Navaratri and Dasara have come and gone. We celebrated at a friend's place one of the 10 days. We were 10 ladies, doing Kunkumaarchane, reading the Devi AshTottaras and reciting Ayigiri Nandini from printouts finally ending it all with a sumptuous meal and Dandiya(sort of..). In all we had a wonderful time. It was kind of a 'home away from home' experience, while truthfully, I wouldn't have done half the things had I been back in India. Like my dad says, its human tendency to crave for what is not 'naturally' available. When things are easily available or handed down to us, we tend to take them for granted. Rarity is what makes stuff precious. Distance makes the heart grow fonder. How very true is it all... Being here this festival, the only thing I missed was handing over the
Thats it... I am not going to get any more 'senti' over it. I just hope you all had a wonderful Navaratri and Dasara too...
I mostly celebrate festivals here so as to let my son learn our traditions and pass on what little knowledge I have of our Culture, over to him. I definitely dont want him to grow up thinking Halloween, Thanksgiving etc., are the only festivals. I have been telling him stories of Mahishaasura Mardini, the significance of the nine days, Saraswati Pooje, Aayudha Pooje and Vijayadashami. On Navami/Ayudha Pooja day, He was all excited about cleaning up his scoter, tricycle and bicycle and decorating it with flowers and 'arashina-kunkuma' and 'akshathe' just like his dad's car. It was fun watching him hustling in and out of the house doing it all. It was a simple but satisfying affair. I had prepared 'akki-kaDle' Payasa (Rice and Bengal Gram Pudding) for the Neivedya(offering), and thought I'll share it with all my readers too...
A closer look....
1/2 cup kaDle beLe (Bengal gram/Chana Dal)
1/2 cup Basmati Rice
1 cup Powdered Jaggery or Brown Sugar or Sugar
1 cup Coconut milk
2 cups Whole milk
2 teaspoonfuls Cashew pieces
2 teaspoonfuls Raisins
1/2 teaspoon Cardamom Powder
Ghee for frying
1. Mix the kaDle beLe and rice in a bowl and wash with cold water and drain. Repeat two more times.
2. Add the milk and pressure cook it for 4-5 whistles.
3. When the cooker is cool enough to handle, remove the bowl of cooked dal and rice and place on heat.
4. Add the coconut milk and the sweetener of your choice and bring to a boil. Keep stirring to avoid the milk sticking to the bottom of the pan.
5. In a small bowl, heat ghee. Add the cashews and fry until slightly browned. Add it to the rice and dal mixture(Payasa).
6. In the same hot ghee, add the raisins and fry until they plump up. Add these to the Payasa too.
7. Finally add the cardamom powder and mix well.
8. You can adjust the consistency of the Payasa by adding more milk/coconut milk. Don't forget to add sweetener accordingly.
9. Enjoy warm or cold!
This almost made it to the event hosted by Lakshmi of Taste of Mysore who is celebrating Navaratri and Dasara, a la Mysore style. But I missed it :-(
No worries, there's always a next time. All the yummy stuff that she has whipped up in her kitchen and the info laden posts on her site are so bookmarked.