With the onset of August, comes the season of Indian Festivals and celebrating them is a great way to pass on some of the Indian culture to our kids. Secondly, most festivals come with a story and tell me one kid that does not like to listen to stories! And then there are the yummy and mouth-watering delicacies specific to each festival from around the country.
So, here you have it, some yummy recipes for our beloved Krishna’s birthday and some great books to introduce his stories to our kids.
Jaggery Seedai / Vellai Seedai
Krishna Jayanthi / Janmashtami is right here. I love this festival because there will be a lot of savory items like thattai, murukku, seedai and sweets too 🙂 . Drawing those tiny Krishna feet with maakolam (rice flour), helping amma with making these bakshanams(snacks) and distributing the same with neighbors, wow sweet memories. Vellam in Tamil, means Jaggery, so here is the recipe for the Vella seedai.
Taler Bora (Palm Pakoras)
Taler Bora is typically made for Janmashtami in Bengali homes.Even though my in-laws don’t celebrate Janmashtami, I decided to go ahead and make this one since it’s my mother-in-law’s personal favourite. Read on for details and step by step instructions with pictures for Taler Bora recipe
Coconut milk murukku is very famous in Tirunelveli. The murukku is white and of course, crunchy and loaded with the flavors of coconut milk and oil. I love this murukku and started making the same at home too. But this time I thought, why not bake it instead of frying? Can you believe it’s an under 30 minute dish! Presenting the Baked Coconut Milk Murukku you can easily make for Janmashtami!
Vella Aval / Sweet Poha
This recipe doesn’t need any special occasion. It is a simple recipe perfect for toddlers and can be served as a snack too. However, we usually prepare this Aval/Poha upma with jaggery for Janmashtami. Why do we prepare this sweet upma with Aval/Poha? Because Lord Krishna loves poha. Check out the story behind this and the simple & yummy Vella Aval recipe here!
Now that the food is taken care of, time for some stories! And there are so many, when it comes to Lord Krishna. Here are some of our favorites that we and our kids have enjoyed and recommend to our readers.
Amma, Tell Me About Krishna
The Amma, Tell me Series has books on Indian festivals like Diwali, Durga Puja and also on the Hindu gods Krishna, Hanuman & Ganesha. Colorful and stylized illustrations that go with the story is a trademark of these books! IMC spoke to Bhakti Mathur, the author of the Amma, Tell Me Series books – take a listen.
Birth of Krishna & Krishna’s Conquests – The Blue God by Karadi Tales
Birth of Krishna & Krishna’s conquests by Karadi Tales, is a set of audio books highly recommended for kids ages 6 – 9!
Birth of Krishna: A divine prophecy says that the eighth son born to Devaki will bring about the death of the evil king Kamsa. He will also redeem the kingdom of Mathura. But Kamsa has imprisoned Devaki and sworn to kill every child born to her. Will the prophecy come true?
Krishna’s Conquests: Where there is Krishna, there is mirth, music and mischief and plenty of adventure too! Krishna shows that he is no ordinary child through his encounters with Kaliya the deadly serpent, Indra the rain-god and, eventually, the evil king Kamsa!
Umachi books- Friends
Published by Umachi, Friends was gifted to us when we were in India. It is a lovely book about Friendship! The Story of Krishna and Sudama is written in a way that my 6-year-old could understand perfectly. Umachi books have a great way of building vocabulary by using words with their meaning given without making it all contrived. A good choice to begin introducing mythology to kids aged 5+.
The Story of Krishna written by Malay Dayal and illustrated by Jagdish Joshi published by Rupa Publications is a wonderful book to introduce your children to mythology.
The book gives a background on the birth of Krishna, and the various ways Kamsa, his maternal uncle, tries to kill him. In fact there were three or four stories that even I wasn’t aware of. The book includes Krishna’s teenage years. It also details his interactions with the Pandavas and Kauravas. Finally, the book describes the curse of Gandhari and how Krishna dies in the end. Don’t miss it!
Amar Chitra Katha’s – Krishna
Who does not remember this classic from ACK, India’s Favorite story teller. This story of Krishna is a classic. The cover page is iconic and the stories are timeless. ACK has these Krishna books in English, Hindi and Tamil too!
Chinmaya Bala Katha Series
The Chinmaya Bala Katha Series by Chinmaya mission offers a wide variety of books and stories such as Krishna’s Butter Bash, Krishna an Invisible Friend and more! Check them out here.