13 Makar Sankranti Special Food Items and Recipes

13 Makar Sankranti Special Recipes 

Makar Sankranti is a popular harvest festival celebrated in India. Although the festival is known by different names in different parts of the country, the zest to celebrate it remains the same. Makar Sankranti is an ancient festival of Hindus that is observed according to solar cycles. The festival denotes the entry of the sun into the zodiac sign, Capricorn (Makar), which marks the beginning of the sun’s journey towards the north (Uttarayan). From this day onward, the days become longer, and the cold winter days make way for the surreal spring.

In India, no celebration is complete without festival dishes. The same holds true for Makar Sankranti. So, why wait, when food is the topic of our discussion? In this article, you’ll find some authentic Sankranti recipes. Do give them a try this year!

13 Makar Sankranti Special Recipes

The auspicious festival of Makar Sankranti is incomplete with its Sankranti special recipes. It has its own traditional and savoury treats that everyone looks forward to having. We know you want to make them too, and you can – they are simple enough to prepare at home! Here are a few Makar Sankranti recipes that are relished in several parts of our country.

1. Tilgul Vadi

Tilgul vadi

Tilgul Vadi is made with jaggery and sesame seeds and is a traditional Makar Sankranti recipe. In Maharashtra, people give this sweet to their near and dear ones, and greet, ‘Tilgul ghya god bola’, which means ‘eat this sweet and talk sweetly or politely’. The few ingredients that go in this Sankranti recipe have a high nutritional value that is required for the seasonal change. Here’s a quick Tilgul Vadi recipe for your to make this Makar Sankranti –


  • Jaggery (Gur) – 3/4 cup
  • Sesame seeds – 3/4 cup
  • Peanuts (roasted and ground) – 1/4 cup
  • Ghee (clarified butter) – 1 tbsp
  • Milk – 1-2 tbsp
  • Cardamom powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Dry grated coconut – 1/2 tbsp

How to Make:

  • Roast the sesame seeds till they turn golden brown.
  • Allow the sesame seeds to cool; later, grind half the portion to form a coarse powder, and keep aside.
  • Heat a pan and melt the jaggery in it on a low flame.
  • Once the jaggery melts and forms bubbles, turn off the flame.
  • Add the sesame seeds, sesame powder, roasted and ground peanut, cardamom powder, ghee, and milk to the melted jaggery.
  • Stir the mixture well; it should be lumpy now.
  • Grease a rolling board and rolling pin with some ghee.
  • Transfer the jaggery mixture to the rolling board and roll it to form a circle. The flattened mixture should be thick.
  • Sprinkle the dry grated coconut and sesame seeds on the rolled mixture evenly, and gently roll the pin on it so that the coconut and sesame seeds get embedded in it.
  • Let it cool, then cut into squares.
  • Eat away and share this Sankranti recipe with your family members too.

2. Peanut Chikki

Peanut chikkis

Peanut chikki is another favourite Makar Sankranti recipe. It is also enjoyed by those who celebrate Lohri or Pongal too. It is made with jaggery too and is a perfect sweet recipe to gorge on to keep your body warm during the winters. Let’s take a look at this delicious Sankranti recipe.


  • Roasted, husked peanuts – 1 cup
  • Jaggery powder – 1/2 cup
  • Water
  • Ghee – 1 tsp

How to Make

Jaggery Syrup

  • Heat a heavy-bottomed pan and put jaggery powder in it. You can also use a jaggery block if you like.
  • Add some water to it.
  • Keep stirring the jaggery powder till it dissolves completely.
  • Cook the jaggery syrup on a low flame till the water has evaporated.
  • Then, check the consistency of the jaggery syrup – take a bowl of cold water and put a drop of jaggery syrup in it. The drop of syrup should be firm but sticky.

Peanut Chikki

  • When the jaggery syrup reaches the desired consistency, add peanuts to it, and mix well.
  • Turn off the flame and quickly pour the mixture on a plate greased with ghee.
  • Spread the mixture evenly on the plate using a spatula or a spoon. The flattened mixture should be around 1 cm thick.
  • Run a knife through the mixture to cut into rectangles while it is still warm, and let it cool.
  • While serving, just crack the chikki along the cuts, and you are good to go.

3. Murmura Laddoo

Murmura laddoos

This is another yummy Sankranti recipe that is not only delicious but also extremely easy to make. Made with puffed rice and molten jaggery, Murmura laddoos are perfect if you want something sweet and crispy.


