Tuesday, August 26, 2008


Janmashtami is celebrated as the day when Lord Vishnu took his eight avatar as Krishna. Born to Devki and Vasudev in Mathura on the eight day of the dark half (Krishna Paksha) of the month of Shravana of the Hindu calendar in a Prison cell at midnight. After the forecast that it would be Devki’s son who would kill Kans; he had them imprisoned on their wedding day. One after the other he killed all of Devki’s new borns. Then was born Krishna, who was smuggled out to the nearby Gokul village thru the Yamuna River by Vasudev. It was here that Krishna spent his early childhood as Nandalal's and Yashoda's son. When he was 10 he went back to Mathura, killed his maternal uncle Kans and released his parents from the prison. His teachings of Bhagavat Gita remain relevant till date.
Ever year on this day India sees the celebration of his Birth by fasting until midnight. The Hindu calendar being lunar, these two events [the day being the eighth of the waning moon and the Rohini Nakshatram being ascendent] may overlap more often than not. As a result, like most of the Hindu festivals, this too falls on 2 days quite commonly, making life difficult for us to decide which day to celebrate the festival.
When it comes to Janmashtami, at our place we have a simple rule; we celebrate it the day it is celebrated in Mathura’s Janmabhoomi temple, this was the place Lord Krishna was born. Mathura is also the place my family hails from. This year Janmashtami was on 23rd Aug so also on 24th Aug. I celebrated it on the 24th.
Fasting on this day is so common in North India that you would find small kids fasting till midnight too. I for myself remember fasting on this day since I was 10.

In Maharashtra on the occasion of Janmashtami, 'Dahi Handis' are organized; a handi, a clay pot, suspended high above the ground are set up locally in the city, and groups of youngsters, called Govinda Pathaks try to break the handis. The winning team walks away with the rewards.

Source: wikipedia

I have laddoo Gopal/ Bal Gopal at my place. Cucumber is considered a must in the Prasad offered to him along with Panchjiri that I made with Sugar, Coconut, Almonds, Cashew, and Cardamom.

Laddoo Gopal
Kootu is used extensively in the food prepared for fasting in North India.
I made Kootu Aaloo pokodi with Aaloo subji, Sabudana vada, Sabudana khichdi, Panchjiri, Dahi ke aaloo. Entire food was prepared with Rock Salt as this is the only form of salt used during fasting. Fasting for the entire day and cooking the meal...I didn't get the strength to take as many pics as I would have liked of the food prepared. Just took the final pic.

Vrat ki Thaali

In this post I will share the recipe of Kootu ki Pakodi and Aaloo ki Subji

Kootu Ki Pakodi

8 T Kootu flour
2 Potatoes peeled
1 tsp Black pepper powder
1 Green Chilly chopped
Rock Salt
Oil for frying

In a bowl add the Green Chilly, Potatoes cut into 1/2 cm cubes, Black pepper, Salt and the Kootu flour. Mix this and add water as required to form a thick mix. In a wok heat the oil and drop the mix little by little. Fry till crisp.

Aalo Ki Subji

2 Boiled potatoes peeled
1 Green Chilly chopped finely
1 T Oil
1/2 tsp Cumin seeds / Jeera
1 tsp Red Chili Powder
1/2 tsp Coriander powder
1/2 tsp Garam Masala
1/2 tsp Mango powder
Rock Salt
5 sprigs of Coriander chopped finely
200 ml Water

In a bowl put the potatoes and add the water, mash the potatoes into small pieces. In a wok heat the oil and add Jeera. Once it splutters add green chilly, Red Chilli powder, Coriander powder and salt. Add the potato and water mix. Boil to get the consistency you prefer (With Kootu ki pakodi watery gravy is preferred). Add Garam masala, Mango powder and coriander. Serve hot with Pakodis.

Update on Kuttu:
Kuttu is used extensively in Northern India to prepare food on fasting days.

Kuttu ka Atta can either we made by grinding the white seed or the Kuttu as it is with the hull. I use it with the hull...coz of the lovely color the hull imparts to the pakodis and also for the crispness it gives.

Kuutu ka Atta

More info below on Kuttu from Wikipedia

Kuttu or Buckwheat or beech wheat, gets its name from its triangular seeds, which resemble the much larger seeds of the beech nut, and the fact that it is used like wheat. It is similar to sunflower seed, with a single white seed inside a hard dark brown/ black outer hull.

Buckwheat contains no gluten. Many bread-like preparations have been developed using Buckwheat. Buckwheat noodles are used extensively in the several international cuisines. The porridge made is also common. Buckwheat pancakes, sometimes raised with yeast, are eaten in several countries. The buckwheat flour gives them an earthy, mildly mushroom-like taste.

