Guru Purnima is celebrated on the full moon day of the Hindu month of Ashadha and marks the birth of Guru Veda Vyasa. The day honours all teachers and eating a sattvic, simple diet on this day is recommended by Hindus, Jains and Buddhists alike. Here are a few Guru Purnima foods you should eat.
Gurus or teachers have forever held a sacred place of reverence in Indian culture, and this is the reason why Hindus, Jains and Buddhists celebrate Guru Purnima every year in India, Nepal and even Bhutan. Guru Purnima is observed on the full moon day or Purnima of the Hindu month of Ashadha (June-July), and also coincides with Shrawan Vrat. Guru Purnima is also known as Vyasa Purnima and it is believed the day marks the birth of Veda Vyasa, the ancient sage who is credited to have written the Mahabharata.
On the occasion of Guru Purnima, it is customary to celebrate and honour teachers while also keeping a vrat or fast that is completely sattvik. Hindus, Buddhists and Jains alike perform sattvic rituals on the occasion, and practicing meditation and yoga under the guidance of teachers is also seen as a must. Even if people do not fast on Guru Purnima, it is recommended that everyone follow a simple, vegetarian diet full of traditional foods that are considered pure.
Since Guru Purnima is a festival that is celebrated across the Indian subcontinent, there are plenty of sattvic dishes that are must-haves on this day. This, of course, starts with the preparation of Panchamrit, which is made with five ingredients—milk, ghee, honey, yoghurt and sugar. But while the Panchamrit is the main Guru Purnima Prasad, there are also many other dishes that are offered to the gods and then served as Prasad.
Video Credit: YouTube/Home Cooking Show
Here are a few sattvic, traditional and vrat-special foods that are prepared on Guru Purnima.
A healthy and traditional sattvic Guru Purnima dish, Sweet Pongal is a sweet dish prepared with rice and lentils. Also known as Chakkara Pongali in Telugu and Sakkarai Pongal in Tamil, this one is made across South India. Traditionally prepared with rice and moong dal cooked with jaggery syrup, Sweet Pongal is also garnished with cashews, raisins and coconuts.
A popular sweet made in Maharashtra and Gujarat, Basundi is a bit similar to rabdi. A traditionally prepared Basundi is made by cooking and reducing milk for several hours, but nowadays condensed milk is used to get the dish done quickly. Flavoured with cardamom and occasionally saffron, Basundi is loadd with cashews, almonds and other dry fruits.
One of the most traditional savoury dishes eaten across India on every ritual fast, including Guru Purnima, Puri Channa is a popular North Indian choice. The black chickpeas are cooked with sattvic ingredients like ginger, ghee and black pepper, while the puri are usually made with whole wheat flour. Many people also make buckwheat or kuttu puris.
While you can make any variety of kheer to observe and celebrate Guru Purnima, Sabudana Kheer is considered to be a nourishing and sattvic choice by many across India. The sago or sabudana are cooked in milk and flavoured with cardamom and sugar. Dry fruits and nuts like cashews, almonds and raisins are added to the kheer.
While North Indians invariably make Sooji Ka Halwa to celebrate Guru Purnima, those towards the south tend to prefer Rava Kesari. Known for its signature golden-yellow colour, Rava Kesari is made with semolina, sugar, ghee and saffron—which gives the dish its unique colour. Nuts and dry fruits are also added to Rava Kesari.