Karthigai Borugulu: A Naivedyam

The Hindu calendar is full of observances and celebrations. Every act of the Hindu connects him or her with the divine. Indulgences are in the form of festivals and the offerings made to God at that time. The polytheistic approach, diversity of language and geography have given birth to perhaps millions of traditions. The inclusive Hindu have always embraced it all. This attitude made the Hindus to be free of suspicion. Therefore, middle eastern religions try to dominate the Hindu subcontinent through violence and falsehood. They were partially successful but could not throttle the Indian faith.

The Hindus put up with words like pagan and kafir. Genocides and famines created by colonial masters made them suffer but they did not deter from the path of righteousness/dharma. The month of Karthika is known for celebrations based on brightness. Lamps would be lit in every household and the villages and streets would appear to be studded with gems. Positive vibrations and the light from these lamps added to the calmness of the society.

It was during these times that these offerings were made in the well-lit pooja rooms and temples. The offerings included the Karthikai pori or the Karthigai borugulu (in Telugu). The other Karthikai deepam recipes include the nei appam, thinai appam, Godhumai maavu (Wheat flour) appam, Nel (Paddy) pori urundai, etc. The inclusive Hindu society has added the chocolate amongst its ingredients and now the devout offer the flavourful Chocolate Pori Urundai. Let us now enjoy the season by looking into the Karthikai pori/Karthigai borugulu.

The Karthigai borugulu would be distributed among friends, neighbours, colleagues, partners, employees, clients, etc. It was normally made in a good quantity. Karthigai borugulu represented the inclusive and all-encompassing nature of Hinduism.


  1. Nel pori – 3 cups
  2. Jaggery - ½ cup
  3. Water – ¼ cup (Just for the jaggery to get immersed.)
  4. Cardamom powder - a pinch
  5. Dry ginger powder - a generous pinch
  6. Fried gram dal – ¼ cup
  7. Coconut chopped pieces - 3 tbsp
  8. Ghee - 1 tsp


  1. Remove the husk of the nel from the pori and keep it ready.
  2. Sauté the coconut bits in ghee till they turn golden. Add them and the fried gram dal to unhusked nel pori and mix well.
  3. Add the required amount of jaggery in a pan, add water and dissolve it well.
  4. The mixture should be heated for 2 minutes, just for the jaggery to get dissolved. Drain it carefully to remove impurities.
  5. It must be heated again and the elachi powder is to be added.
  6. The consistency must be checked for it to taste better. Keep a plate ready filled with little water and mix it with a drop of jaggery syrup.
  7. On reaching this level of consistency, cardamom powder, dry ginger powder, pori should be added and the stove could be turned off. Mix the pori and the other ingredients evenly, for the syrup to get coated uniformly on all the pori. Allow the mixture to cool down and then spread it on a plate.
  8. After it cools down, offer the naivedya to the lord and relish the Karthigai borugulu prasada. One essentially feels the ultimate taste in it, as it is done as nivedya to the Supreme being.
  9. The Karthikai pori can be stored in an airtight container to taste the best every time you do!


  1. Ensure to add sufficient water while making the jaggery syrup. Adding excess water takes time for the syrup to reach the desired consistency.
  2. It may look sticky initially but will get set in due time.
  3. If it needs to be shaped into balls, then the consistency has to be checked before adding the pori.
  4. The color of the Karthigai borugulu recipe entirely depends upon the variety of jaggery. It can be made according to one’s preference.
  5. Make use of a wide-bottomed-pan to mix it easily.

Rajalakshmi Raju Chettiar (1900 – 1970) was the better half of the iconic jeweler P. A. Raju Chettiar of Coimbatore. While the jeweler husband was busy with work and charity, the wife Rajalakshmi looked into the various aspects connected with the management of a huge household and the circle of immediate relatives. More than 36 marriages had been conducted within the premises of the house. Not to speak of the memorial services, vrata-s, pooja-s etc. A thousand plus occasions were celebrated in this marvelous dharmic residence. Rajalakshmi was responsible for imbibing and evolving the household. Eventually, the work of Rajalakshmi and Raju Chettiar made the family reach the numero uno position not only in terms of wealth but also culture and refinement.  

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