Crunchy Homemade Til Rewari (Sesame seeds rock candy bites) is irresistible brittle balls made with sugar/ jaggery, sesame seeds, and nuts. These bite-sized sweet treats make a perfect homemade edible gift!
It’s festival time! Makar Sankranti, Lohri, and Pongal – the first festivals on Hindu calendar are just a few days away. And every household has geared up to welcome these festivals with cheer and joy. These festivals celebrate – nature’s bounty and the change of seasons.
Why do we celebrate Lohri or Makar Sankranti?
During the months of October – December, the sun starts to move towards the south. Because of limited sunlight and harsh weather conditions, crop harvesting comes to a standstill. But as January sets in, the sun begins its journey towards the north which marks the end of the winter gloom.
Therefore, the 13th and 14th of January are celebrated as Lohri and Makar Sankranti across the nation. These are the harvest festivals of India that is marked by sun’s shift in position. Around this time, the sun enters Capricorn (Makar in Sanskrit) and starts on its Northward journey.
This transition is named as Uttarayan in Sanskrit.
The significance of Sesame Seeds in this festival!
Whether you are celebrating the warmth of a bonfire (Lohri) or enjoying the kite festival (Makar Sankranti/Uttarayan) or just conveying greetings of Pongal – sesame seeds (til) and gur (jaggery) hold special significance during this festival.
Sesame seeds (til) and gur (jaggery) are the two most important foods that help-
- to keep the body warm in winters. Oil present in the sesame seeds helps generate body heat.
- increases immunity,
- promote health and longevity,
- likewise, jaggery contains iron, vitamin C which is a great remedy for respiratory disorders and throat problems.
So, here is a traditional recipe to celebrate the festival – Homemade til rewari or revadi! Growing up, I remember my mom and my aunt making huge batches of rewari just before the Lohri. She would save some for us and the rest she would distribute to family and friends as gifts.
How to make Til Revadi?
I have to admit, as much as a enjoy eating these rewari – making it involves some real muscle power. The tough part is – stretching of sugar. It requires two people and a back and forth – folding and kneading process.
Once sugar is stretched, after that the process is straightforward. Below I have shared two methods of making rewari –
- first one is made with corn syrup – the rock-solid rewari just like the store bought one.
- the second one without corn syrup – brittle on the outside but soft on the inside.
- the third one is gur rewari.
The only difference between the first and other two methods – rewari without corn syrup is not as rock solid like the store bought ones. Choose any method, but the key to a crispy and crunchy rewari is THE perfect consistency of sugar/jaggery syrup.
Corn Syrup is a must for this recipe!
Please do not skip corn syrup. Without the corn syrup, your revadis will turn brittle but soft on the inside.
What is corn syrup?
Common is a popular ingredient used to make hard candy recipes. Corn syrup is an invert sugar, which means that it prevents the formation of sugar crystals and gives a smooth texture to hard candy. It contains glucose molecules that keep sucrose (regular sugar) molecules in a hard candy syrup from crystallizing. And this interfering agent (corn syrup) helps to prevent crystallization. I have used light corn syrup (Karo Lite) for this recipe.
Substitute for Corn syrup?
Unfortunately for this recipe, there is none. Corn Syrup is a must for this recipe.
To prevent crystallization, I have experimented with acids like vinegar, lemon juice and cream of tartar but everything failed. have shown my experiment below. The revaris did turn brittle but were soft on the inside.
If the sugar syrup was cooked below 255-260 degrees F ( like 220-230 degrees F -110 degrees C) then any acid would have worked but for this recipe, sugar syrup reached a higher temperature of 255-260 degrees F and therefore, the corn syrup is the best inhibitor of crystallization.
Honey CANNOT be substituted with corn syrup. Honey if cooked passed 160 degrees F will crystallize the sugar. For revari making, I strongly suggest sticking to the recipe.
Besides all the hard work, these Homemade Til Rewari are super addictive and delicious. They make an irresistible and yummy winter snack. I always prepare a jar full of rewaris (sugar/jaggery both) in the winters. It’s a perfect after-meal treat that will keep the body warm during winters.
Best part, they can be stored for a longer time. Only if it lasts that long. 😉
Do give this yummy rewaris a try. Let me know in the comments if you try this recipe. If you have any questions, I would be happy to answer them. Would love to hear from you. 🙂
Happy Makar Sankranti, Lohri, and Pongal to all!
Looking for more recipes – try murmura chikki recipe from my friend Sonal Gupta’s blog!
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FOR SUGAR REWARI
- 1.5 cups Sugar
- 3/4 cup Water
- 3/4 cup Corn Syrup (I have used Karo Lite)
- 1 tablespoon Kewra essence
- 1 teaspoon Eliachi powder
- 3/4 teaspoon Salt
- 1/4 cup Sesame seeds or white Til
- 1 tablespoon Ghee
- 1/4 cup Roasted sesame seeds to roll the flatten sugar rewari
FOR JAGERRY REWARI
- 1.25 cups Roasted sesame seeds
- 3/4 cup Gur/Jaggery
- 1/4 cup Water
- 1/2 tabelspoon Rose essence or Kewra essence
- 1 teaspoon Eliachi powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt
- 1 tablespoon Ghee
- 1/4 cup Roasted sesame seeds to roll the flatten rewaris
ROAST SESAME SEEDS
- Add sesame seeds/til to a heavy bottomed pan. Dry roast for 2-3 minutes on a medium low flame. Be careful lightly roast it. Keep stirring continuously to prevent burning of the seeds. Set it aside.
