Monday, 2 January 2012

Relish-"Til ke Laddoo..On Makar Sankranti- Why in winters only?"

Til ke laddoo
Til or Sesame seeds, since eras, North India's winter festivals are associated with the Gajak or Tilpatti or Til ke Laddo! Everyone used to consume Til & Gud in one form or the other during the winter season. 
Have you ever thought why our ancestors made such Til & Jaggery(Gud) combination foods in WINTERS?
May be because there is crop of til & sugarcane during these months.
If we further investigate the reason why GOD gifted TIL to man..and why in this period of year only?
We reach to a more satisfying & amazing answer.. 
Through the investigation of nutritive value we find that Sesame seeds(TIL)are richest source of iron & Jaggery(GUD) a high energy food which is also rich in dietary iron.
Both of these foods are rich source of iron..! In fact Til is richest source of iron in Indian vegetarian foods..
Why Iron rich food in winters??
Studies reveal that During winters our BMR or basal metabolic rate is reduced. 
What is BMR?-Is it merely a figure that we achieve during the full body analysis, on an electronic machine? or a figure on which your dietician puts a circle- saying you need to work-out harder to improve it..  
But is not that insignifant. BMR is associated with the body's basic functions.. It's simplest guideline, for a nutritionist to estimate, that what type of body response will be, during the full session. By definition BMR or BASAL METABOLIC RATE is the minimum amount of energy required to sustain our life through involuntary activities in post absorptive state. 
What happens if BMR gets reduced? If BMR gets reduced the amount of energy that we consume, more of it, gets converted into body's fat deposits rather than being utilized to sustain our normal healthy body functions.This will make us put on weight...!
Then, Why is BMR reduced? As body sees a emergency situation, arising during the cold months.. Brain advises body to store more fat for future use in crisis. As the invertebrates do during Hibernation. Secondly,Our body needs to do more effort to maintain the body temperature.. In this effort mind suggests, the body to accumulated the subcutanious Fat or we may say more of adipose tissue.. So,the body  may get a protective covering of natural fat blanket to protect us from cold..And during crisis this tissue could be broken down to fulfil energy requirement also.
Now what's the role of HIGH IRON & HIGH ENERGY foods?
If we believe in Indian food fads of "TAASIR" of foods then obviously TIL & GUD come in "warm foods" category .What we generally say "GARAM-TAASIR" in our day to day language.
Otherwise also during the low BMR days, our pulse rate & pumping of heart blood volume too gets lowered down, due to normal body feedback response. I'm not just saying this but studies reveal this fact.
When the rate of blood circulation gets reduced, the rate of oxygen supply to various parts of body too gets affected, that's a overt fact.
To overcome this situation body needs to multiply more of RBC's or the red blood cells. 
Here come's the answer-To produce more RBC's which will have high haemoglobin(Haem is form of iron compound in Haemoglobin) which could carry more oxygen through the blood stream;
The body's need for energy & Iron(Haem) is elevated. And to acquire these two, there is need for humans to add Iron & Energy rich foods in their diet during winter months.
After analysing all  this reason behind the Til-patti or the Til ke Laddo.
Don't you too feel that our ancestors were genius..?
They used scientific foods in their day to day life?
Just there was a little difference in presentation of ideas. They utilised their knowledge well, but they didn't gave such reasoning.They might have thought people won't understand or they thought masses may not follow the idea, if it is not associated with some custom. So, they combined each required food with festivals.
Like they did with TIL & JAGGERY by associating with MAKAR SANKRANTI..!
Not only Til & Gud but "Moong ki dal ki pakodi's" on Makar Sankranti too have some logic behind it which I will try to reveal in my next article.. 


  1. Nice and informative. So you have lifted my self-imposed embargo on Til & Jaggery items, as I thought it adds to cholesterol. So here I go right away to sweet mart to get Ghazak, Til-koot, Til Laddu, et all.

    By the way is it white Til or black til that gives rich iron content?

    The pix with this post looks very tempting. Tumne Banaya?


  2. Thanks Raghunath uncle, for your valuable comment..
    Though Black til have more iron content than white one, but when we weigh the amount of iron available to body in both it comes out to be nearly same.. So white til dn't receed Black til much in terms of nutrition.. Also people prefer White til more.. So you may choose any.
    So,You got a powerful justification for having these;Humn..? -Regards.

  3. Nice info. Have seen you on facebook Arnab's page.. Thanks for sharing.