Kolu arrangement (கொலு) follows certain conventions. We used to follow my grandmother’s directions while arranging the dolls on the ‘kolu steps’ (கொலு படிகள்). Usually the largest doll occupies the center of the top step. This is either Lord Venkatesa (வெங்கடாஜலபதி) with his consort or Devi’s different forms. We had large Devi dolls – Lakshmi (லக்ஷ்மி), Saraswathi (சரஸ்வதி) and Durga (துர்கா). On either side, other incarnations of Devi such as Meenakshi (மீனாக்ஷி), Kamakshi (காமாக்ஷி) and Andal (ஆண்டாள்) dolls would be placed. Far end of the steps would be occupied by large animal dolls that were available in pairs, placed one on either side.
Second step was always dedicated to ‘Sri Rama Pattabishekam’ (ஸ்ரீ ராம பட்டாபிஷேகம்) set of dolls, escorted on either side by ‘Dasavathara’ (தசவதாரம்) dolls. Third step would be adorned by ‘Ashtalakshmi’ (அஷ்ட லக்ஷ்மி) dolls, interspersed with little porcelain figurines. Lord Ganesha (விநாயகர்) sat pretty on the fourth step along with Lord Muruga (முருகர்), while the rest of the space was occupied by dancer and musician dolls.
Fifth step was relegated to contemporary figures like Gandhi, Barathi and Buddha. Two chettiar (செட்டியார்) dolls had their shops on sixth and seventh steps, at the bottom of the kolu. One selling groceries, while the other selling fruits and vegetables! My father had bought real-looking fruits made of wax, which were once ransacked by monkeys! Having explored the ‘kolu’, it is time for a sweet sundal!
Black eyed pea (காராமணி) – ½ tumbler or 100ml
Salt – a pinch
Jaggery – a large hollow ladle or 75 ml measure
Coconut – grated, 1 tablespoon
Cashew nuts – broken, 1 teaspoon
Cardamom – 1 no
Ghee – 1 teaspoon
|Black-eyed Peas Sweet Sundal (காராமணி இனிப்பு சுண்டல்)|
Heat ghee in a kadai, add cashew nuts and when they turn light brown in color, add cooked black-eyed peas and jaggery. Fry till the jaggery melts fully. Now add the cardamom powder, salt and grated coconut. Mix well. Simmer for a minute and switch off the fire. Serve hot.
Note: You can make whole green gram (பாசிப்பயறு இனிப்பு சுண்டல்) sweet sundal in the same manner. Just substitute black-eyed peas with green gram. Rest of the recipe remains the same.
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