Baisakhi 2023: Learn how to make healthy traditional dishes

Let Baisakhi 2023 be all about healthy cooking and eating. Try out these Baisakhi recipes that are healthy and easy to cook.

Baisakhi foods
Desi Baisakhi foods are packed with health benefits! Image courtesy: Adobe Stock
Natalia Ningthoujam Published: 14 Apr 2023, 09:11 am IST
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For farmers, Baisakhi is the arrival of a new harvesting season. For others, it is a time to indulge in yummy foods. There are some key dishes that people in north India eat during this festival. Turns out, they are not just delicious but are also packed with nutrients that are needed by our body. Read on to find out the health benefits of Baisakhi foods and how to make them at home.

HealthShots connected with Deepti Khatuja, Head – Clinical Nutritionist, Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurugram to know more about healthy Baisakhi recipes.

baisakhi recipes
Baisakhi dishes are nutritious. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

1. Meethe peeley chawal

Meethe peeley chawal or sweet rice is one of the many delicacies that is prepared during Baisakhi. Rice is cooked with dry fruits along with spices like cardamom, cloves, and cumin powder, says Khatuja. Saffron is high in antioxidants, so it does more than just brightening things up. Nuts are also part of the ingredients and are good sources of proteins, omega 3 fatty acids and antioxidants.


• 1/2 cup basmati rice
• 2 tablespoons of ghee
• 1/2-inch piece of cinnamon
• 2 cloves
• 2 green cardamoms
• 1/3 cup sugar
• 1/4 cup water
• 10 to 15 saffron strands (kesar) dissolved in one tablespoon of milk
• 1/4 teaspoon of green cardamom powder
• 3 almonds (sliced)
• 3 to 4 cashew nuts (chopped)
• 5 to 6 raisins (kishmish)
• 2 pistachios (chopped)
• 2 cups water


• Rinse basmati rice in water 3 to 4 times and then soak it in water.
• Boil rice by using 2 cups water in a pan over medium flame until almost cooked for approximately 8 to 10 minutes.
• Transfer it to colander and drain water then keep them aside until required.
• Take a pan that has a heavy base and a lid. Add ghee to it and heat it over low flame.
• Add cloves, cinnamon and green cardamom, and then sauté for a few seconds.
• Add sugar and 1/4 cup water, and then stir and cook for a minute.
• Add saffron mixture that’s dissolved and cardamom powder.
• Stir and cook until sugar gets dissolves.
• After sugar dissolves, bring mixture to a boil over medium flame, and when it starts boiling, add cooked rice.
• Gently mix until each rice grain is covered with sugar and saffron mixture.
• Reduce flame to low and cover it with a lid. Cook until almost all moisture goes away.
• Turn off flame and let it stay for 7 to 8 minutes.
• Remove the lid and add almonds, cashew nuts, raisins and pistachios. Mix well and transfer sweetened yellow rice to a serving bowl.

2. Kada prasad

Kada prasad, which you may know as aata halwa, is a traditional dish. It is made from wheat flour which is rich in fibre, fat and protein. Eating foods containing wheat flour provides energy that you need to get through the day.


• 1/2 cup atta or wheat flour
• 1.5 cups hot water
• 1/2 cup ghee clarified butter
• 1/2 cup sugar
• 1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder


• Dry the roast whole wheat flour in a pan for about 2 to 3 minutes.
• Add ghee once the rawness of wheat flour goes away.
• Mix well and keep stirring on a low flame.
• Boil water then add sugar to it separately in a pan. Add this to a pan and stir until water gets nicely absorbed. Stir until it comes together and you get a halwa consistency.
• Keep stirring until ghee comes out then serve warm.

sarso ka saag for baisakhi
Have a healthy Baisakhi with sarso ka saag and makki ki roti! Image courtesy: Adobe Stock


3. Sarso ka saag

Think of Punjabi food, and sarso ka saag and makke ki roti will pop up in your mind. The expert says that sarso ka saag is a hearty dish that has lots of phenols and flavonoids. It is loaded with dietary fibre, protein, vitamin K, manganese, calcium, vitamin B6 and vitamin C.


