“Guru Brahma Gurur Vishnu,
Guru Deva Maheshwara,
Guru Saakshaat Param Bramha,
Tasmai Shree Guruve Namah”
The translation of this Sanskrit shloka is that Guru stands for ‘Vishnu, Brahma & Shiva. He builds and nurtures knowledge while removing ignorance from our minds. I bow down to such Guru’. Guru Purnima is an auspicious full moon day to celebrate the presence and teachings of Gurus in our lives. In 2020, Guru Purnima in 2020 is on 5th of July. As it is customary with Hindu festivals, the celebration of this festival is also associated with simple, usually sweet dishes. Non-vegetarian dishes are a strict no-no on Guru Purnima. The people who do not fast, cook plain dishes to commemorate the importance of their Gurus. Here are four simple ideas for what you can make this year on Guru Purnima-
This dish can be used as an offering in puja or also eaten at home. It is plain, vegetarian and takes only a few minutes to make. In a large mixing bowl, well combine 1 cup milk, 1 tsp desi ghee, 1 tsp honey, 4 tsp fresh yoghurt and 1 tbsp granulated sugar. Then garnish with 1 thinly sliced banana, a pinch of cardamom powder and a few strands of saffron. Done! You can experiment with Panchamrit and add crushed nuts or raisins or any other fruits you want according to taste.
Simple sooji halwa that you can serve on this day with poori and choley or use as prasada in the puja. Boil 1 cup water with ⅓ cup sugar and ½ tsp cardamom powder in a saucepan on medium heat until sugar dissolves. In another pan, melt 1 tsp ghee and roast ½ cup Sooji Rava or semolina until it starts giving out a good aroma and turns lightly golden. Pour the melted sugar syrup to the semolina and mix with a spatula on medium-high heat to ensure there are no lumps. Cover the semolina and turn the heat to medium-low. Cook for 3-4 minutes and mix occasionally until the semolina absorbs the water. Serve with toasted dry fruits.
Sweet Pongal is a healthy and traditional Indian sweet usually made to mark important festivals. It can also be enjoyed on Guru Purnima. On a non-stick pan, roast ¼ cup green gram dal and 1 tbsp Bengal gram dal. Gradually add 1 cup of rice and toast until everything turns light brown. Put this mixture into a pressure cooker and add 1 ½ cup water and cook for 5 whistles. To the cooked mixture, add 1 cup milk and ¼ cup water and stir to combine. Top it with ¼ cup of sugar and 1 strand of saffron. Make a seasoning for the dish by frying 1 tbsp cashew nuts and 1 tbsp raisins in 2 tbsp ghee. Transfer this to the cooked Pongal and serve warm.
This yummy dessert is wonderful to celebrate the bond between the Guru & Shishya. Fry 8-10 cashews and 12-15 raisins in 2 tbsp ghee until golden and set aside. Now, steep a pinch of saffron in warm milk. To the same ghee in which you fried the dry fruits, add and roast the sevaiyan. On the other burner, heat ½ cup water and add it to sevaiyan once they turn golden brown. Also pour in the saffron milk and ½ cup sugar. Cook covered on medium-low heat until sevaiyan absorb the water and serve topped with fried dry fruits.