¤ KRISHNA JAYANTHI | VELLAI CHEEDAI | UPPU CHEEDAI ¤

Krishna Jayanthi | Gokulashtami | Krishna Janmashtami is celebrated to mark the birth of Shri Krishna – the attractive dark one. He is very fond of butter.His shenanigans relating to this, earn him, his colloquial name ‘Makhan chor’ (Butter thief).

Stories of his endearing childhood pranks, full of fun and enjoyment are know as Bala Krishna Leela and stories of his youth, where he enamours all the Gopikas by playing captivating melody on his divine flute are known as Rasa Leela.

He who celebrates a life of indulgence and the teacher who gave us the Bhagavad Gita tells us 

If one offers Me with love and devotion a leaf, a flower, a fruit or water, I will accept it.” [ Bhagavad Gita 9:26 ] 

So just ‘Chill Maadi ‘ ! Offer whatever you can, your love and devotion is all that matters!

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Sweet ‘Vellai Cheedai’ to the right and Savoury ‘Uppu Cheedai’ to the left – neivedhyam for Krishna Jayanthi
VELLAI CHEEDAI 

Prep time : 15 mins; Cooking time : 30 mins; Serves : 4 – 6

Ingredients :

  • 3 cups rice flour
  • 3 tbsp udad dal | black gram lentil
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1/2 a fresh coconut
  • 7 – 9 green cardamoms
  • 11/2 cups of jaggery
  • ghee or coconut oil for frying

Method :

  1. Dry roast the rice till slightly reddish. Set aside.
  2. Dry roast the udad dal till reddish and grind it in a dry grinder to a smooth flour. Set aside.
  3. Grate the coconut. Peel and powder the cardamoms in a mortar and pestle. Set aside.
  4. Mix the dry ingredients [ rice flour + black gram lentil flour + sesame seeds+ grated coconut + cardamom powder].
  5. Prepare a thin syrup of jaggery by adding about 3 tbsp of water. Let it mix well and come to a boil. It should form a soft ball consistency when a drop is poured in water.
  6. Remove from fire and add it to rice flour mixture. Mix well with a ladle and then knead to a dough.
  7. Pinch out little by little and roll it into small gooseberry size balls.
  8. Heat ghee or oil on a medium to low flame. Once the oil is hot, slide the balls gently and fry these balls, few at a time, turning very gently and cook them in oil till dark red in colour. Once all the ‘vellai cheedais’ are deep fried, they are ready for neivedhyam.

Note :

  1. This one is a tough cookie! It does require a bit of practice. If it disintegrates whilst frying, it means jaggery or water is more, add about 3 – 4 tsps of rice flour and knead the dough again.
  2. One can also heat the jaggery syrup in a bandli | wok to a boil and add all of the dry roasted rice flour mixture in step 4 to it. Go on stirring with the handle of the ladle and cook for 5 mins till it can be rolled. Knead well and then roll into balls and fry them in ghee | oil.
  3. Even after following step 1, it disintegrates then baking is an easier, hassle free, good healthy option. Bake them at 180 C for 15 mins. Turn all of them over and bake for another 10 mins.

UPPU CHEEDAI

Prep time : 15 mins; Cooking time : 30 mins; Serves : 4 – 6

Ingredients :

  • 3 cups rice flour
  • 1/4 cup udad dal | black gram lentil
  • 1 tbsp channa dal | bengal gram lentil
  • 1 1/2 tsp black peppercorns
  • 11/2  tsp jeera | cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp asafoetida
  • 1/2 a fresh coconut
  • 100 gms butter
  • salt as required
  • coconut oil for frying

Method :

  1. Soak the bengal gram dal for 15 mins in water and drain (soaking will make the channa dal soft and chewy to bite into)
  2. Dry roast the rice flour till slightly reddish. Set aside.
  3. Dry roast the udad dal till reddish and grind it in a dry grinder to a smooth flour. Set aside.
  4. Grind black peppercorns and cumin seeds coarsely in a dry grinder. Set aside.
  5. Grate the coconut. Set aside.
  6. Knead the [rice flour+ black gram lentil flour+ freshly ground (cumin + pepper) powder+ asafoetida+ grated coconut+drained bengal gram dal + butter] into a firm dough.
  7. Pinch the dough little by little and roll into tiny little marble sized balls.
  8. Heat the oil in a bandli | wok and fry the ‘uppu cheedais’ in batches, till golden brown and crisp. Once all the ‘uppu cheedais’ are deep fried, they are ready for neivedhyam.

Note :

  1. Baked uppu cheedais can also made keeping it inside the oven at 180 C for 15 mins, turn them over and keep for another 10 mins.
  2. Instead of pepper and cumin powder, 1 tsp red chilli powder can be added.
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