The rice flour lamp is better known as the ‘Maavilakku’ is a sweet lamp preparation for Hindu rituals. This Maavilakku lamp comprises of a combination of crushed white rice, honey, butter and cardamom which shapes into a lamp for religious use by followers of Hinduism.
At the centre of the Maavilakku lamp, a cotton wool wick soaks in ghee remains a focal aspect of ritual prayer. This unique lamp is believed to be offered to the divine Mother Mariamman, by the Hindu god Vishnu, to pacify her anger at humanity sins and transgressions. The special prayer to the goddess Mariamman is believed to bless the world with abundant rain and to cure and prevent disease. One of the other belief aspects around this Hindu prayer is that the divine Mother had healed the sick with fermented sour porridge.
How to create the Mavilakku
The rice flour lamp is one of the last items you create on the actual prayer day but can be made earlier and kepts in the refrigerator. You use honey to create the rice lamp in this recipe, similarly, if you use condensed milk, the colour of the lamp will differ from the one pictured in this recipe. Elaichi or cardamom is one of the most common spices in an Indian household that gives bold yet light taste on the palate when adding to sweet and savoury dishes.
This recipe calls for a single cup of rice flour is to yield a small lamp but if you prefer a larger rice flour lamp then you may increase all ingredients proportionately.
To make the rice flour lamp you will need:
- 1 cup of rice flour
- 1 tablespoon Ghee
- 2 tablespoons honey or condensed milk
- ½ teaspoon cardamom powder
- ¼ cup rice flour for dusting
- Additional Ghee for lighting the lamp
- Cotton wool wick
What you need to do
- Start by sifting the cup rice flour, add cardamom powder and mix.
- Add the Ghee.
- Mix to form fine crumbs.
- Add the honey/ condensed milk.
- Mix well until soft pliable dough is made and if the dough gets too soft -dust with rice flour.
Now create your rice lamp
- Shape the dough into a ball then place on to the plate you wish to place the lamp.
- Use a teaspoon to shape the lamp. (If you are making a larger sized lamp-use a tablespoon). Simply press a teaspoon on the top of the ball to make an indent in the lamp. This indent will hold the oil/melted ghee for the lam, store the rice flour lamp in the fridge until it is ready for use.
- Remove the rice flour lamp from the refrigerator just before you intend lighting it.
- Fill this indent with ghee/oil.
- Place a cotton wool wick in the indent now you are ready to light the lamp.
Watch the video below
- How to apply a Namam click here
- How to tie a ‘settu mundu’ click here
- The Divine Mother click here
- Download the Mariamman Thalaatu click here
- Gengai Amman explained click here
Have you checked out our Gastronomy section with loads of Indian food recipes click here
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