RECIPES: Try these 3 recipes for prayer offerings
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Purattasi – the Hindu festival celebrating the deity Venkateswara – will be commemorated from September 17 to October 17.
Here are some recipes to help with preparations:
Braised brown chickpeas (Kadle)
Kadle is synonymous with prayers of the Indian culture. This dish used to be accompanied with sweet rice as they pair well together. Sometimes, it is just made as a snack but it is often prepared for traditional prayers, which include Purtassi, Porridge Prayers (Marriamman Prayers), Fasting Prayers, Lakshmi Prayers and 'Dead People’s Prayers'. Kadle is best prepared using dried brown chickpeas.
1 cup brown chickpeas
½ tsp salt (can be omitted for prayer)
2 tbs vegetable oil
½ tsp mustard seeds
3 dried chillies
1 sprig curry leaves
water as needed
Firstly, place the dried brown chickpeas into a bowl. Rinse the chickpeas and cover with water. Cover the bowl with a lid and allow to soak overnight. The next day, the chickpeas should be swelled.
On medium heat, add the soaked chickpeas to a pot. Cover with water and add the salt. Mix it and allow the chickpeas to boil until soft but not mushy. Add water if necessary while boiling. The boiling process takes about 50 minutes.
Once the chickpeas are soft, remove from the heat. Strain the pot of chickpeas in a colander and set aside.
Heat the vegetable oil in a pot on medium heat. Add the chopped onion, mustard seeds, dried chillies and the curry leaves. Mix well and allow to simmer until the onions are slightly browned. Thereafter, add the boiled chickpeas.
Gently mix, combining all the ingredients. Allow it to fry for 10 minutes on medium heat, stirring occasionally so that it does not burn. After 10 minutes, turn off the heat. Plate and serve.
Kolkutter is a sweet, rice flour treat which is moulded and steamed and usually prepared for prayers, namely, Vinayger Chaturthi (Ganesh Chaturthi), Sangatahara Chaturthi, Varalakshmi Vratam (Luxmi Prayers), Mariamman Prayers (Porridge Prayers) and Dead People’s Prayers. My mum and late grandmother always prepared these during the prayer time. They are very easy to prepare.
½ cup desiccated coconut
⅓ cup almonds
1 ½ cups rice flour
1 tsp elachi (cardamom) powder
¼ cup milk
80 grams butter
⅓ cup castor sugar
½ teaspoon nutmeg powder
Pinch of salt
⅛ cup milk powder (optional)
⅛ cup sesame seeds (thill)
193 grams condensed milk (½ tin)
Water as needed for steaming (± 1 cup)
Ground or finely chop almonds. Add rice flour to a bowl.
Thereafter, add the elachi (cardamom) powder, nutmeg powder and salt.
Add the milk powder. This step is optional. My mum adds it in when she prepares it, as it adds more flavour. I now have the tendency to add it as well.
Next, add the castor sugar. White granulated sugar may be used as an alternative. Add the desiccated coconut, sesame seeds (thill) and the ground or finely chopped almonds. Mix and pour in the condensed milk.
Melt the butter for a few seconds in the microwave. Add the melted butter to the mixture. Finally, pour in the milk and mix well.
The mixture should not be too mushy or else the mould won't hold. If it is too mushy, then add more rice flour. Take a small piece of the dough, around a golf ball size. Roll it a bit in your hands. Make a fist motion, with the dough being under fingers. Open hands and the kolkutter mould is formed.
Set aside on a plate and continue the same process until all the mixture is used.
Pour water into a pot - not too much. Preferably a pot with outer edges. Bring water to a boil. Alternatively, a steamer may be used for this process. Turn off the heat and place a dish towel over the pot. Secure it tightly with pegs on the ends.
Carefully place the kolkutter on top of the dish towel and allow it to steam for 10 minutes. Make sure that the kolkutter does not touch the water - therefore the dish towel needs to be secured tightly.
After steaming, carefully remove the kolkutter from the dish towel and place onto a plate. Allow it to rest for 10 minutes so that they can firm up. Reshape and mould if necessary. These kolkutters are now ready for eating or offering for a prayer.
* Do not refrigerate. Stays fresh for up to a week.
Gulgula/Goolgoola is an Indian doughnut in the shape of a ball that is deep fried in vegetable oil. It is usually made for Hindu prayers. They are accompanied by vedas. .
There are many variations of gulgulas, but this recipe is how my mum and her mum always made them. Gulgulas do not contain yeast. They do, however, contain baking powder, to make puff up in the oil.
The recipe below is sufficient for 1 to 2 people. It can be doubled or tripled according to your preference.
1 cup all-purpose or cake flour
2 tsp baking powder
vegetable oil for deep frying
¼ cup white granulated sugar
½ tsp cardamom (elachi) powder
2 tbs desiccated coconut
1 tsp vanilla essence
170 ml cold milk
bowl of water for dampening hands
Add the flour to a mixing bowl. To the flour, add in the baking powder. Alternatively, 1 cup of self-rising flour may be used instead of all-purpose or cake flour and baking powder.
Add in the desiccated coconut, granulated sugar and the cardamom (elachi) powder. Mix well. Add the vanilla essence and pour in the cold milk.
Mix well until it forms a batter. The batter should not be too runny as this will prevent it from forming the ball shapes when frying. If the batter is too runny (weak), add a little flour and if the batter is too thick, add a little milk.
Fill a bowl with water and set aside. This will be needed to wet your hands before grabbing portions of the dough for frying.
Heat the vegetable oil in a pot for deep frying on medium heat. Once the oil is hot enough, wet your hand in the bowl of water and scoop a portion of the mixture in your hand. Thereafter, drop the dough into the hot oil.
Some people use a clenched fist to form the balls, but I watched my grandmother when I was younger and she always used a pushing motion with her thumb - taking her thumb into her palm and pushing it out towards her fingers to release the dough.
Allow the gulgulas to fry until golden. Then, using a slotted spoon or a spider utensil, remove the gulgulas from the oil. Place them on to paper towels to drain off the excess oil. They are best served whilst hot and eaten on the same day as they tend to harden if kept for a longer period.