Wednesday, 25 March 2020

THANKS NOTE!!!


It is a pleasure to convey my gratitude to the people who contributed in different ways to the culinary journey of mine.

I would like to express my gratitude to Mr. Atul Chana (General Manager, welcome heritage Balsamand Lake Palace, Jodhpur) and Executive Chef Z.A.Khan (Umaid Bhawan Palace, Jodhpur) for their supervision, advice and guidance in the very early stage of my carrier. Thank you, Sir for giving me the opportunity to work with you. I also thank you for the knowledge shared by you which helped me to do better. I am very thankful to ( My Guru) Chef Govardhan Sharma and Chef kanhaiya Lal for their love and support, they are the true master of Rajasthani cuisine I have learnt a lot from them. 

I would like to thanks Chef Yogen Dutta (Executive Chef, The Oberoi New, Delhi) Late Chef Pankaj Mehra (Executive Sous Chef, The Oberoi, New Delhi) Chef Surendera (Executuve Sous chef) Chef Avijit Gosh ( Executive Pastry Chef) Chef Sushant Patil (Senior Sous Chef, The Oberoi, New Delhi) you were always approachable and you have given me many opportunities for which I will be ever thankful. I am very thankful to Chef Chandan and Chef Y.M.Narayan & Chef Raju patil for their love and support, I have learnt a lot from them.

My special thanks to late Chef Pankaj Mehra for sharing his vast Indian culinary knowledge and his guidance. 

I would like to thank Mr. Atanu Day (General Manager, Park Plaza, Noida) Chef Vikas Pal (Executive Chef, Park Plaza, Noida) for giving me opportunity to open the NTC all day dining restaurants, where I sharpened my culinary knowledge to the new dimensions.

My special thanks to Chef Ravi Saxena (Cooperate Chef, The Claridges, New Delhi) Chef Neeraj Tyagi (Executive Chef, The Claridges, New Delhi) for their unconditional support, good advice and encouragement. They gave me chance to work for Indian speciality restaurant Dhaba, where I had done various food festival and promotions.

My special thanks to Mr. Vella Ramaswamy (General Manager, Kempinski Ambience Hotel, Delhi) Thank you sir for giving me freedom to open the Beautiful Indian Speciality restaurant Dilli32 and for the trust and confidence that you have shown in me, which helped me to work to the best of my ability.

My Special thanks to Mr. Puneet Singh (General Manager, Kempinski Ambience Hotel, Delhi) Thank you sir for your guidance and support. Thank you for sending me to Indonesia Kempinski for the Indian food Festivals “Colours of India” & Ciragan Palace, Istanbul, Turkey to cater Mr. Narang and Mr. Goenka Family wedding ceremony. It was a plateform to show case my culinary skill to overseas.

My Special thanks to Mr. Jaideep Anand (Currently Vice President, pre opening hotel, The Leela) Sir, you sent me to the various culinary destinations all across in India for the culinary trip, which helped me to curate and organised various food festival at Dilli32. It’s helped me to come across with our culinary heritage and got a chance to explored the various accept and diversity of Indian regional cuisine of India.

My Special thanks to Mr. Varun Chhibber (Currently General Manager, The Leela Ambience Guru gram) Sir, you are a man with noble heart, you believe in self, believe in people, believe in quality work. Sir, I must say you inspired us a lot and thank you for that. Sir, in your tenure I got another opportunity to successfully converted Dilli32 to a Pan Indian restaurant earlier it was specialised in Awadhi cuisine.

My special thanks to Mr. Ashish Kumar Rai (Our current General Manager, The Leela Ambience Convention Hotel, Delhi) to motivate me always to deliver the best. Sir, your passion for Indian food inspired me to look the food from its other aspect too this helped me to add more value to it I am very thankful to you always for our guidance and support. 

