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#MahaShivaratri: Importance of milk & 5 dishes that you can prepare this Shivaratri

It is believed that Lord Shiva performs ‘tandava’ on this auspicious night that depicts the cycle of the creation, and destruction of the universe.

In order to calm him, he is offered soothing ingredients like milk and honey. According to another school of thoughts, on this day ocean churning (Samudra Manthan) took place and to save the world Lord Shiva swallowed all the venom.

Hindu experts believe that venom had warm properties which made his throat blue and soothing ingredients like honey, milk and curd when offered on this day help relieve him from the pain of venom.

Indian festivals and milk have a deep relationship and it reflects in the sweet dishes prepared during festivals.

During Maha Shivratri as well, people who observe fast to seek blessings of Lord Shiva, prepare dishes made with milk and those dishes are offered during the midnight celebration that involves grand ‘Shiva Parvati Vivah’.

The offerings during the celebration also include sandalwood, white flowers, bel patra, dhatura fruit and vermilion.

Here are 5 dishes that are prepared during Shivratri

Sweet Rice

Made with rice, jaggery, milk, sugar and dry fruits, this popular SWEET DISH is an integral part of all celebrations and festivals in India.

Thandai

It is a cold beverage that also contains bhang and considered one of the favourites of Lord Shiva.

This simple looking DRINK is packed with the goodness of milk, sugar, dry fruits, rose petals and spices.

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 tablespoon pistachios
  • 4 tablespoon almonds
  • 500 ml milk
  • 1 teaspoon green cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 tablespoon sugar
  • 4 tablespoon cashews
  • 2 tablespoon melon seeds
  • 1 tablespoon dry rose petals
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon saffron

How to make Thandai

  • Step 1 Soak the almonds and cashews in water for 30 minutes. Take them out and peel the almonds. Add the cashews in a blender jar along with the soaked almonds and pistachios. Add melon seeds and 2 tablespoon milk and grind the mixture into a fine paste.
  • Step 2 After this, grind the rose petals, green cardamon, cinnamon powder and black pepper to a fine powder. Take a medium sized pan and add milk to it. Let it boil for a while. Add saffron strands, sugar and simmer for a while until the sugar starts melting.
  • Step 3 Add the paste and the powder to the milk . Mix well and simmer for few minutes. Turn off the flame and let it come down at room temperature. Refrigerate for an hour or two. Garnish it with some dry crushed rose petals and saffron strands. Serve chilled.

Peda

Made with ghee, khoya, sugar, milk and cardamom, this dessert dish is circular and small in shape. In some places, PEDA also includes refined flour to balance the consistency of the dish.

INGREDIENTS

  • 500 gm khoya
  • 1/2 teaspoon powdered green cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon crushed pistachios
  • 1 tablespoon lukewarm milk
  • 300 gm powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon crushed green cardamom
  • 1 handful saffron
  • 2 drops pink food color

How to make Kesar Peda

  • Step 1 Soak the saffron in warm milk. Crumble the milk fudge. If very hard, grate the fudge. Add powdered sugar and mix well.
  • Step 2 Put mixture in a large heavy or nonstick pan. Heat on medium high for few minutes. Reduce the flame and cook till soft and gooey.
  • Step 3 Make sure to stir continuously, while on heat. When mixture is thick and gooey, add cardamom and saffron. Add the color if desired.
  • Step 4 Mix well, and take off fire. Allow to cool, gently turning occasionally.
  • Step 5 Use cookie molds, or shape pedas with palms into patty rounds. Mix pistachios and cardamom seeds and press a bit on top of each.
  • Step 6 If using molds, first sprinkle some at bottom. Take some mixture and press into mold. When set well, invert and carefully, unmold.

Panchamrit

Indian religious rituals are incomplete without this holy PREPARATION that is made with honey, curd, ghee, sugar, and milk.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon ghee
  • 1 tablespoon powdered sugar

How to make Panchamrit

  • Step 1 To prepare this yummy dessert, add yogurt, milk, honey, powdered sugar, and ghee in a large bowl. Whisk well all the ingredients.

Milk cakes

MILK CAKE is a classic Indian sweet dish that is traditionally made with milk and sugar. In case you want to add flavours to it, simply add some powdered green cardamom and feel the aroma.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 litre milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon powdered green cardamom
  • 2 tablespoon chopped pistachios
  • 3 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoon melted butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar

How to make Milk Cake

  • Step 1 Milk Cake is undeniably one of the most interesting sweet delights, which can be prepared at home very easily by following a few simple steps. Here’s how you go about preparing this milk based dessert recipe: Take a deep saucepan and bring the milk to boil and simmer until it is reduced to two-third.
  • Step 2 Then, add lemon juice and mix well. Eventually, you will notice that the milk will curdle separating the water. Then drain out the excess water and discard. Then, transfer the chena (Indian cottage cheese) to a pan, heat over medium flame and add sugar. Stir well for sometime.
  • Step 3 Add butter and stir well ensuring that it does not stick to the pan. When the mixture starts to thicken, add some cardamom powder and pistachios. Grease the tray and spread the mixture evenly and let it cool. Then cut into desired shapes. Store in an airtight container and serve as and when required. Milk Cake has a shelf life of minimum 7 days. It tastes best when served with savouries like Pakoras, Samosas and Kachoris.

About Indianspice Staff Reporter

Report and write stories for Indianspice.co.za. It is our ambitious goal to cover issues/events/news concerning South Africa and the diaspora.

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