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Monday, January 15, 2018

The Kite-Flyer

Happy Makar Sankranti/Lohri/Pongal/Uttarayan! I grew up in Gujarat, and to me, this time of the year meant terraces full of kids and adults engaged in kite-flying wars. Keeping with the theme, today's recipe is the easy 20-minute til laddoo (sesame sweets).

To make 8 to 10 small laddoos (about 1.5 cm in diameter), dry-roast about a third of a cup of white sesame seeds in a nonstick pan until golden, and set aside. Do the same to a third of a cup of crushed peanuts, and then to a third of a cup of desiccated coconut. Set aside.

In the same pan, on low heat, now add a tsp of ghee, half a cup of chopped jaggery, and 3 spoons of water. Stir vigorously to dissolve the jaggery in the water. Add a tiny pinch of cardamom powder. Simmer until it boils (bubbles) and starts to thicken a little. Add the roasted sesame, peanuts and coconut to the jaggery solution and mix well, then turn the heat off. The entire thing should become sticky and start to coagulate.

Transfer the contents of the pan onto a greased plate. With ghee on your palms, roll the hot mixture (carefully!) into little balls before everything cools and becomes hard. Serve up the candy goodness like you're not suddenly a majestic Sankranti pro, no big deal.