"Bhaaiyer Kopale Dilam Pontaa,
Jomer duare porlo kaanta.
Jamuna dae jomke phonta,
Ami dei amar bhai ke Phonta.
Jom joto paramayu,amar bhai er temon paramayu hok."
This is a small Bhai Phonta rhyme I used to recite year after year , while putting the sandalwood paste tilak on my brother’s forehead praying for his long life. Literally translated it would mean “As put the chandan mark on my brother’s forehead, there's a mark placed at the door of the Lord Yama. I mark a tilak on my brother’s forehead, the same way as Jamuna placed a tilak on Lord Yama’s forehead and I pray for Life as long as lord Yama for my brother.”
When I was small my mother used to prompt while blowing the Shankh (conch shell ) and I would repeat. By now I know it by heart. The real charm of this ditty lies in its meaning , of course it has evolved over the years , simplified in wordings and dialects changed from family to family.The fundamentals still remain the same.This childhood picture tells the untold story...
That casual little nod calls for some serious preparation now.How about some 'narkel nadu' (the popular coconut sweet)?. Although its done to death for Bijoya (Vijaya Dashmi - the last day of the Durga Puja) it never hurts to re-do, and for those lazy bums who have saved up the sweet since then, might as well throw those and make a fresh batch. Trust me, these delicate looking sweets turn as hard as marbles after a week in the refrigerator. Afterall today we are praying for our brother's longer life , remember ?!
Narkel Nadu /Coconut Laddu recipe
Fresh grated coconut - 1 Whole
Whole Milk - 4 cups (or you can use Condensed Milk 2 cups)
Sugar - 1 cup (you can use 1 .5 cups jaggery too)
Cardamom powder - 1/2 tsp
Ghee - 1 tsp
Mix the finely grated coconut with milk or condensed milk in a heavy bottomed pan and bring it to boil over medium heat. Stir continuously.
Once it comes to boil, reduce the flame and briskly stir the mixture for around 30-35 minutes. you need to do this till the milk almost dries up and the mixture begins to leave the sides.It should look something like the below picture.
Now you can add the sugar and cardamom powder and over low flame cook for a while till the mixture comes together. Remove flame and let it cool.
Once its cool enough to handle, you can smear your palms with butter or ghee and turn it to balls.
As I make and serve it to my brother, I pray for yours too. May your brother be prospered with health and wealth and all the life's little gems he wishes for.
Sending this entry to Anu's Healthy Kitchen and Sara's Yummy bites