Tilkut on sale near Mahavir Chowk in Ranchi on Sunday.
Picture by Hardeep Singh
With Lohri and Makar Sankranti round the corner, tilkut, rice flour and chura are the best-sellers in capital markets.
Besides established grocery outlets, hundreds of make-shift kiosks have come up in the city to make the most of the festive demand.
“Tilkut, made of pounded sesame seeds, is this season’s festive favourite as always. I am selling both varieties — sugar and gur (jaggery) — at Rs 220 per kg. Those in packets are a bit costlier at Rs 230 per kg,” Avinash, who has put up his kiosk at Doranda Bazar, said.
While Punjabis of the capital are busy preparing for their harvest festival Lohri on Monday, others will observe Makar Sankranti on Tuesday, the day of winter solstice.
“We normally eat peanuts, rewri, tilkut, flour, butter on this day, ” said businessman Arun Chawla, who will celebrate Lohri with his family.
Among those celebrating Makar Sankranti, some will mix dahi (curd) with chura (flattened rice) for a traditional fare, while others will prepare sumptuous pitheys.
While chura and aruwa rice flour are being sold around Rs 40 per kg, buyers will need to shell out Rs 100 for a kilogram of dahi.
Pithey makers, however, will also need grated coconut, kheer and gur.
While coconuts were sold in various Ranchi markets on Sunday between Rs 20 and Rs 35 apiece, khejur gur (date jaggery) was available at Rs 100 and above per kilo, depending on quality.
“We still make patisapta, a crepe made with a batter of rice powder and stuffed with a mixture of kheer, grated coconut and gur. Besides, other kinds of pitheys, which are essentially rice-batter dumplings filled with gur and coconut stuffing, are also made at my home,” said Manorama Bose, an elderly lady.
Retired executive Amitava Chatterjee also added that his family prepared pitheys with khoya to celebrate paus parban. Chatterjee added that he paid Rs 300 for a kilo of khoya.