  • Grated jaggery – 3/4 cup
  • Murmura (puffed rice) – 3 cups
  • Ghee (clarified butter) – 1 tbsp

How to Make

  • Heat a pan and dry roast the murmura on low flame for 2 minutes. Transfer it to a bowl and keep aside.
  • In the same pan, heat the ghee on low flame and add jaggery to it. Keep stirring the jaggery until it melts.
  • Then add murmura and gently mix them together.
  • Turn off the flame and let the mixture cool.
  • When the mixture is warm enough to handle it with your bare hands, grease your palms with ghee, take a handful of the mixture and roll it into a laddoo.
  • Make all the laddoos in a similar fashion.

4. Patishapta


Makar Sankranti is known as Poush Sankranti in Bengal. On this special occasion, you will find delicious sweets in every Bengali household. Patishapta is one such yummy sweet that Bengalis make during this festival. Patishaptas are thin crepes made with refined flour, semolina, and rice flour. Read on to know the recipe to make it this Makar Sankranti –


For the batter

  • All-purpose flour (maida) – 1 cup
  • Semolina (rawa) – 1/2 cup
  • Rice flour – 1/4 cup
  • Milk – 2 cups
  • Oil as required


  • Desiccated coconut – 3 cups
  • Jaggery – 1 cup
  • Dry fruits
  • Khoya
  • Cardamom powder – 1/2 tsp

How to Make


  • Heat a deep wok on low flame. Dry-roast the desiccated coconut in the wok for 2 minutes.
  • Add jaggery to it and mix well. Alternatively, you can also use sugar or condensed milk.
  • Keep mixing the two ingredients; jaggery will take some time to melt, so be patient.
  • Once you notice that the coconut and jaggery mixture is not sticking to the pan, add khoya to it.
  • Stir it continuously for 2 – 3 minutes.
  • Add cardamom and dry fruits of your choice.
  • Mix the dry fruits and turn off the flame.
  • Transfer it to a wide plate, and let it cool.


  • Take the maidarava, and rice flour in a bowl. Mix well.
  • Slowly, add milk to the above mixture and keep mixing it. It should not have lumps in it.
  • Keep the mixture aside for half an hour.
  • Heat a non-stick pan and add a little amount of oil to it.
  • Pour a ladle full of batter on the pan, spreading it evenly. It should look like a small dosa. Once the crepe turns pale golden, flip it to cook the other side.
  • Take 1 to 2 tbsp of the filling in your palm; place it lengthwise in the centre of the patishapta, and cover it with the edges.
  • Press it gently with a spatula to give it a shape of a frankie.
  • This Sankranti recipe can be eaten warm or cold.

5. Sakkarai Pongal

Sakkarai Pongal

Sakkarai Pongal or sweet Pongal is one of the many popular dishes prepared in Tamil Nadu during Pongal. It is usually made with gram, jaggery, rice, and dry fruits. Its seasonal and traditional significance makes it one of the top Sankranti recipes, especially in South India.


  • Raw rice – 1 cup
  • Moong dal – 1/4 cup
  • Grated jaggery – 1 cup
  • Cashews – 2 tbsp
  • Raisins – 1 tbsp
  • A small pinch of edible camphor
  • Cardamom powder – 1/4 tsp
  • Ghee (Clarified butter) – 1/2 cup
  • Water as required

How to Make

  • Dry roast the dal in a heavy-bottomed pan till it turns fragrant. Leave it to cool.
  • Wash the dal and rice thoroughly.
  • Mix them and pressure cook for 3 whistles.
  • Meanwhile, heat a pan and take the jaggery in it. Add some water and melt the jaggery.
  • Stir it well till the jaggery turns thick and sticky. Once it turns thick, turn off the flame and keep aside.
  • The dal and rice will be cooked by now. Remove the lid and mash them well.
  • Take the mashed dal and rice in a deep wok; add the jaggery syrup to it, and mix. Next, add cardamom powder to it, and cook on a low flame till the mixture starts to bubble. Turn off the flame.
  • Heat a pan, and add some ghee to it. Fry cashews till they turn golden-brown in colour.
  • Add the fried cashews, raisins, and camphor to the dal-rice-jaggery mixture and stir it.
  • Your Sankranti special recipe, Sakkarai Pongal is ready.

6. Puran Poli

Puran Poli

Puran Poli is a favourite Sankranti recipe many families prepare in their households. This traditional Makar Sankranti recipe is made with some basic ingredients and is sure to delight everyone celebrating the festival. Here’s what you need to make 5 to 6 palm-sized Puran Poli.