For sarso ka saag

• 1 bunch mustard greens (sarso)
• ½ bunch bathua leaves
• ½ bunch spinach leaves (palak)
• 1 cup chopped radish leaves
• 3 to 4 inches white radish root
• 1 cup fenugreek leaves (chopped)
• 1 cup chopped onions or 2 medium sized onions
• 1.5 cups chopped tomatoes or 3 medium-sized tomatoes
• 2 inches ginger (chopped)
• 2 green chilies (chopped)
• 7 to 8 pieces of garlic (medium sized, chopped)
• ½ teaspoon of red chili powder
• 2 to 3 pinches asafoetida or ⅛ teaspoon asafoetida powder (hing)
• 2 to 3 cups water or add as required
• 2 tablespoons of maize flour or fine cornmeal
• Salt as required

Tempering saag for 3 servings

• ⅓ cup finely chopped onions or 1 small to medium-sized onion
• 1 to 2 tablespoons oil or ghee
• 2 cups cooked saag or as required


• Chop all the greens then wash or rinse them under running water.
• Add all the ingredients that are mentioned in the sarso ka saag ingredients list except for maize flour.
• Cover the pan you are using and cook for a few minutes on medium-high heat.
• While cooking in a pan, cover and let the greens cook till they are tender.
• Pour the greens with the stock and maize flour in a blender and then blend till it’s all smooth.
• Pour the pureed greens in another pan.
• Simmer for almost half an hour on a low heat, stirring at intervals.

Tempering for sarso da saag

• Heat oil in a small pan.
• Add the chopped onions and then sauté them till they turn light brown.
• Add the prepared saag then stir and simmer for a few minutes.
• Stir occasionally when the saag is simmering and once it’s all done, serve it hot.

4. Pindi chole

Pindi chole is yet another savoury traditional dish that has spices mixed with a thick paste of chickpea or chole. As a rich source of vitamins, minerals, and fiber, chickpeas offer health benefits such as aiding weight management and improving digestion.


For soaking chickpeas

• 250 grams dried white chickpeas or 1.25 cups dried chickpeas
• 3 cups water

For cooking chickpeas

• 3 cloves
• 2 sticks cinnamon – each of 1 inch
• 2 black cardamoms
• 2 green cardamoms
• 2 tej patta (Indian bay leaf)
• 1 black tea bag or 3 to 4 dried amla (Indian gooseberries) pieces
• 1 teaspoon black salt
• 3 cups water
For making pindi chole
• 2 tablespoons oil – any neutral oil
• 3 teaspoons ginger garlic paste or crushed ginger-garlic
• ½ teaspoon red chili powder or cayenne pepper or add as required
• 2 teaspoons coriander powder (ground coriander)
• 1 teaspoon garam masala
• 2 to 3 teaspoons chole masala (chana masala powder)
• 1 teaspoon dry mango powder (amchur powder)
• Salt as required
• 1 teaspoon lemon juice


For cooking chickpeas

• Rinse and then soak chickpeas for 8 to 9 hours or keep them overnight.
• Boil the soaked chickpeas using water, whole spices, tea bag and black salt in a pressure cooker.
• You could tie all the spices in a muslin and then add them to the chickpeas.
• Drain all the water from the cooked chickpeas then remove the spices as well as tea bag.

For making pindi chole

• Heat oil in a pan and sauté the crushed ginger-garlic paste.
• Sauté until the raw smell of ginger and garlic fade away.
• Add coriander powder, dry mango powder, garam masala powder, chana masala powder and red chilli powder.
• Mix well and sauté the ground spice powders, but make sure not to burn them.
• Add the cooked chickpeas and then mix it with the masala.
• Add salt and adjust the seasoning by adding more salt or powdered spices.
• Let the chickpeas cook in the masala on a low heat, but stir at intervals.
• Add lemon juice to the chickpeas and mix it well or you can serve lemon wedges with pindi chana.

Just watch the portion while eating these dishes and enjoying the festival.

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About the Author
Natalia Ningthoujam Natalia Ningthoujam

Natalia Ningthoujam has written on various subjects - from music to films and fashion to lifestyle- as a journalist in her nearly 13-year long career. After getting stories from the crime scene, police headquarters, and conducting interviews with celebrities, she is now writing on health and wellness which has become her focus area. ...Read More

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