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.
Nagula Chavithi is the day people in Andhra Pradesh worship Nagas or snakes. This festival falls on the fifth day after Naraka Chaturdashi (This year Nagula Chavithi is on October 27, 2014November 15, 2015November 3, 2016). On this day, in my home, we fast through the day; worship nagas; offer naivedyam of Vada Pappu, Chalimidi, Chimmili, Panakam, bananas, and milk; and eat at night after the Mangala Aarathi. The only food we eat is that offered as naivedyam.
Traditionally, women visit the nearest pamula putta or snake pit to pray to the snake god. If a pammula putta is not accessible (as is the case in Mumbai), we make an idol of the snake god with wheat flour and offer prayers to this idol. On the next day, this idol of the snake god is either immersed in a water body or left on a tree as a symbolic way of returning him to nature.
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.