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Sapatha Paksha [Satyanarayana Pooja Prasada] with Banana and Pineapple - Sheera or Suji Halwa

Friday, April 13, 2018

Sapatha Paksha is prepared as Naivedyam for Shri Satyanarayana Virtha. This Vishnu pooja is done at home to bring the divine blessings of health, wealth, prosperity, opulence, education; relief from troubles and sickness. And after the Virtha, the priest will distribute the Panchamrutha and  Maha Prasada[Sapatha Paksha] to everybody as a form of blessings. 
As a child, I used to get back into line multiple times to get the Prasada. Of course I used to get caught, but the poojari/priest use to give the Prasada again anyway, they don't mind. In fact, poojari would encourage and call the kid who is passive and is too shy to ask for seconds. The Prasada is prepared in big batch as it has to be shared with people who attend the pooja, sent some home with them for people who could not make it, neighbors and many children like  me who would ask for more.  
Now a days, I have noticed that poojari prepares this at home and brings to house where the Virtha is conducted or request the  lady of the house to prepare it ahead of time. As a child, I remember the priest's assistant would prepare the Sapath Paksha with some of the pancha-amrutha (Five nectars - Cows milk, Curds, Ghee/clarified butter, Sugar/liquid-jaggery and Honey) offered to the God. I would watch him prepare and ask my mom to add all the ingredients while preparing Sheera/Suji Halwa -a simpler everyday version to prepare as a dessert or when we have guests. Important thing to remember while preparing Sapath Paksha is to use the Rava/Suji/Semolina which is made out of Wheat.

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup - Semolina / Suji / Rava  
  • 2 - 3 - ripe banana (fully ripe ones are better)
  • 1 cup - Pineapple cubes (finely chopped or mashed, or pureed in a blender) (optional)
  • ¾ cup - sugar (may use liquid jaggery or brown sugar )
  • 3 tbsp - clarified butter/ Ghee 
  • 3 cups - milk (boiled)
  • ¼  cup - curds
  • 2 tbsp - honey
  • ½ tsp - cardamom powder
  • ¼  cup - Cashew nuts pieces (may add almond slices too) 
  • ¼  cup - Raisins /dry-grapes 
  • Few strands of Saffron/Kesar 
Method:
  1. Heat ½ tsp ghee in a heavy bottom pan and add the semolina to it. Roast the semolina on medium-low heat until light and nice aroma starts to come. Keep stirring and don't let it burn.
  2. Transfer the semolina to another dish and keep aside.
  3. In the same pan while on low flame add mashed banana and pineapple. If needed add bit of water or ¼  cup of milk, mix, cover and let fruits cook and soften. Increase the flame to medium.
  4. Add milk , once it starts to bubble, now mix-in the sugar and bring it to boil.
  5. Reduce the flame to low, stir-in the roasted semolina. Keep stirring until no lumps are formed.
  6. Add curds and honey. If it seems dry and not enough liquid to cook semolina, slowly add more warm milk or water. Semolina doubles as it cooks. You may increase the flame to medium low. Keep stirring to avoid sticking to the bottom of the pan and burning.
  7. When it is almost cooked, keep one tbsp of Ghee aside and pour rest of the Ghee to the Semolina mix and keep mixing. If you wish, more ghee may be added. Once cooked, turn off the heat.
  8. In another small deep pan (seasoning pan), heat 1 tbsp ghee (which was kept aside) on low flame. Add  cashew nuts and roast it slightly, add sliced almonds if you are using, finally add golden raisins and stir. Once you notice raisins swelling, turn of the heat and pour ¾ of the content over the Semolina mix/Sapatha Paksha/halwa.
  9. Add cardamom powder and saffron strides to the Sapatha Paksha and mix it all together.
  10. Transfer the Sapatha Paksha to a serving dish and garnish with rest of the roasted nuts and raisins.
  11. Sapatha Paksha is ready for offering to Sri Satyanarayana. Be blessed and enjoy the Prasada. And don't forget to give seconds to the little one and some grown-ups too.
  12.  

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~ Sapatha Paksha [Satyanarayana Pooja Prasada] with Banana and Pineapple - Sheera or Suji Halwa ~
Posted by Swetha @ 4/13/2018 07:20:00 PM ::
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