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Sesame laddoos (Tila laddu)

Wish you all a very happy Sankranti.

This year I wanted to make something special for Sankranti. While growing up, this was one of my favorite festivals. For me, the most important part of this festival is Tilgul - Til (sesame seeds) and gud(jaggery). We give spoonful of tilgul to others and say – “tilgul ghya goaD goaD bola“(take tilgul and talk sweet), which finally evolved into “Take sweet, talk sweet and be sweet” in schools. We kids used to have a competition to see who collects more tilgul. It was so much fun.

Before these fancy white colored tilguls(which have become just sugar drops these days) dominated the market, either sesame laddoos or sesame seeds covered with thin layer of sugar were very popular among Konkanis. People started getting fancy with these and sesame, peanuts, cashews, saunf(badishepi) etc covered with sugar started getting popular. Making these at home is very difficult and known to only few people. They need correct consistency of sugar syrup to get perfect tilguls. At my place, even though we share these white tilguls, some people still have kept the tradition of giving the sesame laddoos along with them.

I wanted to try making tilgul at home this year. But I am very bad at making sugar syrup. Aayi correctly said I can’t make it – “neither you have patience nor have you ever seen the process. So do not attempt it”. She never says that to me, so when she stressed so much, I thought its better not to try. She promised me that she will teach me when I visit her. So I thought comparatively easier sweet – tila laddu. After burning my hands in the process and loosing patience more than once, I got these beautiful laddoos. They tasted great. Aayi always makes them in huge batches and all of them in same size and shape. Looks like I need a lot more practice. I think molasses is little more easier to handle than the normal jaggery, so if you find it, use it.

1 cup sesame seeds (white)
2 tbl spn roasted, peeled and halved peanuts (ground nuts)
1/2 cup jaggery
1/2 tea spn cardamom powder

Wash the sesame seeds in water. Drain the water and spread the seeds on a clean kitchen towel for about 15-20mins(they need not dry completely). Roast them on a medium flame till they start popping and nice aroma comes out of them. Take them off heat.

Heat jaggery with 2 tbl spn water. Traditionally it is made with molasses(the black colored liquid jaggery, do not add water if you are using molasses). I tried here with the normal solid one.
Keep the heat on medium, because jaggery gets burnt very easily.

Take little water in a plate and add a drop of the jaggery in it. The jaggery should sit like a drop without getting diluted. That shows it has reached the required consistency.
Now add the sesame seeds and peanuts. Mix well. Take off the heat, add the cardamom powder. Mix again.

Take a big spoonful of the mixture on a clean plate (this is to help in easy cooling) & keep the remaining tightly closed(this mixture gets hard very soon, so need to keep it covered all the time).
Apply some ghee to your palms and make small balls of the mixture from the plate.

PS: Once the mixture is cooled, you cannot make the laddoos, so you need to work fast when it is still hot. Be careful not to burn your hands (the mixture at this stage is really really hot). Taking small portions on a plate helps to manage small portions at a time.
If the mixture cools off fast, then, heat it again for sometime till it melts and repeat the procedure.
If you cannot manage to make the laddoos, due to lack of time or patience, just spread the mixture on a plate greased with ghee, then cut them into desired shapes.

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{ 46 comments… add one }

  • Cynthia January 13, 2008, 7:48 pm

    Happy Sankranti!

  • evolvingtastes January 13, 2008, 8:55 pm

    Gosh, these look fantastic. Have always been intimidated by making tilgul, so I tip my hat to all those who do make it.

  • musy January 13, 2008, 9:53 pm

    Happy Sankranti to you too, Shilpa. Til is a flavor of the season. Even in Punjabis, til sweets are considered a must for this season. You are really patient to make laddoos with hot mixture, and they really look good!

  • sunita January 14, 2008, 5:03 am

    Happy Sankranti to you and your family.

  • madhavi January 14, 2008, 5:15 am

    Thanks a lot for this recipe, Shilpa.
    Looking fwd to making it tomm. My son is 17 mths and first time he’ll be tasting tilgul, so wanted to make sure I make ita nd it’s good :)
    wish u a happy Sankranti.

  • Purnima January 14, 2008, 5:21 am

    Shilpa..Happy Sankranti to you too! You hv got a new template! I loved the badami one though :) feels like I hv come to some other blog! Hey thats lovely explanation and stepwise photos as usual …Til gul ghya ani goad goad bola!! Shall surely try these! (Calmanac calendar shows Makar Sankranti and Pongal on 15th Jan..am not sure now!)

