Rama Navami Naivedyam Recipes: Vada Pappu, Panakam, Chalimidi

Sri Rama Navami (April 15, 2016, April 4, 2017) is the festival that celebrates the birth of Sri Rama. It also marks the end of Chaitra Navaratri, which starts with Ugadi.

In Andhra Pradesh, the traditional Sri Rama Navami naivedyam includes:

For a variation, you could try Carrot Kosambari instead of Vada Pappu. 🙂

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.

You can listen to some beautiful renditions of Ramadasu Kritis at http://www.bhadrachalarama.org/ramadasukeerthnaas.html

Shree Rama Rama Rameti
Rame Raame Manorame
Sahasranaama Tat Tulyam
Raama Naama Varaanane||

Rama Navami Naivedyam – Panakam and Vada Pappu

Ramaya!
Rama Bhadraya!
Ramachandraaya Namaha!!

Rama Navami is celebrated on the final day of Chaitra Navaratri. The birthday of Lord Rama, Rama Navami is celebrated with great fervour in India. In Andhra Pradesh, the Seetha Ramaswamy Temple at Bhadrachalam is the epicentre of all celebrations.

Read more about Rama Navami at Wikipedia.

Leading up to Rama Navami, my music teacher will always teach us some exquisite Kriti on Rama. This year it was Brova Samayamu Idey Ramayya in Gowri Manohari.

You can hear Chinamaya Sisters sing this kriti.

Of course, then there are any number of kritis by Bhadrachala Ramadasu and Tyagaraja.

Traditional naivedyam on Rama Navami is spartan includes:

  • Panakam – A cooling drink made out of jaggery, dried ginger, black pepper, and green cardamon.
  • Vada Pappu – Soaked moong dal and cucumber garnished with grated coconut and green chillies.
  • Neer More – Simple buttermilk with ginger and coriander.

 

Panakam

Panakam
Panakam

I always look forward to having Panakam on Sree Rama Navami. 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 Tilaka and 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! Laughing Smiley

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

Ingredients

  1. Water – 3 Cups
  2. Grated Jaggery – 1/2 Cup
  3. Black Pepper Powder – 1/2 tsp
  4. Sonti/Chukku/Dry Ginger Powder – 1/2 tsp
  5. Cardamom Powder – 1/4 tsp

Method

  1. Dissolve jaggery in water.
  2. Strain the liquid.
  3. Add pepper, cardamom, and dry ginger powder to the jaggery water.
  4. Mix well.
  5. Serve Panakam at room temperature or cold.

You can add 1 tsp lemon juice as well.