Wishing all my readers a very Happy Navratri.
The 9 days are a reminder that no matter what, goodness will always conquer evil. So, no matter what is going around you – be good, do good & you shall always receive the “best” in return. If you don’t, be happy anyways! Lord is watching over you & someday, you will receive what you are destined to be gifted with.
Golu is our way of celebrating these 9 days of Navratri. On Mahalaya Amavasya, we begin the process of erecting the Golu, place the idols & create a theme etc. It’s a process wherein every member of the house is expected to participate as it’s a time consuming process. The end result makes us forget all the sweat and energy that we lose during the process. And if you are like me, who does this without much help, then you are bound to forgive me for delaying this blog post by a day.
After working for more than 10 straight hours erecting the Golu, I was left with very little energy (some of which had to be used for the next day cooking & cleaning too), somehow managed to click the picture of the neivedhyam or offering to the Goddess. PS – Pardon me for the poor picture quality here. I was torn between taking a picture for the blog, making lunch for an extremely busy husband off for a meeting & with my househelp on leave.
These 9 days we offer Sundals as Neivedhyam. Sundals are pulses / dals that are soaked overnight, boiled / steamed & then tempered with basic spices & topped with grated coconut. 9 days = 9 different types of sundals.
My first day offering yesterday was Whole Green Mung / Green Gram Sundal – Extremely healthy & filling, not to mention the high protein content. With very little oil, this also becomes a perfect snack for health conscious & diabetics.
In our South Indian custom, during Navratri & especially homes that have Golu, invite married ladies home for haldi Kumkum or vettalai pakku (In Tamil). They are then offered tamboolam i.e. a plate / bag (these days everything is pre-packed due to time constraints & convenience both) that contains betel leaf, a coconut, a packet of turmeric powder & Kumkum or vermillion powder, a fruit, some cash or coins, a blouse piece / a small gift along with some sundal packed in a box. Some light refreshments are also arranged for this get-together. This is an excellent opportunity wherein ladies get to adorn their fine jewellery, kanjivaram sarees & have a lovely time at friends / relatives place. A break from the usual routine of home, kids, work etc.
When we were kids, my mom used to tag us along at few homes. Some days we refused to go with her as it got boring for us with all the ladies chatting away. However, the one thing that always excited us were the sundals that would return back with mom in small packets which we would be waiting to eat.
Tradition of Golu comes from my Mom-in laws side & I really thank her (May her soul rest in peace) as I get to showcase my creative side. The first year of our marriage, we kept 3 steps or padi (in tamil) & now its 5 steps since 5 years with themes too in place. There will be a separate detailed post on the Golu Celebrations at home on the blog very soon. Stay tuned ! I promise it will be a visual treat.
In the meanwhile, check out the recipe for Whole Green Mung / Green Gram Sundal below.
Serves – 2 persons
- Whole Green Mung / Green Gram – ½ cup
- Grated coconut – 2 tblsp
- Coconut oil – 1 tsp
- Mustard seeds – ½ tsp
- Curry leaf – 1 sprig
- Whole red chillies – 1-2 nos. broken
- Salt – as per taste
- Soak the Whole Green Mung / Green Gram overnight.
- Drain the water completely, add salt & pressure cook it for 1 whistle.
- Heat a kadhai or thick bottom pan, add coconut oil & then add the mustard seeds. Let it crackle.
- Add whole red chillies & curry leaves, then add the cooked green mung.
- Stir the mixture well. In case there is any water, let it evaporate before adding the grated coconut.
- Once you add the coconut, mix it once & switch off the flame.
- Sundals are an extremely healthy snack & in a way, these 9 days gives us an opportunity to increase our protein intake. You can include this for your daily snack option as well.
- If you like, sprouted Whole Green Mung / Green Gram sundal tastes amazing too which can be done in the same way except, don’t pressure cook it. Just steam it for 5 mins in a cooker until slightly soft to retain its nutrition.
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