  • Chickpeas (chana) – 1 cup (soaked overnight)
  • Jaggery – 1/2 cup (can add more if required)
  • Cardamom powder – 1 tablespoon
  • Nutmeg powder – 1/4thteaspoon
  • Wholewheat flour – 2 to 3 cups
  • Salt to taste
  • Ghee – 2 tablespoons

 How to Make

  • For the filling, take 2 tablespoons of ghee in a pan.
  • Heat it and add the soaked (and drained) chickpeas.
  • Add the jaggery and keep stirring.
  • Cook the mixture till the jaggery melts.
  • Add cardamom and nutmeg powder and mix well.
  • Keep stirring on a medium flame until the mixture becomes crumbly.
  • Take it off the heat and mash it while it is still warm. You may use a puran yantra to mash the filling.
  • Now, add some water, ghee, and a pinch of salt to the wholewheat flour.
  • Knead it till you get a soft, elastic dough. The more you knead the dough, the more the gluten gets activated.
  • Cover it with a damp muslin cloth and keep it aside for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Knead the dough once again for 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Now, take a small portion of the dough and roll it into a ball.
  • With the help of a rolling pin, roll it into a small roti.
  • Carefully keep the chickpeas and jaggery filling in the centre of the roti and pick up the sides to make a nice neat stuffed ball.
  • Use some dry flour so that the Puran Poli does not stick while you are rolling it to your desired size. Ensure you roll the polis ever so gently.
  • Then, heat a pan and spread some ghee on it.
  • Carefully roast the Puran Poli on medium flame on both sides.
  • Eat it while it is still warm with some more ghee or with milk.

7. Urad Dal Kachori

Urad Dal Kachori

Urad dal kachori is a great Makar Sankranti recipe you can prepare as a snack. This savoury food item can help balance the festive menu. So, go ahead and make this recipe this Sankranti. Don’t forget to offer some along with the Tilgul Vadi.


  • All-purpose flour (maida) – 1 cup
  • Wholewheat flour – 1 cup
  • Baking soda – 1/4thteaspoon
  • Urad dal – 1/2 cup (soaked in water for 4 hours)
  • Ghee – 2 to 3 tablespoons
  • Cumin seeds (jeera) – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Chopped green chillies – 1 teaspoon
  • Chopped ginger – 1 teaspoon
  • Turmeric powder – 1/4thteaspoon
  • Red chilly powder – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Coriander powder – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Fennel seeds – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Asafoetida (hing) – a pinch
  • Salt as per taste
  • Water – 1 to 2 cups
  • Oil for frying.

How to Make

  • Mix the flours, baking soda and salt together.
  • Add the ghee and rub it into the flour mixture.
  • Then add about 1/2 a cup of water and start kneading the dough.
  • Keep adding water till you get a smooth and soft dough.
  • Cover the dough with a damp muslin cloth and keep it aside for 20 to 30 minutes.
  • For the filling, grind the soaked and drained urad dal.
  • In a pan, take some ghee. Add the cumin seeds, chopped ginger, chopped chillies and saute them.
  • Then add the dry spices – turmeric, red chilly powder, coriander powder, fennel seeds, etc. Mix well and saute it till the mix becomes aromatic.
  • Then, add the urad dal paste, salt and mix well.
  • Cook for 2 to 3 minutes and let it cool.
  • Then, make small equal sized balls of the urad dal mix and the flour.
  • Roll out the dough balls, keep the urad dal mix in the centre and bring the edges of the flour dough together in the centre. Seal the opening properly.
  • Flatten the stuffed balls with your hands or with a rolling pin.
  • Deep fry all the kachoris in oil on medium flame.
  • Enjoy them with some green chutney.

8. Chana Dal Khichdi

Chana Dal Khichdi

This one can be a great Sankranti Khichdi recipe you can cook this year. Often called the Punjabi chana dal khichdi or bhuni khichdi, this rice recipe will complete the Sankranti meal you’ll prepare for your family. Here’s what you’ll need to prepare this Sankranti special recipe.


