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 Last Updated : May 23,2018




Makar Sankranti and Pongal Recipes

In India, festivals arrive one after the other to keep us zesty and active! Come January, it is time for Makar Sankaranti in the North and Pongal in South India. These are spring festivals, enjoyed with lots of outdoor activities that keep us close to Nature and remind us of how closely we are bonded with our environment.

Makar Sankaranti is a very popular festival in Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Maharashtra. It is a community event that is very popular in cities like Jaipur and Varanasi, just like Calcutta is known for its Durga Puja. During Makar Sankaranti, kids and adults flock to the terrace and other open spaces with colourful kites. The sky is dotted with bright kites and the atmosphere is abuzz with the festive spirit.

Chikkis and Makar Sankaranti

It is considered important to make sweets with peanuts, sesame seeds, coconut and jaggery during this festival, and usually chikki is the most popular sweet made with these ingredients. Varieties of chikkis are made in huge dabbas and shared with friends and relatives when they meet for the festival. Although chikki might be a blanket term that covers all of them, each tikki is unique in its flavour and texture. While Peanut Chikki has a crisp texture, the Dry Fruit Chikki combines the crunch of nuts with the chewiness of dried fruits. The Mixed Til Chikki has a unique mouth-feel and a classic flavour that has timeless appeal. The Kurmura Chikki with its puffy crispness is an all-time favourite with kids. The Til Laddu made with til and gud is a traditional recipe with an addictive flavour and aroma.

South India and Makar Sankaranti 

In South India, Makar Sankaranti is celebrated in honour of the Sun, the life force that makes life possible on Earth. In Tamil Nadu, this festival is called Pongal, and farmers pay their obeisance to the Sun God, thank Him for a good harvest, and pray for the forthcoming agricultural cycle to be fruitful too. Freshly-harvested rice and vegetables are used to make traditional delicacies like Chakkra Pongal (Sweet Pongal), Ven Pongal (a savoury khichdi like dish) and Ezhukari Kootu (a spicy subzi with seven or more veggies and beans). The rice is usually cooked in new earthen pots. Huge, colourful rangolis are drawn on the courtyards, the earthen pot is placed in the centre of the rangoli on a wood-fired stove and the rice is cooked under the Sun. Although modern cooking methods are available, many households, especially in rural areas prefer to follow this traditional method till date. For lack of facilities, city-dwellers settle with cooking these delicacies on gas stoves and other appliances! We share with you time-tested authentic recipes for making these dishes, to make Makar Sankaranti all the more special.

Any festival is a time to celebrate with friends and family, and to keep traditions alive. Food being a part and parcel of our culture, it is also important to know how to cook and serve our traditional delicacies with love and care. We will always be by your side, helping you achieve the best outcome in the kitchen!



Peanut Chikki is one of the most popular amongst chikkis, the crushed peanut version being as popular as the whole one. Crushing the peanuts increases the aroma of the chikki, and enhances the flavour too as the peanuts and jaggery mix more uniformly. The texture is also quite different, somewhat so ....
Think chikki, and peanut is the first option that comes to mind! Indeed, the combination of peanuts and jaggery, prepared in a crisp and exciting form, is a time-tested and ever-popular snack, which has won the hearts of Indians and others. Here is a detailed step-by-step recipe that shows you how t ....
A traditional treat that has withstood the test of time, Kurmura Chikki, with its wonderful crunch and puffy texture is loved across generations! Light yet satiating, this tasty chikki is also easy to prepare, with minimal ingredients. Using jaggery instead of white sugar retains the tradition ....
A nutritious treat for to-be moms, as the winning combo of sesame seeds and jaggery gives a good boost of iron, which is required to maintain healthy haemoglobin levels. Pop a Til Chikki into your mouth whenever you feel nauseous, and you are sure to feel better instantly. When making this chikk ....
There is a traditional charm about this recipe that makes it appeal to everyone! Aromatic ingredients like dry roasted sesame seeds and crushed peanuts are sweetened with jaggery and laced with cardamom to make delicious laddoos. Unlike sugar, jaggery has a distinctive flavour, which complements the ....
Ven Pongal is South India’s equivalent of the North Indian khichdi. Cooked rice and moong dal are flavoured with ginger, crushed peppercorns and cumin seeds, and garnished with ghee-roasted cashew nuts and curry leaves. Ven Pongal has a unique flavour and consistency, which are rich yet soothing ....
Young and old alike drool over crunchy-munchy mixed nut chikkis! Indeed, who can resist the delectable combination of nuts with sugar in a crispy and handy form? The rich flavour and enticing texture of the Dry Fruit Chikki make you want to keep munching on them, and the temptation is even higher if ....
God’s favourite offering, and man’s favourite prasad! Yes, the Sweet Pongal has won this contest hands-down. For generations, South Indians have believed the Sweet Pongal or Sakkarai Pongal to be one of the best offerings to God, as it combines rice and dal with jaggery and spices, all being aus ....
A tasty and energy-dense bar, which you ought to carry around in a small box in your handbag, if you tend to feel tired often! Rich in nutrients like protein, iron and vitamin E, this Til and Dry Fruit Chikki will beat fatigue and satisfy your sweet tooth in one shot. Nutritious jaggery ....
The Coconut Chikki is quite unique in its flavour and texture. It is thinner than most other chikkis, has an exhilarating crispness, and the rich flavour of coconut and jaggery. Here is a detailed step-by-step recipe that shows you how to make Coconut Chikki at home. Keep all the required item ....
Avial is a dish that originated in kerala, but gained an equal fanfare in tamilnadu as well. Rare is the wedding or festive menu that does not include avial! the key to making excellent avial is to pay equal attention to the visual appeal – vegetables with contrasting colours such as carrot, beans, ....
Pongal Kootu is a tongue-tickling mixed vegetable curry made during Makar Sankaranthi or Pongal in South India. It is made with local vegetables that are in season at the cusp of winter and spring. This curry brings togethe ....
Crispy and sweet Rajgira Chikki, made with dainty little amaranth seeds and jaggery, is an awesome treat for the taste buds. It has a rich taste and pleasing texture, combining the sweetness of jaggery, the rustic taste and texture of amaranth and the nutty crunch of cashew nuts. A pinch of ....
Shiny white teeth and robust strong bones need a daily dose of calcium, and what better way to provide this essential nutrient than in the form of a crunchy Mixed Til Chikki! The ingredients of this chikki such as sesame seeds, almonds and jaggery, are all
Well, if you like dips and raitas, check out their South Indian equivalent – the refreshing raitas! Made by combining thick curds with veggies or other ingredients, the highlight of any pachadi is the traditional tempering, which adds an irresistible aroma t ....
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