There’s a reason that India is dubbed as the land of festivals. Our festivities mark a joy ride that starts with families getting together, to infusing some age-old traditions, followed by indulging in great celebrations and finally feasting on delicious traditionally-cooked food. Whether it’s Makar Sankranti, Pongal, or Magh Bihu, this time of the year marks the shift in the Sun’s solstice, which means it’s time to celebrate auspicious harvest festivals across the nation.
It is the Sun entering its transitory phase towards North, which we love to celebrate with much enthusiasm and fervour, being thankful for its great impact on agriculture, bringing us a string of amazing crop.
Food being an important part of our very culture, restaurants across the nation also ready their menus by including dishes that rightly represent these festivals and the regions they are being celebrated in.
Pongal is the day of harvest festival celebrated with much aplomb in the state of Tamil Nadu. The name Pongal has its roots in the traditional dish of rice (Sakarai Pongal) that they offer to God as their way of thanking for the beautiful harvest. It would be an understatement to say that the festivities of Pongal are absolutely incomplete without this humble yet delicious rice dish.
Tapping on the obvious popularity of this dish, Restaurants, on this occasion, can try to soup it up further to offer their guests. While we already have Ven Pongal, made from rice, ghee, dal, jeera, pepper, salt, with cashews added on top, there is also as well as Sakarai Pongal – you can try making Pongal in a variety of tastes and hues, this year.
With a combination of vermicelli and dal, you can have Seviyan Pongal or Rava Pongal that can primarily feature semolina or Kahra Pongal and so on. With sweet, spicy, as well as mild varieties of Pongal dishes , you can be sure of impressing your guests!
Bhogali Bihu or Magh Bihu is celebrated in Assam, and people especially wait for the day to savour some of their favourite dishes. Restaurants, on this day, could serve their guests with the traditional dish of pork that is cooked with bamboo shoots, called Khorisa Gahori, or Jaluk Diya Kukura Mangkho, which is cooking pepper chicken in the classic Assamese style.
As Bihu is about worshipping the fire God, as the tribals in Assam do by throwing Til Pithas, restaurants should definitely have it right on top of their menus.
In Hindu religion, we celebrate majority of our festivals according to the lunar calendar, but Makar Sankranti (a harvest festival of the winter crops or Rabi) is the only one that we celebrate according to the solar calendar. That is why every year we get to fly kites eat our beloved Undhiyu on January 14. The word ‘Makar’ refers to the zodiac sign Capricorn, while ‘Sankranti’ signifies the movement of the Sun from one zodiac sign to another. Simply said, it means the movement of the Sun into Capricorn.
Starting with Undhiyu, a speciality of Gujarat that symbolizes the start of winter should definitely be on the Makar Sankranti special menu of restaurants. Restaurants in Maharashtra must feature Puran Polis or Gulachi Polis, that mark the traditional lunch on this day in the state. In addition, there are other food items, such as Til ke Laddoo, Til Chikki, Gur Paratha, Gur ke Gajak, Sing Chikki, and many others that people love to devour, come Makar Sankranti!
Although the traditions are different, and the food of each region showcases the unique culture and taste of its people, it only adds to the beauty of the spirit of festivity that we Indians have! For restaurants everywhere, festivals always bring an opportunity to serve not just food, but joy on the plates to their guests.
At Petpooja, we realize how important menu management is, how you can serve your customer better, how your restaurant can excel when it comes to customer delight! Also as festivities kick off so do the sales. It’s a busy time for all restaurants and with Petpooja you can be assured of seamless management just at your fingertips. We would absolutely love to discuss more of such ideas with you. If you feel the same way, do not hesitate to email us on firstname.lastname@example.org
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