Growing up in Delhi I have always waited for the festival of Lohri with bated breath. I am not even a Punjabi, but for someone who shares a rather love-hate relationship with winter, I couldn’t wait for a day that would officially mark the end of the bone-chilling weather and mark the onset of the warmer, pleasant days. Lohri is a Punjabi festival that is celebrated by lighting a huge bonfire in an open courtyard. When the sun goes down, people gather around the bonfire, sing songs, indulge in snacks, and make merry. It takes effort to keep the bonfire alive in a particularly foggy evening, but there is always someone or the other to volunteer, and make this ‘last winter-y evening’ special for as long as possible. If someone’s delegated near the bonfire, there is always someone to make sure you are well-fed too, for what is a Lohri Party without a festive feast. If you are planning to throw a Lohri bash this year and are now panicking about how you will even put it together? We are here to save you some fuss.  

Here are our top picks for your Lohri Dinner Menu:

For Drinks:

Lassi

You can never go wrong with a tall glass of thick lassi finished off with clotted cream, can you? A crowd-favorite, this traditional Punjabi drink will kickstart your bash on a high.

Masala Chai

There could be people who may not want to drink something as heavy as lassi right at the start of the do, therefore, make sure you keep your spices ready to brew them a hot cup of Masala Chai. The desi winter tonic, this strong tea is infused with all spices in your pantry, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, bay leaf..you name it.  

For Snacks:

Chilli Lime Popcorn

We told you, we will keep it simple and classic and here we are with this delish recipe of popcorn (a Lohri classic) with a zesty edge. This popcorn is replete with flavours of ground cumin, chili powder and lime zest that make it all the more appealing.  

Paneer Tikka

Cubes of paneer marinated in yogurt and spices and cooked till smoky. Finish off with a squeeze of lemon, sprinkling of chaat masala and serve hot with mint chutney and sliced onions.  

For Mains:

Sarso Ka Saag

Can’t imagine a chilly Lohri evening without a Punjabi winter classic, can you? This medley of winter greens made with sarso(mustard), bathua, spinach etc is cooked until it is thick and creamy. Do not be stingy with white butter when serving it.  

Pindi Chole

This rustic chickpea preparation hinges as much on the spices used as on the chickpeas. Make sure your chickpeas are boiled well, but they shouldn’t be too mushy, it is a good idea to keep it a little bite-y. Fry the masalas well, a little bit of tea leaves could help your chole get the lovely brown colour you associate with pindi chole.  

The Breads:  

Makki Roti

You cannot serve sarso ka saag without its famed partner Makki ki Roti, can you? This small, crisp flatbread is made with maize flour and slathered over with ghee.

Butter Naan On Tawa

Another greasy flatbread that has an immense following in most Punjabi households. This bread made with maida is known for its soft, stretchy quality. Goes best with most indulgent Indian gravies.

For Desserts:  

Jalebi-Rabri

A match made in heaven, thin, crispy jalebis, dipped in creamy, luscious rabri. Too good to refuse.

Moong Dal Halwa

Golden and velvety soft, this halwa made with cooking moong dal sedulously with milk, sugar and copious amounts of ghee is another winter classic that merits a good spot in your feast.


Happy Lohri Everybody!