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Makar Sankranti

Makar Sankranti recipes are a part of the grand feast prepared on January 14th to celebrate the entry of the supreme sun into the Tropic of Capricorn, better known as Makkar in Hindi translation. This transition of the sun is believed to bring luck in an individual’s life, as per the Hindu mythology. To commemorate the day, special makar sakranti food is prepared in almost every Hindu household. Til or sesame seeds and jaggery are must additions in the traditional Makar Sankranti recipes as the two ingredients give warmth and energy to the body.

Traditional Makar Sankranti food

Makar Sankranti is a popular Hindu festival and is celebrated with great pomp throughout the Indian sub-continent. Given below are the traditional Makar Sankranti recipes relished in different states of India.

  • Maharashtra- Til laddus, Til Poli (dishes made from sesame seeds and jaggery)
  • Bengal- Sweets made of khejur gur, Khichuri (a delicacy made of rice and yellow lentils), Gokul Pithe (made of coconut, jaggery and khoya)
  • Andhra Pradesh- Ariselu and Appalu(sweets made of jaggery)
  • Karnataka - Ellu Bella, a platter of consisting of Ellu( a mixture of white sesame seeds, groundnuts and coconut) and bella( jaggery) with candies and other special eatables is distributed between different families of the community.
  • Rajasthan- Sweets like ghevar, til paati, kheer, gajak
  • Uttar Pradesh- Sweet foods made of til( sesame seeds) and jaggery
  • Bihar- Chura and sweets made of til and jaggery such as Tilkut, Maswa and Tilwa
  • Kumaon - khichadi a dish made of rice and lentils
  • Punjab- Kheer, a sweet made of cooked rice and milk, is the traditional food
  • Tamil Nadu- dishes made of new boiled rice and other items like murukku, vadai and payasam
  • Orrisa- Apart from the items made of sesame seeds and jaggery, one gets to see bananas, boiled rice, and the very popular rasagulla on the oriya makar sankranti menu,

Significance of the Makar Sankranti food
The old legend that is associated with this festival is that in the ancient times, the sun god slew the head of Sankarasur, a demon, on the Makar Sankranti day. Therefore, in order to pay gratitude to the sun god, the day is marked with a grand feast comprising Makar Sankranti recipes.

Modern Makar Sankranti dishes
The modern Makar Sankranti food has essentially replaced the traditional sweetener, jaggery, with powdered sugar or grated sugar. Moreover, numerous additions to the traditional ingredients, especially coconut, condensed milk, mawa/ khoya et al, have now formed the basis of modern Makar Sankranti recipes.