Sarson ka saag is a popular dish to make for Lohri
As January 14, 2024, marks the vibrant festival of Lohri, food plays a big part.
The festival brings the warmth of bonfires, joyous gatherings and celebratory dances.
Lohri, a festival deeply rooted in the cultural fabric of North India, marks the end of winter and the onset of longer days.
To add flavour to the festivities, we bring you a culinary journey with some popular dishes to make.
From traditional sweets to savoury delights, these recipes are sure to ignite your taste buds and infuse your celebrations with the rich essence of this auspicious occasion.
Join us in exploring the culinary delights that perfectly complement the spirit of Lohri, making your festivities even more memorable.
Sarson Ka Saag
Sarson ka saag is a popular dish to make for Lohri. It is made with wilted greens and is usually served with flatbread.
The green chillies add heat to the dish but are not too overpowering as the ghee mellows down the intense flavour and adds richness to the dish.
For vegetarians, this saag is an Indian curry to opt for.
- 225g spinach, washed and finely chopped
- 225g mustard greens, washed and finely chopped
- 2 Green chillies
- 3 tbsp ghee
- 2 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
- 1 Large onion, grated
- 1 tsp coriander
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 1 tbsp lime juice
- 1 tbsp gram flour
- Salt to taste
- In a pot, add the spinach, mustard greens, green chillies and salt. Pour in one cup of water and boil until fully cooked. Once cooked, mash into a coarse paste.
- In another pan, heat the ghee then add the onion and fry until slightly golden.
- Add the rest of the ingredients and cook until the oil begins to separate.
- Add the greens and stir until all the ingredients have fully combined.
- Garnish with some butter and serve.
This recipe was inspired by The Spruce Eats.
Makki Ki Roti
Makki Ki Roti is a typical accompaniment to Sarson Ka Saag.
The recipe is similar to akki roti of the south, where the flour needs to be mixed with coriander leaves, carom seeds and grated radish to create a dough.
It is then flattened and cooked on a tawa.
- 200g maize flour
- 150ml hot water
- ½ tsp carom seeds
- Salt to taste
- 3¾ tbsp ghee
- Combine maize flour, carom seeds and salt in a mixing bowl and stir.
- In a separate pan, heat water until it boils. Add this hot water to the flour mixture. Stir with a spoon, cover and set aside until the dough mixture reaches a warm temperature.
- Once the mixture is warm and manageable, start kneading it into a smooth yet firm dough. If the dough appears dry, add some warm water. If it seems sticky, incorporate a few tablespoons of maize flour.
- Knead the dough until it becomes smooth and firm. Fine cracks may appear on the dough, but this is normal. Form medium-sized balls from the dough, shaping them into neat balls and then flattening them.
- Sprinkle maize flour over the dough ball and the rolling board. Gently press and pat the dough with your fingers, moving it clockwise as you press. Add flour as needed during the patting process. Continue until you achieve a neat makki roti, avoiding thinness but maintaining a slightly thick consistency.
- Spread a teaspoon of ghee on a hot tawa. Place the roti on the tava, and if there are cracks, gently pat that area with a few drops of water.
- When one side is slightly browned, flip with a spatula. Repeat flipping until both sides are well-browned and cooked. Press the edges with a spatula for thorough cooking.
- While cooking, drizzle a bit of ghee on the sides. If the dough is kneaded well, the roti may puff up in some spots.
- Remove the roti from the pan and serve hot.
This recipe was adapted from Veg Recipes of India.
Pindi Chole is a special variation of chana masala, fitting for Lohri.
The difference in this dish is that it does not use any onion, garlic or tomatoes.
This deeply flavorful dish relies on ginger, green chillies, plenty of whole spices, and black tea for its darker colour.
- 2 cups dry chickpeas, soaked for 8 hours
- 1 Cinnamon stick
- 4 green cardamom
- 1 black cardamom
- ½ tsp black peppercorns
- 2 black tea bags
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tbsp salt + more to taste
- 6 tbsp pindi chole masala
- 2-inch ginger, thinly sliced
- 4 green chillies, halved lengthwise
- 4 tbsp butter, melted
For the Masala
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 dried red chillies
- 10 cloves
- ½ tbsp black peppercorns
- 3 tbsp coriander seeds
- 2 tbsp cumin seeds
- 1 Star anise
- 1 Cinnamon stick
- 6 green cardamom
- 2 black cardamom
- 3 tbsp pomegranate seed powder
- 2 tbsp dried fenugreek leaves
- ¼ tsp fenugreek seeds
- ½ tbsp Kashmiri chilli powder
- 1 tbsp dried mango powder
- 2 tsp black salt
- Make the masala by toasting bay leaves, dried red chillies, cloves, black peppercorns, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, star anise and a cinnamon stick in a dry pan over medium heat for a few minutes.
