It’s the onset of the New Year and with that, we mark the end of winter. This is the time of the year when we welcome a new beginning by bringing in the harvest season. The harvest festival of Makar Sankranti is celebrated across the country and it is also popularly known as Pongal in the South, and Lohri up North. This calls for some Makar Sankranti healthy recipes.
The festival is considered an auspicious day dedicated to peace and prosperity, and celebrated by making some delicious dishes for the occasion. Harvest festival food is typically organic, whole foods like cereals, pulses and other such ingredients which are good for your heart.
Here are some special Makar Sankranti recipes for you to make the most of the harvest season by literally reaping the (health) benefits of what has been sowed.
Pongal Special: Ven Pongal
Nutrient Metre: Also known as ‘tilgud’, sesame and jaggery ladoos are one of the most popularly distributed Makar Sankranti dishes. What’s great is that “til” is a heart-healthy ingredient.
Sesame seeds have been known to have anti-inflammatory properties. They also have antioxidant properties and the ability to lower cholesterol, therefore reducing the risk of developing cardiovascular problems. The other ingredient, jaggery has beneficial nutritional properties such as antioxidants, which makes it a great substitute for sugar.
Serves: 10 pieces
Ingredients to Use for Til Ladoo
- ½ cup powdered jaggery or 100 grams grated jaggery
- ¼ cup coconut, desiccated
- ⅓ cup white sesame seeds
- ¼ cup peanuts
- ¼ teaspoon cardamom powder, grounded
- 3 tablespoon water
- 1 tbsp Saffola Gold oil
- In a pan, add white sesame seeds on low flame and roast until they pop and change colour, but don’t let them brown. Make sure to keep stirring. Once done, keep aside.
- Next, add peanuts to the pan and dry roast on low heat, until they have a crunch with some black markings on them. Keep aside and allow to cool.
- Add desiccated coconut to the same pan and roast until light or golden brown. Keep aside.
- To make the ingredients come together, use a grinder to crush the peanuts finely once they have cooled, and mix with the roasted coconuts and sesame seeds.
- Finally, add cardamom powder to the mix.
- Blend everything together and keep aside.
- To make the jaggery syrup, using the same pan, add the powdered jaggery or grated jaggery along with some water and keep on low flame. Stir until the jaggery and water mix together. Let it simmer on low heat until bubbles start to appear.
- To know when your syrup is ready, fill up some water in a separate bowl and add a small portion of the jaggery mix from the pan into the water. If the consistency of the jaggery mix is sticky/pasty that allows you to roll it into ladoos, the syrup is ready.
- Finally, to prepare the tilgud, turn off the heat and smoothly blend in the mix of sesame seeds, desiccated coconut, crushed peanuts and cardamom powder that we had kept aside.
- Start to mould the ladoos while the mix is still warm. Covering your hands in a few drops of oil can help with the moulding.
- Keep aside in an airtight jar at room temperature, and relish this Sankranti-special food.
No matter which of the names you celebrate the harvest season with, there are a variety of Makar Sankranti healthy recipes for everyone to savour as we celebrate a New Year, a day full of peace, prosperity, and some delicious food!