DEEPAVALI SWEETS AND SAVOURIES

Deepavali lehiyam Medhuvadai Laddu Mathri Multinuts chikki MWbadamburfi Badamkheer Akkaraadisil Multinuts chikki Almondballs Dryfruitsandnutsladoo carrotkheer Milletminibonda Aama vadai Aama vadai Paladapradhaman Mysorebonda 

CLICK ON THE PICTURE FOR DIWALI SWEETS AND SAVOURIES

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Thursday, December 27, 2012

RAM KHICHDI / RAM KHICHRI (GUJARATHI STYLE)


This is an easy to make, wholesome one pot meal from Gujarat, which doesn't need any side dish. In Rajasthan, gattas are also added to this. However, it can be served with pickle, curd or any chutney.

INGREDIENTS:

Raw rice - 1/2 cup

Moong dhal - 1/2 cup
Water - 31/2 cups
Mixed vegetables ( Beans, carrot, shelled peas) - 1 cup
Grated ginger - 1/2 tsp.
Green chillies - 1 finely chopped
Pepper - 1/2 tsp.
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp.
Cloves - 3
Cinnamon stick - 1" piece - 1
Turmeric powder - 1/8 tsp.
Salt - to taste
Hing (asafoetida) - a pinch
Curry leaves - few
Ghee - 3 tablespoons
Oil - 2 tablespoons
Cashews - 2 tsp. (broken)

METHOD:

Pressure cook rice and dhal without adding salt. Mash well.

In a pan, heat a spoon of ghee and fry cashews till golden brown. Keep aside.

In the same pan, heat oil, add cinnamon, cloves and pepper. When pepper splutters, add cumin seeds, curry leaves, grated ginger, chopped green chillies and hing. Saute for 10 seconds and add the chopped vegetables, little salt, turmeric powder and saute well till done. Add these over the rice. Add some more salt for rice and mix well. Garnish with cashews. Melt ghee and top the khichdi while serving.

Serve hot with any chutney of your choice or pickle or fresh curd.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

KOTHAMALLI SADHAM / CORIANDER LEAVES RICE / CORIANDER PULAO


This is an easiest, quick filling, colourful one pot meal and an ideal lunch box recipe. 

INGREDIENTS:


Basmati rice : 1 cup
Coriander leaves - 1 small bunch
Green chillies - 2
Cumin seeds (Jeera) - 1/2 teaspoon
Cinnamon - 1
Cloves - 2
Cardamom - 2
Mustard seeds - 1/8 tsp.
Urad dhal - 1/2 tsp.
Chenna dhal - 1/2 tsp.
Cashewnuts - 6
Oil - 1 tsp.
Butter - 1 tsp.

Ghee - 1/2 tsp.
Salt - as per taste
Water - 2 cups

METHOD:

Wash well and soak basmati rice in water for half-an-hour. Pressure cook for 3 whistles. Keep aside.

Cut the roots of the coriander leaves, wash well and chop roughly. Grind together coriander leaves, green chillies and cumin seeds alongwith a pinch of salt, to a fine paste.

Strain the paste through a strainer. Keep the water aside. Only the paste is used in this recipe.

NOTE: The juice need not be wasted as it has an excellent source of iron. Coriander juice is beneficial in treating nausea, dysentery, urinary infection and indigestion. It also lowers blood sugar levels. You can make a raw juice or soup with salt and pepper.


In a heavy bottomed pan, heat oil and butter. Add mustard seeds. When they splutter add urad dal, chenna dal and the whole spices. When they turn golden brown, add the strained paste and required salt. Sauté for a minute.

Kothamalli sadham preparation:

Spread cooked rice in a wide plate, add the sautéed mixture (check for salt and add at this stage if necessary) . Gently turn it around or mix it with your hand without breaking the grains. Garnish with ghee fried cashews and serve hot.


Thursday, December 13, 2012

BAINGAN BHARTHA


This is a tasty and unique north-indian gravy with chargrilled brinjals. This can be done with or without green peas. 

