Significance Of Tilgul During The Harvest Festival
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The harvest festival of Sankranti is known to be observed across India when people take holy dips in rivers, perform charitable deeds and fly kites. Usually falling on the 14th or 15th of January each year, it marks the transition of the sun into the sign of Capricorn or Makara. A time of new beginnings, sharing gratitude for the harvest as well as celebrating the change of seasons, a special sweet preparation made with sesame seeds and jaggery – also known as tilgul – is of utmost importance to signify auspiciousness.

The saying – tilgul ghya god god bola – which translates to eat the sweet and utter sweet words, is meant to show the strength of bonds between family, friends and relatives. From a more scientific perspective, the calcium and iron-rich sesame seeds, combined with the nutritious properties of jaggery, is known to provide energy and warmth during the change of seasons. In the state of Maharashtra, offering tilgul is a way of renewing friendship and social ties. Since sesame seeds are also harvested during this season, incorporating them into tilgul is a way to celebrate the season’s bounty and express gratitude for a successful harvest.

Sharing and eating tilgul together is also said to foster a sense of togetherness and camaraderie among people, promoting social harmony and mutual respect. Eating them in the form of ladoos or adding it to chikki and other sweet dishes, also improves vitality during the harsh cold while embodying a larger essence of integrity. Share the bond of togetherness with your loved ones this Sankranti by making a batch of nutty-sweet ladoos at home this Sankranti.

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  • 1 cup sesame seeds
  • 1 cup grated jaggery
  • 2-3 tablespoons ghee
  • ¼ teaspoon cardamom powder
  • ¼ cup chopped nuts


  • Heat a pan on low-medium flame and dry roast the sesame seeds until they are a light golden colour with a nutty aroma. Transfer to a plate to cool.
  • In the same pan, add a tablespoon of ghee and the grated jaggery to let it melt on low heat, stirring continuously, to avoid burning.
  • Cook until it forms a syrup-like consistency and check by dropping a little syrup into a bowl of wate. If it forms a soft ball when rolled between your fingers, add the roasted sesame seeds to the syrup.
  • Add cardamom powder and chopped nuts and mix everything thoroughly while the mixture is warm. Add a little ghee to help bind the ingredients, if you find the mixture to be too dry. 
  • Take small portions in your greased hand when the mixture is still warm and shape them into round balls or ladoos. Cool completely before storing in an air-tight container for 3 weeks.