- Add pomegranate seed powder, dried fenugreek leaves and fenugreek seeds to the mixture. Blend for a few minutes.
- Using a spice grinder or a small processor, grind the toasted spices along with Kashmiri chilli powder, dried mango powder and black salt.
- In a pressure cooker, combine soaked chickpeas, whole spices, tea bags, baking soda, salt and enough water to cover the chickpeas.
- Pressure cook on medium-high heat for 3-4 whistles until the chickpeas are soft and tender.
- Remove the larger whole spices and tea bags. Keep the dark water in the pressure cooker and transfer only the chickpeas to a cast-iron pan, allowing them to cool slightly.
- Add the masala, sliced ginger, and green chilis to the chickpeas. Let it rest for 30 minutes.
- Pour in most of the reserved water and simmer on low to medium flame for 20 minutes.
- Finally, add butter and the remaining water, and let it sit for another 30 minutes. Garnish with fresh ginger and coriander before serving.
This recipe was inspired by Upbeet Anisha.
Festivities like Lohri are never complete without sweet treats.
Puffed rice and melted jaggery combine to create bite-sized balls.
Not only are they filling but they are much-loved during this winter folk festival.
- 250g puffed rice
- 750g jaggery
- 3½ cups water
- In a pan, combine jaggery and water, dissolving the jaggery over low heat.
- Once dissolved, increase the heat and bring it to a boil, cooking over a high flame until a 2-thread consistency is achieved.
- Swiftly mix in the puffed rice.
- Remove from heat and let it cool for a bit.
- Form round balls, moistening your hands if the batter is overly sticky. Allow it to cool before serving.
This recipe was inspired by NDTV Food.
Chironji and Makhane Ki Kheer
This popular Lohri dish is rich and delicious, packed with flavours from saffron and nutmeg.
Condensed milk and roasted nuts add an extra depth of flavour.
It makes for the perfect end to a festive meal.
- 1 cup lotus seeds
- 1 tsp ghee
- 1 litre milk
- ¼ cup jaggery
- ½ tsp cardamom powder
- ½-inch cinnamon stick
- A few saffron strands
For the Roasted Nuts
- 1 tbsp whole almonds, sliced
- ¼ cup sultanas
- 1 tbsp chironji
- 1 tsp ghee
- In a heavy-bottomed pan, heat a teaspoon of ghee and while continuously stirring, roast the lotus seeds until they attain a light brown, crispy texture. Once done, remove it from the pan and set it aside to cool.
- In a grinder, coarsely grind half of the roasted lotus seeds and keep aside.
- Bring the milk to a boil in a heavy-bottomed pan and condense it until it reduces to nearly half. Stir occasionally to prevent the milk from settling at the bottom of the pan.
- After the milk is condensed, add the jaggery, the remaining lotus seeds and the coarsely ground lotus seeds.
- Mix well and cook over a medium flame for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until the kheer thickens, and the lotus seeds have absorbed and cooked through.
- Introduce saffron and nutmeg powder into the kheer. Mix thoroughly and continue cooking over a medium flame for an additional 3 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- While the kheer is simmering, heat a teaspoon of ghee in another small pan and roast all the dry fruits until they turn lightly brown, emanating a roasted aroma.
- Add half of the roasted dry fruits to the Makhane Ki Kheer, simmer for 3-4 minutes, and then turn off the heat. Serve warm.
This recipe was inspired by Archana’s Kitchen.
As the flames of the Lohri bonfire flicker and the echoes of joyous celebrations resonate, our culinary journey through popular recipes comes to a satisfying close.
These delectable recipes, steeped in tradition and flavour, offer a glimpse into the culinary heritage that accompanies this festive occasion.
Each dish contributes to the festive tapestry of Lohri, creating memories that linger long after the festivities end.