Celebrating Gudhi Padwa with Shrikhand

Gudi Padwa means start of  a new year and spring in Marathi Calenders. This day is one of the most auspicious day and each moment is considered to be holy to start a new venture, investment or employment. Most marathi homes would have the gudhi's displayed in their homes. This is significant to welcome in our home and the new year the peace and prosperity. Since I could not do it here in US, my mom made me this gudhi which I can assemble in less than 5 minutes and use every year. The significance of the gudhi is better explained in this picture.

Wiki Says

Gudhi Padwa (Marathi: गुढी पाडवा, often mis-pronounced as gudi padwa because ढी sounds like डी when spoken), is the Marathi name for the Hindu holiday of Chaitra Shukla Pratipada. It is celebrated on the first day of the Chaitra month to mark the beginning of the New year according to the lunisolar Hindu calendar. This day is also the first day of Chaitra Navratri and Ghatasthapana also known as Kalash Sthapana is done on this day.

Gudhi is kind of flag/usually a green, red or yellow fabric, that is posted on a pole and tied to the window or outside the house.the pole is covered with an inverted kalash, Inside the kalash a dry piece of coconut, some jaggery, some pennies and a need leaf is placed.The ides is that the suns rays will penetrate form the metal and bring out the good qualities in the coconut, neem, jaggery and this is distributed to all members of the household in the evening.This is to protect our health from the spring allergies and change of weather as It really starts warming up in all parts of India after the Holi festival. This is the way my Mom prepared the Gudhi and we all proudly displayed the gudhi's in our building.

Here in US, we made our own small gudhi, just for the significance for my kids and displayed it on the window. For the sweet we made Shrikhand. I have said before also, that some festivals are related to the sweet we eat on that day, some families eat various or different sweets but more or less, we stick to the basics, like 
Sankrant=Gul Poli/Tila chay Wadya
Holi=Puran Poli; 
Gudhipadwa= Shrikhand

This is the only time I go through the traditional process and no shortcuts while making it. I forgot to take pictures of the chakka/hung yogurt to prepare shrikhand at home, but you will see that it is fairly easy to understand.

You will need;
2 lb hung yogurt;
**I get the 2 lb greek yogurt box and tie it in  a cotton cloth over  banana holder and let the whey drip overnight., the chakkka/hung yogurt is ready to be made into some shrikhand.
2 cups sugar
1tsp saffron strands
1tbspn nuts powder or milk masala
1tsp Elaichi or cardamom powder.

The hung yogurt can be sieved or used without sieving. Soak the saffron in 2tbspn warm milk. You need not do this, but this would give nice the shrikhand a nice yellow color. I preferred to keep the saffron out this time. Mix in the sugar, nuts powder and saffron strands which is soaked in 2tbspn warm milk  and mix well. the shrikhand is ready to be served with piping hot pooris. But since we are not into frying foods at home now, for health reasons, I served shrikhand with some comfort food, of potato bhaji, poli and masala bhat( spiced rice).

This is what my lunch plate looked like. Hope you will join me for a simple lunch next time.
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