Til Papdi or caramelized sesame seeds is a sweet prepared in India for the winter festivals like Makar Sankranti, Pongal, Lohri etc. Variety of sesame seed sweets are made and exchanged in various parts of India during winters and especially for the festivals of Sankranti/Lohri. At my home it is mostly Til Laddus (sesame laddus) for Sankranti but my dad and I like Til Papdi more and my mom makes sure to have enough supply at home. There is no winter in Singapore and no festival feeling either. When my mom called to wish me and asked me to make Til papdi for my son, I was apprehensive as I had never made this before. I am glad I made it as he just loved it and enjoyed eating it as much as I do. This recipe does not include any nuts as I was making it for my little one. You can add chopped nuts if you like.
The names of the festivals and the way they are celebrated differs throughout the country. Only practice common is to eat sesame seeds on the festival day. Sesame seeds are high in iron and calcium and also helps in lowering cholesterol levels. Roasting the sesame seeds lightly adds the crunch to til papdi.
This sweet can be made very quickly and needs very few ingredients. If you want a healthier version, you can replace sugar with jaggery. Be very careful while working with sugar. If you let the sugar melt longer, the til papdi will taste bitter.
Though it takes very less time to make this sweet, it needs lot of practice. The thinner you can roll out a til papdi, the better it tastes. Speed is the key to making perfect til papdis. You need to roll out the papdi before the mixture cools down. You can either make papdi mixture in small batches or put the bowl of the papdi mixture in hot water so that the mixture remains hot while you roll out the papdis. Once you have mastered rolling out the papdi quickly, you can try cutting it in various shapes while it is still hot. Store til papdi in an airtight container and put a butter paper or plastic sheet between two papdis so that they don’t stick.
Makes 10 pieces
- 100 gms white sesame seeds
- 75 gms sugar
- Little ghee for greasing
Lightly roast the sesame seeds and keep aside. Heat sugar in a thick bottomed pan. Once the sugar melts, quickly add the sesame seeds and switch off the gas. Mix well.
Grease a clean flat work surface and a rolling pin. Take a little mixture at a time and roll it out as thinly as possible. Make rest of the papdis in same manner. If the mixture cools down, heat it up a little and you should be able to work with it again.