Lohri 2022: Mouth-watering traditional recipes to enjoy
Lohri 2022: Lohri, the harvest festival celebrated in northern India, especially Punjab and Haryana is looked forward to because of several reasons. A time for a refreshing get-together, an excuse to hum traditional songs like Sunder Mundriye Ho and shake a leg to their tunes, and the joy of digging into the delectable traditional thali - Lohri signifies joy and new beginnings.
Apart from marking the end of winter and celebrating a good harvest, Lohri is also the time when people celebrate personal joys like marriage, first child and other such small and big pleasures.
Lohri is incomplete without the tradition of lighting bonfires. It is the central attraction of the day as people perform rituals walking around the bonfire and praying for the happiness of their family. People also toss sesame seeds, gud (jaggery), rewaries, popcorn into the bonfire while they chat, sing, dance and make merry.
Foods made of jaggery, mustard leaves, sesame seeds are especially relished on Lohri. Here're some popular traditional foods to have this Lohri.
Sarson ka Saag and Makki Ki Roti
A bowl of piping hot sarson ka saag is teamed with the irresistible makki ki roti and enjoyed with a dollop of white butter along with accompaniments like onion, pickle, whole chilli and jaggery. Prepared with fresh mustard leaves, it is a must-have Lohri food.
Made with kabuli chana soaked overnight and flavoured with spices like black cardamom, nutmeg, kasoori methi, cinnamon, cloves, peppercorn, baylead, dry red chillies, amchur powder among others, Pindi Chane can be enjoyed with bhature or puri the best.
Gajak, the must-have crunchy dry sweet people love to have on Lohri, is traditionally made by mixing jaggery and seasame seeds or peanuts. Dry roast the seasame seeds till they are fragrant and mix them with syrup of sugar and jaggery before spreading them in a greased tray. Cut them in rectangular shape and enjoy.
The delicious and melt-in-mouth Til Halwa is another popular Lohri dish enjoyed as dessert post meals. Made with semolina and sesame seeds in ghee, it is garnished with dryfruits and flavoured with cardamom powder. Here's a recipe:
¾ cup white sesame seeds
1 cup semolina (rawa)
¼ cup ghee
A large pinch of saffron, soaked in warm water
¼ cup Sugar Free Green Powder
¼ cup slivered almonds + for garnish
¼ cup slivered cashew nuts + for garnish
10-12 pistachios, blanched, peeled and slivered + for garnish
¼ tsp green cardamom powder
Crushed dried rose petals for garnish
1. Take sesame seeds in a large bowl, add water and soak overnight. Drain and put into a blender jar and ½ cup water and blend to a fine paste.
2. Dry roast semolina in a non-stick pan till fragrant. Transfer on to a plate.
3. Heat ghee in the same non-stick pan, add semolina and sauté till golden brown.
4. Add blended paste and mix and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Add 1½ cups hot water and mix, add 1½ cups hot water and mix.
5. Add soaked saffron, mix and add 1½ cups hot water again, mix, cover and cook for 8-10 minutes.
6. Add sugar free green powder, mix and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add almonds, cashew nuts, pistachios and green cardamom powder and mix. Take the pan off the heat and transfer into serving bowls.
7. Garnish with cashew nuts, almonds, and pistachios and dried rose petals.
(Recipe by Chef Sanjeev Kapoor)