Makar Sankranti, the harvest festival, which falls in January, is an enjoyable time of the year as the country celebrates winter, in varying degrees. It symbolises the end of winter and the entry of the sun in the Northern hemisphere. Apart from taking a holy dip in the Ganga and flying kites, on this auspicious occasion, relishing traditional delicacies with khichdi, is a tradition. Apart from that, dishes made of sesame seeds (til) and jaggery (gur) abound and are synonymous with this festival. Mumbai too celebrates this festival with some restaurants and eateries offering special dishes, both sweet and savoury. My 5 recommendations:
Ven Pongal at Hornby's Pavilion, ITC Grand Central, Mumbai
Rice, yellow lentils, ghee combined and tempered with mustard seeds, ginger and curry leaves, make for a delectable breakfast dish, which is savoured in Tamil Nadu on Makar Sankranti. Fret not, if you are away from home, as even a few Mumbai restaurants serve this as a festive special. Hornby’s Pavilion offers this as part of their Harvest Brunch. And yes, the sweet version or Sakara Pongal can be relished too.
Patishapta at Oh! Calcutta, Khar, Western Suburbs
This Bengali delicacy is a must-have on Sankranti. Patishapta - a light crepe or pithe filled with creamy kheer is what this place offers and is as authentic as the one in Bengal.
Puran Poli at Mee Marathi, Vile Parle
One can’t possibly celebrate a festival and not gorge on these Jaggery and Chana Dal stuffed Polis or Rotis. With copious amounts of ghee, these sweet polis are simply melt-in-the-mouth and can be relished anytime.
Til Ladoos at Panshikar, Girgaum, South Mumbai
Known for its homely Maharashtrian fare, this place makes Til Ladoos that you must not miss. A delectable combination of jaggery, til, peanuts and abundant ghee, this sweet, is synonymous with Makar Sankranti and it is considered auspicious to eat it.
Sabudana Khichdi at Aaswad, Dadar West, South Mumbai
This popular breakfast item in Maharashtra is eaten on this auspicious day as well. Tapioca pearls with peanuts, onions, tempered with mustard seeds and curry leaves, makes for a lip-smacking savoury dish. Start your day with Sabudana Khichdi and it is bound to go well.
Food critic, features writer and columnist, Mini Ribeiro is a qualified Journalist, from IIMC New Delhi. She specialises in the Food & Beverage and Hospitality space. As an established food & beverage writer, Mini currently contributes to several leading English publications across the country – Asian Age, Hindustan Times, Sunday Financial Express, Hotelier India, Go Getter and Vistara inflight magazines and Rediff.com. She also has her own You Tube channel called Mini’s Food Fundas. Fond of cooking, Mini enjoys experimenting in the kitchen with various cuisines, with Indian regional food, being her favourite. She has recently started, a platform for home talent, called 'Flavours from Home', an initiative which aims to make women who are passionate about cooking, entrepreneurs.