If there’s one thing that we Indians are known for, it is our unabashed love for festivals. We don’t spare a reason or a season to celebrate and the crescendo is not just restricted to our homes but we open our doors and hearts to welcome as many to join in the fun.
The advent of the New Year marks the transition of the Sun to the Northern Hemisphere thus mellowing the bitter chill. Considered as the “Wheat Bowl Of India”, Punjab looks forward to the harvest of their rabi crops. The winter solstice celebrated on the 13th of January as Lohri is a day of revelry for the farmers – a day to chill out and celebrate the bountiful harvest. There are bonhomie, happiness, celebration, and Bhangra.
Even though every Lohri that I have celebrated had bonfires and the propitiation of fire by way of sweets, peanuts, and popcorn, it was the celebration right after our wedding that holds warm, fuzzy memories. The first Lohri for a newly-married couple is a huge thing in Punjabi families. Coming from a
I remember waking up to the clink and clank of cups and pans and the sweet aroma wafting into the room. Bhiru Bhaiya, the family khansama was busy crushing peanuts in a mortar pestle while my mother-in-law or mama as I called her, was stirring jaggery in a big kadai. She was making “Til
Decked in the intricately embroidered fuschia suit and heavy jewelry gifted by my mother-in-law to me, I looked a bride again. Dressed in a dhoti kurta and a deep pink turban matching my outfit, my 6 feet 3-inch tall husband looked dapper himself. The guests filtered in with their gift tokens of blessings. My family arrived with huge thalis filled with sweets, fruits, and dry fruits. Shawls were gifted to all the relatives.
Soon everyone flocked around the bonfire and started singing the “Sunder
As everyone sang the song with gusto and fiesta,
As a demure bride, I watched all the fun while in my heart I wished I could throw caution to the winds and join the frenzy gathering in their shimmy and go “Ho! Ho!” myself. As if he could read my mind, Sam locked his fingers with mine, gently whispered “Go for it babe” before pulling me into the crowd. It was at that moment where I merged as a bahu with my new family – laughing, dancing and being a part of them. Deep into the night when most of the guests had gone, a few of us sat around the glowing embers. Between passing bowls of popcorn, chikki, til ke ladoos, rewari, peanuts, and chomping on them, I heard family stories and funny anecdotes of Sam’s growing up years.
New beginnings! Yes, Lohri does mark new beginnings for newlyweds. For me, it was not just getting acquainted with the relatives and friends on a casual level for the first time but drawing closer to my new family.
Though we have continued to celebrate Lohri every year since then and nothing much has changed in the way it has been celebrated, every year the size of the bonfire and the number of friends that join in has reduced. In our house too, Bhiru Bhaiya works no more due to his old age and mama passed away a few years ago. With the growing environmental awareness and the need for saving trees the concept of bonfires may soon die altogether. Perhaps, the e-cards or WhatsApp messages will replace friends being present physically. Nothing is constant in this life, isn’t it? Except for this recipe that I hold in my family archives. Thank God, when everything changes the taste of these til
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|Prep Time||10 minutes|
|Cook Time||10 minutes|
- 100 grams sesame seeds (white)
- 1/2 cup coconut powder or desiccated coconut
- 1/2 cup peanuts
- 200 grams jaggery
- 3 tsp Ghee
- 3 piece Elaichi (crushed)
- In a griddle, on a low flame dry roast the sesame seeds till golden. Keep aside.
- In the same griddle, dry roast the peanuts till tiny black spots appear on the outside. Remove and allow them to cool on a plate.
- Once again, dry roast the coconut powder till golden in colour. Each of these steps will take about a minute or two.
- Blow away the outer covers of the peanuts and coarsely crush the whites in a mortar pestle.
- Mix the sesame seeds, peanuts, elaichi powder and coconut powder together.
- In a kadai, add 2 tsps ghee and the roughly chopped jaggery. Keep stirring on medium flame till it melts. Once it starts boiling, give it a minute and switch off the gas.
- Add all the dry ingredients to the jaggery. Rub 1 tsp ghee on the palms of your hands and while hot, scoop about 1tablespoon of mixture and start rolling into even sized balls. Once cool, it's difficult to gather it all together so ensure that the balls are made when the mixture is still warm.
- The til ke ladoos are ready to be served. They stay for as long as a month and make a healthy snack treat during tea time too.
Very nice method.
It’s simple and quick to make.
The article has warmth of Lohri sewn with elegance of a superb writing style of the writer.The article makes us sink in fervor of festivities and makes us aware of harsh realities of changing nature of the life that we live.
Happy Lohri and Makar Sankranti to you and you family.
Neeraj, much gratitude for your feedback. Each comment of yours makes me happy because I know you have read every word written. Thank you for your words.
You paint pictures on the mind’s canvas, kudhiyeh! Happy lohri.
Happy Lohri Anshu and to everyone at home. It’s not just the releasing the post that makes me happy but I eagerly await your comment on each one. Thank you for your encouraging words always.
So much warmth. Took me bk to my first Lohri
Thank you so much for stopping by.
Happy Lohri to all… Yes, any festivities is made all the more special with
family and friend around us. I hope the joy of sharing never goes away. Ur experience thru ur writing brought in sweet memories for me.
Thank you so much for your feedback.
Til ladoo is famous sweet that is made especially during Makar Sakranti and Lohri. Happy Lohri to you..
Happy Lohri to you and your loved ones too!
Wow they look so tasty and so perfect for festivals..love that they are easy to make and they look so tempting
Yes! They’re super easy and replete with nutrition along with being delicious.
Lovely reading your narrative…the emotional part is relatable. I loved the recipe too😊
More than the recipe, I liked the warmth of relationships that is woven into the words in your post.
The images captured are so beautiful, reflecting the true spirit of this festival. Till me laddu are always cherished by me.
It seems like u had a great time. Thanks for sharing the amazing recipe.
Loved the post
Superb👍 Keep writing such wonderful articles and we’ll keep reading them😍😘
Dipali, Jaipur has a fairly large Punjabi population and they celebrate Lohri with excitement. I’m not a Punjabi but I grew up eating Til Ke Laddoo as it was a ritual to make these in our home. What was different was that our grandmother would use both white and black til to make these laddoos.
How lovely! It’s amazing how these can be made in different proportions of both the white and black sesame seeds.