I like the challenge of trying different things and wondering whether it’s going to work or whether I’m going to fall flat on my face.
– Johnny Depp
I recently saw this video called Trying something new for 30 days by Matt Cutts. He urges us to set 30 day goals to challenge ourselves to try new things. We will be amazed at how many new things we will do in our lives.
So I thought, what new things can I do every 30 days? Apart from thinking up big amazing things once in a while, I realised that with Shanna from Curls and Carrots, we have already established the activity of cooking up something new every 30 days with our monthly ingredient challenge.
This month we reached the letter S and thought up sesame seeds. Check out Shanna’s Light Black Sesame and Pear Tea Cake. Shanna made a recipe that takes up time and hard work, but the results were definitely worth it and enjoyed by her family.
Myself, after having no clue what I’d do with sesame seeds, I decided to make til ka ladoo, an Indian recipe which are sweet sesame seed balls. This was quite a challenge because I don’t really know much about Indian cooking, plus I’m quite terrible at faithfully following recipes.
I read various recipes and found this easy looking recipe along with the help of this video in Majula’s kitchen. Majula seemed lovely and her nearly six minute video seemed really easy. She said it is simple. I jotted down the ingredients.
Going out looking for the ingredients was a bit of an adventure as I had no idea where I would find ghee (clarified butter) nor jaggery (uncentrifuged palm sugar) in Barcelona. I went to my usual Oriental ingredient shop hoping for the best, and found them there. Great!
On a rainy Sunday evening I set about making my til ka ladoos. I quickly realised I would have to make a Sofia variation as usual, because the recipe called for cardamom, and I didn’t have any. Being a Sunday afternoon in a neighbourhood of Barcelona where nothing is open at that time, and with heavy rain, I was not about to venture out in case I found a shop open with cardamom – which is not a common Spanish spice anyway. I decided that my til ka ladoos would thus be vanilla and cinnamon flavoured.
I cooked all the ingredients together. Then the time came to shaping the balls. Simple? Not for me it seems. As with Johnny Depp’s quote above, I nearly thought I would fall flat on my face with these. But the photos are proof that I made my sesame seed balls. In the end, I must say that they are great and I really have to stop myself from snacking on them all day long.
500g sesame seeds
3 tablespoons ghee
1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Roast the sesame seeds in a big wok until they become a golden brown colour. Remove from the wok.
Add water and the jaggery, broken into pieces, into the wok. Cook with medium heat until it all dissolves and cook for about 5 minutes. Don’t let it caramelise too much, otherwise it will be quite hard to work with later on. Add the vanilla, cinnamon and a touch of salt. Cook and stir for a couple of minutes. Add the sesame seeds and cook for another minute.
Turn off the heat. Let it cool. When it’s cool enough to touch, shape into balls.
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