Golu or Kolu celebrations in South India – Black Chana Sundal Recipe Navaratri Special

by anamika on October 1, 2011

in Feast while you Fast, Festival Recipes

Black Chana Sundal┬áRecipe – Navaratri Special

Navaratri┬áis a festival which is celebrated all over India┬áwith great enthusiasm┬ábut in various forms and traditions. Just like fasting for 9 days is followed in North India, Golu – a display of clay dolls on steps is a tradition which is followed in South India.

Golu or Kolu is a doll arrangement predominantly with that of the gods and goddesses depicting mythology, an essential part of Navrathri and Dasara celebrations in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. As shared by my friend Kala, whose home I visited yesterday to attend the Golu puja, the Bommai Golus are proud possessions of a family and they are handed down through generations. But these days as per her their are various theme based Golu displays as well apart from the traditional golu displays and this concept based celebration is becoming very popular among people in South India but surely these require a lot of effort. However most of the people still follow the traditional method of display of dolls.

On  the first three days, the Divine Mother is worshiped as Durga (or Shakti, the goddess of power), the second three days as Lakshmi (the goddess of wealth and prosperity) and the last three days as Saraswathi  (the goddess of knowledge, learning and fine arts)

I was really happy to see the enthusiasm among kids as well to decorate the entire place around the golu┬áarea.┬áKala’s son decorated a side corner near the golu┬ásteps by making a small nice replica of the┬áchinaswamy┬ástadium along with the┬áother decorations, a┬áchild’s creativity┬áand participation in the traditional festival in his own special way… I loved it though.. not to forget the lamps lit on both the sides and a kolam┬á(rangoli)┬áin the centre….also the display of the Navratri┬áGolu┬ádepicting the ten┬áAvatars of god. One unique thing I saw was idol of Lord Ganesha on each step of the Golu.

I really had a great time looking at those stunning display of dolls. It was my first time experience to attend such a sweet function , simple yet so pious. I also was informed that the Kolu is the royal court of Goddess Durga  and is created on 3,5, 7, 9 or 11 steps.

As a tradition, when people come to the houses to see the Golu, they are given prasad, haldi┬ákumkum and a small bag of gift…lucky me!! I also got one :) ..these are given to the girls or married women.

Golu┬áor Kolu┬áfestival is synonymous with the “Sundal┬áprasad”┬á in the evening. Sundal┬áis a delicious eatable prepared from boiled┬á “dals” (grams) rich in protein. After offering it to the deities in the Golu, Sundal┬áis distributed to the friends and family who have come to see the Golu. The prasad┬áis prepared daily and offered to the god and goddess in the morning and evening, various types of dals┬áare used to prepare the Sundal Prasad.

I also prepared one of the varities┬áof Sundal┬áPrasad at home…. love to put the recipe of Black Chana Sundal┬áPrasad (it was yum)┬áin my journal and share it with my friends too though my friend prepared the white chana┬ásundal when we visited her and it also tasted too good!!

Ingredients for Black Chana Sundal Prasad Recipe -

  • Black Chana – 1 cup
  • Salt to taste
  • Cummin Seeds – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Mustard Seeds – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Red Chilli Powder – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Curry leaves – 8- 10
  • Red chillies – 2-4
  • Coconut pieces finely slit – 1/4 cup
  • Oil

Method -

Soak the black chana┬áovernight in water. Boil the chana┬ánext day for about 40 minutes,┬áafter one whistle lower the flame and let them cook well. When cooked drain them in a collander. Take a thick bottom kadai, heat oil in it and add mustard, cummin seeds, curry leaves, salt,red chilli powder and after few seconds add the boiled chana’s┬áto it. Mix well and stir on low flame for another 5-7 minutes. Now add the finely graded coconut to it and mix well. Black Chana Sundal┬áPrasad is ready, serve hot after offering as Neivedhyam…..

Thank you Kala for these memorable pics of Golu celebrations that I will cherish forever through my blog :)


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