Durga pooja or ଦୁର୍ଗା ପୂଜା is a very special festival for Odiya people which is celebrated with utmost solemnity, gaiety and éclat. This festival is celebrated for 10 long days .Different pendals (stages) are decorated with light and Durga maa statue . These Stages can be found in every 100 meter. The main pooja is of 4 days that is saptami. Asthami, Navami and Dasmai (Vijaya Dasmi). Here are the details below ( source wiki)
On this day Goddess Durga arrives to the mortal world from her heavenly abode, accompanied by her children. She is welcomed with much fanfare amidst the beat of traditional drums. Unveiling the face of the idol is the main ritual on this day. Bela Baran or Kalaparambha, the ritual performed before the commencement of the puja, precedes Chakshyu Daan, Amantran and Adhibas.
Saptami is the first day of Durga Puja. A tiny banana plant, or Navapatrika, is given a pre-dawn bath. This is an ancient ritual of worshiping nine types of plants. They are together worshiped as a symbol of the goddess. The main Saptami Puja follows Kalparambha and Mahasnan.
The day begins with a recital of Sanskrit hymns, in community puja pandals, as thousands of devotees offer anjali to the goddess. Kumari Puja, or the worship of little girls as the child goddess, was a special part of the rituals observed in a number of traditional and household pujas. As the day continues, it is time for the important Sandhi Puja, which marks the inter-linking of the Maha Ashtami and Maha Navami. In recent times the Pani-Kakharu (White Pumpkin) sacrifice replaced animal sacrifice in various parts of the state. The Oriya women of western Odisha and adjoining Chhattisgarh celebrate Bhaijiutia on the Mahastami Day of Durga Puja. It is a total fast undertaken by women for the whole day and night to seek Goddess Durga’s blessing for the long life of their bhais (brothers).
This is the concluding day of Durga Puja. The main Navami Puja begins after the end of Sandhi Puja. The Navami Bhog consisting fish is offered to the goddess. This is later partaken of as prasad by the devotees. In the day of Navami the Oriya households organise Navami Bhoji (Navami feast) and invite friends, relatives. In this day they prepare typical Oriya delicasies (both vegetarian and non-vegetarian items).
Vijaya Dashami or Dussehra :
After the three days of Puja, in Dashami, on the last day, after the last ritual Aparajita Puja is offered to the Goddess, a tearful farewell is offered to her. The women offer Dahi-Pakhal (cooked rice soaked in water and curd), Pitha (baked cake), Mitha (sweets) and Fish fry to the goddess. Most of the community pujas prolong the farewell as long as possible, and arrange a grand send-off. The images are carried in processions known as Bhasani Jatra or Bisarjan Jatra around the locality and finally are immersed in a nearby river or lake. Vijoya Dashami is an event celebrated all over India. After the immersion of the idol, people across the state celebrate “Ravan Podi” (they burn the huge idol of Demon Ravana).
Celebrations are great in Temple city Bhubaneswar. People worship Maa Durga in around 18-20 places with pendals . in Few places we found Devi statues made with Silver work. On 9th day people finish all work and visit all the places with friends and family. The crowed road and the rush are the witness of the holy celebration. But Cuttack is very popular where you can find Devi statues made with pure silver thread work. See few Images below.
We odiyas do fasting only on 8th day of Navratri i.e. called Mahastami. We don’t have any special food for fasting. We can eat any type of Paratha, any type of poori even if few people used to have fruit juices, panna or observe full day fasting. No onion no garlic dishes are on focus on the fasting days. We don’t have any restriction on food intake. People usually wear new dresses and take part in Asthami pooja to Dasmi pooja in near by Pendals.
These are very auspicious occasion for us. We celebrate it with great joy. Here I am going to share pure odiya meal which can be consumed during any day of Navratri. The Thali includes Gota muga khichdi ( whole green gram Khichdi), Dalma (lentil cooked with vegetables), bhendi bhaja (okra stir fry). Baigana Bhaja (brinjal fry) with spicy mint chaach and cucumber slices… Khichidi with Dalma is the mouthwatering and most comforting combination for any odiya people. These two items can be made within just 20 minutes. Rest of the items are just an accompaniment of these two and can be avoided or you can prepare more items if you wish…
This recipe is going to be a part of Healthy Wellthy group under Navratri fasting recipes . Here I am sharing khichdi and quick dalma recipes only, you can find the recipe of Authentic Dalma recipe here.
Apart from this here are few dishes which can be a part of Odiya thali during Navratri.
Yield – 4 serving
Prep Time – 4 hour Cooking time – 20 minutes
Soaked green gram (mung beans) – 1/2 cup
Split mung dal – 1/2 cup
Basmati rice or (any Parboil rice) – 1 & 1/4th cup
Ginger Cumin seed Green chili paste – 2 tsp
water – 5 cups
Salt – to taste
Turmeric – 3/4th tsp
Ghee – 3 -4 tbsp
cumin seeds – 1/2 tsp
cardamom – 3 no
cloves – 2 no
bay leaf – 2 no
cinnamon – a 2″ piece
FOR BHAJA MASALA-
Cumin seeds – 2 tbsp
Coriander seeds – 1 tbsp
Dry red chili – 4 no
PREPARATION PROCEDURE :
Wash and soak the whole Green gram for 3-4 hours or overnight.
Wash and soak the basmati rice for 30 minutes.
Dry roast all the spices listed under bhaja masala.
Using a blender grind and make fine powder .
Heat Ghee in a heavy bottom pan.
Add whole garam masala along with cumin seeds.
Add hing when cumin seeds stop spluttering.
Add ginger cumin green chili paste , fry till it leaves oil.
Add rice along with whole green gram and split green gram.
Mix well with the fried masalas.
Add salt and turmeric, stir till all the water evaporate.
Pour water and keep the flame high.
Once the water boils, lower the flame and cover with a lid.
Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add more water if you want your khichdi to be more soft and mushy.
Remove when contents are fully cooked.
Add3 tbsp of fried dry masala (bhaja masala), ghee on the top.
Mix well with a spatula.
It’s ready to serve.
Yield – 4 person
Prep Time – 10 minutes
Cooking time – 10 minutes
Toor Dal – 1 cup
Potato – 1 small
Brinjal – 1 cup (heaped)
Arbi – 1/2 cup
Flat beans – 1/2 cup
Pumpkin – 1 & 1/4th cup (heaped)
Carrot – 1 small no
Raw papaya – 1/2 cup
For Tempering :
Ghee – 2tbsp
cumin seeds – 1 tsp
Dry red chili – 2 no
Asafoetida(Hing) – 2 pinches
Tomatoes – 2 big no
Ginger(grated)- 1 tbsp
For seasoning –
Grated coconut – 3tbsp
Ghee – 2 tsp
Cumin seed- 2 tsp
Dry red chili – 2 no
Wash and combine lentil and vegetables in a pressure cooker.
Add salt, turmeric along with 2 cups of water.
Close the lid and cook for 1 whistle in high flame.
Let the pressure release by itself.
Dry roast the cumin seeds & dry red chili listed under seasoning.
Cool them and make coarse powder, set aside for further use.
Heat ghee in a wok or kadhai.
Add cumin seed and dry red chilies.
Add hing when cumin seeds stop spluttering.
Throw chopped tomatoes with little salt.
Cover a lid and let the tomatoes cook properly.
Now pour boiled lentils with vegetables in the tadka wok.
Add 1/4th cup of water (more if you want to make your dalma to be watery).
Add grated coconut along with roasted cumin chili powder, mix well.
Let it boil for 2 minute more.
Remove and serve hot with khichdi with a dollop of ghee.