My first post in the year 2017 is an age-old traditional Indian recipe, ‘Nuvvula Undalu/Til Ladoos’ which are usually made for the ‘Makara Sankranthi’ festival. I learnt this recipe from my mother- in-law. With Makara Sankranthi just around the corner, I thought it is a perfect time to post the recipe of traditional Til Ladoos. They are very yummy and have a texture similar to hard candy. However, unlike hard candy, which is loaded with artificial colors and sugars, these ladoos are very nutritious. Kids can happily indulge in these ladoos. These ladoos are made with sesame seeds and jaggery. Sesame seeds are an excellent source of calcium, and jaggery is a source of iron. My mother-in-law makes these ladoos in a large quantity to distribute them to all our relatives. They are also made in a large size. If you can bite into them, then it is proof that you have super strong teeth. For some reasons, if you cannot bite into them, then the ladoos can be broken into smaller pieces with the help of a hammer(Yes, they are hard as rock) and eaten. Although these ladoos may be difficult to bite into, that’s what makes eating them fun. Enjoy!!!
I am also sharing the recipe for Peanut Chikki/Peanut Brittle and Sesame Chikki/Sesame Brittle in the same post.
11/03/2017: I have updated the post with Dry Fruit Chikki/Mixed Nut Brittle Recipe.
Measuring cup used: 1 Cup = 250ml
Sesame seeds – 1 cup
Grated Jaggery(Kolhapuri) – 1 cup
Vegetable oil – 1/2 Tsp.
Water – 1/2 cup
Vegetable oil – 3 Tsp.(To grease the parchment paper and to apply to the hands before rolling ladoos)
Heat a heavy bottomed wide pan on low heat. When the pan is hot, add 1/4 cup sesame seeds at a time and roast them.Transfer them into a plate and let them cool.
Tip: If the pan is well heated and if you roast only little quantity of sesame seeds at a time, then they will be roasted evenly. You can hear the cracking sound of sesame seeds and they also look puffed up. They shouldn’t turn dark brown. If you pick a roasted sesame seed with your pointing finger and thumb and lighly squeeze it, it should turn into powder.
Grate the jaggery. Measure 1 cup grated jaggery and keep it aside.
Add the grated jaggery and 1/2 cup water in a suace pan. Heat the pan on medium heat and keep stirring until the jaggery is melted. Turn off the heat and strain the melted jaggery liquid into a thick wide bottomed pan. This step is done to remove dirt from the jaggery, if any.
Add 1/2 Tsp. of oil to the filtered jaggery syrup in the wide pan.
Tip: Do not add more than 1/2 Tsp. oil. The addition of the oil gives a bright shine to the ladoos. If you add more oil then your hands will burn while rolling the ladoos.
Place the pan on low heat and keep stirring it continuosly. The mixture will start to bubble and thicken gradually.
We need to cook the jaggery syrup until the desired consistency is reached.
Tip: To check if the jaggery has reached the required consistency, put a small amount of the syrup in a small bowl filled with water. The syrup should come together to form a ball. If you drop it on the kitchen counter top, it should sound like a stone.
Now, lower the heat and gradually add the roasted sesame seeds. You should add right amount of sesame seeds(approximately 1 cup).
Tip: If you add too less sesame seeds, you will not be able to make the ladoos as it will be too hot to handle. If you too much sesame seeds, you will not be able to make the ladoos because the mixture will crystallize very fast. I have added little more sesame seeds than what you see in the picture below.
Transfer the mixture to a parchment paper or a thick plastic sheet greased with oil. Divide the mixture into small portions. It needs to be done very fast because it solidifies very quickly. Apply oil on both the hands and start making ladoos. Place them in a colander greased with oil.
Shake the colander few times. All the sesame ladoos in the colander will roll and bang each other. This step will help to bind the ladoos very tightly. Some ladoos may loose their round shape in this process. Make them round again and let them cool completely. Store them in an air tight container.
I am sharing a short video to show the process of rolling the ladoos which is mentioned in Step 6 and Step 7:
Sesame Chikki/Peanut Chikki
To prepare Sesame Chikki/Sesame Brittle the process is almost similar. Follow the process from step 1 to step 4. The jaggery syrup needs to be cooked for few more seconds on heat until it turns a little darker in color and thicker in consistency. Add the roasted sesame seeds and mix. Transfer the mixture on to a parchment paper greased with oil. Roll it into a thin layer with a rolling pin greased with oil. While the mixture is hot, make marks on it with a greased knife. Separate the into pieces when it cools down completely.
Note: Instead of using a greased rolling pin, you can place another greased parchment paper on top of the mixture and roll it with an ungreased rolling pin. This will prevent the mixture from sticking to the rolling pin.
To make Peanut Chikki, the process is exactly the same except that, you need to add roasted and peeled peanuts to the jaggery syrup. Puffed Rice Chikki is also prepared in the same way. Peanuts are replaced with Puffed rice.
Dry Fruit Chikki is also prepared in the same way. I have used 1/3 cup sliced Pistachios, 1/3 cup sliced Almonds and 1/3 cup chopped/sliced Cashewnuts. I added few saffron strands on top after rolling it.
I tried to represent three main things in my plate presentation that I can associate with Sankranthi festival.
Traditional Rangoli, Kites(Pathang)/Spindle(Charak) – Edible version and the lip-smacking Sesame Ladoos.
Try this age-old recipe at home. I tried to include all the tips and techniques learnt from my mother-in-law who is an expert in making them. Hope these tips are helpful and makes it easy.
Enjoy these traditional and delicious Sankranti special Til Gud Ladoos / Nuvvula Undalu/ Sesame Jaggery Ladoos!!!!