Today, August 17, 2013 is first of the Tamil month of Aavani. The first festival of this month is Rig Yajur Upakarma, the day when Brahmins change their yagnopaveetham or Poonal. It is on August 20th, 2013. On the following day (August 21st, 2013) is Gayatri japam. Those belonging to Samavedam have their Upakarma on September 7th, 2013.
A week after Avani Avittam, Krishna will be visiting our houses to have all the butter, cheedai, murukkus and everything we can offer with love. On August 28, 2013, is Vaikanasa Muneethra Sri Jayanthi. On August 29, 2013 is Pancharathra Sri Jayanthi. Sri Jayanthi means bhakshanams. Appam kalandha chitrundhi akaram palil kalandhu goes the Neerattal Pasuram of Periyazhwar. Appam, suyam and akkaradissal should be made as also uppu cheedai, vellam cheedai, porivilangaiurundai, madhuparkam, Navaneetham and sukkuvellam. Ofcourse anything and everything can be offered to Him.
In Karnataka households, preparation begin much in advance. A fortnight before Sri Jayanthi, ladies prepare two items per day in Madi and before having breakfast. One shelf is emptied and cleaned and the containers are stored there and are opened for offering on Sri Jayanthi day. It is such a sight to see the offerings on that day when Krishna is put in a cradle under a canopy of flowers and fruits hanging along with small versions of the bhakshanam offerings.
In Tamil Nadu, the practice of making Krishna’s footsteps is special and there is a kind of competition as to the number of offerings. Fasting is observed that day and every offering is made the same day. The bottomline is to make as many offerings as we can.
The following are some of the recipes for Sri Jayanthi:
- Take fresh butter (preferably homemade), put some diamond kalkandu and powdered cardamon and fill it in a silver cup for Krishna.
- Madhuparkam is fruit salad made by cutting fruits into bite size pieces and adding honey, cream and sugar candy. Alternatively powdered jaggery and grated coconut can be used.
- Sukku vellem is ground dried ginger mixed with powdered jaggery.
- Raw rice-1measure
- Urad dal-1/4 measure
- Fenugreek seeds-1tsp
- Jaggery powdered-1measure
- Cardamon powder-as needed
- Oil for frying
- Soak rice, dal and fenugreek for an hour. Grind finely.
- Add jaggery and grind again. Add cardamon powder, mix well and pour dollops into oil on a low flame.
- Remove when golden colour is formed.
- Drain well, put it in a clean vessel and keep ready for offering.
- Grated coconut – 1cup
- Jaggery 1/4 cup
- Cardamon powder
- Rrice powder-1/2 cup
- Urad powder -1tablespoon or Maida for batter.
- Place coconut scrapings and jaggery in a heavy bottom pan on low heat and keep mixing till you can roll into balls.
- Add cardamon powder, mix, cool and make small rounds.
- Dip coconut balls in the batter and fry on low heat continuously turning it around till cooked.
- Rice powder-1cup
- Uradh powder-ulutham mavu-prepared by dry roasting urad dal, powdering and sieving it -2teaspoons
- Coconut-cut into small pieces or grated-1tablespoon
- Jaggery powdered-3/4th cup
- Sesame seeds-1/4 teaspoon
- Oil for frying
- Roast the rice flour after sieving on a low flame and cool it on a plate.
- Roast sesame seeds in the same fry-pan
- Take a dollop of butter, heat it and fry coconut pieces.
- Make a light syrup of the jaggery
- Put in rice powder and all other ingredients, mix well and make rounds and fry on low heat.
- Rice flour-1cup
- Sesame seeds-1/2 teaspoon
- Uradh powder-2teaspoons
- Salt-3/4 teaspoons
- Coconut cut or grated-2teaspoons
- Asofetida powder-1/4 teaspoon
- Butter-2 tablespoons
- Oil for frying
- Mix all ingredients except oil. Make tiny balls.
- Spread on kitchen towel.
- Fry in small batches till crisp.
Courtesy: Vyjayanthi Sundararajan
Photo Courtesy: Smt Uma
General guidelines for healthier food – Both body and mind:
- One should be thinking about Perumal (Nama Smaranam) while cooking, and the purpose should be to offer the preparation to Him.
- Once the food is prepared, it should be offered to Perumal first. While offering, one should make sure that the food is neither too hot nor cold. It should be offered with love and affection.
- Please do not offer either pre-cooked food bought from outside or any pre-consumed food.
- Please follow thiruvaradanam kramam as instructed by your respective acharya. (http://anudinam.org/2012/03/08/bhagavad-tiruvaradhanam/)
- Follow ahara niyamam as much as possible. Atleast make sure that onion and garlic are not used at all.(http://anudinam.org/2012/06/11/srivaishnava-ahara-niyamam/)
- Please ensure that food which are not prasadams are not consumed.