Sweet poha(GoDa phovu)

According to Hindu calender, today is Karthika Shuddha Dwadashi or Uthan Dwadashi. This day is celebrated as “Tulsi pooja” or “Tulsi Vivah(Tulsi wedding)”. Almost all the Konkanis have a structure called as “Tulsi katte” in front of home which has a Tulsi (Holy basil) plant in it. A lamp is lit in front of this daily and worshiped. The “Tulsi katte” at my native looks like follows.

On “Tulsi pooja”, this structure is decorated with sugar canes and flowers. We have a square removable wooden structure which is fixed around the Tulsi katte and sugar canes are tied to this wooden structure and decorated with flowers. Few Amla(goose berry) and tamarind tree branches, along with Amla and tamarind, are planted on the sides of Tulsi plant. In the evening, after sunset, lights are lit on the square wooden structure. Bhatmam(priest) goes to all the houses and performs a wedding of Tulsi to a small statue of Vishnu or Saligram(a form of Vishnu). All kids who attend the function burn crackers. Sweets, sugar cane pieces, churmuri(puffed rice) and coconut pieces are distributed to all the people who come to see this pooja.

These decorations are usually removed on the next day. Along with this, all the lightnings done for Diwali, like the colored lights and “Akashabutti” – a small paper basket kind of thing which is tied around a light, are also removed. Usually “Tulsi pooja” signifies the end of Diwali.

More about Tulsi here.

As a kid, this was one of my favorite festivals. I liked to decorate the Pooja-thalis, draw Rangolis in front of the Tulsi katte and burn crackers..

The main sweet we prepare on this day is Sweet poha – poha prepared with jaggery(goD). Molasses, which is generally called as “Pattal goD“(liquid jaggery) is used for this dish. So the actual Sweet poha is almost black in color(takes the color of molasses). I was not having molasses with me, so I used normal jaggery and prepared this dish today to get a feel of Tulsi pooja here.

Thin poha 1 cup
Molasses(or jaggery) 1 tbl spn
Grated coconut(fresh or frozen) 1/2 cup
Ghee 1 tea spn
Cardamom powder 1/4 tea spn
Roasted sesame seeds(optional) 1 tea spn

Mix molasses, coconut, ghee with hand. Now add poha and mix well. Sprinkle some water to make the poha a bit wet.
Add cardamom and roasted sesame seeds(optional) and mix well.

Serves : 2
Preparation time : 5mins

13 thoughts on “Sweet poha(GoDa phovu)”

  1. Shilpa,

    We have the tulsi plant in most homes just the same way, but we do not have the same pooja you have mentioned. You have explained it really well and sounds like a fun festival. Hats off to you!!!

  2. HI ,

    we have the same pooja in AndhraPradesh. this sweet thali looks good. i just want to ask should we soak the pooha before in water.

  3. Thanks a lot Shankari.

    Soujanya, the poha need not be soaked before. As thin poha is used, when water is sprinkled on it, it become soft easily.

  4. shilpa-
    thanks for sharing the info about this holiday. this was very interesting.
    i had a tulsi/holy basil plant growing near my door in a pot last year. it was the kind with a reddish tinge to its leaves. is this ever used for cooking in your native place? i was just curious.

  5. Pelicano, We don’t use Tulsi leaves for cooking. Tulsi leaves with reddish tinge are new to me, I had seen them in local farmer’s market, but didn’t know what to do with them. I have seen some people eating Tulsi leaves as it is, since they are very good for health. I have seen some people using it in cooking also, but I don’t remember any dish with these leaves.

    Yes, there is a “OM” and a prayer “Shri Ram Jay Ram Jay Jay Ram” written on our Tulsi Katte. We have a picture of “Ganesha” on it and a Tulsi plant on the top. Usually we paint the Tulsi Katte every year during Tulsi pooja. I can’t explain you how much I like this pooja :).

  6. Thanks Linda.

    Pelicano, I asked my parents about Red Tulsi. They said it is called as “Krishna Tulsi” and is supposed to be superior to all other Tulsi plants.
    We Hindus have a tradition of making rounds to Tulsi Katte in the morning, the scientific reason behind this is, Tulsi plants leave oxygen and it is good for health to inhale fresh oxygen in the morning. These leaves are chewed to overcome mouth ulcers, digestive problems and mouth odor.

  7. what is the significance of having tulsi katte in the backyard. I am married to a traditional madwa brahmin kannada family.Why is tulsi pooja done before regular pooja? How is krishna tulsi superior to other forms of tulsi like sri tulsi or other tulsis?

  8. Hi all,

    Really, interesting to read !

    I would like to add that krishna thulasi has got very good medicinal properties. Yet, it is not to be consumed as it is. The other plants of the thulasi species may be had, as is seen very often. But not the krishna thulasi. Certain properties of this variety of thulasi are not meant for mortals like us. I would suggest pelicano to do further research on thulasi before consuming it as it is. Pelicano, krishna thulasi is taken orally mostly by the sages and saints to ward of earthly pleasures from their mind. I hope you can understand. Yet, i shall also look into this issue (yes, ofcourse, on the web and from the medicinal herbal books available) and then let you know very soon.



  9. Hi Shilpa,

    My husband’s native place is Vengurla( Sindhudurg, Maharashtra). He too prepares this dish only difference the poha is red.

    Thank you for sharing 🙂

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