Makar Sakranti- The Harvest Festival

By     14-Jan 2019     Reading Time: 6 Mins

Makar Sakranti- The Harvest Festival

Makar Sakranti is the holy festival with the significance of an auspicious and holy phase of seasonal transition marking the beginning of warmer and longer days. It is believed that the traditional delicacies prepared for this day symbolizes peace and harmony. In the majority parts of country, Makar Sankranti indicates the early stages of Rabi crops and agricultural cycle where the crops are being harvested and hard work in the field gets over symbolizing the time to celebrate by indulging in kite flying competitions. The Rabi crops include wheat, barley, oats, chickpea/gram (pulses) and oil seeds like mustard seeds.

Celebrating this festival is totally incomplete without the foods that gives energy and keep you warm in nippy weather. For instance, til ladoos made of sesame seeds and jaggery as it’s believed that foods prepared from sesame have an ability to absorb and produce elevated proportion of sattva frequencies. In addition, gajak and peanuts are also savoured on the day of Makar Sakranti. Let’s know what else this day has to serve you in your menu list!!!

  • Sakkarai Pongal: The sweet Pongal is amongst the most popular Makar Sakranti dishes which are prepared across North India and South India during Pongal and Makar Sankranti respectively. Made from rice, green gram and jaggery, it’s rich in nutrients like important vitamins, minerals, fiber, protein, antioxidants, amino acids and contain fewer calories complying it best for a wholesome dessert.
  • Pinni: Punjab’s prime pride- Pinni is made from using whole wheat flour, milk (low-fat), variety of nuts and desi ghee (clarified butter). While appeasing your sweet tooth, pinni is a traditional dish offering nutritional benefits derived from nuts, whole wheat and milk. We suggest you to use milk and desi ghee in moderation. Whole wheat and nuts both are loaded with fiber. Whole grains on its part deliver B vitamins, thiamin, niacin and folate magnesium, zinc and iron. Nuts on the other hand, provide key proteins including healthy fats, antioxidants that help in lowering bad cholesterol and enhancing your life span.
  • Khichdi: Khichdi prepared on makar sakranti is a liitle different from regular khichdi made on regular basis. Its preparation combines rice and pulses especially urad dal along with cauliflowers and green peas which is often served as “Bhog”. Main ingredient of this dish (urad dal) is rich in protein, essential minerals, vitamins, fiber and several antioxidant compounds protecting cardiovascular health, reducing inflammation, preventing diabetes and strengthening nervous system.
  • Baked Baigan Pakora: Traditionally made from sliced brinjal, roasted gram powder plus assorted spices which is served as a side dish with khichdi. Gram powder is rich in fiber, zinc, iron, potassium, magnesium, folate, manganese, copper, phosphorus and vitamin B-6. Whereas, brinjal is a good source of vitamin C, K, B6, thiamine and niacin which is also good for weight loss, reducing stress and managing diabetes. You can always go for the healthier version of baigan pakoda by opting to bake the ingredients instead of deep frying.
  • Payesh: A well know delicacy that comes in the hit list of maker sakranti is payesh- made from using rice, milk (low fat, we rather suggest), cardamom powder, nutmeg powder, jaggery, pistachio, almonds and kesar strands. Jaggery used in this dish is the best replace for refined sugar. Other than that, spices used its preparations have antioxidants, anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial effects, helps in digestion improves brain health and bad breath.

 

Over to you

Spread the warmth around by crushing the superlative market treats with hidden sugar content and adding up the listed traditional Makar Sankranti dishes. Moreover, making them at your home will help you cut down extra calorie count and fill your tummy with helpful nutrients.

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Nmami Agarwal

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