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Janmashtami is a Hindu festival celebrated in India & many places around the Globe, with pomp & joy to rejoice the birth of Lord Shri Krishna. As with all Indian festivals, on Janmastami also there are some special dishes which are prepared as an offering to Lord Krishna, believed to be his favourite dishes.
As the story goes Lord Krishna was very fond of butter and dairy products. So dishes using milk and milk products are definitely included in the offerings.
One very popular dish is GopalKala also known as Dahikala. This Janmastami I decided to thank Lord Shri Krishna by preparing a few of his loved food as Naivedyam (which is a Sanskrit word meaning food offered to a deity during worship).Though there are offerings which are as varied as India's diversity, I thought preparing GopalKala would be a good idea. This is a very simple to prepare, rustic, fresh and a delight to your gut dish.
As the legend goes Lord Shri Krishna was born in captivity inside a deep secret dungeon, where his parents were imprisoned by his maternal Uncle, the tyrant King Kansa, who was told in a celestial prophecy that the eighth child of his sister Devaki would slay him. As he loved his sister instead of
killing her he imprisoned her with her husband and he killed all the seven children of the couple. Then Lord Krishna was born and with Devine protection his father Vasudeva took him out of the prison in a very stormy night, overcame many perils to leave him in the house of his friend Nanda, who was the head of the Gopa's tribe. There The Lord was raised by him and his wife Yashoda ( seen in the painting above ) as their own with lots of love and pampering. Ancient Indian Scriptures are filled with stories of how The Lord grew up in Brindavana.
GOPALKALA / DAHIKALA RECIPE :
GopalKala is prepared using Beaten Rice ( popularly known as poha in India), ghee ( clarified butter), with cumin seeds (jeera) used for tempering,chopped ginger, yogurt, finely chopped cucumber, chopped green chillies, freshly grated coconut, sugar & salt is added to taste.
The beaten rice is soaked in water for 10 to 15 minutes
In a heavy bottom pan melt clarified butter, add cumin seeds and let it splutter. Put in the chopped chillies, ginger and wait till they become fragrant.
Add in the beaten rice, after straining out the excess water. Remove the pan from the fire and include chopped cucumber, curd,grated coconut, sugar and salt to taste. Mix Well.
And Gopalkala is ready. Prepared with purity and reverence, this dish turns out better than expected. Offering it to Lord Shri Krishna, I feel a deep content within as though something has just splashed me with tranquility. Sharing it with family thereafter is an equally fulfilling experience.
Serves : 4
Preparation Time : 10 mins
Cooking and Assembling Time : 5 mins
1) Beaten Rice - 1 Cup
2) Yogurt - 1/2 Cup
3) Cucumber (finely chopped) - 2 tbsp.
4) Freshly grated coconut - 1tbsp
5) Green chilli(chopped) - 1
5) Sugar/ Jaggery - 1/4 a tsp or to taste
6) Salt to taste
1) Ghee (Clarified Butter) - 1 tbsp ( Optionally any vegetable oil can be used)
2) Cumin Seeds - 1/4 tsp
Optional Add Ons:
1) Diced fruits including pomegranate pearls
2) Soaked Channa Dal (Bengal Gram)
3) Curry Leaves for tempering
Step by step procedure :
1) The beaten rice is soaked in water for 10 to 15 minutes
2) In a heavy bottom pan melt clarified butter, add cumin seeds and let it splutter. Put in the chopped chillies, ginger and wait till they become fragrant.
3) Add in the beaten rice, after straining out the excess water. Remove the pan from the fire and include chopped cucumber, curd,grated coconut, sugar and salt to taste. Mix Well. Serve.
* You can increase the quantity of yogurt if you like it more gooey, smooth and indulgent.
Check List :
1) Beaten Rice, 2) Yogurt, 3) Cucumber, 4) Freshly grated coconut, 5) Green chilli, 5) Sugar/ Jaggery, 6) Salt to taste, 7)Ghee (Clarified Butter), 8) Cumin Seeds, 9) Diced fruits including pomegranate pearls, 10)Chana Dal (Bengal Gram), 11) Curry Leaves
This dish is ready within 5 minutes, is filling and very light on the gut. Specially when the mercury is up this dish acts as a wonderful coolant. Do try it friends and give your feedback in the comments below.