First things first – this post is dedicated to Tilkuta Chauth / Sakat Chauth, a revered day for fasting, which comes on the fourth day of Krishna Paksha, in the month of Magh (January) according to the Hindu calendar. This vrat (fast) is mainly observed in North/West India and it is believed that fasting on this day removes all the obstacles from life and Lord Ganesha blesses his devotees with health, fortune and good children. For the benefit of all, Til is the Hindi word for Sesame seeds. On this Sakat Chauth day, sweets made up with sesame seeds and jaggery like Til Papdi, Til Laddu or Tilkut (meaning grounded sesame seeds) are offered to God – hence the day is also termed as Tilkuta Chauth.
I started Tilkuta Chauth fast after getting married and used to buy Til Papdi / Til Laddus from the market. However this year I completely forgot to buy them; and as tomorrow is Tilkuta Chauth so I really had to prepare them at home only :). I was a bit nervous to make them since I had never prepared them in the past. But I was satisfied with the results last evening 🙂 They (Til Papdi and Til Laddu) are a little tricky but if you make them carefully, they could be very quick and easy to make.
Sesame seeds are a great source of protein, Calcium, Magnesium, Phosphorus. Jaggery is again a good source of Iron and Calcium. The mixture of both sesame seeds and jaggery produces body heat, increases our immunity and prevents us from the bad effects of the cold weather.
The harvest festivals of Makar Sankranti and Pongal is also celebrated around the same time (mid-January) in various regions of India and these festivals are also synonymous with sweets made of rice, jaggery, green grams and sesame seeds. So let’s get into the colour of the season and indulge in some sesame seeds and jaggery sweets 🙂
The ingredients for making Til Papdi or Til Laddu are :
1. White Sesame seeds (Til) : 1 cup
2. Jaggery (Gur/Gud) : 3/4 cup (cut in pieces)
3. Clarified Butter (Ghee) : 1 tsp
4. Pistachios : a handful (optional)
First dry roast the sesame seeds on medium flame till they are light golden in colour. Now remove the sesame seeds from pan and keep them aside in a plate for cooling down.
Grease a plate with clarified butter and keep it aside.
Heat 1 tsp clarified butter (ghee) in a pan on medium heat, add jaggery to it and stir continuously till all the jaggery melts. Cook for another 2 minutes.
To check the right consistency of molten jaggery : take a bowl filled with water and drop a small drop of molten jaggery into it. If the jaggery drop turns into a solid drop and sits at the bottom then it is cooked otherwise cook it for some more time and repeat the check again till it is done.
Then add the roasted sesame seeds, and some sliced pistachios in it; mix properly, and then switch off the flame.
Pour this hot mixture into the greased plate and flatten it with a flat spatula or roll it using a rolling pin. Try to make it into a thin big square shape. Now just cut this Til Papdi into small square shapes with the knife and let it cool for some time. When it cools down, take out each square Til Papdi with the help of a knife. Your healthy and tasty Til Papdi is ready.
Method for making Til Laddu :
Apply ghee (clarified butter) on both hands, take 1 Tbsp of the above prepared sesame seeds-jaggery mixture in your hands, make round shape laddus, and place them on a plate. Make more laddus in the same way with the remaining mixture.
The key point for making both Til Papdis and Til Laddus is that the mixture should be hot. The mixture is difficult to work with as it becomes rigid on getting cold. You can store these Til Papdis and Til Laddus in an air-tight container and eat whenever you like. 🙂
Insider Tips / Finer Points :
- Do not over-roast the sesame seeds otherwise they will taste bitter.
- Cook the complete recipe on medium flame otherwise both sesame seeds and jaggery will burn.
You may use sugar instead of jaggery but the colour and taste will be different.
- If you are using a rolling pin to flatten the mixture then grease the rolling pin very well with ghee otherwise the mixture will stick on it.
- Cut the Til Papdi while it is warm; it will be hard to cut once it gets cold.
- If you like, you may add almonds, cashew nuts into it.
- If you like, you may crush the sesame seeds little bit and then make Til Papdi/ Til Laddu.