14 JANUARY, 2020 - MAKAR SANKRANTI

So, to welcome sonny boy "Sun" in the northern hemisphere, we Hindus celebrate this day on a very large scale. 
MAKAR SANKRANTI is a Hindu festival, which is celebrated on 14th January every year. In Hinduism, this festival is dedicated to Sun deity. It marks the first day of  transit of Sun in Makar (Capricorn ) rashi, which is also an indication to end of winter season and beginning of longer days. It's also one of the few festivals, which are based on solar cycle, as most of the Hindu festivals are based on lunar cycle. Since it's based on solar cycle, it falls on the same Gregorian day (14 January) every year . The date is changed only when the date shifts by a day in that particular year.
The Makar sankranti is celebrated all over India, though the traditional celebration ways and names are different in different regions. It's called makarsnkranti in North Indian states, Uttrayan in Gujarat, Bihu in Assam and Pongal in many southern states.
Special feasts and a dip in holy waters of rivers like Ganga, Krishna, Yamuna, Kaveri or Narmada are seen to be part of this festival.

In my family, the traditional Makarsnkranti food is Kali Khichadi made with Urad chilka Dal and rice. Roasted onion and hing is used for garnishing. There is a saying about khichadi -

"Khichadi ke char (4) Yaar (accompaniments) - Ghee (pure desi ghee), Papad,Gur (jaggery) , Achaar (pickles)" .

Khichadi is served with these four accompaniments.
Since I live in Gujarat, adding local flavours is natural. Undhiyo - poori and Jalebi is the traditional food to celebrate Uttrayan. Since Jalebi lost it's case in comparison with til laddu, only Undhiyo was ordered from my friend who serves Gujarati food. It was awesome. 
My Sankranti Lunch


Home made Til laddu
Usually in our household,  festivals have grand or specified traditional lunches and dinners are made up of leftovers of lunch spreads. In short, no cooking for dinners. 
This year, I took special care not to make anything extra so that we have a fresh dinner menu. I prefer single dish dinners with few interesting accompaniments. In dinner, we had matar ke pranthe with onion-tomato raita, mint chutney and variety of pickles.



I grounded the fresh green peas and added salt, chillies, garam masala, garlic- ginger paste and enough flour to bind the wet mixture prepared. If need be, add some curd or milk to make dough of required consistency. 


The peas dough ready to make pranthas.
Now roll out pranthas the usual way and cook on slow fire with pure ghee. I can't make round prantha or roti to save my soul 😂 but my paranthas always have a new and unseen shape. 😋
My peas parantha which looks like eaten apple :)
These crisp , hot and not so round pranthas dipped in desi ghee were served with green no onion mint chutney and fresh white butter.

I make fresh white butter from milk cream in my small mixie jar in a jiffy. The taste is great and is very light too.

Green mint chutney

I usually make chutneys with onion, but this time I made it without onion and it was yummy as never before. I added garlic, ginger, green chillies and tamarind paste in mint leaves. 

And this all is  in the honour of our energy partner - Sun to welcome back in northern hemisphere. Looking forward to warm days and cosy nights. 
Coming soon with some new food stories. Till then, good bye.

All pics are owned by  Neerja Bhatnagar

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