Krishna Janmashtami also known as Gokulashtami, is an annual Hindu festival that celebrates the birth of Krishna, the eighth avatar of Vishnu. Janmashtami is celebrated by fasting, singing, praying together, preparing and sharing special food (prasad), night vigils and visiting Krishna or Vishnu temples.
Janmashtami (popularly known as “Gokulashtami” as in Maharashtra) is celebrated in cities such as Mumbai and Pune. Dahi Handi is celebrated the day after Krishna Janmashtami. The term literally means “earthen pot of yoghurt”. The festival gets this popular regional name from legend of baby Krishna. According to it, he would seek and steal milk products such as yoghurt and butter and people would hide their supplies high up out of the baby’s reach. Krishna would try all sorts of creative ideas in his pursuit, such as making human pyramids with his friends to break these high hanging pots.
In Maharashtra, and other western states in India, this Krishna legend is played out as a community tradition on Janmashtami, where pots of yoghurt are hung high up, sometimes with tall poles or from ropes hanging from second or third level of a building and teams of youth and boys called the “Govindas” go around to these hanging pots, climb one over another and form a human pyramid, then break the pot. (Source:Wikipedia)
Special food or prasad is made on Gokulashtami to offer to Lord Krishna. Among the many recipes, today I will share with you one of my mother’s recipe – Panjiri. I remember waiting eagerly for mom to offer the prasad to Lord Krishna and then eating it joyfully.
Janmashtami Prasad - Panjiri
- 1 Cup Wheat Flour
- 1/2 Cup Powdered Sugar
- 1/4 Cup Roasted broken Cashew Nuts Optional
- 1/4 Cup Roasted sliced Almonds Optional
- 1/4 Cup Roasted sliced Pistachios Optional
- 3 Tbsp Ghee or unsalted butter
- Heat Ghee in a pan and add wheat flour. Roast till fragnance rises. Set aside to cool.
- Mix all ingredients in the roasted flour.
- Store in an air-tight container.