Makar Sankranti marks the end of an inauspicious month in the Hindu calendar, and the transition of the Sun to the zodiacal sign of Makar (Capricorn) to herald a change in season.
It is said that from 2019 , it will be celebrated on the 15th or 16th of January marking a shift in date after 100 years.
Many in India today will be busy flying kites ( Delhi even hosts an International kite flying festival starting on this day !)and some like me will be feasting on home made Sesame Jaggery Ladoos .
When we were young we ate a lot of sesame , peanut and jaggery sweets during this time of the year ..entire thali full such sweets of different shapes were bought home ,some offered to the bonfire as lit in many homes on the day before ,celebrating Lohri and some being eaten while bracing ourselves from the freezing Delhi winter.
Bonfire lit at home on Lohri
So while preparing the Ladoos ,I think of my grandmother who loved this festival as it involved a lot of giving , feasting and being with the family and it was in her favourite season.
Sesame Ladoos or Til ke Ladoo
1/3cup Jaggery (grated)
1/4 cup Sesame seeds
1/4 cup peanuts coursely ground
1/4 cup desiccated coconut
1/2 tsp cardamom powder
1. Heat a kadai(wok shaped vessel)on a low flame .Roast Sesame seeds.Once they start to brown , take off and keep aside .
2. Roast the coconut in the same vessel till it turns golden brown .
3. Roast the peanuts till black spots appear in them and coursely grind them .
4. Mix all the above with cardamom powder and keep aside.
Peanuts , Coconut and Sesame
For the Jaggery :
1. Grate the Jaggery or use Jaggery powder .
2. Heat the kadai , add the Jaggery with 3 tbsps of water . Let it simmer and mix completely with the water becoming a syrup.
3. It will darken in colour and it should become a single ball consistency . Put a small drop of Jaggery in water and if it becomes a hard ball take it off the fire.
Finally mix the above powders to the Jaggery and while it is hot roll onto small balls and serve to family while flying your kites and keeping your spirits high up as you start your New Year ...