  • Basmati rice – 1 cup (soaked in water for 10 to 15 minutes)
  • Chana dal– 1 cup (soaked in water for 10 to 15 minutes)
  • Green peas – 1 cup
  • Mustard seeds – 1 teaspoon
  • Cumin seeds – 1 teaspoon
  • Turmeric powder – 1 teaspoon
  • Red chilli powder – 1 teaspoon
  • Ghee – 3 to 4 tablespoon
  • Whole red chillies – 2 to 3
  • Sesame seeds – 1 tablespoon
  • Star anise – 1
  • Cinnamon stick – 1 inch
  • Cloves – 2 to 3

How to Make:

  • Heat a pressure cooker on the stovetop.
  • Pour 2 tablespoons of ghee in it.
  • Add the star anise, cinnamon stick, cloves, mustard seeds, and cumin seeds – roast for half a minute or so.
  • Add the chana dal and roast for 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Add the basmati rice and roast it as well.
  • Add chilly powder and turmeric powder, mix and roast for another 2 minutes.
  • Then add 4 cups of water and some salt. Mix well and put the pressure cooker lid on.
  • Pressure cook the khichdi for two whistles.
  • In another pan, prepare another tempering with some ghee, dried chillies and sesame seeds.
  • Pour it over the khichdi and serve the khichdi while it’s hot.

9. Tamarind Rice

Tamarind Rice

Among the rice recipes, tamarind rice is a good addition to your Sankranti recipes. In the southern parts of India, this dish is also known as Puliyogare, Pulihora or Puliyodharai, and is enjoyed with meals almost daily. Read on to know how you could make Tamarind Rice this Makar Sankranti.


  • Rice – 1 heaped cup (preferably sona masuri rice, boiled in 2 cups of water)
  • Tamarind – 50 grams (mashed it into a pulp after soaking in 3 to 4 tablespoons of hot water for 30 minutes)
  • For the masala:
    • Dry red chillies – 3 to 4
    • Chana dal– 1 teaspoon
    • Urad dal– 1 teaspoon
    • Coriander seeds – 2 tablespoons
    • Sesame seeds – 1/2 teaspoon
    • Fenugreek seeds (methi seeds) – 1/2 teaspoon
    • Black peppercorns – 1 teaspoon
    • Asafoetida (hing)- 1/2 teaspoon
  • For the Tamarind rice tempering –
    • Sesame oil – 3 tablespoon
    • Groundnuts – 1/2 cup
    • Urad dal– 1 tablespoon
    • Mustard seeds – 1 teaspoon
    • Dry red chillies – 2 to 3
    • Curry leaves – 7 to 8
    • Turmeric – 1/2 teaspoon
    • Asafoetida – 1/4thteaspoon
    • Salt to taste
    • Jaggery powder – 1 to 2 teaspoon

How to Make

  • Gently loosen up the cooked rice in the vessel.
  • Add 1/4th teaspoon of turmeric, salt and about a tablespoon of sesame oil to it. Mix well and break all the lumps.
  • On a pan, and on low flame, dry roast all the spices mentioned above (the masalas spices).
  • When they turn slightly golden and aromatic, remove them and cool them in a plate.
  • Grind the roasted spices to a fine powder.
  • Now, in a separate pan, take some sesame oil (about 3 tablespoons) and heat it.
  • Put the mustard seeds and let them crackle.
  • Then add the urad dal and peanuts and roast them till they turn golden brown.
  • Then, add the curry leaves and the dry red chillies.
  • Add turmeric, asafoetida and the tamarind pulp.
  • Add salt and jaggery powder.
  • Let it boil till the oil starts floating on the curry.
  • Add about 2 to 3 tablespoons of the dry spice mixture and let the mixture boil till it thickens.
  • Now, pour this tamarind mix onto the rice and mix well.
  • Your Sankranti special recipe, tamarind rice is ready.

10. Lemon Rice

 Lemon Rice

If you cannot find some tamarind, you can include lemon rice in your Sankranti recipes this year. Here’s how you can make some.


  • Rice – 2 cups (soaked it in water for at least 15 minutes, and boiled till it’s cooked)
  • Fresh lemon/lime juice – 3 to 4 tablespoons
  • Mustard seeds –  teaspoon
  • Peanuts – 2 tablespoons
  • Cashew nuts – 2 tablespoons
  • Chana dal– 1 teaspoon (soaked in water)
  • Urad dal– 1 teaspoon (soaked in water)
  • Oil – 2 tablespoons
  • Green chillies – 1 to 2
  • Curry leaves – 8 to 10 leaves
  • Asafoetida (hing) – 1/4thteaspoon
  • Ginger paste – 1 teaspoon

How to Make:

  • Loosen up the cooked rice in the pressure cooker with a spatula. You may bring it down to room temperature before doing the next step.
  • Pour some oil, add salt and lemon juice over the rice and mix.
  • In a pan, take some oil and heat it on medium flame.
  • Add the chana dalurad dal, cashews and peanuts to the oil and roast them till they turn golden brown.
  • Then, add the mustard seeds. Let them crackle.
  • Add the green chillies, ginger paste and curry leaves.
  • Add turmeric and asafoetida.
  • Pour this tempering on the rice and mix everything well.
  • Savour this tempting rice preparation with some papad, yoghurt and pickle along with other Sankranti special recipes.

