Thursday, 5 October 2017

Dudh Pauva (Milk and rice flake pudding) for Sharad Poornima or Harvest Moon

Dudh Pauva - Dudh Poha - for Sharad Poornima
Sharad Purnima also known as Kojaagari Purnima, is celebrated on the full moon day of the Hindu lunar month of Ashwin. It is also known as Kaumudi (moonlight) celebration, as it is believed that on this day the Moon through its beams showers amrit or the elixir of life on earth. The brightness of the full moon brings special joy, especially after a long monsoon.

The 'Sharad' in Sharad Purnima signifies the 'Sharad ritu' (autumn season), basically a harvest festival, it also has religious significance. It is believed that whoever worships Goddess Lakshmi on this night and observes a fast is blessed by the Goddess.

Another belief is that Goddess Lakshmi was born on Sharad Purnima. Anyone observing this fast avoids solid foods and upon completion of the fast, he/she must first taste a mixture of cold milk and rice flakes (Dudh Poha).

The practice of drinking cold milk during this fast has its origins in science. Sharad ritu brings in very hot days and cool nights, during such weather, 'pitta' or acidity becomes predominant in our body and the consumption of milk & rice flakes is regarded as a good remedy for  this 'pitta'.

One of my earliest childhood memories were of my grandmother observing this fast, she would decorate a large thali (large tray) with a divo (oil lamp), kankku (red vermillion), aggarbatti (incense sticks), a silver coin bearing the image of Goddess Laxmi (the goddess of wealth) along with a large bowl of dudh pauva (cold milk and rice flake pudding), after offering her prayers to the goddess and the moonlight she would allow the pudding bowl to absorb the nourishing rays of the moon following which the pudding was distributed among all the members of our family.

Pauva or rice flakes that have been pre flavoured (mostly found only at Parsi shops)

This recipe is quick, easy, nourishing and cooling and I share it with all of you today in loving memory of my dearest grandmother her lovely ways are always missed and forever cherished...

To make Dudh Pauva

You will need:

Pauva (flat rice flakes) - 1 cup 
Rose syrup - 1 - 2 tbsps
Milk- 500 ml (preferably full cream)
Cardamom pods - 2 or 3, crushed to a fine powder
Peeled soaked almonds- 6 to 7
Raisins- 2 tsps.
Sugar - 2 tbsps (or according to taste, as the rose syrup will also have sugar in it)


Heat the milk in a heavy bottomed pan on a low flame, add in the sugar and stir constantly. Let it simmer and come to boil twice, this should take about 10-15 minutes. Do not increase the flame, be patient and boil on low flame or you will burn the milk. 

About 2-3 minutes before switching off the burner, add in the poha (rice flakes), chopped dry fruits and raisins (whole) along with the rose syrup and cardamom powder.

Allow to rest till it comes to room temperature, then refrigerate until moon rise.

Put your cooled pudding bowl under the moonlight and consume after an hour or more.

Happy Sharad Poornima to you!

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