Recipe by Dr. Padma Raju
Dr. Padma wants to share this recipe with you, which can be had all year, but is especially good for the period known in the Vedic calendar as Navaratri (a.k.a The 9 Nights of Mother Divine).
This recipe is special because the ingredients are related one by one to the Navagrahas (nine planets). According to Vedic Astrology, the Navagrahas are inside us and continually influence our lives. So when we make this as a Prasad, all the nine planets are nourished in our physiology and the influence of the Grahas (planets) is balanced. Feeding to someone else adds to the beneficial effect.
When the effects of Navaratri are enlivened through the Pujas, offering this as a Prasad pleases the Navagrahas and increases their support even more. All we need to do is prepare the Prasadam and pray to Mother Divine before we eat. Because her energy is what made us, she resides in us and we can offer the Prasad to her through ourselves.
The Divine Mother is a universal theme in cultures & religions all over the world, so from whatever angle we honor & revere her, these things we can do.
Things You Need to Prepare Ahead of Time
Boil or steam rice, and keep warm.
Dry roast lightly in a pan: whole fenugreek & whole cumin (separately, one at a time), and grind to powder. And whole sesame seeds roasted & ground in the same way if you want to add (optional).
In a Frying Pan
Add some unrefined sesame oil and with medium heat make a “Tadka” (fried spice mix) as follows (quantities can be varied according to taste):
Fry brown mustard seeds ~ ½ teaspoon, till they “pop” (before adding other things)
The following are optional:
Cashews, urad dal and/or chana dal in small quantities and roast while stirring constantly so they cook well. Some people like to add peanuts also.
Roasted sesame seed powder ~ 1 teaspoon. Sesame oil is already there in the recipe so sesame powder is not required
Tamarind paste 100gm, and stir well
Whole red chili(s) if you want, or black pepper ~ moderate, to taste.
Ground Rock Salt ~ moderate, to taste
Fresh Curry leaves if you can get them ~ several leaves
Asafoetida ~ 2 pinches
Fresh ginger pieces very finely chopped or grated ~ 1 teaspoon
Dry roasted fenugreek powder ~ 1/4 teaspoon
Dry roasted cumin powder ~ 1/2 teaspoon
Stir well till fully mixed. Add a little more oil if you want and fry gently till nicely done & flavors well blended.
At the end of cooking add turmeric ~ 2 pinches
Combine Tadka with cooked rise & mix well.
Can garnish with fresh chopped coriander leaves.