Makar Sankranti Feast


Makar Sankranti is a harvest festival that is cherished across India in various regional flavours. Known as Uttarayan in Gujarat, Lohri and Maghi in Punjab, Magh Bihu in Assam, and Pongal in South India, each state adds its unique touch to the festivities.

Food, as in any Indian festival, plays a central role and Makar Sankranti is no exception. The festival is celebrated with a range of mouth-watering dishes made from seasonal and local produce.

As we usher in the festival of harvest, here are three delightful traditional recipes recommended by Chef Kunal Kapoor to elevate your celebration on this auspicious day. From savoury options to sweet treats, make the festival a burst of flavours with these appetizing delicacies.



•             1½ cups Sesame seeds

•             1 tbsp Desi Ghee or 1/3rdtbspSaffola Gold Oil

•             1 ¼ cup of grated Gur (Jaggery)

•             1tsp Cardamom powder 

Steps to Follow:

•             Begin by toasting the sesame seeds on medium heat.

•             Keep stirring while toasting to maintain an even heat distribution.

•             Once toasted, transfer to another container to cool.

•             Heat a pan and add the ghee or Saffola Goldoil in it.

•             Next, add in the jaggery and begin melting it on low heat.

•             Once the jaggery starts foaming, cook for about a minute. We need to cook the jaggery to a softball stage. To check this, keep a bowl of cold water along.

•             Drop a bit of the cooking jaggery into the water.

•             On cooling, the jaggery should have formed a soft ball that is not too sticky and holds a bit of its shape. To check the structure and density, drop the ball of jaggery on the working surface. It should make a tiny thud sound.

•             At the softball stage, mix the toasted sesame into the pan.

•             Turn off the flame and mix the sesame quickly into the jaggery.

•             Once mixed well, add the cardamom powder.

•             Finally, allow the mixture to cool to the point that it is easy to hold in your hand. Do not over-cool the mixture, otherwise it will harden and set.

•             Wet your hand and then using a spoon put a small portion of the mixture in your hand. Be careful as it still maybe hot.

•             Gently shape the mixture into a ball using wet hands.



•             Gur (grated) – 2 cups

•             Desi ghee or Saffola Gold oil – for greasing

•             Peanuts (unsalted) – 2 cups

Steps to Follow:

•             Heat a pan and add peanuts to roast them lightly.

•             Remove and gently crush them to split them. Keep them aside.

•             In a fresh pan add jaggery and then place it on low heat. Allow thejaggery to melt and start boiling.

•             Once it changes colour take a spoonful of molten jaggery and drop it in cold water.

•             Remove the piece of jaggery from the water and check if it crackles between the teeth with a cracking sound. Also, ensure it isnot chewy.

•             At this stage, add the peanuts and mix them thoroughly.

•             On a chopping board or a marble top, grease lightly with desi ghee or Saffola Gold oil.

•             Remove the hot peanuts onto this greased surface and using a metal plate or a greased plastic film on top, firm press it to spread it.

•             Roll out the mixture thin using a rolling pin.

•             Shape them into round ones.

•             Allow it to completely cool and once hardened serve.



To boil Chole (Chickpeas)

•             2cups of Kabuli chana or Chickpeas (small size)

•             6cups of Water

•             3-4 slices of driedAmla

•             1½ tbsp Tea Leaves

•             Salt– To taste

•             1½ tsp Baking Soda

For Chole Masala

•             3-4nos Dry red chillies

•             1-2nosBayleaf

•             6tbsp Coriander seeds

•             3tbsp Cumin

•             10-12nos Peppercorn

•             7-8nos Cloves

•             7-8nos Cardamom

•             A small piece of Mace

•             3nos Cinnamon (1inch)

•             ¼ no Nutmeg

•             3nos Black cardamom

•             2tsp Ajwain

•             2tbspKasoorimethi (dried)

•             4tbspAnardana Powder

•             2½ tbspAmchur powder

For Wet Masala

•             ½ cup Saffola Gold Oil

•             ½ tsp Heeng (asafoetida)

•             2tsp Garlic chopped

•             1tbsp Ginger chopped

•             2nos green chilli Slit

•             ½ cup Onion chopped

•             ½ tsp Turmeric

•             ¾ tsp Kashmiri chilli powder

•             3tbspChole Masala

•             A dash of Water

•             ¾ cup Tomatoes (freshly pureed)

•             Black salt–to taste

•             Salt–to taste

•             2tbsp Tamarind Water

For Tempering

•             1tbsp Desi Ghee

•             1tsp Kashmiri chilli powder

For Garnish

•             Boiled Potato diced

•             Paneer Cubes

•             Pickled Chilli

•             Onion Rings

Steps to Follow:

For Chole Masala


o             Dry roast all the spices, grind them into a powder and mix them together.

For Boiling Chole

•             Soak the chole overnight. Drain the water, add fresh water (6 cups) and place them in the cooker.

•             Separately boil the tea leaves in 2cups of water for 2mins, strain and add the tea water in the pressure cooker along with salt, baking soda and a few dried amla slices.

•             Allow the cooker to whistle 6-7 timeson medium flame. Once done, remove from heat and keep aside.

For Wet Masala

•             Heat Saffola Gold oil in an iron kadai, add heeng and then add onion and brown them.

•             Add ginger, garlic and chillies.

•             Add turmeric, chilli powder and coriander powder.

•             Now add the chole masala and cook it.

•             Stir the masala occasionally till it releases oil, and then add the boiled chole

•             Continue cooking the chole in the masala, without adding any water. Once tempered, they will release oil

•             Gently mash some of the cholewith a spatula. It will help make the curry thicker.

•             Add amchur and a dash of tamarind water, salt, black salt and water to the chole mixture.

•             Allow it to boil and thicken up the chickpea stew.

•             Check and adjust the seasoning, add diced potato, paneer and chopped coriander to the curry.

For Final Tempering

•             Separately heat ghee and add chilli powder. Add it to the chole and serve hot.

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