So you think that only your grandma can make the best rewris, ladoos and chikkis? This Lohri, surprise your family and friends with some homemade munchies instead of the ready-made items available in shops. With a little effort you’ll not only be able to add a personal touch to the festive delights but also treat everyone to some traditional yet innovative goodies made from fresh harvests of the season.
If you feel that you have indulged enough during Christmas and New Year’s and don’t want to sin any more, quit worrying. The basic ingredients used for making desserts and snacks in Lohri — sesame seeds (til), sugarcane juice, peanuts, wheat flour — have a high nutritional value. Health buffs and even diabetics can feast on the sweet treats as jaggery, and not sugar, is used to sweeten most of the items. “Jaggery is a safer sweetening option for diabetics and is also rich in iron. It also helps to keep the body warm.
Sesame seeds are the richest source of calcium and is good for bone health. Sugarcane juice keeps the body energised due to its high carbohydrate content,” says clinical nutritionist Dr Nidhi Saran of Fortis La Femme hospital. So, bring out the chef (and the foodie) in you and try these easy-to-make recipes.
Rasse Ki Kheer
1 litre fresh sugarcane juice
150 gm Basmati rice
Heat the sugarcane juice in a pan. Wash and add the rice to it and allow it to cook in the juice on a slow fire till the rice and sugarcane juice form a smooth mixture of thick consistency. Remove from the fire, allow it to cool. Refrigerate and serve cold.
By chef Sahil Arora, Courtyard by Marriott, Gurgaon
Til Khoya Ladoo
1 kg white sesame
1/2 kg khoya (finely grated)
100 gm cashew
100 gm raisins
50 gm pistachio
50 gm almonds
1/2 kg sugar
1 tsp cardamom
Grind sesame, cashews, raisins, pistacho and almonds together, and roast the mixture on low flame in a heavy-bottomed pan on fire. When the colour becomes golden brown, add khoya and stir constantly till the mixture acquires a deeper hue. Add sugar and cardamom powder. Mix well, remove from fire and mould the mixture into ladoos.
By chef Jubin Katar, Cafe Cruise
150 gm sesame seeds
1 kg jaggery
On a flat pan, roast the sesame seeds on low fire. Keep stirring, else they will splutter. When done, let it cool and then pound the seeds. Heat jaggery in half cup water till it turns into a consistent, thick syrup. Add roasted sesame seeds to the syrup and stir well to make an even paste. Grease your hands, then either make round balls of the mixture, or put it on a greased board, spread it out evenly and cut into squares. Serve when cool and hard.
By chef Vipan Kumar, The Pirates of Grill
Atte Ki Pinni
1 cup wheat flour
1 cup ghee
1/2 tsp cardamom powder
1/2 cup milk
1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup mixed dry fruits
Heat ghee in a heavy-bottomed pan. Add flour and cook till it is evenly brown. Spread contents of pan in a plate, allow to cool. Add powdered sugar,
cardamom, dry fruit into the mixture. Mix gently, but thoroughly. Shape into equal-sized balls. Cool completely before storing in air-tight boxes.
By chef Sahil Arora