Makar Sankranti, the harvest festival celebrated across India, is all about food made with freshly harvested crops. From Gujarat to Assam, jaggery or gur is one of the key ingredients for the festival. And when it comes to desserts our sumptuous desi dishes are hard to resist. Apart from jaggery, freshly harvested rice and nuts are also eaten on this day. Each state have their own special delicacy, and it’s hard to choose a favourite.
Try out these five amazing recipes this Makar Sankranti:
Payesh by Ashvini Kumar, Executive Chef, Four Points by Sheraton Navi Mumbai
250g – Rice
2l – Milk (full cream preferred)
1/2 tsp – Cardamom powder
1/4 tsp – Nutmeg powder
200g – Soft jaggery
2 tsp – Almonds (chopped)
2 tsp – Pistachios (chopped)
6 strands – Saffron
* Wash the rice well and leave it to dry.
* Boil the milk for about 15 mins.
* Now add the rice and cook till it becomes thick.
* Add cardamom powder, nutmeg powder and saffron to it.
* Add jaggery and stir well till it melts properly.
* Put it away from flame and let it set.
* Garnish with chopped almonds and pistachios.
Dates and walnut kheer by Chef Ashish Rai, Head – Culinary, Barbeque Nation Hospitality Ltd
1l – Fresh milk
1/2kg – Dates (deseeded and chopped)
1/2 cup – Sugar
1/2 cup – Walnut (chopped)
3 tbsp – Oats
4 tbsp – Roasted almond (chopped)
300ml – Fresh cream
2 cup – Water
* Add dates and water in a blender and make a fine paste with it.
* Heat milk in a pan and cook it on low flame. Add the sugar and date paste and mix it well.
* Add oats and half the quantity of crushed walnut and almond and bring it to a boil.
* Cool the mixture and refrigerate it. While serving, stir in the cream and garnish with remaining nuts.
Ganeer Ki Kheer by By Chef Ashish Massey, Director, The Ancient Barbeque, Noida & Gurgaon
1l – Sugarcane juice
100g – Basmati rice
3 tsp – Cardamom powder
To garnish – Dry fruits (chopped)
* Wash the rice and soak it in water for a minimum 20 mins.
* Put the sugarcane juice in a pan and bring it to boil on low flame.
* Now add the soaked rice and cardamom powder to the sugarcane juice and let it cook on low flame, stirring it continuously.
* Cook till the rice and sugarcane juice form a smooth mixture and then add dry fruit.
* Remove it from the flame and allow it to cool.
Meethe Peele Chawal by Chef Ashish Ugal, Executive Sous Chef, The Taj Mahal Hotel, New Delhi
1 cup – Basmati/Golden sela rice (soaked)
1 and 1/4 cup – Sugar
4 cups – Water
1g – Saffron
2 – Bay leaves
4 or 5 – Green cardamom
2 – Cloves
25g – Blanched almonds
20g – Raisins
20g – Cashewnuts
100g – Ghee
20g – Fresh coconut (grated)
To sprinkle – Rose water
1 tsp – Lemon yellow food grade colour (optional)
To seal — Flour dough
* Bring the water to a boil with bay leaves, cardamom and cloves. Add the soaked rice and yellow food grade colour to it. When it comes to a full boil, lower the heat and simmer till the rice is almost cooked (about 12 mins, 80 percent done).
* Drain the rice and rinse twice. Leave in a colander to drain.
* In a heavy base pan, heat the ghee and fry the raisins, almonds and cashew nuts and saute till golden brown. Remove the nuts and keep it aside. Add the rice in the same ghee and mix well.
* Grease the edge of the lid and line a rolled string of dough along it.
* Lower the heat, remove half the rice, sprinkle half the sugar, and then layer the rest of the rice and the rest of the sugar over it. Put the lid on to seal and place the pan on a griddle (Tawa) over low heat. Cook for about 1/2 an hour.
* Break the seal and garnish with raisins, nuts and varq.
* Before serving sprinkle a little rose water.
Undhiyu by Chef Maharaj Jankidas Vaishnav – Tuskers, Sofitel Mumbai BKC
6 to 8 – Green Leaf Garlic
3 to 4 — Baby Brinjal
50g – Fresh Tuvar Dana
50g – Fresh lilva Dana
25 to 30 – Broad Beans (Surtifali)
2 – Raw Bananas
6 to 8 – Small Potatoes
100g – Sweet Potatoes
100g – Yam (Kand)
30g – Sugar
10g – Tamarind
5 tbsp – Oil
2 tbsp – Coconut scraped
4 – Green chillies
1 tsp – Mustard seeds
1 tsp – Whole Cumin (jeera)
1 tsp – Ajwain
1 pinch – Asafoetida (Hing)
1 tsp – Turmeric powder
1 cup – Coriander leaves
2 inch – Ginger
To taste – Salt
1/4 cup – Gram flour (Besan)
1 cup – Wheat Flour
1/2 cup – Fenugreek Leaves (methi)
3g – Whole Coriander (Dhania)
5g – Whole Cumin (Jeera)
1/2 inch – Ginger
1 or 2 – Green chillies
To taste – Salt
1 cup – Water
Oil to deep fry
1 – Kouwta (wood apple for chutney)
To taste – Salt
2 or 3 – Green chillies (chopped)
For the Motiya
* Mix all the ingredients (except oil) and prepare a tight dough.
* Divide the dough into small portions and shape each into one-inch in length and half-inch thick rolls.
* Deep fry the rolls in hot oil and keep it aside.
For the Undhiyu
* Wash and peel off the potatoes, yam, sweet potatoes and raw bananas and cut into small dices.
* Wash the brinjals and slit into four but make sure the stem is intact.
* Make a paste of ginger, garlic and green chillies. Add chopped, fresh coriander to this paste. Stuff the mixture in the potatoes and brinjal and keep it aside.
* String the beans and cut into one-inch-long pieces.
* Heat the oil in a deep vessel and add the asafoetida and mustard seeds. When mustard seeds start to crackle, add the whole spices and broad beans.
* Put the rest of the vegetables in layers on top of the other.
* Sprinkle salt and turmeric powder and stir-fry for 5 mins on high flame.
* Pour one cup of water, cover and let it cook on very low heat for 10-15 mins.
* Now, add the fried Motiya and again cook for 15 mins.
* Shake the vegetables occasionally but do not use a spoon to stir.
* Garnish with scraped coconut, coriander leaves, chutney, Bajra rotla, and puri.