INGREDIENTS:

Brinjal ( Big variety) - 2
Green peas  - 1/4 cup 
Cumin seeds - 1/4 tsp.
Onion - 1 big
Tomato - 2
Ginger- garlic paste - 1/2 tsp.
Green chillies - 2  finely chopped
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp.
Coriander powder - 1 teaspoon
Chilli powder - 1/2 tsp.
Garam masala - 2 tsp.
Coriander leaves - few
Salt - as per taste
Oil - 3 tablespoons
Ghee  - 1 tsp.



METHOD:

Slit the brinjals into half with stems intact. Brush it with oil and heat on direct, medium flame. Turn it on all sides by holding the stems till the outer skin turns black. When cool, peel the skin and gently rub under running water to remove the small black parts. Mash well and keep aside.

Shell the peas, boil it in water with salt for 3 minutes, drain the water and keep aside. Finely chop tomatoes, onions and green chillies.

Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan. Add cumin seeds, when they sizzle, add onions and sauté till translucent alongwith a pinch of salt, add ginger garlic paste,chopped green chillies and sauté well until the raw smell is diffused. Now add the chopped tomatoes and the powders (except garam masala) and sauté till oil leaves the sides. Add cooked peas, mashed brinjal, garam masala and salt. Mix well. Cook for 2 more minutes. Transfer to a serving bowl. Top with ghee. Garnish with coriander leaves. Serve hot with phulkas, pooris or chapathis.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

KEERAI VADAI / SPINACH VADA


This is an excellent and flavourful tea time snack. Onions need not be added to the batter as it will taste more like masal vadai.  The vadai tastes good with the exotic, unique taste and flavour of spinach alone.  

INGREDIENTS:

Whole urad dhal - 1/2 cup
Bengal gram ( chenna dhal)  - 1/2 cup
Split urad dhal - a fistful
Spinach - 1 cup tightly packed ( mulai keerai will be tasty)
Dry red chillies - 2
Green chillies - 2 finely chopped
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp.
Curry leaves -  2 sprigs
Salt  - to taste
Oil - to deep fry

METHOD:

Soak whole urad dhal and bengal gram for an hour. Soak split  urad dhal separately for an hour. Drain the water  completely and keep aside.

Wash and clean the spinach, discard the roots and chop finely. Chop curry leaves roughly.

Grind  together whole urad dhal, bengal gram and red chillies to a coarse paste with very little water.

Transfer it to a bowl. Add the soaked split urad dhal, cumin seeds, salt, finely chopped spinach, curry leaves and green chillies. Mix well using your hand. Divide  into equal sized balls.

Heat oil, when hot simmer the stove. Wet your palms with water, take out a ball, flatten it with your hands to the  size of a palm (1/2" thickness would be fine) and put a hole in the centre. Gently drop it into the oil. Flip on both sides and fry them till golden brown.  Repeat the process  with the rest of the batter. You can fry 2 to 3 vadais in a batch.

Serve hot with coconut chutney or any chutney of your choice. 

NOTE: Ensure medium heat of oil. Saunf can be used instead of cumin seeds.

Friday, December 7, 2012

MASALA OATS UPMA / OATS UPMA


I was not a great fan of oats upma  until one friend of mine asked  me how to cook oats upma without becoming sticky and mushy. Just follow the method and you will get a non-sticky oats upma. :)

INGREDIENTS:

Oats - 1 cup
Water - just to sprinkle
Oil - 1 tablespoon
Carrot - 1 (small)
Shelled peas & beans - 1/4 cup
Onions (optional)

Bakers Noodles masala - 1/2 tsp. ( for masala oats)
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp.
Gram dhal- 1/4 tsp.
Urad dhal - 1/2 tsp.
Green chillies - 2

Grated ginger - 1/8 tsp.
Curry leaves - few
Coriander leaves - few

METHOD:

In a kadai, dry roast oats. Keep aside.

Grate carrots and slice beans.

