Varalakshmi Vratham Pooja prasad recipes


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.

The information is based on what is followed in  our family for decades.  It can vary across families also.

Varalakshmi Vratham Pooja preparation

The preparation starts the previous day i.e Thursday , when the pooja room is cleaned , all the images of Gods and Goddesses are cleaned and sandalwood, turmeric powder and kumkum are applied on the images.

Varalakshmi Vratham Pooja items requirements - a checklist 

  • Fruits - five types of fruits including apple, guava , grapes , bananas , pomegranate 
  • Flowers - Lotus and talampoo ( fragrant screw pine flower ) and five garlands including jasmine, marigold , roses 
  • Mango leaf thoranam and coconut frond toran
  • Cotton garland or panju thiri  malai , cotton wicks
  • Betelnut leaves , arecanut.
  • plantain leaves for placing the kalasam in the mantap and for lunch 
  • Naivedyam - cooked rice , dhal, poori payasam and dhal poli
  • Dharam or thread for Varalakshmi Nonbu that is tied to the right hand
  • Oil and camphor for Pooja


Varalakshmi Vratham kalasam preparation and decoration

  • In our family we fill the khalasam with samba wheat, some fill with rice , some fill with water and turmeric powder
  • The kalasam is also filled with picholai , karugamani, dry fruits  , badam , kajur , some gold and silver.
  • The kalasam is decorated with different garlands, panju thiri malai and any gold ornaments
  • Two talampoo petals are kept on either side of the kalasam
  • On the top five mango leaves and five talampoo petals  are kept alternately and on the top a coconut smeared with turmeric powder , with kumkum applied between two eyes of the coconut is kept.
  • The mantap in which the kalasam is placed is decorated with Hridaya kamalam kolam, a nuni elai is kept on it , rice is spread on the leaf  and the  khalasam is kept on the top.
  • Lakshmi padam in the form of kolam is drawn from the entrance to the kalasam symbolically representing that Goddess Lakshmi enters  the house.
  • The kalasam is placed on a plank , that is placed  on a simple padi  kolam  .  Aarti is performed to the kalasam, a tall narrow vessel filled with rice with jaggery on the top is kept at the entrance .
  • The kalasam is used to gently tap the rice so that it falls  down ( similar to the tradition in which the daughter in  law taps with her right leg rice and jaggery when she first enters her in-laws  house )

A song welcoming Goddess Lakshmi is sung
a) Bhagyada Lakshmi Baramma - in Kannada  or
b) Lakshmi song - in Telugu or 
c)  in Tamil 

The Pooja is performed following our family established procedure or with a CD  that is available in the market.  

Then aarti is performed , fruits and naivedyam are offered.
Again in the evening aarti is performed and thamboolam is offered for five ladies

Punar Pooja is performed the next day.  After some fruits naivedyam , aarti , the kalasam is moved slightly signifying completion of the Pooja. The kalasam is kept in rice facing the east.

The coconut placed in the kalasam is used to make payasam or coconut burfi.

More decoration and recipe ideas for naivedyam are given below


Varalakshmi Vratham recipes ideas for naivedyam

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.
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Varalakshmi Puja recipes - Puran Poli 

Varalakshmi vratam recipes / Varalakshmi Pooja prasadam 

The prasadam list usually includes
A kheer or payasam
Puran poli
Fruits at least five types
cooked rice and dhal
Idli ( if the batter is prepared fresh , using old batter is to be avoided )
So considering the importance attached to this festival instead of idli some include rava idli as naivdeyam and prasadam


Naivedyam for Pooja includes Puran Poli in our house.  Puran poli  is prepared for Varalaxmi Vratam and Ugadi among the many festivals we celebrate

It is quite a popular sweet recipe , traditional recipe of Maharashtra.  Like many recipes that "invade" other states in India , this recipe is quite popular in many southern states. Such invasions are always welcome !

It is called Boli in Tamil , obbattu or holige in Kannada , bobbatlu in Telugu.

