Tambittu: The Unconventional Besan Peanut Laddu From Karnataka

From the simplest Besan Laddu to elaborately made Soan Papdi, the relationship between Indian sweets and besan or gram flour is ancient and inextricably linked with numerous sweetmeats made with it. Tambittu of Karnataka is one of these besan-based sweetmeats made with the usual ingredients of a besan-based sweet like sesame seeds and cardamom powder, but with a different approach. Like the whole peanuts added to the Tambittu mixture give it an exciting crunch interspersed throughout the sweet and coconut ensures the tropical flavour, while jaggery syrup binds everything into a soothingly sweet and healthy Tambittu.

Practice Of Making Tambittus

Tambittu is a popular sweetmeat in Karnataka. The sweet has a very deep connection with festivities and auspicious occasions of the state. Traditionally, it's made with rice flour, wheat flour and gram flour and different versions taste different with the change of ingredients. Now let's focus a bit on the word Tambittu and what it means. It means wet rice-flour-based dough of divine lamp, and in Tamil, it's called Thiru-Vilakku Maavu for meaning the same. And thus these sweets are shaped like lamps or diya. Tambittus are made and consumed as Prasada in North Karnataka during the festival of serpents or Nagarapanchami. Besides this, these are also made as naivedyam, meaning offering for worship during Shivaratri, Gauri pooja. The Akki Tambittu, made with roasted gram flour, peanuts, coconut and jaggery is made during Shivratri in Bangalore and Mysore of Karnataka.

Benefits Of Gram Flour

The gram flour or besan isn't just a great ingredient for making sweets but has also been known to be a popular beauty ingredient and used for topical application. The gram flour is known to have amazing properties for addressing many skin issues including treating acne, cleansing, exfoliation and brightening the skin. No wonder the health benefits are as noteworthy. Besan is said to be rich in protein, folate, vitamins like beta-carotene and riboflavin, and unsaturated fatty acids like linoleic and oleic acids. Being rich in soluble fibre gram flour is beneficial for the heart and is good for those allergic to gluten.

Preparation: 25-30 minutes

Cooking: 15-20 minutes

Servings: 6-7 pieces of Tambittu


  • 1 cup roasted gram 
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds 
  • 3 tbsp peanuts 
  • ¾  cup jaggery 
  • ¼  cup dry coconut 
  • ½ tsp cardamom powder 
  • ¼ cup water


  • Grind roasted gram into a fine powder and transfer it to a bowl.
  • Heat a pan, and dry roast white sesame seeds until it turns aromatic and transfer to the bowl.
  • Dry roast the dry coconut for a minute and transfer to the bowl. 
  • Dry roast the peanuts until the skin comes off. Then peel off the skin and transfer to the bowl.
  • Add cardamom powder to it and mix all the dry ingredients thoroughly.
  • In a pan, add jaggery and water and heat it on medium flame until the jaggery dissolves. Keep stirring all this while.
  • Strain the jaggery syrup into the mixture and mix well with a spoon. Grease your hands with ghee and take small portions of the mixture and shape them like a tambittu.

The rustic smell and nutty taste of roasted gram alone create wonders in a sweet, but the right mix of the other elements is what gives variety and completeness to the Tambittu. One just needs to spare a few minutes of the day to make one of the traditional and most loved delicacies.