Thala Guli
Alternative namesThala bola, Gingelly balls, Gingili balls, Ellu urundai, Ellurundai
Place of originSri Lanka
Serving temperatureCooled
Main ingredientssesame seeds, desiccated coconut, jaggery, salt
Variationsdates, roasted peanuts
Thala Guli

Thala Guli ('tah-lah 'goo lee) (Sinhala: තල ගුලි) also known as thala bola, gingelly or gingili balls or rolls, are traditional Sri Lankan sweetmeats, made with sesame seeds, salt and jaggery (palm sugar).[1][2][3] Thala means sesame in Sinhala and guli or boli refers to whether they are made in the shape of a roll/cylinder or a ball/sphere. In northeast Sri Lanka, they are known as ellu urundai or ellurundai (Tamil: எள்ளுருண்டை) which in Tamil translates as sesame balls.

Ingredients and preparation


Thala Guli is typically prepared from four basic components: white sesame seeds, desiccated coconut, jaggery and salt. Common variations to the traditional recipe include using dates (such as Medjool) or peanuts. Where jaggery is unavailable unrefined sugars, such as muscovado sugar can be used as a replacement.[4]


Separately dry roast the sesame seeds, and desiccated coconut, until they are golden brown. Grind the sesame seeds with salt in a mortar with a pestle, until the crushed seeds are oily. Grate the jaggery into the mixture and grind. Add the roasted coconut and continue to grind. The mixture is then shaped by hand and molded into small balls or rolls. Warm kithul treacle, sesame oil, coconut oil or ground dates are often used as binding agents if the mixture is not pliable enough to form balls or rolls.[5]


They can be arranged on a serving plate however they are traditionally wrapped in pieces of white crêpe, waxed or baking paper with fringes at their ends. The paper is then twisted on either side of the balls or rolls so they look like miniature bon bons or Christmas crackers. They are served at the end of a meal, or as a snack between meals.[6]

See also


  1. ^ Rinsky, Glenn; Rinsky, Laura Halpin (2008). The Pastry Chef's Companion: A Comprehensive Resource Guide for the Baking and Pastry Professional. John Wiley & Sons. p. 240. ISBN 9780470009550.
  2. ^ Bloom, Carole (1995). The International Dictionary of Desserts, Pastries, and Confections. Hearst Books. ISBN 9780688127251.
  3. ^ Thurab, Rafiya (28 February 2019). "7 must-have Sri Lankan festive sweets". News 1st. Retrieved 12 May 2021.
  4. ^ Mohanraj, Mary Anne (2003). A Taste of Serendib: A Sri Lankan Cookbook. Lethe Press. ISBN 9781590211007.
  5. ^ Kuruvita, Peter (2018). Lands of the Curry Leaf: A vegetarian food journey from Sri Lanka to Nepal. Allen & Unwin. ISBN 9781760637491.
  6. ^ "Thala Guli (Sesame Rolls)". Lakpura. Retrieved 12 May 2021.