My special thanks to Chef Rohit Tokhi (Executive Chef, The Leela Place, Chennai) Thank you chef, without your guidance and valuable advice it was difficult to achieve my targets. You were always approachable and you have given many opportunities for which I will be grateful. What I achieved in my culinary life it’s all because of you.

I would like to thank Chef Rajiv Vimal (Executive Chef, The Leela Ambience Convention Hotel Delhi) Thanks chef for your help and support and guidance.

I would like to thank, my kitchen teams and colleagues of The Leela Ambience Convention Hotel Delhi for their love support and teamwork.

I want to express my heartfelt thanks to Ms. Marryam H Reshii of Times city food for awarding Dilli32 as ‘The Noteworthy Newcomer - North Indian’ Times Food and Nightlife Award 2014 and for your inspiration and great motivation. Maa'm you always prised my work, I am very thankful for all you love and blessings.

I would like to thank all the food critics for their wonderful write up’s for Dilli32.

It’s my regards and gratitude to Mr. Rahul Verma. Sir you praised my work very much thank you for encouraging and motivating me always. Warm regards to Maa'm …..

I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to Mr. Maneesh Shrivastava, Mr.Vickrham Vicky and Ms. Priyanka, Mr. Nikhil Chawla, Ms. Ari Singh, Mr. Pawan Soni, Tikku paji for all your love and support for Dilli32. You are the people who not only praised my work but always motivate me to delivered the best. I am very grateful to all the food bloggers for their wonderful write up’s for Dilli32.

I am very thankful to you Mr. Maneesh you always guided me like a big brother. I am very grateful to have you in my life.

I gratefully acknowledge Ms. Mahua Das of MKN India for giving me her full support in research, Development, Standardization, and Demonstration of new line Combi ovens for making the Indian dishes and recipes.

I would like to thanks my dearest friends Chef Anant Shrivastava,Chef Vikram, Chef Rahul Shiravstva, Chef Arun and Chef Veer Pratap Singh Parihar for theri unconditional help and support whenever I needed. They helped me in numerous ways to move forward in my life.

I would also like to thanks two of my school friends Ms. Debolina Das Gupta and Ms. Seema Rai chakravorty to encourage me to write food stories; they provided me with various valuable ideas in short periods of time whenever I needed. Their advice always helped me to move to greater heights. My, Gratitude to them is immense.

It is my pleasure to express my gratitude to my elder brother Mr. Bipin Bihari Singh (IRS) for suggesting me to do Hotel management course. Thanks Bhaiya, you are always as inspiration to me.

I am grateful to my Fufaji Prof. R. K. Singh, retired Director Science and Technology (Jharkhand Government) for supporting me during my Hotel Management course.

I am grateful to my Elder brother Bind Bihari Singh Assistant General Manager HR, JP Golf Resort Noida who always guided my life whenever required.

It is a pleasure to express my gratitude to my Mother-in-law and brother-in-law, for taking care of my son Shreyas very well when my wife was admitted to hospital in Delhi.

I thank all my cousin (Special thanks to my childhood friend Mr. Rakesh Kumar Singh & Rana kanishka) My special thanks to Basant bhiaya for all their guidence and support throughout the journey and all my dear relative for all their immense support and help.

Thanks Neeraj for designing and developing such wonderful website pakshalaindia.com.

I want to express my appreciation to my wonderful parents. My parents deserve special thanks for giving me the very best that they could. Thanks to my father, Shri Bimleshwar Prasad Singh for all the interest that he has shown in my education. Thanks to my mother, Shrimati Parvati Devi for her affection and gentleness toward me, for caring me, my wife and my son for constant prayers. They are my constant source of information, elucidation, support, encouragements and affection during my journey of life...… I thank my younger brother, Mr. Abinash Kumar Singh and younger sister, Ms. Arunima Singh for all their immense support and help.

I am extremely thankful to my wife Sangita for the understanding and patience that she has shown to me.

My wonderful son Shreyas, I consider myself very lucky for having him in my life.

