Makar Sankranti Foods | Delicious Foods You Must Try


Makar Sankranti celebrated across India that marks the harvest season and the transition of the sun into the zodiac sign of Capricorn. This festival is renowned for its delicious array of traditional foods dishes each carrying its own cultural significance. Here’s a look at some mouth-watering Makar Sankranti foods, along with their recipes names in various region of India and the importance they hold in the celebrations.

Makar Sankranti Foods

Tilgul Ladoo

Significance: Tilgul Ladoo, made from sesame seeds and jaggery, symbolizes the bond of friendship and harmony. The combination of til (sesame) and gul (jaggery) signifies the need to forget past bitterness and foster sweet relationships.

Makar Sankranti Foods

Puran Poli

Significance: Puran Poli, a sweet flatbread stuffed with a mixture of chana dal and jaggery, is particularly popular in Maharashtra. It symbolizes prosperity and the sharing of abundance during the harvest season.

Makar Sankranti Foods

Pongal

Significance: Pongal, a savory dish made from rice and lentils, is a staple during Makar Sankranti in Tamil Nadu. It is offered to the Sun God and symbolizes the joy and gratitude for the harvest.

Makar Sankranti Foods

Undhiyu

Significance: Undhiyu, a mixed vegetable dish from Gujarat, showcases the bounty of the harvest. It includes a variety of winter vegetables and fenugreek dumplings, symbolizing the diversity and richness of the season.

Makar Sankranti Foods

Each of these Makar Sankranti foods is not just a treat for the taste buds but also a carrier of cultural traditions and festive joy. Incorporating these recipes into your celebration will surely enhance the spirit of Makar Sankranti.

Makar Sankranti Foods

Maharashtra: Tilgul and Puran Poli

Tilgul:

  • Significance: Tilgul ladoos, made of sesame seeds and jaggery, are exchanged with the phrase “Tilgul ghya, goad goad bola” which means “Take this sweet and speak sweet words,” promoting harmony and goodwill.
  • Recipe: Sesame seeds are roasted and mixed with melted jaggery, then shaped into small balls.
Makar Sankranti Foods

Puran Poli:

  • Significance: This sweet flatbread filled with a mixture of chana dal and jaggery is a festive treat symbolizing prosperity and sharing.
  • Recipe: Wheat dough is filled with a sweet mixture of cooked chana dal, jaggery, and spices, then rolled out and cooked on a griddle with ghee.
Makar Sankranti Foods

Tamil Nadu: Pongal

Pongal:

  • Significance: This rice and lentil dish is central to the Pongal festival, dedicated to the Sun God, thanking him for the harvest.
  • Recipe: Rice and moong dal are cooked together with ghee, black pepper, cumin seeds, and cashew nuts, often garnished with fresh coconut.

Gujarat: Undhiyu and Chikki

Undhiyu:

  • Significance: This mixed vegetable dish, including various seasonal vegetables and fenugreek dumplings, celebrates the bounty of the harvest.
  • Recipe: A mix of vegetables like potatoes, sweet potatoes, and flat beans are stuffed with a spiced coconut mixture and slow-cooked in oil.

Chikki:

  • Significance: Made from peanuts and jaggery, chikki is a traditional sweet that signifies the harvest of groundnuts.
  • Recipe: Roasted peanuts are mixed with melted jaggery and spread out to cool before being cut into bars.
Makar Sankranti Foods

Punjab: Makki di Roti and Sarson da Saag

Makki di Roti and Sarson da Saag:

  • Significance: Celebrated as Lohri, this combination of corn flatbread and mustard greens symbolizes the end of winter and the onset of the harvest season.
  • Recipe: Corn flour dough is rolled out and cooked on a griddle, served with a thick curry made from mustard greens, spinach, and spices.
Makar Sankranti Foods
Makar Sankranti Foods

Uttar Pradesh and Bihar: Khichdi

Khichdi:

  • Significance: Khichdi made of rice and lentils is a staple during Makar Sankranti in these states, symbolizing simplicity and wholesomeness.
  • Recipe: Rice and moong dal are cooked together with spices and sometimes vegetables, served with ghee and pickles.
Makar Sankranti Foods

Karnataka: Ellu Bella and Sakkare Acchu

Ellu Bella:

  • Significance: A mixture of sesame seeds, jaggery, coconut, and peanuts is shared among friends and family, promoting harmony.
  • Recipe: Equal parts of roasted sesame seeds, jaggery pieces, dry coconut, and roasted peanuts are mixed together.
Makar Sankranti Foods

Sakkare Acchu:

  • Significance: These sugar figurines are made and distributed during Makar Sankranti, symbolizing sweetness and the joy of giving.
  • Recipe: Sugar syrup is boiled and poured into molds to set into various shapes.

