Lohri 2024: 5 Festive Lunch Ideas You Can Try At Home

If you're planning a Lohri feast it's best to explore local produce and seasonal flavours. The harvest festival which is celebrated at the beginning of the year to celebrate new harvests, has a focus on grains, nuts, seeds and veggies that are grown locally and offer the taste of the soil. Some staples are of course, unmissable like sarson da saag, which is a mustard green curry boasting a rich, zesty taste also considered by some to be a palate cleanser.

A creamy dal makhani or any well-seasoned dal, preferably made with bracing black lentils is another must-have for Lohri. A roasted veggie curry like a bharta or a do pyaza, a full-bodied protein curry made with paneer or chicken and traditional sweets like gajak-rewri or halwa are also some of the high points of a Lohri lunch feast. If you're looking for ideas for your own Lohri feast at home, here are some great picks!

Punjabi Kadhi Pakoda

Kadhi pakoda is a classic Punjabi number which works for both lunch and dinner; however, serving dipped pakodas in the kadhi is not a great idea as they can turn soggy really quickly. Kadhi is a tangy yoghurt-based curry while pakodas are deep-fried gram flour fritters. If you’re not sure about when to add the pakodas to the gravy, wait till the very end. Add the pakodas give it a mix and then add the tempering or tadka over the kadhi and serve hot

Dahi Bhalla

Punjabi dahi bhalla is quite similar to dahi vadas, although dahi bhalla tends to feature smaller lentil dumplings. They’re soaked in whipped dahi and topped with tangy and sweet sauces (usually made with dates, tomatoes or mint) and chaat flavouring. Dahi bhalla is made with whole urad dal and is sometimes topped with a tadka. It’s usually served with a chutney and garnished with boondis.

Murgh Saagwala

Murgh Saagwala typically refers to a North Indian dish that combines chicken with saag, which is a term for leafy greens, often spinach. The USP of the dish is that it melds the freshness of greens with the savoury notes of the meat masala curry. The dish is known for its flavourful combination of tender chicken and spinach-based curry. The key to acing this dish is to let both flavours meld well. It’s best to mix the chicken and spinach mixture and let it simmer until the chicken is cooked through. If you’re using heavy cream, add it towards the end of the cooking process so the dairy flavour does not take away from the spicy profile of the dish.


Pinni is a traditional Punjabi sweet that is often made during festivals and special occasions. It is known for its rich, nutty, and aromatic flavours. Pinni is made using ingredients like whole wheat flour, jaggery and a variety of nuts and seeds; it’s significant to Lohri since it utilises local produce. Pinni is usually made with whole wheat flour, which gives it a dense and hearty texture. It has a slightly fudge-y delicacy and its richness comes from ghee and jaggery which lends it a lightly smokey flavour.

Tandoori Baingan Masala

Instead of a simple baingan bharta, opt for a richer and smokier tandoori baingan masala which is also a lot more flavourful. Brinjals are sliced and grilled or roasted until they acquire the smokiness of the tandoor and it’s then cooked in a rich and flavourful masala mixture made with ginger-garlic paste, red chili powder, turmeric powder, garam masala and coriander powder. Pair it with a tandoori roti or naan.

Gur Halwa

Halwa is a Lohri staple and the festive halwa is typically made with grains, seeds or nuts, be it dal, sooji, til or nuts. Gur halwa has many renditions since it can be made with dal or sooji. It’s usually made with jaggery or gur, sooji and ghee and boasts a rich, caramel-like sweetness from the jaggery, creating a distinctive flavour. The semolina is toasted in ghee until golden, and then a mixture of water and jaggery is added, creating a luscious, melt-in-the-mouth consistency. The dessert is often topped with chopped nuts like almonds or cashews.