The day following the celebrations of nine nights of Navratri is popularly known in Hindu tradition by “Vijayadashami” or “Dussehra”. The day bears a great significance in Hindu culture as it is one of the most auspicious Muhurta from the 3-1/2 such Muhurta that are part of a Hindu calendar.
A Hindu culture marks a great prominence to the term shubh Muhurta, which signifies a particular time on a particular day in a calendar for performing a significant tasks. It is a firm rooted belief in Hindu minds that respecting the timelines of a Muharta may bring in more success and prosperity in any endeavour that one undertakes. As per the belief, determining this very auspicious moment is a precondition for the success of your next venture and for which an expert guidance of a Hindu priest is sought.
This is what makes Dussehra a significant event, as the whole day has a great auspicious bearing to it and consulting a priest or a calendar is no longer necessary to a commoner. This explains why many important events in a Hindu life would happen on this day- first bike, first car, or a GrihaPravesh (though there is no exact translation for the word in English, but it could be loosely translated to house-warming)
Besides bearing the auspicious undertones this day is also significant for the message that it carries- victory of good over evil. “Vijayadashmi” is a compound word that comprises of two words Vijaya meaning victory and Dashami referring to the tenth day and the word highlights to the victory that the Goddess Durga attained over the demon king Mahishasura on the tenth day after the fierce battle of 9 days and 9 nights and helped restore dharma. An alternate narrative celebrates the victory of Lord Rama over 10 headed demon king Ravana who had committed a grave and unpardonable sin of disrespecting the dignity of a woman. The battle culminated on the tenth day and Ravana was killed. Dussehra connotes this victory of Rama over Ravana, of good over evil.
In North India, especially in Uttar Pradesh, in the state of Ram Janma Bhoomi, this festival is celebrated with excitement and exultation. At thousands of places in Uttar Pradesh Mela or outdoor fairs are organised. People throng to these colourful Melas in thousands, their fascination driven by the dance-drama-plays (Ramleela) that are held at each of these Melas depicting and honouring the life of Lord Ram. These plays are a ten day event (at some places it may run for a month) which culminates with the destruction of Ravan in form of burning of towering effigies of Ravan, Kumbhkaran and Meghnad. This very act symbolising the destruction of evil and removal of bad from our lives and triumph of righteousness.
In Southern India and in Maharashtra Dusshera is celebrated in a different way. Shastra Pooja or Ayudh Pooja is an essential part of the celebration on this day. As part of this ritual, people worship the tools they use in their professional lives which serves as a medium of sustenance for them, a tool that brings prosperity and happiness to them. A tailor would worship his/her sewing machine, needles and scissors, a carpenter would do the same with his hacksaw or hammer , a writer or student would keep a pen in Pooja and we as an IT professional and food blogger would worship our laptops too! This is the symbolic gesture of thanking the almighty and seeking its blessings.
In Maharashtra, in particular godly significance is attributed to the tree of Apta which is worshipped by its devotees and its leaves are considered to be as worthy as Kanak – Gold. It’s a common sight on a Dussehra evening for children’s to go around distributing the leaves of Apta in the neighbourhood, seeking the blessing of elders. While exchanging the leaves, they say “Sone Ghya aani Sonyasarkhe Raha”– meaning accept the gold and live as glitter of gold!
If you have your guests paying you visit on this day and you want to treat them with a dessert that would let them feel special. Here’s one rich delicacy from Karnataka Cuisine-Belgavi Kunda. Rich in taste, subtle in sweetness, eye-pleasing golden coloured Kunda provides a royal enrichment to your Shastra Pooja experience.
The curdled milk sweetened with caramelized sugar, graininess introduced by fried semolina (Rava) and binding imparted by edible Gum Raisins (dink/gond) converts into a delectable dessert – an experience beyond words! A quality that is absolutely essential for making this dessert possible in your kitchen besides the list of ingredients is Patience- be prepared for stirring the pot tirelessly for couple of hours. Treat your guests with an enriching experience this Dussehra.
Let’s see the recipe now.
Find more such Desserts for these festivities
Serves: 800 grams
- 2 liter Full Cream Milk
- 325 grams Sugar
- 1 tbsp. Dink/Gond (Edible Gum)
- 75 grams Curd
- 2 tbsp. Rava (Semolina)
- Ghee (Clarified Butter)
- Boil milk in a large pan (Kadhai) on high heat. As milk starts to boil, lower the heat and continue simmering for an hour. Keep stirring intermittently (every 5-10 minutes) and scrape out the layer of cream deposited at the sides of the pan and put it back in the milk.
- While milk has been simmering on low heat for an hour, in another pan, heat 1-2 tbsp. clarified butter. Fry Dink/Gond (edible gum) until it puffs up.
- In the same pan, fry rava (semolina) until it turns brown in color.
- Add both the fried ingredients to the simmering Milk and continue to Simmer for another 15 minutes on reduced heat.
- After 15 mins, add curd to milk. Turn off the heat and mix well.
- In a pan, heat 1 tbsp. ghee and add sugar. Allow it to melt completely. Now add the melted sugar to the milk.
- Put the curdled milk back on the heat. Melted sugar crystalizes as soon as it is put in the milk. This is a normal process and sugar will melt again in the milk on low heat.
- Allow the milk to simmer further (continue stirring intermittently). We will reduce the mixture till it attains Kunda consistency.
- After an hour of simmering Kunda gets thickened. Continue simmering for another and possibly last 15 minutes
- Liquid gets dried up and Kunda is ready. Allow it to cool down to room temperature
- Do not refrigerate for best taste and consume within 2-3 days
- Wishing our dear viewers Happy VijayaDashmi/Dussehra
Click here to watch recipe video