Today is Makar Sankranti, a festival celebrated across India to mark the beginning of spring and the harvest season. In Maharashtra we celebrate the festival by making sweets from sesame and when we offer the sweets to family or friends, we say ‘til gul ghyaa, goad goad bola’ which means enjoy the sesame and jaggery and say sweet things.
At home my grandmother and mother would make tilachi wadi or sesame and sugar syrup sweets. They would roast the sesame over a low heat till it released a fragrant smell and then grind it. Then make a simple syrup by heating the sugar and water and once it reached the needed consistency they would add the ground sesame into it, mixing it well to make a soft paste. My job was to then take the old wooden moulds we had and press the still warm sesame mixture out into little blocks and then top them with grated dry coconut. Such a simple recipe yet so delicious. Back then I could easily eat a couple of these sweets in a day but of course now I could manage only 1-2.
While the occasion of Makar Sankranti deserves a more worthy food post, not having made any tilachi wadi or til gul (sesame sweets or sesame & jaggery brittle) the only thing I could write about are these Sesame lavosh that I serve with our mezze platter. Made from a simple mix of flour, canola and sesame oil, black and white sesame and salt, they are super easy to make and taste absolutely amazing.
Perhaps later today I might make my semolina and sesame cake at home 🙂