Food variations across India during Makar Sankranti

Makar Sankranti is celebrated all across the country welcoming the new harvest season.  It’s a Hindu festival celebrated across all states with full fervor and its date is fixed every year.  India is a vast country with different cultural flavors yet the emotions remain the same.

It’s interesting that the food eaten in these celebrations varies because of the crops the states grow.  Also, since its very cold during this time, the food is prepared as per the season.  Let’s see which state eats what on this festive day.

Delhi/Haryana/Uttar Pradesh:  On this day, people here celebrate by eating halwa, churma of ghee and kheer.

Punjab:  Sankranti is celebrated a Maghi here.  Kheer cooked in milk, rice and sugarcane juice is consumed here on this day along with khichdi and jaggery.

Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh:  People in these states celebrate Makar Sankranti by having til-paati (made of sesame seeds), gajak, til-ladoo, puwa, ghevar, pakodi.

Gujarat:  Makar Sankranti is known as Uttarayan here and celebrated in a big way here by flying kites and having delicious food on the terrace.  Undhiyo (a spicy delicacy made of mixed vegetables), chikkis made of til, peanuts, and jaggery are the favorite dishes of Uttaryan here.


Maharashtra and Goa:  Here people exchange halwa and til-gul ladoos (made of jaggery and sesame seeds), Puran Poli to celebrate this auspicious festival.

Assam:  Makar Sankranti is known as Bhogali Bihu in Assam.  People make cakes of rice with various names such as Shunga Pitha, Til Pitha, etc.  Laru, a sweet made of coconut, is also relished.


Tamil Nadu:  Here the festival is known as Pongal.  Ven Pongal made of rice with moong dal, ghee, cashew nuts, raisins and mild spices is a delicacy made on this day.  Sakkarai Pongal is a sweeter version of it made with jaggery.

Guest writer: Ritwika Mutsuddi


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