Friday, September 26, 2014

Panchkadai ( sweet offering to God)

Yesterday marked the beginning of the nine-day festival Navrathri ,( Nav means 9 and rathri means nights)celebrated in India and by Indians worldwide. People from different parts of the country celebrate it differently,  some observing a 9-day fasting of different levels combined with praying while others celebrate it by merry-making. There is lot of dancing during the nine nights.

Panchkadai is something that is offered to God during Pooja/ prayers. While there are several types of panchkadai , the most common offering being Godu Phovu, this particular one is made with roasted lentils and sesame seeds. This is therefore a very good source of proteins. As everything else I make, this too is easy to make.


Freshly grated coconut: 1 1/2 cups
Jaggery: 3/4cup
Water: 1/8 cup
Chana dal( split pea lentil):1/2 cup
Moong dal ( split moong bean lentil): 1/2 cup
White sesame seeds: 1/2 cup
Cardamom powder: 1/8 tsp


In a pot add the jaggery and water and cook it on medium heat until the jaggery has completely dissolved ( takes around 5 minutes). Switch of the flame and let it settle down for 8-10 minutes. Now gently take the top portion of the syrup into another pot. Look for sand/ dirt residue, discard it.

Now heat the syrup again on medium heat until it bubbles and has a nice golden hue. Mix in the freshly grated coconut and cook for 1-2 minutes. Stir in the cardamom powder and ghee and keep aside to cool down.

Separately dry roast the sesame seeds, moon bean lentil ( moong dal) and split-pea lentil ( Chana dal) and keep aside. Once slightly cooled, coarsely powder the Chana dal in te blender or food processor. I do the same thing to moong dal too, but you don't have to!

Once the able mixture is cooled, mix in the coarsely crushed dal and the sesame seeds .Mix well.

Panchkadai is ready to be offered to the Goddess.

Cooking made easy:

This panchkadai can be made with just Chana dal or just moong dal or with sesame seeds alone, it you could combine them in different permutations and combinations. There is no set hard and fast rule.

Tip for healthy living:

To get rid of dry dark patches on the back of your elbows, try rubbing it with lemon halves, leave it on for few minutes, then wash with warm water. Apply coconut oil or Vaseline after drying.

Food for thought:

Familiar acts are beautiful through love. Percy Bysshe Shelley