Buckwheat has also been used as a substitute for other grain in gluten free beer, in the same way as barley, to produce a malt

Medicinal use
Buckwheat contains rutin that strengthens capillary walls, reduces hemorrhaging in people with high blood pressure and increases microcirculation in people with chronic venous insufficiency

Buckwheat contains D-chiro-inositol, a component of the secondary messenger pathway for insulin signal transduction found to be deficient in Type II diabetes and Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). It is being studied for use in treating Type II diabetes.

A buckwheat protein has been found to bind cholesterol tightly. It is being studied for reducing plasma cholesterol in people with an excess of this compound


Jayashree said...

It's amazing how different people in india celebrate the same festival differently, isn't it? For me, Janmashtami is associated with feasting, not fasting :-)
Lovely thali.

Uma said...

wow, you did fasting? the thali looks so delicious, especially the sabudana vada which is my fav.


wow .. thatz a lovely spread of dishes .. loved the sabudana vada N khichdi .. both are my absolute favourite .. U must be really tired after preparing soo much ..

Pete said...

One of the food on the plate looks like vadai (that's the name we call in Malaysia). Same?

notyet100 said...

everythin looks delicious,..u can send this thali to festive food event...ceeya..:-)

Usha said...

Everything looks delicious,do you know what the english term for kootu flour is,I have never heard of it...

Purva Desai said...

Nidhi Ur lalaji (Bapgopal) looks really cute
and ur thali looks really tempting..
U can send even this post for the event.
I will include Panchamrut as well, as it is the prasad which is milk based offerred to GOD.

Sireesha said...

Lovely and tasty Thali...Nice pics of lord krishna.

There is small treat for u at my blog:))

Sujatha said...

First time to your blog.. and you have some interesting recipes! good post about Jenmashtami..:)

Divya said...

How cute! I am still looking for desserts!

SriLekha said...

the dish is looking so good! check out my blog also for janmashtami celebrations at my home!

Vidhya said...

Hi Nidhi, Thanks for the regular comments. A surprise waiting for you in my blog. Please check out

Priti said...

Pooja picture is so gud Nidhi and so do the thali...looking so authentic..

Nidhi said...

Thanks. It is feasting after fasting for me :(

Yes dear..was on fast untill midnight. They are my fav too.

~vegetable platter
Thanks...I love them too.

Yes there is Sago Vada in the plate. I think you are referring to the same.

Thanks Dear..But I am afraid the thali cannot make it to the event since they called for milk based recipes only. Howvever Purva has confirmed I can send her the Panchamrut made for Prasad. Will update the post with the info.

I serached it on net and found that Kootu is called as Buckwheat flour.
More info @ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buckwheat

Sure...Will update the post with the info

Thanks...Will check your blog

Welcome dear!

Yes I too think I should have made some dessert..For sweet I had only the burfi (Panchjiri) made with dry fruits.

Sure Dear. Will check it out.

Off to check it.

Madhuram said...

The Lord Krishna and the decoration looks very good Nidhi. So does the thali of scrumptuous food. Like Uma has said, the vada caught my attention more than anything.

Rajani said...

wow... if I have such a neat spread to break the fast, I would fast too! amazing, how did you get the strength to cook up all this??? everything looks super yummy. next year i will fast too- i've a mind block against fasting - though ordinarily I frequently to detox diets!!! :p

Sunshinemom said...

Jai Shri Krishna! Bal Gopal bade hi sundar dikh rahen hain saj dhaj ke! My neighbour gave me some panchjiri - loved it! The pakodi is interesting:) Thanks - I wondered what buckwheat is. I found a 'kutilot' flour here which seems similar. Can you post a snap of the flour? I was wondering if it could be used in breads!

Sameera.. said...

Yummy ! Fast food always makes me hungryyy !
I can imagine no strength to post pics ;) and esp with such a mouth-watering thaali in front of you...who wud spend time taking pics :D
Best Rgds,
Sam !

Vaishali said...

Nidhi, I am not sure what kootu flour is..please explain.

Suma Rajesh said...

woo krishna looks beautiful...and hte plate filled with prasad is too yum....everthing looks fabulous

Nidhi said...

Thanks. Sabudana vada rocks!

Thanks Dear! Hope you remember to fast next year :)

Jai Shri Krishna! I dont know what kutilot flour is. Me too wonder if they are same. I have updated the post with Kuttu, kuttua ka atta pics and some generic info abt Kuttu. I hope its useful. BTW it indeed is used to bake bread also.

As a child I would be happy if anybody would fast..as that would mean we could feast on vrat ka khana :)

I have updated the post with Kuttu, kuttua ka atta pics and some generic info abt Kuttu. Hope its helpful.

Thanks Dear!

Divya said...

I have tagged you for a Meme, check out my blog under the latest post today.
Have fun doing it!

Nidhi said...

Sure Divya...will check it out. Thanks.

Vidhya said...

Hi Nidhi dear, have tagged u for a meme(!). check out on 29th

Sunshinemom said...

Thanks for the update. My kutilot looks the same!

Sanctified Spaces said...


Now I thought I was the only one interested in this kind of trivia.Thanx for the info on Kuttu