Celebrating the Harvest Festivals: Lohri & Sankranti

January 16, 2015 - by Preeti

Today we have a guest post from lifestyle blogger Raj Thandhi from Pink Chai Living! She spends her days as a social media community manager and evenings testing Indian recipes, crafting with her kids, and catching up on Bollywood flicks.

lohri festival food 1 width=

Harvest festivals are in full swing in India. Earlier in the week was Lohri, celebrated in Punjab, and yesterday was Makar Sankranti and Pongal. All three festivals celebrate the harvest and focus on burning off negative energy and starting the year fresh. While there are different specifics to how Lohri and Sankranti are celebrated in North (the kite festivals of Gujarat for example), and how Pongal is celebrated in the South, the spirit of the festivals is very much the same.

Some of the common themes (and foods) you’ll find at these festivals are til (sesame seeds), popcorn, and gur (jaggery). While til are often burned in the bonfire, they are also used to make til laddu and other treats. This year I decided to put a spin on the typical til recipes and whip up a batch of til & gur popcorn. It’s sort of my take on a caramel corn, but with an obligatory desi touch!

indian inspired popcorn width=

This is the type of party snack that requires minimal effort, but gets you a lot of compliments. Short of being super cautious while melting down the gur, this is a fail proof recipe. If you want to really wow your family; dress up the presentation. Here I’ve used some mirrored Christmas decorations as popcorn cones.

lohri festival food width=lohri-popcorn width=

If you are a newlywed you might find yourself invited to (or hosting) a Lohri gathering this weekend, as many families celebrate newly married couples at this time of the year too! A fun a way to put a traditional spin on a modern tablescape; make a bonfire cake! Since Lohri and Sankranti are often associated with a winter bonfire, I took some inspiration from a camping themed birthday cake to create my Lohri cake. The cake itself is just a basic chocolate recipe, and the “bonfire” is created by melting crushed caramel candies.

chocolate cake lohri width=

The final touch to my festival fete – a smores bar! Hands down, this is why my kids, and any adult, would love Lohri. Since we can’t really set up a bonfire in our backyard, we roast marshmallows on our kitchen table and indulge in chocolate and graham cracker gooiness. I usually let them throw some til into the flame when we are all done too.

smores for lohri width=

Photos by Aziz Dhamani

Related posts

San-Diego-Indian-Wedding|Fonyat-Photography-03

A Sunshine & Outdoors Indian Wedding {San Diego, CA}

We're back lovelies with a wedding full of sunshine! Katie and Deep had a traditional Hindu wedding under the warm California sun at the Sheraton Carlsbad Resort followed by a [...]

naeem khan michelle obamama

Naeem Khan's Stunning Collection {Lakmé Fashion Week 2013}

Most of us know Naeem Khan for dressing the First Lady, Michelle Obama. In gold, in Jackie-O white, in the evening, in the afternoon, for the Oscars, Khan has made the first lady [...]

jjvalaya-amazon-fashion-week

Runway Inspired Bridal Mehndi Outfits from Lakme & Amazon India Fashion Weeks 2015

Mehndi ceremonies are held before the wedding day, when the bride's female relatives all get together to have henna professionally applied to their arms, hands, and feet. Of [...]

Diana_Andrew_Hindu_Groom_Getting_Ready63

The Groom: Jewelry, Ornaments, and Shiny Things

After publishing a whole series on the classic jewelry forms of India, it only makes sense that your next question would be "But what about the groom?! Isn't there anything for him?"

21 hollywood brides

21 Hollywood Movie Brides We Love

21 favorite brides from some iconic Hollywood wedding movies.

Bright Peacock Wedding Color Palette Monday

Summer Peacock Wedding {Color Palette Monday}

You know my obsession with peacocks. I love peacocks, ohhhh I do! And I love the colors even more. For this color palette, I brighten the traditional peacock colors and made a [...]