The year has kick-started and a new year brings to us, a new calendar! 14th January is marked as the festive celebration of Makar Sankranti or Maghi Sangrand. We associate this day with kites, dahi, til chikki and many other attributes of fun and celebration. This day signifies the movement of the sun into the Capricorn sun sign.
It has multiple names: West India adopts it as Makar Sankranti, South India as Pongal and North India as Lohri. This day usually signals the inception of the famous Kumbh Mela in Uttar Pradesh and completion of the harvesting season in Punjab and other parts of North India.
I have compiled Makar Sankranti food items which are served during the festival in the various states across India on this auspicious day, which also marks the new year according to Hindu Calender.
Watch Makar Sankranti Khichdi Recipe Video
The significance of Makar Sankranti and Food Items Served
Makar Sankranti or Maghi as it is known in Punjab is a solar event is one of few Hindu festivals that fall on the same day of the year even in desi calender. So it falls on a fixed day every year. The festival also marks the transition of the sun(on its celestial pasts) into Makar Rashi
In India, no festival is complete without food, so there are many makar Sankranti food traditions that are followed across India. Below is a collection of some popular Makar sankranti food recipes that are served and enjoyed on this day.
Til Chikkis / Laddoos
Any Makar Sankranti celebration is incomplete without the presence of these sweet delicacies which are exchanged and consumed throughout the day. These are made using sesame seeds (til) and jaggery (gud). People consume the Til chikkis and Panjeeri laddos with a saying “eat these sesame seeds and jaggery and speak sweet words”. By distributing these delicious sweets, people resolve to bury the past and start a productive chapter in their lives. Sesame / Til dishes are common across the whole of India and is served with coconut and jaggery in South India.
Chiwda Curd (Dahi Chooda)
A speciality of the East Indian traditions, it is a simple mix of flattened rice (chura or chiwra) and curd (dahi). Instead of sugar, people opt for jaggery to sweeten the dish and add an authentic flavour. You may also add freshly cut vegetables and a little milk to make it a healthy and filling meal.
Quite simply, no celebrations are complete without the authentic presence of aromatic khichdi and roasted papad in the North Indian households. Khichdi is a mixture of lentils (daal) and rice (chawal) cooked together in an enigmatic mixture of spices. You may also add veggies like potatoes, peas and cauliflower to this wholesome meal and serve it with freshly roasted or fried papad. Recipe of Makar Sankranti Khichadi Here
Churma of Ghee with Halwa and Kheer
Sweet churma is a delicious ensemble of wheat roasted in ghee and sugar with additional flavours to enhance the taste. Halwa and Kheer (many varieties of kheer) dominate the kitchens of Punjab, Haryana, and the likes and adds to the sweetness of this occasion.
This dish originated in Maharashtra and is enjoyed by many people because of its flavour and texture. It is a classic flatbread stuffed with finely chopped jaggery mixed with til (sesame) and roasted gram flour. It is usually served with oodles of melted ghee poured over it and relished with an innate sense of satisfaction.
Gujarati’s celebrate the festival with their favourite lunch of undhiyu and jalebis along with other delicacies like Till ki chikki, Khichdo and, goondar paak .
Pathishapta, Pithe Puli from Bengal
Makar Sankranti is known as Poush Sankranti in Bengal and various types of Pathishapta, Pithe Puli and payesh, are cooked and eaten to celebrate the Makar Sankranti.
Sakkarai Pongal in South India
Traditional Sakkararai Pongal is cooked with rice, Jaggery, moong dal and cashew in ghee. Makar Sankranti is celebrated as a festival of abundance and known as Pongal in the South Indian state of Tamilnadu.
Makar Sankranti food has a great significance due to its symbolic value of completion and productivity. I hope you have a great day and year ahead of you!