Hindu Astronomy says that on Makar Sankranti, the sun enters the zodiac of makara (Capricorn). Different from other festivals which come on different days every year, Makar Sankranti always have a same date- 14th of January. On this day the Sun passes from the Tropic of Cancer to the Tropic of Capricorn. It is also known as Uttarayan. From this day, the duration of the day increases and that of the night decreases. Summer finds their way to enter through beautiful springs.
In the northern states of India Lohri is a long-awaited bonfire festival which is celebrated in honour of harvesting the rabi (winter) crop. They celebrate this festival with much singing and dancing. In the morning children go from door to door singing and demanding Lohri goodies in the form of money and eatables like gajak, peanuts, jaggery, rewri etc. In India, no festival is complete without the array of delicious dishes and Makar Sankranti is no exception. Every state has its own special dishes, but what is common all over the country is Sesame or til – this aromatic seed is used to prepare a number of delicacies, mostly sweets.
Below are some recipes for you.
Til Gajak Recipe
It is prepared by making thin sheets of roasted sesame and jaggery or sugary syrup.
Take a medium size pan and put it on medium heat. Add sesame seed to roast in heated pan. Stir it continuously for better roasting from all sides. After roasting them, leave them to get cool. Take a separate pan and make a thick syrup by jaggery/sugar and water. This should be cooked well and then add roasted sesame seeds i it. Apply oil or ghee to a plate and spread this mixture into a thin sheet kind of layer of sesame before it get harder. Allow it cool and then cut to serve.
It is prepared by stuffing sesame seed mixture in dough and frying it.
Take a suitable utensil and add oil, salt to flour to knead the dough. Then cover it with moist soft cotton cloth so prevent it from drying. Take a pan and roast sesame seeds on medium flame.
Roast them till they become golden brown. Then cool them and on adding jaggery pound them well. Now add cardamom and nutmeg and mix. Take the dough and make balls. Make holes in the balls to fill sesame seed mixture. After filling the mixture well, take the sides up and seal the balls. Put little oil on the rolling board and press them to make round shape disks.
Now fry them till they become crispy and golden brown.
Til Aur Gur Ke Ladoo
To prepare such ladoos, roasted sesame seeds and jaggery are pounded together with flavors of cardamom and shaped into Laddoo.
Grind roasted sesame seeds and jaggery to a coarse mixture using a mixer and transfer it onto a plate. Then add dried coconut and green cardamom powder and mix well. Now divide this mixture into equal portions and shape into medium sized ladoos. Always store them in airtight jars.
All these three recipes are mainly meant for Makar Sankranti. SO you can add happiness to your family by preparing these on the special occasion. These are simple to prepare and will save your time as well as efforts.