Some Prasad Ideas for Popular Festivals•
Posted on May 11 2023
Most popular Hindu festivals are centred around Hindu gods and involve performing a pooja in their honour. Hindus are of the belief that some food items are preferred by some of these deities over others. Needless to say, it is thus a customary practice to offer these items as prasad to those gods when a pooja is organised. Interestingly, these prasad items are often prepared without including garlic or salt in them. Non-vegetarian food and liquor are also usually avoided as prasad.
Here, we present you some ideas for prasad for popular festivals.
Sweet Pongal is a very simple naivedyam that you can offer as prasad for any festival. It is a quite popular prasad and is offered to the gods both at home and in temples in South India. Sweet Pongal is mainly prepared for the Sankranti festival but can be prepared as prasad for any festival. It is easy to prepare and is made using easily available ingredients like rice, moong dal, jiggery and raisins and cashew nuts.
Tamarind rice is another popular prasad in South India. It is a common sight to see this rice, known as puliyogare in local parlance, as naivedyam to Lord Vishnu and Lord Hanuman on any festival dedicated to them. Tamarind rice is also prepared as a prasad one of the ten days of the Dussehra festivals. The tangy Puliyogare is prepared using rice, tamarind, salt, jiggery and channa dal and seasoned with groundnuts.
Malai Coconut Ladoos
Malai coconut ladoos are offered as prasad during major festivals like Diwali and Ganesh Chaturti in North India. This mouth-watering delicacy is considered to be a favourite of Lord Ganesha who is a die-hard lover of sweets. Malai coconut ladoos can be prepared in very less time using milk powder, cardamom powder, dry coconut flakes, condensed milk and nuts and offered as naivedyam during these festivals.
Sheera is offered as a popular prasad during any festival in honour of Lord Vishnu like Gokulashtami or Krishna Jayanti. This is also offered as naivedyam on the occasion of other festivals like Navarati, Ganesh Chaturti and Varalakshmi Pooja. The sheera sweet is more popular in the north than in the south and is made using semolina, ghee, milk and water, bananas, ghee, cardamom powder, sugar and nuts.
Milagu vadai is another popular prasad in South India. This crispy prasad with its strong pepper flavour is usually offered as naivedyam to Lord Hanuman on the occasion of His birthday on Hanuman Jayanti in the auspicious Margazhi month. It is made by a preparing a batter using rice flour, pepper, urad dal and salt and deep frying the batter in hot oil. It is a common sight to see the idol of the lord decorated with a garland using 108 milagu vadais on the day of this festival.
Malpua is a sweet that is made as bhog on the occasion of Mahashivratri or any festival in honour of Lord Shiva. This is because the sweet is believed to be one of the lord’s favourite foods and is ideal to be served as a bhog to the deity. Malpua is a deep-fried preparation that is made using semolina, maida, sugar, ghee and milk as the key ingredients.
Sabudana Vada is essentially a Maharashtrian dish that is prepared as prasad for several festivals like Navaratri, Mahashivaratri and Ekadashi days. This crispy naivedyam is also prepared in the holy Shravan month and on days when a fast is to be observed. The sabudana vada is made using sago or sabudana, boiled potatoes, green chillies, fresh coriander leaves and roasted peanuts.
Motichoor ladoo is another common dessert that is prepared as prasad during festivals. This sweet is primarily prepared and offered as prasad to the gods on multiple festival days like Raksha Bandhan, Holi and Diwali. The motichoor ladoo is considered to be a symbol of prosperity and good luck. It is made using milk, besan flour, ghee, cardamom, water and sugar. A little food colour is also added to give the ladoos a bright orange colour.
Poha is a simple and easy to make prasad that requires no cooking. It is believed to be one of the most preferred foods of Lord Krishna and is offered to the lord in Hindu homes and temples on the occasion of Krishna Jayanti. The poha or flattened rice is soaked in water for a few minutes and mixed with freshly grated coconut, jiggery, nuts, cardamom and ghee to be served as naivedyam to the lord.
Modak needs no introduction and is well-known as the favourite food of Lord Ganesha. Hence, it is a customary practice to offer this food as bhog to the lord on Ganesh Chaturti, a day celebrating His birthday. Some Hindus believe in offering 21 modaks as prasad to the deity on His birthday. Modak can be prepared in different ways by either deep frying or steaming in savoury or sweet form.
Prasad is offered to the gods in both temples and one’s home before commencing the pooja. The prasad is left untouched when the hymns and mantras are chanted and the arti is performed. After the rituals, the pooja is then shared among devotees who can taste it only after the deity has had His/Her share. Hence, the prasad is not tasted when it is being prepared. When devotees partake the prasad, it is believed that they are bestowed with the blessings of the Almighty. In some temples, the prasad is distributed as Annadanam among the devotees.
There are certain aspects that must be kept in mind when offering prasad to the gods/goddesses. The person preparing the prasad must be in a calm state of mind when he/she is engaged in the process. Moreover, it is very important to adopt very hygienic measures when preparing the prasad. The individual making the prasad must make sure that he/she is clean and wears cleans clothes. The prasad must be made using fresh ingredients in clean vessels. It is recommended that you keep aside separate vessels for only serving the prasad.