Sunday, September 1, 2013

God Layi Povu along with the significance of Choodi Pooja

As a kid I grew up eating all kind of naivedya items and learnt to make the easy ones soon. This is one such Panchakadayi or panchakajjaya which I learnt to make from my school days. I enjoyed eating it after pooja but my favorite was the sugar based ones.
Today being the last day of Choodi I thought I must not delay in posting this so I am posting the Jaggery (called as God )based panchakadayi/panchakajjaya which I made for Chudi Pooja.
Choodi Pooja, is performed during shravan month of every year on Fridays and Sundays by married ladies. A newly married woman performs her first Choodi Pooja in the presence of many elderly women, separately in her husband’s home and her parents' home.
'Choodi'  which means a tied bundle. The story behind Choodi pooja goes like this, It is woven around the demon king Jalandhara. His wife Vrinda devi was an embodiment of chastity and fidelity her qualities had prevented the protector of the worlds Maha Vishnu from vanquishing the demon king Jalandhara and break his hegemony over pious people of the world. So Maha Vishnu appears before her in the form of Jalandhara when the demon king had gone out for official engagements.  Maha Vishnu then makes his move and outrages Vrinda’s fidelity towards her husband. Having the last umbrella of protection over Jalandhara  Vishnu later engages him in a war and defeats him and saves the world from falling under the rule of demons.

The legend in its later part suggests that the befallen queen of Jalandhara comes to know about the reason behind her husband’s defeat in the war prays to Lord Vishnu and cleanse herself from the sins she had committed by betraying her husband unknowingly. Lord Vishna suggests her that she should perform Choodi Pooja which features poojas being offered to the Tulasi goddess with 11 types of flowers and a natural fibre from the plantain tree  (which is known as vaayu in Konkani) to tie them together and offer it to Tulasi.
A women will be dressed up in saree and  arrange her pooja  thali  with -chudi flower,haldi kumkum,little uncooked rice, Prasad for naivedya freshly prepared at home, veedo(arecanut/betel nut piece in betel leaves), insence stick, arti and  a steel  pot filled with water.


This pictue is of the Choodi's i made here

A standard Choodi requires many flowers and herbs to be collected, as mentioned here -
1. Ratnagandhi
2. Ratha Phool
3. Shevnthe/Sevantige  
4. Kaaylya Dolo (Crow's Eye)
5. Anwaali
6. Aarati Phool
7. Kangani Phool
8. Shanka Pushpa
9. Mithaai Phool
10. Majra Nankut( Cat’s Nails)
11. Wild Grass (Dibrankoru)
12. Plantain yarn (Vaayu) for tying.
(Information from dad,amma  and net)
But these days getting all these flowers in city as the mother nature is being troubled in most of the places to build apartments and here getting the basic flowers is a big difficulty so ladies just get the flowers which are available in their place and tie Choodi and perform the pooja accordingly.
With all this explanation lets move on to the recipe for God laayi Povu.


Ingredients:

Thin Poha/Thin Beaten Rice/Thin Flattened Rice - 200 gms
Layi/ Puffed Paddy – 50 gms (you can see the pictures HERE)
Grated coconut or desiccated coconut - 2 cups
Jaggery - 2 cups – grated or powdered
Water - 1 cup normally the jaggery and water consistency is 2:1
Green Cardamom powder - 1 tsp

Method:
Heat a pan/kadai , add 1 cup water and the grated jaggery and allow to melt. Once the jaggery has melted and has almost come to once string consistency then add the grated coconut and mix well. Now switch off the flame and allow to cool.
Once the jaggery and coconut mixture has cooled for completely, slowly add in the poha and laayi/aralu/puffed paddy little by little checking the texture of the panchakajjaya, mix well and the green cardamom powder and mix again. 

Serve it just like this or as naivedyam.

Notes
If the jaggery mixture  is too sticky you may have to add in more of poha to the mixture.
The end result must not stick on to your fingers neither be too dry.
While serving you could mix in ghee and serve and this is totally optional.
Make sure u don’t add too much of water orelse the Paank(jaggery mixture will turn to be runny).
Add the poha first(little by little ) and then the Laayi(puffed paddy).


Serves 4
Let God Bless all of you with Pink of health and wealth,


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