Urad Dal Khichdi, Payasam, Til Ladoos, Kunal Vijayakar on Sankranti Special

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It was utter discomposure. Come January, because the competition of Makar Sankranti approached, our kitchen at my grandmother’s home would flip hysterical. There was just one factor on everybody’s thoughts. “Til gul ghya, ni goad goad bola (तीळ गूळ घ्या नी गोड-गोड बोला), which from Marathi loosely interprets as, “eat til and gud, and communicate and be nicely”, however manifests within the hysteria of creating of ladoos and chikki of Til and Gud.

The kitchen can be full of the aromas of golden brown jaggery slowly cooking in iron pots, nutty sesame seeds roasting alongside. Stirring and ready until that excellent second, when the jaggery has melted and caramelised, excellent, when the toasted sesame can be combined into that melting sweetness of scorching moulten jaggery. Rapidly stirring, mixing until constant after which rolling out scorching small ladoos, earlier than the combination dries and hardens. Your palms getting singed and cauterised within the course of, solely protected by just a little oil that aided in getting these ladoos completely spherical, shiny and as exhausting as mini golf balls.

One other batch of melted jaggery and sesame poured out into massive metal plates, and hurriedly rolled out by a rolling pin, unexpectedly spreading the candy, candy lava to make skinny layers of sesame chikki. The method would then be repeated changing sesame seeds with both roasted peanuts, channa, cashews, or amaranth.

By the point January 15 (Sankranti) arrived, there can be massive tins filled with til ladoos, til and peanut chikki, rajgira chikki, and kurmura / mamra or puffed rice chikki ready to be eaten and shared. Though quite a lot of ladoos and chikkis have been made, til ladoos have been essentially the most auspicious.

Within the Indian mythology, til, or sesame seeds are mentioned to be blessed by Yama (God of demise) and are consumed as a logo of immortality. In reality, sesame is filled with the richness of minerals and nutritional vitamins, and regarded as a superfood and has been part of Indian custom since actually the start of time.

The harvest competition of Sankranti in Maharashtra, which coincides with Pongal within the south and comes straight after winter, is widely known everywhere in the nation, though with completely different names. Like Magh Bihu in Assam, Maghi Saaji in Himachal Pradesh, Lohri in North India, Maghi Sangrand or Uttarayana in Jammu, Uttarayana in Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh, Ghughuti in Uttarakhand, Dahi Chura in Bihar, and Songkran even in Thailand.

In our Maharashtrian family, til laddoos can be not solely relished however even distributed to neighbours, guests, pals and whoever got here to the door that day.

Even the menu for Sankranti can be particular. Usually the meal can be vegetarian, and Bhogichi Bhaji can be cooked. Bhogichi Bhaji is a combined vegetable curry utilizing seasonal veggies like broad beans (ghevada, flat beans, hyacinth beans), lima beans (pavta, surti papdi), snow peas (val papdi), drumstick, brinjals, contemporary inexperienced chana and potatoes. The recipe has a slight bitter and candy style with advanced flavours that come from peanuts, sesame, jaggery, asafoetida, and coriander. It’s a bit like an Undhiyu, and goes nice with scorching chapatis or pooris, or Gulachi poli — candy roti filled with shredded jaggery and floor til cooked in pure ghee.

However there’s something about Sankranti and Khichdi. I’m certain there may be some legend or story, however आपको पेड़ गिनने से मतलब है, या आम खाने से. Urad Dal Khichdi with Kadhi is a staple on the Sankranti Day. Even if you go to south the place this harvest season is widely known as Pongal, you’ll discover the similarity within the substances and staples.

Ven Pongal – a savory dish manufactured from rice and moong dal – is made by cooking rice and moong dal, after which tempered with ghee, cumin seeds, and pepper and is served with sambar and chutney. Then there may be Kambu Koozh, which is sort of a skinny porridge manufactured from Bajra, boiled with salt and turmeric, embellished with bitter curd inexperienced chili, ginger and cumin. It’s a filling, nutritious drink. In candy, there may be Sarkkarai Pongal – manufactured from rice, moong dal, jaggery, and milk. In fact, essentially the most well-known Pongal meals is Pongal Payasam, a candy pudding manufactured from rice, jaggery, and milk. Flavoured with cardamom and garnished with cashews, raisins, and dry fruits it’s the meals of the Gods.

Once I consider our Indian festivals and the meals related to every one among them, I realise what a binding pressure meals could be. And with meals on the centre of our lives, it simply reinforces my sentiment that we’re all completely different, however we’re all really one.

Kunal Vijayakar is a meals author based mostly in Mumbai. He tweets @kunalvijayakar and could be adopted on Instagram @kunalvijayakar. His YouTube channel is named Khaane Mein Kya Hai. The views expressed on this article are these of the writer and don’t signify the stand of this publication.

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