With Makarasankrati the families of the Kannada plateau tend share a dry mixture of sesame-jaggery and dry coconut. And this entire event of exchange is called ‘yellu-bheerodu’ or sharing yellu the kannada name for sesame seeds.
In coastal Karnataka this is presented a laadu, or as we call it yellu-undai. Roasted gram is the other ingredient used. I substituted it with boiled cashew/
However, since we have senior citizens at home biting into the caramelized jaggery I thought might be kind of difficult. So, I tried out the Yellu-Bella halwa tweaking a recipe by Sanjeev Kapoor. Here is my version of it.
¾ cup sesame seeds (yellu) soaked for 6-8hrs,
¾ cup chiroti rawa (fine semolina)
½ cup jaggery (this can be tittered to taste)
¼ cup of boiled and skinned cashew.
¼ cup ghee
2 cups of water.
Pinch of saffron soaked.
2-3 pods of green cardamom peeled and pounded.
1/3 cup of mixed nuts like badam, pistachio and walnuts for garnishing. (optional)
Strain the soaked sesame seeds and grind to paste.
Dry roast the rawa
In a wok pour the ghee, and when it warms add the roasted rawa till it emits aroma.
To this add 1 ½ cup of water and when it boils add the ground sesame paste and cashew
Allow to cook 10mnts.
Add the jaggery and saffron and the remaining ½ cup of water. Add the cardamom powder turn the flame and keep for a while allow the water to be absorbed.
I have not added the coconut since I felt that the seniors might find it difficult to eat. But of course about 1/3 cup of coconut can be added.