Tilkut and Anarsa

    Tilkut is a sweet made in the Indian states of Bihar and Jharkhand. Tilkut is especially made and ate during “Makar sankranti” festival. This is also known as “Tilkatri”. It is made of pounded ’tila’ or sesame seeds(Sesamum indicum) and jaggery or sugar. The best Tilkut is said to be from Gaya and is native to Magadha region only. References to this dry sweet is found in the Buddhist literature as palala.

    Normally, three types of tilkuts are available — the refined Sugar tilkut is White in colour, the Sakkar tilkut is made of unrefined sugar and is light Brown in colour and the Gur tilkut is made of jaggery and is dark Brown in colour. Each of these varieties have their own flavour. The circular shaped savoury is called tilkut and the smaller nut-sized ones are called tillouri.

    Winter is the period when sugar cane is harvested. It is also the period when large quantities of tilkut are made in many towns and even villages. However, as the demand persists throughout the year, smaller quantities are made round the year.

    Tilkut is generally associated with Makar Sankranti, the harvest festival and eaten during this time.


  • Til(sesame seeds) – 500 grams/4 cup
  • Gur(jaggery) – 500 grams
  • Ghee – 2 tsp


    1.   Heat oil in a heavy pan(kadhai) on a medium flame, while stirring continuously roast sesame seeds till they turn light brown(if you crush it with hands seed should turn to powder). Do keep in mind not burn sesame seeds as they tend to burn instantly giving them a bitter taste. Take out the roasted sesame seeds and grind lightly or put it in a mixer and make it a coarse powder.
    2.   Break off Gur into small pieces. Pour 1 spoon Ghee in a pan and heat. Now melt Gur on a low flame, turn off the instant Gur melts.
    3.   Put the crushed roasted sesame seeds in the melted Gur and blend well. Til Gur mixture for making Ladoos is ready.
    4.   Apply Ghee with hands and make mixture smooth. Take a little amount(about 1 tbsp) of mixture at a time(mixture has to be hot for making Ladoo, as mixture turns rigid when cold hence, making it difficult to make Ladoos). Make round shaped Ladoo and place it on a plate, similarly make Ladoos of the remaining mixture and place them on the plate.
    5.   Til gur ladoo is ready to eat. Keep the Ladoos prepared in open air for 4-5 hours and when they turn try store them in an air tight container. You can take Tilkut out of the container whenever you crave for something sweet to eat.


    An anarsa is an Indian pastry-like snack commonly associated with the Hindu festival of Diwali in Maharashtra and Bihar. Its ingredients include jaggery (unrefined cane sugar), rice, poppy seed and ghee (clarified butter).

    Anarsas are made from soaked powdered rice, jaggery or sugar. The rice is soaked in water for three days, with the water changed daily to mitigate fermentation. The rice is then dried, retaining a minimal amount of moisture, and ground into a fine powder. This is known as the pithi, and is mixed with an equal amount of sugar.

    This mix can be stored for a long time at room temperature as long as it is sealed in an airtight container to prevent the moisture from soaking the sugar further. A mashed half-inch piece of banana is mixed into the previously prepared dough-balls to help the sugar to dissolve. The resultant dough should be very soft but retain its shape. Small flat discs with about two inches in diameter are formed by flattening a small ball of the dough over a layer of poppy seeds, on one side only. These disks are fried in hot ghee, poppy-coated side first.

    The Bihari version tends to be rounder and ball-shaped as opposed to the flatter one in Maharashtra.


  • Home Made Rice Flour (chawal ka ata) – 200 gms (1 bowl)
  • Sugar – 100 gms (1/2 bowl)
  • Khoya – 100 gms
  • All purpose flour (maida) – 100 gms (1/2 bowl)
  • Sesame seeds (til) – 100 gms (1/2 bowl)
  • Curd (dahi) – 1 table spoon (if required)
  • Refined oil – 2 table spoon for dough preparation
  • Refined Oil for frying


    Traditionally the preparation of rice flour (chawal ka ata) takes 3 days, which involves soaking the rice in water for 24 hours on day 1, then changing the water and soaking again for another 24 hours and changing the water. This process is again repeated on the third day after which the rice is washed under water nicely and air dried under the fan. When the moisture evaporates the rice in grinded to form the rice flour. Besides this, the dough prepared fom this rice flour has to be kept to rest for 10 hours before making anarsa.
    But today when there is time crunch, this recipe will help you make anarsa in just 40 minutes by soaking rice overnight for 8 hours and then grinding the soaked and dried rice to form rice flour in the morning.
    1.   Soak the rice overnight or for 8 hours and then rinse it well with water in the morning. Strain off the excess water and spread the rice in a big flat plate or thali for drying under the fan. When the moisture has completely dried up, transfer the rice into a mixer jar and grind it to form rice flour and transfer it to a big plate or thali.
    2.   Now in the same mixer jar put the sugar and grind it to form powder too.
    3.   Add the powdered sugar to the rice and mix well with hands.
    4.   Now add 2 table spoon refined oil and khoya to the rice flour and mix all ingredients well with hands. Start forming a hard dough of the mixture. If the mixture appears moist then add 100 gms for all purpose flour (maida) and prepare a hard dough. If the dough appears dry then add curd to it and moisten it. (Remember not to add water for preparation.) Now keep the dough aside to rest for 10 minutes. (Traditionally khoya is not used and the dough prepared is kept to rest for 10 hours. But while using khoya keep the dough to rest only for 10 minutes, because the khoya is itself soft and will begin to rot if kept to rest for a long time.) Now prepare small balls of the dough.
    5.   Take a plate and spread some sesame seeds (til), and heat some refined oil in a kadhai. Lower the flame when the oil is heated properly.
    6.   After 1 minute, roll and press the dough balls on the sesame seeds to form a peda like shape. Flip and press the other side on the sesame seeds (til) too. Dust off the extra sesame seeds (til). Prepare the anarsa dumplings of the reaining dough in the similar manner and keep them in a plate.
    7.   Start frying 2-3 anarsa dumplings at a time on low flame. Fry till the lower base turns red and the flip to fry the other side.
    8.   Transfer the fried anarsa to a plate covered with tissue paper.
    9.   The hot anarsa are ready to be served. You can also cool them to room temperature to store them in airtight container to be used over a week’s time.