Makar Sankranti or Ghugutia is one of the famous Hindu festivals and is celebrated with a lot of zeal in Uttarakhand. According to the Hindu scriptures, on this day, the sun enters the zodiac sign of Capricorn from the zodiac sign of Cancer. This day marks the northward transit (Uttarayan) of the sun. The migratory birds also return to the hills, since a change in the season takes place.
On Makar Sankranti people give Khichdi in charity and take a dip in holy rivers in Kumaun Bageshwar (Saryu and Gomti Sangam) and Rani Bagh (Gaula). They also participate in the Uttarayani fairs to celebrate the festival of Ghughuti (also known as Kale Kauwa).
During the festival, people make sweetmeats out of wheat flour that is deep-fried in ghee and shaped like drums, pomegranates, knives, swords, etc. They are strung into a necklace and are worn by children on the morning of Ghughuti. They also sing to attract crows and other birds. Portions of these edible necklaces are offered to welcome the migratory birds back after their winter sojourn in the plains.
I already shared a Ghughuti recipe in my blog. Traditionally, ghughuti dough is made into different shapes and then deep-fried. The most common shape resembles the Hindi letter 4 while shapes of drums, knives are also common. This time I will make Khajoor. Khajoor locally called Rotana is a fried cookie made up of wheat flour, milk, suji, fennel seeds and jaggery. Rotana is served in cultural events and festivals. Khajoor is also prepared at the times of “Makar sankranti and Holi” festivals.
Whole Wheat Flour – 2 cups
Water – 1 cup
Grated jaggery – 1 &1/2 cups
Sesame seeds – 1/4 cup
Fennel seeds – 1/8 cup
Oil – 4 tbsp
A pinch of Himalayan pink salt
Oil for frying
- Heat water in a pan and add grated jaggery or gur.
- Add a pinch of himalayan pink salt. Cook till jaggery melts.
- Then filter jaggery water an allow to cool down completely.
- I used food processor to knead a dough. Add 2 cups of Whole wheat flour into a food processor.
- Add sesame seeds and fennel seeds with oil. Mix it.
- Then add prepared jaggery water slowly and knead a dough.
- At last add little oil and mix it well.
- Now take a small portion of dough. Roll a dough into flat chapati (little thick ) and cut into diamond shape.
- Then fry on low heat till light golden brown. Serve with hot cup of chai.