Makar Sankranti | Khajoor Recipe | The Festival of Ghughuti | Love My Culture | Fest of Kumaon 

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.

Khajoor Recipe

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).

Table decor

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.

Traditional Pichora

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.

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Ingredients :

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

Makar Sankranti

Method :

  1. Heat water in a pan and add grated jaggery or gur.
  2. Add a pinch of himalayan pink salt. Cook till jaggery melts.
  3. Then filter jaggery water an allow to cool down completely.
  4. I used food processor to knead a dough. Add 2 cups of Whole wheat flour into a food processor.
  5. Add sesame seeds and fennel seeds with oil. Mix it.
  6. Then add prepared jaggery water slowly and knead a dough.
  7. At last add little oil and mix it well.
  8. Now take a small portion of dough. Roll a dough into flat chapati (little thick ) and cut into diamond shape.
  9. Then fry on low heat till light golden brown. Serve with hot cup of chai.
Fest of Kumaon 

Ghee Sankranti Festival of Uttarakhand | GHEE TYAR | Festival of Uttarakhand | Homemade Ghee with Unsalted Butter | Recipe From My Maa ki Kitchen Se

Uttarakhand calls it the ‘Land of Gods’. Mysterious, beautiful, exotic, charming, and magnificent, that’s Uttrakhand in a nutshell. The enchanting land is divine with some jaw-dropping tourist places and when you visit this place you can better judge why the Gods chose Uttarakhand to make it their abode. With several beautiful places to visit in Uttarakhand, a trip to Uttarakhand should be on your bucket list of places to see in India.

Ghee Sankranti Festival of Uttarakhand

Uttarakhand is popularly known as The Abode of Gods (Devbhumi). There are several festivals celebrated in different parts of the states throughout the year. Most of the festivals are associated with agricultural activities, nature, and changes in seasons. In this series of festivals, one of the festivals is known as ‘Ghee Tyar’ or ‘Ghee Sankranti. This is one of the most popular and well-known festivals celebrated in the rainy season. It’s been celebrated all across the state for centuries.


As per the Indian lunar calendar, Ghee Tyar or Ghee Sankranti is celebrated on the first day of the Hindu month Bhadrapada (August). In this festival people necessarily include delicious foods made of Ghee in their meal, maybe this is the reason its name as Ghee Tyar. In addition to this, people also include Urad (Black gram) stuffed chapatis and vegetables made of Arbi (Taro root) fresh leaves on their meal. On this wonderful day, farmers show their gratitude for a prosperous harvest and share their food made of Ghee with each other.

Festival of Uttarakhand

Ghee (also known as clarified butter) is delicious with a nutty aroma. It’s easy to make at home, perfect for those who are dairy-sensitive, and cheaper than what you can buy in the store. Ghee is similar to clarified butter, where all the milk solids are removed, but it’s cooked just a tad bit longer. Those extra couple of minutes allow the milk solids on the bottom of the pan to begin to brown, which gives ghee a slightly different, more nutty flavor profile to clarified butter.

Homemade Ghee with Unsalted Butter

Ghee is a traditional Indian food and has been enjoyed in the Middle East and Asia for thousands of years. It’s also frequently used in Ayurveda and other healing medicines. Once you make ghee at home, it’ll be hard to go back to store-bought. Because it’s just so easy to make.

Recipe From My Maa ki Kitchen Se

I have seen my Maa & NaniMaa making ghee every day from homemade butter. I have never seen her buying it from the store. She is a firm believer in homemade ghee. It tastes, smells way better than a store-bought one. Once you go this route, you will never look back. My Maa & NaniMaa makes “desi ghee” from malai. Cream refers to “MALAI” – Malai is a thick yellowish layer of fat and coagulated proteins that form a layer on the surface of the milk. It is formed when raw milk is heated for an hour and then it cools down completely. After that, a thick, yellow-toned layer of fat will form on the surface. But here in the Netherlands, that is not possible so I made ghee from butter.

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Ingredients :

5 blocks of unsalted butter each 250 gms

Black cardamom – 1

Method :

  1. Place the butter in a clean pan on low heat. Let the butter melt, do not stir.
  2. Once the butter melts completely, let it simmer and add black cardamom. As the butter simmers, it’ll start foaming and splutter.
  3. Continue cooking the ghee on low heat for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally to make sure the milk solids don’t burn at the bottom. As it cooks, it’ll start to change colour from a bright yellow to slightly greenish and then to a light golden brown.
  4. Once the ghee becomes clear, stops foaming and the milk solids at the bottom turn brown, Ghee is ready 🙂 Let it cool for 40 minutes before straining it. Store it in an airtight jar.
  5. Ghee starts to solidify, but still runny in consistency. It gets lighter on color as it becomes solid.
Homemade Golden Ghee