Quick and easy Makar Sankranti recipes to try out this festive season

This festive season, serve some home cooked delights that are easy and quick to make!
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The beginning of the year calls for celebrations. And when it comes to Hindu traditions, the country is celebrations galore! January 14 marks the celebration of Makar Sankranti which is also known as Pongal or Lohri, depending on which region you belong. It observes the day from when the days grow longer - the onset of spring and then summer. It is a time of peace and prosperity and also marks the beginning of the Kumbh Mela in Uttar Pradesh and the pilgrimage of Shabrimala in South India. 

Since all festivals in the country are celebrated with delicious food, here are some Sankranti recipes you can try at home to have an auspicious festival this year. 

Coconut Burfi

A classic and delicious dessert, this one is popular in regions of Kerala as it involves coconuts and is easy to make. 

Ingredients you will need: 
2 cups of grated coconut
3 cups of sugar
Half a cup of white almond powder
Quarter spoon cardamom powder

Add the coconut and sugar in a
non stick pan and keep stirring until the sugar melts and starts to bubble. 
Add the almond and cinnamon powder slowly and stir till it becomes a soft dough. 
Turn off the gas and pour this dough into a greased plate while it is still piping hot. 
Press it firmly to make it equal on top and then cut it into smaller pieces. 
Once it has cooled down, pop a piece in your mouth and relish!

Peanut Chikki
This tastes almost like candy, and 
plus point, it is home-made!

Ingredients you will need: 
1 cup of shelled, unsalted and raw peanuts
1 cup sugar
Quarter spoon salt
2 spoons butter or ghee

Roast the peanuts by placing it in another pan and stirring continuously until brown. 
Once it has cooled down, remove the peanuts from the pan and rub them in your hands so the skin peels off. 
In another pan, melt the butter and then add the sugar, salt and a touch of ginger to it. Keep stirring until it the mixture turns golden brown. 
Add the peanuts to the mixture and stir quickly. 
While it is still hot, pour it into another plate greased with butter or oil. 
Once it has cooled down, cut it into smaller pieces. 

Medu Vada
Made from Urad Dal, this is the perfect South Indian breakfast that is also served on the festival.


Ingredients you will need
1 cup Urad Dal (soaked for 2 hours)
1 inch Ginger
1 green chilli 
Finely chopped coriander leaves

Blend the daal and ginger in a mixer. Keep adding a little water to ensure it forms 
smooth batter. 

In another bowl, add the green chillies, coriander and then the batter and stir well. Cover it and store, in the meantime pour oil into a pan and wait till it is hot enough. 

With the batter, make a thick ring and then drop into the oil. 
Deep fry this until it is evenly brown and crisp on all sides. 
Follow the same process until the entire batter is made 
into vadas

Serve it hot with sambar or chutney for a delicious meal. 

Seasoned curd rice
This is one of the staple foods of South India and is served at every event, religious or not. 



Ingredients you will need:
2 cups 
of cooked rice

1.5 cups of curd
A quarter cup of pomegranate seeds
1 green chilli
Half a spoon of mustard seeds
1 spoon Urad Daal
Curry leaves
1 spoon cooking oil

Mix the cooked rice with the curd, in a large bowl or container. 
Add the green chillis, pomegranate seeds and a hint of salt. 
To make the seasoning, pour the teaspoon of oil into a pan and add the mustard seeds and urad daal. Wait till it crackles and 
then mix it well. Add the curry leaves to this mixture. 

Pour this seasoning over the curd rice and mix well. 

Coconut milk and stewed dal Payasam

This sweet dish is nutritious and can be served at parties or even be consumed as a snack!



Ingredients you will need:

200ml coconut milk

300ml milk
2 spoons channa daal
Quarter cup moong daal
2 spoons grated coconut
Half cup jaggery
6 cashew nuts
1 spoon cardamom powder
2 spoons ghee

Heat the ghee in a pan and add cashew nuts and roast it until brown and crisp. 
In a pressure cooker, add the channa daal and moong daal and cook for 4 whistles. Once the cooker is cooled, open it and set the daal aside. 
Put both the daals in a pan, add coconut milk, milk, jaggery and cardamom powder. 
Let it simmer on a low flame until the jaggery dissolves. 
Add the roasted cashews and serve.
This can be consumed both hot or cold. 

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