The festival of Annakut (meaning a heap of grain) Puja, popularly known as Govardhan Puja, is celebrated on the 4th day of Deepawli, the 5 day Hindu festival of lights.
Govardhan Puja is celebrated as the day Krishna defeated Indra, the king of the Gods by lifting the Govardhan hill. It is a festival dedicated to Lord Krishna.
For the Annakut festival, a meal using 56 different kinds of grains and vegetables are used to prepare the prasad known as Chappan Bhog.
In our kind of households, though we perform the Govardhan Puja on the scheduled aforementioned 4th day i.e. day after Badi Deepawli and offer the pre-defined prasad to all present, we prepare and offer the mega Annakut prasad on an upcoming suitable date, preferably within a month, when it is feasible for the entire family to get together.
We also have this concept of Jawai Nutan wherein the son-in-laws are invited post Deepawali for a lavish meal followed by Jawai Tilak, wherein the patriarch of the family adorns the foreheads of the family’s son-in-laws with roli-chawal tilak and gifts them each a coconut and a cash envelope, which they eventually handover to their respective mothers. It is basically an act of honoring the daughters’ family.
So, at times the Annakut Prasad also serves the dual purpose of Jawai Nutan.
Our this year’s Annakut prasad comprised of the following items –
– Homemade Items –
– starters: mixed pakodas (fritters made with potato, brinjal, cucumber, cauliflower etc.), fried ker and sangri
– rice dishes: matar pulao, khatta bhat (tamarind rice) and sada chawal (steamed rice)
– condiments: aloo chips, fried papad and hari chutney (not in the pic)
– desserts: peda, gajar ka halwa and kheeranand
– subzis/curries: aloo dum, chhola and panchmel subzi
– rotis/breads: besan ka parantha, dal ka parantha and matar ki Kachori
– curd: boondi raita
– Purchased Desserts –
– kesariya kalakand, jalebi, kaju katli, kalakand, chandrakala, chamcham, boondi ke laddoo, rasgulla, motipak and sandesh
– Palate Cleanser –
– meetha paan
and a host of fruits, dry fruits, dry snacks, chocolates and aerated beverages.
Ideally, chocolates and cold drinks should not form a part of a bhog, but over a period of time, the Annakut prasad has shaped up as a joyous occasion wherein each family member, post the puja and bhog offering ritual, quickly picks up his/her choice of food item before sitting down for the actual meal. Herein, both the resident and visiting kids of the family love to grab upon their choice of chocolates and aerated beverage cans and stuff them into their carry bags for hoarding them as their private stash!
Please note that, usually we offer bhog in steel and/or silver utensils. I have used the melamine and glass utensils for just clicking the concerned pics.