Baisakhi is the festival of Harvest and also this day is celebrated as the Solar New Year by many Hindus and Sikhs of Punjab. This day also important as this day is celebrated as the birthday of Khalsa Panth by the Sikh community. The Sikh community organizes the Nagar Kirtan, decorate the gurudwara, and organize langar and shabeel. Also, on this day the fairs are organized in the villages, where people come and enjoy the fair with cultural programs.
Basically, Baisakhi is celebrated across India with different names on 13th or 14th April every year. The following are the list of festivals:
- Bikhu/Bikhauti in the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand, India
- Bisu – Tulu New Year Day amongst the Tulu people in India
- Rongali Bihu in Assam, India
- Edmyaar 1 (Bisu Changrandi) – Kodava New Year.
- Maha Vishuva Sankranti (or Pana Sankranti) in Odisha, India
- Jur Shital (New Year) in Mithila (Bihar, India)
- Naba Barsha or Pohela Boishakh in West Bengal and Tripura, India, Nepal and Bangladesh
- Ugadi in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Karnataka, India
- Puthandu in Tamil Nadu, India
- Vishu in Kerala, India
Hindus and Sikhs on this day take bathe in sacred rivers like Ganga, Jhelum and Kaveri or lakes near their respective holy places (temples and Gurudwaras)
Baisakhi is majorly celebrated as the day of Harvest for Wheat. Wheat, the main cereal crop of India is a winter season crop (Rabi Crop) and is usually ready for harvest and selling by Baisakhi or 14th April (starting of summers). Wheat is generally cultivated in the early winters and it can tolerate harsh conditions of north i.e. severe cold, snow at the time of growth.
Indian Wheat has a medium source of protein. And there is a variety of wheat which includes:
- Indian Medium Hard Bread Wheat
- Indian Hard Bread Wheat (Premium Wheat)
- Indian Soft Bred Wheat (Biscuit Wheat)
- Indian Durum Wheat
- Indian Dicoccum Wheat
On Baisakhi people make some traditional and authentic recipes. These are the top Punjabi food recipes that are prepared during the harvest festival.
- Coconut Ladoo: Coconut ladoo are made especially during festivals like Baisakhi, Diwali, and Ganesh Chaturthi, etc. these coconut ladoos are made with dried coconut. Coconut ladoos are prepared with 3 basic ingredient which includes coconut, milk, and sugar. Coconut is a good cooking ingredient, it also has lots of health benefits for skin, hair, and body.
Learn how to make Coconut Ladoo
- Makkey ki Roti, Sarson ka Saag: This combination of corn flour flat bread with cooked mustard greens needs no introduction. Although it’s typically a part of winter food in northern India, any Punjabi festivity is incomplete without the legendary Makki ki roti and sarso ka saag. The dish is delicious, healthy and extremely nutritious. If you want to celebrate Baisakhi in the traditional way, then you have to have this combo as apart of your menu.
Learn how to make Sarson Ka Saag & Makki Ki Roti
- Chhole Bhatura: Chhole bhatura is a dish from the Punjab region in the northern part of the Indian subcontinent. This Punjabi dish is a combination of bhatura (a fried bread made from maida flour) and chana masala (spicy white chickpeas). Chhole bhatura is eaten as a breakfast meal, sometimes accompanied by cold lassi, however, it can also be a street food. It is served with onions, carrot pickle, green chutney, and achaar.
Learn how to make Chhole Bhature
- Badaam Kheer: Kheer is a sweet and creamy Indian dessert made from milk as base ingredients with a slight touch of ghee and badam (almonds), saffron and cardamom powder for extra flavor. The use of saffron in this badam kheer recipe not only gives it a rich creamy color, but it also adds an aromatic flavor. This quick dessert is also high-energy sweet dish suitable for kids due to its generous use of Dry fruit.
Learn how to make Badaam Kheer
- Wheat flour ladoo: Also known as, Atta Ladoo are round or sphere shaped Indian sweets made with whole wheat flour (atta) along with liberal use of ghee (clarified butter) and sugar. To give extra enhance nutrition and the crunch, finely cut pieces of dry fruits like almonds, cashew nuts, raisins (kishmish), green pistachios (pista) are added while preparation. Atte ke Ladoo are a wholesome and nutritious food, with a good storage life and are invaluable when hunger strikes at odd hours. These ladoos can also be made during festivals.
Learn how to make Gond ke Ladoo
- Gajar ka Halwa: Gajar ka halwa is also known as Gajrela, Carrot halwa. It is a sweet dessert pudding from the Indian subcontinent. It is made by placing grated carrots in a pot containing a specific amount of water, sugar, and milk and then cooking while stirring regularly. It is served with a garnish of almonds and pistachios. The nuts and other ingredients used are first sautéed in ghee. The dessert is traditionally eaten during all the major festivals in India, like Diwali, Holi, Baisakhi, Eid al-Fitr, and Raksha Bandhan. It is served hot during the winter.
- Peeley Chawal: It is also known as Kesari chawal and meethe chawal, peeley chawal is somewhat of a staple in Punjabi households during Basant Panchami or Baisakhi celebrations. The delicious combination is made of rice, which is sweetened using sugar. Aromatic spices like cloves, cinnamon, cardamom and a whole lot of nuts and dry fruits are also used in the preparation. The saffron, in addition to adding a flavour, also lends a beautiful yellow hue to the rice, making it the perfect festive treat for Baisakhi.
- Fruit Flavored Lassi: Lassi is basically Punjabi drink and mainly a blend of yogurt, water, spices and sometimes fruit. Lassi which is made with the fruits called Fruit flavoured lassi. This lassi is made of sugar and fruits instead of spices. You can try a different kind of fruits Lassi like Mango Lassi, Banana Lassi, Strawberry lassi, Grapes, Papaya etc.
- Punjabi Kadhi: Traditional Punjabi kadhi is one of the best representations of rich Punjabi flavours. It is another lip-smacking and spicy curry prepared in Punjab. It is sour and it is a treat to the soul. Made with full-fat sour curd and a host of heart-warming spices, the yellow Kadhi goes best with piping hot chawal. The Kadhi is enjoyed with plain basmati rice or lachchha parathas.
- Gud Ka Halwa: The summers are here in all its glory, but there are some winter delicacies we are not yet ready to part with. Gud ka halwa is famous widely across Punjabi households during Baisakhi. Made with oodles of ghee and jaggery, this warming dessert is a foodie’s dream come true.