Monthly Archives: June 2011

Litti – The Indian Barbeque

Litti

This form of food is a sought after delicacy in North india. There are many variations of this, and this is known as Bati as well at some places. I am writing about the one which is widely eaten in Bihar. The most important ingredient is Sattu. Sattu is obtained by grinding roasted gram ( this is different from Besan). Then dough is prepared by adding spices, lemon juice etc to the flour. The filling is prepared by adding various spices to sattu and finally the flour balls are prepared with the filling inside the dough. This is then baked.

 

litti

This baking is very important and traditionally this is done on a fire lit by dung cakes. When a litti is properly baked, cracks are developed and if you happen to be sitting close by, the aroma is captivating. Hold on, if you are thinking this is it, there is lot to it. This is then served with Ghee, which is literally poured over the litti. They say, the taste is never true unless there is a liberal amount of ghee is there with litti.

There is something still missing, and this Baingan ka chokha or bhurta. But this is not the only thing, litti is eaten with mutton as well, especially in north bihar. In UP, this litti is called as Bati and in Rajasthan as well, this is called as Bati.

Nowadays, in households , this is baked in gas tandoors and microwaves but these do not match the taste which the litti cooked in open fire offers. For me the best barbeque is which cooks Litti.

gandhari-mahabharat-indian-mythology

Seven little known facts from the Mahabharata (2)

Yudhishthira’s Chariot in Mahabharata war

Yudhishthira has never lied in life save for one incident. Due to this, his chariot always floated a few inches above the ground. At the Mahabharat War, he told a half lie that “aswathama hatha kunjara” which led to Drona’s demise.

Bhima kills Ashwaththama, the elephant

Bhima kills Ashwaththama, the elephant

As a result of this, his feet and chariot, both descended to the ground immediately in the war of Mahabharat. Here one should note, that Yudhisthira could not  tell a lie.  Because, he is a man who has never ever lied in his life.  But on the instructions of Lord Krishna ( Krishna tells Yudhishthira: “Under such circumstances, falsehood is preferable to truth. By telling a lie to save a life, one is not touched by sin” ) he utters a half truth, and no sooner he utters “aswathama hatha kunjara” both  Yudhisthira’s feet and chariot descend to the ground immediately.  But did Yudhisthira utter a false-hood?  Technically no but his convincing Drona was tantamount to telling a lie.  That is why the chariot of Yudhishthra which used to always float in the air and never touch the ground falls to the ground after this lie.

yudhishthira

Birth of Drona

The son of Rishi Bharadwaja, it is widely believed that Drona was not conceived in the womb of any woman, but in the Droon, a vessel made of clay.   In fact the modern day Dehradoon, is closely associated with Drona because it is said that the place where Drona was born, came to be known as Dehradoon. And the land which King Dhritarashtra, donated to Drona, is known as Guru(ka) Gaon- the modern  day Gurgaon. As Drona was not conceived in a womb, there is no mother to him.

Drona and Ekalavya

Brihannala – The eunuch

During their Vanvasa, the pandavas were required to spent one year in disguise. Arjuna spent this period as an eunuch and he was indeed an eunuch during this period. This was due to a curse from and apsara, who became very angry with Arjuna when he was learning Divyastras as he rejected citing her as his mother. After the intervention of Devas, he was allowed to practice this whenever he wanted to practice eunuchness. This helped him in agyatvaas where he spent his time as a eunuch preceding to Mahabharata war.

Arjuna as Brihannala

Arjuna as Brihannala

Danveer Karna

Karna never turned away anyone in his life. He gave his Kavach and Kundal to Indra which ultimately led to his demise despite knowing that the beggar was Lord Indra. He was even tested of this virtue on his death bed when he was asked for alms. His teeth were of gold and he readily given them to the bhagwan who came to him as a beggar. Karna was the most tested character in Mahabharata but he never failed. This is the reason he commands respect.

Five sons of Kunti – Karna’s greatness

This tale tells about Karna’s greatness once again. He promised Kunti before the mahabharata war that she will have five sons. He had the chance to kill all the four pandavas save Arjun. but he let them go because of his promise to Kunti. Eventually he died of when and Arjuna killed him when he was trying to extricate the wheels of his chariot. Thus, the most deserving warrior of Mahabharata met his death.

Bhishma made Krishna break his promise

Shri Krishna vowed that he would not use any weapon and not fight in the battle of Mahabharata. Bheeshma fought with such ferociousness that Krishna got hold of a chariot’s wheel and charged after Bheeshma. Seeing this, Bheeshma put his bow and arrow down and Krishna also realized his mistake.

Karna as ardharathi

Bhishma never liked Karna and used to rebuke him saying that he is an Ardharathi. Karna hence decided not to fight the war under his leadership. Only after when Bhishma was incapacitated, Karna fought the Mahabharata war as Duryodhana’s commander.