Pitru Paksha or Pitri Paksha ( literally meaning Fortnight of the ancestors ), is a sixteen day long ( Lunar ) period in Hindu calendar in which Hindu’s pay homage to their ancestors. This year shradh’s started on 16th September and will last until 1st October. What is the significance of this in Hindu religion ? During Shradh, Son performs shradh by holding Pooja and distribute food to a priest or poor people, and it is regarded compulsory in order to ensure that the soul of the ancestors goes to heaven. According to Garuda Puran, “there is no salvation for a man without a son”.
And if your ancestors are satisfied with your homage they will bestow you with health, wealth, knowledge, longevity and ultimately salvation to the performer ( Basically son ). Food which you can donate on Shradh is Kheer, Lapsi, Rice, Dal, Spring Bean ( Gaur ), Pumpkin.
Kheer is a rice pudding basically, made by boiling water, rice, milk, sugar, it can be flavored with Cardamon, raisins, almond’s, saffron, cashews, and pistachios.
Lapsi ( Dalia )
In Gujarat, Dalia is known as Lapsi it is also known as Fada Lapsi, it is a famous sweet dish of Gujarat. And this can be also eaten in Shradh. This is a pure ghee dish, you can add cardamom to add flavor to the dish.
Guar Ki Sabzi ( Spring Bean )
Guar is a famous Sindhi dish and is eaten especially during Shradh, it is also popular in Maharashtra where it is known as Gawaar.
Dal ( Lentil )
Dal is a common food item in every Indian household, there are many types of Dal for example – Urad Dal, Mung Dal, Laal Dal. Basically, it is eaten with rice or chapatis. Especially during Shradh, it is consumed but without tadka, as the onion is not to be eaten during the Shradhs.
Yellow Pumpkin Dal is a thick pumpkin based lentil ( Dal ) which can be eaten with rice. It is also made during Shradhs.