Unlike other Hindu festivals which come on different days every year, Makar Sankranti always falls on 14th of January. On this day the sun passes through the winter solstice, from the Tropic of Cancer to the Tropic of Capricorn. Makar Sankranti is considered very auspicious as it signifies a new beginning. It is also known as Uttarayan. From this day, the duration of the day increases and that of the night decreases and winter recedes, paving the way for the summer.
Makar Sankranti is a big kite festival in most parts of India. In Gujarat there is a special significance attached to the celebration of Makar Sankranti as the Kite Flying Day. The clear blue sky seems to beckon everyone and the people surrender themselves to the joys of kite flying. It is this time of the year when in addition to kite flying we celebrate by eating chikkis made of puffed rice or sesame seeds.
Festivities are never complete without those tidbits and munchies. Satisfy those in-between hunger pangs while munching on these crisp chikkis. Easy to make with minimal ingredients these chikkis are loved across generations!!
Using jaggery instead of white sugar retains the traditional charm of this recipe, and also imparts a very rich and complex flavor to the puffed rice chikki.
Try out this traditional treat this Makar Sankranti!!
Preparation Time – 10 mins
Cooking Time – 6 mins
Serves – 12 pieces
2 cups Puffed Rice or Murmura
½ cup Jaggery (chopped)
1 teaspoon Ghee
Pinch of cardamom powder
How to go about it –
- In a heavy bottom pan, on low flame roast the murmure till they are crisp. Remove and keep aside.
- In the same pan, heat ghee and jaggery. Mix well and cook on medium flame for 3 minutes stirring continuously.
- Ones the jaggery turns golden brown in color, switch off the flame.
- Add roasted murmure and cardamom powder in jaggery and mix well until all the murmure is covered with jaggery.
- When this mixture is ready, transfer it to the greased plate/ tray or a smooth greased stone surface. Evenly spread it as thin as possible. (I have used small round plates to spread the mixture)
- If you are spreading the mixture in big trays, make cuts with knife when the mixture is warm. When it reaches the room temperature break the chikki from the cuts. (In my case I have used small plates so I have skipped this step).
- Allow it to cool and store in the air tight container.
- Always grease your tray before spreading the mixture to it.
- You can replace jaggery with sugar.
- Adding cardamom powder is optional.