Black sesame seeds are rich in calcium, iron, copper, magnesium and phosphorus. Mentioned in Charak Samita, an ancient treatise on medicine, sesame seeds are used still today widely as cooking oil, as condiments in salads, curry, chutney and preparing sweet dishes.
This publication we bring you Sesame Sweet Balls known as Till-or Laroo ( in Assamese) / Til ka Ladu (in Hindi) . Till-or laroo is made in Assam during festive occasion especially during the Bhogali Bihu. It has a numb sweet taste flavoured by jaggery (gur or gurd ) and is heavy on the aroma of sesame. Easy to digest and rich in vitamins, the process of making the sweet balls is not as easy as it seems. Made cautiously to avoid burning of palms, the process of making them comes with practice.
When I asked our Fried Eye team on relishing Till-or Laroo, Stephen Styris promptly said, ‘Til Laroo is one of my most favourites since my childhood. I prefer it over coconut laroo. It seems like it’s the smell of til that gives the sense that Bhogali Bihu is around the corner.’ Sankhya Samhita cheerfully responded giving a visual effect, ‘ The first taste of gur on my tongue, and then rolling my tongue around the rough texture of the til and the first bite into the laroo by feeling the grains stick to my teeth, relishing the flavor of til completely and then digging for buried grains long after. Our editor chief, Pramathesh was rather blunt but ravishingly expressed, ‘I like the roasted smell of til. I’m pretty shameless in asking for more of it.’ While our free-spirited Mani Padma with a silent feeling of delight just uttered, ‘I feel happy!’
Dear Readers, exploit the taste of Till-or Laroo and know the process of making them. The recipe is contributed by Chandan Kumar Das.
- Black sesame (Til) seeds
- Jaggery (Gur)
Roast the sesame in a pan until they begin to make popping sound. Be careful not to burn as it spoils the taste and can be bitter if its burns. The simple process to roast dry the seeds is to heat pan and put the seeds until it starts to make popping sound.
Keep aside the roasted seeds.
Next put jaggery (gur) on a heated pan and melt the jaggery with little amount of water. Melt the jaggery until it reaches a gummy state. Make sure that the jaggery is not runny as it might not allow the sesame to hold together while making the sweet balls. To test if the jaggery syrup is in the right state, put a drop of it in cold water while it is still boiling. If it turns hard immediately then it is ready to put in the fried seed.
Then add the hot gummy jaggery syrup into the sesame seeds and mix well and stir. After stirring evenly remove from the fire. Make small balls while the mixture is still in hot condition.
To prevent burning of palms, moisten the palms with cold water; take a small amount of the mixture and press and roll-compress to make small round balls. One can dip the palms in cold water in the process of making the balls to avoid the feeling of hot mixture.
Allow them to cool down
Profile of Chandan Kumar
Chandan Kr. Das is a Civil Engineer working as a Highway Design Engineer. He loves to travel especially to hilly terrains and likes silent long driving. He likes to cook varieties of dishes and believes in simple living with no complexity.