Makar Sankranti in India

By Foodism Team

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Makar Sankranti is one of India's hidden cultural festivals. While the world may only know us for celebrating Diwali vigorously, we know the cultural importance and heritage of Makar Sankranti Across India is undeniable. 

To begin with, here are a few ( definitely not all ) alternative names or variations of this festival around the country. 

  • Thai Pongal (Tamilnadu)
  • Uttarayan (Gujarat)
  • Lohri (Punjab)
  • Poush sôngkrānti (Bengal)
  • Suggi Habba (Karnataka)
  • Makara Chaula (Odisha)
  • Maghi Sankrant (Maharashtra and Haryana)
  • Magh/Bhogali Bihu (Assam)
  • Shishur Saenkraat (Kashmir)
  • Khichdi Parv (UP and Bihar)

Each state also has their regional variations, but all are connected by the common love of food. Here are a few Recipes that we personally love!

Makara Chaula

Ingredients-

  • 1/2 cup Raw rice
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated coconut
  • 1/3 cup small sugarcane pieces
  • 1-2 ripe banana
  • sugar to taste
  • 1/2 tsp pepper powder
  • 1/4 cup cottage cheese (Chenna)
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 1/2 cup chopped fruits of your choice

Instructions-

Soak the rice overnight. Wash and drain. Spread on a plate and allow to dry at room temperature for 2-3 hours.

Grind into a coarse powder and transfer to a mixing bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients except for the banana and mix well.

Peel and crush the banana. Add to the mixing bowl and mix.

Consume within a day if kept outside the refrigerator. Can be refrigerated for 2-3 days.

Puran Poli

Ingredients 

For mixture:

  • 1 cup Chana Dal (washed)
  • 3 cups Water
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 1 tsp Cardamom Powder
  • Nutmeg, grated

For making dough-

  • 2 cups Maida
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 2 tbsp Ghee
  • 1 cup Water

Instructions-

Prepare Dal Mixture:

Take Chana dal in a pressure cooker, add water and pressure cook it for about a minute (3-4 whistles).

Drain the water and mash it coarsely. Now in a pressure cooker pour the mashed dal and add sugar. 

Mix it thoroughly and cook slowly. Add cardamom powder along with grated nutmeg to it and mix thoroughly.

Continue stirring on low flame until it gets dry. Let the mixture cool down.

Prepare the dough:

Take maida in a bowl, add salt and ghee. Mix well.

Add a sufficient amount of water and make a semi-soft dough. Wrap the bowl with a plastic sheet or damp cloth and leave it for 30 minutes.

Prepare Puran Poli:

Make flat balls out of the dough as we make for chapatis. Dust it using maida flour and roll it in a round shape with a roller.

Fill the puran (stuffing) in it and then cover the edges. Roll it out again in round shape.

Heat tawa and cook the puran poli on both sides with lots of ghee. 

Puran poli is ready to eat! 

Sakkarai Pongal 

Ingredient-

  • 4 Servings
  • 1 cup rice
  • 1/2 cup jaggery
  • water as required
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup moong dal
  • 1 litre milk
  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • 1 teaspoon powdered green cardamom
  • For Garnishing
  • 6 strand saffron

Instructions-

Soak rice in water. Wash and soak rice in water for 2 hours. Then rinse and drain the water and keep aside. In the meantime, soak washed moong dal for an hour.

Roast the dried fruits and moong dal. Heat ghee in a frying pan over medium flame and add cashews and raisins. Fry them till they turn golden in colour. 

Now, add moong dal to the pan and saute for a while.

Take another vessel and add in milk along with the rice, keep stirring till the milk is reduced to half. Now, transfer the fried cashews and moong dal mixture and keep stirring.

Cook them in the pressure cooker on medium flame till you hear 5 whistles. Meanwhile, mix jaggery and water in a pan over a low flame. Once it turns into a thick syrup, turn off the flame and keep it aside. 

Open the cooker and mash the mixture after adding a little water to it.

Garish with roasted dried fruits and serve hot!