Vinayaka Chaturthi is celebrated with much enthusiasm at home. Festivals are always a time when Amma excels herself with many varieties of goodies prepared for Nievedyam. Each festival/ Pooja is marked with a specialty dish that she makes and we eagerly wait for each of the festival to savour these traditional dishes.
As kids, I remember going to the market to get the Vinayaka Idol in the morning. When I started riding, I used to go with my brother and used to get the idol. This year, Hubby dear tagged our daughter along, to get the Idol in the morning. Hubby dear is always very fond of this pooja as he says its celebrated with much fun and frolic at his native.
I try to keep the spirit by continuing the tradition. But since I never really learnt how the traditional goodies are made, it always used to be just polis, but this time wanted to please God with all his favorite dishes. After installing the Idol in the mandap, hubby dear decorated with flowers and ornaments and Umbrella. As a kid, I used to collect the Umbrella for so many years.
After marriage, Amma said I am grown enough to stop such sentiments. I was quite sad but had to listen to her, I was only happy when I saw that my daughter wanted to safekeep the Umbrella!. We either keep the Idol for 3 or 5 days depending on which day of the week it falls. But all the days that we have the Ganesha Idol at home, we get up early and make neivedyam for offering and observe strict rules.
The entire city is seen busy with this celebrations. Huge idols will be seen installed in different areas and celebrated. The celebration is normally continued for 10 days, end of which long processions take the Ganesha Idols of different sizes to the beach and immerse them. Few years back, it fell on a Sunday and we happen to go for drive and saw the entire procession. It was really fun and lively.
From Left to Right - Borugullu - Pappullu, Sundal, Kudumulu, Nugul-untallu (Sesame Seeds Laddo), Polis. Garallu is missing from the picture as I couldn't fit in on time for Pooja.
Sundal ~ Chickpea Salad
Channa / Chickpeas - 1 cup
Grated Fresh coconut - 2 tbsp
Red Chilies - 1
Salt to taste
Oil - 1 tsp
Mustard + Urud dal - 12/ tsp
Red Chilies - 1
Hing / Asafetida a pinch
Method to prepare:
Soak Channa/ Sennagallu overnight. Pressure cook for 3 - 4 whistles or till fork tender, with salt and water just enough to cover it. Remove water.
Run coconut and 1 red chilli in blinder to get a coarse paste.
Heat 1 tsp of oil and add seasonings with hing. Then add the cooked chenna, sauté well. Garnish with the coconut & chilli paste.
This is my most favorite dish all time and what Amma makes has always been so excellent. Mine also came out well but still longed for Amma's. I remember the many occasions when we used to sit and make so many of these Kudumulu as Amma gives it to the neighbors too. She also had those impressions that looks more like a full Garlic bulbs. Couldn't find those on time to make it with it. But it used to be a labour of love. How it used to taste with that filling coming out after it was streamed. Amma used to prepare the flour herself the previous day and keeps everything ready. I made use of the ready made rice flour. It did come out quite well though.
For the Outer layer:
Rice Flour - 1 & 1/2 cup
Water - 3 cups.
Salt to taste
For the Filling/ Stuffing
Grated coconut - 3 tbsp
Jaggary - 3 tbsp
Cardamom powder a pinch.
Method to prepare
Traditionally, Amma used to wash the rice in water and dry it for sometime, till it is quite dry but still has little dampness left. She then grinds it into fine powder.
I used the rice flour, so saved the time on cleaning and drying and powdering!
In a bowl, take the flour and make a smooth paste with enough water. This is to ensure, you don't get lumps when you cook the flour. Boil the rest of the water in a pan with salt. Once it starts boiling, add the rice flour mix. and cook. Making sure there are no lumps.
Add 1 tsp of oil and keep stirring. You can remove when it forms as solid with the sides leaving. Remove and cover with a damp cloth so that it remains hot.
For the filling, grate coconut and jaggary. Take the jaggary in a pan, add just enough water to cover the jaggary, melt and remove if any impurities are found. Then add the grated coconut and cook to get a thick syrup. Remove to a bowl and keep it aside. If required, you can scoop this stuffing into small balls.
For making the kudumulu, smear your hands with oil so that rice flour doesn't stick to your hands. Gather the cooked rice flour the size of a lemon, press in middle. You will get a shape thats thick in the middle, the sides are thinner, stuff it with the coconut jaggary fillings. Bring the sides together towards the middel and close the ball, to form a shape as a drop.
Continue if you are done with all the rice flour and fillings.
Once everything is done, stream it for 10 mints.
At times you may find it tough to shape them, you can plaster those areas by coating with wet rice flour.
Nugul Untallu (Sesame Laddoo)
Sesame Laddoos tastes out of the world. This one of the traditional sweets that Amma makes. I managed to prepare them this time. This is traditionally prepared with the black seeds with the skin on. You can get this all preped by washing them sesame seeds the previous day and dried under sun.
Dry roast the Sesame seeds in a tawa and allow them cool. Once the Sesame seeds are cooled, take it along with about 2 - 3 tbsp of grated or powdered jaggary and run in a mixie. The amount of jaggary normally depends on the formation of laddoo. When you make a laddoo, it should stay in shape. Then you know the amount is enough. Also it depends on the fineness of the sesame powder. When you run in mixer, it becomes little oily which will help in holding the laddo shape.
For about 100 gms of Sesame seeds, I must have used about 3 tbsp of Jaggary. This should easily stay for a week. But at home it vanishes in no time! I got around 12 -15 laddoos with the size I made.
Regarding the Sweet Polis, as I had said in my Coconut Poli
, it deserves a post on its own. So will talk about it separately. To mention on that, we also made the Vankai Urulagada Kura
for it and enjoyed. All in all Vinayaka Chaturthi pooja was good.
Hope everybody enjoyed and had a great time.
Sending this to The Yum Blog for their event on Vinayaka Chaturthi