New Delhi: Lohri, the harvest festival celebrated in January, marks the end of winter and the time to harvest rabi crops. A bonfire is lit, families whirl around it singing Punjabi folk songs and popping sesame seeds, popcorn, jaggery and rewaris.
Like any other Indian festival, Lohri is incomplete without some appetising, traditional foods which we list here:
1. Makki Ki Roti: It is a tradition to prepare `Makki Ki Roti` or maize bread to mark the festival. The bread is prepared with fresh ground corn, enlivened up with grated radish, radish leaves, coriander leaves, chopped green chilies and not to forget, lots of white butter.
2. Pakode: Quick and crispy `fritters` are served as starters to the main course. Onion, potato, cauliflower, chilly florets are spiced and dipped into gram flour batter, and fried till they turn crispy golden brown. They are mostly served with green coriander chutney or else can be served with red tomato ketchup too.
3. Sarso Ka Saag: Sarso Da Saag and Makki Di Roti is an unmatched combination that is a must in every Lohri thaali. The mustard greens and spinach are prepared with onion tomato gravy and garlic paste. Laced with `desi ghee`, the aromatic dish is a not-to-miss food.
4. Dahi Bhalle: The soft yet crisp dumplings made with Urad daal, dunked into sour yogurt are served with roasted cumin powder, red chilly powder, and a special ingredient, pomegranate seeds.
5. Gajar ka halwa: One of the dishes for which foodies wait for the winter season or Lohri is `Gajar Ka Halwa`. The dessert which is prepared from red carrots and milk is one of the mouth-watering dishes anybody could crave for. For adding a more relishing touch to your dish, add grated `Khoya` (dried evaporated milk solids), chopped cashews, and almonds to it.
6. Murmure ke laddoo: The lightest sweet snack is prepared by rolling rice puffs with jaggery into balls. Jaggery should not be melted at a high temperature otherwise it can burst the rice puffs.
7. Aate ke laddoo: Famous as `Pinni` in Punjabi, the roasted sweet is made with wheat flour and chopped almonds laced with pure ghee and edible gum (commonly prepared with melted jaggery). These laddoos are a never-miss item on your platter.8. Til ki chikki: The square-shaped flat sweet made with sesame seed and jaggery will please your taste buds. To add a little chef-touch to the sweet, brittle it with a hint of cardamon.