Wish you all a very Happy Karthikai Deepam :)
Karthikai Deepam is a festival of lights celebrated by Tamil Hinsus on the full moon day of Karthikai month (November/December), which is observed in every home and in every temple. This occurs on the day when the moon is in conjunction with the constellation Karthigai (Pleiades) and purnima.
Karthigai is essentially a festival of lamps. The lighted lamp is considered an auspicious symbol. It is believed to ward off evil forces and usher in prosperity and joy. While the lighted lamp is important for all Hindu rituals and festivals, it is indispensable for Karthikai.
Find more details on the festival from here.
At home we do a nice Kolam in the entrance and decorate it with lamps.
Mom performs a small pooja to Annamalaiyaar (Thiruvannamalai).
Karthigai festival in Thiruvannamalai hills is very famous. On Karthigai day, a huge fire lamp is lit up on the hill, visible for several kilometers around the hill. The fire (dheepam) is called Mahabharanidheepam, Hindu devotees visit here and pray to god Shiva.
We make Sweet pori and Kaara pori as prasadam to the lord. These are made using aval pori(Puffed rice flakes).
Sweet Pori (Sweet Rice Flakes)
Puffed rice flakes - 5 cups
Jaggery - 1 cup
Roasted gram - 1/2 cup
Roasted Peanuts - 1/2 cup
Cardamom - 2
Water - as required
In a large vessel take the powdered jaggery and add just enough water to immerse it. Now switch on the stove and keep stirring the mixture till it dissolves completely. Filter this contents using a strainer to remove impurities.
Now heat the syrup again for a while till it reaches lose ball consistency. Test that by pouring a drop of the syrup in a plate of water. You should be able to gater it into a lose ball without it dissolving immediately.
Once it reaches this stage simmer the stove and add the cardamom powder to it followed by the puffed rice, roasted gram and peanuts. Mix well till all the ingredients blend together.
Now make balls from it or just have it like that. :)
Sweet pori is ready to eat. :) Happy a happy festive treat. :)
Kaara Pori(Spicy Puffed Rice Flakes)
The method is all the same as the masala pori that I had posted earlier except that we dont add garlic to it.