Lohri Popcorn Made with Gur & Til

lohri popcorn with gur and tilMaybe it’s the allure of a fresh new year, or maybe it’s my crazy need to try new recipes all the time, but I’ve been cooking up a storm in the kitchen this week and one of my favourite experiments was Lohri popcorn. Popcorn is a fixture at Lohri celebrations along with rewri, gachak, and til (sesame seeds), so I decided to give it a ‘desi caramel corn’ spin. I basically created a simple syrup with gur (jaggery) and poured it over the popcorn and sprinkled sesame seeds over top. A very simple recipe with a lot of wow factor for your Lohri celebration. 

If you aren’t familiar with gur (jaggery) it is an unrefined cane sugar, and much healthier than regular processed sugar. I find it to have a earthy rich taste and love it in tea with ginger, but a friend of mine recently told me the taste reminded her of molasses. If you can’t find jaggery in your local grocery store, try an Indian food market. If you are in Surrey/Vancouver I recommend Fruiticana – they have everything!

Lohri Popcorn with Gur & Till | Ingredients:

1 cup of powdered jaggery or shakkar {You can buy jaggery in clumps and powder it yourself, or you can  use shakkar which is a powdered form of jaggery and is readily available in stores. I used shakkar}
1/4 cup of water

Please Note: Sugar gets extremely hot when melted and can cause serious burns. Use extreme caution if you have little ones around, and do not touch it with your hands!

jaggery popcorn

lohri popcorn
I started by melting the jaggery  powder and water on a medium high heat.  You’ll want to keep on stirring during this part of the process so that the sugar doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. 


You want the syrup to reach one-thread consistency, which happens at 230 degrees Celsius. I used my candy thermometer so that I didn’t have to actually touch the sugar for a string test! Once the syrup hits 230 degrees take it off the heat right away and pour it over your popcorn.

jaggery popcorn

Honestly, I realized after I made this batch that I might have gotten a more even coverage if I had added the popcorn to the syrup and tossed it, but we actually really liked how there was some areas that had “bites” of gur and others were just regular popcorn. That way the taste wasn’t over powering. Also, while the syrup is hot, sprinkle with some til (sesame seeds).lohri popcorn with gur and till

If you want a fully coated kernel you could place the popcorn into the syrup, or you can do it like I did and drizzle the kernels with syrup. Whatever you prefer. Serve them in some fun cones and you are ready to snack!

lohri popcorn edited

Photos in this post are by Aziz Dhamani and copyright PinkChaiLiving.com

How are you celebrating Lohri this year? Leave a comment and let me know! I love learning more about the traditions and rituals in your home. 


1 Comment

  1. August 30, 2017 / 11:12 am

    As a part of Lohri celebrations, children go around homes singing the traditional folk songs of Lohri with “Dulla Bhatti” name included.

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