Monday, September 26, 2011

Festival Recipes - Navarathri

The Festival of Navarathri falls on the first nine days of the month of Ashvin according to the Hindu calendar and Navratri Calendar. Celebrated during the month of September, Navratri brings out the piety of Hindus all over. Navratri Dates  are from Wednesday, the 28th of September to Thursday, the 6th of October, 2011.


"Navarathri Kolu"


`Navaratri Kolu` is a major Hindu festival, which is celebrated during `Dussehra` or `Navaratri` throughout India, especially in Southern India. This is a major festival of South India, which is celebrated for 10 days during September or October month.


The most significant part of Navaratri is the setting up of "Kolu". Navarathiri is never complete without the different kinds of sundal  made each evening.

Sundal can be prepared from any gram/dhal. Basic method is same for all except soaking/cooking the dhal.

Wholegram [Kondai kadalai], dried peas, mochai kottai, bengal gram dhal, green gram, green gram dhal, peanut, cow gram, corn are normally used to prepare Sundal.

Ingredients:

*Any desired gram / dhal - 1 cup
*Red Chillies - 2 Nos
*Curry leaves - few
*Coconut gratings - 1 tablespoon
*Oil - 1 teaspoon
*Mustard - 1/2 teaspoon
*Urad dhal - 1 teaspoon
*Asafotida - a pinch
*Salt - 1 teaspoon

Method:

1.  Soak the gram in water for atleast 8 hours. Pressure cook along with a pinch of salt for two to three whistles. Drain the excess water and keep aside.

2.  If you use green gram dhal, then soak only for 1 to 2 hours and cook in open vessel.

3.  If it is bengal gram dhal [Kadalai Paruppu], soak for 2 to three hours and cook for one whistle in pressure cooker or in open vessel.

4.  In a kadai put the oil and when it is hot add mustard. When it pops up, add Urad dhal, red chillies broken into pieces along with asafotida powder and curry leaves. Fry for a while. Add cooked gram. Mix well. Add a pinch of salt and coconut gratings. Mix once again and remove. Sundal is ready to serve.

Note: There are two varieties of wholegram, white and black. The black coloured gram is tastier. You can add in the sundal few drops of lemon juice or a small piece of mango grated finely.

To get spicy taste, grind one tablespoon coconut gratings, a small piece of ginger and a small size green chilli to a fine paste and add to the seasoning.

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