Puri Kanika…. a Odia Sweet Pulao
A simple, spiced, sweet Odia Pulao recipe…a part of the Mahaprasad of the Puri Jagannath temple and a festive speciality.
Vasant Panchami is a festival which highlights the arrival of spring season. Vasant means spring and Panchami refers to the fifth day and as the name suggests this festival falls on the fifth day of spring. On this auspicious day Goddess Saraswati , the goddess of learning, knowledge, wisdom,music and arts is worshipped.
In Odisha this day is known as Saraswati puja and is celebrated in schools, colleges and all educational institutions with fervour and gaiety.Traditionally on this day toddlers are taught to write their first words which is known as “Khadi Chuaan” in Odisha.
As I type this post out nostalgia filled memories of this day flash across my mind. The school Puja celebrations, Maa Saraswati’s beautiful idol in a yellow saree, the boondi prasad, the smell of camphor and the chanting of mantras during Pushpanjali, all my school friends in their new colourful dresses…this sure forms a nostalgic knot in my throat. The best part of this day was abstaining from studies, all our books were kept near the feet of Maa Saraswati’s idol for the Puja and the whole day we were not expected to study….in short a day that we always looked forward to.
The colour yellow holds a special meaning in the celebration of this festival as it depicts the brilliance of nature and vibrancy of life. My post today is a Odia speciality Kanika or fragrant, yellow, spiced, sweet, rice which is also offered as Mahaprasad in Puri’s Jagannath temple, infact a part of the Chappan bhog served for Lord Jagannath every single day and cooked in most Odia Kitchens during auspicious occasions.
Kanika or sweet rice goes very well with a bowl of dalma (odia style dal with veggies ), saaga(fried greens) , Tomato Khajur khatta (sweet tomato and dates chutney), and Chenna Bara tarkari ( cottage cheese patties in a no garlic onion gravy).
Sending this sweet pulao as an entry for the 77th Foodie Monday Bloghop for the theme Vasant Panchami.