Tal Sankari/ Til Chikki
EVENT: FOODIES_ REDOING OLD POSTS #41
RECIPE: TAL SANKARI/ TIL CHIKKI
Tal Sankari/ Til Chikki, a must have Indian sweet during the Makar Sankranti/ Uttarayan/ Lohri festival. Generally made during the winter season as it provides energy, is nourishing and keeps the body warm.
What is Tal Sankari/ Til Chikki?
Tal Sankari/ Til Chikki is simply a delicious sweet made from two basic ingredients, sesame seeds and either sugar or jaggery. Some add a bit of ghee or oil, some don’t. There are so many variations of this basic tal sankari/ til chikki. One can add coarse nut powder or roasted split chickpeas ( roasted chana dal). Add flavorings like cardamom, nutmeg, rose essence, etc. All depends on how the family enjoys it. Here, I’ve just used sesame seeds, jaggery, a bit of ghee and cardamom powder. Tal Sankari is the Gujarati name for til chikki. It is also known as sesame brittle, tal or til papdi, til patti. The thickness will vary from paper thin to about half an inch in thickness. I still cannot roll it out paper thin as I feel that definitely is an art.
What is Makar Sankranti or Uttarayan?
Makar Sankranti, Lohri and Pongal festivals all come around the same time. Lohri a Punjabi festival is usually on 13th January. Pongal festivities begin from 14th January. All these festivals are related to harvest. Its the beginning of harvest season. Makar Sankranti or Uttarayan as its called in Gujarat is the only festival which follows the solar calendar and falls every year on 14th January.
This festival is celebrated by many states of India for different reasons. Its the beginning of the harvest season, its the end of the inauspicious phase which begins during mid December, its the end of the southeast monsoons. In fact, everyone celebrates this day because it marks the beginning of the transition of the Sun God from the southern to the northern hemisphere. Many states fly thousands of colourful kites on this day as an oblation to the Sun. During Uttarayan different states make different sweets.
Why is Til Gud or Sesame Seeds and Jaggery important during this festival?
According to the Hindu mythology sesame seeds originate from the drops of sweat that trickled from Lord Vishnu and fell on earth. Also it is believed that the God of Death, Yama blessed sesame seeds and therefore are regarded as the symbol of immortality. It is a tradition in many families to gift sesame seeds and jaggery and wishing them they speak sweet words throughout the year. If one does not make tal sankari/ til chikki then til gud ladoos or balls are made.
THE GROUP FOODIES _ REDOING OLD POSTS
This group was started by Renu, who blogs at Cook with Renu. The whole purpose of this group is to redo old posts with new photos, new write up, whatever one wants to do to make the post better. Most of my posts are about re writing the post in a more structured manner and of course updating the photos. Slowly but surely, going through so many of my old posts. I’m grateful that this group helps me stay focused on a task that needs much attention.
Some Makar Sankranti Recipes
Gulachi Poli or Tilgul Poli– a Maharashtrian speciality. Flatbread stuffed with jaggery and sesame seeds and other ingredients.
Dahi Chura – flat rice and yogurt are mixed to prepare this dish and enjoyed in the state of Bihar.
Til Gud ke ladoo – an easy to make ladoo where you don’t need to make the jaggery into a syrup.
Chocolate Sesame Fudge – sesame and jaggery with chocolate for chocolate lovers.
Nuts and Jaggery Brittle – mix nuts, dried fruit and sesame seeds to make something different for this festival.
Oats and Nuts Ladoo – made with jaggery and loaded with nuts, different seeds and oats.
Renu likes to add sunflower to the Til Gud Papdi she makes.
Ingredients required for Tal Sankari/ Til Chikki:
- Sesame Seeds – I generally use white sesame seeds, but you can add black ones too. Roast the seeds in a wide pan over low heat, till they begin to pop and you get the aroma of roasted sesame seeds. Don’t burn the seeds otherwise they will taste bitter.
- Jaggery – the best jaggery is the soft variety but if you don’t get that, simply grate the jaggery. Nowadays the option of jaggery powder is available. Its easily available in most Indian Stores.
