It’s Navratri (“Nava” is nine “ratri” signifies night, so nine nights of ritualistic worship of nine forms of Goddess Durga also known as Nava Durga along with fasting by devotees) in the country starting today. Assamese Kesa Mithoi, a no cook sweet delicacy from the North-East Indian state of Assam, which can be offered as a prasad/prasadam .
My current location Vadodara and the state Gujarat as a whole is already into the nine night-long dance and festivities of Navratri celebrations.
One of the famous form of devotional dance during Navratri is the ‘Garba’ inspired by the folklore of Lord Krishna singing and performing ‘Raas Garba’ with the Gopis using slim and long wooden sticks called the ‘dandiya’ sticks.
During these nine days and nights the country witnesses myriad forms of devotion while retaining the common underlying theme of good over evil.
Today’s festive special delicacy is a lesser known one the recipe of which had been shared by my Mother-in-law during her recent visit. It was the very first time, I had tasted Kesa Mithoi.
Few basic ingredients and the mixing and kneading process goes, followed by the shaping of roundels which are ready to be served then.
The taste definitely is divine and inexplicable, one might get tempted to eat few more of these mildly sweet mithois since the aroma and flavour of ghee along with organic gur is irresistible. You can enjoy the taste and flavour only when you get to bite into one of these elegant white little roundels.
The addition of edible camphor or pachai karpooram in any puja prasad/prasadam especially naivedya or desserts and sweets is followed in most of the Hindu communities across India.
Karpur (both edible and synthetic ones) plays a significant role in religious rituals and occasion. Burning of synthetic karpur is believed to purify air and helps in getting rid of negativities. Edible karpur, a small pinch adds flavour to any sweets. Both have health benefits.
Assamese Kesa Mithoi
2 cups (480ml) powdered Rice flour, (preferably long grain aromatic Basmati rice or any other aromatic rice flour)
1/2 (120ml) cup organic Gur/Jaggery, finely grated
1/2 cup (120ml) freshly grated Coconut
2 tsp +extra (for greasing the palms while shaping) pure Ghee/clarified butter
1 1/2 Tbsp Coconut water, freshly extracted or milk (for shaping the mithois)
1/3 tsp powdered Choti Elaichi/Green Cardamom
A small pinch of edible Karpur/Camphor (optional)
1.Mix the rice flour, gur, grated coconut, 2 tsp ghee, powdered elaichi until blended and lump-free.
2.Drizzle in the freshly extracted coconut water or milk as per requirement to be able to shape the dry mixture to perfect unbroken roundels, add the karpur and mix well. (Need not worry about the perfect round shapes)
3.Now grease both palms with little ghee and take little amount of the dry mixture and shape to roundels. (You can dip your fingers tip into the coconut water to lightly wet the mixture to shape them)
4.Once done serve and enjoy the mithois.
Note: Sprinkle the coconut water or milk into the mixture as required, remember that it’s a dry mixture.
The ratio of gur and grated coconut has to be equal. 1:1
Do not add more than a small pinch of karpur. Skip if you don’t want to or it’s unavailable.
Hope you will enjoy this unique and tasty Assamese Kesa Mithoi as much as my family and I did. Wishing one and all a Blessed Navratri!Assamese Kesa Mithoi,Assamese Kesa Mithoi,Assamese Kesa Mith