Last week in the series of Special delicacies for TamBrahm occasions we saw the delicacies of Ekadasi and Dwadasi. This week we will see the cuisines prepared for Avani Avittam. Upakarma or Avani Avittam represents the beginning phase of the study of Veda. We have discussed in detail about the Upakarma’s Origin and its significance in our blog previously. In this post, we will give you a gist about the custom and the food practices followed during that day.
Avani Avittam or Upakarma is celebrated by various Vedis at a different time period of the year. Yajur Upakarma or the phase to begin the learning of Yajur Veda are celebrated during the month of Shravan (Avani) on the full moon day. This is the day in which Lord Narayana took the form of Lord Hayagriva. Lord Hayagriva restored the Vedas to Brahma and also considered as the Lord of Knowledge. Rig Vedis celebrate the upakarma on the shravana nakshatra on the month of Avani and Sama Vedis celebrate when Hastha nakshatra falls on the Panchami trithiyai on the month of Aavani.
On the day of the Avani Avittam, Viraja Homa and Brahma Yagna are performed. Naandi is also performed on the first year Avani Avittam after the Upanayana done for the Brahmachari. This avani avittam will be called Thala Avani Avittam in Tamil. The food made on this day is will be special.
Tha prasadam for the day is specially made from all fruits such as banana, guava, grapes, custard apple, apple and dry fruits along with milk, ghee, jaggery, cucumber fruit and rice flour. This is particularly made so that it should be common to both the aged rishis who helped the young brahmacharis perform the upakarma. Also for the aged rishis performing upakarma consumes a lot of energy and they need a complete food to regain that. These ingredients tend to ease the eating for the rishis who are aged and might not have teeth to chew.
Breakfast for the day will be Nei appam or Appam along with Idly. Appam is added in the breakfast as it is an easy to make sweet for the day. The lunch follows an elaborate menu.
For the Lunch, the menu usually follows a Poli (thengai or paruppu), Dal, Kootu (pumpkin preferably), Mor Kuzhambu, Rasam/ Sathamuthu, paruppusili (Beans preferably), Payasam (Aval payasam or thirukkanamthu or Akkara adisal), Vadai, Vazhakkai and a thayir pachadi. This menu is prepared to complete the lunch with all nutrients.
The upakarma process as mentioned is the beginning of the learning phase of Vedas. So the lunch has to be sattvic and at the same time should provide all the nutrients for the energy burnt.
In the upcoming weeks we will come up with the special delicacies of various other functions.
Subbu’s kitchen blog
Rak’s kitchen blog