Sunday, September 19, 2010

Janmashtami Puja

As I mentioned in my previous post, Shravana month is a very busy month in India with a lot of festivals lined up which literally means, specific mouth-watering dishes apart from the religious aspect of it.


One such festival is Krishna Janmashtami which means Lord Shri Krishna’s birthday. All over India, this is an auspicious day and is celebrated with great pomp and devotion. In the olden days, on this day, the elders in the family will narrate stories of Krishna’s childhood activities to the children who will gather around them to hear with rapt attention.


We too celebrated this festival at home on Sept. 01, 2010. in a grand way starting with the decoration of the “Mantap” and collecting all the paraphernalia needed for the pooja like fruits, flowers, tulsi, the brass and silver lamps, aartis etc. Full credit goes to my daughter (spent a few hours to get it right) for the elaborate decoration of "Mantap".



Janmashtami Puja 2010


The Puja is performed at night since Lord Krishna was born at midnight. During the day all members of the family observe fasting. In GSB Konkani community “fasting” means avoiding rice, onion, garlic and non-veg items. Partaking of fruits, milk and certain dishes made out of semolina are allowed before the “pooja”. Thank God for this small mercy as it would have been impossible for me to prepare so many items on an empty stomach !!


Varities of food preparation and prasadam etc are cooked during the day to be offeredto the Lord. After the puja, all the family members will eat served on plantain leaves.



served on plantain leaf



Traditionally the following food items are prepared in GSB (Konkani) community on this day.

Tendle & Bibbe Upkari, Channa Ghashi, Dalithoy, Vul-Vul / Yogiratna, Soorna Thambude, patradau etc., varities of phodis and for “Naivedya” such as Panchkajjai, Madagane, Sheera /Oondau, Mooga Dali Usli etc.


The recipes for some of the above mentioned dishes have already been posted on my blog.


I shall start with the Panchakajjai recipe. “Panchkajjai” literally means a mixture of five ingredients. This is supposed to be one of Krishna’s favourite sweet dish. But believe me it happens to be everybody’s favorite prasadam! Its so tasty, that as soon as we start distributing, it vanishes in no time!



Panchkajjai



Ingredients:


Split Bengal gram (channa dal)

1 cup

Freshly grated coconut

1 heaped cup

Powdered Jaggery

¾ cup

Til (sesame) seeds

2 tbsps

Cardamom powder

2 tsps


Method :



  1. Roast the channa dal (split gram) till brown and grind it like fine semolina (sooji) and keep aside.
  2. Wash and roast sesame (til) seeds and keep aside.
  3. In a bowl, mix together the freshly grated coconut, powdered jaggery and cardamom powder (preferably by hand).
  4. Add to it the gram powder and the roasted til. Mix well.


Serves: 6-8


Note:

  • A tablespoon of ghee if added to the above panchkajjai mixture, will enhance its taste further.
  • Since freshly grated coconut is used, this dish should be consumed within 2-3 days.
  • Quantity of jaggery powder can be increased according to one's taste.

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