. Now with this few drops of syrup try to form a ball (in Marathi it’s called as “Goliband Paak”). This ball when banged against a hard surface must make a sound.
- Boiling the jaggery syrup further will result into it becoming dark brown in color. This is undesirable and would make Ladoo hard.
Make crispy Til-Gud Ladoos this Makar Sankranti, and share your feedback with us in comment section below.
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- 200 grams Til/White Sesame Seeds
- 200 grams Gud/Jaggery
- 100 grams=1/2 Cup Peanuts
- 50 grams=1/2 Cup grated dried coconut
- 2 tbsp Ghee/Clarified Butter
- 1 tsp Cardamom Powder
- Heat a pan for roasting. Dry roast Peanuts on low-medium heat until the peanuts become evenly brown in color [8 mins] (Keep moving the peanuts for more even browning). Remove the roasted peanuts from the pan and allow it to cool down.. Peel off the skin after it cools down.
- In the same pan, we will now roast white sesame seeds (Til) in batches. Roast on low heat until sesame seeds become light brown in color (even browning). Remove the roasted sesame seeds from the pan. Roast remaining batches.
- Now we will dry roast grated coconut. Ensure coconut is finely grated. Roast until Coconut becomes light brown in color.
- We will coarsely pound the roasted peanut. We must just break the peanuts into half (do not make a fine powder). Mix all the roasted ingredients together.
- Melt 2 tbsp Ghee in a pan. We will now melt Jaggery cubes on a low-medium heat (Ask for Chikki Ka Gud from your grocer when you shop for it.) We have cooked/melted jaggery on low heat for 7 mins.
- To check for consistency of syrup, add some drop of syrup in a bowl of water. Take out and now form a ball with that syrup. This ball must make a sound banged against a hard surface (See the video)
- Now add cardamom powder. Switch off the heat and mix all the ingredients.
- Apply some Ghee on your palms. Make Ladoos while the mixture is still warm. We won't be able to make ladoos when the mixture cools down. Take small portion and shape it into ladoos (round shape).
- When the mixture cools down and making ladoos becomes difficult then put back on flame and soften for 30 secs. You can start making ladoos after it softens.
- Makes Ladoos and store it in an air tight container
- Tip: After roasting, when ingredients cool down, transfer it to an air tight container. Keep it covered until all batches get roasted. This prevents the roasted ingredients from losing its crunch and ladoos will stay crisp for longer time.
Click to watch recipe video