Lohri is celebrated in a lot of North Indian states on January 13, every year. The harvest festival is one of the most important for the state of Punjab. Lohri marks the passing of the long winter and celebrates the beginning of spring, and is one of the very few Hindu festivals that falls on the same date of the Gregorian calendar every year. Food is a very big part of the Lohri celebrations. Some sweets and foods like ground nuts, popcorn, sesame seed sweets and puffed rice or murmura is offered to the fire, as well.
After the festivities are done, people sit down to a scrumptious feast, which consists of sarso da saag, makai ki roti and a variety of sweets, typically made from jaggery, wheat flour, ghee, sesame seeds and dired fruits and nuts. Here, we have two of our favorite Lohri sweet recipes- semolina and jaggery halwa and besan pinni laddoos- shared with us by expert chefs, Chef Rana Dominic Gomes of Royal Orchid Hotel, Bengaluru and Chef Prakash of 29, The Restaurant, Mumbai. ALSO READ: Lohri Special Recipe: Here’s how to make traditional sarso ka saag, the Punjabi style!
Suji and Gur halwa by Chef Rana Gomes of Royal Orchid, Bengaluru
Ghee: 4 table spoon
Semolina: 250 gm
Jaggery: 100 gm
Pistachio: 50 gm
Almond: 50 gm
Sugar cane molasses: 4 table spoon
Rasins: 25 gm
Cardamom powder: 1 pinch
Saffron stands: 1 pinch
1. Dry Roasted and Soak semolina in water for 20 minutes.
2. In another vessel soak the jaggery in 1 cup warm water
3. Heat ghee in a heavy bottomed vessel, add the semolina and roast till it turns brown.
4. Add the jaggery water and cardamom powder, saffron, green pistachio, almonds, and sugarcane molasses and continue stirring till the halwa reached desired consistency.
6. To serve transfer the halwa to a serving dish and garnish with chopped pistachio, almond. ALSO READ: Happy Lohri 2017: Here’s why food is fed to the fire on this Punjabi harvest festival
Besan Pinni Recipe by Chef Prakash of 29 The Restaurant, Mumbai
Gram flour: 1 cup
Powered SUgar/sakkarai: 1/2 cup
Ghee: 5 tbs
Mixed nuts(chopped): 2-3 tbs
Cardamom powder: 1/8 tsp
Saffron (optional): Few strands
1. Heat the pan with ghee, add the gram flour and roast it in medium slow flame till a nice aroma comes out. Stir it for 10-20 minutes continuously.
2. Add the powdered sugar, chopped nuts and cardamom powder.
3. Mix it well and make balls of the mixture and decorate it with some nuts. ALSO READ: Happy Lohri 2017: The complete traditional Punjabi feast prepared during the harvest festival!
4. Fry the batter in a low flame to get properly roasted if the rawness is still there.
5. If the mixture is too crumbly then add another tablespoon of melted ghee to make the balls.
6. The amount of sugar given is perfect but if you wish you can increase the sweetness by adding sugar but not more than a cup.