Dasara is one of the main festivals for Hindus. It is celebrated with great enthusiasm all over India! We have always kept a grand Golu( Display of dolls and handicrafts) almost every year! This year due to ill health of my parents I am not in a mood for great celebration.
Daily puja, chanting of Lalitha Sahasranamam, and visiting the temple atleast one of the days is very important for people who like to celebrate the festival. Kalasa puja is performed on all days by Srividya upachakars. Chandi homam is performed everyday at The Raja Rajeshwari Temple in Bangalore on all the 9 days.
North Indians hold Jagratha or Chanting Bhajans on Devi whole night. They also invite girls below 10 years on Durgashtami, for a special puja. Poori and Sooji halwa are the prasaadams offered to Devi on this day.
Gujarathis have the Garba dance organised in various places.
In Karnataka Dasara is the Nadahabba or state festival. Mysore Dasara is famous world over for its amazing procession of elephants on Vijayadasami that highlights Indian culture – the Wodeyar Maharajas started this practice of celebrations on a grand scale. The entire Mysore Palace is lit with lamps on Vijayadasami.
Here’s a spectacular true to life photo taken by Ananth that I found on Flickr.
Photo by Ananth – licensed under Creative Commons
On the whole Dasara is a festival celebrated with great fervour all over India.
It must be observed that there is a small shortage of vegetable supply during the month of purattasi. So dry lentils are used to make prasaadam. They are rich in proteins and minerals and compensate for the deficit in supply of vegetables.
Tamilians prepare a variety of sundals as prasaadam every day and offer it to the Golu. Follow this link to see a stream of photos of a typical Golu uploaded by Mohan Ayyar. The other prasaadams include, Kunukku, appam and puttu. Recipes will be posted soon for the other recipes. Black chickpea sundal is prepared on saraswathi puja.
Sundals are made using various dried lentils. Some of them need to be soaked for 8 hours, while the smaller varieties need to be soaked for 1 hour. The prasaadam for friday is puttu, saturday is appam and kunukku. Kaaramani sundal is prepared with jaggery on tuesday.
Prasaadam on Saraswathi puja is black chickpea sundal and Boli/ Poli, along with a usual festival menu. Image of goddess Saraswathi is worshipped along with books and musical instruments, on this day.
On Vijayadasami day, all the machinery used in factories and industries are decorated and aayuda pooja is performed. Menu on Vijayadasami is similar to any tamizh festival.
Kondakadalai(chickpeas, black and white) , Groundnut, Kaaraamani(Blackeyed beans, white and black) , Paasi payaru(whole moong dal), Kadalai paruppu (Channa dal) Are the items used for sundal. Chick pea needs to be soaked for 8 hours. Ground nut and kaaraamani can be soaked for an hour. Paasi payaru and kadalai parrupu are usually dry roasted and pressure cooked.
- Beans of your choice – 1 cup
- Oil – 2 teaspoons
- Mustard seeds – 1 teaspoon
- Urad dal – 2 teaspoons
- Red chillies – 2 nos
- Curry leaves – 1 twig
- Coconut – 2 table spoons(Cut into small pieces)
- Salt to taste.
- Hing 2 pinches
- Wash and soak the beans as required. Or dry roast if you are preparing Paasipayaru sundal.
- Pressure cook the beans with 1 cup water.
- Heat oil in a kadai, add mustard seeds. when it crackles add red chilli pieces and urad dal and fry till golden.
- Add the coconut pieces and curry leaves and stir for a minute.
- Now drain the water from the cooked sundal and add to the coconut.
- Add salt and hing and stir for 2 minutes on a medium flame.
- Your sundal is ready for neivedyam.