Festivals bring a change in environment that serves as a much needed break from the daily hussle bussle of life. A time to stop and celebrate life and to enrich ourselves by praying to the divine. You might have noticed that although there is a lot of work for almost 2-3 days before a festival you somehow dont seem to get tired. Its the devotion that gives us a whole lot of energy and gives us so much relaxation even amidst work.
A day before Janamashti I went shopping for fruits, flowers, milk, curds and a dress to make my daughter look like Radha. Last Janamashtami I made her into Krishna as then she looked more like a cute boy. Now she is about 1.5 yrs old and is more girlish. She noticed the preparations going on at home and was well aware that she was going to have some fun. She consented to becoming Radha and even danced around the house before pooja :-)
Prasad : Panjeeri & Charanamrut
These 2 dishes together form the most important prasad we offer lord Krishna every year on Janamashtmi.
- Roast 1 cup of wheat flour in a thick bottom pan. Stir continuously to ensure it doesnt get burnt.
- When its almost done add 1/2 teaspoon of elaichi powder.
- Turn off the gas and transfer the roasted wheat flour into a plate to cool.
- Once its cooled off completely add less than 1/2 cup of ground sugar.
Panjeeri can be made for traveling as it lasts for about 2-3 weeks. Just ensure the flour is roasted well for a longer shelf life.
Charan in Hindi means feet and amrut means necter. Hence, Charanamrut here means the necter from the feet of the lord. Its a mix of 5 ingredients and doesnt require cooking. This sacred necter is the first to be had after pooja, that means even before prasad.
Mix 1 cup milk, 1.5 tablespoons curds, 1 tablespoon honey, any dry fruits (we use chironji), few roasted lotus seeds (options) and 1 teaspoon of ghee.
Ganesh Chaturthi was possible in the same grand way we usually have it, thanks to Ganeshji for that. We actually returned from a 3-day long trip just 24 hrs before the festival. I was busy unpacking and getting the laundry done. However, on good occasions things just go on well. My husband surprised me by buying all the possible things I needed to make the occasion special. The next day I got busy making modaks , kheer and tamarind rice. We did pooja and really enjoyed the prasad. Somehow the tamarind rice we make all year doesnt taste as good as it does on Ganesh Chathuti. We worship the idol of Ganeshji for 10 days before submerging it in water.
For prasadam I made tamarind rice and Ganeshji’s favorite modaks.
- Heat 2.5 cups of water. Once water boils add about 1 cup of rice flour.
- Cook till it thickens. Now cool this mix.
- Separately heat 1/2 cup jaggery with 1/2 cup grated coconut. Cook till mixture comes together.
- Flatten the rice dough with your palms and fill it with the coconut mixture. Seal in the shape of a modak.
- Steam modaks for 20 mins.
This is my entry to the Krishna Janamashtmi and Ganesh Chaturthi event hosted by Purva’s Daawat. What I like so much about the event started on monthly festivals is that it allows us to know more about each others culture and traditions. We get a glimpse of how homes in different parts of India look on festive occasions. Our ways of celebrating the same festival differ every 1000 miles but the enthusiasm is shared across borders.