Super easy recipe for Tilgul-an Indian Sankranti festival sweet. Vegan and gluten free dessert.
Festivals exhilarate a foodie like me and the festival of Sankranti is no exception. I love tilgul -yummy sweets made of sesame seeds and jaggery. As I had said in my earlier posts, according to Ayurveda,sesame seeds and jaggery are said to restore energy and vitality, while providing heat for the body. I need all of that during the winter, don’t I?
- Celebrating the winter harvest, eating seasonal vegetables and sweets that according to Ayurveda, our bodies need during the cold season.
- Exchanging the sweets saying “tilgul ghya goad bola” to mean ‘let’s be friends and/or let’s forget old grievances and renew our friendship’.
- Haldi kunku- gatherings for women.
In olden days, women did not go out of their homes as much and haldi kunku provided an opportunity for women to do so and to visit each other. The women offered harvest vegetables and sugarcane to God in little clay pots called ‘sugad’ and the bounty was shared and exchanged during these haldi kunku celebrations. It later evolved with exchanging little gifts.
I have fond memories of haldi kunku my mother hosted when I was growing up. It was an open house that stretched from the afternoon to late evening, where about 80 or so women were invited with their daughters and daughters-in-law etc.. I looked forward to the haldi kunku all year. We dressed up and greeted the invited women and girls with haldi kumkum, perfume, rosewater, flowers, tilgul and supari and my mother gave them gifts. In turn, we visited other homes for haldi kunku during the 3 weeks or so that the celebrations continued.
I helped Aai, my mother, make the tilgul and got a lesson firsthand on how to make sure the syrup was exactly the right consistency. But I know many cooks are nervous about the syrup. So I am hoping that this recipe with no syrup involved, will be of great help to them and to all of us.
Btw, as I was planning to make this food processor tilgul, I realized that my food processor was broken. So I had to use a little dinky 2 cup food processor that has…eh..very little power. Even then, the tilgul turned out great. So yours may be even better! What food processor do you use? Do you like it? Let me know. I need to get one.
Oh yes….the Tilgul! Here are the the step by step pictures-
Food Processor Tilgul-No Cooking Required
- 4 dates
- ½ cup brown sesame seeds, toasted
- ¼ cup shredded dry coconut, toasted
- ¼ cup roasted peanuts, crushed
- ¾ teaspoon cardamom powder
- 1 tablespoon dalia / roasted chana dal (optional)
- A small pinch of salt
- ½ cup shredded or finely cut jaggery
To make the tilgul-
- Soak the dates in warm water.
- Combine the sesame seeds, shredded coconut, crushed peanuts, dalia (if using), cardamom powder and salt. Set aside.
- Remove the dates from the water and discard the water. In a food processor, blitz the dates to mince them. Add the jaggery and process until it is gooey. (See photo 2 in collage)
- Add the sesame seed mixture and pulse, until the mixture comes together. (photo 3 in collage)
- Remove the combined mixture to parchment paper or silicone baking sheet (I used this). Clump it together firmly, cover with another piece of parchment paper and roll with a rolling pin.
- Cut into squares and enjoy! These can be stored at room temperature for a day and refrigerated for up to a week.
Tilgul ghya goad bola….I look forward to making new friends this Sankranti season and renewing old friendships!