Janmashtami is fast approaching. Janmashtami/Gokulashtami /Ashtami Rohini/ Krishna Jayanthi/ or Sree Jayanthi as it is known in different parts of India, marks the birth of Lord Krishna. It is celebrated with great enthusiasm throughout our country. It falls on 10th August this year.
Janmashtami brings with it beautiful of memories of childhood. Krishna Jayanthi to me is synonymous with lots of sweets and savouries, preparations for which would start the day before. Rice would be washed, rinsed and dried in shade and then taken to the mill to be made into flour. Next day, after lunch, my grandmother and mother, would get busy preparing all the delicacies like murukku, uppu cheedai, vella cheedai, thenguzhal, paal payasam and vella aval. I and my brother would keep going into the kitchen to have a look at the progress enquiring at each and every visit as to when we could relish on those goodies. She would ask us to wait till the evening and say, all this is for you only, but after the neivedyam and both of us would return heavy heartedly. Another thing we used to enjoy was the Kolam session. On all festival days and important functions, the practice of putting a kolam or rangoli with rice paste is common, but what is fun about the kolam on Janmashtami is the drawing of footprints from the doorstep to the pooja room. If any of my baby cousins were around, granny would make the baby stand on the rice paste and make him or her walk from the door to the pooja. We would be eagerly waiting for the pooja to complete so as to have a go on the yummy treats.
We celebrate this festival with the same spirit till date, only the roles are changed. Now I and my MIL prepare the bhakshanams and it’s the turn of my children to keep asking if they were ready for them to eat.
Vella aval is one of the easiest neivedyams that can prepared and aval or rice flakes is supposed to Lord Krishna’s favourite. So even if you don’t have time to prepare an elaborate offering, do prepare this simple one and offer it along with some butter and milk, ofcourse with lots of love and am sure, Krishna will surely bless your home and family.
What you’ll need
- Medium Thickness Rice Flakes/Aval – 1 cup
- Jaggery – ¾ cup
- Scraped Fresh Coconut – ¼ cup
- Cardamom – 4
- Ghee/Clarified Butter – 2 tbsp
- Wash and rinse the aval and set aside to drain.
- Heat a kadai, add the jaggery with ¼ cup of water. Dissolve the jaggery in water completely and strain for impurities.
- Wash the kadai and pour the strained jaggery water back into the Kadai.
- Heat this on medium heat till the syrup reaches one string consistency.
- Add the scraped coconut into this syrup and let it boil for about 2 minutes on medium heat, stirring continuously.
- Next the completely drained aval into the jaggery and coconut mixture and mix till all syrup has evaporated.
- Add the ghee mix well.
- Add the cardamom powder and mix well. Remove from heat.
If using Thick rice flakes or gatti aval, soak the rice flakes for about 5 minutes in water.