Makara Sankranti is one of the famous festivals which is celebrated by Hindus. January is the month when different agricultural crops are ready for harvest. Makara Sankranti is known as the festival of harvests. In different parts of India, this festival is celebrated with different names like Pongal, Bogi Pallu, etc.
At my native, we prepare 'Sankranti Kalu', tiny balls of sugar syrup which will have sesame seeds inside. Being kids, we were enjoying eating them during those days. All the people in the household along with friends and relatives enjoy eating them with other festive specials. This festival will end up with a sweet note - 'Eat sweet and talk sweetly'!
Most of the people prefer buying Sankranti Kalu from the shops since preparing them at home is a hectic job. At my moms place, they usually prepare Sankranti Kalu at least in small quantity for offering to the God. Me too prepared it at home this time for my Kiddo :)
Preparation time: 4 hours approx
Difficulty level: difficult
Yield - 1 small bowl full
- White sesame seeds / Till seeds - 4 tsp
- Sugar - 3 cups (1 cup = 110 gm)
- Water - 1 1/4 cup
- Milk - 4 tbsp
- Lime juice - 1 tsp
- Muslin cloth
- Food colors - optional
- Combine sugar and water in a vessel and bring it to boil. Once it starts boiling, add 2 tbsp of milk and 1/2 tsp lime juice to it. This is to remove any impurities in it.
- After boiling it for 3 - 4 minutes, it curdles and you can see a white layer on the top of syrup. Filter the syrup using a muslin cloth. Repeat this step one more time.
- When the sugar syrup reaches one string consistency, turn off the flame and allow it to cool. Now, purified sugar syrup is ready to use.
- While making Sankranti Kalu, if the sugar syrup gets thick at any stage, add a little water and heat it to attain one string consistency again.
- Take a wide pan and allow to heat it on low flame. Add 4 tsp sesame seeds and 3 drops of sugar syrup. Keep mixing it nicely with your fingertips and take care not to burn the hands. Try to keep the seeds separately; Make sure that sesame seeds not sticking to one another by the time the sugar syrup coating is dried.
- Whenever you feel like the pan is hot, take the pan out of the stove top and keep mixing the sesame seeds continuously till its warm enough. Put it back on the stove top again and continue the process.
- Once the sugar syrup on the sesame seeds is completely dried, add 3 - 4 drops of again and keep mixing them continuously. Repeat this process till they reach the size of coriander seeds.
- If adding colors, add a pinch / drop of food color to 1/2 tsp of sugar syrup and mix it. Add 3- 4 drops of this colored syrup to a small quantity of Sankranti Kaalu and mix it on the stove top till its dried. Do it one more time so that the color will be coated nicely. You can add different colors like this.
- Fennel seeds / Saunf or groundnuts will also taste good when they are coated with sugar syrup in the above way. I have 2 batches here, one with sesame seeds and another with fennel seeds and have mixed both of them.
- Preparing Sankranti Kalu at one stretch is very hard. If the sugar syrup is ready, you can invest 1hour daily and finish doing it within 4 - 5 days.
- Natural colors like turmeric, beetroot juice, saffron, etc.are good to use instead of artificial food colors.