West Bengal: Pithe and Payesh

Pithe:

  • Significance: Pithe, a rice cake with sweet fillings, is made to celebrate the harvest and the bounty of the rice fields.
  • Recipe: Rice flour dough is filled with a mixture of coconut and jaggery, then steamed or fried.
Makar Sankranti Foods

Payesh:

  • Significance: A sweet rice pudding made with milk and jaggery, payesh is offered to the gods and enjoyed as a dessert.
  • Recipe: Rice is cooked in milk until soft, then sweetened with jaggery and flavored with cardamom and nuts.
Makar Sankranti Foods

Andhra Pradesh and Telangana: Ariselu

Ariselu:

  • Significance: This sweet dish made from rice flour and jaggery is a festive treat that signifies the harvest and prosperity.
  • Recipe: Rice flour dough is mixed with jaggery syrup, shaped into discs, and deep-fried.
Makar Sankranti Foods

Each state’s unique Makar Sankranti foods not only offer a delightful culinary experience but also reflect the cultural and agricultural significance of the festival. These dishes celebrate the harvest, promote unity, and bring families together in joyous festivity.

Assam: Pitha and Laru

Pitha:

  • Significance: Pitha, a type of rice cake, is a traditional Assamese delicacy made to celebrate Bihu, which coincides with Makar Sankranti.
  • Recipe: Rice flour is shaped into cakes and filled with jaggery and coconut or sesame seeds, then steamed or fried.

Laru:

  • Significance: These sweet coconut or sesame seed balls are exchanged among friends and family as a symbol of sharing and love.
  • Recipe: Grated coconut or sesame seeds are mixed with jaggery syrup and shaped into small balls.

Karnataka: Ellu Bella and Sakkare Acchu

Ellu Bella:

  • Significance: A mixture of sesame seeds, jaggery, coconut, and peanuts is shared among friends and family, promoting harmony.
  • Recipe: Equal parts of roasted sesame seeds, jaggery pieces, dry coconut, and roasted peanuts are mixed together.

Sakkare Acchu:

  • Significance: These sugar figurines are made and distributed during Makar Sankranti, symbolizing sweetness and the joy of giving.
  • Recipe: Sugar syrup is boiled and poured into molds to set into various shapes.
Makar Sankranti Foods

Odisha: Makar Chaula and Makar Pitha

Makar Chaula:

  • Significance: This dish, made of uncooked newly harvested rice, banana, coconut, and jaggery, is offered to the Sun God and ancestors.
  • Recipe: Soaked raw rice is mixed with grated coconut, banana pieces, jaggery, and milk.
Makar Sankranti Foods

Makar Pitha:

  • Significance: These traditional rice cakes are prepared to mark the harvest and offer thanks for the bounty.
  • Recipe: Rice flour is mixed with jaggery and coconut, shaped into cakes, and either steamed or fried.

Rajasthan: Til Ke Ladoo and Gajak

Til Ke Ladoo:

  • Significance: These sesame seed and jaggery balls are a popular Makar Sankranti treat, symbolizing warmth and energy during the winter season.
  • Recipe: Sesame seeds are roasted and mixed with melted jaggery, then shaped into small balls.

Gajak:

  • Significance: Gajak, a dry sweet made from sesame seeds and jaggery, is enjoyed during the cold months to provide warmth and energy.
  • Recipe: Roasted sesame seeds are mixed with jaggery syrup, rolled out, and cut into pieces.
Makar Sankranti Foods

Himachal Pradesh: Churma and Babru

Churma:

  • Significance: This sweet dish made from coarsely ground wheat and jaggery is prepared during Makar Sankranti as part of festive offerings.
  • Recipe: Whole wheat dough is fried, then crushed and mixed with jaggery, ghee, and nuts.
Makar Sankranti Foods

Babru:

  • Significance: A traditional Himachali delicacy, Babru is a stuffed bread that is a special treat during Makar Sankranti.
  • Recipe: Dough made from wheat flour is stuffed with black gram paste and deep-fried until golden.
Makar Sankranti Foods

Uttarakhand: Til Ke Ladoo and Khichdi

Til Ke Ladoo:

  • Significance: Similar to other regions, these sesame seed and jaggery balls are a traditional treat during Makar Sankranti, symbolizing warmth.
  • Recipe: Sesame seeds are roasted and mixed with melted jaggery, then shaped into small balls.

Khichdi:

  • Significance: A simple yet wholesome dish made from rice and lentils, khichdi is prepared and enjoyed during the festival.
  • Recipe: Rice and moong dal are cooked together with spices, sometimes with the addition of vegetables.

Bihar: Dahi Chura and Tilkut

Dahi Chura:

  • Significance: Flattened rice with curd and jaggery is a traditional dish in Bihar for Makar Sankranti, signifying simplicity and nourishment.
  • Recipe: Flattened rice is soaked and mixed with curd, jaggery, and sometimes fruits.
Makar Sankranti Foods

Tilkut:

  • Significance: These sesame and jaggery sweets are a special treat for Makar Sankranti, enjoyed for their energy-boosting properties.
  • Recipe: Sesame seeds are ground and mixed with jaggery syrup, then shaped into small discs or balls.

