Author Notes: It’s Lord Ganesha’s Birthday! Yes, the favorite God of many Indian Kids, referred as the Elephant God here in US. Why do many kids like Lord Ganesha..?! There are many reasons, I remember the recent one, Thanks to my friend. “Lord Ganesha is very Jovial.! He will not mistake us if we crack any jokes on him!!” That was so cute. She is such an innocent, sweet, grown up kid.
The first auspicious festival soon after my marriage was Ganesh Chathurti. Preparations were all meticulously done, just waiting for the morning to begin the show. Guess who showed up first in the pooja room?! Our innocent, kind hearted, lovable, cool “Ammamma”(Grandma)!! According to the timetable, it was too early for her to be there. She surprised me by being the first.. na maybe second one following Amma. She started working on the “Palavelli”. Let me first tell you what it is, it is a pandal made up of shrubs/ leaves, flowers and fruits. This is done in order to give a natural garden like background filled with flowers and fruits for Lord Ganesha, I heard this for the first time. She made it with twigs, thread, leaves, flowers and fruits. It was just perfect! I was happy that I helped her a little in her Palavelli preparation. The young granny.. yes! she did become young and started rolling like crazy and amazed me until the Pooja was done. Now that Palavelli was all ready, Ammamma jumped into the next activity. She quickly reached out for the wicks and got ready to light the lamps while we got charged with this contagious positvie energy from her and squared off the remaining. Everything is set and we started the pooja while our little prince became our pandit for the day. He guided us with the religious proceedings all through the finish. The Pooja was very good enchanted by positive energy started by Ammamma. It rendered lot of confidence, encouragement and support for everyone. Not to forget the happy moment while we gazed at the prasad. This was the first Ganesha Chathurthi with Ammamma! I always get nostalgic on Ganesha Chathurthi. This year it has been even more, thinking of you more than ever Ammamma. I really loved you a lot and I miss you.
It was not the regular time for us to celebrate, however I did want to show the same love to Lord Ganesha as Ammamma. So I decided to make some kesari, then with a bing on my head, whipped it with a special flavor. It is Mango Kesari or Mango Sooji Halwa or Mango Semolina Pudding..!!! —yMarni
tablespoons Clarified Butter/ Ghee
cup Semolina/ Rava
cup Mango Pulp
teaspoon Cardamon Powder
cup Ripe Mango chunks (Optional)
teaspoons Mixed dry nuts (I used cashews, slivered almonds and golden raisins)
- Heat a pan with clarified butter.
- Fry the mixed nuts until golden brown and reserve for garnish. Care should be taken not to burn it.
- Add the semolina to the pan with clarified butter.
- Roast the semolina until it gives a good aroma.
- Add sugar to the roasted semolina and mix well.
- Now add the water, mango pulp and mix well.
- Make sure there are no lumps by mixing it regularly.
- Cover the pan with lid and cook until the semolina is well done.
- Stir in the ripe mango chunks at this time. This is optional. (I did not add as I did not have some handy)
- Add the fried nuts and serve hot or cold.