Baisakhi And Peele Chawal: A Punjabi Springtime Love Affair
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We didn’t expect the summer to set in so quick. It is scorching, and the weather is making new records everyday. The spring in North India has sure been short-lived, but the series of Spring festivals are yet to conclude. Punjab and Punjabis around the country are busy celebrating one of their biggest festivals Baisakhi or Vaisakhi. The festival marks the first day of the month of Vaisakh, and celebrates the spring harvest, primarily in the Northern part of the country. The festival holds immense importance for the Sikhs too, the tenth Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh issued the Khalsa order on the day of Baisakhi, April 13, 1699. Incidentally, Maharaja Ranjit Singh, the most powerful ruler of the Sikh empire was proclaimed king on this auspicious day.

Since time immemorial Baisakhi celebrations have been associated with lots of singing, dancing and colours. Food is also an intrinsic part of the harvest festival. Freshly harvested wheat and other crops are used to make a traditional, rustic Punjabi spread. You do not find a lot of meat on this menu. One of the dishes that is very commonly prepared across most Punjabi households is Meethe Peele Chawal. As you must have guessed, these are not your regular rice. They are sweet, and yellow in colour. In India, it is a custom of sorts to start something suspicious with sweet, and since yellow is the colour of spring, abundance and bounty, this preparation uses lots of yellow colour.

How To Make Peele Chawal, Tips To Keep In Mind

The preparation is fairly simple. You simply have to soak the rice in water for at least 30 minutes. Then in a pot boil the rice with saffron. Saffron imparts a lovely yellowish-orange hue to the rice.

Next, you have to prepare the sugar syrup, for which you simply combine warm water with sugar until sugar is completely dissolved.

The rice delicacy is not just sugar and saffron. It is also replete with goodness of ghee and aromatic spices, which makes the rice preparation even richer and flavourful. Sautee whole spices such as cardamom, cloves, fennel seeds in ghee, and combine with boiled rice and sugar syrup. And you are done.

Are you planning to make Peele Chawal for Baisakhi this year, do not forget to share the recipe with us, and send in the pictures too.