Indore (Madhya Pradesh): In tough times, the warmth of a bonfire and comfort of togetherness even at distance will soon visit every Indian household. Gearing up for the upcoming festive season of Lohri, Makar Sankranti and Pongal, Indoreans are trying to find ways to make the best of the festivals.
Marking the shift of the sun into ever-lengthening days, the festivals also mark the harvest season. With the bounty of harvest, offering and sharing harvest has always been primary in these celebrations.
As we battle the spread of Covid-19, it is essential to find newer ways to celebrate the festivals. With such an initiative, we have gathered food experts from all over the city and brought you healthy, yet delicious, recipes to celebrate the festive season.
A healthier version of Noodles and Sesame
From a toddler to the elderly, everyone has a fondness for noodles, but all-purpose sticky noodles are not always the best choice. Preparing something delicious, lighter, healthier and festive-themed, Chéf Anju Shankarlal shared her exclusive recipe of ‘Garlic sesame rice noodles’ for our readers:
• In a frying pan, add sesame oil, saute green onions and garlic until tender
• Add tomato sauce and soya sauce to the garlic-onion mixture in the pot
• Add some water and bring it to boil. Add the rice noodles, mix well and leave it covered for five minutes
• Serve in bowls and top with roasted sesame seeds and chopped cilantro
Tilli Jar Dessert: Fun Combo
An essential part of this festival is consumption of sesame seeds, known as ‘tilli’. Making a fusion of traditional ‘rewri’ in a jar, baker Poonam Chugh shared her Tilli Jar Dessert for moms:
• Take a normal chocolate sponge cake and pure chocolate ganache (chocolate and cream)
• Now, layer it with ganache and rewri crushed
• Chill it in the freezer for half an hour
• Now, again coat with ganache and cover it completely with crushed rewri
• Note: Ganache chocolate and cream ratio 1:1
Traditional recipe wrapped as Snacks
Green veggies, such as spinach with corn, are an important part of celebratory food in North Indian communities, as those are usually harvested. From ‘Makke di Roti’ and ‘Sarson da Saag’, Indoreans have fun ways to have such essentials as snacks too. Chéf Jaya Chawla shared her Corn Spinach Dumplings recipe that has the requisite nutritious value:
• Boil and keep aside chickpeas and corn
• Add finely chopped spinach, onions, green chillies in the pan. Stir well, then add besan (gram flour), salt, chana masala powder, chaat masala powder, green chilli, ginger and onion.
• Add the mixture to chickpeas, blend and make round balls
• Fry or steam the balls. Serve with yogurt and other dips.
Sankranti-themed Jaggery Sesame Cookies
Cookies have been trending forever. But now, we seek special customised cookies. Makar Sankranti-themed cookies made from jaggery and sesame are a trending concept developed by food consultant Rakshita Mehta. The following is a recipe shared by her:
• Beat butter (120 g) and jaggery (80 g) well till light and fluffy
• Later, add in all dry ingredients (wheat 200g, custard powder 10g, roasted ‘tilli’, or sesame powder 10g, powder milk 10g and baking powder 1/4 tsp)
• Add milk little by little only if needed to bind the dough
• Make balls and top with some whole sesame seeds
• Bake at 170 degrees in microwave for 20 min
• Bake at 130 degrees in oven for 25 minutes
• Bake in gas oven on low flame for 45 minutes
It’s Chocolate time!
Cocoa makes everything better for some people and, if you are one of them, Sesame Chocolate or Till Chocolate is a must-try. Recipe shared by Chocolatier Asha Agrawal:
• Roast on a low flame and cool it
• Melt sugar in a vessel, add roasted ‘till’ to it and mix well
• Melt dark chocolate
• In a mould, pour till and sugar mixture. Pour melted dark chocolate over it
• Set in the freezer for 10 minutes and demould it
• ‘Till’ chocolates are now ready to eat
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