No Navarathri is complete for Puthucodians without this sweetened cowpeas neivedyam. Most of the houses will have this offering on the first day itself as a sweet beginning.This is also distributed as Prasadam in the temple during Navarathri. I invariably make this neivedyam on the first day as well as on Saraswati puja day.
This dish is also prepared when the new born baby is put in the cradle for the first time. Yes, we have a function for putting the baby in the cradle. Usually it is done on the 28th day after the baby is born in the maternal grandparents’ home as is the custom. When the baby is taken to the paternal grandparents’ home, there again is a cradle function. But I digress; Vellapayar brought back memories.
Let us get on with the recipe.
Cowpeas: 1 cup (it is also known as black eyed peas)
Jaggery : 3/4 cup
Cardamom powder: 1tsp.
Freshly grated coconut: 2 tbsp.
Wash and soak the peas in enough water (the water level should be above the peas) overnight. Pressure cook the peas in the same water. The peas should be cooked very soft. Otherwise they will harden when put in the jaggery syrup.
Melt the jaggery in one cup of water. Strain to remove all the impurities, sand particles etc. Pour the strained syrup in a wide, thick bottomed pan and heat to make a soft syrup. Add the coconut gratings and cooked peas. Mix well. Keep stirring until all the moisture is absorbed. Remove from heat, add cardamom powder and offer as neivedyam.