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Janmashtami is the birthday of Lord Krishna. This year, we have Janmashtami slated for the 18th of August 2022. As you all know, Lord Krishna, as we fondly remember him, belongs to the Yadava community. Or, in other words, he was raised in a cow-herd community. He played pranks by stealing ‘makhan’ which is butter in English. In those days, people were friendly with the cows and calves. At every home, the cow was affectionately allowed to calve its offspring. And, the remaining milk was used by the households to make flavored milk, butter or ghee for human consumption. Also, there were huge green pastures for cows and calves to form into herd communities. This was the kind of scenario we saw centuries ago!
There were no genocides as we know of in today’s commercialized dairy industry. Now-a-days, cows are made pregnant by artificially impregnating them at dairy farms. They calve and the young ones are stolen from their mothers within 24 hours the moment the calf is born. The reason for this is simple: cows can produce milk or lactate only when made pregnant. The calves are raised in veals to be killed off for beef or cheap meat. And the cows are made pregnant year after year. The spent dairy cows are then sent for slaughter once they cease to provide the desired quantities of milk. In the dairy industry, this is a vicious circle as a matter of fact. That is why we vegans avoid milk and dairy products all together. You have tremendous varieties of plant-based milks, butters or even ghee to make Janmashtami a sure shot success story. Here are 6 simple and delicious recipes you can offer as ‘prashad’ for the upcoming Krishna Jayanthi. Let us check them out one by one:
You make the flour dough using rice flour, ajwain, vegan based butter, coconut gratings, urad flour, sesame seeds and asafoetida or hing powder. You must roll them into tiny balls. Do not tightly grip the rice-flour balls. When you tightly grip them into balls, they can burst while you attempt deep-frying. Hence, you must allow the rice-flour balls to loosely hold their shape. After you are done making a cup full of rice-flour balls, heat up the pan with oil. Now, deep fry the fritters until they turn golden brown. Traditionally, this variety of snack is named ‘Uppu Seedai’.
You can make the same variant using jaggery too. You use the same ingredients as stated above. Instead of the salty version, we have the sweetened version here. Instead of salt, to the rice-flour, carom seeds or jeera, urad dal flour, you add jaggery that is cooked in water. You must add 1/4th to ½ a cup of jaggery water to the flour to get a sweetened taste. Then, you allow the batter to rest a while. You roll them up in the shape of gooseberries. Here, the size of each ball is bigger than what you had tried with the salty version. Fry them in oil until they turn crisp and golden brown!
You can roast vermicelli or semiya by adding two tablespoons of veganized ghee. Once the vermicelli turns aromatic, put off the stove. Now, boil full fat almond milk on a tawa. You can also take fresh coconut milk to add to a rich creamy texture. Bring the milk to a boil. Add two cups of sugar and cardamom powder. Now, add the fried and crispy vermicelli into the kheer. You can also garnish with chopped almonds, pistachio or fried cashews/ raisins at the end of the process. The kheer can be served to guests hot or cold!
Using the same rice flour, as you had made while preparing the fritters, you can prepare the dough base while planning to make chaklis too. The ingredients are just the same. You pour 1-2 cups of rice flour, asafoetida, vegan butter, ajwain, urad dal flour and a little bit of water. Make the flour dough. Now, start kneading the flour into chaklis. You can also pour the batter in smaller proportions onto chakli-making molds. This way, first timers or newbies need not feel nervous about how the shape will turn out to be.
Heat a pan with oil. And fry the chaklis until they turn crispy and golden brown on both sides. Grease the excessive oil using tissue wipes and you can store them in jars!
This is like the ‘King of Sweets’. Malpuas are festive-favorite indeed! You can prepare the flour batter using almond or coconut milk. The pancakes are then fried and poured into sugar syrup. You can use a naturally procured or organic form of sugar too! Once deep fried and taken out, the malpuas can be garnished with slivered almonds or pistachio on top.
You must soak two cups of Badam inside hot or lukewarm water. You can then peel off the skin of every almond. Now, put the peeled off almonds into a mixer jar and you can coarsely grind the mixture. Heat up the tawa using two tablespoons of vegan ghee. Let the mix boil for a while. As the badam flour cooks in ghee, you must use a spatula to spread the flour. Again add ghee in batches. Once you get a semi-solid paste, add sugar in desired quantities. You can add the last batch of ghee to just let the halwa separate itself from the pan. Now, you must allow the badam halwa to cool. You can cut the halwa into squares or cubes and add slivered badam slices more for the crunchy taste of almonds.
Once set, cut out the halwa into squares or cubes. You can place each piece on a butter paper or parchment paper. These halwa bites can then be stored into air-tight containers or glass bowls.
So, which is the recipe you are going to try on the eve of Krishna Jayanthi?