Friday, August 5, 2011
VARAMAHALAKSHMI or THE GODDESS WHO GIVES BOONS is worshiped by almost all the women in South India. She is worshiped on an auspicious Friday which precedes the Shraavana Pournima . Shraavana pournima is the full moon which occurs between the 20th of July and the third week of August.
Varamahalakshmi is installed in a pot filled with rice, turmeric sticks, kumkum ( Vermilion ), lime, and a coin. The sacred pot or kalasham is anointed with sandal paste and vermilion and decorated with mango leaves, coconut and flowers. A silver face or mask of the Goddess is fixed on to the coconut on top of the kalasham.
The Goddess is showered with various fragrant flowers and leaves while chanting her hundred and eight beautiful names. Incense sticks , wicks dipped in ghee and camphor are lit and waved in front of Her.
Sweets and savouries, rice preparations, fruits and coconut are offered to Varamahalakshmi during the pooja. Paayasam ( sweet porridge), vadai ( lentil fritters), kalanda saadam /chitraanna (Variety rice ), Poli / holige (stuffed sweet bread) or kozhukattais ( stuffed and steamed sweet dumplings), idlies ( Steamed pancakes ), fruits and coconut are the customary neivedhyams (offerings) for the Goddess.
"What to cook for Varamahalakshmi Pooja?" is the usual question which starts buzzing in our minds as the auspicious day starts drawing closer.
Paal paayasam, aval /avalakki paayasam, wheat / godi paayasam, sago / jevvarisi paayasam, kadale bele / paruppu paayasam, rava paayasam, are some of the paayasams which can be offered to the Goddess.
Mupparuppu paayasam is another paayasam ideal for neivedhyam. It is prepared using three lentils and hence the name mupparuppu ( three lentils ) paayasam.
Tur dal - 1/3 cup
Bengal gram dal - 1/3 cup
Green gram dal - 1/3 cup
Milk - 3 cups
Jaggery - 1 cup
Ghee - 2 tbsps
Cashew nuts - 1 tbsps
Raisins - 1 tbsps
1. Dry roast the three dals together in a thick bottomed pan till it emanates a pleasant aroma.
2. Wash the roasted lentils and pressure cook the dals adding 1 1/2 cups of water and 1 1/2 cups of milk until three whistles. Allow it to cool.
3. Dissolve jaggery in one cup of warm water and filter it.
4. Boil the jaggery water till it gives out a pleasant aroma of cooked jaggery.
5. Add the cooked dal to the jaggery water and cook until it thickens giving out a pleasant aroma.
6. Switch off flame after the payasam thickens.
7. Add the remaining milk.
8. Heat ghee and add cashew nuts and fry till golden in colour.
9. Add raisins and fry till they puff up.
10. Top the paayasam with fried cashew nuts and raisins.
Offer the delicious Mupparuppu paayasam to Varamahalakshmi and savour the blessed prasaadam.