Varalakshmi Vratham recipes and decoration

Varalakshmi Vratham or Varamahalakshmi Pooja will be celebrated on August 12 2016.  This is one of the most important  festivals and requires elaborate preparation and celebrations resulting in  joy and mental satisfaction . This festival  is called Varamahalakshmi Habba in Karnataka.

Varalakshmi Vratham recipes ideas 

For any festival or function , payasam or kheer is a must .  Varalakshmi Vratham is a special  festival and so a different type of recipe through a payasam is an option.  This is called poori payasam or kheer.  

  • Take chiroti rava , if it is not available  ordinary rava can be ground in a mixer.
  • Add water and cover with a wet cloth for three to four hours .
  • The rava becomes soft and can be kneaded like dough.  Make poori shapes with the dough
  • Using a knife or cutter cut the poori dough horizontally and vertically to get small pieces
  • Fry them in oil and place them in a container or plate  with tissue paper  on  top to drain oil.
  • It is preferable  to use oil  and  ghee  combination for frying. Of course this is based on one's  health concers.
  • Meanwhile boil milk on  the stove , adding sugar and cardamom as required .  Saffron is optional
  • Add the fried poori pieces  and allow the kheer  to boil for five minutes
  • Fry cashew nuts in ghee and add them to the kheer. 
  • Varamahalakshmi Pooja Naivedyam is ready.





Payasam using coconut kept in khalasam

What to do with the coconut that  is kept in the khalasam , the next day we call Punar Pooja after completing the Puja and Vrat.  In our family there is  a tradition of using the coconut used for Varalakshmi Pooja to make a sweet it can be a payasam or  coconut burfi;

This is a coconut paysam recipe for Varalakshmi Vratham coconut

  • Take 200 g of raw rice for one whole coconut and soak in water for half an hour
  • Grate the coconut and after half an hour add it to the soaked rice
  • Add cardamom powder and wet grind in a mixer into a fine paste
  • Boil milk and add this paste to milk
  • Add jaggery as required to the payasam


One of the most common  and beautiful  decorations we can have for Gods and Goddesses is the traditional rose garland that is made with banana stem fibre.  All traditional  Indian garlands have their own  beauty but the rose garland  is quite unique.  The light pink variety called the paneer rose in Tamil Nadu is known for its beauty and fragrance. I invariably use this variety of rose only for Puja and for making garlands.  The local flower vendor from  whom I buy has different types of  roses red, yellow , dark pink  etc. but the insects hover and buzz above the paneer rose only.  

How to make a traditional  Indian flower garland 

Many of us would have observed and noticed flower garlands being made at the entrance of our local temples.  I would like to share the method of making this beautiful floral decoration idea for Varamahalakshmi Pooja .  This garland we can use for decorating the Puja mantap or as a decoration for the Varalakshmi kalasam decorations.

The method is as follows

  • Buy a large quantity of roses depending upon the length of garland  required
  • I have shared only the basics of the method and so the garland is relatively short
  • Take two or three thick  banana stem fibres ( called naaru in Tamil ).  They serve as the support for the garland
  • Take a thin fibre and tie a knot at the top as shown.
  • Place one rose on the thick fibres and hold the flower by taking the thin fibre around the stalk
  • Turn the thick fibre combination by ninety degrees  and  place the next rose and take the fibre around the rose
  • Again turn the thick fibres by 90 degrees and place the third rose.  Similarly turn the fibres again and place the fourth rose
  • After placing the four roses one layer of the garland is formed
  • Continue this to get more layers.  The more the layers  , more the length of the garland
  • After completing all layers required using the thin fibre tie a knot on the thick fibers at the bottom.  This will hold the roses together.
  • We can add sampangi or samandhi ( marigold ) in between  to beautify the garland further
  • Form two such portions and tie them together at the bottom to get the garland
  • We can add a flower decoration at the bottom of the garland also
  • This is the procedure for rose garland making. 
  •  Similarly we can make garlands with, sampangi , marigold , chrysanthemum or other flowers.

Rose garland making images - DIY









Making such traditional garlands is an important part of hobbies and  crafts done in our country for quite a long time.

Kolam plays an important part in the celebration of Varamahalakshmi Puja .  It is Rangolisansdots and hence flagship theme is rangoli or  kolam .  Of course occasionally I digress from the main  theme  to share some home made  recipes and naivedyam for festivals and some  traditional crafts of India  like  the rose garland above.  

kolam designs for Varalakshmi Vratham Pooja

The dot pattern used is 5, 4, 3 idukku pulli.  Form the pattern at the centre and outside using the dots.
The other pictures should make the steps self explanatory,I hope.







The next kolam ( or muggu ) is a basic padi kolam.  I am of the opinion that traditional padi  kolam should start with a square base.  I use four or five lines for a padi kolam or any lines kolam.  There  is a school of thought which feels  that padi kolam should be with 2, 4,6  lines  only ( i.e the number of lines  should be even). This was a point of discussion on my YouTube channel with some subscribers through the comment form .  While  I use 4 or 5 lines my elder sister is very particular that five lines  are used for  padi kolam.   In  fact she called me  from  Nagpur over telephone and discussed my video on my YouTube channel and asked why I was using 4 lines when  our family tradition is using 5 lines.   Though there  are no hard and fast rules in the number  of lines in a traditional padi kolam ,we may have 4 or 5 , the second option is two lines only. Any other number is usually not used.   Traditional  lines kolam may differ from traditional padi kolam in that they need  not start with a square base and so  also the number of lines. 

So far as the kolam designs for Varlakshmi Pooja are concerned  , one more padi  kolam .  The images should be self explanatory I hope.