Lohri Popcorn Made with Gur & Til

lohri popcorn with gur

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. lohri-popcorn-edited

If you aren’t familiar with gur (jaggery) it is an unrefined cane sugar, and much healthier than regular processed sugar. It has an earthy rich taste and I love it in tea with ginger. My grandmother used to have a piece after dinner, like a healthy dessert.

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

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 Dhanani.

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. 

Raj is an editor at The South Asian Buzz, and the Director of Brand Relations at The South Asian Bloggers Network. She loves to test new recipes, take on over-ambitious home decor projects, and read everything she can get her hands on.