In order to prevent the dreaded Kamsan(Krishna’s maternal uncle) from killing Krishna, Vasudeva (Krishna’s father) placed him in a basket on the river and sent him to his foster home for safety.The ritual is to fast the previous day and at midnight, the deity of the infant Krishna is placed in a decorated Mantapa or cradle and worshipped.The fast is completed after a special prayer and offerings. Krishna loves aval (poha/ flattened rice flakes), butter and fruits (esp Nava pazham or Jambolan) and Bhakshanam (snacks & sweets in Tamil) like appam, murukku, seedai. The celebrations is done late in the evening after the Moon rises.Footprints of infant Krishna is drawn with rice flour batter from the front of the house to the pooja room. There is a belief that the god enters the devotee’s home, blesses them and eats your offerings.
This is my first Janmashtami after my wedding and I wanted to celebrate it. With carpets in the living room, I could draw Krishna’s feet just from my kitchen floor to the Pooja shelf. I prayed in the evening with aval payasam, few apples and butter. My mom had given me a cute little infant silver Krishna idol. I gave him a bath, placed manjal-kumkum (red-yellow scared powder) on his forehead and also a small red flower from my patio on his head. :-).
Here is a display of my simple Janmashtami celebrations and my little adorable nephew Shama (also our dressed up Krishna for this year).
Kuselan (Mythological friend of Krishna) was very poor and Krishna was very rich. When he didnt have enough money to run his family, he decided to visit Krishna and seek some help. He didnt have anything to take with him to give Krishna. They had little bag of Aval/poha in their house and Kuselan’s wife suggested to give it when he visited Krishna and it seems Krishna ate it with all the happiness and love. This was one of story which was narrated in my dance classes and I can never forget the way we enacted it. That’s when my dance teacher told me that Krishna loves aval/poha. Somethings get registered so well that you can hardly forget them in your life 🙂 🙂 🙂
The post for today is Aval Payasam. Aval/Poha is one of the most favorite dish of Krishna. This is a simple dessert made by cooking poha and milk together on a low flame. The addition of sugar and ghee-fried cashewnuts makes them so delightable. Slurp!
1 cup aval/poha/ flattened rice flakes (Available in Indian Grocery Stores)
3 cups milk
3 cups water
2 cardamons – powdered
2 tbs sugar (adjust according to your need)
1 tbs ghee/clarified butter
1 teaspoon saffron strands soaked in 2 tablespoon warm milk
Place the aval/poha in a colander and run it through tap water. Do it real quickly, if the poha absorbs too much water, they become soggy. Remove from the colander and place it over a kitchen towl/ tissue.
Heat 2 tsp ghee in a kadai. Once they get heated up, saute the cleaned aval/poha. Cook till they become dry and flaky.
Increase the heat to high, throw in 3 cups of water and cardamon powder and bring to boil. Now turn to medium heat and cook covered for 15min till the poha/aval are well cooked. Test with a spoon and they should be soft now.
Pour in the 2 cups of milk and cook on low flame for 20min. Constant stirring is required. Add the sugar and give it a complete stir. Allow the milk to thicken.
In a separate kadai, heat the remaining ghee and fry the cashewnuts. Add this to the boiling payasam. Check for sugar and adjust it to your need.Garnish with the soaked saffron.
Yummy hot payasam is ready to serve.
This is my entry for Sanghi’s Milk event