In the same kadai, heat oil, and add mustard seeds. When it splutters, add urad dhal, gram dhal, slit green chillies, grated ginger, curry leaves and hing. When they turn golden brown,(if using onions add at this stage and fry till translucent), add vegetables and shelled peas. Add little salt and saute for till cooked. (Add the noodles masala and saute if you want a masala oats upma. If you are cooking an oats upma skip the noodles masala). Now, add oats and salt to taste. Mix well. Sprinkle a teaspoon of water, and cook it covered. Within few seconds, take out the lid and sprinkle again a teaspoon of water and cook it covered. Repeat the process until cooked. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with ketchup.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

CHOCOLATE BURFI & A CELEBRATION


I AM REALLY EXCITED THAT MY BLOG HAS CROSSED 10 LAKH HITS.  I WOULD LIKE TO THANK ALL MY FRIENDS, READERS AND VISITORS FOR YOUR CONTINUOUS SUPPORT. THIS IS A REAL SUCCESS FOR MY TRADITIONAL BLOG AND IT HELPS ME TO BE MORE DEDICATED IN COOKING, CLICKING AND PRESENTING AS WELL.  I AM CELEBRATING THIS HAPPY MOMENT WITH A CHOCOLATE BURFI. THANKS AGAIN :)

NOW THE RECIPE:
This is a quick, simple yet tasty and chocolateee burfi loved by all.

INGREDIENTS:

Milkmaid - 1 tin
Broken cashews - 100 gm.
Cocoa powder - a little less than half a cup
Butter - 50 gms.
Sugar - 3/4 cup



METHOD:

Break cashews into small pieces. The cashews in each bite gives an excellent taste to the chocolateee burfi. So be generous in cashews.

Heat a heavy-bottomed pan, pour in the milkmaid, butter, sugar, cocoa powder and cashews. Mix well.

Ensure medium heat and stir continuously till the mixture leaves the sides.

Transfer to a greased plate and when warm, cut into desired shapes.

Monday, November 26, 2012

KARTHIGAI CELEBRATIONS AND RECIPES



KARTHIGAI CELEBRATIONS
HAPPY KARTHIGAI TO ALL
For karthigai celebrations and karthigai recipes click on the captions of the pictures. 


NEL PORI URUNDAI
AVAL PORI URUNDAI

MULTINUTS CHIKKI


APPAM(TANJORE STYLE)


BADAM KHEER

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

KARASEV / KARASEVU (IYENGAR STYLE) / DEEPAVALI SNACK


This is a traditional savoury served in Iyengar marriages with puliyodharai. A crispy snack as well, which can be tried and tasted for deepavali.

INGREDIENTS:

Rice flour - 1 cup
Besan flour - 1 cup
Pepper - 1 tsp.

Ghee - 2 tablespoons
Salt - as per taste
Oil - for deep frying


Gadget: Karasev ladle (This gadget gives the correct thickness for the snack). 


METHOD:


Crush the pepper coarsely.

Sieve the flour.

Mix all the ingredients. Knead to a soft dough using water little by little. Make small balls from the dough and keep it ready.

Heat oil. Hold the karasev ladle above the oil. Take a ball of dough, place it on the ladle and press it through the ladle with your hand. The bits of sev will fall on the oil. Fry them in medium flame till golden brown. Remove it from oil,drain in a kitchen towel. Repat the procedure with the remaining balls. When cool, store in an airtight container.

Serve as a snack with coffee/ tea. It goes well with puliyodharai also.

NOTE: Ensure medium heat of oil. When a small bit of the mixture is dropped, tit should rise up with bubbles. This is the correct smoking point of the oil. The dough should not be very stiff or very soft. It should be semi-stiff and pliable.

Thenkuzhal achu can also be used instead of the  karasev ladle.

Monday, November 5, 2012

LADDU / BOONDHI LADDU / DEEPAVALI SWEETS


Sugar absorbed boondhi laddu / ladoos for deepavali.

