Yesterday was Varamahalakshmi festival. This festival is celebrated usually in the southern part of India on the Second Friday or the Friday before full moon day – in the month of Shravana (Aug-sept),auspicious month for Hindus.As the name says, on this day Goddess Laksmi is worshiped & it is believed that worshiping her on this day brings wealth,prosperity and a long life to the family.
To celebrate this occasion, I prepared a traditional rice dessert “GUDANNA/BELLA DA ANNA”. “Gud or Bella” is jaggery in kannada and “Anna” is rice .It is a special naivedyam offered to Goddess. Basically, it is rice sweetened from jaggery and flavoured with cardamom. Sounds simple,right? Yes, it is a very simple & quick dessert and there isn’t anything that you can mess up here.Im sure, this dish would turn yummy even when prepared by the newbies. This dish i learned from my mom-in law, who used to prepare it often as it can be prepared in a jiffy..So here goes the recipe:
GUDANNA / BELLADA ANNA
- 1 big cup Cooked Rice, cooked and cooled
- 1 1/2 cups Jaggery, -Approx (Depends on your sweet level)
- 1 cup Grated dry coconut / kopra, ( you can vary this measurement )
- 4 Tbsps Ghee
- 6 - 7 pods cardamom/ elaichi, powder
- few Cashews
- few Raisins
- In a heavy bottomed vessel/kadai,add a tea spoon of ghee and fry cashews till they change in color. Fry raisins as well in the same pan till they fluff up. Keep it aside
- To the same vessel ,add jaggery and little water (Just enough to cover the jaggery). Stir occasionally to melt all the jaggery
- When jaggery gets dissolved and plain jaggery syrup is ready, add cooked rice and coconut to it.Mix well so that there are no lumps.
- Keep on stirring on low flame, so that the rice absorbs the jaggery syrup.
- While continuing to stir, add ghee in intervals.
- When the mixture forms a lump and leaves ghee then it is done.This process may take around 10 to 15 minutes.You ll get a creamy kind of texture.
- Finally add , fried cashew nuts, raisins and cardamom powder. Mix it well.
- Now gudanna/nei payasam / jaggery rice is ready to offer to Goddess Lakshmi.It tastes wonderful when served either hot/warm/cold.Choice is yours .. have as you like.... and let me know how you liked...
- Be little generous in adding ghee to gudanna. It gives nice flavor and taste.
- The rice should not be neither mushy nor too separate.
- You can use Fresh Coconut also.