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Shri Krishna Janmashtami/Krishna Jayanthi Pooja Preparation – Tips & Tricks

IMG_3103Many of you have asked me how I prepare for one of the most exciting and beloved Festivals we have, Shri Krishna Janmashtami/Krishna Jayanthi or whatever name you wish to give this festival. It is celebrated all over the world. With the invent of internet, everyone wants to perform this festival and is looking for tips and tricks especially if you are working.  Based on decades of experience I have in observing as performed by my parents and performing the festival myself since I got married,  I am sharing some tips and tricks which will make it easy and not to stress out.

Remember, at the end of the day it is the Bhakthi and devotion which you can offer the Lord which is of utmost importance than the count of items you cook.

Since this year it is on a Saturday, and my daughter is joining us, it will once again be a Festival to perform with great enthusiasm and cook several dishes as well. Enough of my story right?

Attached below are some tips and tricks I follow.

Grocery List:

I buy all items new for this and Ganesha festival. Just a habit, nothing else. I am not listing how many lbs/kgs t buy, left to your discretion. With the list below you can prepare all items listed in Recipe Section.

Shree-Krishnastami-20141

  1. Rice Flour
  2. Maida or All purpose flour
  3. Besan
  4. Urda dal flour
  5. Red chilli powder
  6. Hing
  7. Oil
  8. Moong Dal
  9. Channa dal
  10. Dry Coconut Powder
  11. Salt
  12. Thick Poha
  13. Thin Poha
  14. Sooji
  15. Jaggery
  16. Sugar
  17. Jeera
  18. Mustard Seeds
  19. Ghee
  20. Butter
  21. Milk
  22. Butter Milk since Yogurt is not used during this vrata
  23. Coconut

Pooja List:

I am hoping you have the daily pooja items like Haldi, Kumkum, etc etc. This list is specific for this day and in no particular order you can arrange them as you wish.

  1. Flowers, buy assortment of all flowers as shown below:Collages
  2. Fruits, all fruits are allowed in this vrata.IMG_29333. Banana plant and Leaves if available IMG_31034. Argya Items, milk, water, lemon, coin and a dry date. Keep them ready!IMG_30035. Prepare all the lamps to light, Mangalarathi and aarathi  using Ghee or Oil.IMG_3004IMG_30056. Make sure you have Rangoli, if you don’t have the dry powder, use Kundan Rangoli, a chalk and draw. If even that is not available, take some printouts and use them. I have used a combination of all of them as seen below. Draw small feet of Lord Krishna from the front door.

Shree-Krishnastami-20143
O7. Prepare Gejje Vastra with Kumkum. No set number here, I use one set for each idol I keep.IMG_30158. Make sure you have camphor, Agarbathi and also soaked for Mangalaruthi.

9. Prepare the cradle for Lord Krishna. Once you are done giving the Argya, we rock the cradle and sing the lullaby. IMG_3089

10. If not anything else, just offer a coconut.IMG_1881

11. The detailed pooja procedure is posted at the following link:

Update : Nagara Chauthi/Panchami

August 18th – Tuesday – Nagara Chathurthi
August 19th – Wednesday– Nagara Panchami

Nagara Chauthi is the fourth day of the Shravana masa. On this day married women take head bath and wearing wet clothes (or washed clothes separately) which makes it very pure, either do the pooje to the snake hootha or place a silver idol of Nagappa and continue. Unboiled milk or raw milk, haldi,  soaked kadale, gejjevastra and flowers are offered to the idol of Nagappa. Women who do the pooje on this day fast as well. This is how we do the pooje in Madhwa houses. No fried items are prepared during this day. Women also prepare thambittu and do aarathi to Nagappa using the same. All this needs to be done in madi.

P.S: No Kumkum is applied to Nagappa on Chauthi. The gejjevastra is prepared by applying Haldi. No deep fired items as well.

Next day being the Nagara Panchami, everyone in the house performs the pooje; including children. If you are offering milk to the idol of Nagappa; it is customary to do the pooje to Nagappa as soon as you wake up, take a shower and even before drinking your coffee in the morning. As done in the previous day, place a silver plate, keep the idol of Nagappa. Pour 3 times milk, water, haldi, kumkum, gejjevastra, flowers and kadale. Prepare the thambittu and do the aarathi.

P.S:Kumkum is applied to Nagappa on Panchami. The gejjevastra is prepared by applying Kumkum. No deep fired items as well.

It is also customary to draw images of Nagappa on the front door, hosthilu and also near the place you worship using rice paste. Haldi, kumkum, gejje vastra and flowers are applied to these as well.

