Devi Navratri is upon us!!!! In just a couple of days, 9 days of festivities will commence. I so look forward to seeing the Bommala Koluvu at friend’s homes, visiting temples, reading Lalitha Sahasranamam and Sri Suktam, and singing in the temples near my home.
Some of my most cherished memories of Bommala Koluvu are from my early childhood when we lived in Anushakti Nagar, or the huge residential colony of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC). There was a Bommala Koluvu and Pasupu-Kumkum/ organized in one of the community centres. My mom and several of her friends were very active participants. Each lady would contribute a few dolls and curios for the Koluvu, and they would create a Koluvu with almost 10 steps in height and 10 feet wide.
In addition, the kids were assigned two sections as their own. We would line up all our dolls and have our own separate pasupu kumkum. 🙂 In this section, we also had a very special menagerie. In those days, with every tube of Binaca Toothpaste, you got a small (1- or 2-inch) animal figurine.
This was not an one-off promotion; it was a regular affair and went on for many, many years. See http://mysoreanmusings.blogspot.in/2009/03/binaca-toothpaste-freebies.html
We kids would religiously collect these figurines and create a wonderful “zoo”. Those were truly simpler times. 🙂 Today, there are special exhibitions that sell dolls specially for Koluvu.
One thing that remains constant from then to now is the naivedyam that is served; whether in temples or in homes. One of which is Sundal or Guggillu. I had posted the Chickpea Sundal earlier during Shravana Maasam; now I am posting the recipe for Senagala Guggillu | Kala Chana Sundal.
“While I had originally posted this recipe for Devi Navaratri, I think it is very relevant for Varalakshmi Vratam, when Senagalu are offered as naivedyam.”
How to Make Senagala Guggillu | Kala Chana Sundal
- Senagalu, Bengal Gram, Kala Chana – 1 Cup
- Grated Coconut – 1/4 Cup
- Split Black Gram or Udad Dal – 1 tbsp
- Mustard Seeds – 1/2 tsp
- Red Chillies – 2
- Curry Leaves – 4 or 5
- Oil – 2 tsp
- Asafoetida or Hing – A Pinch
- Salt to Taste
- In a large vessel, soak the Bengal Gram or Kala Chana in atleast 3 Cups of water.
- Leave overnight.
- Drain the water.
- Add 2 Cups of fresh water and 1/2 tsp salt.
- Pressure cook for 2 whistles.
- Drain the water completely and set aside,
- In a wok or kadai, heat the oil.
- Add mustard seeds and wait till they splutter.
- Add udad dal and fry till it is golden brown.
- Turn the heat to low
- Add split red chillies, curry leaves and asafoetida.
- Stir-fry for a minute.
- Add the Kala Chana, grated coconut and salt, if required.
- Stir-fry for a couple of minutes.
- Turn off the heat.
- Serve the Senagala Guggillu | Kala Chana Sundal warm.
- Do not overcook the Kala Chana. The Kala Chana should be cooked just enough such that it breaks when pressed with a finger but not mushy!