10 August 2007

Here comes the month of festivals

From next week onwards starts the month of festivals. This month is commonly known as Shravan Mahina. We celebrate lots of festivals like Nagarapanchami, Raksha Bandan, VaraMahalaxmi pooja, chudi pooja, Krishanastami and the list goes on...

Different festivals have their own reasons for celebration and particular offerings for gods. For eg. on Nagarapanchami day we do pooja for Snakes (cobra). On this day abhishekas (washing sacred stones with the snake carvings) are done with tender coconut water, milk, ghee, turmeric water etc... while some of them offer milk to snakes. It is a myth that this day the snakes come out of their holes after staying for long period inside, so on this day if we offer milk, tender coconut water, it will not harm us.

On this day we prepare lots of dishes with turmeric in it and turmeric leaves are used in one way or another. This root can be used when it is raw or after it has been dried thorougly or is also used in powder form.

Turmeric is known for its antiseptic property and also helps in curing acute skin problems like burns, cuts and wounds. Its leaf imparts a good aroma and dishes can be prepared wrapped in it to get good flavor. It acts as cooling agent. In olden days for persistent coughs, people used to used to mix it in milk and drink every night.

Today I would like to share with you a common Mangalorean dish called Pan Patholi (rice dumplings). This is prepared with the rice batter and it is stuffed with a mixture of coconut and jaggery gratings.
  • First clean the turmeric leaves and chop both its sides and allow it to dry.
  • Meanwhile soak 1 cup of raw rice in water for an hour. Grind this rice with 4 tablespoon of coconut and little salt into a thick batter. Add soaked poha(beaten rice) and grind for another 3-5 minutes.
  • Take about 100 gms of coconut gratings add jaggery(proportionately)and little cardamom powder. Mix it thoroughly and keep it aside.
  • Keep the pressure cooker ready with little water for heating.
  • Now spread a tablespoon of rice batter prepared earlier over the leaf and spread it thinly and place a tablespoon of coconut stuffing. Fold the leaves and seal the edges (akin to closing an envelope).
  • Now stack the patholis in the cooker (without weight) and steam them for about 20 minutes.

Delicious, steaming, aromatic patholi is ready. It can be had with ghee, honey or butter.

The nutritive value of this patholi is rather high compared to other foods. This can be used as desert in place something really sweet. Note that rice, jaggery and coconut gives you a lot of calories. So it is advisable to have this as a supper food or second serving during lunch. That way you maintain your calorie count for the day.

Give it a try and let me know what you think

No comments: