Sesame Halwa (Yellu-Bella)

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.

my makarasankranti menu

One thought on “Sesame Halwa (Yellu-Bella)

  1. Pingback: Kites and Kattle… Siriusly! – Parwatisingari's Weblog

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