Tilkut is a sweet savoury made in the Indian states of Bihar and Jharkhand. This is also known as "Tilkatri". It is made of pounded 'tila' or sesame seeds (Sesamum indicum) and jaggery or sugar. The best tilkut is said to be from Gaya. References to this dry sweet is found in the Buddhist literature as palala.
Normally, three types of tilkuts are available — the refined sugar tilkut is white in colour, the sakkar tilkut is made of unrefined sugar and is light brown in colour and the gur tilkut is made of jaggery and is dark brown in colour. Each of these varieties have their own flavour. The circular shaped savoury is called tilkut and the smaller nut-sized ones are called tillouri.
Winter is the period when sugar cane is harvested. It is also the period when large quantities of tilkut are made in many towns and even villages. However, as the demand persists throughout the year, smaller quantities are made round the year.
Tilkut is generally associated with Makar Sankranti, the harvest festival and eaten during this time.