Earlier cross posted this here
It’s the month of Navratri. This is one unique festival which is celebrated by all the states in India in their own way. No matter how it is celebrated, it’s filled with food and fun. In south,Navratri means Golu and Golu means sundal(cooked beans and legumes). Golu is the display of dolls mostly the god and goddess from hindu mythology. But now-a-days you can see other doll sets too including cricket set, marriage set and even cartoon characters. I am not able to find the exact reason behind keeping golu. Some say its to invoke gods and goddess at our home while some say Golu was to encourage the clay art. But its a fun filling event setting up the golu steps and arranging the dolls. The golu steps should be in odd numbers. The best ever golu display that I have seen is the Madurai Meenakshi Amman Temple’s golu.
Navratri/Golu is one of my favorite festival. Remembering those childhood days, where I used to wear silk lehenga (pattu pavaadai) and invite others to our house Golu and bring back loads of prasadam. I am not a sweet person. So this festival is perfect for me where the prasadams are sundal(cooked legumes) which are the savory ones.
I started loving saraswathi pooja especially after 9th grade. As a good kid, I will go arrange my physics, chemistry and maths book for saraswati pooja two days before itself, so that no one would ask me to study. And then there is mulaipaari which is very common in rural areas of Tamil Nadu. Mulaipari is navadhanyam (9 grains) grown in a pot/unique vessel. They will be kept in temple and daily women sing kummi and songs by coming around it. They also do kolattam which is similar to dandiya daily. And on the last day they carry the Mulaipari to nearby river or pond and dissolve it there.
I try to celebrate and follow pretty much all the festivals in US, but I never miss golu for sure. It’s a great family activity to arrange the golu with kiddo and a good chance to explain our customs and rituals. Inviting others and visiting others adds more fun and joy. And of course we do attend dandiya even if the mulaipaari is missing.
This is my small golu display for this year.
As I mentioned before, Golu means sundal. So I cannot finish the post without posting the sundal recipe. Here is one sweet recipe and one savory recipe. It’s not only a festival recipe, but also a great snack anytime.
- Green gram – 1 cup
- Powdered jaggery – 1/2 cup (adjust according to your taste)
- Water – 2 tbsps + for soaking and pressure cooking
- Elaichi/ cardamom – 2 (crushed them nicely)
- Coconut – 1/2 cup
- Soak the green gram dhal overnight and pressure cook it for upto 2 whistles and drain the water.
- Heat the kadai and add 2 tbsps of water and 1/2 cup of jaggery.
- Once the jaggery dissolves, add the cooked green gram dhal
- Also add the crushed elaichi and cook till the water evaporates.
- Now add the grated coconut and mix well.
And thats it yummy sweet sundal is ready.