Kassar 1, A Sweet Offering After Hindu Prayers
This dry, powdery sweet is traditionally offered to devotees after prayers. In old days, when ready-made sweets were not so common, this was the main sweet offered after a prayer meeting, whether at home or in temples. Original version used wheat flour but here I have used semolina, as it is easier to make. It has been largely replaced with more modern sweets. This recipe comes from my mum. Also see Kassar 2 - Mamta.
250 gm. semolina or sooji
1 tbs. ghee or clarified butter
2 tbs. sugar
1/2 cup of dry fruit mix, like melon seeds, dry roasted makhanas*, cashew nuts-chopped, dry coconut-coarsely grated or chopped, a few sultanas or resins.
1 banana (optional)
2 guavas (optional)
Heat ghee in a wok or kadhai.
Add semolina and fry, stirring all the time, until very lightly brown.
Add sugar and continue cooking, stirring all the time, until medium brown.
Turn heat off and allow to cool.
Add all dry fruits, mix well and keep in a bowl.
You can add 1 sliced banana and a couple of chopped guavas before serving. Banans and guavas should not be added too soon because they become soft and discoloured.
After prayers, serve 1 dessert spoonful per person, in the right cupped palm, placed above the left cupped palm. It can be served in small paper cups too, but traditionally, it is served in palms.
*Makhanas or Gorgon Nut or Fox Nut (Euryale ferox), are the seeds of a plant from water lilly family, which has purple flowers not dissimilar to lotus flower. This is why they are sometimes confused with and described as puffed lotus seed, which they are not. The plants are cultivated in ponds all over northern India, especially in Bihar. The Makhanas that we use as food are the puffed kernels of the seed pod.
You can use plain chapatti flour, instead of semolina.
Charnamrit, a drink, is another after prayer offering given to devotees. It can also be given the same way, in cupped palms, but much better served in tiny cups. In North India, you can buy disposable, eartheware cups for this purpose.