INGREDIENTS:

Gram flour - 2 cup
Sugar - 4 cups
Ghee - 1 1/2 cups OR Oil  - 1 1/2 cup
Milk - 1 ladle
Cashew nuts - 10
Cardamom  - 4 (crushed)
Edible camphor - a pinch
Kesari powder - 1/8tsp.
Clove - 4 (optional)

Nut meg - 1/4 (crushed coarsely)
Small sugar candies(Diamond kalkandu) - 1 teaspoon
Raisin – 20 nos.
Boondhi ladle - 1 





METHOD:

Heat a kadai, add sugar and a little water, mix with a ladle. When the sugar melts completely, add a ladle of milk to remove scum. Remove the impurities off the syrup. Make a sugar syrup of one string consistency. (See here for the consistencies of sugar syrup). Now the syrup is ready. Remove from heat. Add nutmeg, clove, cardamom, diamond kalkandu and edible camphor. Add the kesari powder, mix well. Add yellow food colour if you want the laddu to be in yellow colour.

Fry cashews and raisins in ghee till golden brown. Keep aside.

Sieve gram flour, add water and make a semi-thick batter. Mix well without any lumps.

Heat ghee/ oil. Hold the boondhi ladle above the oil. Pour a ladle of the batter on the boondhi ladle ( a flat ladle with holes) and tap gently. When doing like this, the mixture drops into the oil as small balls which we call as boondhi. Fry them in medium flame till soft and cooked. It should not be crisp. Remove it from oil,drain in  a kitchen towel and immediately drop these boondhis into the sugar syrup. Repeat the procedure with the remaining batter.

Mix the previous batch of boondhis well before dropping the next batch of boondhis. Add the fried cashews and raisins. When still warm, take a little of the mixture and make balls of desired size.

Sugar absorbed boondhi ladoos are ready for deepavali.

IMPORTANT NOTES:

1. Any sweet tastes awesome in ghee. However,  health conscious people can use oil. Ensure medium heat of ghee / oil. When a drop of batter is dropped, the batter should rise up with bubbles. This is the correct smoking point of the oil. The batter should not be  very dilute or very thick. It should be semi-thick.

2. The boondhis should be soft but cooked. It should not be crispy.

3. The sugar syrup should be warm.

4. The boondhis absorb the sugar only when hot, so drop them hot into the syrup.

5. Sugar candy (kalkandu), cloves, and edible camphor are optional.

6. For perfect balls, the sugar syrup and the boondhis should be mixed well and equal. Adjust the mixture accordingly, so that the sugar syrup is not in surplus.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

VANGI BHATH (KARNATAKA STYLE)


INGREDIENTS:

Cooked rice - 3 cups

Tamarind - half the size of a lemon
Brinjal - 1/4 kg.
Vangi bhath powder - 2 tablespoons
Jaggery - marble size
Grated coconut - 1 tablespoon
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp.

Urad dal - 1/2 tsp.
Chenna dal - 1/2 tsp.
Groundnuts - 2 tsp.

Cashews - 6
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp.
Hing - a pinch
Dry red chillies - 2 

Curry leaves – few
Salt - as per taste
Oil - 1 tablespoon
Gingelly oil - 1 tsp.

METHOD:

Extract pulp from the tamarind. Chop brinjals to lengthy pieces.

In a kadai, heat oil, add mustard seeds. When they splutter add urad dal, chenna dal, dry chillies, groundnuts, curry leaves, turmeric powder and hing. When golden brown, 
add brinjal and saute for a while till cooked. Pour the tamarind extract and allow it to cook till the raw smell diffuses. Add the vangi bhath powder, salt, little jaggery and grated coconut and mix well. Cook in low flame for few minutes. The spicy mixture is ready now. 


Vangi bhath preparation:
Spread cooked rice in a wide plate, add the spicy mixture, little gingelly oil and salt (if required) . Gently turn it around or mix it with your hand without breaking the grains. Garnish with ghee fried cashews and serve.

