The first festival of 2021 Makar Sankranti is just around the corner, and we can’t keep calm! The festival is celebrated to welcome the spring season, bidding farewell to the harsh winters and making way for celebrations across India.
The festival might have different names but the happiness and joy that it brings are the same everywhere! Traditions and rituals, too, differ from state-to-state, and so do the sweet dishes! Lohri or Pongal or Makar Sankranti delicacies vary depending on the state. But the two major ingredients used in most of the Sankranti special sweets are sesame seeds and gur or jaggery.
Below is a list of all the traditional Makar Sankranti sweets from the different states of India.
Til Ladoos from Maharashtra
Til or sesame is grown in plenty during this season. Til Ladoo is a traditional Makar Sankranti sweet that almost every household prepares and enjoys. The famous saying that goes around this traditional sweet of Maharashtra is, “til gud ghya, aani god god bola.”
Perfect the art of til ladoos with the recipe below-
- Til or Sesame Seeds - 500 gms/ 4 cups
- Gur or Jaggery - 500 gms
- Ghee - 2 tsp
- Clean the til or sesame seeds properly.
- On a medium flame, heat oil in a heavy pan. Roast the seeds while stirring continuously till they turn light brown. Remember not to burn the sesame seeds as it will become bitter in taste.
- Once roasted, grind it lightly or put it in a mixer to make a coarse powder.
- Break gur or jaggery into small pieces.
- Heat 1 tsp ghee in a pan and melt the jaggery on low flame, once heated. Turn off the flame once melted.
- Mix the crushed and roasted sesame seeds with the melted jaggery and blend well.
- Apply a little ghee on your hands and take about 1 tsp of til-gur mixture. Remember the mixture has to be hot for making ladoos since it turns rigid once dry. Make round-shaped ladoos and keep it on a plate.
- Til Ladoos are ready to eat!
Puran Poli from Maharashtra
Another delicious Makar Sankranti sweet you can make at home is Puran Poli! Though it originated in Maharashtra, it is enjoyed and loved by people all over India. A mouth-watering blend of flavours with dollops of ghee makes Puran Poli a must-have on Makar Sankranti. Read the recipe below-
- Chana Dal - 1 cup, blanched
- Ghee - 2 tbsp
- Fennel Seed Powder - ½ tsp
- All-Purpose Flour or Maida - 1 cup
- Salt - As required
- Refined Oil - ½ tsp
- Jaggery or Gur - 1 cup, powdered
- Green Cardamom - 1 tsp, powdered
- Nutmeg - 1 tsp, powdered
- Turmeric - ¼ tsp
- Water - ¼ cup
- On a medium flame, pour ghee in a saucepan. Once the ghee is melted, add the blanched dal.
- Roast it for 2-3 minutes and then add jaggery, ginger powder, cardamom powder, fennel powder, and nutmeg powder. Mix it well and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Turn off the flame when done, and mash it using a masher once cooled down.
- Add all-purpose flour, turmeric, salt to taste and refined oil in a dough kneading plate. Mix well then add a little water in parts and knead well to make a stiff dough. Once done, divide it into 3 parts and keep it aside.
- Take one part of the dough in hand and make a small cavity in the centre. Add the chana-jaggery mixture in the centre and close, shaping it like a ball. Use a rolling pin to roll out the roti.
- On a medium flame, place the roti on a tawa. Add ½ tsp ghee and cook it well from both sides.
- Puran Poli is ready to serve
Patishapta Pitha from West Bengal
Patishapta Pitha is a Makar Sankranti delicacy from the land of sweets, West Bengal. It is a seasonal speciality and is widely enjoyed by Bengalis during Sankranti. Patishapta Pitha is kind of a sweet crepe or pancake made with a combination of Indian ingredients. Have a look at the recipe of this Sankranti sweet below-
- Flour - 2 cups
- Milk - 1 litre
- Green Cardamom - 1 tsp
- Refined Oil - As required
- Semolina or Sooji - 2 cups
- Khoya or Mawa - 1½ cup
- Sugar - ½ cup, granulated
- Water - As required
- On a low flame, heat milk in a deep non-stick pan. Stir continuously till it reduces to a semi-grainy consistency. Add khoya, cardamom powder and ¼ cup sugar, mix well and set aside.
