Makar Sakranti 2020: Enjoy your festivities with these five scrumptious recipes

Updated: Jan 14, 2020, 15:33 IST | mid-day online correspondent |

The day marks the first day of the sun's transit into the Makara, marking the end of the month with the winter solstice and the start of longer days.

Makara Sankranti or Maghi, is a festival day in the Hindu calendar, in reference to deity Surya. The day marks the first day of the sun's transit into the Makara, marking the end of the month with the winter solstice and the start of longer days. In India, food is a large part of our festivals. Here are a few traditional recipes by Chef Pallavi Nigam Sahay who is a published author, columnist, now a TV host and food consultant.

Dahi choora gurr (Flaky rice with curd and jaggery)

Makar Sakranti recipes

You can look at Dahi Choora Gurr as cornflakes of Bihar. It is almost everyone’s favourite breakfast
cereal mix. It’s an easy to digest healthy and wholesome dish full of carbohydrates, protein and other essential nutrients. To me, it’s a beautiful way to kick start you’re day with the warmth and natural sweetness of Gurr. It also has a festive significance as it is considered very auspicious to eat Dahi Choora Gurr on the occasion of Makar Sankranti.

Serves: 2
Prep Time: 4-5 minutes

Ingredients

  •  Choora (Flaky rice or Poha) 1 cup
  • Curd 1½ cup
  • Grated gurr 1 tbsp.

Method:

  • Wash, rinse and drain the choora.
  • Add to the bowl, then add curd and Gurr, mix well. It’s ready to eat.

Bachka

Makar Sakranti recipes

A black chickpea fritter. Bihari’s love their Daals & Chanas and cannot resist innovating with them. Another such innovative preparation is “Bachka”. It’s basically a chana pakoda served with green chutney. Bachka is probably one of the topmost ethnic dishes of the region and is an absolute crowd favourite.

Serves: 3-4
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

For the batter:

  • Besan or gram flour 1 cup
  • Water 2/3 cup or as required
  • Mustard Oil 2 tsp
  • Ginger-garlic paste 1 tsp
  • Green chilli, finely chopped, 1
  • Fresh Coriander, finely chopped, 2 tbsp.
  • Cumin seeds 1tsp.
  • Garam masala powder 1 tsp
  • Turmeric powder 1 tsp
  • Red chilli powder 1 tsp
  • Salt

For Bachka:

  • Black chickpea or Kala Chana 1 cup
  • 1 Small onion, chopped

Method:

  • Soak the Kala Chana for minimum 4-5 hours, then pressure cook it with a pinch of salt, for one or two whistles.
  • Drain it completely, with the help of colander. Let it cool off for 15- 20 minutes
  • To prepare the besan batter: In a big bowl, add besan and salt, now add little water at a time, while whisking, to make a batter of medium or coating consistency.
  • To temper the batter: heat mustard oil in a pan, add cumin seeds, ginger-garlic paste, green chilli, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, garam masala, sauté everything for 1 minute and add to the besan batter. Mix well. Check the seasoning. The bachka batter is ready.
  • Add the cooled Kala Chana to besan batter, along with chopped onions, mix well.
  • Heat oil in deep frying pan, now with the help of two spoons add the batter in small, small quantities to the oil. Fry till golden brown.
  • Drain on a tissue paper, and sprinkle some chaat masala.

Tips: Serve hot with an assortment of chutneys

Rasiya (Gurr Ki Kheer)

Makar Sakranti recipes

Ingredients:

  • ¾ Cup rice
  • 1 Cup Jaggery
  • 2-3 cups of Milk
  • 2 tsp of cardamom powder
  • 2-3 tbsp of chopped dry fruits like – Blanched- peeled almonds, pistachios
  • ½ cup of dry grated coconut roasted till golden brown

Prep Method:
For Rice

  • Take ½ cup of rice, soak, wash, drain on tissue and then dry roast the rice lightly till the rice is completely dry. Cool and keep aside. Then half grind till it is of rawa consistency.
  • For the Chopped dry fruits Blanched, peeled and chopped almonds, Pistachios, roast in ghee till golden brown

For Dry Coconut

  • 1 cup dry grated coconut roasted with ghee till it is golden brown

For Jaggery:

  • Heat 1 cup of water and melt jaggery and strain for impurities and keep aside

Cooking Method:

  • Add 1 cup water mix the prepped rice and cook till all the water is absorbed and rice is soft.
  • Add the jaggery syrup, milk and cook, stirring continuously till the mixture thickens.
  • Add the dry fruits roasted in ghee and the cardamom powder. Mix well and cook for few more minutes.
  • Add the prepped coconut and mix well.
  • Garnish with some prepped coconut and dry fruits and serve.

