Monday, October 23, 2006

Chakli on Padwa

The fourth day is PADWA or VARSHAPRATIPADA which marks the coronation of King Vikramaditya and Vikaram-Samvat was started from this Padwa day.

Govardhan-Puja is also performed in the North on this day. As per Vishnu-Puran the people of Gokul used to celebrate a festival in honour of Lord Indira and worshipped him after the end of every monsoon season but one particular year the young Krishna stopped them from offering prayers to Lord Indra who in terrific anger sent a deluge to submerge Gokul. But Krishna saved his Gokul by lifting up the Govardhan mountain and holding it over the people as an umbrella.

Govardhan is a small hillock in Braj, near Mathura and on this day of Diwali people of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar build cowdung, hillocks, decorate them with flowers and then worship them.

This day is also observed as Annakoot meaning mountain of food. In temples specially in Mathura and Nathadwara, the deities are given milkbath, dressed in shining attires with ornaments of dazzling diamonds, pearls, rubies and other precious stones. After the prayers and traditional worship innumerable varieties of delicious sweets are ceremoniously raised in the form of a mountain before the deities as "Bhog" and then the devotees approach the Mountain of Food and take Prasad from it.

Goddess Lakshmi is worshipped in every Hindu household and her blessings sought for success and happiness. This day is looked upon as the most auspicious day to start any new venture. In many Hindu homes it is a custom for the wife to put the red tilak on the forehead of her husband, garland him and do his "Aarathi" with a prayer for his long life. In appreciation of all the tender care that the wife showers on him, the husband gives her a costly gift. This Gudi Padwa is symbolic of love and devotion between the wife and husband. On this day newly-married daughters with their husbands are invited for special meals and given presents.

Making chakli is a difficult task, or so I thought, till Mom came to the rescue ( don't they always?!?) and gave me another sure- fire recipe, which never fails and the chaklis are extremely crispy.
So if your chaklis are too hard, or crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, or you have a recipe for chakli that simply eats up oil.. then try my method!
Take :
3 cups Rice flour

1 cup All purpose flour (maida)

1/2 cup Ghee

1 Tsp. Red chilly powder

1/2 tsp. Turmeric
1 tsp. Sesame
1/2 tsp. Ajwain
1 tsp each Corriander and cuminseed powder
1/2 tsp. Asafetida
1/4 tsp. sugar
Salt to taste
Warm water to knead a dough
In a plate, take the ghee, add the chilly pwd. turmeric, asafetida, sesame, ajwain, corriander-cumin pwd., salt
and sugar. Mix all the above thoroughly, using fingers. Till the ghee becomes frothy.Now add the maida and rice flour and mix well. Now, very slowly, add warm water and knead into a dough (I needed approx. 1 cup water). It looks like so...
To make the chakli, use a chakli dough press.. I have an ancient one.. looks like this
Make equal portions of the dough,like hotdog franks..
Put these into the dough press and make chaklis on a sheet of plastic, makes it easy to pick up and deep fry (whoof! my hands were aching by the time I had finished the first dozen!) Oh for a new dough press!
Deep fry the chaklis on a med-high flame to a crispy golden colour. Drain on a tissue paper.
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