I ran inside to get my camera & capture the moment before it got shrouded amongst the clouds like another story ending abruptly because we fell asleep on her lap before she could complete it. Although it was a clear sky with only few patches of cloud scattered and strangely around the moon as if it was a divine make over for the moon to shine & show itself in all its glory. I zoomed my lens and clicked away to preserve this beautiful moment. I later realized that it was purnima the full moon day & non other than Kartika Purnima. This day holds a very significant event in the Oriya calendar. The whole month of kartika that starts from middle of October and ends somewhere in the middle of November on the full moon day. During this period devotees refrain from eating non vegetarian food. After purnima we celebrate the next day with new clothes & feasting ourselves and preparing delicacy that includes fish, poultry and meat.
Staying in China and with a over fussy son we could not strictly follow the rituals but back in my home state our families always observe this particular period with true spirit. I remember when we were young we used to visit Puri the holy land of lord Jaganath on this day. The grandeur of the temple would get multiplied with the chanting of the auspicious mantras by the ardent devotees and is an absolutely mesmerizing moment. My dad used to wait till the sunset and watch the evening kirtans (prayers) that was spell bounding. My grandma would give us a few rupees each to spend on the sweet meats around the temple and very often we would end up eating ice lollies that seemed to have been the gifts from the god.
On this special day I am going share a recipe of prawn cooked with poppy seeds paste. It is one of delicacies of Eastern India. White poppy seeds paste has a mild flavor and imparts a creamy texture to the gravy.
20 Prawns shelled and de veined
1 large potato boiled and cubed
½ cup onion chopped
1 teaspoon garlic paste
1 teaspoon ginger paste
1 medium tomato chopped
2 teaspoon poppy seeds (khus khus)
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon Garam masala
1 tablespoon fresh cream
Salt to taste
2 tablespoon oil
Heat I tablespoon oil in pan. Sauté the prawns for couple of minutes. Sprinkle salt and pinch of turmeric. Remove and keep it aside.
Use the same pan and add rest of the oil. Fry the onions till translucent and add garlic and ginger paste. Sauté the onions till they are cooked and then add chopped tomatoes and dry masalas excluding gram masala. Keep stirring it on a medium fire till the paste is cooked well and you can see the oil oozing out.
Blend the dry poppy seeds and then add 3 to 4 tablespoon of water to make a paste. Add the paste to the above masala and stir for 2 to 3 minutes. Finally add prawns and potatoes. Keep stirring on medium fire and add ¾ cup of water. Cover and simmer for 5 to 7 minutes till the gravy is thickened. Garnish it with cream, garam masala and coriander and serve hot with rice.
Taking this opportunity may I also silently pray for all of us that we find lasting happiness & peace in what ever we do and where ever we are.