- Ghee – clarified butter. A little is added to the melted jaggery so that the tal sankari or brittle does not become too hard. For vegan version you can easily replace it with olive oil or coconut oil.
- Cardamom Powder – for flavour
- Gluten Free
- For Vegan version, replace ghee with oil.
- Healthy but only if consumed in limitation
The colour of the tal sankari/ til chikki will totally depend on the colour of the jaggery. Jaggery colour ranges from pale yellow to dark brown.
FOR A MIXED SEEDS CHIKKI / BRITTLE, WATCH THE VIDEO BELOW.
A different take on the traditional til chikki. I have used pumpkin, sunflower, sesame and flax seeds with jaggery.
TAL SANKARI/ TIL CHIKKI
- 250 g sesame seeds (approx. 1¾ cups)
- 250 g jaggery (approx. 1¼ cups if in powder form or grated)
- ½ -1 tsp cardamom powder
- 2 tbsp ghee or clarified butter
- Roast sesame seeds in a wide frying pan over low heat till the begin to pop and you get the aroma of roasted sesame seeds.
- Remove the seeds from the pan into a tray or plate. Allow the seeds to cool a bit.
- Keep a glass of water ready.
- Also lightly grease a baking tray upside down, or grease your worktop. Or better still use a silicon mat. I prefer using the mat as you don't need to grease it. Grease a rolling pin lightly and keep it ready.
- In a heavy based pan, add jaggery. Put the pan on medium to low heat.
- Keep stirring the jaggery till it melts. Allow the jaggery to cook till it begins to bubble at the sides.
- Add a few drops of the melted jaggery in a glass of water. It should form a soft ball. This means that the jaggery is ready.
- Add ghee and mix well. The mixture will become frothy and begin to bubble.
- Add cardamom powder and mix well. Immediately add the roasted sesame seeds.
- Mix well.
- Immediately add the sesame mixture and mix well. Take the pan off the heat.
- Immediately put the mixture onto the prepared tray, worktop or the silicon mat. Using the spatula spread out quickly.
- Roll the mixture out as thin as possible.
- Immediately cut the chikki into squares or diamonds, using a sharp knife or a steel spatula.
- Allow the chikki or brittle to cool down for 10-15 minutes.
- Store the tal sankari or chikki in an airtight container.
- Use a baking tray turned upside down or your worktop if you don't have a silicon mat. Make sure you grease it lightly.
- Cut into squares or diamond shapes immediately as you will not be able to cut it when it becomes cold.
- Make sure you have everything ready, the rolling pin, the mat or tray etc before you begin making the tal sankari or chikki.
- Can use 200g of sesame seeds and 50g of coarsely chopped peanuts.
- When you roll out the chikki the edges will crack, but don't worry. You can trim it away when you cut the pieces. Crush it to sprinkle over your cereal or granola or its good to nibble on.
- Thickness of the tal sankari or chikki is depends on you how thin or thick you want it.
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January 9, 2021 at 12:11 pm
Til ki chikki looks super. This is the most popular sweet made during Sankranti. I made the same too this year. Only I haven’t added cardamom powder. The chikkis with jaggery taste so good. They have a Desi flavour and I prefer them to the ones made with sugar.
January 9, 2021 at 4:33 pm
Thank you so much Shobha, I too prefer the ones with jaggery instead of sugar. They definitely taste better.
January 10, 2021 at 12:34 pm
Love this Til Sankari and love reading your poat. True rolling this paper and then getting pieces is an art. I have too made it and was praying 100 times to get it emeifht 😊.
I will check all the different recipes you have mentioned.
January 12, 2021 at 4:55 pm
Thank you Renu, I prefer making small batches so the hot mixture is more manageable.
January 11, 2021 at 6:37 pm
I love to make with gud but somehow my gud is very hard, not easy to grate or melt but still manage to made it one batch of til and one batch of Peanut , I always add ginger powder in it. yours looks so perfect
January 12, 2021 at 4:50 pm
Thanks Linsy, even here I’m not guaranteed that the gud will be soft, that is why this time I measured it, so even if its hard, I break off lumps using a sharp knife or a pestle.
