Ellu Urundai / Thala Guli / Sesame Balls

Delicious little balls of sesame seeds + coconut + date + jaggery — great as a dessert, at tea time, or just a nibble to power you through your day. Traditionally in Jaffna, these were often made with just sesame seeds and jaggery, perhaps with a little rice flour / water as a binder, but I find them much tastier with the addition of coconut and dates.

1 c. white sesame seeds
1 c. desiccated coconut
1/2 – 1 c. chopped dates

1 c. jaggery or dark brown sugar

1. Toast sesame seeds and coconut on medium-low heat, stirring, until the coconut turns light tan. Don’t toast for too long, or the sesame seeds will become bitter.

2. Let cool, then pound all the ingredients together or combine in food processor until you can form the mixture into balls that hold together. You may need to adjust the amount of dates (Medjool dates tend to be moister), and/or add a little water.

3. Shape into small balls, squeezing mixture together firmly. Enjoy!

NOTE: These may be stored refrigerated for a few weeks.

For most recipes, I’d recommend fresh coconut or rehydrating desiccated, and you certainly can, but these will actually keep longer if you skip the rehydrating phase.

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