Above all, I thank My guests, I thank god the almighty for being with me always and leading me on…

Ashwani...….

Thursday, 11 January 2018

MAKAR SANKRANTI



One day after the successful posting of Chhath story on my blog page. I thought what’s next. Suddenly, I got message from Debolina my class mate, “the winter leave has started and I am free for a week, Ashwani what is yours next subject? If you have not plotted your next subject, why don’t you write on “Makar Sankranti”? Maker Sankranti is a festival based on bathing in a holy river and worshiping the Sun as well as it marks the beginning of the harvest season and I replied to her Yes, let’s do a story together ………
Makar is rashi and Sankranti means the movement of sun from one rashi to another.  Makar Sankranti is mainly celebrated on 14th January every year. It is one of the most auspicious days for Hindu all over India, Indian sub-continents and overseas.
In a year there are 12 Sankranti and Makar Sankranti is the most celebrated one. Every year on 14th January Sun enters Capricorn with Sagittarius and known as Uttarayan. By the way, it is an astronomical phenomenon, but this zodiac change of Sun has been considered as special even from spiritual point of view. This natural movement of change is celebrated as Makar Sankrant.
The auspicious festivals have been there for many years .The Vedic story also speak that Hindu auspicious celebrations are based on season and natural power elements... From that era people purify themselves by taking bath in Ganga, Yamuna and other holy rivers, they also visit auspicious place and worship Lord Surya and seek blessings. According to Mythology, “In the Mahabharata, the Gangaputra Bhishma Pitamah clearly mention that he will wait till Sun would become Uttarayan after that he will get Moksha from his life”- Unke Pass Ekcha Mirtu Ka Bardan Tha. It is believed, if there is a possibility of liberation from death in Uttarayan the person will get Moksha from the life.
Do you know, In India festivals are celebrated according to lunar and solar calendar (Panchank)? Lunar festivals are based on moon and solar are on sun cycle. The basic difference is that lunar festivals date varies where solar festival is celebrated on the same date every year. It is believe that after one hundred years the date of Makar Sankranti gets change means it will go one day ahead.

Makar Sankranti is considered as the bringing of the holy phase. Good things start to happen from here. After Makar Sankranti the days become longer and warmer. This is the sign of beginning of new season. The weather starts changing from here.  It is said that-“A change in feelings can lead to a significant change in behaviours.” Heat and light of sun start increasing and people start coming out from their houses. It signifies that cold is moving out and new developments happen with the sun changes.
As per Hindu believe the Makar Sankranti is also the last day of Kharmas. It is forbidden to do any good will works in Kharmas. From that day the all auspicious work begins, like Grih pravesh, Wedding, Mundan etc happen.

REGIONAL CELEBRATIONS
The beginning of the official English calendar is marked with the harvest festival of India known by various names in different regions of India. It is the biggest celebrations for those farmers who assist in cultivations. They are happy because they cut the crops and again cultivate the second crops for their future uses. The main staple food of India is associated with this period of time. Dhan (Rice-Kharif) is harvested and Gehun (Wheat-Rabi) is cultivate. In Bihar, Punjab and Tamilnadu it is time to harvest the corp. Rice and Sugarcane are the most important Kharif crops thus it find their place in Makar Sankranti delicacies. Wheat, Barley, Mustard, Sesame basically Rabi crops are cultivated from late October to March.
MUSTARD & SUGARCANE 



According to the different regional beliefs Makar Sankranti delicacies vary from one region to another region. Festivals have their own specialities. The only dish is Khichri which is common amongst many states, apart from this rice and pulse dish, sesame and jagerry are also consumed widely due to winter and also its heating properties.

