Janmashtami 2022: 5 Foods You Can Add To Chappan Bhog
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Janmashtami is almost here, and devotees of Lord Krishna all around the world are prepping up to welcome the deity with all enthusiasm. Janmashtami, a combination of ‘janm’, which means birth, and ‘ashtami’, meaning the eighth day of the month, is one of the most widely celebrated festivals of India, which marks the birth of Lord Krishna, the eight avatar of Lord Vishnu, on earth. 

And so, people welcome their Nanhe Gopal - who is known to have 108 names that includes Govind, Kanhaiya, Nandlal, Brijesh, Manmohan, Balgopal, and Murli Manohar - with a lot of gusto. This year, the festival is set to begin on August 18 and will end by the afternoon of August 19. A lover of Makhan Misri and many other delicacies, the birth of Lord Krishna is thus closely associated with food. Have you not heard his hilarious tales of noshing upon Makhan Misri

No wonder a Chappan Bhog is prepared for him on his birthday. The word ‘chappan’ translated to 56, and ‘bhog’ means food. It is a special prasad prepared for Lord Krishna consisting of 56 vegetarian sweet and savoury food items. History has it that most of the bhog consists of Lord Krishna’s favourite dishes and usually includes cereals, fruits, dry fruits, sweets, drinks, namkeen and pickles. The prasad is first offered to Krishna and then distributed between his devotees. 

While there are many dishes that you can include in the Chappan Bhog prasad, we’ve got you five of the most popular Janmashtami recipes to prepare at home and offer to Lord Krishna, as part of it. 

1. Aloo Puri 

A comforting North Indian meal, aloo puri is a staple breakfast or lunch in many Indian homes. You can prepare it for chappan bhog as well, and can also include it in your vrat-friendly menu if made without onion and garlic. The aloo is simmered in a host of spices like cumin, hing, turmeric, coriander, fennel, amchoor, and garam masala, etc. It is paired with deep-fried puris made of whole wheat flour, semolina, carom seeds and salt. 

2. Sabudana Kheer 

Lord Krishna is known to have a sweet tooth, and what better than offering him this luscious, creamy decadence? Made with a combination of rice/vermicelli/tapioca with milk, sugar, and cardamom, this is a heart-warming dessert you don’t want to miss. This recipe is flavoured with sabudana and saffron along with pistachio, and is just the perfect pick for chappan bhog.   

3. Mohan Bhog 

Mohan Bhog is a staple during Janmashtami, although it is a popular Bengal sweet treat. Made with roasted semolina, combined with boiled milk, and cooked along with bay leaf, cardamom, saffron and sugar, this sweet comes together like a mass, and is loved by many. 

4. Fruit Chaat 

While Indian festivities mostly are about mithais and sweet decadence, a Chappan Bhog is a mix of sweet and savoury both and fruits being a staple prasad in temples and pujas, there cannot be a more perfect addition to the bhog than a mix of fruits. Simply toss the cut fruits with some lemon juice and chaat masala and you are good to go. Quick, easy, healthy, and delicious, isn’t it? Be sure of picking the right fruits- banana and apples are two of the most common ones.

5. Panchamrit 

This is a sweet nectar offered to deities during pujas and on festive occasions in Hindu culture. It is distributed among devotees later after the offering. Panchamrit gets its name from the fact that it is primarily made with panch or five ingredients - which includes boiled milk, sugar, curd, ghee, and honey. These are simply stirred together. However, many people also add a few tulsi leaves to it, dry fruits and makhanas to it also.