I am a Roman Catholic who is married to Konkani Brahmin. I live in an area surrounded primarily by Hindus from various castes. It therefore is a pleasure to be here because I get to participate in a variety of festivities. Another great aspect of this is the fact that I get to see a lot of food that is made specially for these festivities. Take the Varamahalaksmi festival that recently took place.
Varamahalakshmi is literally the goddess who grants boons. She is another face of the Goddess Lakshmi. The festival is celebrated in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and some parts of Maharastra and Orissa. Women fast on this day and a beautiful altar is made to the Goddess.
The Altar and the offerings
Of the sweets I got to see was the famous Obbatu. Obbatu is holige or a pancake made of channa dal, maida and stuffed with jaggery. The dough is made from maida and is stuffed with a sweet jaggery-channa dal mixture which has been cooked together. This is then rolled out into pancakes and fried in ghee. Heavy and delicious!!!
The yummcious obbatu
Yummy from all sides
Another sweet is ball-like which has a outer coating made from your regular idli batter. The centre is stuffed with the jaggery-channa dal mixture. Though these are not exactly what I like in terms of sweets, they still do form the basic sweets that are made during the festive times. The Goddess is offered these as well as a variety of other sweets and savouries.