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Festivals of plenty

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 While all our festivals involve food in some way or the other, no other occasion comes even close to Sankranti. Of course the fact that Sankranti, Pongal and Bihu falls on the same day means that the festival is celebrated throughout India in one form or the other and is not confined to North or South India.

In East India, families make payesh (rice kheer) with date palm jaggary and new rice. It’s a taste unlike any other. The earthiness of the new rice combined with the unique flavour of the jaggary makes notun gurer payesh (rice kheer with new jaggary) the favourite sweet dish of Bengalis, and of everyone else after they have tasted it.
Similarly in South India, variations of Pongal, sweet as well as savoury, are prepared traditionally with new rice.

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