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Avil Kesari - To Krishna, With Love, Kuchela

Written By Srimathi Mani on Monday, August 18, 2008 | 12:05 PM

Its a week to Krishna Jayanthi and I thought it would be appropriate to start posting about the goodies Krishna enjoyed. There is a whole spectrum of things that he relished. To name a few: Avil (Poha or Beaten Rice), Butter, Milk, Yogurt, everything in the Murukku family, and sweets. I decided to post on each of these dishes for the rest of the week and kind of build up to the birthday bash. Before I go into the recipe on Avil Kesari, I would like to post on little stories around the ingredients used.






As the story goes, Krishna’s best friend was Kuchela. Socially, Kuchela was a very poor Brahmin while Krishna was a royal prince. They attended the same gurukula (school) as boys and went their ways in life. Krishna became the king of Dwaraka while Kuchela remained a poor Brahmin who married and had 27 children. They were in such great poverty with hardly any food to feed the children. One day Kuchela’s wife suggested that he seek the help of Krishna, his true friend. At first Kuchela was reluctant because he feared that Krishna might not see him because he was poor and secondly, he did not have anything to offer as a gift. His wife knowing that Krishna loved Avil, prepared a fist or two full of the beaten rice which Kuchela carried in his upper cloth.




On reaching Dwaraka, Kuchela very anxiously approached Krishna’s Palace. Krishna seeing Kuchela rushed to hug and welcome his friend. At the palace Krishna treated Kuchela with such love and respect and spend a lot of time with him. In conversations with Krishna, Kuchela did not mention the real reason for his visit. But, soon Krishna enquired about his friend's family and their well-being and asked what his sister-in-law (Kuchela’s wife) had specially sent for him. Kuchela offered the Avil to Krishna who took a fistfull of it and ate with profound joy. Rukmini Devi, Krishna’s wife stopped him from taking the second fist as she wanted her share of the Avil from the devoted wife of Kuchela.
Kuchela with great disappointment left Dwaraka as Krishna had not offered him anything in return in the form of wealth. He was so troubled and sad with the thoughts of his hungry children and anxious wife who were waiting for some help from Krishna. He was so immersed with these thoughts that he walked past his own hut. His wife noticed that her husband had walked past the hut, called out to him and explained to him, the kindness of Krishna and how their old hut became a beautiful mansion and because of the Avil that Krishna ate an abundance of wealth was showered on them.



My entry to Indian Festive Food Event: Krishna and Ganesh Chathurthi hosted by Purva's Daawat

Gadgets:


Heavy Bottom Pan
Mixing Spoon
Plates
Colander
Bowl
Measuring Cup

Ingredients:

South Indian Avil/Poha/Beaten Rice - 5 cups
NOTE: Avil does not expand in quantity in this recipe like Rava or semolina.
Sugar- 4 cups
Saffron - a few strands
Cardamon - 4 pods
Edible Camphor - a pinch
Kesari Color(yellow food coloring) - 1/4 tsp
Butter - 1/2 cup or 1 stick
Cashew nuts - 1/2 cup




Preparation:

1. Take 5 cups of Avil and wash it to remove all dirt from surface.

2. Drain the excess water using the colander( the awesome one from IKEA a must have in the kitchen) and set aside.

3. Heat the pan and add butter and allow it to turn to ghee (brown butter). Add cashews and roast them.Add the Avil and mix well for 5 minutes.

4. Add 4 cups of sugar, saffron, kesari powder(optional), a pinch of camphor, cardamon powder and mix well.

5. Allow it to cook for 5 minutes and serve it hot. Tastes great with puri.





17 comments:

  1. Good. I am sure krishna will enjoy his birthday bash. Waiting for more krishna jayanthi bakshanam.

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  2. Yummy aval kesari. I tasted this kesari once at my relative's place. But didnot got around making myself. Seeing yours, I am tempted to try.

    Looking forward to more of krishna jayanthi goodies

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  3. Aval Kesari..tht's new for me..looks very gud....and lovely writeup

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  4. yummmmmmmy. very tasty. Just want to have a spoonful by looking at the picture. tempting dear.

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  5. that looks amazing .. As a kid, My granny had narrated this story to me a hundred times ..

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  6. great yaar...lovely post...waiting for more...

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  7. Nice post....waiting to celebrate krishnajayanthi :)

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  8. Thank you for all these wonderful comments. Will update all the recipes I am thinking of posting by friday.

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  9. I love kesari and having tasted it the word that comes to mind is DELICIOUS AND FANTASTIC. The sweet was just perfect unlike Indian sweets which tends to be too sweet.

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  10. Having tasted this dish I should surely post my comments.. It was wonderful, delicious and yummy. I am sure to make this for Krishna Jayanthi.

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  11. Looks yummy and delicious. Lord Krishna would surely love your dish. Wish make some for him on his birthday

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  12. LOVELY POST,..WHEN I WAS KID WHENEVER MY MOTHER USED TO FEED ME ,I ALAYS USED TO AKE HER FOR STORIES,..AND RAMA AND KRISHNA STORIES ERE MY FAVOURITE,..OTHER NAME OF KUCHELA IS SUDAMA,,,:-)..ILL BE AITIN FOR UR POSTS,..:-)

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  13. krisna and kuchela's story was my fav bedtime story when i was small. and i liked aval mainly coz it was mentioned in my fav story ;)

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  14. What a lovely writeup. The kesari looks yummy. Will prepare it for Krishna Jayanthi.

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  15. Wonderful post...never tried this aval with sugar normally we make it with vellam/jaggery..will try this way sometime:)

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  16. The kesari was very moist and tasty. I loved it!
    Vasanth

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  17. Same bedtime story was told by my mom and granny, but in that Krishna's best friend was Sudama.
    Wow I am going nuts seeing soo many goodies when I am off sweets.

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