India is gearing to celebrate Makar Sankranti on 14th January 2021. Til ka Ladoo has been an indispensable part of Makar Sankranti celebrations for centuries. Makar Sankranti marks the beginning of the harvest season. It is around 14th Jan when the sun steps into Capricorn (Makar in Sanskrit), and starts on its Northward journey, a transition called Uttarayan in Sanskrit. This puts a gradual end to the cold winter days and paves way for a pleasant spring.
The duration of sunshine increases which is good for crops. On this occasion, people prepare several delicacies with til(sesame) and gur(jaggery). Til ki papdi, til rewadi, til gajak are some of them. However, the most common and loved Sankranti snack is til ka laddoo. From Punjabi Lohri celebrations to the Marathi Sankranti feast, til ka ladoos are a staple part of the festivities. There is much variety of til ka ladoos too. Some traditional preparations also add grated coconut to the til-jaggery mixture.
Apart from Sankranti, Til ka laddoos are a common fixture throughout winters as well. Til helps in keeping the body warm, which is why the delicacy is made in huge batches much in advance and stored for weeks in airtight containers. In addition to generating body heat, sesame is also a rich source of vitamins, minerals, and healthy oils. It contains calcium, iron, magnesium, hosphorous, manganese, copper, zinc, fiber, thiamin, vitamin B6, and folate.
Ladoos were invented way back in the 4th century B.C for a totally different purpose compared to what we use them today for. If we go back in history, it is believed that ladoos were originally invented for medicinal purposes by the father of Indian surgery and medicine Susruta. 'Til ka Ladoo', which we all relish today was invented back in the 4th century B.C. Susruta began using it as an antiseptic to treat his patients.
The combination of sesame seeds, jaggery, and peanuts was known to have immense healing properties. Ever since then, til ka ladoo became a common fare in winters and Sankranti celebrations which fall during winters. So much so, that it is impossible for us to imagine a Sankranti spread without a mention of Til ka Ladoo.
Prepared with Til and Gur, Til Ladoo is an amazing health booster that offers oodles of benefits. The tasty treats enhance the immunity of the body, boost bone health, and helps in curing a lot of diseases. Til ladoo triggers hair growth, enhances skin glow, boosts digestion, strengthens dental health.
Til Ladoo helps in reducing blood pressure, migraine, constipation, and hypertension. Women love it for so many reasons. Its antioxidant properties fight free radicals, helps delay aging, lose weight, and even prevent cancer. But best of all is that Til Ladoo boosts mil production for new mothers. This dessert is also great for busting stress and depression.
How to make Til Ladoo?
- Dry roast 1/2 cup white sesame seeds and 1/2 cup black sesame seeds.
- Heart 1 cup jaggery and 1/4 cup water.
- Keep the flame on low, stir well, and dissolve jaggery. Let it boil for 5 minutes.
- Turn off the flame and add roasted sesame seeds.
- Next, add 2 tbsp peanuts, 2tbsp cashews, and 1/2 tsp cardamom powder.
- Combine everything well and allow to cool for 5 minutes till the mixture thickness.
- Grease your hand with little ghee and prepare balls of the size of your choice.