Til Mungfali Gajak (Sesame Peanut Brittle)

Sesame Peanut Gajak or Til Gur Gajak with Mungfali, Til Laddu is what Lohri and Makar Sankranti made for. I remember growing up eating Til Gajaks and Laddu for Makar Sankranti. It is a very special winter delicacy of north India. In winters we all crave for warm, delicious Gajaks that comes in various flavours, shapes and sizes either with some crunchiness or some flakiness. It’s healthy textures, a flaky and crispy treat for January festivals. Most people buy Gajaks from shops but can be made easily at home as well.

Basically, Gajaks are made with sesame seeds, peanuts and jaggery with a little bit of ghee. It is made with dry fruits and different flavours as well. A delicious treat you can enjoy in foggy-cold winter days. It's quite popular in north India during the winter season. Festivals play such an essential role in our lives and special food as well.

Makar Sankranti is known for till gajaks and laddus AND the sky full of kites. Lohri and Makar Sankranti - is celebrated in January every year and marks the termination of the winter season and the beginning of a new harvest season. Each year on 13 January is Lohri and 14 January is Sankranti celebrated.

Makar Sankranti is dedicated to Lord Sun. It also refers to a specific solar day in the Hindu calendar. On this auspicious day, the sun enters the zodiac sign of Capricorn or Makar which marks the end of winter months and the beginning of longer days. This is the beginning of the month of Magh. To recompense for the distinction that happens due to the revolution around the sun, every 80 years the day of Sankranti is deferred by one day. From the day of Makar Sankranti, the sun begins its northward journey or Uttaran journey. Therefore, this festival is also known as Uttaran. And we offer til or sesame sweets with jaggery as an offering and celebrate this beautiful day.

Traditionally this healthy and wholesome recipe is cooked on the auspicious occasion of Makar Sakranti, in Northern parts of India such as Haryana and Punjab, Rajasthan. The best part is, the crunchy brittle can be stored for months and can be enjoyed any time of day.

So this winter sweet treat is crunchy nutty flavoured with cardamom. Here is the recipe of sesame-peanut gajaks, made with jaggery (Gur) that helps in keeping the body warm and boost metabolism.

It is a must-have for winter sweet craving that is also a favourite on festivals of Makar Sankranti and Lohri.

So Enjoy! Stay healthy, stay humble!

Yields15 Servings
Prep Time10 minsCook Time15 minsTotal Time25 mins

Ingredients

 1 cup Peanuts
 ½ cup Sesame seeds
 1 ½ cups Jaggery roughly chopped
 ½ tbsp Cardamom powder
 2 tbsp Water
 1 tbsp Rose water
 2 tbsp Ghee (or oil if you prefer vegan version)

Instructions

1

Heat a pan on medium-low heat and roast the peanuts stirring intermittently. Once they are toasted, you can see the change in colour for a few which get de-skinned during this roasting process. Switch off the flame, stir for a few more mins and let them sit until easy to handle or allow to cool completely. And roughly grind them.

2

And slow roast sesame seeds as well, and let it cool down than Grind them to a coarse consistency using a food processor. Add cardamom powder to it, mix and keep aside.

3

Keep a baking tray or plate lined with parchment paper ready. Grease a rolling pin or back of a measuring cup with ghee or oil and keep ready. We will use this to spread and shape the mixture.

4

Heat a pan (non-stick preferably) on medium-low and to it add jaggery along with water. Keep stirring continuously till the jaggery melts and is smooth and creamy then add rose water.

5

Stir in ghee or oil and cook on low flame stirring intermittently until frothy/bubbly and the colour changes to slightly dark amber colour.

6

At this point take a small bowl of water and drop a few drops of jaggery into it to see if it has reached the hardball consistency. If it hardens and breaks easily like candy without any stringy consistency then the syrup is ready. The hardened jaggery should be brittle and not soft. You can also check by tasting the hardened jaggery to see if it sticks to your teeth in which case you can cook for a couple of mins and do the water test again. Do not cook past the hardball consistency as the jaggery will burn and give a very dark amber colour.

7

Once you have the right jaggery syrup consistency, stir in the peanuts and sesame and mix until well combined. These below steps should be done quickly before the mixture hardens.

8

Switch off the flame and immediately transfer the mixture to the pre-lined tray or surface with parchment paper.

9

Using the back of a greased measuring cup or rolling pin, spread the mixture as thin as you like but not too thin. Cut into squares while it is hot. Allow to set about 5 mins or as long as needed and then break the squares. They should snap off easily.

10

Allow to cool completely and store in an airtight container.

Ingredients

 1 cup Peanuts
 ½ cup Sesame seeds
 1 ½ cups Jaggery roughly chopped
 ½ tbsp Cardamom powder
 2 tbsp Water
 1 tbsp Rose water
 2 tbsp Ghee (or oil if you prefer vegan version)

Directions

1

Heat a pan on medium-low heat and roast the peanuts stirring intermittently. Once they are toasted, you can see the change in colour for a few which get de-skinned during this roasting process. Switch off the flame, stir for a few more mins and let them sit until easy to handle or allow to cool completely. And roughly grind them.

2

And slow roast sesame seeds as well, and let it cool down than Grind them to a coarse consistency using a food processor. Add cardamom powder to it, mix and keep aside.

3

Keep a baking tray or plate lined with parchment paper ready. Grease a rolling pin or back of a measuring cup with ghee or oil and keep ready. We will use this to spread and shape the mixture.

4

Heat a pan (non-stick preferably) on medium-low and to it add jaggery along with water. Keep stirring continuously till the jaggery melts and is smooth and creamy then add rose water.

5

Stir in ghee or oil and cook on low flame stirring intermittently until frothy/bubbly and the colour changes to slightly dark amber colour.

6

At this point take a small bowl of water and drop a few drops of jaggery into it to see if it has reached the hardball consistency. If it hardens and breaks easily like candy without any stringy consistency then the syrup is ready. The hardened jaggery should be brittle and not soft. You can also check by tasting the hardened jaggery to see if it sticks to your teeth in which case you can cook for a couple of mins and do the water test again. Do not cook past the hardball consistency as the jaggery will burn and give a very dark amber colour.

7

Once you have the right jaggery syrup consistency, stir in the peanuts and sesame and mix until well combined. These below steps should be done quickly before the mixture hardens.

8

Switch off the flame and immediately transfer the mixture to the pre-lined tray or surface with parchment paper.

9

Using the back of a greased measuring cup or rolling pin, spread the mixture as thin as you like but not too thin. Cut into squares while it is hot. Allow to set about 5 mins or as long as needed and then break the squares. They should snap off easily.

10

Allow to cool completely and store in an airtight container.

Til Mungfali Gajak (Sesame Peanut Brittle)
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