Varalakshmi Vratham had been celebrated last week in major parts of South India.
The day falls on a Friday,every year according to the Tamil Calendar.Learn more about the festival here and here.
I have been celebrating the Vratham since my marriage according to my ma in law’s ways, in a simpler way; simple meal after the Ashtothram chant followed by a day’s fasting.The main meal is Arisi Upma made of Raw rice/Pachari/Pacharisi.
Serves- 2 ;Time needed 20 minutes.
Ponni Raw rice-1cup
Water-3 and a half cups;more or less.
Grated coconut-1/4 cup
Thuar dal-a tsp
Pepper corns-1/2 tsp
Green chilly-one, slit lengthwise
Refined Oil-A tbsp
Mustards and Urad dal-to temper
A sprig of Curry leaves
1. Heat a thick-bottomed kadai and fry the rice (without oil) for a few minutes,say for about 3 minutes, till it heats up well.Do not let it change colour.Remove from fire and let it cool down.
2. Combine rice, thuar dal and the pepper corns.Dry grind in a mixie to a coarse(slightly coarser than rava).Do not make it to a fine powder.You need just to pulse for 3-5 seconds.
3. Now, heat the oil in the same kadai,(I use a thick bottomed bronze pot for better results)splutter mustard and brown the urad dal. Add the green chilly and the curry leaves.Sauté for a couple of seconds and pour the measured water immediately.Bring to a boil.Add salt.
4. Add the coarsely powdered rice and slowly mix into the boiling water.Turn the flame to medium and carefully blend in the rice so as to avoid lumps.The mixture at this point would be watery.Bring to a boil stirring in between.Now close the kadai with an appropriate lid, not allowing the steam to escape.Turn knob to 'sim'.
5. Open the lid after 3 minutes and check by scraping the bottom with the flat end of a ladle to confirm any charring or sticking to the bottom is not taking place.Add the grated coconut.Turn the mixture.
6. Cover again.Open again after 3-5 minutes.Repeat the above process.Continue doing this every 3-5 minutes till the rice grains are soft and cooked well.If the water content is more, keep the kadai closed till it gets absorbed.Note that the upma hardens when it cools down to room temperature.
7. The Upma should have reached the consistency of Pongal(semi solid)by now.
Note:I am more used to trying this recipe in a Bronze pot with a lid as the in-between turning can be avoided and the grainy rice gets cooked by the consistent heat of the heavy metal bronze, contributing a richer taste.Moreover the utensil is considered to be auspicious for a ceremony like Varalakshmi Pooja.
This is my Neivedyam to Neivedyam.:D..
No words to Thank you dear Sobila, who again lovingly put the query in my previous recipe comment box,"then how u celebrated varalakshmi viratham? i expected ur dishes for that".