On a safer side I should start it with this disclaimer that I’m not a good cook. In fact I don’t enjoy cooking also. I manage it anyway at my home.
I am a sweet tooth person. In fact I can say I have a sweet craving. I love almost all sweet dishes. The sweet dish I am going to mention here is a very special one. It’s not just one of those sweet dishes but this one is very close to my heart.
Before explaining the recipe, let me tell something about why it is special to me.
I hail from Odisha where it is said that “Bara Masare Tera parab” (In Twelve Months, thirteen festivals). It actually means that in Odisha we celebrate lots of festivals. No month goes by without a festival attached to it. Every festival has its own set of rituals and some special delicacies attached to it.
In the month of Margashira (eighth Month in the Indian Calendar) every Thursday is celebrated as Day of Worship of Goddess Laxmi as “Margasira Gurubara”. The story is related to Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Goddess Laxmi in Puri JagannathTemple.
There are at least four (sometime five) Thursday Falls every year. Almost Same rituals followed for the worship of Goddess Laxmi in all the Thursdays. However the dishes prepared for the Puja sometime differs.
The Dish “Attakali also it is called as Gaintha” is a sweet dish specially prepared in these Thursdays only.
However in Odisha, same dish is prepared in a varied way in different places. So The Attakali or Gaintha I m mentioning here is different from how it is prepared in the central Odisha (Cuttack or Bhubaneswar) (we are basically from south Odisha). It’s a variation of Main Attakali or Gaintha we can say.
Also, my mother prepares it in a bit different way. So I can say it’s a typical home secret dish. That’s why it is special to me as every time I make it at my place, it simply makes me Nostalgic!
Another special thing about it is as my Mother in Law is diabetic; she prepares this dish with Sugar Free Natura for the Puja. So it’s the first ever sweet dish prepared with Sugar Free Natura…I have ever tasted.
Attakali or Gaintha:
Preparation Time is 30 minutes.
A small bowlful coconut cut into small slices
4-5 black pepper
1/2 tsp roughly ground pepper
2-3 green cardamom
A small piece of cinnamon.
A small piece of ginger
A handful Black Grape Raisins/Or any Raisins
A pinch of salt
250 ml Water
300 ml Milk
For garnishing: Some pomegranate seeds and Grated Coconut.
For Rice Flour, take 2/3 cup arwa rice ( Sita bhog, Gobindo Bhog or Sona masuri raw rice). Wash and soak the rice for 2-3 hours. Drain all water and spread on a plate to dry (preferably under the sky or under a fan) for 1-2 hours.
Take the rice in a grinder jar and grind into a smooth powder. Use a sieve to gently sift the flour into a dry plate.
Take 4-5 table spoon rice flour in a bowl and add some water into it to make it a semi thick paste. Keep it aside.
Place a Cooking saucepan on the Gas. Add the water, the cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, peppers and the ginger crushed. Add the sliced Coconut and a pinch of salt. Let the water boil. After five minutes, add cashews and raisins.
After another five minutes, add the grounded pepper. If you want to prepare it with sugar add it at this moment. After a minute simmer the Gas and add the semi thick rice flour paste into it with constant stirring..
After two minutes as the rice flour gets properly cooked add Milk into it and Add 3-4 Tea Spoon of Sugarfree Natura to it. Stir it. After two minutes, switch of the Gas.
Let it cool for a while. Then garnish it with pomegranate seed and grated coconut.
I remember my mother used to prepare this in a big pot as we were a big family. Still it was not enough for us those days. We would always wait for the next Thursday. And After the completion of month of Margashira, We would again wait for the next year. Normally dry fruits are not added. But my mother used to add it at home.I can say its a secret "Family Dessert" So it’s one of the dish that always makes me Nostalgic, reminds me those days and also reminds me the Mom’s Hand’s taste (though it never matches with it)
It’s easy and really tasty.YUmmmy!!! Try it at home!!!