Some of the things that you did in the childhood is really nostalgic and follows you where ever you are. I born and brought up in Thirivuvanthapuram, Kerala, and the Southern part of India. In Thirivuvanthapuram, in the month of February or March there is festival at a local temple called Attukal Pongala. My mom used to do pongala every year irrespective of her health conditions. I would accompany her whenever it was possible. During this festival last day all the women gather around the temple Attukal and nearby and make Hearth under the hot sun and prepare offering for the Goddess. Most famous one is Pongala payasam/ Sweet rice pudding which everyone makes. I prepared that last year. This year I made this Mandaputtu as attukal pongala was on 23rd February 2016
Pongala paysam, Mandaputtu, therali , Sweet sundal and vella choru( white rice) are the offering of Attuakal pongala. Legend is that ladies did pongala to pacify the Goddess Kannaki, who was angry after killing her enemies in Madhurai (Tamil Nadu) who wrongfully imposed the death penalty on her husband. In February or March each year, over one million women gather at the Attukal Bhagavathy Temple, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India, for the `Pongala’ offering. It is registered in Guinness records, as the largest annual gathering of women in a particular area. The women, from all religions and communities in Kerala, gather with their cooking pots to perform a ritual for the health and prosperity of their families. The ceremonial, which involves cooking rice as an offering to the deity, lasts six hours.
Credit: IBN news
This manda puttu is offered to the goddess to cure headaches and end troubles in the life. Manda puttu is made with green gram (mung beans) powder, rice powder, coconut and jaggery. It is also a steamed delicacy. “There is a belief that if manda puttu breaks while you are making it, it is a bad omen, when I made yesterday I was so afraid praying whole time, I was happy only after seeing them intact after steaming. I know it is belief, still you do it then do it with whole heartily that is my view.
Making mandaputtu is really easy, you need to roast the green gram (mung beans) really well and make it into powder then add rice flour, freshly grated coconut and cardamom and Jaggery. I am afraid of dirt in jaggery so made syrup of jaggery with ¼ cup water and added to the mixture. Then added fried raisin and roasted cashews into the mixture and made balls and steamed for 20 minutes it is ready.
It is delicious, give it try you will like it, and here comes the recipe.
Here is the Recipe of Pongala payasam