If you have been to temples in India you probably already know that the “Prasad” or “Prasaadam”, which is the food that is first offered to God and then offerred to the devotees is most delicious! Some temples like the Balaji temple in Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh is popular for the food as it is popular for Balaji, the main deity in the temple!
The gurudwaras across India and the food served at the Langars (Community kitchen) is an experience all in itself. Traditionally every place of worship has a history of food and specialities served at each of them. Devotion to the almighty combined with a love for pure and saatvik, simple and delicious food is what draws millions of people to these ancient temples of India.
My very favorite story as I was growing up was that of “Yellorai” or “Yellu Saadam” or Sesame Seed Rice served at the local Krishna Temple near our home. My grandmother who is an ardent Krishna devotee and is very fond of him, spends a good amount of her day singing to baby Krishna, feeding him curd and butter and praying to him. She would make a weekly visit to the temple to show her devotion to her favorite Krishna. She would go early in the morning for the morning “arati” and spend the whole morning there praying and some chatting and gossiping with her other old grandma or ‘mami’ friends. Then she would come home with her small steel dabba (box) of this delicious, awesome tasting “Yellorai” or Sesame seed rice. It always was just perfect, the spice, the aroma and the taste, just as divine as the divinity whom it was offered to..
Here I have tried to recreate that same flavor…
You will need:
Cooked Rice – 1 Cup; Cook and cool in a large mixing bowl
Salt to taste
3 tbsp Seseame Seed Oil (Til Oil/Gingely Oil)
1 tsp Mustard seeds
1 tsp Channa dal
1 tsp Urad Dal
For the dry powder:
6 Dry Red chillies
1 tbsp Black Sesame Seeds
1 tbsp White Sesame Seeds
1 tbsp Urad Dal
a pinch of Asafoetida (Hing)
Roast all the above ingredients with a few drops of oil. Roast on a low flame until light golden brown. Cool and grind into a coarse powder.
1. In a pan, heat the seasame oil. Season with mustard seeds, channa dal, urad dal and curry leaves.
2. Turn off the stove. To this seasoning add the dry powder and mix with the cooked rice.
3. Add Salt and taste and tsp of Sesame seed oil. Mix well and serve.
Have a great day!