    Shilpa: Thats strange..I haven’t changed anything. The template is same. Wondering if something happened while site was going down yesterday night.

  • Asha January 14, 2008, 8:41 am

    Hi Shilpa, happy Shankrathi to you and family. Ellu Unde looks perfect, I never made this sweet at home.
    Just want to tell you that I have disabled the comment in both blogs temporarily to take it easy for a while, did not make it private though. I will open it after sometime! Detoxing from blog addiction!:D

    Shilpa: Happy Sankranti to you and family Asha. Hope everything is fine. Take it easy on the blog & comments. All the best.

  • Maya January 14, 2008, 9:19 am

    Hey Shilpa.Wish you a very happy Sankranti..Tila laddu in my house too :)..Urs have come out very nice..

  • Maya January 14, 2008, 9:33 am

    Yes Shilpa..I tried a little batch of tilgul and it was a total disaster, then aayi said I had done it completely wrong and takes a whole lot more time and patience than I expected..So, just left it at that :)..

  • Happy Cook January 14, 2008, 10:03 am

    Happy Sanjranti
    Love the till laddos

  • richa January 14, 2008, 10:46 am

    hey shilpa, tilgul ghya, goad goad bola :)
    happy sankranti to you!

  • mansi s. naik January 14, 2008, 10:56 am

    Hi Shilpa,
    wish you happy sankrat to you & your family.
    o.k. bye

  • Rutu January 14, 2008, 10:58 am

    Happy Sankranti to you too. It seems from this year on, Sankranti will always fall on the 15th at least for the next 100 years! :)

    *virtual* til gud ghya goad goad bola :)

  • sumitha January 14, 2008, 11:03 am


    This site has copied your pic Shilpa.

    Shilpa: Thanks for letting me know Sumitha.

  • sumitha January 14, 2008, 11:11 am

    The pic of your Sambar(Kolmbo) has been copied by this site Shilpa http://www.eastern.in/karnataka/index.php.I got to know about this from Shynees blog.(http://isouthpotpourri.blogspot.com/)

  • Meera January 14, 2008, 6:58 pm

    Happy Sankranti to you, Shilpa. You til ladoos look delicious.

  • Sonali January 14, 2008, 7:48 pm

    Hi Shilpa,
    Happy Makar-Sankranti!! these Tilguls look delitious….Traditionally I think Tilgul is made of Chikki Gud…thats what they call it i think.

  • RACHANA January 15, 2008, 3:13 am


  • meera January 15, 2008, 6:13 am

    Happy Sankranti

  • pelicano January 15, 2008, 7:04 am

    You know what? I complain because I nearly break my teeth on these when I eat them, yet…I eat them, because I love them so much! My grandma would buy a very similar sweet for us when we were young, but instead of balls it was made in small rectangles, so that flavour brings me back! Thanks for posting this!

    Shilpa: Hahaha..thats true. If it is made with molasses(which is usual for these laddus), they become quite chewy and hard. Try with normal jaggery. Spreading the mixture and cutting in squares in much easier, I just wanted to make it the traditional Konkani way, it takes too much time & patience :(

  • nita pai January 15, 2008, 12:03 pm

    Hi Shilpa,
    I too made tilguls…the first batch turned out too hard….so I bought tilseeds and chikki-guud from another shop this(2nd) time, and luckily they turned out well!! I however added 2 spoons of ghee to the guud just before mixing in the sesame seeds and 2 spoons of elaichi powder as well.

    So then Tilgull ****** ghya ani God-god bola…******

    Shilpa: Nita I think it was because of jaggery syrup. It needs the perfect consistency to get them right. Molasses works out perfect, but the hard gud is bit more difficult to handle. I too have to practice it before getting it perfectly correct. I am glad second time.

  • Deepa January 15, 2008, 12:06 pm

    Hey Shilpa,
    Hats off to you,these tila laddus require timing and patience and making them into laddus when they are hot..
    good job really!!!

  • Vaishali January 15, 2008, 12:44 pm

    Hi shilpa,

    This is a realy good recipe. I made this Laddu just now. I don`t know wether it will become hard or not.
    But it has very good taste. Thank u so much.


  • Pooja January 15, 2008, 12:52 pm

    hi Shipla,
    Happy Sankranti to you to odear .
    Thanks for sharingthis traditional recipe of tilgud. I feel like grabbing one of it just now, plz allow me :D… It looks so fresh and yummy !

