Makar Sankranti 2023: Why Eating Urad Dal Khichdi Is Important?
Image Credit: Urad dal khichdi, Vismaifood@YouTube

In India, khichdi isn't merely a one-pot-nutritious meal. It has high significance during religious and cultural festivals. On different occasions, various regions of the country make diverse khichdi recipes. Makar Sankranti calls for many of them, particularly a khichdi made from chilke wali urad dal or black gram or black urad lentils. Using this ingredient isn't for any fancy. Eating and distributing urad dal khichdi on Makar Sankranti has several reasons. This hearty dish has many fascinating sagas linked to it.

Kali urad dal's power and prominence on Makar Sankranti

A fistful of split black gram, Image Source: Freepik

Donating black urad dal and rice, in addition to jaggery, ghee, fruits, and sesame seeds, has significant relevance on this day. The typical Makar Sankranti meals in numerous households also include urad dal khichdi. Because of its auspiciousness and good fortune-attracting prowess, many people put up urad dal khichdi distribution stalls and serve it for free. It is a way to earn good deeds.  This celebration is also referred to as Khichdi in various locations due to this reason. It is thought that doing this will grant you the blessings of both Shani Dev and the Sun God.

The one-pot filling meal by Baba Gorakhnath

Making khichdi on Makar Sankranti is a ritual that is supposed to have started during the era of Baba Gorakhnath. According to legend, the Nath Yogis did not have enough time to prepare food during the Khilji invasion. They would so depart for combat with empty stomachs. Observing it, Baba Gorakhnath had instructed them to cook pulses, grains, and vegetables together. It was quick to prepare, filling, and healthful.

Gorakhnath dubbed this meal Khichdi. Following their liberation from Khilji, yogis observed Makar Sankranti and distributed khichdi on that day. Since that time, making and distributing it has become a tradition. Khichdi fairs are also held in Gorakhpur's Baba Gorakhnath Temple on Makar Sankranti. On this day, khichdi is offered to Baba Gorakhnath and is given as prasad to the populace.

Urad dal khichdi on Makar Sankranti, Image Source: whatsrachcooking@Instagram

Urad dal khichdi to please every divine entity 

According to astrology and religious texts, Sun God visits his son Shani's home on Makar Sankranti. Astrologers believe that urad dal, whole black gram, and Saturn are connected because of the black hue of the lentil. One obtains the blessings of both Shani Dev and the Sun God by eating khichdi made with urad dal. Furthermore, rice symbolises the moon, salt represents Venus, turmeric denotes Jupiter and green vegetables are for Mercury. Its connection to Mars is also tied to the heat of khichdi. Thus, eating khichdi on Makar Sankranti enhances the position of practically all planets in the horoscope.

So, in 2023, on Makar Sankranti, savour or serve chilke wali urad dal khichdi. You may do it for its auspiciousness or just for the nutritional value.