Makar Sankranti, the celebration of sun’s transit into Capricorn, is the time for new beginnings, warmer days and rejoicing over fresh harvest. Dedicated to sun God the festival is celebrated across India and parts of South Asia too. While the festival usually falls on January 14 each year, this year it is delayed by a day and is being observed on January 15. The word Sankranti means ‘to cross over’ or transition. It is believed that a person who passes away on this day gets salvation from the cycle of birth and death. (Also read | Bhogali Bihu 2024: 3 delicious sweet and spicy recipes to enjoy on this day)

Makar Sankranti 2024: From Pongal to Pooran Poli, delectable traditional recipes to savour with loved ones(Pinterest)

During Makar Sankranti festivities, farmers celebrate the abundance of crops and express gratitude for a good harvest. The day is also considered auspicious for new beginnings and is often associated with various cultural and religious activities.

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People celebrate Makar Sankranti by flying kites, taking ritual baths in holy rivers, and preparing traditional sweets made with sesame seeds and jaggery.

Susmita N, Clinical Nutritionist, Cloudnine Group of Hospitals, Bellandur, Bangalore shares traditional Sankranti delights to enjoy the festivities:

1. Sweet Pongal

Ingredients

Moong dal- half cup

Rice -1 cup

Milk- 1 cup

Jaggery – 200-240g

Cashew, raisins – as required

Cardamom powder – half teaspoon

Method

  • Take 1 tsp ghee and roast the moong dal till aroma and keep aside. Add rice and soak for 15-20 minutes.
  • Remove the excess water and add the rice dal mix to pressure cooker. Add milk and pressure cook it to soft mushy form.
  • Melt the jaggery in water and boil for 2 minutes. Strain it and keep aside.
  • Take a pan, add ghee and roast cashew, raisins and add the cooked rice-dal mixture. Add the jaggery syrup, cook on low flame.
  • Add cardamom powder, grated coconut and mix well. Serve hot.

2. Kajjaya/Adhirasa

Ingredients

2 cups sona masuri rice

2 tsp sesame seeds

2 tsp poppy seeds

1.5 cup jaggery

1 tsp cardamom powder

¾ cup crushed pepper

Method

  • Soak rice for 4 hr and remove excess water and dry it on a cloth for 30 minutes. do not dry the rice completely, but just to remove dripping water.
  • Blend the rice to fine powder and sieve it. Keep it aside
  • In a dry pan roast sesame seeds and poppy seeds to get aroma. Keep aside.
  • Melt jaggery in water and boil in low flame for 5 minutes. Test the consistency by dropping syrup into bowl of water, it should a soft ball and holds the shape. This is the right consistency.
  • Start adding the rice flour to the jaggery mix. Add in small batches and mix thoroughly to avoid any lumps.
  • Add the roasted poppy seeds, roasted sesame seeds, cardamom powder and pepper powder. Mix well the mixture so that it forms a thick paste and holds the consistency.
  • Transfer to other bowl and rest it for 12 hours. Apply ghee on top to prevent drying.
  • After 12 hours combine the mixture to form soft dough. If it’s hard, mix mashed bananas. If the dough is watery add rice flour.
  • Grease a plate with oil/ghee, take the dough mix ball and flatten it with hands to small thick roti size. Size can be a big as your palm.
  • Heat oil in a pan and deep fry in medium heat. Splash oil on all side to cook evenly.
  • Cook it crisp to golden brown and gently press to remove excess oil.
  • Cool it down. Use a tissue paper to remove oil.
  • You can store it up to 14 days in airtight container.

3. Corn roti

Ingredients

Corn flour-3 cups

1 teaspoon ajwain

1 tsp salt

Method

  • Take corn/maize flour, ajwain seeds, salt and mix well.
  • Add hot water to knead into soft dough.
  • Roll the dough into rotis. Use maize flour for dusting.
  • Heat the pan, add ghee and cook the roti to golden brown on both sides.
  • Serve with hot curry of choice.

4. Puran poli

Ingredients

For the dough – 1 cup maida

3 tbs rava

2 tbs hot oil

Pinch of salt

For the stuffing- 1 cup roasted peanuts

¾ cup powdered jaggery

Ghee

Method

  • Take a bowl and mix rava, maida and salt with hot water to make into soft dough. Rest it for 30 minutes.
  • Take the roasted peanut and powder it with jaggery in a blender.
  • Take small portion of peanut-jaggery mixture and make balls.
  • Take the maida dough ball and roll to make roti. Keep the peanut jaggery ball in middle and cover it.
  • Roll again to make roti and transfer to hot pan.
  • Apply ghee on both sides and cook to golden brown.