Here I am with my concluding part of the Gowri-Ganesha festival series. I will post my other naivedya dishes over time as I want to take a break from the heavy festival food and go back to regular food for a while :-).
Continuing from where we left off in the last post, after the afternoon visits to see Ganesha idols, evenings used to be reserved for going with Amma to those homes that had actually invited us. The attraction and the difference with this one was guaranteed goodies at the end of the visit J, this was the time amma also completed any remaining ‘baagina’ work with her friends. Coming back home had us do another round of pooje, prepare Ganesha for the immersion (the same night or later) and eat dinner(if one could really force anything at all after all the constant eating throughout the day) and go to bed.
The celebrations come to an end with the traditional immersion which is a big part of the Ganesha send off. Since we had the silver Ganesha, we never did the immersion which was cause enough to feel left out in the friend's group :-). Amma's small turmeric paste Ganesha would be dunked in a vessel of clean water and once it dissolved in water, the water went to her Tulsi(holy basil) plant. I think it was one of the most environmentally friendly ways looking at all the painted and non clay Ganesha idols that pollute our waters now. But as kids we felt like we missed out a lot of the festival by not going to the water with our Ganesha idol and so would be very thrilled to jump out at the first opportunity to tag along with a friend and family.
The Ganesha idols will be carried in procession, bigger the idol, larger the procession and louder the noise and immersed in designated ponds or lakes around Mysore. There used to be a lot of singing and dancing marking an end to the festivities (until Mysore woke up brightly to the Dasara celebrations in a month or so)
If only I could have held those years in my fist..It felt good to relive those memories on paper (Err.. on blog) and feel it in the present. I do a very abbreviated Gowri-Ganesha habba now and remember the old times fondly every year. Like any other Indian festival, these were made colorful with new clothes, good food, lot of visiting and sharing goodies. Last year, this was the first festival we celebrated in our new home.
I have really enjoyed writing about my Gowri-Ganesh habba series. I am aware that this is by no means any new information to many of you as far as the festivals are concerned but it felt good to just reminisce about those childhood days. Thank you all for your comments and support.
Here is a delicious, easy to make Ganesha favorite as we conclude this year's celebrations. This is a healthy, no oil savory recipe which I make quite often at home for breakfast. After two Kannadiga recipes, here is a typical Telugu dish made for the Ganesha festival. You can use regular store bought idli rava in this recipe but I recommend making it at home for better taste.
What do you need to make Undrallu?
Makes about 35 golf ball sized Undrallu
2.5 cups rice rava(I use regular sona masoori)
5 cups water
1/2 cup chanadal
1 Tsp mustard
1/2 Tsp cumin
1-2 dry red chilies - broken into small pieces
2 Tblsp grated coconut (fresh or frozen)
3-4 curry leaves - chopped small
1 Tsp salt (adjust to taste)
1 Tsp ghee/clarified butter
Preparing Rice Rava at home:
- Wash and soak rice in water for 20-30 minutes.
- Spread it on paper napkins or thin towels and let it dry inside the room until the moisture is gone (about 2 hours)
- Pulse it in the mixer to get a coarse rava (Upma rava consistency).
- Store in airtight containers for later use.
- 2 cups of rice yields 2.5 cups of rice rava.
- Roast the rice rava on medium heat for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Soak chana dal in water for an hour or until the dal plumps up.
- Heat ghee in a pan, add mustard, cumin and let it sizzle.
- Add red chilies, curry leaves, grated coconut and chana dal and fry for a minute.
- Add the 5 cups of water, salt and let the water come to a gentle boil.
- Pour the rice rava in to the boiling water while constantly stirring the mixture to avoid lump formation.
- Let it cook on low heat for 2-3 minutes. Switch off.
- As soon as the mixture is cool enough to handle, dip you hands in a bowl of cold water and make golf ball sized balls from it.
- Arrange in a steamer or a cooker pan, steam it for 10 minutes.
- Enjoy hot Undrallu with any spicy chutney or pickle of your choice.
- The mixture should not be left to become cold before the steaming, this makes the Undrallu chewy to bite.
- Adding coconut makes them tastier and lighter.
- You can use regular cooking oil instead of the ghee for a lower calorie recipe.
- I usually add Byadagi chili pieces so they are not very spicy.
- Rice rava to water ratio is 1:2 but feel free to use a little less or more based on the quality of the rava. The cooked mixture should be like a soft Upma, neither dry nor watery.