Bhogali Bihu 2024: 3 delicious sweet and spicy recipes to enjoy on this day

Bhogali Bihu 2024: 3 delicious sweet and spicy recipes to enjoy on this day

  13 Jan 2024

A time of merriment, good food and getting rid of the old and jaded, Magh Bihu is celebrated every year to celebrate the end of harvest season. Also known as Bhogali Bihu, food is central to the festival as the name suggests and people indulge in a variety of delicacies (bhog) made of fresh harvest like rice, jaggery, seasame, and coconut. Extended over a period of two days, Bhogali Bihu preparations begin days in advance as people get set to give their homes a new look, buy clothes and decoration items and gather the agriculture produce. Til pitha, narikol laddoo, ghila pitha, and sunga pithas are some of the popular sweet delicacies that people love to indulge in during the festival. (Also read | Makar Sankranti 2024: Know the date, history, significance and celebration of the festival)

Magh Bihu will be celebrated on January 16 this year. On the occasion, here are delicious recipes to enjoy on this day.

Uruka is the first day or the eve of Magh Bihu festival and a massive spread of traditional delicacies is prepared on this day to be enjoyed alongside the warm and comforting bonfire. The next day begins with traditional breakfast ‘jalpaan’ where people gather and enjoy a hearty meal of ‘chira’ or flattened rice, akhoi or puffed rice, along with fresh curd and jaggery. A bonfire or ‘meji’ is built with bamboo and wood and people burn the old and useless things in the bonfire hoping for new beginnings,

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Magh Bihu will be celebrated on January 16 this year. On the occasion of Bhogali Bihu, Swapnadeep Mukherjee, Executive Chef, The Metropolitan Hotel & Spa shares three recipes that you can make or include in Bihu spread.

1. SHAKAR PARA

Ingredients

250 gm. plain white flour

250-300 gm. clarified butter or ghee or cooking oil

Water to make dough

500 gm. sugar

2 cups water for the syrup

Oil for deep frying

Method

  • Place flour and ghee in a bowl and make a stiff dough by adding water slowly. Knead it well. Dough can be made quickly in a food processor. Keep it covered with a moist cloth for 10 minutes or so.
  • Break dough to make golf size balls. Roll each ball out on a flat surface, to a circle of 1/2 cm thickness. You may need to use a little oil to grease the surface and your rolling pin.
  • Using dinner knife or a pizza cutter, make shape as per your choice, flat or diamond shaped ‘pare’ of approximately 1 1/2 cm. size each
  • Lift them off on to a plate, using a flat spatula. Keep covered with a moist cloth
  • Heat oil in a wok or kadhai. It should not be smoking hot. The para should cook slowly or it will not get crisp. Fry until light brown and crisp.
  • Repeat the same process until all the dough has been used. Allow to cool.

Making sugar syrup

  • Boil water and sugar in a wok, until you have syrup of 3 wires. To check this, dip the spatula in the syrup, lift it out and touch with your forefinger, taking care not to burn your finger. Now touch the forefinger with the thumb and separate slowly. You should get 3 wires stretching between the finger and thumb.
  • Put all ‘pare’ in the syrup and stir/mix quickly, coating each and every one of them with the syrup
  • Take out and allow cooling on a tray or plate, making sure that they are not clumped together. If a few stick together, they can be separated when cold. Serve and cool and store in an airtight tin or box.

2. KESARI SHEERA

Ingredients

Semolina (sujji) – 100 gm

Pure Ghee – 20 gm

Milk full cream – 200 ml

Saffron – 5 threads

Cardamom powder – 50 gm

Chopped cashews, almonds and raisins mixed – 50gm

Method

  • First, heat ghee in a deep based pan. Add the nuts and stir on low flame till golden and remove. Cool on a plate.
  • Then add the semolina and roast it in slow flame for 5 to 10 minutes till aromatic and golden.
  • Then add the milk, saffron, cardamom powder, and stir well. Keep cooking till the milk is absorbed. Add the sugar and mix. Keep stirring and mixing till the sugar is absorbed.
  • Now add the remaining ghee on top for shine. Mix in half of the nuts and remove from heat. Serve hot or cold garnished with saffron strands and prepared nuts on top or as per your choice.

3. KHAJOOR KI CHUTNEY

Ingredients

1/2 kilo dates (khajoor)

2 teaspoon fresh ginger (adrak), cut into thin long strips

4 teaspoons salt (namak)

1 cup sugar (cheeni)

6 teaspoons raisins (kishmish)

1 1/2 cups or 2 cups vinegar (sirka)

1/4 cup blanched almonds (badam)

2 cloves (lavang)

2 big cardamoms (elaichi moti)

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon (dalchini)

1/4 teaspoon red chili pepper (lal mirchi)

Method

  • Stone the dates and cut them in halves
  • Put dates, ginger, ground spices, salt, chilli powder and vinegar in a pan and cook till dates are tender. Now add sugar and cook until the mixture thickens. Remove from the fire, add raisins, almonds slit into halves and stir well. Enjoy and while the chutney is hot pour into clean jars and cork tightly

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