SANKRANTI: ONE COUNTRY, MANY CULINARY CULTURES

Sankranti, Pongal, Lohri, Uttarayan, Bihu… one country, many cultures. We see different regions coming together to mark the beginning of a new harvest season and the end of the winter season. People express gratitude to the Sun God and thank nature for its abundant resources. What makes the occasion even more special is the wide-ranging recipes for the occasion, making Sankranti truly a festival that unites us all.

STRAWBERRY PATISHAPTA BY SONALI CHATTERJEE OF PAANCH PHORON

Ingredients for the crêpes:

• 70 gm Maida

• 10 gm Sooji

• 20 gm Rice flour

• 150 ml Strawberry crushed and strained juice

• 100 ml Milk

• A pinch of salt

*For the Filling*

• 1 cup Freshly grated coconut

• 1 cup Full cream milk

• 1 cup Unsweetened khoya

• ¾ cup Sugar – 3/4 cup

• Some liquid date palm jaggery (jhola gur)

Method:

1. Mix the maida, rice flour and sooji. Add salt, fresh strawberry juice and milk to make a batter and leave it aside.

2. Meanwhile, make the filling by first heating the milk. Pour the grated coconut and the sugar. Stir, taking care it doesn’t stick to the bottom. Add the khoya at this point.

3. Now, take a non-stick pan pour some oil and make crepes by pouring the batter with a ladle and moving it in circle. Ones its cooked, take it off the burner and place it on a plate, place a spoon full of the filling on one side of the crêpe and roll it.

4. Drizzle some jhola gur just before serving.

GEHU KHICHDA BY ABHILASHA JAIN OF MARWADI KAHANA

Ingredients:

• 2 cups whole wheat

• 1 litre full cream milk

• 2 tbsp ghee

• 1/2-3/4 cup sugar or Jaggery

• 1/2 tsp cardamom powder

• Some salt

• 7-8 strands kesar

• Cashews, pistachios and almons

Method:

• Soak the wheat overnight, dry and then remove its husk by crushing it in hammam dasta.

• Once the husk is removed clean it and let it dry for few minutes

• Now take pressure cooker, add little water, salt and the broken wheat, take 3-4 whistle; the wheat will become soft

• Now let the milk boil and once 3/4 is left add the cooked wheat in it and cook for 15-20 minutes

• Add kesar and dry fruit; serve with garam garam ghee on it!

UNDHIYU BY SHAILEE SHAH

Undhiyu is a traditional Gujrati dish made for Sankranti. It is a tedious procedure, but the result is smashing.

STEP 1:

Ingredients needed for making Methi Muthiyas:

• 2 cups chopped fenugreek leaves

• 1 cup chopped coriander leaves

• ½ cup wheat flour

• ½ cup besan

• 2 tsp ginger-garlic paste

• 3 tbsp sugar

• 1 tsp chilli powder

• A pinch of soda

• 3 tbsp oil

• Salt to taste

• Oil for deep frying

• Water

Method:

1. In a bowl mix all the ingredients to make a dough

3. Make oval shaped balls and deep fry the muthiyas.

STEP 2:

• Peel and cut into pieces: 1 cup each of potatoes, raw bananas and purple yam (Kand); and ¾ cup of yam (Suran)

• 1 ½ cup surati papdi (Indian flat bean), stringed and cut into halves

• ½ cup fresh tuvar dana

• ½ cup hara chana

• 1 tsp carom seeds

Method:

1. Boil potatoes, banana, purple yam and suran

2. Now deep fry or shallow fry it. Sprinkle salt and keep aside.

3. Pressure cook Tuvar dana, hara chana and Surati papadi with salt and carom seeds. Keep aside.

STEP 3:

• 11-12 small Brinjal

• 1 tbsp fresh shredded coconut

• 1 tsp red chilli powder

• 1 tbsp coriander powder

• 1 tbsp besan

• 1 tsp turmeric powder

• 1 tbsp sugar

• 1 tsp lemon juice

• Salt to taste

Method:

1. Mix all the ingredients, except Brinjal, in a bowl.

2. Cut the Brinjal and cut it in a criss-cross pattern (4 slits) keeping the stem.

3. Stuff the brinjal with stuffing masala, drizzle some oil and microwave it for 7-8 min on 800W.

Other Ingredients:

• 3 tbsp oil

• 2 tsp asafoetida

• 1 tsp carom seeds

• 4-5 tomatoes puree

• 3 tbsp Undhiya masala powder

• 1 tbsp sugar

• Salt

Final Assembling:

1. Heat oil in pan and add carom seeds and asafoetida.

2. Add Tovar dana, hara chana, along with surti papadi, stuffed Brinjal, yam, potatoes, banana, and purple yam.

4. Add the remaining stuffing masala, tomato puree and mix well. Let it cook for 5 min.

5. Now add Undhiya masala, salt, sugar and fried muthiya.

6. Let it all cook for 5-6 minutes.

7. Garnish with lots of coriander leaves and coconut.

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