Naivedyam ...... Sakre Povu / Sugar Poha .... For a change I prepared this using brown rice poha ......
This one is a really simple Naivedyam. Poha as we as know is the Indian name for dried flattened rice. For a change I prepared this with brown poha which is now readily available in the market. Red / Brown poha is thick in texture and made of brown rice. It is much healthier than the normal rice poha. Poha is nothing but rice that has been parboiled, rolled, flattened and then dried to produce flakes. The flakes come in different thicknesses depending on the rice used.
There are many preparations and recipes for Poha, or flattened rice. Both sweet and spicy dishes are prepared with poha. Sweet poha is prepared by and large by all Indians and offered as Naivedyam to God. It is also cooked with lightly frying mustard seeds, turmeric, chili powder, finely chopped onions and then moistened poha is added to the spicy mix and steamed for a few minutes. Poha is normally eaten for breakfast by adding some spices, veggies etc. A healthy meal by itself poha is a dish that fills the stomach with all types of nutrients and proteins with minerals if prepared in the correct manner by addition of vegetable like, peas and carrot along with onions and spices.
A famous mythological story goes by saying as this …. Sudhama a dear childhood friend of Lord Krishna wanted to meet him after a long time. Krishna by then was a crowned prince and Sudhama was very poor who could not afford to take any expensive gift to offer to his good friend on his visit. Sudhama’s wife knew Krishna loved poha very much and she had some poha in her home. So she tied it in a cloth and gave it to her husband and asked him to give it to Krishna as a gift. Sudhama on reaching Krishna’s abode and seeing his wealthy house was hesitant to offer it to the Lord.
Krishna who was always down to earth, was very happy on seeing his friend and came and embraced him with love and affection. On seeing that Sudama was hiding a parcel, Krishna tactfully pulled of the parcel from Sudhama and opened it. Lord Krishna was overjoyed to see that his friend had remembered and brought him poha which he loved immensely. He then and there sat with Sudhama and enjoyed the poha with great satisfaction. Thus Krishna’s love for poha got known to all and it is always prepared as Naivedyam and offered at his lotus feet during auspicious days. So here is my humble offering to the Lord as Naivedyam “Sakre Povu / Sugar Poha” during this auspicious day of Ashadhi Ekadashi.
For preparing the Sweet “Sakre Povu / Sugar Poha” ….
Roast 250 gms of red / brown poha on low heat in a thick bottomed kadai for 5-10 minutes. You can microwave for 3-4 minutes too. Remove and keep aside.
In a thick bottomed kadai add ¼ cup of ghee and keep it on high heat. When the ghee melts, add in ½ a cup of cashew nut pieces and fry till light brown.
Remove and keep them aside for garnishing.
Add in one cup of sugar with 1.5 cup of water in the same kadai in which the ghee is still remaining after cashews are fried. Bring it to a boil on high heat. Make it into a syrup of 1 thread consistency. It will take about 2-3 minutes after it comes to full boil.
Lower the heat to minimum and add in one cup of fresh and finely grated white part of the coconut and mix well. Stir to for 3-4 minutes or till it thickens a bit. Add in the fried cashew nut pieces and mix well.
Now add in the roasted poha, 1 tsp of cardamom powder, ¼ tsp of ginger powder, a pinch of saffron and mix well. Remove and allow to cool mixing in between to release any hot air within so that they get to room temperature easily without rolling it thickness balls.
Put the Naivedyam in a silver or any other vessel which you serve the lord with and place it at the lotus feet of the lord. I am sure a Naivedyam that is very dear to the lord will please him and you and your family will be blessed and granted all your wishes.