Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Fruit Chaat

Today is Shivaratri. A day of fasting, praying and 'jaagaraNe'(giving up a night's sleep). Devout Hindus spend the day in Shiva Dhyana, going to temples, offering prayers and performing abhishekas to Lord Shiva. They eat sparingly or not at all and spend the whole night singing bhajans and chanting shlokas. Well at least that is what this festival is all about. But over the ages everything has changed, fasting has become equivalent to 'not eating rice and grains', 'jaagaraNe' has taken on the meaning of staying awake the whole night watching movies(hopefully devotional ones) etc., as my grandma would put it 'kaalaaya tasmai namaha' ironically where Lord Shiva is also referred to as "Kaala" or 'Time'. However, each to his own. My dad never approved of fasting. He would say, instead of fasting and always thinking of food, it is better we eat and be done with food and let the mind dwell upon God. I remember we would eat really good and tasty food during Shivaratri. Fruits like Watermelon and Musk melon would abound. Mom would always make Poori-HesarubeLe Paayasa(moong dal kheer)[I know it sounds wierd, but I dare you to try it, it is a wonderful combo]. Well, I am planning to the same thing tonight(shall take the pics and post it soon), but am missing the melony fruits. They have entered the market, but are so insanely priced, thot I will wait until spring sets in. So, I made the Fruit Chaat instead, very tasty and refreshing.

It is said that Shivaratri also marks the end of winter. People in Karnataka say "ChaLi Shiva-Shivaa antha horaTu hogutte" (Winter hurries away in the name of Lord Shiva)
On a lighter note, this is the day when all the TV/radio channels back in Bangalore compulsorily air songs and movies like
"Shiva Shiva yendare bhayavilla..." from bhakta siriyaLa
"Shivappa kaayo tande..." from beDara kaNNappa
"ee dehadinda dooravaade yeke aatmane...." from ohileshwara
etc., such oldie-goldies....and makes me oh-so-nostalgic

Here are some links that provide more information about Shivaratri:-
About Hinduism

Fasting or not, have faith and He is sure to bless you. Eeshwara is said to be the most easily pleasable Gods of all. So go ahead and make the most of it. Happy Shivaratri to one and all....


1 Big Banana, peeled and cut into rounds
1 Apple, cored and cut into cubes
1 Pear, cored and cut into cubes
2 Oranges, peeled and segmented
A bunch of Grapes, halved
(Use any other fruit you like.. strawberries, pineapples etc.,)

For the Dressing:

1/4 cup Honey
1 teaspoon ground Pepper
2 teaspoons lime/lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon chaat masala powder


1. Mix all the fruits in a bowl
2. Take the ingredients for the dressing in a small bowl and whisk until well blended
3. Drizzle the dressing over the mixed fruits
4. Enjoy as a refreshing evening snack or to sustain you through a fast

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