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Monday, July 20, 2015

PROSO MILLET VEGETABLE SEVAI / PANIVARAGU VEGETABLE SEVAI / MILLET SEVAI

HOW TO MAKE PROSO MILLET VEGETABLE SEVAI , HOW TO MAKE PANIVARAGU VEGETABLE SEVAI

 
HOW TO MAKE PROSO MILLET VEGETABLE SEVAI , HOW TO MAKE PANIVARAGU VEGETABLE SEVAI


INGREDIENTS:

Proso millet sevai OR any millet sevai - 2 cups
Carrot, shelled peas, mango finely chopped - 1 cup
Mustard seeds- 1/2 tsp.
Split urad dhal - 1 tsp.
Chenna dhal - 1/2 tsp.
Dry red chillies - 1 or 2

Green chilly - 1
Curry leaves - 1 sprig
Coriander leaves finely chopped - 1 tablespoon
Asafoetida - a pinch
Oil - 2 tsp.

METHOD:

Wash the millet sevai well and soak in warm water for 5 minutes. Drain water completely, spread it in a colander and steam cook for another 5 minutes. 
The instructions of cooking the sevai is given in the packet, but I felt it is not soft as I want. So, I soak only in warm water which turns out to be super soft.

In a kadai, heat oil, add mustard, dhals and fry until golden brown. Now, add chillies curry leaves, hing and saute for a few seconds. Add the mixed veggies alongwith little salt and saute until done. Now, add the steam-cooked millet sevai, little salt, and mix gently. Saute in low flame for a minute. Garnish with 
coriander leaves. Proso millet vegetable sevai is ready. Serve hot with sambar or chutney.

Friday, July 17, 2015

A COMPLETE GUIDE ON AADI / AASHAADA MONTH FESTIVAL CELEBRATIONS AND RECIPES


Tamil month Aadi is considered as an auspicious month. Aadi festival is celebrated in  the tamil month of Aadi (July - August). In Tamil there is a saying "Aadi azhaikkum" meaning the month is the start  for all festivals of the year.  All fridays in this month are  very auspicious and special for Goddesses. Doing Lakshmi Pooja, offering prasadam to Goddesses, doing poojas and offering milk to 'Naagar' (snakes), giving thamboolam to ladies, offering maavilakku, 'varalakshmi vratham and pooja' and Sri Andal's birthday "Thiruvadipooram" are some  of the celebrations in this month. 

The first day of Aadi month (Aadi pirappu) is celebrated as Aadi Pandigai. This festival is  important for the newly-weds. The son-in-law is invited on this day for food and gifted with Thengai paal  in a 'Silver tumbler' alongwith clothes and sweets. In addition to general pandigai menu, we prepare thengai paal for this pandigai instead of regular payasam. Click here for 'Thengai Paal' recipe.


The 18th day of Tamil month Aadi is also known as "Aadi perukku" or "Aadi 18" or "Padinettaam perukku". Perukku in Tamil means "in abundance". The rivers will have water in abundance now, after the monsoon rains in the previous month. This is an important pandigai of TamilNadu. On this day, people prepare mixed rice varieties also called as kalandha saadham or chitraannam. They go to the banks of the river with kith and kin and enjoy the trip with chitraannam. This is an important festival for the farmers.

Aadi 18 menu : Click the link for recipes:
Coconut riceLemon rice or PuliyodharaiSarkarai pongal and curd rice alongwith poricha appalam. Admire the tactics of our elders. Nothing will be spilt while travelling to the banks of the river and cooking is also simplified .

Chitrannam

Prasadams for Thiruvadipooram (Sri Andal's birthday) are Venn pongal and Sakkarai pongal OR Akkara adisil .

Akkaravadisal
Vennpongal


Some  families have the tradition of  lighting the Maavilakku  on Aadi Fridays.
Maavilakku
Some other prasadams (offerings) on aadi vellikkizhamai and Varalakshmi vratham are Ammini Kozhukattai, Manjal Pongal, Arisi Payasam, Pacharisi idli, appam, and vadaiLakshmi poojas are done on Aadi Fridays chanting Lakshmi Ashtotharam and slokas and doing archana with flowers or kumkum to Goddess Lakshmi.

Lakshmi pooja
As I am an iyengar, we don't observe varalakshmi vratham. This festival is observed largely by women, invoking the blessings of Lakshmi on them, their husbands and their children. It is believed that worshipping Goddess Varalakshmi on this day is equivalent to worshipping Ashtalaksmi – the eight goddesses of Wealth, Earth, Learning, Love, Fame, Peace, Pleasure, and Strength.