SANKRANT


Festivals remind us of our childhood. On Makar Sankranti we wake up early and take bath(it’s a mandatory) and Mother gives us Kala Til and Kacha Chawal to touch for 5 times. On Makar Sankranti a bath in the early morning is said to remove all sins. The first thing which we get to eat is made of Til. Tilkut, Til ka ladoo, Lai, Chura dahi and Aloo gobi mutter ki subzi is served that day!!!
TILKUT

  • Tilkut- Til is Sesame seed and kut is pound. The world famous Buddhist spiritual place Gaya is also known for the making of tilkut. The varieties of tilkut are endless like, chini ka, gud ka mawa wala, khoya bhara, khastha, rolls etc……. ‘Gaya ke tilkut ka koi sani nahi’.
  • Til ka ladoo- Roasted sesame seed and gud ka paak (syrup) combined together and shape into a round ball. If keep it in an airtight container it will not spoil for few months. Both white and black are used to make the ladoo.
  • Lai- Roasted rice flake/puff and gud/chini or gur ka paak (syrup) combined together and shape into a round ball. If keep it in an airtight container it will not spoil for few months. Ginger is also added to Lai by some people as ginger is always considered hot.
  • Chura dahi- Chura is rice flake and dahi is curd. Chura is washed with water and later soaked in milk till it is fully absorbed then it is eaten with curd and gur/sugar.
  • Dahi chura- The difference is, here the quantity of curd is more then chura approx. - 1/2 kg curd and 100 gm of chura. Rest of the process is same as Chura Dahi. Ask any Maithili Brahmin about this, he will proudly say how much he loves Dahi Chura.
  • Aloo gobhi mutter ki subzi- This types of rasawala curry only Bihari/Jharkhandi can make. New potatoes boiled, peeled and cut into dices. Cauliflower florets fried in mustard oil. Fresh garden peas peeled and added. The curry is made with turmeric, garlic, red chillies, cumin and black pepper paste; Use of “sil batta” gives the unique taste.
  • Khichri- Bihari khichri is the best. Arhar dal and Arwa chawal are cooked together with potatoes, cauliflower florets, fresh, green peas, turmeric and salt. Later give the baghar (tadka) of mustard oil, jeera, golki, lahsun, lal mirch and tejpata. Deshi ghee is added on top when khichri is being served.
    KHICHRI


I remembed, we friends enjoy playing guli danda or goli (Kancha) on Maker Sankranti……..
Milk and ghee are treated as ritually pure food thus every auspicious occasion is incomplete without their presence in. Secondly the best part of ritual ceremonies is that we get to seat on the ground (aashan) facing east or north in order to have food with a pin drop silence.

In Maharashtra people make tilguls and distribute among their family and friends. A Local says, ‘Tilgul ghya, god-god bola’ means distribute tilguls and speak sweet words. Tilguls made from til and sugar and til ladoos are from til and jagerry. This day Maharashtrian women play Haldi kumkum, as well as Goan does so.
Turmeric is used in Indian rituals and worship. Kumkum or red Tilak is made by powdering Turmeric and drying it after mixing it with Lime.

While me and my friend Debolina were talking to people of various regions about their way of celebrations, her friend Namrata told that a day before Sankranti they celebrate Bhogi when they eat some til ki Bhakra made of Jowar or Bajra along with winter vegetables, cooked specially for the day to serve as offering or (bhog) to their kuldevta.

POUSH PARBON
Makar Sankranti is celebrated by the name of Poush Parbon in Bengal.It is called so as it is the festival (parbon) to mark the end of the Bengali month Poush...The day starts with the arrangements of special preparation of variety of sweets called as "Pithe" special for this occasion. These sweets are different from the regular Bengali sweets made up of milk, pithe are the preparation of rice, coconut and a special jaggery found in winter season called patali gur (jaggery from the dates-khejur)
The special delicacies are:-
  • Patishapta-The pancakes made of rice flour stuffed with stuffing made of coconut and jaggery
  • Siddho puli- A mouth-watering sweet which is the rice flour dumplings with the same stuffing of jaggery and coconut and is eaten with the date syrup
  • Chitoipithe-These are pancakes made up of rice flour and is eaten with dates syrup or with a light curry of potatoes specially made for this.
  • Doodhpuli-This is the  sweet prepared on this day and similar to the payesh or kheer ,the only difference is that for this the puli(rice flour dumplings with stuffing of cocunut and jaggery) is boiled in the milk .