Alternate vegetables that can be used for the bhath:

1. Brinjal  + green peas
2. Brinjal + capsicum + green peas
3. Beans
4. Chikdi beans (gori kai)
5. Beans + cabbage
6. Cabbage + green peas
7. Capsicum

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

KARAMUDHU PODI / SAAMAN PODI (IYENGAR CURRY POWDER)


INGREDIENTS:

Coriander seeds - 1 cup
Gram dhal - 2 tablespoons
Urad dhal - 2 tablespoons
Dry red chillies - 4 or 5

METHOD:

Dry roast all ingredients till golden brown. Dry grind coarsely and store in an air-tight container. 

NOTE: This powder is used for making saaman podi (podi idicha) karamudhu (curry) varieties, in addition to the regular curry powder, to enhance the flavour and taste. Tastes good for curries made with brinjal, capsicum and raw banana.

Monday, October 15, 2012

A COMPLETE GUIDE FOR NAVARATHRI / THE BEGINNERS GUIDE TO NAVARATHRI / HOW TO KEEP NAVARATHRI KOLU(GOLU) / NAVARATHRI GOLU IDEAS AND RECIPES

A COMPLETE GUIDE FOR NAVARATHRI, DUSSEHRA,NAVARATHRI RECIPES
A COMPLETE GUIDE FOR NAVARATHRI,NAVARATHRI RECIPES,DUSSEHRA,HOW TO CELEBRATE NAVARATHRI,HOW TO KEEP NAVARATHRI KOLU(GOLU), NAVARATHRI GOLU IDEAS AND RECIPES


SCROLL DOWN TO THE END OF THIS POST FOR SALT SUNDAL, SWEET SUNDAL AND THE RECIPE LINKS.

HAPPY NAVARATHRI.  


The power behind creation is Shakthi in her three aspects: Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswathi. We have to pray and invoke this Shakthi to assist us in reaching our ultimate goal, which is realization of Oneness.


Navarathri reminds all women, who are the guardians of the family, culture, and integrity, to guide the family towards the path of justice, love, and divinity. Navarathri is celebrated all over India, Nepal and also Mauritius. Also known as Vijayadasami, Dasara, Dussehra in India and Mauritius; Dashain in Nepal. It is celebrated as “victory of good over evil”. Different regions have their unique Navaratri celebrations in India.

"Nava" means nine and "Rathri" means night. And Navaratri is"nine nights". Goddess Durga is worshipped on the first three days of the festival. The next three days Goddess Lakshmi is worshipped and then Goddess Saraswati is worshipped on the last three days. The tenth day is "Vijayadasami". Vijaya means "victory", the victory over our own minds which comes when we worship these three goddesses Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswati. Thus, Navarathri signifies our spiritual awakening.

Coming to the celebrations in South India, the interesting part is arranging Kolu for the festival. What is kolu? It is arranging dolls in steps. Neighbours are invited to see the kolu daily. While we were young, we wear pattu paavadai, go to all neighbours' house, see the kolu, sing songs and come back with a full bag of sundals and goodies. Navaratri always brings memories of my childhood, which was so joyful with kolu, sundal, pattu and paattu. As a kid, I never understood the work involved in all these preparations. But, I used to assist my parents in arranging the golu. In those days, sundal and eatables were given in mandhara ilai, vazhai sarugu ilai, dhonnais or butter paper covers. 

Things to be done before:
Kolu steps can be made to order or readymade golu padi can be bought from shops well in advance, keeping in mind the availability of space and dolls. The pavement shops and gift shops will be flooded and stocked with dolls and decoration items a month before Navarathri. The street shops have a splendid array of ceramic, clay, terracota and paper mache dolls. Brass dolls can be shopped in showrooms and metal stores. It is customary to buy atleast one new doll each year. Buy thamboolam items like betel leaves, betel nuts, turmerics, turmeric powder, kumkum, sandal powder, camphor, incense sticks, gingelly oil or ghee for lamp etc. Fruits, flowers, garlands and tulasi  can be bought fresh on a daily basis. Plan the ideas, theme and decorations you wish to do and do the shopping well in advance.  If you plan to give any gift alongwith thamboolam, shop for it too. Giving gifts concept was not there before. It developed in the recent years. So, these gifts are NOT compulsory and can be decided according to one's mights. Also shop for the groceries, lentils to make sundal etc. Also buy cups, covers etc. Nowadays, people prefer eco- friendly navarathri. If so, roll back to the olden days method of giving sundal and eatables in dhonnai, paakku mattai cups, cloth / jute bags etc. Shop for it too.