This procedure details were given to me by Smt. Rajeswari and photos taken by Smt. Revathi, my daughter. Many thanks to both of you.  

HOW TO OBSERVE VARALAKSHMI VRATHAM?, A COMPLETE GUIDE ON AADI / AASHAADA MONTH FESTIVAL CELEBRATIONS

-- On the day before the varalakshmi viratham 

Pooja area and house is cleaned well and a beautiful ‘kolam’ or rangoli is drawn on the intended place of puja.

1) To put in kalasam:
(7 items )
1. Raw rice (1 aazhaku + 1 pidi)
2. One spoon toor dhal
3. One lemon
4. Piece of gold (coin, ring, chain anything)
5. Piece of silver
6. Betel leaves and arecanut (Vethalai and paaku)
7. Pair of large black ear rings (called as kadhola karugamani)

In some families they just fill the kalasam with water. The items used to fill the kalasam vary from region to region and families.

1) Apply turmeric powder in a thread, put 9 knots in it and keep ready. (Elders at home tie this thread on right hand )

2) Take one coconut, apply turmeric powder completely on it and place it on this kalasam.

3) Take the mugam (silver face of the Goddess) and tie it in such a way that it covers the coconut.

4) Decorate mugam with pottu(bindhi), ma(kajal)i, eye-liner, savuri-kunjalam (hairstyle accessories), etc.. as per your wish

5) For sari.. use a normal 6 yards sari, fold it into two. Take one small kudam(water pot). Tie a scale behind it to act as a support ( like the shoulder part) . Now tie the sari( as you normally drape) over the kudam.

6) In the place where you plan to keep the kalasam, place vaazhai maram ( small plantain trees) on both sides, and decorate with mavilai (mango leaves) to form a thoranam (decorative thoran).

-- On the day of varalakshmi vratham

Wake up early in the morning on Friday and take a head bath. Draw kolam in the frontyard.

Do pooja for nilaipadi (doorstep) and tulasi plant in the morning (with manjal, kumkum, akshadhai and flower)

1) Place a mana palagai(wooden plank) at the house entrance (just before vasal padi (maindoor step), inside home). Put kolam and place the decorated kalasam on the mana palagai. On this kalasam, do abishekam with 2-3 spoons of milk and then with water

2) Then like inviting Lakshmi home, (with bhaagyadha lakshmi baaramma or lakshmi raave maa intiku songs) carry the kalasam and place it inside the mandapam..

3) Place the kalasam on top of the kudam in which the sari is tied and then adjust everything as necessary.

4) Prepare one small maalai(garland) and decorate the kalasam with garland and flowers. Also put panju maalai(cotton garland). Place a small yellow cloth on the kalasam. 5) Put 9 small kolams (Padma kolams as shown in the picture) and place it in front of the mandapam.

6) First do padma pooja (with manjal, kumkum, akshadhai and flower), on all 9 kolams ( Say lakshmi slokams )

7) Tell lakshmi ashtothram and put flowers during pooja ( lots of flowers ,different varieties, like lotus, thaazham poo, malli, mullai, jaadhi, rose, kozhi kondai , vilvam, saamandhi)

8) Karpooram, dasangam, all usual pooja things.. One nei vilaku also

9) For neivedhyam: rice, parupu, kuzhambu, rasam, kaai, kootu, 3 types of kozhukattai (parupu (parupu usuli type), ellu and vellam+thengai), parupu vadai, pachai-arisi idli.

Now, the ladies hold coconut and flower in hand and elders tie the yellow thread in the right hand.

10) Then finally take aarathi

Above has to be performed in the morning. In the evening can call guests home and give thamboolam.

-- The day after varalakshmi vratham

Next day morning: Again tell ashtothram and do punar-poojai. Make some sweet or payasam along with normal cooking.

Evening : Thamboolam to friends and relatives. Then in the night, move the kalasam a little from its place or make it lie down like we do for golu.

Next day morning, do some paal payasam, offer it to the Goddess, and keep inside some dabba and close it. The following day, you can remove it. Use the rice in kalasam for making some paayasam or sweet during avani avittam or gokulashtami which follows in a few days.

However, these are procedures done as per family traditions and many books are available in stores as to how to perform the pooja. The Lakshmi Ashtotharam and slokas  can be googled and books are available as well.

Ammini Kozhukattai

Manjal pongal

Arisi payasam