One of India's absolute favourite festivals, Makar Sankranti is coming up this week. Known as the kite celebration where beautiful kites of various colours cut across the sky, it falls on the 14th of January every year. Following Lohri, Makar Sankranti is believed to be the day when the nights grow shorter giving way to longer hours of sunlight. Apart from the revelry and kite flying, Makar Sankranti, like all other festivals in India has a wonderful dessert menu. Here, we present to you recipes of the signature sweets of Makar Sankranti, in a very simple yet appealing manner.
Murmure laddoos are one of the most loved sweets across the country. Though they're not the richest when it comes to nutrition, they're light, really easy to cook and make for a fun snack. Cook these and watch how the adults and children both keep popping these laddoos in their mouth as they walk by the table.
250gmmurmure (rice puffs),
750 gm jaggery,
1 and a half cups of water.
1. Put jaggery with water in a pan. Wait for the jaggery to dissolve over low heat.
2. Once the jaggery dissolves in the water, increase the heat to bring it to boil. Cook over full flame till it reaches a thread 2 consistency.
3. Putthemurmura into the mixture quickly.
4. Take the vessel of the heat and allow it to cool for a while.
5. Moisten your hands and start shaping the mixture into small laddoos.
6. Leave it to cool and then serve.
Paatishapta is a famous Bengali dessert, made for various festivals across the state. It has a very delicious taste combined with a soft texture which makes it a favourite among people all over the country.
1 cup refined flour/maida,
1/2 cup sooji,
1/4 cup rice flour,
1 and a half to 2 cups milk,
Oil for frying.
3 cups grated coconut/khoya,
2 tsp sugar/date jaggery,
3-4 green cardamoms.
1. Mix grated coconut or khoya with sugar or jaggery in a vessel and place it over a low flame. If you use khoya, add a little milk.
2. Add cardamom to the mixture.
3. Keep stirring the mixture till it gets sticky. Then keep it aside to cool. Wait for 15 to 20 minutes before using it for filling.
4.Add maida, sooji and rice flour to a bowl.
5. Add milk. Mix it carefully and avoid making lumps. Keep the mixture aside for half an hour.
6. Heat the non-stick pan and pour a little oil. Pour a thin layer of the mixture on it and spread it quickly with the ladle.
7. Put the filling at the center of it and roll it. Wait till the colour turns a light brown.
8. Place it on the plate. Serve hot or cold.
9. For better results, serve it with condensed milk poured over it.
Dry Fruit Chikki
Chikki is also one of the few snacks none of us refuse, no matter what the time. Although it has lots of variety like til chikki or caramel chikki, the dry fruit one is regarded the tastiest and chikki on the occasion of Makar Sankranti adds joy to the vibe of the festival.
100 gm of peanuts, cashewnuts and walnuts,
50 gm of almonds,
350 gm sugar,
350 gm honey,
125 ml water,
2 tsp butter,
1 tsp grated lemon rind,
1 tsp soda bicarbonate.
1. Mix all the dry fruits and nuts. Warm them at a mild level.
2. Mix sugar, honey and water over a moderate flame.
3. After the sugar gets dissolved, bring it to a boil.
4.Cook it until the point that the syrup forms a hard ball when dropped into a bowl of water.
5. Stir in the nuts and saunf. Cook for five minutes.
6. Remove from heat. Add lemon rind and baking soda. Stir well.
7.Pour syrup into a well-oiled baking tin carefully.
8. Allow it to cool and then break into small pieces.
9. When it has completely cooled down, store in an airtight container.
10.While storing, place a plastic paper between each of the layers.
Sattu is basically dry roasted Bengal gram in the sand which is then sieved and pounded to powder. Sattu ki barfi is a simple and traditional dessert, made especially for Makar Sankranti. This is one dish which is a tad bit out of the box and will be something new for everyone to try.
3 and 3/4th cups of sattu,
3/4th cup of sugar,
200 ml of oil mixed with ghee in a 1:1 ratio,
1 and a half tsp of cardamom powder,
Dry fruits as per your taste.
1.Grind the sugar to make a coarse powder out of it. Keep it aside.
2. Grease the plate/vessel you're placing it in and keep it aside.
3. Take a big wok or kadhai. As it gets hot, add sattu and start roasting it on a low flame.
4. Stir continuously without increasing the flame. Continue till the colour changes to light brown and you have a nice aroma. It will take 20 to 30 minutes
5. Add cardamom powder and mix well with the fried sattu powder.
6. Add the oil-ghee mixture and stir continuously.
7. When the oil mixes completely with the sattu powder, add powdered sugar and continue stirring.
8. Switch off the heat and transfer the mixture to the prepared tin or plate.
9. Spread the mixture evenly and press with a spatula.
10. Garnish the barfi with chopped nuts according to your choice.
11. Refrigerate the barfi for 2 hours, allowing it to set. Cut it into pieces and serve it.
We've had our set of sweets but to add a twist to the dessert menu, we'll ditch the traditional lassi or sherbet and go for a banana and honey smoothie, which will not only complement the meal but will also be healthy.
400 ml frozen yogurt,
2 tsp pumpkin seeds,
3 tsp honey,
10 ml water.
1. Put the yogurt and unpeeled bananas in a blender.
2. Add the honey and the pumpkin seeds. Add a dash of water.
3.Whisk it till it becomes smooth and assumes thickness according to your liking.
4.Pour immediately into glasses. Best served cold. Garnish with pumpkin seeds.
Bring more light to your Makar Sankranti sweet spread with these desserts. May you have a prosperous and joyous new year. Happy Makar Sankranti!