Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Gowri-Ganesha festival series 2 - Karigadubu

Hope you all had a good Ganesha habba celebration earlier today or yesterday depending on where you live. We did our pooja in the morning before starting work.

So continuing from last post on Gowri-Ganesha festivals, as kids we liked it when Gowri-Ganesha habba were on 2 different days. If they coincided, for one, you had to get up earlier so the Gowri pooje could finish earlier and the ladies could go home to do their Ganesha pooje. Secondly, all festival eating was crammed into that single day which meant we didn't have the extended second day habbada oota(festival food). Lastly but most importantly, it would mean one day off from school when the festivals merged which was a big bummer :-), this became a non issue when I went off to a convent school later.

Families that brought the clay Ganesha for the worship used to start their market visits a couple of days before. I just can't forget those crowded streets and the festival smell in the air. I get the same feeling shopping around Christmas time here :-). Our family didn't bring a clay Ganesha as our silver idols were kept for the pooja. This had a down side as it meant there was no immersion at the end of the festival for us :-(. Nammamma made a small Ganesha with turmeric paste to keep next to the silver idols.

The locality where we lived in Mysore during my school days, had a big community Ganesha right next to our house. There was a bunch of college students that would assemble together months before and start asking for donations. The organization grew in size and pomp every year and they kept extending the number of days of festivities. A day before the festival, they would stand up a temporary structure complete with a stage and an altar for the idols right in the middle of road, called 'Pandals' in colloquial languages. All traffic would be redirected. Blaring loud speakers touted the presence of a Ganesha Pandal at every road corner and go on 24 hours a day until the festivities came to an end 3/5/7 days later depending on the funds collected. On the day of the festival, the loud speakers would start with a devotional song on Ganesha and play some more for the first hour or so. Then for the rest of the day, we were entertained non stop with popular numbers from movies :-)  much to the dismay of elders. I still remember many of those songs in bits and pieces though I have absolutely no idea which movie it belonged to.  I still haven't figured out the relation between Ganesha habba and the movie songs.

For us kids, the best part of the festival was (apart from the food ofcourse) the Ganesha visit around the neighborhood. After the pooje and lunch at home, we used to set out in the hot afternoon with a group of like minded kids to visit as many Ganesha altars as we could with 101 being the magic number. You could find groups of kids on such mission all over the neighborhood. It used to be so much fun and exercise walking in the afternoons with friends trying to get people to open their doors for us. Most houses left the door open for the kids while some grouchy(I now feel it was genuinely a nuisance for older people trying to catch a wink of their afternoon siesta) old people would shout out from inside that we were not welcome. Nothing daunted us kids from our target of visiting 101 Ganesha altars :-), Oh the simple pleasures of childhood.

Once invited, we would go in, put some of the akshate(rice mixed with turmeric or kumkuma - used in Pooja) on top of the altar and do our prostration. Our quest for 101 Ganesha usually took us out of the familiar, immediate neighborhood into people's homes we didn't even know but there is strength in numbers and so noone was unduly scared. I don't think I can send my daughter off on such an expedition now :-(. I have been to houses that strictly forbade us from putting any akshate as it would spill all over the room, house owners that told us to be totally noiseless if there is such a thing involved when there are a bunch of giggling kids, houses that refused entry to us saying they didn't have a separate altar and houses that were actually nice and welcoming and saw us off with a piece of sweet or fruit.

And for people that wanted to see 101 Ganesha idols but didn't want to go from house to house in the hot Sun, Mysore had a short cut. There was a huge circle in the heart of the city which had 101 Ganesha idols during the festival. All you had to do was go there and do your prostrations.

Here is a funny anecdote from one of my Ganesha visits, my family has heard me narrate this incident many times as I repeat it every Ganesha habba. But I have promised them that I won't repeat from now on and if they ever miss my telling the story (I strongly doubt that), they can always open up the blog and read it. I had an elementary school classmate who was terrified of dogs and typically we would knock on the outside gate and ask "Nimma maneli Ganesha koorsiddeera?"(Do you have Ganesha altar set up in your house?) as a way of asking permission to come in and visit. This girl in her mortal fear of dogs and an honest slip of the tongue once asked "Nimma maneli naayi koorsiddeera?" (Do you have dog on your altar) and had the offended house owner chase us down the street :-). I have lost touch with her and always think if she still has that dog fear.

