This Lohri, cook up a fantastic Punjabi meal at home to celebrate the incoming of the harvest festival. Check out these Lohri special recipes.

On 13th January this year, Punjab will welcome their harvest season as they bid a farewell to winter and welcome spring. The onset of this phase is always awaited for the joy and warmth it brings. Lohri is celebrated with much fanfare across the state of Punjab where people light their ritualistic bonfire, fly kites, dance to folk songs and make merry. The best part of Lohri however, is the scrumptious food. The delightful spread on the festival day is cooked with much love by the women of the house and hogged by the ecstatic family. To celebrate this day of jubilation, we bring to you the recipes of a full course meal for Lohri. Cook them up this weekend and mark this festive day in your own style!

Palak Pakora

Pakore is great not only as a chai time snack but also for starting off a meal which will progressively get heavier on the tummy. These capture the spirit of Lohri and make for the perfect starters.

Ingredients required:

  • 20 spinach leaves,
  • 2 cups besan,
  • 1 onion chopped to pieces,
  • Green chillies, depending on how spicy you want it,
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder,
  • 1 tsp mango powder,
  • Salt to taste,
  • Oil for frying.

Method:

  1. Chop the spinach leaves after washing.
  2. Add water to besan and make a thick batter.
  3. Add the chopped green chillies, onion, red chilli powder, mango powder and salt to the batter.
  4. Put small lumps of the batter in the oil to deep fry it.
  5. Serve with pudina chutney.

Sarson da Saag and Makai ki Roti

This is the signature dish cooked in Punjab for parties and celebrations. If we had to show the taste of Punjab in one dish, this would be it!

Ingredients for the Saag:

  • Fresh ginger pieces of length 2 cm,
  • 2 finely chopped garlic cloves,
  • 2 tsp cornmeal,
  • 500 gm mustard greens,
  • 2 green chillies,
  • 2 tsp ghee or clarified butter,
  • Salt to taste.

Method:

  1. Wash and finely shred the mustard greens.
  2. Add the finely chopped mustard greens to a pot and add 2 cups of water to it with salt.
  3. Cover the pot and cook for 15 to 20 minutes until the greens are tender.
  4. After they become tender, take the pot off the heat.
  5. Separate the excess water into another container.
  6. Mash the greens with a pestle and stir in cornflour. Then heat the pot for10 to 12 minutes.
  7. 7. Heat ghee in a pan and to it, add garlic, ginger and chillies.
  8. 8. Fry these in the pan. Then pour out these contents into another pan.
  9. 9. Mix all these contents well. Saag can now be served

Ingredients for the roti:

  • 100 gms of wheat flour,
  • 250 gms of maize flour,
  • 20 gms of chopped coriander leaves,
  • Salt to taste,
  • Warm water,
  • Oil or ghee for smoothening the roti.

Method:

  1. Make the dough traditional way by mixing wheat flour, maize flour, coriander leaves, salt and water.
  2. Cover the dough for 30 minutes with a damp cloth.
  3. Make the roti on the girdle. Add butter, oil or ghee according to your preference for better taste.

Til ke laddoo

Lastly, we come to the dessert. This is also one of the iconic dishes of Punjab and will bring the feel of Lohri to your household

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup sesame seeds,
  • 1 cup sugar or jaggery,
  • 3 tsp clarified butter or ghee,
  • 6-8 pods cardamom with seeds removed and ground into powder,
  • 1/2 cup water.

Method:

  1. 1. Dry roast the sesame seeds in a flat pan over medium heat. Do this till they are a very pale golden colour and aromatic.
  2. 2. Put the jaggery and water in a pan and melt to form a thick syrup. To test if it is done, drop a little into a bowl of chilled water. If it forms a ball, the syrup is ready. If not, cook some more. Test again till ready.
  3. 3. Add the roasted sesame seeds to the syrup and mix well.
  4. 4. Add the ghee and cardamom powder and mix well. Take off from heat.
  5. 5. Grease your palms and when the mixture is still hot (but cool enough to handle), take enough in your hand to form a golf ball-sized lump. Roll between your palms till smooth. Lay on a greased plate to cool. Repeat till all the mixture is used up. The ladoos will soon harden to a candy-like texture.

These dishes will together constitute your traditional Lohri meal. They are really easy to make and don't require too much of time, efforts or resources. Happy Lohri!