  • anuzi January 15, 2008, 3:08 pm

    Happy Sankranti! May all your days be filled with good.

  • anusriram January 15, 2008, 3:40 pm

    Looks awesome… Happy sankranthi to you…

  • Kalai January 15, 2008, 4:39 pm

    Happy Sakranti, Shilpa! I haven’t had too much luck with these types of sweets, but you make it look manageable… Will try again!

  • Archana January 15, 2008, 7:43 pm

    Hi shilpa..

    Happy Sankranthi.. !!

    Nice ellu ladoo.. !!

  • Purnima January 16, 2008, 1:42 am

    Shilpa..i made these yesterday! I used wrong type of jaggery (chikki goad shd be used for this for ant-saani) , cdn’t bind it to balls, but its tastes heavenly!

  • Miri January 18, 2008, 6:33 am

    The rolling part looks very daunting, no doubt I would be the one to burn my hands! Kudos on attempting it and succeeding!

  • Nicole January 18, 2008, 7:43 pm

    What country are these recipies from? They look good!

  • Sonali January 10, 2009, 6:42 pm

    Hi Shilpa,
    The gud that we get here is sour(aambat).I dont know Why it is so.I tried the ladu as per your recipe and they came out correct but the taste wasn’t that good.Should I use mollasses in the same proportion.Or is there any other way


    Shilpa: Yes, same proportion.

  • kanchan January 12, 2009, 9:36 pm

    Thank you very much for the receipe. Looking forward to make. This year i m going to make on by myself (w/o my mother-in-law’s help). Every year back home we make it in a large quantity. I really enjoy making ladoos. Thank u once again and happy sankranti to u and ur family.

  • shirdi sai January 13, 2009, 5:00 am


  • Shruti January 13, 2009, 9:58 pm

    Thanks a lot for the recipe Shilpa. Wish you and your family a Happy Sankranti

  • swapnil January 14, 2009, 4:14 am

    hi,thanks for such a nice recepie of til gud ladoo,i have opened so many sites for ladoo but u have explained so nicely that now its very easy to all of us to make it ,u have explained every thing verycarefully,but not like the other s ,thanks once again

  • Sonali January 14, 2009, 8:58 am

    Hi Shilpa,
    I made the laadoo with mollasses.Andthey were super good.ekdum khamang zaale.Thank you.Also they were chewy not that hard..so the kids loved them.

    sankratichya shubhechhha Tilgul ghya god bola


  • Namrata Kini January 14, 2009, 3:46 pm

    Thanks a lot for your recipe Shilpa. I used cashew nuts in place of peanuts. My laddoos came perfect.

  • Nita Pai January 15, 2009, 4:19 am

    Happy Sankrant , Shilpa…!

    I happened to C a recipe on Tilgul on TV yestrdy noon…Thought I will share the tips given :

    a. Wash and Soak the Til overnite . Then drain and spread it on a clean sheet of cloth to dry. Then roast it …
    b. Add a big spoon of ghee to the Chikki-gull first just before melting it ,and before removing it from the fire, add 2 spoons of sugar -to give the laddus a kinda glaze..
    c. Besides groundnuts, one can also add kajubee, putanidaal
    -both ground, not-too coarsely nor fine…

    Hope u will find these tips useful…

  • Anunaya January 15, 2009, 6:15 am

    Happy Sankranthi Shilpa!!!

    I tried the till laddus. They came out very good. V just loved them.

  • Amina July 28, 2009, 4:04 am

    Thanks for the recipe. my kids like ladoo very very much and i gonna make it for them. thanks agai

  • nandini January 23, 2010, 7:22 am

    hey shilpa,evn i made tilgul.they turnd dark brown ,urs lil orange .u add color shilpa.looks good .

  • Umesh January 14, 2011, 11:12 am

    Sankrati chya hardik shubhechha.
    Mala he sangatana khup anand hot ahe ki, mazya aayila mi tilgulachi recipe gharchya ghari sangitali.
    Thanks to you and thanks to internet.

    Tilgul ghya goad goad bola !!!

  • notyet100 January 25, 2011, 5:48 am

    thanks for the detailed recipe,..:-) helped me a lot while preparing,

  • bindu June 8, 2011, 7:36 am

    Mine became little smoother, may be I added more water to Jaggery. Then I added dry coconut powder, the smoothness was still there.

    But taste was awesome.

    Thanks a lot.

  • cynthia January 12, 2012, 10:57 am

    Wat is d qty of jaggery used for 1 kg sesame seeds. Pl reply urgently

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