One of my reader had asked me to post about this festival here.
After Aadi maasam all festivals will start. Varalakshmi Nombu /Vratham / Vrat is a festival observed in India. Goddess Lakshmi is worshipped on this day. Ladies decorate the kalasam with silver idol of lakshmi (Called Mukawada in Kannada) with a coconut , new saree, kolams(rangoli) and jewels. They fill the pot with rice, dal, money and beatle leaves. The pooja is performed in the morning. The procedures are slightly different in all states. This festival is observed by married women if only the ancestors were following. Otherwise they do not do nombu and just do Lakshmi pooja. Like before marraige in mom's place they will celebrate but at in laws place they don't follow it and vice versa. 9 yards saree is worn on any special occasions by Tamil Brahmins or Iyer.
Lord Ganesh pooja is performed first then followed by Goddess Lakshmi.
You can start decorating the house today itself with Madi. So early morning its easy to perform the pooja.
Evening kumkum with fruits, sweets and bangles are offered to the neighbours.
We don't celebrate this but my sister-inlaws house they do. So to blog I took some information from her. Thanks akka.
Coming to Recipes
Many varieties of dishes are prepared on this day.
(Click on the name for recipes)
Ullandu Kozhakatai - scroll down for recipe
Pooranam Kozhakatai - scroll down for recipe
On all festivals cooking is done without Onion and Garlic. To know about any other festival click here.
I am giving recipe for
Pooranam Kozhakattai(Sweet Steamed Dumplings)
Rice flour - 2 cups
Water - As required
Oil - 1 tspn
Fresh Grated Coconut - 2 cups
Powdered Jaggery - 1 cup(As per choice of yours)
Salt a pinch
In a Kadai, heat the jaggery with little water. Once its dissolved and becoming thick, add grated coconut and mix well.
Once it becomes thick off the stove. Let it cool.
In a wide bowl, boil little water with a tspn of oil and a pinch of salt.
Then reduce flame and slowly add rice flour stir continuously until it thick.
Now once the dough is cooked for 5mins. Allow it to cool a bit and with oily hand make a soft dough out of it.
Take a big lemon size and spread like you do for puris. Stuff a tspn or more in the center and close it with water. So its almost crescent shape.
Do same with the rest of them and Steam for 10-15mins in Steamer or Idli cooker.
Follow same procedure stated above for the dough.
Ullandu/Urad Dal - 3/4 cup
Kadala Paruppu/Channa Dal - 1/2 cup
Red Chilli - 2 nos(As per your taste)
Grind this to fine paste in blender or mixie.
Then in a Kadai, add oil, mustard, hing, curry leaves, dry red chillis saute for a minute.
Now add the grounded mixture, salt and mix well. Cook till the raw smell leaves. If required add little oil.
Now when done fill the dumplings and steam it in Idli cooker for 10-12 mins.
Offer Neivedyam to God and enjoy it.
Click here for detailed Kozhakattai recipe.
The next festival for us is on Aug 24th Avani Avittam click here for details.
Happy Varamahalakshmi Festival to all those celebrating.