- In a bowl, mix flour, semolina and remaining sugar with 2½ cups of water. Mix till the sugar dissolves.
- Heat some oil on a non-stick pan. Pour a cup of batter in it and spread into a medium-sized pancake. Let the underside cook.
- Put a spoonful of khoya mixture in the centre, roll and cook, till all the sides turn golden brown.
- Garnish with green cardamom and serve hot!
Sakkarai Pongal from Tamil Nadu
Originated from Tamil Nadu, Sakkarai Pongal is a must-have sweet dish during Makar Sankranti or Pongal. This Makar Sankranti delicacy is a tasteful concoction of ingredients like rice, jaggery, moong dal, cashew nuts and many more!
Read the recipe below.
Moong Dal - 100 gms
Jaggery or Gur - 250 gms, powdered
Spice Cardamom - ¼ tsp
Almonds - ¼ cup
Coconut Milk - 200 ml
Rice - 100 gms
Ghee - 200 gms
Cashew nuts - ¼ cup
Raisins - ¼ cup
Water - 300 ml
Roast the rice and moong dal in a non-stick pan till they turn light golden yellow.
On another burner, boil 100 ml water in another pan. Once it starts boiling, add jaggery powder to it. When the jaggery has dissolved, and a syrup is formed, turn off the burner.
Cook rice and moong dal in the remaining water in the meantime.
Once half cooked, add coconut milk and cook further. Once rice and moong are almost cooked, add the jaggery syrup and sprinkle cardamom powder on it and put off the flame. Keep it aside.
In a pan, melt ghee on a low flame. Once heated, add cashews, almonds and raisins. Stir fry the dry fruits till they turn golden-brown. Pour them over the rice mixture. Let the Pongal cook for about 5 minutes on a low flame.
Til Chikki from Gujarat
A healthy Sankranti sweet hailing from Gujarat, Til Chikki is loaded with nutritional properties. Check out the recipe below and try this tasty and healthy recipe!
- Black Sesame Seeds - ½ cup
- Jaggery or Gur - ¼ cup, powdered
- Almonds - ½ cup, thinly sliced
- Ghee - 2 tsp
- On medium flame, lightly roast the black sesame seeds for a few minutes till it turns light brown. Keep it aside to cool once done and repeat the process with almonds.
- Grease the back of a flat pan with a little ghee. Keep it aside.
- Heat ghee in a pan and add jaggery powder. Let it caramelize till the time it forms a hard ball when you place a drop in cold water.
- Once it's caramelized, mix it thoroughly with the roasted black sesame seeds and almonds.
- Pour the entire mixture over the greased plate and roll it into thin sheets with a greased rolling pin.
- Allow it to cool for some time and then cut it into square pieces.
Gulachi Poli or Jaggery Roti from Maharashtra
Gulachi Poli or Jaggery Roti is a traditional Maharashtrian Sankranti, special sweet. It is generally made as an offering to God.
Read the recipe below and try it at home.
- Whole Wheat Flour - 1 cup
- Chickpea Flour or Besan - 3 tbsp
- Salt - As required
- Water - As required
- Jaggery or Gur - 1 cup, grated or powdered
- White Sesame Seeds - ¼ cup
- Poppy Seeds - ¼ cup
- Coconut - 1 tbsp, desiccated
- Cardamom Powder - ½ tsp
- Nutmeg Powder - ½ tsp
- Milk - 1 to 2 tbsp
- Ghee - 1 tbsp
- Mix whole wheat flour, half of the chickpea flour, salt and oil in a large bowl. Knead it into a semi-soft dough using water and keep it aside.
- On a low flame, roast the sesame seeds in a pan till it turns golden brown. Repeat the same process with poppy seeds and coconut. Once roasted, cool it down completely and grind it together in a grinder.
