Maa Durga is the embodiment of divine energy and power. Although there are many forms of the Goddess but ultimately all are one – Maa Durga. Navaratri is the period of nine days dedicated to the Goddess. The eighth day is celebrated as Maha Ashtami and the ninth day is celebrated as Rama Navami. These two day are very important during this pious period. Kanya poojan and Kanjak ceremony are performed on either of these two days. The choice of the day depends on one’s family’s traditions. On this day a special Prasad famously known as Kanjak is prepared and offered as bhog to Maa Shakti. The Prasad includes pure ghee-suji halwa, salty masala kala chana and wheat poori. Offering this bhog to the devi pleases her. This Prasad is finally distributed to nine small girls and one boy below the age of 10 as an auspicious ritual. Navaratri festival is considered incomplete without performing this tradition.
Here is the recipe of making this Prasad at home:
Preparation time: 30-45 minutes
Cooking time: 90 minutes
Suji : 3 cups
Pure ghee: 2 ½ cups
Sugar: 2 cups
Water: 12 cups
Cardamom powder : ½ tsp
Raisins: ½ cup
Heat a deep big pan. Add ghee and melt it on low flame. Add suji and roast it on low flame for 20-25 minutes stirring occasionally.
In the meantime, boil water adding sugar until sugar melts properly. Stir occasionally. Keep aside. When the suji starts leaving ghee on the sides, add sugar water and cardamom powder. Keep stirring continuously on medium-low flame until water dries. Add raisins and mix well. Turn off the flame. Halwa is ready for kanjak Prasad.
Kala chana: 4 cups
Salt: 1 ½ tsp
Red chilli powder: 1 tsp
Coriander powder: 4 tsp
Water: 6 cups
Garam masala: ½ tsp
Amchoor powder: 1 tsp
Cumin seeds: 2 tsp
Pure ghee: 2 tbsp
Wash chanas thoroughly. Soak them in plenty of water overnight. Drain the water in which they are soaked. Pressure cook them adding water and salt. Give one whistle on high flame. Simmer on low flame for an hour. Turn off the flame. Let the pressure release on its own.
Open the cooker. Drain the water. Keep the strained boiled chanas aside. Heat ghee in a pan. Add cumin seeds. When it starts to crackle, add boiled chanas without water. Add red chilli powder, coriander powder, garam masala and amchoor powder. Mix well. Stir occasionally and cook on medium-low flame for 10 minutes. Turn off the flame. Chanas are ready for bhog.
Wheat flour: 10 cups
Salt: 1 tsp
Water as required
Pure ghee: 4 tbsp (melted)
Pure ghee for deep frying
Take wheat flour in a big mixing bowl. Add salt and mix well. Add water slowly and start kneading the dough. Knead the dough stiff. Add two tablespoons of ghee and knead the dough until smooth. Keep the dough covered for an hour. After an hour, knead the dough again for ten minutes.
Make small balls out of this dough for poories. Roll the balls one by one in circular shape to make poories. Heat ghee for frying. When ghee is appropriately hot, deep fry poories golden brown flipping on both sides one by one. Take out on kitchen towel. Poories are ready to offer to the Goddess.
Offer poories, halwa and chana Prasad to Maa Shakti first and then to the small girls as Kanjak Prasad.
Performing the kanjak ritual and making this Prasad with cleanliness, love and devotion may give you strength, happiness and prosperity with the blessings of Goddess Durga.