609. Kesar Sooji Phirni with Mango Jelly
Vasant Panchami/Basant Panchami/ Saraswati Puja
Om Hreem Saraswatyai Namah
|Saraswati Ma.(source Google)|
It is believed that the celebration of this auspicious day which falls on the 5th day of the Magh month (Gregorian calendar month of February) marks the beginning of spring season. Punjab region celebrates this festival by flying kites.The mustard plants begins to flower during this time, creating stretches of fields into bright yellow carpets.The blooming mustard plants symbolise youth, freshness, procreation,love, change and life itself. Its a day when people wear yellow clothes and celebrate with sweets that are yellow in colour. In Uttarkashi, its a farmers festival. Doors of homes are decorated with yellow flowers to welcome spring and the sowing season. In Bihar people wears yellow clothes and yellow tilaks of turmeric on their foreheads and perform prayers early in the morning to the Sun, Ganga and the Earth.
At this juncture I must share with you a poem which has been written by Shri Narendra Modi about Basant. Its penned in Gujarati but I hear that his book on poems and translations have been published.
Click on the link to listen to artist Parthiv Gohil sing this composition.
All that begins meets an end, Every end onsets a new beginning,
According to legend there was a very proud princess who refused to marry any suitor who could not match her knowledge. The pundits made Kalidasa, who was dumb, participate in a question answer session with the princess. Since he could not talk, he answered what he believed by using sign language which the pundits interpreted as they liked. The princess married him and found out that he was dumb and not intelligent.She kicked him out of the palace. Dejected he was about to commit suicide when Goddess Saraswati appeared before him and asked him to dip in the Saraswati river. When he emerged from the river he was a changed man and began to recite verses.
Many educational institutions worship Goddess Saraswati on this auspicious day. They drape her in a yellow sari and offer her yellow sweets.New schools are opened on this day. A child learns to read and write his/her first word on this day.It is said that Goddess Saraswati invented Sanskrit, the mother of all languages.She is the Goddess of knowledge, wisdom, music and learning. Thus the encouragement by the Indian Government to worship Saraswati in all Educational Institutes on Vasant Panchami.
To celebrate this festive day #FoodieMonday #Bloghop group decided that we would make something special to celebrate #VasantPanchami which is our 77th theme. I decided to make saffron sooji phirni with fresh mango jelly.
For whatever reason or belief we celebrate Vasant Panchami, I know that if it were not for the opportunity given by my parents to attend school, if it were not for the wonderful teachers that helped me to read and write and above all the blessings of Ma Saraswati, I would not be writing this post or for that matter any other posts on my blog.
KESAR SOOJI PHIRNI WITH MANGO JELLY
For the Kesar Sooji Phirni:
½ cup sooji (semolina)
2 cups milk
¼ – ½ cup sugar
½ tsp cardamom powder(elachi)
½ cup thick fresh cream
3-4 strands of saffron
2 tbsp milk
1 tbsp ghee
For the Mango Jelly:
1¼ cup water
1 cup fresh mango pulp (thick)
¼ cup sugar
a generous pinch of salt
2 tsp agar agar powder or 2 tbsp agar agar flakes
10-12 pistachios soaked in hot water, peeled and cut into thick slices
- Heat 2 tbsp of milk till its hot. Add the saffron strands and let it infuse.
- Take a saucepan and sprinkle agar agar over 1¼ cup water and let it rest for 15 -20 minutes.
- Put the soaked agar agar mixture over medium and bring it to a boil. Lower the heat and stirring frequently, let it simmer till all the agar agar is dissolved.
- Add sugar and let it dissolve in the hot mixture.
- Add salt and the mango pulp. Mix it well.
- Take the pan off the heat.
- Pour the mango mixture into serving bowls or glasses, filling them half way.
- Let it cool a bit and then put it in the fridge.
- Heat ghee in a pan over low heat.
- Add the sooji and stir it constantly till it becomes light brown in colour.
- Add the milk, sugar and cream. Increase the heat to medium.
- Keep on stirring the mixture till it becomes thick.
- Add cardamom powder and the soaked saffron along with the milk.
- Mix well and let it cool a bit in the pan.
- Spoon the phirni over the cold and set mango jelly.
- Put the bowls or glasses in the fridge so that the phirni sets.
- Just before serving, garnish with pistachios.
- Add sugar to the jelly mixture according to the sweetness of the mango pulp.
- I added less sugar to the sooji phirni. If you like your dessert sweet then add more sugar.
- You can make phirni with flavours of your choice.
- Make sure you stir the phirni constantly after adding the milk as you don’t want the sooji to settle at the bottom of the pan and burn.
|Pane Siciliano(sicilian semolina bread)|
|Shiro(sooji ka halwa)|