Apart from these common delicacies the various districts of Bengal have their own variations in preparation but mostly they are done with rice flour and some are with boiled moong dal. The pithe made up of moongdal will have pinch of salt and sweet taste as the outer covering of dal will be salty and stuffing will be sweet and these will be fried.
The patali gur (jaggery made from date syrup, is a special delicacy of winter in Bengal, usually the jaggery is made from sugarcane but prior to winter the slits are made in the date trees from which the syrup is collected in earthen pot tied to the stem and these syrup are collected and boiled to make jaggery called as nolen gur. All the sweet of Poush parbon is made with this nolen gur...

MAGH BIHU
In Assam Magh Bihu or Bhogali Bihu celebrated on the last day of Pusya and the first day of Megha. Bihu is derived from the Sanskrit word Visuvat. Piling up firewood to form a Maji (Temple-like structure) and setting fire to it is an important part of this festival. The whole day is spent in feasting, singing songs and dancing. Pitha, Laaru, khazoor ka gur are eaten all over the Assam. That day in the morning Assamese people take Jolpan (light meal) i.e. Chira or Muri. Traditionally Jolpan consist any form of rice eaten with mostly curd and gur.

PONGAL
Tamil nadu a down South state celebrate this harvest festival by the name of Pongal and the name of the festival is related to the very special sweet dish special for this festival called as Sakarai Pongal (sweet pongal).The farmers and common people wait for this day and celebrations are marked for four days begins with Bhogi the day before the Pongal, it is the day when they burn the old things and residues of crops , next is Pongal day, starts with early morning cleaning of houses and preparing pongal in courtyard. They arrange for age old practice of fire in bricks and cooking pongal in clay pot with sugarcane standing on four side guarding bricks and turmeric plant. The new rice is boiled with milk and jaggery and whole family waits aside, with the first boil of milk all says pongala -pongala to rejoice the cooking of pongal, they worship Family God with this pongal and whole family eats this as their first meal of the day. Next is the day of matu pongal followed by kanu pongal. The day’s speciality is linked with worship of cattle’s at house and ancestors along with having merry time with family and friends.

KITE FESTIVAL
A tourist place of India, Rajasthan is known to celebrate the little and big occasion. Every occasion they have different custom and tradition. Uttarayan are celebrated as the new beginning of life in Rajasthan. It is symbolic to the start of a fresh new season by getting rid of the bad vibes of previous season. In the same connection kite festival is organised every year on 14th January in the various parts of Rajasthan. Mawa ki kachori, Ghewar, Malpua are the main attraction on the various shops. If you want to look for a good Rajasthani food always visit during their festive time. I remember when I worked in the Sun City of India, Jodhpur, I was invited by one of my Indian Chef Kanhaiya Lal to his house on Makar Sankranti and I was served with Dal ka pakoda and gur ka pakoda with chutney. They also prepared Namakpare, Sakarpara, Til Ke ladoo and Til Papdi. The Rajasthani celebrate the Makar Sankranti by donating their food to worthy Brahmin and other deserving persons. They also served same food to their domestic animal.
Jaipur is known to organise the International Kite Festival, which are organised from the many years on Makar Sankranti. The whole Jaipur city fall fluttering kites over the sky. This day, people enjoy and play kite, eat pakodas and til papdi, sing songs.
Gujarat also host International kite festival on the second week of January every year. My childhood friend Santosh Patel who lived in Surat after passing out from Kendriya Vidyalaya No-2, Bokaro, Jharkhand say,” Undhiyu, Puri, Jalebi and gur aur moongphali ki chikki are the main attraction on the uttarayan menu". A winter dish undhiyu traditionally cook in earthenware and eaten with puri. Surti papdi, moothia, ripe banana, brinjal(Rawaiya), ratalu, sakarkandi, dana(batana and Tovar) simmered in coconut, Coriander(Kothamvir) , ginger, green chillies(marcha), salt and pounded spices .Here, celebration continue on the next day also known as Vashi Uttrayan.
Vedic knowledge says - ''Seven colours mix together to become an intense glow of white rays of the sun.'' When flying a kite, our body comes in contact with the sun's rays directly, which cure diseases in winter. To engage yourself in the sun light people start themselves busy with some fun activities like flying kite and etc. Kite widely known as ‘PATANG’ is signifies the spirit to fly high in the blue sky. It’s a family game where every age group people enjoy and wants to cut the more kite as they had put their best manjha(a type of paste) on the thread and preparation of it was not an easy job .