Choora Matar or Flaky Rice with Peas

Makar Sakranti recipes

Evenings in Bihar and Jharkhand are synonymous with a serving of Choora Matar. Liked by
people of all ages, this is a quick and tasty snack with your evening tea or coffee. It may differ a
little from one household to another some people may add few more spices to it and others may
keep it simple, but in essence, the dish is prepared in the same manner across the region.

Serves: 2-3
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • Poha / Choora (White beaten rice) 1 cup.
  • Matar (Green peas) ½ cup
  • Small onion chopped 1
  • Green chilli chopped 2
  • Red chilli powder ¼ tsp.
  • Jeera (Cumin seeds) ½ tsp.
  • Lemon juice 1 tbsp.
  • Oil to fry choora 4-5 tbsp.
  • Oil 2 tbsp.

Method

  • Heat a shallow pan, add 2 tbsp of oil. Add jeera, chopped green chili and onions, sauté the onions till pink.
  • Now add red chilli powder to the pan, sauté for 1 minute and add the green peas, cook for 3-4 minutes.
  • Switch off the stove and add lemon juice. Mix well. Check the seasoning.
  • Heat oil to deep fry the choora; then take it out on a kitchen towel to drain off the excess oil.
  • Now add the fried choora to the prepared green pea mixture. Mix well. Your delicious Choora Matar is ready.

Enjoy Choora Matar with a hot cup of cardamom tea.

Tehri (Rice cooked with an assortment of vegetables and whole spices)

Makar Sakranti recipes

Tehri is a traditional wholesome healthy meal and is best served with homemade raita. One thing
which should be taken care of while preparing Tehri is the cooking of vegetables. They should be
cooked just about right if little overdone then you won’t enjoy the taste of different vegetables,
rather you would end up with a vegetable mash which would not go along very well with rice.

Serves: 4-5
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • Ghee 2 tbsp.
  • Basmati rice 2 cups
  • Water 4 cups
  • Ginger-garlic paste 1tbsp.
  • Black peppercorns 4-5
  • Cinnamon stick 1
  • Brown big cardamom 2
  • Cloves 2-3
  • Star anise 1
  • Cumin seeds 1tsp.
  • Green chilli, slit 2-3
  • Turmeric powder 1tsp.
  • Red chilli powder 1tsp.
  • Garam Masala Powder 1tsp.
  • Small onion, chopped 2
  • Green peas 200g
  • Carrot, chopped 100g
  • Potato, Big, chopped 1
  • Cauliflower 100g
  • Salt to taste

Method:

  • Rinse the rice at least 2-3 times and soak for minimum 20 minutes. 
  • Heat ghee in a thick bottomed deep pan or pressure cooker and add cumin seeds, black peppercorns, cinnamon stick, big cardamom, star anise and cloves, let them crackle.
  • Add ginger-garlic paste, sauté till raw smell goes away or for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add chopped onions, season it with a pinch of salt, mix well. Sauté till the onions are golden brown, add green chilli and sauté for 1-2 minutes.
  • Add red chilli powder, turmeric powder and garam masala powder, mix well.
  • Add the other veggies, Sauté the veggies for 4-5 minutes then 2 tbsp of water, put the lid on and again cook for 4-5 minutes, keep stirring in between.
  • Add the rice, toast it for two minutes and adjust the seasoning. Add four cups of water, cover it and let it cook on low flame for 15-20 minutes.
  • Serve hot with Raita, Papad, chutney and achaar.

Tip: I suggest making it in a wok or a pan that way the grains won’t stick to each other.

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