The Gud Til Ladoo, these little sesame balls that you have surely seen before, It is a traditional Indian sweet, especially popular during winter and festive occasions like Makar Sankranti and Lohri. This treat is made with simple but nutritious ingredients, including gud (jaggery, a type of unrefined sugar common in Asia) and til (sesame seeds).

Gud Til Ladoos are valued for both their taste and health benefits , as jaggery is a rich source of iron and sesame seeds are excellent for body heat during the cold months, as well as providing good amounts of calcium. They are delicious energy balls .

The preparation of these sweets is relatively simple . The jaggery is melted and mixed with the toasted sesame seeds to form a dough which is then molded into small balls or ladoos . Sometimes other ingredients such as grated coconut, peanuts or walnuts are added to enrich the flavor and texture.

Sesame balls recipe

What is jaggery

Jaggery is a natural sweetener obtained from sugarcane juice or the sap of palm trees, such as the date palm. It comes in the form of solid blocks of color that varies from light gold to dark brown, depending on the source and the manufacturing process. It is very common in India, Southeast Asia and some parts of Latin America. Unlike refined sugar, jaggery retains certain minerals and vitamins as it does not undergo an intense refining process.

Jaggery has a distinctive flavour, with notes that can be described as earthy, slightly bitter and rich, giving dishes a unique flavor profile. In addition to its sweetness, it provides a complexity of flavor that brown sugar can't always replicate.

It is possible to substitute jaggery for jaggery in many recipes. However, jaggery has a different moisture content and less complex flavor profile, which could slightly affect the texture and flavor of the final dish . If you decide to substitute, you can experiment with the quantity to adjust the sweetness to your taste, keeping in mind that jaggery is usually less sweet than processed sugar.

For specific recipes like Gud Til Ladoo , where the unique flavor of jaggery is an integral part of the sweet's charm, substituting jaggery could noticeably change the flavor profile (use jaggery for this recipe only if you don't have access to jaggery or panela).

However, we have good news: jaggery and panela are quite similar both in their production process and in their nutritional characteristics and culinary uses. Both are obtained from the evaporation of sugarcane juice, although jaggery can also be produced from the sap of certain palm trees. They do not undergo a refining process, so they maintain a greater amount of minerals and vitamins compared to refined sugar.

Panela is very common in Latin America, while jaggery is more used in South Asia. In terms of texture and flavor, both share a rich, earthy taste profile, with a hint of molasses flavor, although they may vary slightly depending on their specific origin and production process.

Due to these similarities, panela can be a direct substitute for jaggery in most recipes , especially those where a natural sweetener with a rich and complex flavor and aroma is sought. The choice between one or the other may depend on local availability or specific personal preferences.

Where to find jaggery

Jaggery can be purchased at various places, depending on where you are. Here are some options to consider:

  1. Stores specializing in Asian or international products.

  2. Indian food markets or stores : Since jaggery is a common ingredient in Indian cuisine, stores that specialize in products from this country are a good place to look.

  3. Natural and organic food stores : Some stores focused on natural, healthy and organic foods may carry jaggery due to its more nutritious profile compared to refined sweeteners, or you can ask them because they can easily bring it to you from a supplier.

  4. E-commerce : If you prefer the convenience of shopping from home, there are many online options.

  5. Large supermarkets with international section.

Sesame energy balls

How to make Indian sesame balls


  • 1 cup of sesame seeds (approximately 150 g)
  • 4 teaspoons of ghee (approximately 20 g)
  • 1/4 cup roasted and crushed peanuts (30 g)
  • 1/2 teaspoon green cardamom powder
  • 1 cup chopped jaggery (200 g)


  1. Toast the sesame seeds: Heat a frying pan without oil and add the sesame seeds. Toast them over low heat for 6-8 minutes. Once ready, set them aside.
  2. Prepare the mixture for the laddoos: Now, heat the ghee in the same pan and add the jaggery. Mix it well and cook over low heat for about 5 minutes. Don't stop stirring until the jaggery has completely melted.
  3. Add sesame seeds to the mixture: Add cardamom powder, crushed peanuts and roasted sesame seeds. Continue stirring and cook everything together for another minute or two. Then, transfer the mixture to a plate previously greased with ghee or oil and let it cool.
  4. Form the laddoos and store them: With lightly greased hands, start forming the mixture into round balls. Let them rest and air dry. Finally, store the laddoos in an airtight container. Your Gud Til Laddoos are ready to be tasted!

About the ladoos

Ladoo" (also written as "laddu" or "ladu") is a word that comes from the Sanskrit "ladduka" or "lattika", which means a small ball. Ladoos are popular sweets in India and other southern countries. Asia, known for their rounded shape. They are made from a variety of ingredients, such as flour, sesame seeds, chickpeas, nuts, ghee (clarified butter), sugar or jaggery, and are often flavored with cardamom, saffron and other spices .

Ladoos are prepared for celebrations, festivals, and as religious offerings in temples. Each type of ladoo has its own recipe and special occasion associated with it, such as Besan Ladoo (made with chickpea flour), Boondi Ladoo (made from fried dough drops) and Gud Til Ladoo (with sesame seeds and jaggery). , among many others. It is a sweet that encapsulates the culinary diversity and richness of traditions of South Asia.
Indian Sesame Ladoos

Recipe Notes:

The recipe given above is a recipe for traditional sesame ladoos. But you can vary them to your liking! I leave you some ideas that could adapt the recipe without straying too far from its essence:

  1. Vary the nuts : Although peanuts are common, you could experiment with other nuts such as almonds, walnuts or cashews to give different textures and flavors.

  2. Adjust the amount of ghee : Ghee adds flavor and helps bind the ingredients, but you can adjust the amount depending on your desired texture and dietary preferences.

  3. Experiment with spices : Cardamom is typical, but you could also add a pinch of cinnamon or nutmeg to vary the flavor profile.

  4. Use an alternative sweetener : If jaggery is not available or you prefer to experiment, brown sugar or even jaggery (although with a different flavour) could be viable substitutes.



Claudia&Julia said:

Hola Patricia Catalina,

¡Nos alegra mucho que te haya gustado la receta! Muchas gracias por comentar :)

¡Un saludo!

Patricia catalina said:

Esta muy buena la receta, me gusto mucho!

Claudia&Julia said:

Hola Laia,

¡Qué bien que te gusten tanto! Esperamos que pruebes la receta y te guste el resultado. Ya nos contarás qué tal te salen :)

¡Un saludo y gracias por comentar!

Laia said:

Oh, me encantan! Las probé hace tiempo y no recordaba su nombre, qué ganas de hacerla en casa. ¡Muchas gracias!

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