Makar Sankranti one of the most sought after Hindu festival that celebrates the entry of sun in the Makar rashi and also signifying the end of winter and start of harvest or spring. This major harvest festival celebrated by Hindus known by different names in different names, like the Sikhs called it the Lohri, Poush sôngkrānti in Maharashtra, Goa, Magh Bihu by Assamese, Pongal by Tamils and so on, but the most important aspect of this festival is the food. Each state has their typical dishes that is prepared during this time. And being the rice harvest time, most dishes see the presence of rice in some form or the other. 

Karjikai


This south Indian gujiya called the Karjikai, is a deep fried crescent shaped delight. Made with pastry sheets that’s made with all-purpose flour/wheat flour and rice flour and semolina and is filled with stuffing that’s a mix of jaggery, dal, and coconut is a must during Sankranti. Known by different names like karchikai, karanji, gujiya and kajjikayalu, this dessert is also made for offering to God (Naivedyam)

Karnataka Style Ellu Bella


There is a proverb in Kannada "Ellu bella thindu olle mathadi", which means "eat ellu bella and speak good". Come Sankranti and Ellu Bella makes for the flavour of the season. This Karnataka style sesame seeds jaggery mix is a guilt free snacks that sees the mix of ground nut, roasted gram, dessicated coconut, sesame seeds and jaggery. Designed keeping winter in mind, the best part due to the use of nuts this one helps you keep warm too. 

Andhra Bellam Paramannam 

The Bellam Paramannam or Sankranti Pongal means (Para means Ultimate and Annam means food, added makes Paramannam is the Ultimate food. This is a must have in most houses in Andhra. This special Sankranti festival dish is cooked due to the festival of harvest Moong dal, jaggery and rice from the new harvest. The speciality is firstly making the jaggery syrup and letting it cool and then adding it to the payasam. The dish is rich, thick and creamy dish is made as Naivedyam (food offered to God). 

Ingi Mangai Sadam

Ingi Mangai Sadam along with a bowl of yogurt is an absolute delight. This simple and quick meal is surely much soul satisfying. Mangoes and ginger make for an important ingredient for this dish. 

Puran Poli/ Boli Obbattu

This sweet flat-bread is famous in especially in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamilnadu. Known as Obbattu or Holige in Kannada, in Andhra, it’s called Bobbatlu or obbattu while in Tamilnadu it’s called Paruppu boli or pooranam poli. Made of whole wheat flour and a chana dal or or toor dal and jaggery and peanut, this one is a closer cousin of Puran poli from Maharashtra. This festival dish, is much thin rolled as compared to other variations.

Peanut chikki

Chikki or nut brittle makes for an essential dish during Makar Sankranti. A good sprinkle of sesame seeds makes it delightful. These peanut chikki has its importance from health point of view too. This simple combination of peanut and jaggery makes sure the body gets it’s essential nutrients. The presence of jaggery makes it rich in antioxidants and surely this one has a dose of nostalgia. 

Sunnundalu

This makar Sankranti festive eat made with dry roasted Urad dal from Andhra is one dessert that sees loads of ghee and sugar and also rich in calcium. This unique sweet specialty also can be twisted as per one’s choice be it adding nuts or seeds. This ladoo recipe sees a long shelf life. Also known as Minappa sunnundalu this classic and simple sweet makes for a great winter snack.