Saturday, October 13, 2018

Gudannam / Jaggery Rice and Chitranna / Lemon Rice to celebrate Navaratri

Lalitha Sahasranama is a very ancient Sanskrit Hymn in praise of Mother Goddess and it is religiously recited by Her devotees during Navaratri Pooja. It consists of Her thousand beautiful names which describe Her various attributes including Her favourite foods. The line 'Gudanna preeta manasa' in the Stotra / Hymn describes her as 'The One who loves rice mixed with jaggery'. Offering Gudanna to Mother Goddess during Navaratri is considered very auspicious. Likewise another line describes Her as 'Haridraannaika Rasika' meaning  'The One who relishes turmeric or yellow rice'. Chitranna or Lemon Rice with its auspicious yellow colour rendered by the use of turmeric powder is one of the Maha Neivedyams offered to Her. Here are the recipes for two of the traditional Maha Neivedyams (main food offerings) offered to the Goddess during Navaratri.

Rice - 1 cup
Powdered jaggery - 1 cup
Ghee - 2 tbsps
Cardamom and edible camphor ( Powdered together) - 1 pinch
1. Wash and soak rice for fifteen minutes and drain.
2. Heat one tbsp of ghee in a kadai and fry the drained rice till dry.
3. Add three cups of water and allow the rice to cook on low flame.
4. Add powdered jaggery when some water is still left in the cooked rice.
5. Cook till the jaggery syrup thickens and coats each and every grain of the cooked rice.
6. Stir in the powdered cardamom and edible camphor.
7. Add the remaining ghee and switch off flame.
Offer it to Devi and enjoy the prasadam.

Rice - 1 cup
Juice of 1 lime
Salt - 1 tsp
Sesame oil - 2 tbsps
Mustard seeds - 1 pinch
Asafoetida - 1 pinch
Black gram dal - 1/4 tsp
Bengal gram dal - 1/4 tsp
Peanuts - 2 tbsps
Red chillies ( broken) - 2
Curry leaves - a few
Coriander leaves for garnishing
Turmeric powder -1/4 tsp
1. Pressure cook rice with two cups of water and allow to cool.
2. Spread the cooked rice on a deep plate (tambalam) and fluff it up to remove lumps.
3. Dissolve salt in lemon juice and keep aside.
4. Heat sesame oil in a pan and splutter the mustard seeds.
5. Add Black gram dal and Bengal gram dal and roast till the colour changes.
6. Add peanuts and fry till they crackle.
7. Add broken red chillies, asafoetida and curry leaves.
8. Stir in turmeric powder followed by the lemon juice and salt mixture.
9. Switch off flame and add the seasoning to the fluffed up rice.
10. Gently mix the rice with the seasoning without mashing up the rice.
Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and offer the auspicious yellow coloured Chitranna to Devi and enjoy the Prasadam.

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