Punjabis ring in their New Year Vaisakhi/Baisakhi on April 14 every year. The festival is celebrated as per the Nanakshahi calendar Vaisakhi/Baisakhi marking the Solar New Year and also celebrating the spring harvest. On this day, Punjabis also observe a tradition Aawat Pauni associated with harvesting that involves people getting together, playing drums while farmers harvest the wheat in their farms.
The delicacies cooked for the New Year are highly influenced by their agricultural produce mainly wheat, legumes, greens and dairy products.
1. PINDI CHANNA OR PINDI CHOLE:
Pindi Channa or Pindi Chole is made with chickpeas soaked overnight, sautéed with various ground spices in very little oil. Low on calories, high on protein the Pindi Channa is one of the must-haves in the Punjabi households on the New Year day and is relished along with wheat roti, puri or bhatura.
One cup of cooked chickpeas are very low on calories, gluten-free and are packed with protein, dietary fibre. Chickpeas also contain good amounts of Vitamin K, folate, zinc, copper, manganese, and high levels of Vitamin B-6 and magnesium and zero cholesterol. While tossed with various ground spices like turmeric, coriander, cumin add great flavour to the dish and several nutrients.
Ingredients: Serving 4
1 cup chickpeas (chole)
2tsp crushed garlic
2 chopped onions
3 chopped tomatoes
2 slit green chilies
Finely chopped coriander leaves
2tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2tsp turmeric powder
1/2tsp garam masala
1/2 - 1tsp Red chili powder
2 tbsp oil
Salt to taste
How to make Pindi Chole:
- Soak chickpeas in water overnight.
- Cook chickpeas with salt and enough water in the cooker for about 7-8 whistles.
- Heat oil and sauté onions till golden. Add garlic, ginger and green chilies. Sauté for 5 minutes.
- Add tomatoes, coriander, cumin, turmeric and chili powder and cook over low heat until the oil separates.
- Add chickpeas, water and salt.
- Simmer, uncovered until the liquid has been absorbed.
- Add a pinch of garam masala, coriander leaves and some more shredded ginger.
- Serve it with hot roti, puri or bhature.
2. MEWA KHEER
Punjabi cuisine and dairy products are inseparable. They swear by milk, other milk products and a wide range of dry fruits for their great valour, courage and beautiful skin tone. This amazingly delicious Dry Fruits Kheer is an absolute dish for the Punjabis to relish on their New Year Day.
Almonds, pistachios, dried apricots, peaches, raisins, currants milk makes this dish yummier and healthier as dry fruits are a powerhouse of nutrients offering amazing benefits across all age groups.
Ingredients: Serving 4
1 litre milk
3/4 cup castor or fine sugar
10 to 15 strands saffron, soaked in 1 tsp. hot milk
1/4 tsp. Cardamom Powder
10-12 thinly sliced Almonds
10-12 Pistachios, slivered
5-6 quartered dried peaches
5-6 no dried de-seeded apricots- broken
How to Make Mewa Kheer
- Soak raisins, currant, peaches, apricots, in hot water for 10 minutes.
- Boil milk, add cardamom, saffron and sugar. Keep stirring on low flame for 10 minutes.
- Add soaked dry fruit to the boiling milk, and stir gently.
- Simmer for 5 minutes. Keep stirring in between.
- Add almonds, pistachios. Switch off the flame.
- Serve hot or chilled.