FIRST METHOD - ROCK SOLID REWARI (JUST LIKE STORE BOUGHT)
- Combine sugar and water in a pan. Please read the post above before you start with the recipe.
- Add salt.
- Pour in corn syrup.
- Add kewra essence and eliachi powder.
- Mix until well blended. Cook this mixture on a medium flame.
- After 6-8 minutes of cooking on a medium flame, sugar syrup will look like this - all bubbly. If you have a cooking thermometer, then measure the syrup temperature - it should be between 255 - 260 degree F.For a perfect outcome, cook sugar/jaggery to its right stage(between 255-260 degrees F). Do not rush through this step. If the syrup is not cooked well, then you will end up with a gooey syrup. It took me some time to master this technique.
- Syrup should be thick - as shown in the pic. For a perfect outcome, cook sugar/jaggery to its right stage, do not hurry through this step. If this step is not correct, you will end up with a gooey syrup.
- Other way to test the consistency is to take a bowl of ice cold water.
- Drop few drops of sugar syrup in that ice cold water.
- Carefully remove syrup from water. Texture of the syrup will be gooey and rubbery.
- Press and rub in between your fingers and it will feel like a slimy lump. Sugar syrup is ready. But if the sugar turns brittle like a rock in water than its a waste, you have overcooked the syrup. Please do not progress with the recipe.
- Layer a tray with silicone mat and pour sugar syrup over it.
- Allow it to cool for 1 minute. Use a spoon to peel sugar around the edges.
- Work with a spoon and gather all the syrup in the center.
- Please be very very careful as the syrup is extremely hot. Assemble sugar syrup in the center.
- Soon it will come together like a thick, sticky gooey dough.
- Grease your hands with ghee and start kneading the syrup.
- Knead, knead and knead. Do not leave sugar unattended, it will dry out.
- Stretch, fold and knead. You will really need some muscle power for this thing. IF sugar starts to feel really tight and difficult to fold, then warm it in the microwave for 15-20 seconds and start the process again. No microwave - no worries, wrap in between a warm towel for few seconds. PLEASE make sure no water touches the sugar syrup, it will become sticky and difficult to handle. Learned this a hard way. 🙁
- After a good kneading of 30-40 minutes or maybe longer, sugar syrup will change color from pale yellow to creamy white. That's it sugar is ready to be shaped as rewari. Kneading time may vary from person to person. It depends on how fast you knead.
- Add roasted sesame seeds on the silicone mat.
- Add kneaded sugar dough on top.
- Stretch and knead again.
- Incorporate sesame seeds in the sugar dough. The more the sesame seeds the better.
- Give it a final punch and sugar dough is ready to be shaped. At this point, no water or liquid should touch the sugar. Make sure your hands are dried and well greased with ghee to work on the next step.
- Cut and divide sugar dough into equal portions. Kneaded sugar may feel quite firm at this point - no worries warm it slightly (10-15 seconds) in the microwave, knead and start the process.
- Shape and flatten the sugar dough.
- Roll flatten balls in roasted sesame seeds. Sesame seeds may not stick to the rewari. No worries apply a little ghee and roll. Seeds will stick well.
- Repeat with rest of the dough. Homemade sugar rewari is ready. This is the traditional method.
SECOND METHOD WITHOUT CORN SYRUP - BRITTLE BUT NOT ROCK SOLID
- This method is equally good but it is not as rock solid like the traditional one. Combine water and sugar. Add eliachi powder.
- Bring it to a boil.
- Add 1 teaspoon lemon juice or any acid to prevent crystallization. (read notes above). Add kewra essence and cook the syrup on a medium flame.
- Until it forms a two-thread consistency syrup. For a perfect outcome, cook sugar/jaggery to its right stage, do not hurry through this step. If this step is not correct, you will end up with a gooey syrup.
- Lower the flame and add roasted sesame seeds. Cook the mixture for 2-3 minutes.
- Remove from flame. Keep stirring the mixture. Soon the mix will become thick.
- When comfortable to touch, grease your hands with ghee and start shaping the dough.
- Roll the dough ball in sesame seeds.
- Repeat with rest of the dough and homemade rewari is ready. Compared to the above method this rewari is brittle from top and soft from inside.
- Difference between the two methods - When a firm pressure was applied the rewari made by second method
- Became all crumbly and broke into pieces.
- The rewari made with first method was rock solid like a candy. See how airy it is.
FOR GUR REWARI WITHOUT CORN SYRUP
- Making of gur rewari is different than the above one. Coarsely grind roasted sesame seeds. Set it aside.
- Boil jaggery and water together. Feel free to add 1/4 cup corn syrup to it for brittle and rock solid rewaris. Until it forms a 2 thread consistency.
- To check its consistency drop few drops in water. If it forms a thick strand, the syrup is ready. For a perfect outcome, cook sugar/jaggery to its right stage, do not hurry through this step. If this step is not correct, you will end up with a gooey syrup.
- Add roasted sesame seeds to the jaggery syrup. Mix it well. Cook the mix again for 2-3 minutes until the mixture starts to come together like a dough. Remove from heat and allow it to cool until comfortable to touch. Add sesame seeds.
- And the mix will become thick like a dough.
- Shape and flatten like rewari. Roll the balls in sesame seeds.
- Rewari can be stored for a longer time. A perfect after-meal treat that will keep the body warm during winters.