Makar Sankranti 2024: Try The Odia Delight Makar Chaula

Makar Sankranti is an auspicious Hindu festival that is widely celebrated all over the country. Known by different names like Magh Bihu (Assam), Lohri (Punjab and Haryana), Uttarayanan (Gujarat and Rajasthan), and Pongal (Tamil Nadu), it falls on the first day of the makara month, as per the Hindu calendar.  

Makar Sankranti is dedicated to the sun god, and people celebrate it by flying kites, visiting fairs, and eating the festive dishes. Khichdi, til laddoo, puran poli, peanut chakkis, dahi-chura, and payasam are some of the popular delicacies of this festival. Each region has some special recipes that hold great importance for the harvest festival and Makar chaula from Odisha is one such dish. 

This traditional festive treat is prepared from freshly harvested ground rice along with milk, jaggery, cottage cheese, coconut, sugarcane, and banana. You can find it in every Odia household on Makar Sankranti. After preparing makara chaula, it is offered as naivedya to God, then distributed to everyone as prasad. 

Offering makar chaula to God on this festival is a way to express gratitude for his kindness. This sweet dish has a pudding-like, thick, and sticky consistency and is very easy to prepare. It is also said to be a tribute to the farmers who mark the harvest season. Most people think the dish is very similar to pongal or khichdi but makar chaula is made from raw rice. There is also a ritual in Odisha to distribute it to their neighbours to make their friendship stronger.  

There can be a slight variation in the ingredients based on the region, but the traditional cooking method is almost the same everywhere. Here is an easy recipe to make makar chaula at home: 

Makar Chaula Recipe 

Preparation time: 3 hours, 15 minutes 

Cook time: 5 minutes 

Total time: 3 hours, 20 minutes 


  • 1/2 cup raw rice  
  • 1 cup of milk  
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated coconut  
  • 1/3 cup of small sugarcane pieces  
  • 1-2 ripe bananas
  • Sugar to taste  
  • 1/2 teaspoon of pepper powder  
  • 1/4 cup cottage cheese   
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger  
  • 1/2 cup chopped fruits of your choice  


  • Soak the raw rice overnight. Wash, drain, and spread on a big plate. Let it dry at room temperature for 3 hours.  
  • Then grind it into a coarse powder and transfer it to a large mixing bowl. Add the remaining ingredients (except the banana) and combine well.  
  • Peel and crush the ripe banana and add it to the bowl. Mix again.  
  • Serve. Makar chaula can be stored in the refrigerator for 2–3 days.