Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Diwali Special: Laayi pitte undo ( Popped paddy sweet balls)

Diwali or Deepavali means row of lights. It is also known as the "festival of lights worldwide. It is celebrated on the New Moon day of the month of Kartik. Deepavali is spread over 4 days starting with the 13th day of Krishna Paksha or second or dark fortnight of the month. It is associated with many episodes from the Hindu holy books like Ramayana and Mahabharata.All four days are celebrated by making a variety to sweets and savories, exchanging it with friends and family, lighting rows of oil and wick lamps and bursting firecrackers.

We Mangalorean konkanis ( GSB) celebrate it for 4 days:

Day 1- 21 st October 2014: Dhana-trayodahsi, Jala pooje( water pooja), thaila bhanga:
Homes are cleaned, with special emphasis on the bathrooms where the "bhana" ( the huge copper pot in which bathing water is heated) is cleaned, decorated with rangoli designs and flowers. Little boys ( male kids)are given oil massage and bath and interestingly fish dishes ( both fried and curried) are cooked for dinner.

Day 2 -22 nd October,2014: Naraka Chaturdashi : This is the day prior to Deepavali is called Naraka chaturdashi.This is in commemoration of Lord Krishna along with Satyabhama killing a wicked Asura by name Narakasura on the eve of Diwali.On this day grown men are given oil massage and bath and the traditional offering to God, godu phovu is made.

Day 3- 23rd October,2014: Diwali and Dhanalakshmi Pooja:
The Deepawali Day is celebrated with Dhanalakshmi Puja. People who own gold shops perform puja in the shops.
The Deepawali Day is believed to be the day on which Lord Rama, Sita and Lakshman returned to Ayodhya from Lanka. Being dark night (Amavasya or No moon day), the night before new moon day) they were greeted by lighting hundreds of clay lamps. This gives the festival the name of Deepawali. 

Laxmi Puja is also celebrated on this and reflects the fact that this is a time of harvest. Traditionally, the time of harvest is a time of prosperity. According to myth, Laxmi Puja is performed on the day when Goddess Laxmi emerged from Kshira Sagara while the churning of Amrutha Madhanam.

Day 4- 24th October, 2014: Govardhan Puja / Angadi Pooja/ Balindra puja.

The day after Deepawali is celebrated as Govardhana Puja and Angadi Pooja. The shopkeepers celebrate this with a puja in their shop, inviting people over and giving out goodies.

The day after Deepawali is also celebrated as Govardhana Puja. The sacred hill of Govardhan, near Mathura and Kamadhenu (the cosmic cow) which are connected with Lord Krishna are worshipped. Krishna lifted up the Govardhan mountain and held it like an umbrella, under which people and animals took shelter from the relentless rain. Once the rain subdued, the people gathered around the hill and had a great feast. This festival is especially popular among the devotees of Bala Krishna.

One of my favorite laddoos made during festivals is the laayi undo. This is made using popped paddy powder.

 Just like you have popped corn, you have popped paddy. The powdered version of this is used to make this laddoo. It is very tasty, light and versatile enough to be modified to individual tastes; for eg: you could add crunch and protein be adding bits of nuts like peanuts and cashewnuts. You can even add shev( fried crispy noodle pieces). It is simple and easy to make and tasty to eat! I am bringing this to Angie's Fiesta Friday! It is her birthday and you cannot go to someone's birthday party empty-handed!

Servings: makes 10- 15 medium-sized laddoos ( balls).


Sticky Jaggery( anta god): 1cup
Laayi pitto ( popped paddy powder): 2 cups
Peanut halves: 2 tbsp,
Cashewnut pieces: 1 tbsp,
Cardamom powder: 1/4 tsp
Water:  4 tbsp
Ghee/ butter: for greasing the palms


Heat jaggery and water in a pot until the jaggery is completely melted and liquid. Now turn off the heat, let it settle for  5 mins. Gently pour the molten jaggery into a thick-bottomed  pot, leaving behind any sandy residue.

Dry roast the cashew nut pieces and peanuts and keep aside.

Heat the molten jaggery on medium flame until it thickens and is sticky when attempting to pick to pour from a spoon. We call it the "string" consistency, which means if you take a drop between your index finger and thumb, you should be able to see a string of jaggery when you pull your fingers away from each other.

Now mix in the laayi pitto ( popped paddy powder), the nuts and cardamom powder. Mix well .

Grease your palms with butter/ghee. Take  a tablespoonful of the hot jaggery-popped paddy mixture and shape it into balls of desired size.
If the mixture cools down, you will not be able to shape it into balls. Do not squeeze the balls hard as they will get even harder upon cooling down, making it difficult to eat!

Store in an air-tight container.
Stays fresh at room-temperature for upto a month.


Cooking made easy:

Most often jaggery has sand/ dirt residues in it. Melting it, letting it settle down and then transferring the jaggery to another pot helps get rid of this sand.

Ensure that the jaggery is cooked on a thick-bottomed vessel on a low flame as it is very easy to burn the jaggery!

Tip for healthy living:

Having a oil massage on the head not only helps rejuvenate hair and help it grow, it is also a great stress-buster and calms the body.

Food for thought:

Happy are those who dare courageously to defend what they love. Ovid