Lord Krishna was playing ball with his friends, when suddenly the ball got entangled in the high branch of a tree. Krishna volunteered to climb the tree and fetch the ball. But below the tree the river Yamuna was flowing in full glory, in which the snake Kalinga was living. Nobody dared to go near that place. Lord Krishna ignoring the warnings of his friends jumps into the water. The dangerous ‘Kalinga” serpent comes up. But Krishna was ready and jumping on the snake’s head, starts dancing on its head. Kalinga realizes the strength of Lord Krishna and pleads with Krishna: “Please, do not kill me.” Krishna takes sympathy on Kalinga and after taking a promise that henceforth he would not harm anybody, he let the snake go free into the river again. Hence, Nag Panchami is also commemorated as a day of victory of Lord Krishna over Kalinga the legendary snake.

What to eat during Nagara Chauthi?

So, here are the items you can prepare during this day, when you are not supposed to fry anything.

What to eat during Nagara Panchami? No frying on this day as well. And no dish made out of Vermicelli or Shavige.

To prepare Thambittu follow this procedure:

P.S: Nagara Panchami Haadu/Song is posted here

Updated : Bhimana Amavase or Gandana pooje – August 14th 2015

Bhimana Amavase or Gandana pooje, is an important pooje performed by unmarried women and newly married women for 9 years after their marriage. It is performed on the new moon day or amavase in the month of Aashada masa. This year it is on August 14th 2015 Friday.

This pooje is also called Bheemeshwarana pooje. This pooje is dedicated to God Shiva and Goddess Parvati.

Mud models of Shiva and Parvathi in the form of a cone with a flat base are made, kept in the sun to dry and decorated with white dots made out of limestone paste, or sometimes with akki hittu(rice flour) mixed with milk. A thread immersed in turmeric paste, a flower and sometimes turmeric root are tied around the model for Parvathi. After the pooje, usually either the girls Mom or Mother-in-Law ties this thread to the girls wrists.

Those who have brothers, later in the evening worship the hosthilu or threshold of their house. They call it “Bhandara vadiyodu“. The girls brother brakes the bhandara and gives money to his sister.

The story for Bhimana Amavase goes like this:

In a city there was a king called Vajrabahu. He had one and only son called Vijayashekara, who dies suddenly while still young. The king and queen decide to perform his marriage; even though he is dead. But, who would marry a corpse, right? No one comes forward to marry him. A Brahmin couple, named Madhava and his wife Sushila have five daughters and nine sons. They are extremely poor and they decide to marry one of their daughters in marriage to the dead prince; in return they would get lot of money and can use it to feed their family.

This girl is left with her dead husband and than she prays to God Shiva and Goddess Parvathi with great devotion. Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvathi ask her to perform this pooje; since she is in the forest and doesn’t have any money she uses clay or mud and performs the pooje. The dead prince comes back to life. The king, queen and everyone is now happy to see their son come back to life.

Now that you know why and how to do the pooje, tell the significance of this story to your daughter, perform the pooje, tie the thread across her wrist and bless her with all your heart.

Happy Gandana Pooje.

Here below is the step by step procedure to perform Diwasi Gowri pooje as per the book I have now:

1. Clean the place where you are going to perform the pooja, put an elaborate rangoli (ರಂಗವಲ್ಲಿ). Find links to various rangoli (ರಂಗವಲ್ಲಿ) here:

2. Place a wooden plank called Mane(ಮಣೆ).
3. On this Mane, place a silver plate and within the plate, keep the idols of Diwasi Gowri and Managal Gowri( if you are performing Managal Gowri).
4. Also keep 1 dry cocnout (Kobbari Battalu ಕೊಬ್ಬರಿ ಬಟ್ಟಲು) as it is called in Kannada, 10 betel nut (adike ಅಡಿಕೆ), 10 betel leaves (villedele ವಿಳೇದೆಲೆ), 10 rounds of thread ದಾರ.
5. Now, worship the gowri and offer her 10 Kucchida Kadabu (ಕುಚ್ಚಿದ ಕಡಬು).
6. Next, tie 10 knots on the thread immersed in turmeric paste, a flower and sometimes turmeric root. For married ladies, 10 knots and unmarried girls 5 knots, and 5 rounds of thread.
7. Put this on the Gowri idol.
8. Perform Aarthi to Gowri. Offer your prayers, and do namaskaras.
8. Once, you finish all the pooja, usually either the girls Mom or Mother-in-Law ties this thread to the girls wrists or can also put it around her neck.

