Thambittu is a classic and traditional sweet from Karnataka. In some regions, most festivals are incomplete without thambittu. It is prepared for festivals like nagar panchami, gauri pooja and Ganesh chaturthi. These are offered as Naivedya during puja and also distributed among friends and relatives.
There are many different versions of thambittu based on the region and community. I am sharing a very simple version made with fried gram, ghee, jaggery, dried coconut, peanuts, sesame and poppy seeds.
I made these for a puja offering on one of the festive occasions. These are super quick to make and just takes about 25 minutes. They taste delicious and aromatic. Good quality ghee, coconut and peanuts are the key to make delicious thambittu.
Easy thambittu unde
Thambittu unde | Karnataka style fried gram jaggery ladoo recipe
Thambittu unde are traditional sweet balls made of flour, dried coconut, jaggery and ghee. These ladoo are usually prepared for festivals like nagar panchami, Gauri pooja and even during ganesh chaturthi.
Ingredients (240 ml cup used)
Ingredients for thambittu unde
- 1 cup fried gram or roasted gram or huri kadale or putani
- ½ cup jaggery + 2 tbsps (grated or powder)
- ½ cup ghee
- ½ tsp cardamom powder or elaichi powder
- 3 tbsp dried coconut or copra
- 3 tbsp sesame seeds
- 2 tbsp peanuts (can replace with coconut)
- 1 tbsp poppy seeds (skip if you do not have)
How to make the recipe
Preparation for thambittu
optional - Dry roast peanuts until golden and aromatic. Cool and remove the skin. Pulse them just once or twice in a mixer. The idea is to split them. You can crush them. Do not powder.
Dry roast fried gram just for 1 to 2 mins until hot. Remove them to a plate.
Next dry roast coconut just until hot. Remove to a plate. Keep them separate from fried gram.
Then roast sesame seeds until they begin to splutter. Set this aside with coconut.
Make a fine powder of fried gram. Set aside 2 tbsp of powder in a small cup.
Making thambittu unde
Heat ghee in a wide pan. Then add grated jaggery.
Begin to heat this until jaggery dissolves completely and begins to bubble. Some kinds of jaggery may not blend well with ghee, its just fine. Take off from the stove.
Make sure you set aside 2 tbsp of fried gram powder. Quickly add cardamom powder, fried gram flour, coconut, sesame, poppy seeds and peanuts.
Mix well with the jaggery syrup. The mixture must be well binded. If it looks too sticky you can add the 2 tbsp of powder that was set aside.
The entire mixture comes down to warm temperature quickly. Grease your hands and then begin to make unde or balls. You will be able to make about 11 ladoos. Be quick and roll them as soon as possible since thambittu turns dry when it cools down.
Store thambittu unde in air tight jar and use up within 2 weeks.
How to make thambittu
1. I did not have peanuts so I replaced with 3 tbsp coconut. If using peanuts then dry roast them until golden and aromatic. Cool them and remove the skin. Crush or pulse them twice in a mixer jar. The peanuts must be split and not powdered.
2. Dry roast the fried gram until hot. Transfer to a plate.
3. Then dry roast coconut just until hot and aromatic. Do not brown it. Transfer this to another plate, away from fried gram.
4. Dry roast sesame seeds until they begin to splutter. Transfer these as well with dried coconut. Then dry roast poppy seeds just for a while until they turn crunchy. Transfer to sesame seeds & coconut.
5. Add the fried gram to a mixer jar. If you do not have cardamom powder, then you can add whole cardamoms to the jar now.
6. Make a fine powder. Set aside 2 tbsp of fried gram flour to a small cup.
7. Heat ghee in a pan.
8. Make sure jaggery is clean from debris. Just handpick the debris while you grate it. Add it to the ghee.
9. Mix and cook on a medium heat until the jaggery dissolves and begins to bubble up. Do not cook for a long time as it will reach a ball consistency and break the ladoo. As soon as you see the jaggery begins to bubble, then turn off the stove. Some times jaggery doesn’t blend with the ghee, just ignore it and go ahead.
10. Add cardamom powder, fried gram powder, coconut, sesame & poppy seeds.
11. Be quick and mix well.
12. If the mixture turns slightly sticky, then add the powder that was set aside. Quickly mix well. The temperature of the thambittu comes down immediately as the fried gram flour is cool. Grease your hands.
13. Then begin to make the balls. Greasing protects your hands from the heat of the thambittu. Try to finish it quickly as the mixture may dry up. If the mixture turns dry then, grease your hands again and roll them.
Cool thambittu completely. Store in a air tight jar and finish within 2 weeks.