Chocolate Sesame Fudge
Chocolate Sesame Fudge
Delectable, chocolatey and soft, Chocolate Sesame Fudge is a vegan take on the famous chocolate barfi or fudge. I replaced the ghee with olive oil. Also I have used homemade sesame seed paste. Not too sweet, Chocolate Sesame Fudge is different kind of sweet to enjoy during the Makar Sankranti festival. Don’t worry, the ‘must have’ sesame seeds and jaggery are included in the fudge.
Happy Uttarayan/ Makar Sankranti/ Pongal
Come fly a kite
And watch it sail
Across the sky,
Waving its tail.
By Jean Warren
What is Uttarayan or Makar Sankranti
Once again it Uttarayan or Makar Sankranti. Uttarayan is the Gujarati name for the festival celebrated all over India. Be it Pongal, Lohri, Magha Saaji, Suggi,Ghughuti or any other name,
- Basically celebrates the transition of the sun from the Tropic of Capricorn in the south part of the world, to the north.
- Also marks the ending of the winter solstice. In addition, the festival is dedicated to the Sun God.
- In fact, it marks the end of the evil Poush (Kamudta) month.
- It is believed that Bhisma Pitah in spite of being on a bed of arrows and in grave pain, waited for the sun to be in Uttarayan to willingly die.
- Furthermore, it is the period when the Gods awaken from their deep slumber.
- In general, this festival is celebrated with a feeling of anticipation, joy and jubilation. Furthermore, its the celebration to mark the beginning of the harvest season.
Celebrations in Gujarat
Interestingly, Gujarat celebrates this festival over two days. The next day its called Vasi Uttarayan, meaning stale Uttarayan. I have no idea why its called Vasi Uttarayan. Usually during this festival most Gujarati homes prepare Undhiyu (winter vegetables cooked in with spices in an earthen pot), tal sankari (fudge made with sesame seeds and jaggery) or tal ladoos.
The people of Gujarat celebrate this festival by flying kites. Its a time when relatives and friends meet outdoors. People of all ages enjoy flying kites from the rooftops. Friendly competitions are held as to who can sustain their kite in the air for the longest time. The threads are sometimes laced with broken glass so it becomes easier to cut an opponents kite. Actually, kites are made from very light paper and bamboo. In the olden times, kite making before Uttaryan was a community affair. Families and neighbors would get together, make kites and enjoy meals together. Nowadays kites are readily available in the market in all shapes and sizes.
The skies all over Gujarat are dotted with a variety of colours. It is believed that many years ago kite flying was enjoyed by the Kings and Nawabs who showed off their prowess. It also was a form of entertainment also. Trained kite fliers were employed. Slowly kite flying became popular with the masses. In fact, Ahmedabad the kite capital hosts the International Kite Flying Competition during Uttarayan. I’m yearning to experience Uttarayan in Gujarat. The first time I experienced it, I was pretty young. Only remember enjoying peas undhiyu, tal sankari and getting a neck pain as I kept on looking up at the sky to spot different colored kites!
Chocolate Sesame Fudge
Luckily, I’ll be in Nairobi with family during Makar Sankranti. I’ve prepared the usual tal sankari. However, thought of making something different for my grand niece and my uncle, both chocolate lovers like me. Proudly can say, the recipe turned out well as its a mixture of several recipes. If you want to use tahini, go ahead. Then you will not require the oil. As a matter of fact, I’ve used unsweetened cocoa and soft jaggery. Accordingly, adjust the jaggery to how sweet it is. Here, I’ve used organic dark brown jaggery.
Besides Celebrating Makar Sankranti, Foodies+ bloggers also decided to celebrate Veganuary with some interesting Vegan recipes. Click on the links and please check out the recipes:
Vegan Mapo Tofu – by LinsFood
Afghani Tamarind Potatoes – by Foodaholic
Vegan Cucumber Coriander Raita – by Preethi’s Cuisine
Mock Asian Hot Pot Soup – The Mad Scientists Kitchen
Tuvar and Capsicum Masala – Ever Green Dishes
Kale & Quinoa with Tahini – The Joyous Kitchen
Black Til Laddu – Indrani will teach
Ingredients required for Chocolate Sesame Fudge
- Sesame Seeds – have used white ones. Must roast the seeds in a wide pan over low heat till they begin to pop and you get the aroma of roasted sesame seeds.
- Jaggery – best to use the soft variety. Use either jaggery powder or grate it. I’ve given the amount in grams as its so much easier. But if you don’t have kitchen scales then the amount required is approx 3/4 -1 cup.
- Mixed Nuts Powder – I’ve used coarse powder of cashew nuts and almonds
- Water or Coconut Milk – require a small quantity and either works well.
- Oil – I’ve used olive oil You can use coconut oil too. Some is required to grind the sesame seeds. A little is required to grease the tray.
- Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
- Cinnamon Powder – for flavoring
- Cardamom Powder – for flavoring
- Vegan Friendly
- Gluten Free
- Suitable for vegetarian diet
- As jaggery is sweet, consume in moderation
CHOCOLATE SESAME FUDGE
- 1 cup sesame seeds
- ½ cup unsweetened cocoa
- ¾ -1 cup grated or powdered jaggery approx 250g
- 1 tsp cinnamon powder
- ½ tsp cardamom powder
- ¼ cup nut powder coarse
- 3 tbsp oil
- Grease a tray 6”X 6” with little oil. You can also line the tray with parchment paper. Make sure the ends are hanging out a bit so its easier to lift the paper with the fudge easily.
- Put the sesame seeds in a wide pan. Place the pan over low to medium heat. Stirring constantly, roast the sesame seeds till they begin to pop and you get the aroma.
- Transfer the sesame seeds to a plate or tray and allow them to cool for 5-10 minutes.
- Add sesame seeds and oil into a food processor.
- Process the seeds till you get a coarse paste.
- Add cocoa, nut powder, cinnamon and cardamom powders to the sesame paste in the food processor.
- Process for a few seconds so that the other ingredients get mixed well into the paste.
- Add jaggery to the wide pan. Place the pan over medium heat.
- Mix the jaggery till it melts and it begins to bubble at the edges.
- Add water or coconut milk and mix well. The mixture will become a bit frothy and will bubble.
- Add the sesame seed paste.
- Lower the heat and mix the jaggery and sesame seed paste fry well.
- Transfer the fudge to the prepared tray.
- Using a spatula or a small bowl, press gently and level out the fudge.
- Allow the fudge to cool for 10 minutes.
- Cut into squares, any size you desire.
- Allow the fudge to set for 30 minutes.
- Remove the chocolate sesame fudge from the tray and store in an airtight container.
- The fudge stays fresh at room temperature for at least a week. If any is left after that store it in the fridge.
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