Saturday, September 6, 2014

Tille Undo/ Til Laddoo ( Sesame seed balls)

Laddoos are a very popular Indian dessert/ snack. Anything that is sweet and is shaped like a ball is a "laddoo". Undo is laddoo in my mother-tongue, Konkani. As kids we loves undos/ laddoos. These are usually made for all kinds of celebrations, festivals or any other auspicious occasion. There are hundreds of varieties of laddoos/undos. The basic method is pretty much the same: you make a sticky syrup out of jaggery, mix in the desired main ingredient and make balls out of it while the mixture is piping hot. The good part is that everything is natural and is a great source of instant energy. Today I am going to write about sesame laddoos which are extremely nutrient dense being rich in protein, fiber and makes for a great snack!

Servings: makes 15 small laddoos


Jaggery: 1/2 cup
Sesame seeds: 1 cup
Cardamom powder: 1/8 tsp
Water:  2 tbsp


Heat jaggery and water in a pot until the jaggery is completely melted and liquid. Now turn off the heat, let it settle for  5 mins. Gently pour the molten jaggery into a thick-bottomed  pot, leaving behind any sandy residue.

Dry roast the sesame seeds for 5 mins and keep aside.

Heat the molten jaggery on medium flame until it thickens and is sticky when attempting to pick to pour from a spoon.

Now mix in the toasted sesame seeds and cardamom powder. Mix well .

Grease your palms with butter/ghee. Take small spoonful of the hot sesame mixture and shape it into balls of desired size. If the mixture cools down, you will not be able to shape it into balls.

Store in an air-tight container.
Stays fresh at room-temperature for upto a month.


Cooking made easy:

The key for good laddoos is the stickiness of the jaggery. Not all jaggery are meant to be sticky. Back home, specific jaggery known as sticky jaggery is available in the store. Here in the US, I have found the Kolhapuri jaggery to be sticky enough for the laddoos.

How does one test if the jaggery has been boiled enough to be sticky enough for the laddoo?
We call it the string test. Take a drop of boiling jaggery and drop it in a glass of water. If the jaggery maintains its solid state and remains stringy it is the right consistency. If it sinks and dissolves in water, then you need to boil it some more until you achieve the stringy consistency.

Tip for healthy living:

Sesame seed is a wonderful source of protein for vegetarians with 4.7 gms of protein per ounce.It has a low glycemic index, hence is great for diabetics.It is rich in magnesium which is a key in lowering blood pressure. It is also rich in zinc which is good for the skin. It has phytosterols that help lower cholesterol and has anti-inflammatory properties due to the presence of sesamol in it. It also helps regulate the GI system as it is high in dietary fiber.In a nut-shell, it is a small seed that packs a punch!


Food for thought:

That's the motivation of an artist- to seek attention of some kind. James Taylor