According to the Hindu epics, performing Satya Narayana Vrata brings one happiness, peace and prosperity. It is said that people who observe / attend the worship, hear the sacred story of Satya Narayana Swamy and eats the prasad are relieved from the miseries of the world. The Hindu months of Magha, Karthika, Vaishaka are considered auspicious for the vrata. The vrata is generally observed on pournami (full moon day), ekadashi and surya sankramana days.
In Andhra Pradesh, it is a custom to celebrate this popular vratam after auspicious functions like marriages and gruha praveshams. It is said that you should never leave the pooja with out eating the prasad. Coming to prasad, there are several variations. The most common one in South India is being made of semolina. In one of the versions made at my mother's place, no liquid is added. It is supposed to be dry so that they can share this prasad with other family members / friends later. It stays for months.
Today's version, Sapaada Bhakshya is from Karnataka which uses both semolina and bananas.
2/3 cups of Semolina, Sugar, Milk & Ghee
2 Bananas peeled, finely chopped
1/4 cup of raisins and cashews
For an authentic version, use equal quantities of semolina, sugar, milk and ghee in this recipe. I have used 2/3 cup of each ingredient. If you have tasted Satyanarayana pooja prasadam, you would know how almost ghee would be dripping from it. I personally feel that prasadam tastes so 'divine' because of the excess ghee used and 'meagre' servings at the pooja. The quantity of the ghee can be reduced. (If it would have been kesari bhath, I would have used just a Tbsp of ghee).
- Peel the bananas. Chop them into tiny pieces.
- Melt the ghee in a deep pan and add cashews and raisins. Toast them till the cashews turn golden brown and raisins turn plump. Remove them with a slotted spoon and save them in a bowl.
- Now add the chopped bananas to the same ghee and fry them for a few minutes till they change into golden color. By the time, they would have turned mushy, add semolina to the pan and keep roasting till you notice the pleasant aroma.
- Then add sugar and keep stirring till all the sugar melts and blends into one lump.
- Add milk and keep stirring till the semolina is cooked.
- Turn off the stove and add the toasted raisins and cashews to the cooked mixture and stir well.