In India, festivals are too much correlated with nature and weather. Diwali festival comes just before starting the winter season while 2nd most popular festival Holi comes just before starting of the summer season.
This festival of no cooking day celebrated after 7 days or at some places after the 8th day. It is known as Sheetla Saptami or Sheetla Ashtami (Sheetla is Sheetal means cool and Saptmi is seventh and Ashtami is eights)
On this day women worship Sheetla Mata in the morning is called "Basoda Puja" in the local language.
According to the people who celebrate this festival, the stove is not lit on this day. On the day of Ashtami, a meal of stale food (Here stale doesn't mean that food has become non-edible it is just a day old)made before a day is offered and the same is taken as prasad.
Importance: It is believed that worshipping Sheetla Mata does not cause diseases like smallpox, pimples, pimples, boils, eye disorders with the blessings of the mother.
Sheetla Mata is a Digambara and rides a donkey. He is carrying a broom in one hand and a cool waterway with the other hand. Sheetla Mata is worshipped during the summer season. This festival indicates a change in the weather.
Since this day stale food is not eaten. Shitala Ashtami Vrat (Fasting) provides relief from diseases and provides healing.
So....Although we do not offer prayer to Sheetla Mata but, as this festival involve some food I am interested in it. Yesterday I prepared some food and some bought it from the market where it was prepared specially for the day.
Here is a glimpse of my stale food for this ocassion.
There were 4 items on my plate
- Olya, it is simply curd and cooked rice, mixed well together and added some dry fruits and cardamom powder for flavour. I used peanut curd.
- Poori, it is fried whole wheat bread.
- Ker Sangri, It is a special mixed vegetable dish of Rajasthan state of India. As Rajasthan is a dry state so these vegetables are harvested in the season and dried for further uses. It has a very unique flavour and taste.
- Amchur, it is a sweet and tangy dried raw mango recipe. Cooked with petted dates, dry fruits like raisins, jaggery/sugar and various spices.
Here is a little bit closer look at my plate..
Ker sangri, dried mix vegetable
Amchur a dried raw mango recipe
Olya in the bowl and Poories down
Of course, these recipes are prepared one day in advance and called stale food intensionally but not at all these are unhealthy food, rather it is delicious.
Do you have any such concept of having stale food in your culture?