Makar Sankranti is the beginning of hope. Among all other Indian festivals, Makar Sankranti holds the distinction of being the first festival in a calendar year that celebrates nature, seasonal change and agriculture, which form the basics of healthy living. The sun is welcomed from the southern to northern solstice on this day (Tropic of Capricorn to Cancer). And what is a festival in India without a lip-smacking variety of food?
Did you know that Makar Sankranti is celebrated by different names and ways across India, but different dishes cooked in various parts of the country use the same ingredients!
We bring to you a collection of India’s favourite dishes this Makar Sankranti:
A traditional Gujarati dish packed with greens, nutrients and love, Undhiyu is a winter favourite among Gujaratis globally, eliciting sighs of pleasure at a mere mention. The dish includes a slow cooked mixture of green beans or new peas (typically used along with the tender pod), unripe banana, eggplant, muthia (dumplings/fritters made with fenugreek leaves and spiced chickpea flour, steamed or fried), potatoes, purple yam, and plantain spiced with a dry curry paste that typically includes cilantro leaves, ginger, garlic, green chilli pepper, sugar and freshly grated coconut.
Typically found in Maharashtrian households, Til Gud holds a special place in the celebrations. Til or sesame seeds are high in vitamins and minerals, including magnesium, phosphorus, iron, omega 6, calcium, vitamins B and E and antioxidants. Sesame seeds are warm in nature and help keep warm in winters. Health and happiness rolled into one, where do you get that?
Rewdi are small, rich, crumbly bites made of jaggery & sesame seeds. A winter specialty
made with ghee, jaggery & sesame, these sweet treats induce nostalgia for childhood winter holidays spent at home. They work brilliantly with a cup of hot chai and a side of cosy conversations.
Gajak is a type of dessert that is a dry sweet made out of sesame seeds, ground nut and jaggery, originating at Morena of Madhya Pradesh, where it is most commonly consumed in the winter months. The sesame seeds are cooked in sugar syrup and set in thin layers, which can be stored for months. It is a lengthy process where the dough is hammered until all the sesame seeds break down and release their oils into the dough, resulting in a mind blowing mixture that both turns your senses on and calms it down in an instant.
No better way to end a cold, winter day, right?