Another important sweet recipe for Varalakshmi Puja is Puran Poli .  The method of preparation is as follows

  • Take required quantity of maida , add very little ( a pinch ) of salt  and one tea spoon turmeric powder
  • Add water and mix well to get the dough.  
  • Add generous quantity of oil above the dough so that it is immersed in oil and keep it aside for three hours
  • Cook gram dhal in a cooker and mash well , we can also use a mixer to mash thoroughly
  • For one measure of dhal take one measure of jaggery.
  • Heat the jaggery in a vessel by adding little water and stir well till  it melts completely
  • Add nutmeg powder which gives a fine flavour for poli, the other option is cardamom powder
  • Add a little ghee and stir well till the puran solidifies.
  • For coconut poli the procedure is the same - only thing is we have to add coconut instead of gram dhal
  • Allow the puran to cool and meanwhile the dough also is ready
  • Take a small plantain leaf , spread a little oil and place a ball of dough
  • Spread the dough with your fingers , this is the traditional method of making poli
  • Place a ball of puran , fold the dough and close it , removing excess dough if any
  • Again spread the poli with fingers starting from the centre.
  • Heat a tava , place the poli dough on the tava by inverting the leaf and remove the leaf
  • Apply ghee to cook the poli on both sides
  • This is the traditional poli recipe as compared with prepared using a rolling pin.
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Varalakshmi Vratham 2016 - recipes - Easy ambode or aama vadai and mor kulambu

  • Soak gram dhal and red chillies as required in water for one hour .
  • Drain  the water , add salt according to your taste
  • Grind red chillies in a mixer , then add gram dhal and grind
  • The paste should not be fine and it is all right  if the occasional dhal  is  present without grinding
  • Add asafoetida and curry leaves and mix well
  • We can add grated coconut also but it is optional
  • Heat oil in a kadai or vaanali , make flat pieces using the paste and drop in oil
  • Fry them well till they turn golden brown in colour , drain oil and naivedyam is ready.
  • We can use three types of dhal also to make ambode.



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  • Using the same paste , fry bonda like shapes in the  oil
  • Take thick curd without adding  water.
  • Saute mustard, cumin  seeds, asafoetida , curry leaves  , turmeric powder , red chillies
  • Add the bondas to the curd and add the "saute" to the curd and mix well
  • A quick and  easy morkulambu is ready
  • There is a tradition of making  morkulambu for festivals in some families.
  • This easy recipe will  be useful  to them  because already there are lot of items on the menu for festivals.
  • So this morkuzambu can be made easily and in small  quantity as well

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Payasam using coconut kept in khalasam

What to do with the coconut that  is kept in the khalasam ,  Punar Pooja is performed the next day  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

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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


Some images of Varalakshmi Vratham 2016 decoration and preparation


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Dhanurmasam geethala muggulu pics steps


Dhanurmasam rangoli designs

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The first design above is a traditional muggu for the Dhanurmasa decoration.  During the time between December 15 and January 15 it is a season for muggu with beautiful and colourful muggu adorning the entrances of many homes. Since my mother lived in Vizianagaram ,  I am aware of it and fortunately learnt a lot from her just by watching her.  Coming to the muggu I call it traditional because of the classical step like formation on all four sides.  After drawing the steps on four sides I have connected the inclined lines in a single stroke , we need steady hands that come with practice to do that.  After all the more we practice the closer we get to perfection.  The rest of the muggu is all about free hand decorations like spirals and more lines and these are according to our imagination.  We should choose patterns that may blend well with the main design.

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The next muggu above,  I actually like it very much.  Most of the designs I think of after taking the rangoli powder in my hand expect of course some common ones with dots.  It is different from the previous one due to the centre which is not a square pattern.  Though the image may be confusing for some the steps below should make the it clear
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kolam for Pongal- Sankranti muggulu - rangoli designs


Sankranti lines rangoli | Pongal lines rangoli

Padi kolam or geethala muggu as we call rangoli designs with lines are traditional and old art of drawing rangoli or kolam .  This special and beautiful muggu  has been added for 2017 festival of Sankranti .
It is quite easy to make this lines rangoli design .

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First rangoli with dots for Pongal kolam or Sankranthi muggu for 2017 festival

The latest rangoli  designs addition to this post that has predominantly free hand rangoli designs.  First a 14 dots kolam , a common floral design, a variation of the same the steps shown through images.

I have stopped at the white rangoli design, we can fill colours as per our choice and imagination.  Of course, choosing the colour combination , the right one is also to be given due importance.

