Celebrated every year on January 13th, Lohri is the harvest festival of Punjab. During this time, winter comes to an end and farmers harvest their crops. Lohri marks the beginning of a new financial year for Punjabi farmers, and it is celebrated by lighting a huge fire. This fire signifies the warmth that the Sun God brings. Devotees take rounds around the fire and pray for a successful and happy new year on this festival. They throw sesame seeds or jaggery candies into the fire to keep it alive. Many even sing songs and dance around the fire while in traditional Punjabi clothes. This signifies the respect and importance of fire in the devotees’ lives.
Lohri is a festival of joy, the end of the winter solstice, hence marking fertility and life. Lohri also sees an exciting variety of traditional Punjabi dishes made. Most of them are warm in nature and help keep warm as the cold recedes. These include Sarson ka Saag, Pindi Chane, Halwa, Chikki, Chole Bhature, Gur Ki Roti, and Makke Ki Roti among others.
This Lohri 2023, if you are planning on preparing a traditional Punjabi meal at home for you and your family, here are 5 main Lohri dishes to keep in mind for your festive menu.
Atta ke ladoo or atta ladoo is a simple yet heart-warming sweet made with a few basic ingredients. These are healthier than other laddoos as they contain the goodness of whole wheat and ghee. Make these at home with ease using Aashirvaad atta, ghee and a sweetener. All you need to do is roast the atta in ghee till it turns golden brown. Then add a sweetener and turn the roasted mixture into balls!
Sarson da Saag
Sarson da Saag is a quintessential Punjabi dish made with spinach, mustard leaves, garlic, chillies, and spices. A thick curry that is best consumed with flatbread or a bowl of steaming hot rice. Traditional recipes of this curry see variations and additions such as using white radish, Radish leaves, garam masala and more.
Makke di Roti
One of the most popular flatbreads in Punjab, often paired with Sarson ka saag is Makke ki roti. This literally translates to roti made with corn. This flatbread is made using corn flour and is popularly consumed in the Jammu, Himachal Pradesh and Punjab regions. Baked on the Tava, it is thick, yellow and delicious in taste. Make yours with corn flour, ghee, warm water, and a pinch of Aashirvaad salt and you’re ready!
Gajak or Chikki
A sweet made with jaggery, sugar and nuts, Chikki or Gajak is widely made during the festival. It has a long shelf life and brings warmth to the body when consumed, making it a favourite of adults and kids alike. This sweet is known to lower bad cholesterol levels and reduce risks of coronary diseases thereby boosting heart health.
Till Ka Ladoo
Till or Sesame seeds, ghee, peanuts, desiccated coconut, and sugar are used to make sticky and sweet ladoos. These are very popular during the Lohri season and generate heat in the body like Gajak. They are also easy to store and can last several weeks, making them a nutritious and delicious option. You can also choose Gur or jaggery in place of sugar to make things healthier for you and your family.
We hope these 5 Lohri recipes inspire you to prepare an impeccable traditional meal for your home. Happy Lohri.