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Monday, November 18, 2013

Attakali ( Gaintha pitha )

Gaintha pitha or Attakali is a special pitha that is usually prepared during the oriya month of 'Margasira'. The thursdays that fall in this month are celebrated as 'Manabasa Gurubar', the worship of a vessel filled with rice grains that symbolizes Goddess Lakshmi. The married women keep a fast, eat only arwa or raw rice, prepare a variety of pithas from rice/rice flour and read a text called the 'Manabasa' Bahi. In some parts of Orissa the 'Lakshmi Hathi', brass figurines that symbolize Goddess Lakshmi are also worshiped on this day. These figurines are usually a family heirloom and are passed down by the lady of the house to her daughter in law. Check the snaps below:


































In the left hand side corner of the above picture one can see the 'Dhana Benti', long stands of harvested paddy which also form an important part of this Puja. This year the first Gurubar of Margasira Masa falls on 21st November. But since Prathamasthami falls after this date (26th November), it will be celebrated in some parts of Odisha on 28th November.















The Kalasa ( on the left corner ) and the Manaa ( on the right corner behind the Deepam ) being worshipped in the above picture. The manaa is filled with paddy/rice and covered with a new cloth.

















The special stone vessels known as 'Pathuri', used to offer the prasadam to Goddess Lakshmi.

Read on for the recipe for Gaintha pitha:






Preparation Time - 30-40 minutes

Ingredients - 2/3 cup arwa rice ( Sita bhog, Gobindo Bhog or even Sona masuri raw rice will do ), 1/2 tsp coarsely ground pepper, 2-3 green cardamon, 2-3 tsp ghee, (1/2 cup + 2-3 tsp) sugar, 3 cups milk, 1/5 tsp salt.

Preparation - wash and soak the rice for 2-3 hours. Drain all water and spread on a plate to dry (preferably in the balcony or under a fan) for 1-2 hours.

Take the rice in a grinder jar and grind into a smooth powder.

Cooking - Heat 2 cups of water in a wide base non-stick vessel. Add salt, pepper powder and 1-2 crushed cardamon to the boiling water. Add 2-3 tsp sugar.

Use a sieve to gently sift the rice flour into the boiling water. Keep stirring all the time to prevent formation of lumps.

Cook the rice flour till it turns into a stiff dough and leaves the sides of the vessel.

Allow to cool down for 10-15 minutes till it is bearable to touch.

















Add the ghee to the dough and knead for 3-4 minutes to smooth/even it out. Take small lumps out of the dough and roll into small balls (smaller than a lemon).
















Bring the milk to boil in a deep vessel. Add the sugar and remaining cardamon. (One can also add a little condensed milk at this stage).

Add the balls. Initially the balls will sink to the bottom. Boil for 5-7 minutes or till the ball begin to rise to the surface. This is now done. (Do not boil any longer or the balls will melt/break)


















This recipe can also be prepared with suji (semolina).

Note - I recently came to know that they make a very similar recipe down south called Pala Undrallu.

8 comments:

  1. I have very vague memories of this sweet made by mum when we were young. I am tempted to see the outcome, perfect to be offered to god. I am wondering if I can try with rice flour, that which will avoid the process of grinding rice.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Navs, i feel that rice flour does not give the same amount of binding that the slightly wet ground rice gives.

      You can use a trick i learnt from my MIL....mix about 1 tbs of all purpose flour with 1 cup rice flour and use as mentioned in my recipe.

      Delete
  2. Very informative post.. thanks for sharing :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. good info n article .. u can add in www.eodisha.org .. i ll add by ur name .. our mail id "eodisha.org@gmail.com"

    ReplyDelete
  4. i luv attakali..thnks for sharing d recipe...

    ReplyDelete
  5. thks mam.. can i get tarana recipe?

    ReplyDelete
  6. This is gaintha pitha. Atakali is some thing different made with rice powder, jaggery coconut mixed in milk. It is prepared as Lord Siva Prasad in Karthik Purnima.

    ReplyDelete

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