- In a pan, heat a tbsp of ghee and add chickpea flour. Roast it on slow until it is fragrant and changes colour, roughly for about 3-4 minutes.
- Add the grounded mixture to the grated jaggery along with chickpea flour. Mix everything to form a dough-like structure. Add milk if the mixture is too dry.
- Roll out small balls of the whole wheat flour dough and apply a few drops of ghee on it. Fill 1-1½ tbsp of stuffing in the centre and seal it.
- Now dust it with dry flour and roll it into a thin-sized poli. On a hot pan, shallow fry it by applying ghee on both sides until golden brown.
- Let it cool down and store it in an airtight container or enjoy it hot with dollops of ghee!
Makara Chaula from Odisha
Makara Chaula is an Oriya Sankranti special sweet made from freshly-harvested rice. Though native to Odisha, it can be cooked easily and enjoyed anywhere!
Check out the recipe below.
- Rice - ½ cup
- Milk - 1 cup
- Coconut - ½ cup, grated
- Sugarcane- ⅓ cup, small pieces
- Banana - 1 to 2, ripe
- Sugar - As required
- Pepper Powder - ½ tsp
- Paneer or Cottage Cheese - ¼ cup
- Ginger - 1 tsp, grated
- Fruits - ½ cup, chopped, of your choice
- Soak the rice overnight. Wash, drain, spread on a plate and allow it to dry at room temperature for 2-3 hours.
- Grind it to coarse powder along with milk and coconut and transfer it to a mixing bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients except for the banana and mix well.
- Peel and crush the banana. Add to the mixing bowl and mix.
- Makara Chaula is now ready to serve!
Gajak from Uttar Pradesh
Gajak is a winter and Lohri or Makar Sankranti delicacy from Uttar Pradesh. People all over India enjoy this sweet dish made from sugar or jaggery and sesame.
Have a look at its recipe below.
- Sesame Seeds - ½ cup, roasted
- Sugar - 250 gms
- Water - 2 tbsp
- Cashew Nuts - ¼ cup, halved
- Ghee - 2 tbsp
- Grease a rectangular tray with ghee and keep aside. Dry roast the sesame seeds in a large heavy-bottomed pan till they turn brown. Keep it aside.
- Combine sugar, ghee, water and cook on medium flame till it turns into a syrup. Turn off the flame and add in the roasted sesame seeds and cashew nuts. Mix well, transfer it to the ghee coated tray and level it with a large flat spatula.
- Make cuts while it is still hot/ warm. Separate the pieces once it has cooled down.
- Store it in an airtight container and enjoy!
Pinni from Punjab
This Lohri or Makar Sankranti sweet is one of the best sweet recipes you could try! It is a delicious blend of various ingredients that leave you wanting more.
Read the recipe below.
- Split Black Gram - 1¼ cup
- Semolina or Sooji - 2½ tbsp
- Ghee - ¾ cup
- Chickpea Flour or Besan - 1½ tbsp
- Sugar - 1 cup
- Wheat Flour - ½ tbsp
- Almond Silvers - 3 tbsp
- Khoya or Mawa - ¾ cup, grated
- Green Cardamom - ½ teaspoon, powdered
- Soak urad dal for a minimum of one hour. Drain and grind finely, do it with very little water or no water at all, if possible.
- In a deep pan, heat ghee. Once heated, add semolina, gram flour, wheat flour and sauté for five minutes. Add dal paste and continue to sauté on low flame for about 30 minutes.
- Make a syrup of sugar with half a cup of water till it reaches a one string consistency. Roast almond slivers and keep aside.
- Add khoya to urad dal mixture and roast for five minutes. Add green cardamom powder and mix. Add sugar syrup and mix and cook for some more time till it becomes a little dry.
- Once heated, take it off the stove and add almonds. Allow it to cool. Divide into equal portions and shape each portion into round or oval pinnis.
- Garnish with almonds and serve!