The word "khana" in Indian Khana Made Easy means food. So come on, let's explore and cook some easy Indian food together including gluten-free and vegan dishes.


January 15, 2011

Happy Sankranti To All!

I love the holidays, don't you? I've had the opportunity to celebrate not only my native holidays but also American ones since I moved here. I realized that every holiday no matter the religion, there are key elements that make them one of the same: prayer, food, family and more Food. The first holiday we celebrate after New Year's is Pongal. It is a harvest festival which is celebrated all through India but called by different names in different regions of India: for instance in the South, it is known as Pongal (Tamil Nadu), and Sankranti (Andhra Pradesh). In the north it is known as Makar Sankranti (Bihar, Goa, Uttar Pradesh), Maghi (Haryana), and Uttarayan (Gujarat and Rajesthan).
I would love to go on and on but I still have to tell you all about the goodies prepared for this holiday. I know you are dying to I am dying to tell you. Just as there are different names for this festival, the food prepared is also different in the regions. In the north, poha and jaggery are eaten together with milk or yogurt, sweets made with Sesame seeds, chikkis (peanuts and jaggery), and multi-colored halwa. In the South, specifically in Andhra Pradesh and Tamilnadu, Pongali (Telugu) or Pongal (Tamil) is made and also it is served as prasad at the temples. Other items that are made in other areas in the South are Ariselu (flatbread with jaggery) and Sakinalu (rice flour and cumin pretzels).
Wow, by the time I finished typing all those goodies' names, my mouth was watering. Since Sankranti fell on a working day this year, we prepared the popular dish the night before and ate in the morning after prayer. My mom even drew some rangoli before going off to work. She's a Wonder Woman, I tell ya! The Pongali dish was prepared in two versions: Meetha & Namkeen (sweet and savory).

I hope you've enjoyed learning more about our festivities and cuisine. Please feel free to share with us what you did on the holiday. Sharing is Caring!

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