Lohri is a huge harvest festival which is celebrated today i.e. 13th January every year.
The pandemic may have constricted us to the comfort of our homes but Indians and their never-ending festivals are always ready to keep the spirits high. After a great New year bash, it’s time to welcome 2022 with a string of festivals beginning with Lohri. Falling on 13th January each year, the harvest festival is celebrated with a lot of pomp and show across Punjab. The traditional rituals involve sitting across a bonfire in a circle and popping in popcorn, rewri and moong fali into the fire as well as into one’s mouth. It is believed that taking a round of the bonfire and praying can help bring prosperity and happiness into one’s life.
This year, Lohri falls amidst the rising cases of the Omicron variant and that might make you feel a little low. However, there is no chance you are going to miss out on this amazing festival. Akin to Makar Sankranti and Pongal which will be celebrated tomorrow i.e. 14th January in India, the farmers worship Lord Agni for an abundance of crops in the upcoming season. The festival of Lohri marks the end of winter solstice and harvest of fresh crops. With longer and brighter days about to make an entrance into our lives, people are hopeful of a better future.
Sesame seeds and jaggery (til and gud) are two most important foods that are central to the celebration of Lohri. From chikkis to gajak and halwas, several things are made with these two ingredients. This Lohri, try these gud-dishes at home to make the most of jaggery in the winter season.
1. Gud Ka Halwa
Halwa is a soft and sweet Indian pudding that has its origins in the Middle-East. From gajar ka halwa to moong dal halwa, there are options galore when it comes to the halwa variety of India. However, winters are a time of specific kind of halwas and gud ka halwa definitely makes a mark. Made with wheat flour, the sweetness of the halwa is lent to it by the use of gud or jaggery. Prepared in oodles of ghee, this is a rich, warm and comforting dessert for Lohri.
2. Gud Wali Chai
Chilly winter mornings and evenings make us crave for a hot cup of something. Ditch your regular tea and coffee for this gud wali chai this season. Jaggery is known for its inherent warming properties and natural sweetening qualities too. Perfect substitute for sugar in that cup of chai, add it to the ginger, lemon, cardamom mix and sip on while getting warmed up in front of the bonfire tonight.
3. Gud Ke Chawal
Something sweet yet very filling? We guess you are looking for gud ke chawal. Loaded with the gud-ness of jaggery, a sweet rice dish is served hot and yummy. You can top it with some rabdi if you like but it goes well without it too.
4. Gud Ki Roti
Generally, a roti or a chapatti is made with wheat flour or maida. That’s plain roti which is paired with subzis. How about we give you a self-sufficient roti that is tasty too? This gud ki roti has crushed jaggery mixed with the atta and then flattened with a rolling pin to be tossed on a tawa as roti.
5. Gud Ki Chikki
Chikki is a crunchy and sweet brittle that can be made from a variety of ingredients. From sesame to peanuts and oats, several things can be added to a chikki. What keeps it all together is the sticky and sweet gud. This is a specialty of Lohri.