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In brief , this is a 14 dot two rows and then up to 2 dots kolam.  A common kolam it is , I have tried a variation of the same.  The flowers , the sepals are drawn in pairs on four sides.  Then the stalks of the flowers are connected.  Leaf designs are drawn between any two pairs of flowers.  This leaves the dots at the centre.  We can add designs according to our imagination and choice.  Add bright colours to show off this simple and beautiful rangoli design for Pongal 2017.  With bright colours it will be awesome to see at the entrance of our homes.  


13 to 7 dots rangoli for Pongal or Sankranti | star and deepam patterns

This is again a common kolam design with two layers of star patterns drawn connecting the central dots of the hexagon formed after placing the dot grid. Then draw the second star inside the first star.  Once this is done , the rest is easy because the dot grids that remain are small and we can form patterns of our choice quite easily.  I have used the dot grids outside the star to form deepam or lamp patterns so this kolam can be drawn for Diwali or Karthigai Deepam also.    Inside a common six petal  floral design with curved arms starting from the centre of the flower to connect the remaining dots , the arm travelling between the petals.  Add a few colours for celebrating and decorating for the harvest festival of Pongal 


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Now a collection of 20 plus rangoli videos with dots , medium and big size designs for Pongal or Sankranthi

           

Sankranti rangoli designs / Sankranti muggulu


Some free hand rangoli designs that can be drawn for Sankranti muggulu with some steps are shown here. A basic floral pattern is drawn and developed further as shown in the images.   It is not necessary to fill the entire rangoli with colours,  by using the right combination of colourful lines we can get a very beautiful rangoli as is seen from the completed rangoli design



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The next free hand rangoli for Sankranti is a birds rangoli design somewhat resembling a peacock.  The images show the steps for this rather simple design.  What starts as a geometric pattern is developed into a bird like rangoli design.  Add patterns inside the rangoli with designs of our choice, sprinkle a few colours and this rather easy rangoli design for Sankranti is ready .


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 Pongal is a time for celebration, joy .  When ever we have festivals and festivities we bring out our joy and happiness through various ways.  Art is one of them.  On Pongal day we have colourful kolam adorning the streets.  Actually the gallery of kolam in a street appear as if there is a colourful carpet in the entire street.

Free hand, kolam with dots most of them big are drawn.  Pongal is in Tamil Nadu what Sankranti is in Telugu.  My mother called it Peddha Pandaga or big festival.  She used to draw a big kolam with 21 to 25 dot grid.  So it is natural that Rangolisansdots has some relatively big kolam with dots for Pongal or Sankranti

Free hand rangoli -  simple kolam I drew at the entrance -  with steps


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The completed free hand rangoli for New Year  ( Puthandu kolam ) as we say in Tamil.  We can add the words around the rangoli using blue and colours used in the rangoli so that they match with the design.

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A simple colourful free hand kolam that can be drawn for New Year rangoli for welcoming 2016 is shown through the pictures below.  A basic floral pattern is developed with patterns and motifs as shown to get a beautiful rangoli , simple rangoli designs some time may be our best bet to attract attention to our rangoli designs !

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Simple free hand kolam for New Year

A simple kolam without dots that can be drawn for New Year or a central design for a bigger kolam.  Free hand kolam can be expanded as we wish.  The images show the steps - the design starts with big floral petals.

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or a simple rangoli with dots - dot pattern is 9 to 5 for New Year.  The patterns are very simple we should add colours and designs inside to make the rangoli beautiful.



Another free hand kolam , that can be drawn for New Year 2016 or for Pongal 2016.  The black and white pics showing the intermediate stages for those who need it.

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The kolam below is again a common kolam with dots.  Using sangu designs in the kolam we get a beautiful kolam.  The dot pattern used is 15 to 8.  The images in black and white show the steps



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The next kolam muggulu is also with 15 to 8 dots ( idukku pulli ) again a common kolam.  After placing the dot grid draw the floral pattern at the centre and on the six sides.  After drawing the floral petals draw the lamp like shapes - three numbers as if they are meeting at a point.  Add a few colours to get a beautiful muggu with dots for Sankranti - it is quite easy too.
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Another free hand rangoli for the Pongal or Sankranti festival in the images showing the steps.

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