KHICHIRI PARV
The largest state in India, Uttar pardesh celebrate the Makar Sankranti by taking a ritual bath in the river or home. After that people take a bowl and put kacha chawal, kali urad dal, namak, mirch, deshi ghee, kale aur safeed til ke ladoo, any one fruit, any one vegetables and some money and they sprinkle water around the bowl. Later they donate it to the Brahmin. After this ritural they make and have Khichiri and celebrate the new harvest season, this is also known as Khichiri Parv.

MAGH MELA
Magh mela celebrated at Prayag, Allahabad. It starts on Makar Sankranti and celebrated almost a month. Every 12 years the Magh mela become Kumbh mela.

LOHRI
HOLY BONFIRE
The word Lohri originated from Loh and Aai, which means Iron foe. Lohri is a popular Punjabi community festival celebrated on 13th January; the last day of the month Poh (Pusya). It marks the end of winter. People (Usually young members) collect Cowdung cakes from their neighbourhood and arrange them in a pyramidal shape in their courtyard. The elder women of the house set fire to it and offering are made into the fire. Traditionally, til and sugarcane are thrown into the fire. People collect ashes in the next morning and taken to their houses as a gift from the god. Lohri is associated with harvest festival (Rabi crop) in Punjab. Sarson ka saag and makai ki roti with makhan and gur are eaten everywhere in the Punjab that day. It is tradition to eat Til, Gajjak, Reori, Peanut, Gur and Popcorn in Lohri.

  • Gajjak-Solidified sugar or gur cover with til comes in various shape and size.
  • Reori-A sweet made of sugar/gur syrup paste, til, khoya and groundnuts.
    REORI & GAJJAK
















The next day 14th January is called Maghi, kheer is made in sugarcane juice is a special delicacy to savour.
Indians know the art of producing sugar from sugarcane. “Syakarah” means sugar in Sanskrit. Greek, Chinese, Portuguese, European learnt the skill of producing sugar from us.
  
REGIONAL CELEBRATIONS
  
Happy Makar Sankranti 2018!!!!!

Thursday, 21 December 2017

Chhath Puja

CHHATH
It was a beautiful busy evening and Dilli32 was hosting Hyderabadi food festival. MY blogger friends Mr. Maneesh Srivastva & Mr. Vickram Vicky had come to honor us with their presence. It’s always a pleasure talking to them on various topics, and that day chhath was our discussion topic.

Mr. Maneesh Srivastava says, “Chef Aap chhath puja per kyun nahin likhthe? I said aap ko humari madad karni padegi’’. He has lightened my task by saying that ‘’aap suru to kare”.

Chhath, “A goddess who is called chhathi maata is worshiped for four days. Chhath Maha Parva is celebrated in Shukla Chaturthi of Kartika Month. Mainly every year after six day from Diwali chhath is celebrated. Due to Suryashashthi’s fasting, it is called ‘CHHATH’. It is also said Chhath in Hindi is 6.

