Vratham / Pooja - Worship
Neivedyam - Food offered to God
Prasadam - Food distributed to devotees after offering to God
Satyanarayana pooja or vratham is performed in reverence to Narayana form of Lord Vishnu. Satyanrayana swamy is considered to be the embodiment of truth. Devotees believe that the ritual is a powerful one and God bestows good luck upon those who perform it with reverence and humbleness.
This pooja is mandatorily performed in Andhra brahmin homes whenever there is a celebratory occasion. Be it a wedding, home-warming ceremony or any other important occasions of life. Usually the pooja is performed by a married couple. During weddings, the bride's family does the pooja before the wedding to include their daughter in the ritual while the groom side does the pooja after the wedding with the son and his new bride as a couple. However it doesn't mean that people wait for celebratory occasions to do the vratham / pooja. People who are going through difficult times may also vow to perform it once they get back to normalcy. Or one may choose to perform it just out of reverence. There are people who try to do it once every month without giving a miss. People believe that once vowed, the pooja must be performed at any cost to avoid the wrath of the God.
Whatever may be the occasion, people consider poornima / full moon day of the month to be the auspicious day to perform it. If one cannot pick the day, then they go with the next auspicious day according to the Hindu calendar. If doing on a large scale, the family invites the priest home, worships with all proper rituals and feeds their guests. Or simply, they can just read the katha / story and offer the neivedyam/ food offering to God. Even better, they can perform the pooja at a local temple with other devotees in a holy ambience. It is generally expected that the people who participate in the pooja hear the story that is read at the end. The story describes the origin of the pooja, the merits of it and the bad luck one faces when the vow of worship is forgotten.
There is a famous temple devoted to the Lord in Annavaram, Andhra pradesh where the pooja is performed every day. Devotes who come from far and wide, worship and perform the vratham in the temple. The usual neivedyam (food offering) offered in Andhra would be Rava halwa / Semolina halwa whereas in Annavaram temple, the prasadam is made with cracked wheat and sugar / jaggery. An important requirement of the vratham is that everyone present at the ritual are expected to taste the neivedyam without a miss. Even strangers who happen to be around usually receive the prasadam or they would ask for some without any reservations. Rejecting the neivedyam or leaving the pooja without tasting / receiving the neivedyam is believed to be a bad omen.
While cooked semolina halwa is the commonly prepared neivedyam, many people in Andhra also prepare the dry version. In our homes, we usually go with the dry version since it has longer shelf life. That way, extended family members / friends who are far away or couldn't attend the worship will receive the neivedyam as well. My today's 'S' post is based on that and here is the recipe for the 'Satyanarayana Swamy vrata podi prasadam'.
'S' ingredients in pantry:
Saggubiyyam - Sago, Tapioca Pearls
Semya - Vermicelli
Senagalu - Chickpeas
Senaga Bedalu / Pachi Senaga Pappu - Chanadal, Split chickpeas
Senaga pappu - Split, roasted chickpeas
Senaga Pindi - Besan / Chickpea flour
Sona masuri Rice
Seethaphalam - Custard Apple
Seemonkaaya - Chayote squash
Sorakaaya - Lauki / Bottle Gourd
Some Andhra dishes:
Sukhilu / Sugheelu / Boorelu
(& also breakfast, curries and dals made using above ingredients.)
2 tbsp. neyi / ghee
1 tbsp. jeedipappu / cashews
1 tbsp. endu draksha / raisins
1 cup rava / semolina
1 cup panchadaara / sugar
1/2 tsp. elakula podi / ground cardamom
* Heat ghee in a pan and add cashew and raisins.
* When cashews turn golden brown and raisins turn plump, transfer them onto a plate using a slotted spoon.
* To the same ghee, add semolina and toast until it starts to change the color.
* Turn off the stove. Add sugar and cardamom to the pan and mix well. The heat from the semolina is enough to help the sugar incorporating into the mixture.
* Once cool, it can be stored in an airtight container.
So far on my 'A - Z' Andhra Cuisine,
A for Alasanda Vada
B for Bellam Garelu
C for Chiyali
D for Dondakaaya Kaarapu Kaaya
E for Endu Kobbari Podi
F for Fine Biscuits
G for Gongura - Mamidikaya Pappu
H for Halwa Holigalu
I for Idli Karam Podi
J for Janthikalu
K for Kobbari Koora
Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 63.