Makar Sankranti 2024: 6 Festive Foods From Maharashtra

Makar Sankranti is an auspicious period celebrated across all parts of India. It marks the end of the winter solstice, and from this day onwards, the days start becoming longer. In many parts of India, including Maharashtra and Gujarat, Makar Sankranti is also celebrated as a harvest festival and is marked by locals with local seasonal food.

The harvest festival is celebrated with diverse rituals, names, and regional variations. In North India and some eastern cities, it is known as Makar Sankranti, in South India, it's called Pongal, in Gujarat, it's celebrated as Uttarayan, and in Assam, it is known as Bhogali Bihu. In Maharashtra, Makar Sankranti is celebrated with local delicacies made with ingredients like til, gur, lentils and some other seasonal harvest crops. Some festive dishes especially are made only during this period in Maharashtra. Here are some of the Makar Sankranti foods made across Maharashtra


Tilgul is a traditional sweet delicacy made during the Makar Sankranti festival and it’s made with til or sesame seeds which are toasted to enhance their flavour. It also uses jaggery or gur and cardamom. Roasted til is usually blended with melted jaggery to achieve a sticky texture that will hold onto its shape. The mixture is then shaped into small, bite-sized rounds or laddoos. Sesame is considered auspicious across the country, which is why it’s widely used to make festive sweets during the harvest festivals celebrated across regions across India. 

Puran Poli

No Maharashtrian festival is complete without the presence of Puran Poli, which is a stuffed sweet flatbread This traditional bread consists of a soft, thin layer of wheat dough filled with a sweet mixture of chana dal, jaggery, and spices. The combination of the aromatic filling and the perfectly cooked outer layer creates a perfect balance and it can also be paired with a number of festive foods.

Gathi Or Spicy Sesame Chikki

Gathi, a spiced sesame chikki, is a crunchy snack that is widely made during Marathi festivals and not just Makar Sankranti. Also known as flower mithai, gathi is made with sesame seeds, jaggery, and a hint of spice coming together to create this unique chikki that has sweet and savoury notes and perfectly captures the essence of Maharashtrian flavour

Bhogichi Bhaji

Bhogichi Bhaji, a mixed vegetable dish, is an integral part of Makar Sankranti celebrations in Maharashtra. The dish is made with a variety of winter vegetables like carrots, green leafy vegetables, and tubers. Seasoned with mustard seeds, cumin, and turmeric, Bhogichi Bhaji reflects the abundance of fresh produce during the harvest season.

Sakhar Bhat

Though this is a Goan speciality, it’s also made in Maharashtra during this time. Sakhar Bhat is a sweet saffron-infused rice dish prepared to usher in Makar Sankranti. Cooked with aromatic basmati rice, saffron strands, ghee, and sugar, this dish embodies the festive spirit with its golden hues and rich, sweet flavour. Sakhar Bhat is often garnished with nuts and raisins, for extra crunch

Khichdi Bhat

Although it’s made throughout the year, during Makar Sankranti, this preparation is made across most Maharashtrian households. It’s typically made with a medley of different kinds of dal, like urad, chana, toor and masoor. Though khichdi is something that’s made across many regions to celebrate new harvests, khichdi bhat draws more focus to the usage of local grains