A day after my birthday fell the festival of Teej. During those days of ill health, I thought celebrating Teej would not be possible for me this time. But I was totally fine & was happy about it. Teej is a festival similar to the karwachauth, celebrated in Punjab. Teej is celebrated at Rajastan, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Nepal etc., Since I'm a Biharan now, I get to celebrate this festival.
Teej is a festival for Hindu married women. It usually falls on the third day of Shukla Paksha in Bhadrapada (hindu Month). Normally in the month of August or early September. It is celebrated for marital bliss & the well being of the spouse. And it also paves way to the purification of body & soul. They worship Goddess Parvathi or Gowri. The festival is a day long celebration that combines sumptuous feasts as well as rigid fasting. Married women fast for a day(24 hrs.) without food & water called as the NIRJAL VRITH (निर्जल वृत).
Here in Karnataka the day is celebrated as Gowri Habba. Teej is usually celebrated a day before Ganesh Chathurthi. This time the festival of Teej & Ganesh Chaturdashi fell on the same day. My dodamma said that it was very auspicious that this happened, but in vain. It was very unfortunate for me because usually all these years I would fast on Teej & the very next day was Chauti, when I break my fast that morning. And would attend the Ganesh pooja at my mom's place & devour all the sumptuous Manglorean Delicacies.
My hubby asked me to skip & fast any other day possible, but I did not want to be an exception. When we follow something & do it , we do it whole heartedly. And this fasting was for my Kuku & how could I cheat.
Early morning at 4:00 am, I drank the nimbu paani & start my fast. Maa (Mother in law) prepares kheer too, to start of with the fast. We can eat fruits too. But who has the patience to eat all that early morning. I just drink the paani & go off to sleep. After we wake up late (an exception for the day, so as to not tire ourselves) we start preparing some delicacies & prasad for the pooja to be held in the evening. But this time as both Ganesh & Teej fell on the same day, I had to wake up early & perform a pooja before 10:oo am, as the time after that would be the auspicious time for Ganesh Pooja.
After the pooja at my place, we left to my mom's place to attend the Ganesh pooja.
I just watched everyone eat the yummy prasad & the festive lunch after that. The traditional prasad that is prepared at home is called as "PanchaGajjaya". Would write about it sometime later.
The festive lunch comprised of Mooode (ಕೊಟ್ಟೆ ಅಥವಾ ಕೊಟ್ಟಿಗೆ), ಕಡಲೆ, ಅಲಸಂಡೆ, ಹೀರೆಕಾಯಿ, ಗೇರುಬೀಜ ತ್ಹೊಂಡೆಕೈ ಪಲ್ಲ್ಯಗಳು, ಪಾಯಸ(ಸೀಯಾಣ), ಹೆಸರು ಕಾಳು ಸಾರು, ಹೀರೆಕಾಯಿ ಬಜ್ಜಿ, Chutney, ಅನ್ನ & ತಿಳಿ ಸಾರು. ಭರ್ಜರಿ ಅಲ್ವಾ!!!!!!!
I asked mom to pack up a take away for me which I would devour the following afternoon.
As the day comes to an end & the time is nearing for the pooja in the evening, we beautify ourselves by dressing up like a bride, with all the jewelry, mehendi, alta, new saris etc., We keep all the delicacies & the prasad prepared that day as a serving in the name of God along with fruits & other accessories that adorn a married woman. At about 6:30 - 7:00 pm, we begin the pooja by singing bhajans & aarthis. Then once the pooja concludes, we are or rather I am allowed to drink a glass of nimbu paani again, since my mother in law was lenient enough, when she made me take up the fast, the first time.
Then I go off to sleep & early morning at 5:30 - 6:00 am, we freshen up & perform another pooja & then our husbands feed us the prasad & we feed them too & take their blessings by touching their feet. When I do that my hubby avoids as it tends to become very formal, but I like doing that as I do that once a year with respect & the rest of the days I do it with love (!@##$%^^).
After that I drank a cup of tea & feasted on the pooris & chole masala that my hubby had prepared for me. But after I break the fast, I hardly feel like eating anything, may be because now I know that I can eat anything I want. I slept & relaxed that day as I had to focus on my parents anniversary gifts next, which was on the 26th of August.
All these auspicious days of my life were just behind each other. And I was literally on my toes all these days.
Life mein Kabhi Kabhi!!!!
The only prasad I prepared is called as Nimki (Namkeen). There at Ranchi, my maa in law also prepares Gujiya (padakiya), kheer & some two more delicacies of which I have no idea.
Nimki is very simple, easy & does not exhaust you much.
Flour (Maida) - 1 kg
Ajwain Seeds (carom seeds) - 1 tsp
Mangrela (black sesame seeds) - 1 tsp (I store a mix of both)
Oil - 3 cups (to fry) +1 cup (to mix the dough)
Salt to taste
Water as required
Mix all these above ingredients (OIL 1 CUP) in a deep wide mouthed vessel. Add enough water to knead a soft & smooth dough. Consistency to prepare rotis.
Keep it aside for sometime say 1/2 an hour.
Then make tennis ball sized balls of the dough & roll it with the help of a rolling pin. Do not roll it very thin. It ought to be a bit thick.
Once flat, cut the rolled dough into one & a half inch strips. Then further cut these strips into 1/2 a cm or a cm wide pieces with the help of a knife.
Transfer these cut pieces onto a plate or a bowl, keep it aside for a 5 minutes to let it dry.
Meanwhile heat the remaining oil in a wok or a deep bottomed vessel.
Once the oil is very hot, add few cut pieces of the nimki, at a time & deep fry till golden brown.