Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Mahalaya ...... Khichudi, Dalma and Kheeri


The air outside was crisp and the a cool breeze swayed the curtains. I heard the bells and the sound of conch from the near by temple. I looked outside through the narrow gap between the windows, it was still dark. The morning hustle bustle in our house had started much early.
Aai (my maternal grandmother) had switched on her old transistor on full volume. A familiar voice recited the chants of various hymns of 'Mahisasura Mardini'. I guessed it was 'Mahalaya' ! I have always associated Mahalaya with an early morning audio montage of recitation of stanzas from 'Mahisasura Mardini'.
I heard Padma fill the bucket with water and splash it. Her glass bangles moved in rhythm to make a nice jingle as she swept the courtyard. Gopal Bhai the 'Phul wala' was also early. He rang his bicycle bell twice before he left the small woven bamboo basket with flowers for the usual morning puja. But today there was a 'Laal Mandara Mala' (Red Hibiscus Garland) along with the marigolds. Aai had asked Gopal Bhai for the Laal Mandara ..... she wanted to beckon the goddess by offering her favorite flower. Padma finished sweeping the courtyard and grabbed the faded plastic bowl in which Aai kept the Muruja ( Muruja is fine rice powder/flour. It is used to prepare motifs/rangoli ). She moved her hands swiftly to make a big rangoli around the 'Tulsi'.
The early rays of the sun and the early morning breeze was intoxicating. This morning was quite special in it's own way.
Aai was ready for the morning puja . Her long wet grey hair swayed in the morning breeze as she lit the lamp near the 'Tulsi' and watered it. I stood behind her as she began the puja . My eyes were stuck on the special bhoga/ prasad. "Aai is it Mahalaya ? Does that mean it is Durga Puja ?" Aai smiled and nodded as she gently caressed my tangled hair. Aai completed her Puja and placed a laddu on my hand. I happily roamed around the house nibbling on the laddu.
I knew it was time for new dresses, sweets, buying balloons from every balloon wala that passed by our house, exchange of puja gifts among kith and kin. And most importantly it was time for family reunions and pandal hopping.
I spent the rest of the day following Aai wherever she went and listening to stories of 'Maa Durga' and the victory of good over evil.
I have got so engrossed and busy with life that I have almost forgotten the true meaning of celebrating Puja. I wish I could unwind time and wake up to run to the courtyard and hear stories from Aai while eating Khichudi, Dalma and some warm Kheeri.


Sending this to Pree's 'Beyond Five Days of Durga Puja'.

Preparation Time - 30 minutes
Serves -3
Ingredients
Basmati Rice - 1/2 cup
Mung Daal - 1/2 cup
Chopped Onion - 1/2 cup
Chopped Methi Leaves - 1 cup
Cumin Seeds - 1 tsp
Cinnamon - 2 inches
Cardamon - 4
Green Chili -3
Roasted Peanuts - 1/3 cup
Clarified Butter - 1 tbsp
Salt per taste
Sugar - 1/2 tsp
Method of Preparation
1 Wash the rice and mung daal and keep aside.
2 In a pressure cooker add the clarified butter. When warm, add the cumin seeds, slit green chilies, Cardamon and Cinnamon.
3 Add the chopped onions and fry till brown. Now add the rice and the daal. Stir fry for about 5 minutes. Make sure you stir continuously else it will stick to the bottom of the cooker.
4 Next add the chopped methi leaves and peanuts. Fry for 2 minutes. Add salt per taste and sugar.
5 Add 2 cups of water and pressure cook till you get one whistle.
6 Remove from heat, open cooker and add some clarified butter on top of it.
Serving Tips
Serve warm with Dalma
Variation
You can use roasted mung daal instead of raw one.
You can use cashew nuts instead.
Other Names
Mung Daal Khichudi - Muga Dali Khechedi, Methi - Fenugreek.

29 comments:

Kairali sisters said...

wow..Satrupa, that looks yummilicious....

Sulagna said...

Lovely post..Could visualize your story !!

Torviewtoronto said...

colourful delicious rice

aipi said...

Nothing can be more comforting than that beautiful bowl of delicious khichudi..

US Masala

Priya (elaichii) said...

Best comfort food! BTW luvd your cute shrooms!

Satya said...

what a beautiful write up ...actually its same situation when i was in orissa ..feels like i am in my flash back ..lol ...thanks q somuch for sharing ..khichudi looks delicious...

Satya
http://www.superyummyrecipes.com

Silence Sings said...

Lcvely memoir...and very well narrated...Feeling nostalgic reading your post...

Sayantani said...

beautiful read Satrupa, you write very well. try your hands in stories and novels...I could see another Jhumpa Lahiri in making. trust me am touched with this post.

An Open Book said...

interesting read...nd tht dish looks yum

PreeOccupied said...

A bowl of khichudi like this will make me bawl and think of Durga Puja. Thanks for sharing your fond memories. The descriptions are very beautiful.

Home Cooked Oriya Food said...

wow - such a beautiful post... Reminds me of my days in Orissa, so typical... Nostalgia galore...

Akila said...

lovely recipe dear...

http://akilaskitchen.blogspot.com

Regards,
Akila

callmeasviju said...

very nice blog..................plz visit my blog if time permits..............http://lets-cook-something.blogspot.com/

Shabitha Karthikeyan said...

Lovely write up...Delicious recipe too !!

Yummy Team said...

Healthy and tasty khichudi..I went through your dalma recipe too..It sounds so healthy and tasty...Will try it sometime..

Priya said...

Wat a comforting food, feel like having some..healthy dalma and kheeri looks fabulous..

Deepi's World said...

Your post pushed me back to memory lane...I feel memories of our childhood gets stronger as time passes.good to read this post.

Suja Sugathan said...

Lovely post..this a a real comfort food dear..looks so inviting

SavithaRaj's Spice Land said...

Satpura that looks so comforting!

Treat and Trick said...

Lovely write up and this is simple and healthy dish..

RAKS KITCHEN said...

A comfort and filling meal! Nice recipe!

Anju Rathore said...

I m already in extreme festive mood and your post is so well written that I have started missing my family and place so terribly.

Nitha said...

Interesting dish.. looks great.

Sanghamitra Bhattacherjee(Mukherjee) said...

Nice write up!
Shubho Mahalaya o Sharod Shuvechha!!

nita said...

lovely write up...........

Nithya said...

Lovely post. I love your style of writing. It makes me imagine the situation clearly. Keep it going :)

Jagruti જાગૃતિ said...

Intresting and tasty dish..!

Satrupa said...

Thank you all for the lovely and encouraging comments.

I hope all of you are having a wonderful festive time with family and friends.

Sangeeta said...

Your writing reminded me of my childhood.
Excellent dish & recipe.Luv the picture 2!

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