January 11, 2021 at 8:42 pm
Til chikki is to die for . I love the jaggery based ones . You have cut them beautifully into even squares
January 12, 2021 at 4:48 pm
Thank you so much Priya.
January 12, 2021 at 6:11 am
These sesame chikkis are Super addictive. Just can’t stop eating once we start. Home made Chikki is always the best and perfect for this season.
January 12, 2021 at 4:48 pm
Thanks Preethi, that’s what happened when I made the first batch, just couldn’t stop munching on them, especially all the side irregular ones 🙂
January 12, 2021 at 11:01 am
I am dumping my chikki recipe and trying this delicious one out. I love the straight lines and the perfect squares you have here. Pass me some please!
January 12, 2021 at 4:46 pm
Thank you so much Archana, the trick is a sharp knife and cut as soon as you spread it out while its still soft. I wish I could share some but shared it out with family in Nairobi.
January 12, 2021 at 7:44 pm
Tal Sankari, good to know the Gujarati name. Its such a simple yet tasty one to prepare. Nice to read your post.
January 13, 2021 at 5:26 pm
Thank you so much Jayashree, am glad you liked my post.
January 13, 2021 at 4:28 am
Getting such neat slices is surely an art and this looks absolutely scrumptious and perfect for the festival. I love all types of chikki
January 13, 2021 at 5:25 pm
Thank you so much Narmadha I’m not expect as my pieces do come out in all shapes and sizes but yes it requires patience.
January 13, 2021 at 6:47 am
the chikki looks so inviting.. and the idea of using the silpat (silicon mat) to spread the gooey hot brittle mix is marvellous !! loving this idea…
January 13, 2021 at 5:25 pm
Thank you so much Kalyani, I find using the silicon mat so much easier and the chikki is not greasy. If you use a tray or your worktop you need to apply a bit of ghee or oil.
January 13, 2021 at 2:54 pm
Til chikki looks delish mayuri ji! An absolute favorite of mine. i love the toasted aroma of sesame seeds. a perfect festive dish for sankaranti, and a heathy snack too.
January 13, 2021 at 5:23 pm
Thank you so much Priya, I too love the taste of roasted sesame seeds.
Mireille E Roc
January 14, 2021 at 12:06 am
I made this many years ago, but mine did not come out as good as these. Yours are cut so perfectly. I knew about Pongal and Lohri (from a movie) but interesting that there are harvest festivals by different names all thoughout India
January 15, 2021 at 9:28 pm
Thank you so much Mireille, the trick is a sharp knife and also to make the cuts when the chikki is still hot. There are other names too, which I don’t remember , most states or regions have their own names for this festival.
January 14, 2021 at 9:07 pm
Today I made this for the family …… it turned out so so good ! Mayuri thank you
January 15, 2021 at 9:25 pm
Thank you so much Vimi for trying my recipe. I’m so happy that it turned out good.
January 15, 2021 at 8:38 am
I love how you have so nicely and perfectly cut the chikki pieces.. I never get the such straight lines.. so I break in irregular potiions.. Loved the detailed post on Sankranti and significance of sesame seeds.. loved the post.
January 15, 2021 at 9:24 pm
Thank you so much Swati, a very sharp knife and when its still hot does the trick.
January 27, 2021 at 2:27 am
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Sattur mittai kadai
July 21, 2021 at 12:00 pm
Nice recipe.thank you for sharing .
July 21, 2021 at 9:36 pm
Thank you so much.
January 15, 2023 at 9:57 am
Thank you for sharing your recipe. I made it using brown sugar because I had no jaggery. Unfortunately, I believe I cooked it too long as the mixture spread out easy enough but became rock hard quickly 🤪
The taste was lovely though and it did look good. I’m going to try again when I have a chance to purchase the jaggery. For some reason, I am not able to copy and paste my photo of my finished product.
January 20, 2023 at 4:38 pm
Thanks for trying out the recipe.Darshana when using sugar allow it to cook till till it is nearly of one string consistency. I usually allow the sugar to melt and become hot. Then cook on medium for 4-5 minutes.