Happy Lohri 2020: Here are few traditional recipes to treat your taste buds to this festival
The Punjabi and north Indian festival of Lohri is here and people are gearing up to celebrate this harvest festival with a lavish feast, bonfire, and some bhangra.
Observed annually on January 13, Lohri is associated with the harvest of the Rabi crop and marks the end of winter, and the beginning of longer, sunnier days as the sun heads northwards. Food is an integral part of all Indian festivals and Lohri is no different.
Here are a few traditional recipes one can make for an authentic Lohri experience
Sarson da saag
One of the must-haves during Lohri, sarson da saag is paired with makki di roti and is made from mustard leaves, which in itself has a host of beneficial properties. Sarson da saag is a perfect aromatic blend of greens and an array of spices cooked over a flame. The dish becomes even more delectable with a dollop of homemade butter.
· 1 kg mustard leaves
· 300 gm spinach
· 200 gm bathua or pigweed
· 200 gm radish greens
· 50 gm makki ka atta or maize flour
· Jaggery to taste
· 100 gm ginger
· 4 tablespoon ghee
· A pinch of asafoetida
· 20 cloves garlic
· Green chillies 8-10
· 1 teaspoon of turmeric
· 1 cup water
· Pureed tomatoes
· Salt to taste
· Cumin 1 teaspoon
· Red chilli powder 1 teaspoon
· Julienned ginger for garnish
· Clean and wash mustard leaves, spinach, bathua and radish greens and shred the leaves. Chop them finely.
· Scrape and dice half the ginger and julienne the rest for garnish.
· Peel, wash and chop the onions and garlic.
· Now put the mustard leaves, spinach, bathua, radish leaves and green chillies in a wok. Add chopped ginger, salt and water to it and bring to a boil and simmer to tender.
· Drain and reserve the liquid.
· Put the leaves in a blender and make a puree.
· Now take a non-stick pan and add a bit of maize flour, red chilli powder, green chillies, and grated jaggery. Mix it well and return the mixture to the head. Add the reserved liquid to it. Stir and simmer for 30 minutes, adjusting the seasoning if required.
· Heat ghee, add asafoetida along with chopped onion till it turns translucent.
· Saute garlic till they turn golden brown, add green chllies, crushed cumin and red chilli powder to it. Add tomato puree and saute till the oil comes out. Now put the tempering on the green mixture. Remove from bowl and add the julienned ginger on it before serving with makki ki roti.
Makki Ki Roti
Traditionally served with sarson da saag, the maize flour flatbread is made by flattening a dough ball into a round shape using hands and baking it on a hot tawa. The reason one has to use hands to flatten it is because maize flour does not contain a lot of gluten and the flour sticks to the rolling pin.
Ingredients for 6 rotis
· 1.5 cups maize flour
· 2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves
· 1 teaspoon ajwain
· Warm water to bind the dough
· Salt to taste
· Oil or ghee for frying it on tawa
· Take maize flour in a bowl and add finely chopped coriander leaves, ajwain and salt to it. Add a bit of warm water to the flour, knead it until it changes consistency and turns into a smooth dough.
· Divide the dough into six equal portions. Now wet your palms with a little bit of water and make a round ball from each portion. You can either flatten the dough with your hand or put each ball in a ziplock plastic and roll it with a rolling pin. While you are doing this, heat the tawa over a low to medium flame.
· Remove the flattened dough from the plastic and place it over the heated tawa and cook it till it turns a little golden. Flip it with a spatula and add a few drops of ghee. Flip it and cook till it turns golden brown.
· Serve with sarson da saag.
Made using roasted sesame seeds, jaggery, dry fruits and coconut, it is a sweet dish that is popular with everyone during the festivities.
· 200 grams til or sesame seeds
· 200 grams jaggery
· 1/2 cup grated coconut
· 3 tablespoon ghee
· 1/2 cup roasted peanuts that have been crushed
· 1 teaspoon eilaichi powder
· Heat a wok and add the sesame seeds and dry roast them on a medium flame. Keep the roasted sesame seeds aside.
· Add peanuts to the wok and dry roast them till brown. Remove from flame and allow them to cool before grinding them into a coarse mixture.
· Now add the grated coconut in the wok and toast till golden brown.
· Mix all three ingredients with elaichi powder and keep aside till they cool down a bit.
· Heat the wok and add grated jaggery or powdered jaggery to it. Add 1/2 cup water and keep on stirring on low flame till all the lumps dissolve. Boil it till it reaches a viscous consistency where if you drop a bit of jaggery syrup on a plate, it retains its shape.
· Switch off the flame and add the dry roasted mixture carefully, all the while mixing it. Take the pan away from the heat.
· Allow it cool marginally, before applying ghee on your palm and start making small balls.
· Serve it as a dessert.
If you want to bring the authentic flavours of Lohri to your home this year, make sure to give these recipes a try.
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