Step by step, easy, super quick and goof proof recipe for the sweet Tilachi Vadi!
Food and festivals have always gone hand in hand for me and I have often wondered why specific foods are eaten during a particular festival.
For Makar Sankrant festival, foods are made with sesame seeds and jaggery. Tilachi vadi or Tilgul is one of the popular sweets distributed among friends at such time. Til is sesame seeds and gul is jaggery. According to Ayurveda, sesame seeds and jaggery generate heat in our bodies in the winter and also help restore energy and vigor. That explains its importance during Makar Sankrant festival. In Maharashtra,India, people exchange Tilgul saying, “Tilgul Ghya goad bola” to mean “Let’s forget any misgivings of the past and become good friends”
Makar Sankrant is celebrated in various forms all across India, on January 14th. It marks the sun’s travel to Makar (Capricorn) zodiac, which means days start getting longer! Yay! Knowing that and having my Tilachi Vadi, I can brace myself for the winter ahead here.
Special jaggery called chikkicha gul is used to make the hard and crunchy sesame chikkis and laddoos, which is not available in our neck of the woods. Sugar can be used instead but I prefer the authentic taste of jaggery. Plus I absolutely love the softer texture and the flavors of the roasted coconut flakes, peanuts and sesame seeds that are combined in this Til Vadi!
This goof proof recipe using the jaggery available here in America, is an absolute treat! Dry roast the sesame seeds, dry coconut and peanuts on low heat for optimal flavor. The most important thing to remember is that you have to have all your ingredients lined up, as you have to be super quick once that jaggery melts. Also have a greased tray ready. I used a non-stick baking mat, so did not use any ghee to grease.
Here is a step by step by step-
Step 1- Let the jaggery melt on low heat with the water. Once all the jaggery has melted, stir in the ghee and as soon as you see tiny bubbles appearing in the jaggery mixture, shut off the heat.
Step 2- Add the sesame seed, coconut and peanut mixture and stir quickly to combine.
Step 3- Pour the mixture on to the greased tray. Pat with a stainless steel spatula or the back of a spoon to flatten. Sprinkle the dry shredded coconut, if using and pat again so they adhere to the surface.
Step 4- Make the cuts in the mixture, cutting into squares or diamond shapes and let cool for a minimum of 15 minutes. You can separate the Til Vadis when cool.
For the jaggery syrup-
- ¾ cup Kolhapur jaggery, cut into small pieces
- 1 ½ tablespoons water
- ½ teaspoon ghee
For the sesame mixture, combine together-
- ½ cup sesame seeds, roasted and blitzed in a food processor or dry grinder (measured after blitzing)
- ¼ cup shredded dry coconut, roasted and blitzed
- ¼ cup roasted peanuts, blitzed
- ¼ teaspoon cardamom powder
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg powder
- A tiny pinch of salt
For greasing the plate-
- ½ teaspoon ghee
- 2 teaspoons dry shredded coconut (optional)
To make the Til Vadi-
- Combine the jaggery and the water and heat over low heat until all the jaggery melts evenly. Add the ½ teaspoon ghee and stir until it is combined. As soon as you see tiny bubbles in the jaggery syrup, take it off the heat. Remember that step 2 and 3 have to be done very quickly before the mixture cools.
- Add the combined sesame seed mixture and stir to combine.
- Pour the mixture onto the greased tray, flatten it with the help of a stainless steel spatula or the back of a stainless steel spoon. Sprinkle the dry shredded coconut, if using, and pat again to desired thickness.
- Make cuts in the mixture. Let it cool. Separate into Til Vadis after 15 minutes. Store in a dry, covered container.
Enjoy! Tilgul ghya goad bola. I hope our bond of friendship grows stronger this Makar Sankrant! I am taking my Tilachi Vadi to Fiesta Friday hosted by the ever gracious, Angie and her amazing co-hosts Jhuls and Mr Fitz.