In Andhra Pradesh, the Sree Seetha Ramachandra Swamy temple at Bhadrachalam is the centre of some glorious celebrations. This is a temple constructed by Kancharla Gopanna who was popularly known as Bhakta Ramadas, who was a also a great composer.
Chalimidi is one of those traditional Andhra sweets that is made on almost all auspicious occasions. It is a must on festivals such as Sri Rama Navami, Nagula Chavithi, Sharada Navaratri, and Varalakshmi Pooja. It is also given to a bride to carry to her husband’s home when she goes there the first time and to a pregnant lady at Seemantham (baby shower).
As I was getting ready for naivedyam for the 9-days of Sharada Navaratri, I realised that I had not written about this simple yet important sweet.
Chalimidi can be made in two ways: Pachi Chalimidi (raw) or Panakam Chalimidi (in a syrup). In this post, I am writing about the former as it is easier to make.
My fellow blogger Srividhya of Vidhya’s Vegetarian Kitchen commented on my post that this particular dish was made in Karnataka as well and was called thembittu there. A bit of search on the internet revealed that this was indeed so and that there were other variations of it made with gram flour and wheat flout as well. The version made with rice flour is called Akki Thambittu.
Thanks, Srividhya for this. 🙂
Do visit Vidhya’s lovely blog for a variety of recipes.
How to Make Pachi Chalimidi or Akki Thambittu
Time: 30 Minutes
Rice Flour – 1 Cup
Sugar or Grated Jaggery – 3/4 Cup
Grated Coconut – 1/4 Cup
Cardamom Powder – 1/2 tsp
Ghee – 1 tbsp
Cardamom Powder – 1/2 tsp
Melt the ghee.
Take off the heat and let it cool till just warm but is still liquid.
Add the sugar/jaggery, cardamom powder, and coconut.
Mix well so that the sugar/jaggery starts to melt.
Add the rice flour and mix well till it comes together as a ball.
Shape into one large round ball or multiple smaller balls.
Today, I am presenting the recipe for Vada Pappu, the essential naivedyam for Rama Navami along withChalimidi and Panakam.Vada Pappu (also called Kosambari in Kannada) is essentially a healthy salad made with soaked Moong Dal, finely chopped cucumber, green chillies and grated coconut. It does not involve any cooking and is made for most poojas in Andhra Pradesh.
This recipe for Vada Pappu is also a weight watchers delight because it is low-calorie, protein-rich and has no oil. I love to have this light-on-the-stomach dish for lunch in Summers.
I always look forward to having Panakam on Sree RamaNavami. This sweet and spicy drink, along with Chalimidi and Vada Pappu, is the traditional naivedyam on Sree Rama Navami in Andhra Pradesh.
Sree Rama Navami is the birthday of Lord Rama and the culmination of Vasanta Navaratri Utsavam that begins with Ugadi. The 9 days leading up to Rama Navami are filled with visits to temples, kutcheris, and various religious activities.
Sree Rama Navami is very close to my heart because the earliest music I remember hearing is Dr. Magalampalli Balamurali Krishna‘s Bhadrachala Ramadasu Kirtanalu. I was fascinated by the depth of emotion these simple kritis conveyed and they were among the first songs I ever learnt to sing. Amma followed this up by telling me the story of Bhakta Ramadasu and taking me to the Golconda Fort to see where Bhakta Ramadasu was imprisoned.
The first dance-drama I ever participated in was based on the Ramadasu kriti Ikshvaku-kula Tilakaand I was Lord Rama in that. In the immediate next item, I was one of many dancing to the song Sayonara! Sayonara! from Love in Tokyo. I made a seemingly effortless transition from Lord Rama to a Japanese Belle!
Panakam is very easy to make and has great cooling effect on the body. As a result, you will find Panakam being served at various occasions throughout the summer as a refreshing cooling drink.
How to Make Panakam
Water – 3 Cups
Grated Jaggery – 1/2 Cup
Black Pepper Powder – 1/2 tsp
Sonti/Chukku/Dry Ginger Powder – 1/2 tsp
Cardamom Powder – 1/4 tsp
Dissolve jaggery in water.
Strain the liquid.
Add pepper, cardamom, and dry ginger powder to the jaggery water.