Kerala: Sharkara Varatti and Avial

Sharkara Varatti:

  • Significance: This jaggery-coated banana chips dish is a sweet and crunchy treat enjoyed during the festival.
  • Recipe: Banana slices are fried and then coated in a jaggery syrup spiced with cumin and ginger.
Makar Sankranti Foods

Avial:

  • Significance: A mixed vegetable curry cooked with coconut and yogurt, Avial is a traditional dish symbolizing the abundance of the harvest.
  • Recipe: Seasonal vegetables are cooked with grated coconut, yogurt, and spices.

Telangana: Sajja Rotte and Ariselu

Sajja Rotte:

  • Significance: A traditional millet flatbread, Sajja Rotte foods is prepared during Makar Sankranti to celebrate the harvest of millets.
  • Recipe: Millet flour is mixed with jaggery and water, shaped into flatbreads, and cooked on a griddle.
Makar Sankranti Foods

Ariselu:

  • Significance: This sweet dish made from rice flour and jaggery is a festive treat that signifies the harvest and prosperity.
  • Recipe: Rice flour dough is mixed with jaggery syrup, shaped into discs, and deep-fried.

Madhya Pradesh: Tilgul and Gajak

Tilgul:

  • Significance: Similar to Maharashtra, these sesame seed and jaggery balls are exchanged to promote friendship and harmony.
  • Recipe: Sesame seeds are roasted and mixed with melted jaggery, then shaped into small balls.
Makar Sankranti Foods

Gajak:

  • Significance: A traditional sweet made from sesame seeds and jaggery, Gajak is enjoyed for its crunchy texture and energy-boosting properties.
  • Recipe: Roasted sesame seeds are mixed with jaggery syrup, rolled out, and cut into pieces.

Each state in India celebrates Makar Sankranti foods with unique dishes that not only offer a culinary delight but also embody the cultural heritage and agricultural significance of the region. These traditional foods highlight the diversity and unity of India’s festive spirit.

FAQs

Q1: What is Makar Sankranti?

A: Makar Sankranti is a Hindu festival that marks the transition of the sun into the zodiac sign of Capricorn (Makara). It signifies the end of winter season and the beginning of longer days. It is celebrated with various traditional foods across different states in India.

Q2: Why are sesame seeds and jaggery used in Makar Sankranti foods?

A: Sesame seeds and jaggery are considered warming foods, ideal for winter. They provide energy and help keep the body warm. They also symbolize togetherness and sweetness in relationships.

Q3: What is the significance of Tilgul Ladoo in Maharashtra?

A: Tilgul Ladoo, made of sesame seeds and jaggery, is exchanged among friends and family with the phrase “Tilgul ghya, goad goad bola” meaning “Take this sweet and speak sweet words,” promoting harmony and goodwill.

Q4: How is Pongal celebrated in Tamil Nadu?

A: In Tamil Nadu, Pongal is celebrated by preparing a dish called Pongal made from rice and lentils. It is offered to the Sun God as a thanksgiving for the harvest. Families gather to cook and share this dish.

Q5: What are the traditional foods prepared in Gujarat for Makar Sankranti?

A: In Gujarat, traditional foods like Undhiyu (a mixed vegetable dish) and Chikki (peanut and jaggery bars) are prepared. These dishes celebrate the harvest and are enjoyed during kite flying festivities.

Q6: What is the cultural significance of Khichdi in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar?

A: Khichdi, a simple dish made from rice and lentils, is a staple during Makar Sankranti in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. It symbolizes simplicity, nourishment, and is often prepared as an offering to the gods.

Q7: What special dishes are prepared in Punjab for Lohri, which coincides with Makar Sankranti?

A: In Punjab, Lohri is celebrated with Makki di Roti (corn flatbread) and Sarson da Saag (mustard greens curry). These dishes foods signify the end of winter and the beginning of the harvest season.

Q8: What are the traditional sweets prepared in Rajasthan for Makar Sankranti?

A: In Rajasthan, traditional sweets foods like Til Ke Ladoo (sesame seed and jaggery balls) and Gajak (sesame seed brittle) are prepared. These sweets provide warmth and energy during the winter months.

Q9: How is Makar Sankranti celebrated in Assam?

A: In Assam, Makar Sankranti is celebrated as Bihu with traditional foods like Pitha (rice cakes) and Laru (sweet coconut or sesame balls). These dishes celebrate the harvest and are shared with friends and family.

Q10: What unique dishes are made in Odisha for Makar Sankranti?

A: In Odisha, dishes like Makar Chaula (uncooked rice mixed with banana, coconut, and jaggery) and Makar Pitha (rice cakes) are prepared. These foods are offered to the Sun God and ancestors as a thanksgiving.

Q11: What is the significance of Avial in Kerala during Makar Sankranti?

A: Avial, a mixed vegetable curry with coconut and yogurt, is a traditional dish in Kerala that symbolizes the abundance of the harvest. It is often prepared and enjoyed during festive occasions.

Q12: What is the importance of exchanging Ellu Bella in Karnataka?

A: In Karnataka, Ellu Bella, a mixture of sesame seeds, jaggery, coconut, and peanuts, is exchanged among friends and family. It promotes harmony and unity, with the message of maintaining sweet relationships.

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