834 – Saraswati Puja

Saraswati is the Goddess of knowledge, fine arts and education. Before Saraswati Puja starts, students keep their books and instruments in front of her for blessings. They are not supposed to touch their books as they are kept at the altar. As children, we loved this idea as we would not be able to do our homework. It is believed that if one prays to her with dedication and devotion, one will be blessed with academic success. Also, one becomes Sattvic and all tamasic habits are shed.

The devotees of Saraswati wake up early, take a bath, decorate her statue with flowers and garlands and offer prayers to her. Yellow is the color worn by all and the prasad is also yellow. The prasad offered is saffron sweet rice and khicheri.


Saffron sweet rice

Two cups of fragrant rice, half cup of jaggery (a natural product of sugarcane), few strands of saffron, chopped nuts and coconut oil for garnishing. If jaggery is not available demerara sugar can be used.

Soak a few strands of saffron and jaggery in four cups of water. Keep aside. Soak a few more strands for garnish for later. Take the soaked and drained rice and add the jaggery water. Mix well, cook the mixture until the water is absorbed. After the rice is cooked, add chopped nuts, saffron and oil. Serve hot.


Two cups fragrant rice, 1 cup split Moong or red Masoor Dal, vegetable (cauliflower, peas, carrots and potatoes). Whole spices cardamom, cloves, pinch of pepper, cinnamon and turmeric.

Sauté the spices with two table spoons of oil. Add chopped vegetables, ginger and salt. Dry roast the rice and lentils and then add it to the pot. Add water, four cups or a little more, stir. Once it’s ready, add a heaped tablespoon of oil according to taste. Serve hot.

Both dishes are delicious and simple.

Aim Hrim Klim


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