From West Bengal's sweet Patishapta to Gujarat's savoury Undhiyu, each recipe offers a unique taste of regional Indian cuisine. Adapt these dishes in the U.S. with local, healthy ingredients and add an authentic touch to your Makar Sankranti celebration. Let's cook and rejoice!
Makar Sankranti, a vibrant and culturally rich festival celebrated across India, marks the transition of the sun into the zodiac sign of Capricorn. The upcoming Monday, 15th January 2024, is the day when the Harvest Festival will be celebrated across the US cities.
Let's explore 10 signature dishes from various Indian states, perfect for trying at home this Makar Sankranti 2024.
This is a cherished Bengali dessert, a highlight during Makar Sankranti. Patishapta comprises thin, crepe-like pancakes made from a batter of rice flour or all-purpose flour. These crepes are filled with a rich mixture of reduced milk, known as khoya, and grated coconut, offering a delightful contrast in textures. The sweetness comes from jaggery, often date palm jaggery, lending it a unique flavour. In the U.S., you can use locally sourced organic flour and jaggery to recreate this dish, ensuring a healthier version without compromising taste.
Also Read: Makar Sankranti 2024: 5 US Cities Celebrate The Harvest Festival
Laai is a traditional sweet from Bihar, made with jaggery, peanuts, and puffed rice. It's crunchy and sweet, often enjoyed as a light breakfast or snack. In the U.S., using organic jaggery and brown puffed rice can add a healthier twist to this simple yet delightful dish.
This dish from Uttar Pradesh is a wholesome mix of rice, green moong dal, ghee, spices, and an assortment of green vegetables. It is nutritious and comforting, commonly enjoyed with yogurt and eggplant fritters. In the U.S., you can use organic lentils, brown rice, and locally-grown vegetables to make this dish both healthful and heartwarming.
Shunga Pitha is an Assamese specialty, a type of rice cake or dumpling. It involves grinding soaked rice into a smooth paste, mixing it with jaggery and cardamom, and steaming the mixture in cone-shaped containers made from dried leaves. The result is a warm, spongy delicacy infused with the aroma of the leaves. American kitchens can adapt this recipe using organic rice and natural sweeteners.
Pinni is a mouth-watering Punjabi dessert made from wheat flour, milk, ghee, and sugar. The key to a good Pinnie is the right amount of ghee, which gives it its distinctive texture and flavour. Opting for whole wheat flour and organic ghee can make it a healthier option without losing its essence.
Originating from Odisha, this dish is a festive offering made with newly harvested rice, fresh coconut, ripe bananas, chhena (a type of cheese), and jaggery. It's a symbol of abundance and prosperity. In the U.S., using fresh, locally-sourced ingredients can elevate the nutritional value of this traditional dish.
A Gujarati culinary delight, Undhiyu is a mixed vegetable dish containing potatoes, eggplants, green beans, yams, peas, and raw bananas, cooked with an array of spices. It's a winter special in Gujarat, perfectly fitting for Makar Sankranti. The use of fresh, organic vegetables available in the U.S. can make this dish a healthy and flavourful feast.
This is a popular snack from Ahmedabad made with groundnuts and jaggery. It's a great energy booster, especially during kite-flying. In the U.S., using organic peanuts and jaggery can make this a nutritious snack.
A celebrated Maharashtrian dish, Puran Poli is a sweet flatbread made with wheat flour and stuffed with sweetened chana dal. It's traditionally served warm with ghee. Using whole wheat flour and a natural sweetener like jaggery can make it a healthier option.
This is a traditional snack from Karnataka, a mixture of black sesame seeds, roasted peanuts, dried coconut, jaggery cubes, and roasted gram. Each ingredient symbolizes something auspicious, making it perfect for the festive occasion. Using organic and unprocessed ingredients can make Ellu Bella a healthy and symbolic treat.
These dishes, with their regional roots and rich flavours, can be wonderfully recreated in the U.S., bringing a taste of Indian tradition to the Makar Sankranti celebrations and aligning with health-conscious choices.