I was fortunate enough to celebrate and experience most of the festivals of India while growing up. Living in USA it is difficult to celebrate every festival the same way we used to celebrate in India. But I try my level best to celebrate almost every festival and try to teach my daughter about indian festivals and traditions.
Coming to today, today celebrated as"Ratha Saptami" also known as "Sun's birthday/Surya bhaghavan birthday". It is believed that on this day Sun turns his ratham(chariot) drawn by 7 horses(representing 7 primary colors) towards north-east direction.
If you need more information about Ratha saptami check wikipedia
We usually celebrate this day by making Rice pudding/bellam parvannam. My mom used to cook this pudding on charcoal grill outside in the sun. I never got an opportunity to cook on charcoal grill. (May be I will try once in my life).
Today I tried a variation of rice pudding with brown rice. I am glad that I tried this variation. It turned out yummy.
Next time when you are craving for rice pudding try this recipe
1 cup brown rice
4 cups of milk (For vegans use almond milk)
1tbsp silvered almonds
1/4tsp cardamom powder
1/2 cup jaggery/brown sugar
1tsp ghee/clarified butter (optional)
In a saucepan add brown sugar/jaggery and 1/8 cup water and cook till sugar/jaggery is dissolved in water and keep it aside.
In a heavy bottomed sauce pan boil milk, once milk starts boiling add rice and let it boil for 2 Mts. Reduce heat to low setting and cook rice until rice is fully cooked and absorbed most of the milk (if need add more water or milk). MAke sure stir occasionally every 2 mts This might take around 1 hour time. Don't lose patience. Meanwhile in a separate pan add 1tsp ghee/clarified butter and toast almonds, cashews and raisins in ghee till they turn golden color.(If you do not want to use ghee just dry toast almonds and cashews) keep it aside. Once rice is fully cooked add jaggery/brown sugar syrup, cardamom powder, cashews, almonds, raisins and cook for 5 more mts. Remove from heat and serve warm or chilled.