Chhath puja 2021: Traditional prasad recipes of baked thekua, rasiya, rice laddu
Chhath is an ancient Vedic festival that is primarily in the states of Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh and the Madhesh region of Nepal. Chhath Puja is central to the celebration of this festival and is dedicated in honour of the solar deity, Surya and his sister Shashti Devi (Chhathi Maiya), in order to get their blessing and to thank them for bestowing all the fortunes of life.
This year, Chhath began on November 8 with Nahay Khay and will conclude on November 11 with Usha Arghya which will be marked by people breaking their 36-hour long 'nirjala' fast after offering arghya to the rising sun. As the Chhath puja festivities go on in full spring, here are easy and mouthwatering traditional prasad recipes, from thekua to rasiya or rice kheer and others.
1. Baked Thekua:
Whole wheat flour (Atta) – 1 cup
Fine semolina (Sooji) – 2 tablespoons
Baking powder – 1/2 tsp (optional)
Jaggery (I used powered) – 1/3 cup
Ghee – 3 tbsp
Cardamom (choti elaichi) and fennel (said) seeds – 1 tsp (crushed)
Firstly, add some hot water in the jaggery powder and let it melt. In a mixing bowl, take atta, add in sooji, crushed fennel seeds, cardamom and baking powder.
Add the ghee to the flour and mix it well until it resembles the texture of bread crumbs. Now slowly add the jaggery syrup to the flour mixture and knead to form a stiff dough.
Preheat the oven for 10 minutes at 180° and line a baking pan with butter paper. Divide the dough into small pieces and roll each piece into a ball and then flatten it with your palm. Decorate it as you want.
Place the shaped dough on the prepared baking pan. Bake for 15- 20 minutes, or until the Thekua turn light brown. They will be still a little soft when you take them out of the oven but will harden as it cools down.
2. Rasiya or rice kheer
1 ltr milk
1½ cup rice (small grain)
2 tbsp almonds & pistachios (washed and soaked overnight)
1 tbsp raisins (optional)
1 pinch of saffron
1/4 tsp cardamom powder
½ cup jaggery powder
2 tbsp kewra water (optional)
Heat milk and add saffron strands. Let it boil and lower the flame. Strain soaked rice and add to milk. Cook for 20 minutes in medium flame. Keep stirring to avoid lumps.
Add cardamom powder, all dry fruits, jaggery powder. Stir well and add kewra water (optional). Keep the flame at high and cook until the kheer becomes thick. Switch off the flame and let it cool for a few minutes.
Serve hot or chilled as per your preference. Garnish with extra dry fruits and rose petals.
(Recipe: Subiya Baiganpalli - Msc. Clinical Nutrition and Dietetics and Shikha Dwivedi - Msc. Clinical Nutrition and Dietetics, in-house nutritionists at OZiva)
3. Chaawal ke laddu
1 cup rice flour
4 tbsp desicated coconut
3/4 cup fresh milk malai
1/2 tsp cardamom powder
To make rice laddu, place a pan on low flame and add 1 cup of rice flour. Now stir continuously and roast rice flour on low flame. After rice flour starts aromatic, add 5 tbsp of desicated coconut to it, mix well and roast.
Now add 3/4 cup of fresh milk malai and mix everything well. Now add 1/2 cup of sugar powder and mix well and cook on low flame. Now add 1/2 tsp of cardamom powder and mix well.
Now turn off the flame and stir continuously for 30 seconds. Close the lid and let it rest for 7-8 minutes. Now, add some dry fruits( as you like) into the pan and mix well.
Grease your hands with Ghee and take the small part of the laddu mixture and make a laddu from it. Pepare laddu from all mixture. If you cannot prepare laddu from the mix, add little ghee or hot milk, then try again.
(Recipe: Parul Gupta)
The molasses content in jaggery makes it more nutrient since this nutritious by-product of the sugar making process is removed while making refined sugar. Jaggery is rich in vitamins and minerals, makes for a great immunity booster, builds a shield against health ailments like cough and cold and leads to improved digestive health, anemia prevention, liver detoxification and improved immune function.
Sooji is a nutrient-dense and contains fibre, iron and magnesium. It improves digestion, aides heart health and is diabetes-friendly.
Almonds are packed with healthy fats, fiber, protein, magnesium and vitamin E and not only reduce hunger while promoting weight loss but also lower blood sugar levels and cholesterol levels along with reducing blood pressure. According to a study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, eating almonds in place of typical snacks may reduce the drop in heart rate variability (HRV) that occurs during mental stress, thereby improving cardiac function.
Consumption of dry fruits enhances energy and stamina. As they are rich in fibre, it provides better digestion.