A few years ago, gluten-free food gained currency amongst those who are concerned and conscious about what they eat. Surprisingly, this is what our ancestors always ate. But we soon turned to the West and altered our food palate. And, now we are back to our tried and tested food like bhakri or roti made from millet.
So this Makar Sankranti, besides gorging on Tilgul — sweets made from sesame seeds, jaggery and ghee — relish Bajra or Bajri Bhakari with Bhogi, a mixed vegetable.
Bajra or pearl millet is eaten in the Western part of the country like Maharashtra, Gujarat and the desert state of Rajasthan. Talking about its benefits, Vaidya Archana Halande says, “Bajra is dry and coarse millet. It provides warmth and energy to the body during the winter season. In Maharashtra, we experience peak winter around the period of Makar Sankranti, so on that day typically Bajra Bhakri is consumed with lots of ghee and loni or white butter.”
It should be ideally consumed with the onset of winter in November end till January or the early onset of summer. In Maharashtra, we follow a six-season cycle — Varsha, Sharad, Hemant, Shishir, Vasant and Grishma. Currently, we are in the Hemant cycle — so we should consume bajra, jaggery and sesame.