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2 Makar Sankranti recipes from the Maharashtrian kitchen

Sweet and savoury dishes that signify fresh produce and the warmth of family get togethers during Makar Sankranti

Til gud laddoos are a must-have during Makar Sankranti in Maharashtrian homes. (Istockphoto)

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Celebrations for Makar Sankranti begin on Saturday with fun family get togethers and harvest feasts. In Maharashtrian homes, a special dish named bhogi chi bhaji, loosely translates as vegetables for feast, will be prepared on that day. The seasons’s freshest produce, like brinjal, carrots and peas, go into this special dish flavoured with jaggery, tamarind and coconut. Then there’s the ubiquitous sesame laddoo, or til gud laddoo, without which celebrations are incomplete. Chef Roopa Nabar from TTK Prestige shares recipes for these festive favourites:

Bhogi chi bhaji (fava beans with mixed vegetables)
Serves 4

Ingredients
2 cups fresh fava beans
Half cup cubed carrots
Half cup green peas
2 small brinjals, cut into cubes
2 tablespoons oil
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
Half teaspoon turmeric powder
Half teaspoon asafoetida
2 medium onions, chopped
1 teaspoon garam masala powder
1 teaspoon red chilli powder
Salt to taste
1 tablespoon jaggery
1 tablespoon tamarind paste
2 tablespoons grated fresh coconut
2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander leaves

Method
1. Take a cooker. Put it on medium heat, add oil. Once the oil is hot, add mustard seeds and let them splutter, add turmeric powder, asafoetida.
2. Add chopped onions and sauté for 1-2 minutes on medium flame.
3. Mix in fava beans, carrots, green peas and brinjals.
4. Add garam masala powder, red chilli powder and salt, and mix well. Pour in one cup water, close the lid and on high flame cook till 3 whistles. Put off the flame and wait for the pressure to drop. Open the lid.
5. Put the open cooker back on medium flame. Add jaggery, tamarind paste and coconut. Mix well and cook for 2 minutes.
6. Garnish with chopped coriander and serve hot.

Til gud laddoo
Makes 12 ladoos (approx)

Ingredients:
1 and half cup til
Half cup groundnut
1 cup dry coconut sliced and cut into small pieces
1 cup chikki jaggery
1 tsp cardamom powder

Method
1. Take a kadai, put it on heat. Roast the til for 5 minutes on low flame till they crackle. Put aside in a dish.

2. In the same kadai, roast the groundnuts for 5 minutes on low flame till the peels are browned. Keep aside. Remove the peels and cut the groundnuts into small pieces.

3. In the same kadai, roast the dry coconut pieces on low flame for 3-4 minutes till they turn slightly brown. Keep aside.

4. In this kadai, add chikki gud, one cup water and bring to boil for 10 minutes on low flame till it comes into a fine stringy consistency.
5. Mix the roasted ingredients with the jaggery syrup.
6. Add the cardamom powder and mix well.
7. Roll out walnut size balls while the mixture is still hot.

Be very careful while rolling the laddoos because the sesame-jaggery mix is scalding hot.

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