Shital's-Kitchen: Pasta for the Pooja

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Pasta for the Pooja

Every year this time while we worship various Goddesses and celebrate the Victory of Good over Evil during Navratri, we worship little girls as forms of Goddesses too. This is my second year of doing this wonderful pooja/ritual. My mother-in-law used to do perform the ritual, and now I have taken over this family tradition.

I remember when I was little and my sister and I were invited over to our neighbors and aunts places. We never missed this opportunity to visit people because we got to collect wonderful gifts. Which child would not love gifts? From pencils, eraser, pencil pouches, handkerchiefs, hairband, water bottles, lunch boxes to sweets, candies, and cash. We had a variety of gift collection in a day. That was amazing! Although we would go to various places, like any other kid we had our favorite places to go to. We exactly knew which neighbor or aunt would give us something new and interesting gift to call our own :)

I can now understand their plight! Shopping for kids is not easy. Specially when you want them to enjoy their goodies and see a smile on their face.

Atithi Devo Bhavah which means Guests are Our God and they need to be treated well, fed well and should be showered with gifts. This was the day when my guests are little girls/kids. Dressed in colorful attire, and smile on their face, these little girls were invited for Ashtami puja. In Gujarati, we call them Gorni or Kanjak in North India.

Here are some of the pictures from last year.

I wipe clean the front entrance of my house and make a Swastik with Kumkum (red powder). This ritual symbolizes welcoming God and Guests over to a neat home!

Offering pure, clean food to God! Last year my kids friendly menu was Aamras (mango puree), puris, mini idlis, Vegetable pulav, french fries, Jalebi for sweet and chocolate fountain.
We wash the feet of these little Goddesses and welcome them with Kumkum on their forehead.
After lunch, greet them again and thank them for being here at this auspicious occasion! 

The menu for this year was a no brainer. When I decided to call the kids over for this ritual, I knew I was making something that they would all enjoy, Pastas! Although, I know not many Indians would be happy hearing Pasta for Pooja, but I think the kids who are the most important ones for that day need to be happy and should enjoy the most.

Got the gifts and goodie bags ready. I personalized each cloth bag by painting the name of every child on the bag. This was so much fun! 3D fabric tubes are my favorite, and I have a big box of those.
Painting the names was an easy and enjoyable task. I also bought pencils with an Indian puppet as a topper.

Since this is an important fast, we do not cook or use onion and garlic to flavor the food. This was surely tricky! Pasta without onion and garlic!! Love taking such challenges! Every thing that day was cooked fresh, without onion and garlic, and not tasted till Little Goddesses were offered food.

Made Sweet Boondis for Prasad!

Here are my Pasta Recipes:
Spaghetti with Marinara Sauce
Without onion or garlic, I flavored Marinara with Italian herbs and bell pepper.
In 1/2 cup olive oil fry chopped bell pepper.

Add fresh puree of 8 blanched tomatoes.

Add salt and sugar to taste.

Add Italian Herbs (Oregano, Marjoram, Savory, Thyme, Basil, Rosemary and Sage) and simmer for 15 minutes.

Boil pasta of your choice. Add salt and olive oil while pasta boils.

Drain and transfer to a serving dish. On warm pasta I like to mix some butter to prevent pasta from sticking. Kids too enjoy buttered pasta. Just before serving, I poured hot marinara sauce and sprinkled Parmesan cheese over buttered pasta . (Sorry I forgot to take a picture immediately.)

Here is the picture I took after some time.

Zoo Pasta...ain't these cute.

Zoo Pasta with Alfredo Sauce
Heat 4 tbsp, butter. Add 3 tbsp. all purpose flour and roast well.

Whisk in little milk at a time to avoid lumps till you obtain a sauce like consistency. I used around 5 cups of milk. Add grated cheese, bit of salt and pepper. Add herbs of your choice.

Toss boiled pasta in the sauce and serve immediately. Love these shapes!!

Guess the animal!

Snehanshu's live Uttapams (rice flour and lentil pancakes) are always popular amongst kids and adults! He adds various topping and cheese and makes them more interesting.

Here are few pictures of Ashtami Pooja last Saturday!

Kids enjoying their pastas and live uttapam made by Snehanshu.
A Fun and Memorable Day it was!  


  1. omg. I love your animated picture...

    1. Yes, new feature in Google uploads :)

  2. You are simply great!!!!! love your blog very much...Thanks for Uploading such nice recipes..

  3. Awesome and everything in your blog reminds me of home! I am a big fan of your blog :)