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Makar Sankranti: 5 Traditional Recipes To Relish At Home

Makar Sankranti or Sankranthi is a harvest festival which is celebrated across India in names with great joy and pomp. It marks the first day of the sun’s transit into Makara rashi (Capricorn). As per the Hindu calendar, this year, the festival would be celebrated all over India on Jan 14.

Makar Sankranti is also known as Pongal in Tamil Nadu, Lohri in Punjab, Uttrayan in Gujarat, Bhogali Bihu in Assam and Poush Sankranti in West Bengal.

People celebrate the festival by offering prayers to God Surya, by flying kites and by preparing several types of dishes. Here are some traditional recipes which you can make at home:

Makara Chaula:

Makar Sankranti celebrations in Odisha is incomplete without Makara Chaula. It is sweet dish which is offered as prasad to the Lords. As the name suggest ‘Makara Chaula’ is sweet dish made up of raw rice.

Makara-Chaula
Makara Chaula                                                 Image Source: Tiwtter

Ingredients

• Basmati Rice (You can take any type of regular white rice/arua chaula which you have at home)
• Milk
• Sugar
• Grated Coconut
• Banana
• Chenna or Cottage Cheese/ Rasgullas
• Black Pepper Powder
• Grated Ginger

Optional

• Sugarcane (Diced into small pieces)
• Pomegranate
• Raisins
• Cashew

Method:

  • In a bowl, soak the rice for half an hour. Strain the rice, and grind it coarsely without giving water.
  • Then add Milk, Sugar, Grated Coconut, Banana, Chenna or Cottage Cheese/ Rasgullas, Black Pepper Powder and mix it. Then add the optional ingredients and it is ready to serve.

Payesh Puli:

Payesh Puli
Payesh Puli                                  Pic Credit: prestigesmartchef

Payesh Puli is a quintessentially Bengali dish which combines two dishes Pithe and Payesh in one.

Ingredients

For making rice dough

• 1 cup of rice flour
• 1 1/4 cup of water
• 1/4 tsp salt

For making coconut stuffing

• 1 cup grated coconut
• 1/2 cup grated patali gur/ date palm jaggery
• 1/4 tsp cardamom powder
• 1/2 cup milk
• 1/2 tsp ghee

For preparing the dudh or doodh

• 1 lit milk
• 3 green cardamom(crushed)
• 1 cup patali gur/ date palm jaggery

Method:

For coconut stuffing

• Take a pan with 1 cup of freshly grated coconut, sauté it for 2 mins.
• Then add grated patali gur or date palm jaggery with sautéed coconut. Mix it well.
• Just after 2 mins of continuous stirring, add milk to it. Cook it till the milk totally soaked by the coconut and jaggery mix.
• Then add ghee and cardamom powder to it and mix well. When the moisture almost evaporates then turn off the heat. Let it completely cool down.

For cover of Puli Pitha

  • Start boiling 1 1/4 cup of water with 1/4 tsp of salt on high flame.
  • Once the water starts boiling, slow down the flame to its minimum and add 1 cup of rice flour to it with continuous stirring. Switch off the flame immediately.
  • Take a mixing bowl and immediately start kneading the dough. First, do it with a spatula and then use your hand(carefully as it’s hot) to make a soft and smooth dough of it.
  • Then cut the dough into small balls and roll it into thin discs. Put coconut filling into the middle of the disc.
  • Then seal the edges of the dumpling’s or puli pitha’s cover and give it a shape of a half-moon.

For preparing the dudh or doodh

  • Take one-litre full-fat milk in a wide pan and put it on medium flame. When the milk starts boiling then slow down the heat. Add 3 crushed cardamom pods.
  • Then add 1 cup of crushed or grated date palm jaggery or patali gur. Boil the milk for 15-20mins.
  • After 20 mins, when the milk thickens, then add the puli pitha to it. Let it boil for 10 mins without stirring it.
  • Then after 10 mins, stir it gently and again cook the puli pithas for more 8-10 mins.
  • Then turn off the heat and let it completely cool down before serving.

Til Chikki:

Til Chikki
Til Chikki                                             Pic Credit: Divine Taste

Til Chikki is a delicious and quick to make sweet treat which is a must make for the festival of Sankranti in North India.

Ingredients:

• 1 ½ cups sesame seeds
• ¾ th cup Jaggery
• 4 tsp ghee
• 1 tbsp milk
• powdered cardamom

Method:

  • Roast the sesame seeds until they change colour, about 4 to 5 minutes and allow to cool. Crumble the jaggery and keep aside.
  • In a heavy bottomed pan, put in the ghee and after the ghee melts, add the jaggery and allow it to melt on low heat.
  • Once the jaggery melts, stir in the milk. After the jaggery bubbles for a few seconds, you need to put in the roasted sesame seeds, the cardamom powder and mix well until all the sesame seeds are coated with the jaggery.
  • Turn off the heat and transfer this mixture onto a tray lined with baking parchment.
  • Quickly cut the flattened surface into squares immediately. As it will be difficult to cut into afterwards as the chikki hardens.

Sakkarai Pongal:

Sakkarai Pongal
Sakkarai Pongal                         Pic Credit: FirstCry Parenting

Sakkarai Pongal is prepared by using short grain rice and jaggery which are considered to be healthy ingredients to be consumed during winter.

Ingredients

• 1/2 cup – raw rice
• 3 tbsp – moong dal
• 4 tbsp – ghee
• 1/2 cup – milk
• 6 to 8 – cashews
• 3/4 cup – jaggery
• 1 – cardamom
• 1 tsp – raisins
• 1.75 cups – water
• 2 pinches – salt

Method

  • Heat the cooker and add a tsp of ghee and fry the moong dal directly. Fry for a minute. Add the washed rice, half of the milk, water and pressure cook over a medium flame for 4 whistles.
  • Once the pressure is released, open and mix some more milk, just to mash and mix well.
  • Then melt the jaggery with very little water and filter the impurities and then add this syrup to the pongal.
  • Switch on the stove and keep on stirring on a low-medium flame.
  • Pour ghee little by little and keep on stirring till pongal leaves the sides of the vessel.
  • Add fried cashew, raisins, powdered cardamom and mix well. The pongal is ready to serve.

Pinni:

Pinni
Pinni                                                        Pic Credit: aahaaram

Pinni is one indulgent winter treat from Punjab, which is prepared widely during Lohri and Sankranti celebrations.

Ingredients:
• 1 Cup Wheat flour (Atta)
• 3/4th Cup Mawa (Khoya)
• 1 Cup Sugar or as per your taste
• Clarified butter (Ghee) 2tbsp
• Roasted dry fruits
• 2 Cardamoms

Method:

  • Grind sugar and cardamom into fine powder.
  • In a pan, take ½ tbsp of ghee and flour on low flame and stir it at regular intervals.
  • When it turns golden-brown and starts to smell roasted turn off the flame.
  • Add the remaining ghee, sugar powder, dry fruits and khoya to atta. Now make pinnis out of the mixture.
  • You may garnish the pinnis with finely chopped dry fruits.
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