Makar Sankranti is a harvest festival celebrated with much enthusiasm across the country. It celebrates the sun’s shift into Tropic of Capricorn (also called as ‘Makar’ in Sanskrit). It is around this time that sun starts making a transition towards the North. This point marks the end of cold wintery days and starts giving way to longer and warmer days. The limited sunlight in winters also takes a toll on crop harvesting, which is why the country rejoices at the prospect of warm days and the longer season of sunlight.
Makar Sankranti is celebrated with a lot of delicious food, folk songs and dance rituals across the country. It is one such festival that is incomplete without its traditional sweets. From chikki to til ladoos, the festival is indeed a foodie’s dream come true.
Here are some of the favourite desserts enjoyed around Makar Sankranti
1. Til Ladoo:
Til ladoo and Makar Sankranti are almost synonymous to each other. During Sankranti staple is made with a mix of sesame seeds and jaggery. Sesame and jaggery, both are the significant components of Makar Sankranti celebrations. Majorly because of their warming nature. They are used extensively across all winter food preparations.
Chikki is another sweet enjoyed a lot during winters. It is a flat and brittle dessert made with peanuts along with molten jaggery. There are many variations available these days, some types also include sesame seeds or various healthy nuts. It is also an intrinsic part of Makar Sankranti celebrations across all north India.
Gajak is originated in Madhya Pradesh. It is a dry dessert made with sesame seeds, groundnut and jaggery. Here jaggery is mixed with sesame seeds and set in thin layers. The especially is that it comes in different yummy flavours like dry-fruit, chocolate, Khas, Gond and til-revadi. And can be stored for months.
4. Puran Poli
This is a sweetened flat bread/paratha stuffed with mung and jaggery is an awesome treat to the soul. Tt is a wholesome preparation and a popular Maharashtrian delicacy. It is also prepared around Diwali and Naraka Chaturdashi celebrations.
5. Doodh Puli
Doodh puli is another festive popular treat. It is prepared lavishly across Bengal and parts of Orissa during Poush Sankranti. Dudh puli is essentially a rice flour-stuffed dumpling boiled with thick milk. It is sweetened by date palm jaggery (or khejur gur) which is available only for a few months around this time. The crumbly stuffing inside is made of coconut and date palm jaggery. ‘Pithe puli’ is another similar dish which is also enjoyed during Makar Sankranti. The only difference is that pithe puli is fried and not dipped in milk.