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.
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.