Makar Sankranti: Cook Native Recipes With Chef Deepti Jadhav
Image Credit: Traditional snacks, Peshwa Pavilion

There has been a significant shift towards going hyper-local in food choices among the Indian population. This trend becomes even more evident during the major festivals of India. With Makar Sankranti almost upon us, the market is abuzz with traditional food items sale. A similar scene can be witnessed around the F&B sector of the country's hospitality industry. Hotels planning food fests around the Makar Sankranti theme are going stronger with native recipes. Chefs steering such fests are also vouching for indigenous and seasonal ingredients and produce. One such name is Deepti Jadhav, Senior Sous Chef, Dakshin Coastal at ITC Maratha, who has been vocal about using and popularising local ingredients and products in cooking. 

Giving the example of Jackfruit rasam, as an excellent choice to have with rice or like soup during nippy winters, Chef Deepti says, "Jackfruit has several health benefits. We have introduced palapazha rasam as a part of the special tiffin Sunday brunch experience for families and patrons to enjoy all through January and February. It captures the pure essence of jackfruit, tamarind and lentils with freshly ground spices."

 Palapazha Rasam (Jackfruit Rasam)

Jackfruit rasam, Image Source:Dakshin Coastal at ITC Maratha


  • Jackfruit cubes – 10no
  • Tur Dal – 1 cup (optional)
  • Mustard Seeds – 1 tsp
  • Tomato – 2 no (cut into pieces)
  • Dry Red Chilies – 5 no
  • Rasam Powder – 2 tsp
  • Curry Leaves – 1 tbsp
  • Cumin Seeds – 1 tsp
  • Peppercorn Seeds -1 tsp (crushed)
  • Asafetida – a pinch
  • Coriander leaves – 2 tbsp
  • Oil – 1 tbsp
  • Ghee – 1 tbsp
  • Salt – as per taste
  • Water – 4 cups
  • Turmeric – 1 tsp (optional)
  • Jaggery – 2 tsp
  • Tamarind water – 2 tbsp


  • Pressure cook the tur dal with 3 cups of water, adding a pinch of salt and turmeric, and keep aside.
  • Soak the tamarind in 1 cup of water for 10-15 minutes and extract the water alone.
  • In a pan, add oil, mustard seeds, red chillies, and curry leaves and sauté for a minute.
  • Add Jackfruit pieces and add ghee and sauté well until tender.
  • Now add cut tomatoes.
  • Add tamarind water, dal water, salt, peppercorn powder, rasam powder, and hing and if needed, 1 more cup of water and cook on medium flame.
  • When it starts boiling, add in jaggery and coriander leaves.

Take it off the flame and serve it with rice.

"I frequently use raw mangoes when in the season as a souring agent in my curries. They impart a mild sour flavour which also helps to balance the dish with a pinch of nostalgia," enunciates Chef Deepti. 

On this note, she shares the recipes of a traditional dish from Kerala, using prawns and raw mango cooked in creamy coconut gravy called Chemmeen Manga Charu. Why are raw mangoes added to the gravy? If that pops up in your mind, she has an answer: "The raw mangoes are added to the gravy to impart fruity tartness, which is absolutely amazing. It also helps to cut down the sweetness of coconut milk."

Chemmeen Manga Charu

Rice with Chemmeen Manga Charu, Image Source: Dakshin Coastal at ITC Maratha

Serves: 4


  • Coconut oil 1 tbsp                                                 
  • Mustard seed ½ tsp                                              
  • Fenugreek seed ¼ tsp                                           
  • Ginger garlic paste 2 tbsp                                    
  • Slit green chilies 2 nos                                         
  • Turmeric powder ½ tsp                                        
  • Coriander 1 tbsp                                                    
  • Kashmiri red chilli powder 1 tbsp                      
  • Raw mangoes 1 cup                                              
  • Tomatoes 1 cup                                                      
  • Prawns, cleaned and deveined 600 gms              
  • Coconut milk 1 ½ cup                                          
  • Salt to taste
  • Water
  • Curry leaves 1 sprig


  • Heat oil in a large pan over medium-high heat.
  • Splutter mustard and fenugreek seeds.
  • Add ginger garlic paste.
  • Add chopped tomatoes and sauté well.
  • Blend in the slit green chillies, curry leaves, and fry for a minute.
  • Stir in turmeric, coriander and red chilli powder.
  • Add mangoes, prawns and enough salt.
  • Sauté it for a minute and add coconut milk and enough water to make a thick gravy
  • Cook covered for about 6-7 mins or until prawns are cooked through

Garnish with curry leaves and serve with hot rice.

The chef also believes that popular eateries have the responsibility to retain the glory of indigenous food items and cuisines. With the oldest harvest festival of the country, Makar Sankranti, Pongal and Lohri, ITC Maratha is set to serve the authentic taste of regional festive culinary fares in its food festivals. The epicureans can taste dahi kadhi pakoda, Rajasthani sev aur tamatar ki subzi, sarso ka saag, chantey wale aloo, kothimbir wadi, undiyo and paneer tikka masala and much more at Peshwa Pavilion. While Dakshin Coastal will take the patrons through the lanes of Tamil Nadu through a menu of harvest-inspired creations. Guests can enjoy podi idlis, venpogal, varieties of sambar, kootan, and Pongal made with newly harvested rice and payasam.