All Set For Makar Sankranti? Not Without These 4 Gujarati Delicacies In Your Kitchen
- Jasmine Kaur
Updated : January 27, 2022 14:01 IST
Makar Sankranti is celebrated on 14th January every year (sometimes 15th January), according to the Hindu calendar.
We end the year with festivities, we begin the year with festivities. That’s the specialty of the presence of diverse cultures in the Indian sub-continent. Across the country, people are gearing up for the preparation of Makar Sankranti or Lohri or Khichdi or Pongal or Magh Bihu or Uttarayan. With a plethora of names given to one festival, what remains constant is the essence of the day. This day marks the arrival of spring season as well as the beginning of a new harvest year. Since sun is essential for the growth of crops and a good harvest, the Sun God is appeased on this day with plenty of prasads. Each state in India celebrates the day with utmost enthusiasm and joy.
Since the names are different, there are bound to be certain traditional rituals and practices that are followed to commemorate the day. And what is a celebration in India without food? While the Maharashtrians are busy preparing their puran polis, Bengalis make sure that their payesh and sandesh are in place. Similarly, Gujarat also celebrates the festival with a huge pomp and show. The grand celebrations commence with a fun-filled kite festival that leaves the skies in colours of pink, blue and yellow. In fact, the making of kites is so intrinsic to their Uttarayan (as it is called there) that they start manufacturing kites a month before.
Apart from this, you cannot miss out on the delectable festive fare in Gujarati households during this time. From sweet to savoury, all kinds of things are laden on the table and stored in jars to be relished on Makar Sankranti. If you haven’t had a chance to try them yet, here are a few festive treats that are a must-have.
1. Goondar Pak
This is a special winter classic which is not only delicious but a nutritious treat that keeps you warm during the chilly season. Made from edible gum and mawa, the mixture is loaded with oodles of sugar, ghee and coconut. Add to that chopped almonds and your heavenly treat is ready to be devoured.
2. Singhdana Chikki
While til and jaggery are a staple during Makar Sankranti across cultures with both being extensively used for making desserts, it is this singhdana chikki which is a specialty of the Gujaratis. Made from water chestnuts, the round chikki is sticky and sweet all thanks to gud.
Not only is Undhiyu a quintessential regional delicacy for winters, it is also a festive treat during Makar Sankranti. The upside-down slow-cooked vegetables are spruced up with a dry curry paste and steamed in earthen pots placed underground with fire from above. The use of seasonal vegetables like purple yam, green beans, unripe bananas and more makes this a special and time-restrained dish.
Khichdi is so intrinsic to the Makar Sankranti celebrations that in many parts of Uttar Pradesh, the festival itself is termed as Khichdi. The simple rice and lentil combo is made in a variety of ways across the states. In Gujarat, a traditional khichdo will be loaded with dry fruits and jaggery, giving the otherwise savoury dish a sweet twist.