11. Basundi

Basundi is a rich milk-based dessert made mostly on occasions. This easy-to-make-under-30-minutes recipe is our personal favourite. 


  • Whole milk – 2 cups
  • Condensed milk – 1/2 can
  • Almonds – 10
  • Pistachios -12
  • Cashews – 6
  • Raisins – 6
  • Cardamom powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Saffron strands – 10-12
  • Chironji – 2 tbsp
  • Nutmeg powder – 2-3 inches

How to Make:

  • Mix whole milk and condensed milk of given proportions in a thick-bottomed pan. 
  • Bring this mixture to a boil and let it simmer on low flame for about 20-25 minutes. Stir it at frequent intervals of 3-4 minutes.
  • Basundi will thicken gradually. Scrap off cream solids from the sides and mix them into the mixture.
  •  Add cardamom powder, nutmeg powder, saffron strands, chironji, and other dry fruits.
  • Let it simmer for 2-3 minutes more.
  • Serve hot or cold as you wish. Before serving garnish it with some slivered nuts.

12. Moong Dal Khichdi

A simplistic dish enjoyed by people all over the world (in different names), khichdi is what we also drool for! Not only it is a comfort food for many, but it is also cooked on this pious occasion.


  • Mung Dal – 1/2 cup
  • Rice – 1/2 cup
  • Onions (finely chopped) – 1 small or medium-sized
  • Tomatoes (finely chopped) –  1 medium-sized
  • Ghee – 2-3 tbsp
  • Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
  • Ginger (grated) – 1 tsp
  • Green chillies (chopped) – 1/2 tsp
  • Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
  • Asafoetida – 1 pinch
  • Salt 
  • Water – About 4 cups

How to Make: 

  • Rinse moong dal and rice together and let it soak in water for about 30 minutes.
  • Drain the water aside after 30 minutes.
  • In a pressure cooker, add about three tbsp of ghee. Once the ghee is hot, add cumin seeds and onions.
  • Once onions are translucent, add chopped tomatoes, chillies, and ginger, turmeric powder and asafoetida. Mix all well and let it cook until tomatoes soften.
  • Add soaked moong dal and rice to the tempered mixture.
  • Add 3.5-4 cups of water and salt as per taste. You can adjust water as per your like to the consistency.
  • Mix all well and close the lid. Let the khichdi cook on high flame for 7-8 whistles.
  • Check after the whistles if your khichdi is cooked well or not. If it is thick add more water or if it is too runny, then let it cook for about more whistles.
  • Once you get a perfect consistency, drizzle some ghee over and serve it hot.

13. Dry Fruit Chikki 

This is a common household favourite! You can mix as many different dry fruits as you want and even add in some rose essence to enhance the flavour! 


  • ½ cup chopped cashew nuts 
  • ½ cup chopped almonds 
  • ¼ cup chopped pistachios 
  • 1 cup sugar 

How to Make:

  • Heat the deep non-stick pan on high flame for 2-3 minutes. 
  • Add in the sugar and mix well. Cook on high flame for a minute while stirring continuously. 
  • Reduce the flame and cook for another 2.5 minutes until the sugar is completely melted. 
  • Remove the sugar from the flame and add in the nuts. Mix well. 
  • Transfer the mixture onto a smooth greased stone surface. Roll it into a thin sheet. 
  • Cut the chikki into desirable shapes. Get creative! 
  • You can serve this immediately or store it in an air-tight container for later consumption.  

These are some Makar Sankranti recipes you can make this year. These recipes come from most parts of the country where Makar Sankranti is celebrated, but with different names. Give the store-bought sweets and snacks a miss this year. Instead, make them at home. Keep the menu simple yet delicious and include all the Sankranti special food items to make the most of the auspicious occasion. Happy Makar Sankranti!

Also Read

Makar Sankranti Activities for Family
Information about Makar Sankranti Festival for Kids
Popular Festivals of India – Facts for Children

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