India, as we know, is a land of many religions, which means many more festivals 🙂 ….and there are many of them which are being celebrated by almost all , may be with a different name or even a slight different date (based on the religious calendar followed)
One such is Makar Sankranti also known as Thai Pongal or Maghi or Uttarayan or Poush Sangkranti , Makar Sankramana ,Khichdi etc …
The common thing attached to all these festivities is the special food made on that day, and as a kid only that part was most interesting
At my place Til (Sesame Seeds) are the central attraction on Makar Sankranti …My mom used to make Til Laddos (sweets with Sesame seeds) with Jaggery and me and my sisters we used to eat that like we were in some kinda eating competition
Well the other sweets prevalent for the occasion were MurMurra Laddo (puffed rice with Jaggery) and I asked my mom to make them as big as possible
Since deployed to North America for work …….I do miss all that fun…. …Although I haven’t ever tried making the authentic Til Laddo , BUT, I did create my own very simple version of it, that satiate my tastes buds and have always earned me loads of compliments from people who tried it (office crowd – especially Non-Indians )
As my most of the recipes , this too is very simple to create, with few basic ingredients
So lets dig into it …
The detailed step by step pictures are available below the recipe.
- 1 Cup Dry Shredded Coconut (unsweetened) (See Notes)
- 1/2 Cup White Sesame Seeds
- 1/2 Cup Sweet Condensed Milk
- 1/2 Cup Heavy Cream or Heavy Whipping Cream
- 1/2 Tsp powdered Cardamom powder (optional)
- 2 TBS Shredded Dry Coconut for coating (optional)
- 2 TBS Dry Roasted Peanuts Unsalted for coating (Optional) (See Notes)
- Grind the Roasted Peanuts and 2 Tbs Shredded coconut and set it aside. This will be used for coating the laddo (balls) at the end.
- In a non stick pan over medium low heat , roast the sesame seeds for about 7-8 mins ,with constant stirring . We want the sesame seeds to turn slight pink (see the blog for the pics)
- Take out the roasted Sesame seeds in a plate and set it aside .
- In the pan over Medium low heat , add the condensed milk and the Heavy cream. Cook the mixture with frequent stirring, till it starts to bubble and get thick, lower the heat at this stage .
- Add the Sesame seeds, 1 Cup shredded coconut and the Cardamom powder into the Pan containing the Condensed milk and Heavy cream mixture.
- Mix the ingredients well and let it cook for 1-2 mins with constant stirring.
- You will find that everything gets incorporated very quickly .
- Take the mixture out on a plate and let it cool a bit
- When the mixture is cool enough to be handled with bare hands, divide the mixture into small chunks and roll them into balls. See notes for tips to make it less messing or sticky .
- Roll the balls once into the peanuts and coconut powder that we made in step 1 , so that the balls are nicely coated . This step is optional, but it adds extra flavors and the final product looks more presentable. If you are allergic to nuts , skip this step
- Its ready to eat .
- 1) Use dry shredded or desiccated Unsweetened coconut , if you have sweetened coconut is only available , adjust and use less condensed milk to control the sweetness
- 2) You can dry roast the peanuts on the stove on medium low heat with constant stirring or into the microwave
- 3) You should slightly grease you palms with some vegetable oil/ghee or spray just a little water on the palms before rolling the laddos. This prevents the mixture to be sticking to your palms
- 4) To make these more rich , you can roast the nuts of your choice and add them to the mixture .You may want to adjust the sweetness to accommodate the additional nuts
- 4) These can be stored for a week and can also be refrigerated. In my home they never lasted more than 2-3 days coz I couldn't resist myself from having more than one serving 🙂