It is a mega festival of Bihar, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh. Mithila Region of Nepal also does chhath, infact there is an important connection between chhath and Mithila region. My Rakhi sister Mili Sharma (Mithila Brahmin) vice principal of DAV, Biratnagar in Nepal says that chhath is very popular here and celebrated all over the Nepal with same faith and happiness every year, as we have in Bihar.

The 100% Bihari festival Chhath Puja starts with removing all the negativity and turning it into positive. Chhath means everything to a Bihari, and we feel proud that the oldest ruling history state has such a unique festival in the whole country that it has got respect from every others religion.
It’s a religious festival and celebrated in the family with purity. A four day function where all family members come together to celebrate.

SIGNIFICANCE OF SUN IN CHHATH
Indians belongs to the family of Aryans. From the Vedic period we worship sun as it is a symbol of power and energy. Life style is based on Varna and Caste. Sanskrit is the main language of communication. People were scared from the natural powers like- Sun, Moon, Star, Rain, Fire and Wind in that era, and hence they started worshiping them like god and goddess.

Upanishad, Ramayana and Mahabharata all are documented in this era and provided many instances on Sun and other worships. Pandavas wife Draupadi used to worship sun for the sake of family’s good health and their longevity.

It is believed that Chhathi maiya is the sister of Lord Surya and if we worship HER, Sun God is worshiped. The worshipers fast and worship on the banks of river Ganga, Yamuna or any river and reservoir.

Dev in Aurangabad district of Bihar has a sun temple and their chhath puja is world famous. Many villagers in Bihar establish the Surya murti in nicely decorated pandal and after chhath they do visharjan.

To wish to have a child in their lives, people started to celebrate chhath puja with a faith and belief in Lord Surya. Believe me it’s true to many………..

My childhood memories begin with the making of ghat with friends in chhath. We used to carry tools like kudal and khurpa in ours hand and went to the riverside to make it. This beautiful journey with childhood friend helped to select the perfect place for the ghat. Then, we wold compete to see who is making it better and quicker.
NAHAY KHAY

The festival begins from NAHAY KHAY (Nahay is bath and khay is food), the devotees take a bath and enjoy satvik bhojan thus called “Nahay khay”. Song of chhathi maiya is sung by the family members in every household. Puri, Chana dal, Lauki ki subzi, Aloo chokha, Aloo dum, Dhaniya ki chutney, Arwa chawal and Ghee are the highlights of the menu cooked in sendha namak without onion and garlic Also referred  as ‘’kaddu bhat’’ if anyone eats with rice. 
SATVIK BHOJAN

PICTURES OF CHHATH PUJA SAMAGRI

    
CHHATH PUJA KI SAMAGRI


KHARNA
Second day is the day of “kharna”. The preparation for making Prasad (kheer) with full faith and prayers for family’s well-being is called Kharna. Vartis do fasting whole day, without any water and food and in the evening they worship Lord Bhaskar and offer him Ganga Jal, Gur ka Kheer and ghee ki Roti after that they intake it and later the Prasad is distributed to the family members.  New rice and new gur is used to make Kheer. It is made separately in clay Chulah, in which the mango woods and the cow’s dung cakes are used in the form of fuel.
KHARNA

 In the end I am blessed to wash the leftover cloths of the varti, which is also a very important part of the chhath puja. They wear the same saree throughout the ritural ceremony of chhath.



PRASAD- KHEER


Kheer:-

Arwa chawal/Gur/Fresh cow or buffalo milk


Boil milk add soaked arwa rice and cooked till mashy consistency, remove from fire and add gur.





Nirjala vart

Where varti do the fasting without having any water and food is called Nirjala. Chhath, Teej, Jitiya are the most difficult Nirjala vart of our country.

The 36 hrs long fasting without water is starts after that.

