In North Karnataka, Sorghum (jola/jowar) and Pearl millet (sajje/ bajra) are staple food along with rice. These two grains are popularly used to make rotis and are an integral part of cuisine. Here is a lesser known sweet preparation from North Karnataka, made of jola – “ARALU HITTINA UNDE”… or in simple terms ‘laddus made of popped sorghum’.
Jowar is boiled, dried, popped (just like popcorn) and powdered to form featherlight granular powder (aralu hittu) that is almost like tiny balls the size of amaranth seeds. The very process of making this aralu hittu is very cumbersome but thankfully for our generation, now it is available ready to use. On a recent trip to our hometown, I picked up a big bag of this popped sorghum powder.🤩 Earlier, this used to be available only around Nag Panchami festival when these laddus are made as naivedya/offering but now it is available year long. The best part of these laddus is that they are refined sugar-free and gluten-free and made of healthy grain option – jowar!
If you are curious to know – the backdrop in the above picture is an Ilkal (a town in Bagalkot district of Karnataka) saree with Kasuti embroidery – a traditional folk embroidery technique from Karnataka that involves embroidering very intricate patterns like gopura, chariot, palanquin, lamps and conch shells. Although the art is slowly losing presence due to lack of patronage, it is still practised to some extent in Hubli/Dharwad in Karnataka.
Sharing below Aralu Hittina Unde recipe. Before I get to it, do check my other desserts recipes too.
- Kardantu – Roasted chana barfi
- Genasina Payasa/ Sweet Potato Pudding/ Shakarkand Kheer
- Lauki/Bottlegourd Barfi – Instant no-mawa recipe
- Carrot Cake – No oven recipe
- Creme Caramel – No oven recipe
- Ragi/Finger Millet Laddus
- Roasted Chana Modak– No cooking recipe
- Makhana/Foxnut Laddus
- Marie Biscuit Laddus – quick, no-cooking recipe
- Oreo laddus – Quick, no-cooking recipe
- Oats-Almonds-Chia Seeds Laddu – Quick, no-cooking recipe
- Pineapple Upside-down Cake in pressure cooker
- Orange Custard
- Rice Kheer
- Putani hittina laddu /Roasted split gram laddu
- Mango mastani
- Mango Sheera/ kesari
- Gadbad ice cream
- Fried ice cream
- Mango shrikhand / aamrakhand
- Kashi halwa / ash gourd halwa
Aralu Hittina Unde Recipe
Makes 20 laddus
1 Cup = 240 ml
- Aralu hittu (popped sorghum powder) – 3 cup
- Black sesame seeds – 1/4 cup
- Ghee – 3 tbsp
- Cashew nuts (halves) – 1/2 cup
- Green cardamom powder – 1/4 tsp
- Water – 1/4 cup
- Jaggery – 2 cup
1) Heat a pan on medium-low flame. Add black sesame seeds.
2) Dry roast for 4-5 minutes. Keep aside.
3) In the same pan add 1 tsp ghee.
4) Add cashew nut halves to the ghee.
5) Fry cashew nut halves until they turn golden brown. Keep it aside.
6) In a large mixing bowl, add popped sorghum powder, dry roasted black sesame seeds, fried cashew nut halves, green cardamom powder and the remaining ghee.
7) Mix well and keep aside.
8) Heat a thick bottomed kadai on medium-low flame. Add water.
9) Add jaggery.
10) Mix well until jaggery dissolves completely.
11) Increase the flame to medium and bring the jaggery syrup to a boil while stirring continuously.
12) When the jaggery syrup begins to boil, drop a little syrup in a bowl of water. If it doesn’t dissolve immediately and holds shape, then the syrup is ready to make laddus. Turn off heat at this point.
13) Add the aralu hittu mixture to jaggery syrup.
14) Mix well such that the mixture is coated well with jaggery syrup.
15) Grease your palm with ghee, take a fistful of mixture and form laddus while the mixture is still warm.
Note: In case the mixture turns cold while still making the laddus, try warming it on low flame and try if the binding improves. Adding a little milk/fresh cream and mixing well also helps. But, then the laddus need to be consumed same day/ refrigerated for a little longer shelf life.
16) Repeat with the entire mixture and form laddus.
Store in an airtight container and enjoy these gluten-free and refined sugar-free North Karnataka speciality – Aralu Hittina Unde.
If you happen to try this Aralu Hittina Unde Recipe; leave a comment, let me know how it turned out.
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Have a great day you all!