Jowar & Akki Rotti – ಜೋಳ & ಅಕ್ಕಿ ರೊಟ್ಟಿ

jowar-akki-rottiI try to make food as healthy as possible. So, for the past several months instead of making just Akki/Rice Rotti, I am using other healthy flours like Jowar and Ragi. I usually mix equal portions of Jowar and Ragi and make rotti. The Ragi flour was over, and the weather prevented us to venture out to buy the same.

So, I mixed 2 cups of Jowar flour and 1/2 cup of Rice flour. The rotti turned amazingly soft, and unbelievably tasty. This is also healthy. Make sure you cook the rotti in low flame so patience is required for this rotti.

Ingredients:

  1. 2 cups Jowar Flour
  2. 1/2 cup Rice Flour
  3. 1 large Cucumber or Onion or Carrot finely grated
  4. 6-8 green chillies finely chopped
  5. 1/4 cup fresh or frozen coconut ( I skipped)
  6. 8-10 sprigs cilantro leaves finely chopped
  7. 1 tsp jeera
  8. salt to taste

Method:

  • Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl with water. The dough should not too watery. See pics above.
  • In a cold pan or tava, add 1 tsp oil. Now take a tennis size ball of the dough and place in the center of the tava.
  • With your palms, slowly start tapping the dough until it forms a thin circle around the tava.
  • You can add water to your finger tips while doing this.
  • Once the rotti is thin and evenly spread, turn the gas on and place this Tava.
  • Let it cook in medium heat until all sides are done.
  • Simultaneously on another stove, make the rotti on a bandale, pan.
  • Reverse and cook for a minute or two.
  • Serve with Chutney or pickle.It tastes crunchy, spicy and way too yumhealth.

P.S:  After you finish making one rotti, the tava or pan has to washed in cold water so that you make another one. If the pan is hot, the dough sticks and you can’t make a thin rotti.

You can find recipes for other rotis posted here:

Vaikunta Ekadashi At Mantralaya

The images are stunning. Our beloved Rayaru with Tulasi Mala. Please take a look.

http://www.raghavendramutt.org/stories/vaikunta-ekadashi-mantralayam

 

5 Million(50 Lakh) Hits to Kalpavriksha Kamadhenu – Thank You

It is with great joy that I am writing this post to inform all of the visitors that this blog has exceeded 5 Million (50 Lakh) hits and close to 480,531 visitors.

5million-hits

The site has 871 posts, and just in 2014 we had 112 posts published which is indeed amazing. In 2013, there was a total of 995,429 visits. However, it exceeded to a million hits in 2014, to be exact it was 1,174,765. I hope with many more posts the coming year, we can reach 2 million in 2015.

5million-hits2

Once again, five million thanks to all the contributors, and to all those who visit and comment, and also to those who visit and don’t comment.

I am humbled by all the emails, and comments I receive each and everyday. I am also honored to read from many of your emails that I was able to motivate you and also influence you. It brings great joy to know that this blog and I myself can influence so many of you. Thanks for sharing those emails.

And how I can forget to say THANKS to ALMIGHTY LORD and our BELOVED RAYARU. Without his grace none of this would be possible.

See you all in 2015. A VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR 2015.

Spinach Beans Sambar – ಸೊಪ್ಪು ಕಾಳಿನ ಹುಳಿ

The most healthy and nutritious sambar you can ever make. This goes well with Rice, chapathi and Roti. This sambar is so filling, tasty and very healthy. I usually never make Sambar with just the powder, but this one was very tasty.

Wait until you see the next post where I made an amazing roti out of something left over and used this sambar for accompaniment.

soppu-kalu

Ingredients for the masala:

Ingredients for the huli:

  1. 1 cup toor dal
  2. 2 big bunches of Spinach, washed and chopped finely ( I used frozen Spinach)
  3. 1 cup white beans, washed and cooked ( I used canned)
  4. 1 cup Garbanzo(chick Pea) beans, washed and cooked ( I used canned)
  5. 3-4 tsp huli pudi
  6. 3 tsp tomato paste
  7. 1 tsp tamarind paste
  8. Salt to taste
  9. For seasoning – Oil, Mustard seeds, Jeera, Haldi, Hing, curry leaves, 1 red chilli

Method:

  1. Pressure cook toor dal along with spinach and both beans.
  2. I used frozen spinach and canned beans, so added it to cooked toor dal later.
  3. In a big vessel, add 3 tsp oil. Add mustard seeds, jeera, hing, curry leaves, and haldi.
  4. Add tomato paste and tamrind paste.
  5. Now add the Huli powder.
  6. When it starts boiling, add the cooked toor dal, spinach and beans. Add salt to taste.

Serve with Rice or chapathi.

You can find Sambar Powder recipe here:

IMG_2155

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