Friday, January 13th, 2017
A lovely celebration, always on 13th January, a nice excuse to break the new year diet (the thought never even crossed my mind).
Lohri is the end of the coldest days of winter, celebrating the passing of the winter solstice. It’s seen as a harvest festival and a celebration of new additions to the family, be it new babies or marriages in the previous year, usually celebrated in the temple.
It’s a big celebration in India with bonfires, children going door to door, singing for treats and eating.
As a British Indian, Lohri fell straight after the Christmas break, we didn’t have extra days from school and our parents fitted the extra celebrations in after work, so there was a rush to get all the cooking done.
There would be monkey nuts – peanuts in their shells, Sugary sweets covered in sesame seeds, saag (Indian greens) makki di roti (Corn bread) and kheer (rice pudding).
As a gift to younger Punjabis, I have added the three essential dishes to my website, hoping it will give as much pleasure to your family, as it has mine.
I consider the art of saag making as one of the most difficult, time consuming and technical dishes in the Punjabi kitchen and I felt it was an essential recipe to add to my website, so please find it here: /recipe/saag-punjabi-greens/
The makki di roti – flat cornflour breads, are indeed very difficult to make, boiling water, shaping them with your hands, well, not if you use a little clingfilm and a lot of warm water to shape them, here’s the link to these delicious, yellow chappatties /recipe/makki-di-roti-cornmeal-or-polenta-flatbreads/
Lastly, kheer – rice pudding, it’s another one of those recipes that I have simplified, it’s really quite good, doesn’t take the usual time, you can add so many flavours to change it, I like to keep it super simple and here is my version /recipe/kheer-punjabi-rice-pudding/
Hope you enjoy my essential guide to Lohri cooking and wish the recipes are lovingly home made all around the world for many, many generations to come, have a fabulous time with your loved ones xx
Lajina Leal, Founder, Lajina Masala
Lajina had a Corporate Career as an Accountant for many years and whilst discussing an impending redundancy in an Indian restaurant with her friends, they persuaded her to set up an Indian Cooking School.
The fun started in October 2013 and the business has grown from strength to strength.