Whenever a festival in India is celebrated, food is the first thing that crosses the mind. Every festival is complimented with its traditional delicacy or sweet which also has a religious or historical significance, and at times, the tradition is just a transfer of generations.
For instance, when we talk about Lohri, the first thing that comes to our mind is til revdi or til laddu, similarly for Teej, ghevar is the first symbolic sweet that one can think of.
As Govardhan Puja is another major festival celebrated in India, especially in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan, Haryana, and Punjab. It falls on the fourth day the Diwali week with full full enthusiasm and zeal.
On this day, a special traditional prasad is made called ‘Annakoot’ or ‘Annakut’. It is a mishmash of all seasonal vegetables which traditionally included 56 vegetables, but now have reduced to 21 vegetables or less, depending on those available in the households and markets.
Here is a recipe of the Annakoot prasad that can be made at home easily.
Pointed gourd (parwal)
Bottle gourd (lauki)
Fenugreek leaves (methi)
Red chilli powder
First rinse and clean all the vegetables with enough water and keep aside. Break the cauliflower into pieces, chop off the ends of the beans, peel the carrots and raddish leaves and remove the stems (keep for the later method). Peel the apple gourd, pointed gourd, and colocasia.
Next remove the stems of the capsicum, cut into two halves and remove the seeds. Peel the bottle gourd and chop into medium sized pieces. Cut the cauliflower florets and chop off the stem of the brinjal.
Peel the potatoes, wash tomatoes and chop them into small pieces. Chop the green chillies in a grinder and add ginger pieces, grind and keep aside.
For the leafy vegetables, wash all of them thoroughly and let them drain after removing the water. Next, chop all of them and wash and chop the coriander leaves.
How to make the prasad
Take a heavy bottom pan, pour oil and heat. As the oil becomes hot, put cumin seeds and let them splutter. Next, add the asafoetida, turmeric powder, coriander powder, green chillies and ginger, and gently fry them. Pour all the vegetables (except tomatoes and green vegetables) in the pan. Add salt and red chilli powder, and mix the vegetables and the spices. Cover the pan and let the vegetables cook on low to medium flame while checking in between within every 3-5 minutes.
When the vegetables are half cooked, add the tomatoes and mix. Cover and cook again for 2-3 minutes. Finally, add the green vegetables and mix everything very well. Without covering the pan, let the vegetables cook for another 5 minutes. Last, add the garam masala and coriander leaves, and turn off the stove.