Shri Krishna Jayanthi Neivedhyam – Vella Aval. (Flattened rice cooked in jaggery
Krishna Jayanthi is celebrated as the birthday of Lord Shri Krishna. Lord Sri Krishna was born on the ‘Rohini’ nakshatram (star) on Ashtami day. The festival Sri Krishna Jayanti is also known as Gokulashtami . Sri Krishna is Lord Vishnu’s eighth avatar (incarnation) on earth. He is considered to be the Lord’s most glorious incarnations. Even saying and remembering His name brings joy because Sri Krishna himself was a manifestation of joy at all levels and in all walks of life. In Tamil Nadu Krishna Jayanthi is celebrated with great pomp as its a festival spelling happiness and joy as the saviour was born on this day.
People offer sweets like Vella Cheedai, Uppu Cheedai, Vella Aval , Aval Payasam, Butter etc as these happen to be the Lord`s favourites. Many homes have beautiful kolams adorning their homes and little feet drawn in the floors as if to show little Krishna coming in to our homes. Poojas are performed and flowers and neivedhyams are offered late in the evening when the moon rises as this is the time the Lord was born.
Vella Aval made out of beaten flattened rice ,is the most treasured dish liked by Lord Krishna, lovingly given by his dear friend Sudama.
1 Cup Flattened Poha Thick.
1/2 Cup – 3/4 Brown Sugar / Jaggery.
About 1/4 Cup milk just enough to soak the poha.
2 Tsp Ghee.
1 Tsp Cardamom powder.
Fresh coconut flakes to garnish.
- Measure out the poha and wash it clean under the tap and allow to drain for a couple minutes in the colander. Sprinkle the 1/4 of milk here and there over the poha and let it sit for about 20 minutes or so. Toss the colander now and then to aerate the poha flakes.
- In a clean dry kadai, add the brown sugar/ jaggery and about 1/4 cup of water and set the flame to medium. Keep stirring the jaggery on low flame.
- Remove the impurtities by adding about 2 tsp of milk. In a few minutes, when the scum floats to the top, filter it and you will get clean pure syrup.
- Keep stirring until you see it slowly bubbling up. In a few minutes it would reach single string consistency. This means that when you take a little of the melted jaggery and pour it in to a plate of water, it will form a string and will not dissolve.
- Another option to make certain that you have reached single string is when you take a little of the “paagu” or the melted jaggery between your index finger and your thumb and stretch, it will form a thin long string.
- At this stage, reduce the heat to a minimum and add the soaked poha flakes and stir well to incorporate the jaggery in to the poha. Remove from flame.
- Heat about 2 tsp of ghee in a small kadai and fry the cashew nuts and toss in to the aval poha.
- Garnish with fresh coconut flakes if desired.