Jan 10, 2008

Tila Laddu for Sankranti...

Wishing you all a very happy Makar Sankranti...

Makar Sankranti is perhaps the only Indian festival whose date always falls on the same date every year i.e. the 14th of January. However, this year, I have heard that some people are observing it on the 14th and some on the 15th. I came across this read somewhere that a decade ago Makar Sankranti used to be observed on January 12 or January 13. But depending on the sun’s shift from south to north Makar Sankranti date will progress in future. This year it is on January 14 and January 15. In future, it will be on January 16 or 17. This is because the Sankranti is based on the Solar calendar, unlike the rest of the festivals, which are based on Lunar calendar. Makar Sankranti is based on the movement of the sun and is unlike other Hindu holidays which are based on waning and waxing of moon.

Makar literally means 'Capricorn' and Sankranti is the day when the Sun changes its position from one sign of the zodiac to the other. This happens every month, but it is very auspicious in the month of Magha (January), as it coincides with the harvest season and marks the end of the winter season.

The only fond memories I have of Sankranti are the delicious Tilgul and the Tila Laddu( Til Laddus )..As kids, on this day, we would carry small dabbas filled with Tilgul and take to schools for distributing to teachers and students. The boxes would never get empty, coz we exchange the tilgul, that means you give to a person and that person either gives you their tilgul or a little from what you have given them. Tilgul and laddus just flock from friends and relatives. A few days before the festival, Aayi would make small packets with the tilgul and haldi-kumkum, and mail to all married women in the family and to friends. I rememer myself writing the addresses on the postal envelopes those days :). Same goes for receiving also. So then for a few more days, there would be an overdose of tilgul, but no complains :)..There is a famous phrase that we say while giving the tilgul.
Tilgul ghyaa ani god god bola,
Tilgul saandhu nako, majhyashi bhandu nako.

It means, take sweet, talk sweet, don't drop the sweet and don't fight with me ( rather let our friendship/bond remain strong )..Isn't that sweet ??

I remember my maternal grandma used to always make the tilgul and would always save one big batch for us when we went to native in the summer holidays. They would make it with different seeds, nuts, saunf and jeera. The taste of these home-made tilgul is just amazing and no match or even anything to compare with just the sugary stuff which you get commercially. My mom always bought the ready-made one, thats why we waited for the tilgul from Amma( grandma )..These days, I know hardly few people who actually make the tilgul. It takes a lot of time and patience to make it I've heard.
I will give the recipe here below. I haven't yet tried making it myself, but will try soon.

Til laddus, as I've mentioned above is also what we make for Sankranti.
The recipe for the laddus is here below. I made the laddus for the first time, I thought they came out a little hard. I think I heated the jaggery a little too much. Well, better luck next time.

Til (sesame seeds) - 1 cup
Grated jaggery - 1 1/2 cup
Peanuts - 1/2 cup
Ghee - 1 tsp


- Dry roast the til till it turns slightly brown and keep aside.
- Dry roast the peanuts. When little cool, remove the skin from it, by rubbing between palms of hand. Then make a coarse powder of the peanuts.
- Heat the kadhai, put the jaggery in it. Keep mixing well, till it melts and starts lightly frothing.
- Add the ghee to it, and the til and peanut powder. Mix well. Put off the heat.
- When still very warm, but able to handle, make laddus from the mixture immediately.
- Cool completely before storing.

Update : I made another batch of the Laddus. This time, the jaggery I used was also very light in colour and I heated it also to the right consistency I think. The result is the first pic you see on this post :)..

This is how to make the Tilgul..


Sugar - 2 cups
Water - 2 cups
Yogurt - 1 tsp
Milk - 2 tsp
Lemon juice - 1 tsp
Fresh muslin kind of cloth for filtering.

You will need 1 tsp each of the following. You can increase, decrease or avoid any of them as you wish.
Jeera,Saunf,Putani( Roasted Chana Dal ), Peanuts, White til, til,Coriander seeds, Cloves (lavang), Pumpkin seeds, Elaichi ( the skin or cover removed ) - All 1 tsp each.

Method of preparation

- Put 2 cups each of water and sugar in a Kaayli (Kadhai) and keep it for
- When it comes to a boil, put in the yogurt. After boiling, take off from stove and filter in a clean cloth.
- Again keep the strained liquid for boiling and add the milk, boil it and filter it.
- Keep this filtered liquid for boiling again and add lemon juice and filter again.
- Now heat this again and after ensuring that the Paank (Syrup) is not very thick, take the vessel off from the heat and keep it for cooling.( Ensure that the syrup holds like a thin wire between the Thumb and first finger ). Now the syrup is ready.

- Put the rest of the items like Jeera,etc for sometime under hot sun( well, here, you can just keep in the oven for 2 mins, not more, else it will burn and give bitter taste ).
- Then put them all in a thick steel plate and keep it on the stove on very low heat. When it is slightly hot, add half a teaspoon of the prepared sugar syrup and toss with your fingers for about 10-15 minutes very slowly, so the seeds all get coated with the syrup.
- Once the plate cools, again keep the plate on the gas till it becomes hot. Take care not to burn the stuff on it.
- Take off the plate from the gas and again add half a teaspoon of the syrup and pour over the seeds.This process of heating, adding of syrup and coating for 10-15 minutes is to be repeated till all the sugar syrup is used up.
- If required, you can also add colors to this. For this, mix different food colours in 2-3 Tsps of syrup and repeat the same process on the seeds.After adding colours, keep the Tilgul in the hotsun for sometime. If colour is not added, then there is no need of keeping in the sun.
- Tilgul is now ready.

The above picture is of some tilgul my mom sent for me. This is the store bought one and is plain sugar. There are no seeds inside it.

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Seema said...

This is so yum... never tried my hand at this. My Hubbys favourite.. just got a parcel of this from my Dear MIL!!

Meera said...

Tilgul ghya, ani goad goad bola, Indeed!! & promise, no fights!!:-)

Happy Makar Sankranti to you and your family.
You ladoos look delicious. You are tempting me to make them too.

Shilpa said...

Happy Sankranti to you and family Maya. Even I made tila laddu, making tilgul is still not my cup of tea. I want to learn it though.

Suganya said...

Maya, Sankranti is the first day of the month Thai (Tamil)/ Pausa (Hindi). Since ours is a Lunar calendar, it falls on different day every year in the Gregorian calendar. I love til laddus. They are nutty and slightly chewy from the syrup.

Archana Pritish said...

Happy Sankranthi !!

Nice colorful til ladoo ..!! yummy !!

Maya said...

Thanx to all for your comments and feedback :)..

Ammu's Rasoi said...

These laddus look quiet sticky and tasty too whenever I make these laddu they do not look or become sticky can you tell me what I maybe doing wrong.

Akshay said...

Makar Sankranti Recipe are nice and every one like to have it. I had it its very tasty. The process of making dishes are awesome. Makar Sankranti Recipes are there in Indianecipes.co.in