Ellunda is another must at death anniversary observances. It is traditionally made with black sesame seeds and jaggery. It is preferable to use either black or brown sesame seeds to prepare this sweet.
2 cups sesame seeds
¾ cup jaggery or brown sugar
¼ cup ghee
In a heavy skillet, dry roast the sesame seeds over medium heat. As they become toasted, the seeds will start popping. Stir continuously, and roast for five to six minutes until you smell the toasted fragrance. Do not allow them to burn; if over-roasted, sesame seeds will taste bitter. Remove them from the stove, and spread them on a large plate. In a heavy skillet, mix the jaggery (or brown sugar) with a couple of tablespoons of water, and cook over medium heat to make a thick syrup (approximately 235°F to 240°F on a candy thermometer.) To test the syrup, drop half a spoonful of the syrup into a cup of cold water. It will form a soft ball, but it will flatten like a pancake after a few moments in your hand. Add the toasted sesame seeds to the syrup, and stir well. Let it cool down a little. Smear a little ghee on the palm of your hand, pick up a handful of the mixture, and roll it into a ball one to one and a half inch in diameter. Repeat with the remaining mixture. Store the ellunda in airtight containers.
Makes 30 to 32 pieces.