Navaratri / Dussera has begun and the festive mood has set in already. Everyone in India and Indians across the globe will be busy planning for  the auspicious occasion. Elaborate Pooja, Doll decoration, versatile Neivedhyam preparation, inviting and visiting womenfolk for Tamboolam and Manjal/ Kumkumam  form an integral part of this important festival.  

I always look forward to Navaratri owing to tremendous interest in Doll decoration that I have been involving myself as a child. My Grandmother, Mother and Aunts always organize grand Theme Golus and the same tradition continues in my in laws place too. We have quite a good collection of dolls back in India and love to add unique pieces to our collection. My husband hunts for dolls and always ends up hooking on to rare pieces. Below are a few pictures of Navaratri from my side.




Navaratri happens to be a very auspicious time to celebrate,worship and invoke the blessings of Goddess Durga who is also known as Shakthi. Goddess Lakshmi and Saraswathi are also worshipped in the second and last quarter of the festival. The dates of the festival are determined based on the lunar calendar. As far as I know,this is the most elaborate festival celebrated with pomp and grandeur till date.

This is the first time I am doing a post for Navaratri and I ve decided upon a sweet dish. It is believed that Jaggery based dishes happen to be Shree Durga's favourite. I had some stock of Black Glutinous rice at home. This rice is widely used in South East Asian cuisine. I thought of adapting it to a typical South Indian style of preparation and the try was worth it. Click here to know more about this cereal grain. 

Preparation time: 2hrs        Cooking time: 15 mins         Cuisine: South Indian   
Spice Level : Sweet               Serves: 4


1 glass of soaked Black rice 
11/2 glass of pounded Jaggery
1/4 cup of Milk
5 to 6 Cardamom powdered
A pinch of  Borneol flake ( பச்சை கற்பூரம் )
Few Saffron strands
2 tbsps + 1 tbsp Ghee
10 Cashew nuts halved
2 tbsp Raisins 

  • Soak the rice for 2 hrs and pressure cook until soft. Gently mash and set aside.
  • Soak saffron strands in 1/4 cup of milk. Powder the cardamom.
  • In a thick bottomed vessel heat Jaggery with little water. sufficient enough to just submerge it and cook until you reach the single string stage. Add the mashed rice, cardamom powder,milk and saffron and mix well until combined. Add 1 tbsp of ghee, mix again and  switch off the stove.
  • Fry the cashew nuts and raisins in 2 tbsps of ghee and add it to the Pongal.

I wish all my readers "A very very Happy Navaratri/Dussera". 

  • Black rice does not cook very easily. So soaking is a must. You can even soak rice the previous night to make things easy for you the following day.
  • Saffron strands in this recipe imparts only the flavour and not the colour as the rice itself is black resulting in a similar coloured product. You can anyway omit that step if you don t prefer adding saffron.


  1. What a fantastic collection of dolls you got .I too love decoration liek this but we dont do gollu in our house .Yummy pongal too .Happy to follow you sowmya .Glad if you follow me back


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