Thursday, October 29, 2009

Goda Phovu

Goda Phovu - Quite a simple dish prepared at my place for Pooja's and served as a Prasadam. Today is Uttan Duvadashi and a very important day for Hindus. This day is celebrated all through Konkan as Mothi Diwali or Badi Diwali. The hallmark of this day is "Tulsi Pooja" or "Tulsi Lagna". My family has been following the tradition of Tulsi Pooja and we do not perform the Tulsi Lagna. I was also informed that traditionally some families perform Tulsi pooja on any given day during Karthik month as per Hindu calendar. The month of Karthik is supposedly deemed as the holy months and all the days are considered auspicious. In Udupi, there is Laksha Divve program where 100 earthen lamps are illuminated around the premise of Udupi Sri Krishna Temple. It is quite a sight to see and lot of people flock to witness the visual delight.
In Goa, where I used to whole heartedly participate in Tulsi Lagna which means marriage of Tulsi; it was celebrated in quite a different way. The sugarcane is deemed as the Groom and is dug into the Tulsi pot. Alongwith these, Gooseberry (Amla) and Tamarind (Chincha) branches is also dug into the Tulsi plant. The Tulsi plant is decorated with the Rangoli (traditional Indian art of decorative designs hand drawn during festivals). Evening time,the priest visits from door to door to perform the pooja. I used to love going to my friends house for the Pooja, in return we used to get Puffed Rice with Sugarcane pieces and Chocolates as Prasad. We also used to burst crackers and that used to be the end of annual cracker firing process for us. I used to be delighted getting Chocolates as prasadam. Once Pooja is over, we used to be busy getting our hands on Tamarind and Gooseberries the next day around. We used to happily dip them in salt and devour them all till our set of teeth would be pleading and begging to be rescued from the tangy treats.

In my maternal home, the Tulsi pooja has been performed by my father for ages together now. Except for rest of the things which remain the same as a practice, we do not get the groom which is the Sugarcane. Mom makes God Phovu (Poha in molten jaggery) every year which is served as Prasadam to friends and family. Her signature Rangoli is always drawn on the Tulsi Pot which I personally find very cute. Since we have been a mobile family and been all over the place, we always had Tulsi pooja in Pots and never had a stationary Tulsi Katte as some of aunts have.

Preparation time ~ 20 minutes

Poha - 1 cup
Jaggery - 1/2 cup
Black Sesame seeds - 2 teaspoons
Grated coconut (optional) - 2-4 teaspoons
Cardamom powder - 1/3 teaspoon
Water - Just a sprinkle

Melt Jaggery in a saucepan and once in a molten state, add grated coconut. Give a good stir and add slightly roasted Black Sesame seeds (roasted separately in a different pan). Add Poha now and stir well. If the Poha retains its stiffness, sprinkle some water to add softness. Add cardamom powder and serve as a Prasadam during festivals.

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