Today, it is International women's Day, Holi Festival and Maasi Magam/Makam. The first one is known Internationally, the second one is welcoming the Spring season with full of colors in India. The last one is Maasi Magam not much known beyond Tamil Nadu people, it is one of the important Hindu Festival celebrated by Tamilian, especially in my hometown: Pondicherry.
On the Tamil month of Maasi (Feb-March), the star Maham/Makam falls on the full moon day, it is celebarted as Maasi Makam.
On this auspicious day, all the surrounding towns, villages deities (Gods) are traveled to my small town. Early in the morning, the idols are bathed in the beach (holy bath called -Theerthavari) people gather to watch the ritual and even they plunge in the beach to take bath. After the immersion of deities, the idols are stayed locally for three days before returning to their places.The evening, the gods are decorated and brought in procession. We get a glimpse of all surrounding temples deities in procession in my street. As my home is situated in heart of the town surrounded by main temples, we were blessed for those occasions.
Here goes one of the myth of Maasi Magam which is related to Lord Shiva.
Lord Shiva appeared as a child to the Maharaja Vallala of Tiruvannamalai. The king was an ardent devotee of Shiva and had no issues. The lord granted one wish to him. The king wanted his last rituals to be performed by him. The king breathed last on Maasi Magam Day, Lord Shiva performed his last rituals and took bath in sea.
But, as kid I looked forward each year not the procession of Gods but those small shops mushrooming just for 3 days. They sell some clay idols, earthen kitchen play sets hand painted in bright colors, small drum set made with paper which attracts most boys, wooden toys and earthen piggy bank.... Aah, I don't know if still this generation kids love those inexpensive fun toys....But in my last trip, I was lucky to get few of the musical toys (hand made) for my son, he loves it because it is dam noisy.
Here it is the picture of musical toys- one may find annoying with the loud noise.
The green one is like rattle, a small plastic trumpet and the drum hand made with wood.
I don't remember eating anything special but the fish market is closed. It is an important festival for Fishermen community because all Gods is taken to sea shore for the ritual ceremony and celebrated with much pomp in their area. Only vegetarian meal is cooked in most of the houses. So, I bring you a protein rich lentils pancake.
Adai is a protein rich pancake which needs no fermentation. It keeps fuller for long time and nutritious meal. There is plenty of versions, you don't even need any exact measurement, just a handful of lentils will work also. This Adai works well without rice too if you want to cut the calories. Use any beans or lentils that you store. Just give an ample time to soak and you are ready to go with a complete meal. This recipe is very basic- you can add any spice, vegetables, herbs....
Note: Horse gram/ brown rice needs at least 4 hours soaking time- you can even omit but it is very nutritious the horse gram.
Rinse all the ingredients except hing and chillies, soaked with enough water with chillies overnight.
Grind into a coarse paste, mix the hing and salt.
You can make the adai quiet thick but takes a longer time to cook and need to drizzle lots of oil. So mine is little thinner the batter and less oily.
Enjoy with coconut, cilantro chutney and ginger pickle.