I made the traditional Karigadubu (The word comes from karida or deep fried kadubu) which is believed to be the Lord's favorite. Nammamma and the other ladies in my family always made this with a filling of dry coconut and sugar called 'Kobbari-sakkare'. There are many other variations of this dish where the filling could be made with some dal & jaggery combination. I love the kobbari-sakkare filling as it keeps the kadubu crisp and crunchy. DD took one bite of it today and declared 'No wonder Ganesha has such a big stomach, he can't stop eating this' :-)

I have made 2 different shapes here, one is the traditional kadubu and the other is called 'Lakkote holige' because of its shape resembling an envelope. The ingredients are exactly same, just a different shape. I have some step by step pictures for both shapes. If you make the lakkote holige, you will additionally use a clove to hold the shape together.
Our Ganesha Naivedya - kadle kalu usali, undrallu, pulihora and Karigadubu
What do you need to make Karigadubu?
Makes about 12 karigadubu
For filling: 
1 cup grated kobbari (this is the naturally dried coconut available in Indian stores)
1 cup sugar
1 Tsp poppy seeds (optional)
4-5 cardamom pods
For the outer covering: 
1 cup maida/all purpose flour
1/2 cup chiroti rava (super fine rava)
pinch of salt
1 Tsp ghee/clarified butter
1/4 cup water
Oil to deep fry
1 Tsp maida/all purpose flour for dusting

How do you make Karigadubu?
Making the filling(Hoorana):
  • Dry roast the grated kobbari for a couple of minutes until it starts to give out a nice aroma, keep aside. 
  • Roast the poppy seeds for 2 minutes until it starts to pop, keep aside. 
  • Pulse sugar in your mixer till it is powdery. Add the roasted kobbari & poppy seeds and run the blender once to mix them in. 
  • Peel and pound the cardamom seeds into a fine powder and add it in. 
Outer covering(Kanaka): 
  • Mix all the ingredients listed under 'outer covering' into a slightly stiff dough. 
  • Knead for a good 5 minutes, wrap it in a wet cloth/paper napkin and set aside for atleast 30 minutes. 
  • Knead the dough for another 5 minutes, take out small lime sized portions of the dough and shape them into smooth balls. 
  • Keep them covered until you are ready to use. 
Making the Karigadubu: 
  • Heat the oil in a wide pan. 
  • Take a ball of the kanaka, dip lightly in the all purpose flour and roll into an oval shape roti with the lengthy side being about 4 inches.
  • Dip your fingers in water and coat the edge of the roti with it.
  • Take a spoon of the filling and put it in the center of the oval shape, pull one side over the other and press the edges together with fingers to seal them. 
  • Repeat for the remaining dough. 
  • When the oil is ready, drop the filled kadubu gently into the oil and let it cook until it puffs up and the outer cover looks light golden brown, 
  • Take them onto a paper lined plate. 
Karigadubu making sequence: 
Lakkote holige making sequence:
  • The thinner you roll the outer cover, the crisper your karigadubu will be. You need to strike a balance between having a thin cover Vs tearing it apart. 
  • Do not overfill the kadubu and ensure the edges are sealed to prevent it from opening up in the oil. 
  • Adding ghee to the cover makes the kadubu light and crispy. 
  • Kneading the dough twice is very essential to get a light, crispy kadubu as this process makes the dough soft.
  • If you plan on keeping the karigadubu for longer, I suggest double frying. After you remove the kadubus from the oil, let it sit for 5 minutes, dunk them in the hot oil once again and fry just for a minute or so. 


Priya said...

Looks absolutely yummy and inviting that.

NamsVeni Pothas said...

nice sweet for a nice festival. this festival is specially for kids and Vinayaka is their friend. once again happy Ganesha Pooja.

Anonymous said...

Out of the ordinary information. Credit on behalf of the info!

Vani said...

Nice habba specials, N! ANd loved the "naayi koorsiddeera" story :)

Kannada Cuisine said...

Yummy yum Karigadubu..and loved the 'nayi kursidira?' story

Nupur said...

Quite informative post...

Glad to follow you dear :)

Nagashree said...

Thanks everyone for stopping by!

sashi said...

had a hearty laugh. You have a way with words and can bring the words to life. Bought back memories. Keep up the good work.