WISHING YOU ALL A VERY HAPPY MAKAR SANKRANTI & LOHRI
Remember these Gur Parathas (Jaggery filled Flatbread) that I had made last year for Makar Sankranti? They were delicious with that wonderful and fragrant filling of desiccated coconut, spices, nuts and jaggery and so perfect for the winter season. Here is another recipe that is specific to Makar Sankranti. Til (sesame), gur (jaggery) and kite flying are synonymous with this day; rather the celebrations are incomplete without these three being there. Read more about this festival. This time I have ditched the jaggery and gone for the mawa and sugar (not the healthiest choice I know but aren’t winters about some indulgence!?)
I have used a mix of white and black sesame seeds but it is more for aesthetic purpose (basically for the laddus in the pictures to pop out some color) but you can go with all white or all black. And before I take you to the recipe, the two things that need care while making these laddus is, one, to not over roast the sesame seeds. They need to be toasted on medium heat (stirring all the while) till they just begin to change color and you hear one or two crackles from the sesame seeds. Immediately transfer them to a plate and you will be able to hear them gently crackling even after you remove them from heat. Even a little over-toasting will make the sesame seeds go bitter. So be watchful and careful. And second, do not over roast the mawa / khoya either else it will dry out and the laddus won’t bind together well. I learnt this by wasting a whole batch once. Once you have crossed these two little hurdles the laddus are a nutty aromatic delight to indulge in. And if you are interested in baking with sesame, here are scrumptious and healthy, gluten free Black Sesame Cookies.
¾ C White Sesame Seeds
2 tbsp Black Sesame Seeds
3 tbsp Almonds
250 grams Mawa / Khoya (reduced milk)
1 – 1½ tsp Cardamom Powder
¾ C Powdered Sugar (Confectioners Sugar / Icing Sugar)
In a pan roast white sesame seeds on medium heat gently and continuously tossing them around in the pan with a spoon or spatula. Once they begin to change color and you hear a crackle or two from the pan immediately decant the seeds on to a plate. Set aside to cool.
Repeat the same procedure for black sesame seeds. Remove the seeds in a separate plate or bowl and allow to cool.
In the same pan toast the almonds on low heat for a few minutes or till they just begin to change the color. Remove in a bowl and allow to cool.
Pulse the white sesame seeds (each pulse should be of a second or two else the seeds will release their oil) to a coarse or fine powder (which ever is desirable to you).
Remove the powdered white sesame seeds in a mixing bowl and add sugar and cardamom powder to it along with cooled black sesame seeds.
Repeat the same process with the almonds and add them to the above ingredients. Set aside.
In a heavy bottom pan (I use a wok/ kadahi) roast the khoya/ mawa on medium heat for 5 – 6 minutes. (I prefer grating it over crumbling for easy roasting)
Switch off the heat and add the sugar – sesame seed mix and using mix everything well.
Be careful of the heat when you are ready to roll the laddus. Start making the laddus when you are ready enough to handle the heat of the mixture.
If the mixture sticks to your hands while making laddus, moisten your hands a little and they will easily roll.
Note – I advice you sieve the confectioners sugar to get rid of any lumps and for easy assimilation in the laddu mixture.
Yield – 15 Laddus (the size shown in the picture)
Thanks for your visit and see you soon again with another exciting recipe!