MAKING OF THEKUA
The festival of Chhath is the most difficult festival. It’s not easy to spend 36 hrs of long fasting. The whole night is utilized to make Tekua, thikri and khajuri and this work continues till morning. The temperature required to fry Thekua should be very low, more time required due to large quantity of Prasad, thus done in night. The Tekua will be made of only wheat, which is specially washed and dried for Chhath.
In the afternoon, every kalsup and daura is decorated beautifully and traditionally with fruits, vegetables and 7 thekua each. Picture of sun with ghee and sindoor are made in the kalsup. The weight of Kalsup for Arghya (offering) with milk is more than 5 kg.

“THEKUA”
5 kg chaki ka atta / 2 1/2 kg gur / 300 gm sudh ghee.
Thekua is fried in sudh ghee.

MAKING OF THEKUA

GHAT PER JANA
“Daura and Kalsup” are kept on the forehead of male members and all move to the ghat near river side. (Some did it on their rooftop). This is the most enjoyable and responsible task, performed by the male members of the family and ladies keep walking singing the chhathi maiya songs.



काँच के बाँस के बहँगिया, बहँगी सतर्क जाएय् होख॥ सुरूजदेव सहाय…… बहँगी घाट पहुँचाए…… घाट पर हमहूँ अरधिया देबई हे छठी मइयाँ……. it’s a long song, if you sing you fall in love of it.


Kids enjoy crackers throughout the journey…………….

As varti reach the ghat, all daura and kalsup are kept on the ghat floor and ghat is decorated with sugarcane and Banana tree leaves. Some do modern 
lighting too.


ARGHYA

SANDHYA ARGHYA
The first arghya is called “SANDHYA ARGHYA. Varti does worship in river/pond/ man made water pond. They hold the kalsup in their hands and stand in the water. They move around five times at the same place and every time family members offered arghya of water near the kalsup to Lord Bhasker and take blessings of Chhathi Maiya.

Again, Kids enjoy crackers on ghat throughout the ritual ceremony………….

KOSI BHARNA
After the first arghya, “KOSI BHARNA” is an event during Chhath Puja. When your manat is fullfiled by Chhathi Maiya, you do kosi bharna. In a beautiful earthen pot (here, sculpture of elephant) which has many diya in it and in the centre of earthen pot, vartis’ put thekua, fruits, sacha, and puri. The earthen pot is kept in the center under the shades of sugarcane stacks. It’s a thanks giving to the Goddess.

Kids enjoy crackers on ghat throughout the ritual ceremony………….

GHAT PER RUK JANA
Many people stay over the ghat in that night. Many cultural activities are performed by the local and celebrities. Varti along with family members enjoy chhathi songs to avoid falling asleep.

As and when we talk about chhath song definitely one name comes to our mind that is of Sharda Sinha. She is world renowned singer by the virtue of chhathi maiya songs.

UGTHE SURYA ARGHYA
Those who return back to their houses, wake up at 3:30 am in the morning. The sound of the loudspeaker indicates you to do bath and get ready for the ghat. Without any Pandit this ritural of chhath happens in the supervision of the elder family member. The ugthe surya ko arghya is given with raw cow milk. Everyone at the ghat does the milk arghya. After that, we do surya Arti and dhup hawan and put dhup samagri (shakil) five times and this is done by everyone in the family.
ARGHYA

Kids enjoy crackers on ghat throughout the ritual ceremony………….


In chhath the long sindoor on mother’s forehead through the nose, resemble her as goddess.

The chhath puja finishes with blessings and we take prasad and seek blessings of Chhathi Maiya and Lord Bhaskar. Vartis’ do sindoor and khoichha ritural to the others ladies.

PARAN
Today is Paran day, all varti’ open his/her fasting by eating thekua. The thekua loaded with sindoor looks very attractive and just melts in your mouth. It’s very soft due to loads of ghee used in the preparation. Thekua is divine and is just out of the world.
All Bihari will agree with this statement about thekua…………
There is a tradition to eat fish in the afternoon as Bihari always consider fish as auspicious.

Happy chhath puja to all!!! “Chhathi maiya ki kirpa aap per bani rahe”.