Jai Sri Hari .
Who doesn’t know the endearing story of bhakti and the friendship between the poor Brahmin boy Sudama and Sri Krishna!
They studied together at The Ashram of Sandipani Maharshi during their boyhood days. Krishna became The King of Dwarka. The scholarly and pious Brahmin Sudama remained very poor and came to be known as ‘’Kuchela’’. Meaning ‘’one who wore very old clothes’’. Kuchela was married by now and was blessed with many children.
The great scholar Sudama life immersed in Krishna Bhakti. He was quite oblivious of doing any materialistic pursuits to feed his wife and children. Sudama’s wife Susheela and their children suffered hunger and extreme poverty. One day unable to hear her children crying out of hunger she summoned her husband and requested him to go and meet his childhood friend Krishna who is The King of Dwarka now. She was sure Krishna would help them. Sudama was reluctant to ask for materialistic help from Sri Krishna. But he was also longing to meet his dear friend Krishna. Susheela had nothing in her house except a handful of rice which she got from begging in the nearby homes. She made Aval (flattened rice ) from it. She tied the flattened rice in an old cloth bag and gave it to Sudama as a gift to Sri Krishna from them. Food is after all the bridge between friends. The wise and pious Susheela knew Krishna’s love for flattened rice (Aval ) from the stories she heard from her husband.
Lost in Krishna Bhakti Kuchela walked many miles and reached the doors of the Great Dwarka. Krishna was playing a game of dice with his queen Rukmini. Seeing the arrival of His beloved friend Krishna ran to the gates and tightly hugged and welcomed Kuchela to the palace. Krishna seated his beloved bhakta on his throne and washed his feet with Rukmini beside him. He asked Sudama about his family and started reminiscing about their Gurukula days antics. Kuchela was still clutching to the cloth bag of pounded raw rice under his arms and was very reluctant to give it to Krishna. Krishna snatched the cloth bag from Kuchela’s hand and opened it. Seeing the pounded rice The Lotus-eyed Lord grabbed a handful and relished it in divine love. Thus relieving Kuchela from his poverty eternally. Kuchela’s old hut transformed into a palace with every possible richness in it.
Rukmini the very embodiment of Maha Laxmi knew if Krishna ate another handful even Lakshmi Devi will be rendered at the service of bhakti Kuchela. She stopped this by stopping Bhagavan when he was about to eat the next handful of Aval. She ate it herself and blessed Kuchela.
‘’ Sudama hesitates, he hides his gift from Krishna. He is hesitant not just because it is a poor gift of rice; he would have hesitated even if he had rare diamonds. Love does not proclaim its gift’’.
‘’ And what is more amusing is that immediately on seeing him Krishna begins to inquire what gift he has brought. Krishna knows that Love always comes to give, not to take.’’
An extract from dear Osho’s book ‘’Krishna The Man And His Philosophy ‘’.
Whenever I listen to this endearing story of the world’s greatest friendship, I get overwhelmed and tears start to well in my eyes. Jai Sri Krishna.
Now let us make this delicious and nutritious snack from Aval.
This is a wonderful breakfast option and can be had with a banana and a spoonful of honey.
SWEETENED POUNDED RAW RICE (AVAL )
250 gms pounded rice
3 cups grated fresh coconut
(if fresh coconut is not available you can use desiccated coconut, but it will be a compromise on taste J )
2 cups finely grated jaggery
1/ 4 cup water
3 teaspoons of ghee
50 gms puffed chana dal
50 gms black sesame seeds
(if you like you can add cashew nuts and raisins too)
1 teaspoon dry ginger powder
1 teaspoon cardamom powder
Heat a thick bottomed Kadai or non-stick pan and keep on medium-high flame. Add ghee and sauté the puffed chana and sesame seeds. Add jaggery powder and water. Allow it to melt. As soon as the jaggery starts to melt add coconut. Keep stirring till the jaggery is melted and blended well with coconut. The mixture becomes thick. Add the spices. Add pounded rice (flattened rice).
Stir and mix all the ingredients for five minutes on a slow flame. Remove from stove. Sweetened Aval is ready. This dish can be stored in airtight containers and can be used for a week without getting spoiled.
Gluten-free and rich in fiber. A rich source of iron, Vitamin C, and A.
Serving size 100gm contains
Fat 2.87 gm
Carbs 18.87 gm
Nutritional facts sourced from Fatsecret.