Monthly Archives: January 2009

Til Gud

This surely won me some points with Shri !

For as long as I have known him, he has talked most fondly of tilgud, a Maharashtrian sweet that is traditionally prepared for “Makar Sankranti”, a harvest festival that is celebrated elsewhere in India too.

In Punjab, this is the festival they call lori and I have fond childhood memories of the bonfire that we always celebrated this festival with, and the gajak and revri that we munched as we sat around the fire in the winter cold.

This year, to mark these festivals (celebrated on consecutive days in January- Lori on the 13th and Sankrant on the 14th) I decided to try my hand at making tilgud for the first time ever, with pretty decent results.

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Tilgud

(this recipe is also onTil Gud on Foodista )

1 cup of sesame seeds

1 cup of roughly crushed/crumbled jaggery

1/2 cup of peanuts

1/2 tsp of green cardamom powder (freshly ground)

1 tbsp of ghee

1/4 cup of water

Roast the sesame seeds on medium heat until they are a medium brown color (don’t let them burn).Take them out in to a bowl.

Grind the peanuts without letting them become powdery fine. They should just break up into smallish bits and chunks. Mix these with the sesame seeds.

Heat the ghee in a pan and add the jaggery and the water. Heat the mixture in to a thick syrup till it reaches the stage where a drop of it put in to a bowl of cold water will retain it’s shape. This stage can take a while to reach so keep stirring the mixture every once in a while until then.

Take the pan off the heat now and stir in the cardamom powder and the sesame seeds and peanuts mixture. Mix thoroughly.

Cut through the mixture to make 4 equal parts, then apply some ghee on your hands and form equal sized balls (you should be able to make about 5 from each of those 4 portions). Place these on a plate that you would have greased with a little ghee already while the syrup cooked.

After they have cooled, the tilgud will acquire a yummy toffee-like texture. And in fact that is what Noor thought it was, when she tasted one of these laddoos !

The tilgud will keep well for at least a few days in an air-tight container.

A note from Lori/Sankrant, 2010 – I used peanut koot this year – which I typically add to salads and raita –  since I found I had run out of peanuts to grind as described above, but the laddoos taste just fine anyway.


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Filed under Desserts, Starters and Snacks

Garam Masala

The aloo-palak I made for dinner a couple of days ago didn’t quite taste the same, and I am inclined to put that down to the fact that I have been using a commercial/packaged garam masala for a while now, instead of  the home-made version which I ran out of a couple of weeks ago.

I do keep  a packet of store-bought garam masala handy for use when I haven’t yet had the time to grind a fresh batch of this spice mix. But the store-bought variety doesn’t really make the grade, IMO. It lack the  richness/fullness of taste that homemade garam masala adds to curries and subzis, and even after months of sitting in a bottle, the latter retains an aroma and a flavor that the store-bought kind just can’t match, even when fresh.

Recipes for garam masala vary in India by region and indeed from one family to another even in the same part of India.

This is how my mother makes  it and it is one of those important,basic,essential recipes that I want the girls to find here.

Garam Masala (this recipe is also on Garam Masala on Foodista )

Black Cardamom – 50 gms

Green Cardamom, Cinnamon, Cloves, Black Cumin/Caraway seeds – 10 gms each

Cumin seeds, Black pepper corns, Coriander seeds – 125 gms each (the last is optional since most curries are flavored with some coriander powder as well)

Heat a frying pan/wok to a  high temperature. Put in all the spices and roast for 1/2 a minute, stirring every few seconds. Then turn the heat off and

leave the spices in for another minute, turning them over a few times.

Grind everything together to a fairly fine texture and store in an airtight bottle.

This is a very worthwhile task- despite the sneezes it can induce on account of the pepper- because good garam masala makes up the heart of many an Indian curry or subzi, along with the ginger, the garlic, the onions and the tomatoes.

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Filed under Exploring the Spice Shelf, Masalas