A couple of days before Navarathri, 
Clean your silver items as said here 
Clean your copper items as said here

How to arrange?:

Arranging  navarathri kolu is an event by itself. On Mahalaya Amavasai day, draw 'Izhai kolam' in Perumal sannidhi and the place where we are planning to keep kolu. Put 'izhai kolam' in wooden planks. Neivedhyams can be arranged on this plank. First arrange a grand backdrop. Take out the 'padis'. 'Padis' are steps made of wood, or readymade steps which are arranged in odd numbers, in the order 3, 5, 7 or 9. The 9 steps represents the 9 days. Some people arrange 11 steps also.  Cover the padis with a clean white cloth. Pin it up neatly to fit the contour of the steps. The arrangement of steps depends on the availability of dolls in one's house, time and space. It is customary to buy atleast one new doll each year. The "Kolu Bommais" (earthen dolls) are arranged on the steps in a specific order. Some families have the tradition of keeping "kalasam" also in the kolu. The kalasam is a small brass or silver pot and is filled with fresh water. The mouth of the vessel is covered with a silk cloth, on top of it mango leaves and a coconut is placed. This is kept in the topmost step. The most important doll to be kept in the  golu is the "marapachi bommai". 'Marapachi dolls' are made out of a specific red wood and the figurines are available in various sizes. 'Marapachi dolls' are a pair of male and female dolls and is sold as a couple.  Dress the marapachi couple beautifully with silk garments and ornaments. The female doll should be kept to the right of the male doll. Starting with Pillaiyar, the God and goddess idols are kept in the top 3 steps. The dolls can be arranged according to one's faith and as per the family custom. Mostly the top 3 steps are for deities. The elders at home, guide on  how to arrange the dolls as per family custom. A chettiar doll (shopkeeper) is kept in the last step with rice, tur dal and groceries in front of him. 

Nowadays, people keep thematic golu too. Thematic golu dolls are available in the market.  Creative persons get properties from the market and create the thematic golu on their own. It is the divinity in creativity. There are a lot of new, good concepts. 


A COMPLETE GUIDE FOR NAVARATHRI, DUSSEHRA,NAVARATHRI RECIPES

A COMPLETE GUIDE FOR NAVARATHRI, DUSSEHRA,NAVARATHRI RECIPES

A COMPLETE GUIDE FOR NAVARATHRI, DUSSEHRA,NAVARATHRI RECIPES
Photo courtesy : My friend Lata (5 steps)
A COMPLETE GUIDE FOR NAVARATHRI, DUSSEHRA,NAVARATHRI RECIPES
7 steps golu/kolu at my mom's home
Things done on all the ten days:

These are the practices and traditions done in our family.  Each family has a different tradition. Some families do not have the practice of keeping kolu, i.e.,the dolls are not displayed but all other rituals like offerings, poojas and slokas chanting are done. Beginners can ask your elders for your family traditions. If there are no elders, you can follow this. 

A mixture of cowdung and water is sprinkled on the frontyard. Kolams and Rangoli are drawn on mornings and evenings on all the ten days in the frontyard and also before the kolu. Lamps are lit on all mornings and evenings.

Daily pooja is conducted in the morning with chanting of slokas and prasadam. Pooja and Parayanam procedures can be done as per family traditions. To those who are interested in pooja vidhanam, many books are available in stores as to how to perform the pooja. The slokas can be googled and books are available in pooja stores as well.

Prasadam is offered in the evenings also and songs from "navavarna krithis" are sung. Songs in praise of Goddesses are sung. Many ladies are invited and will be offered "thamboolam" which contains betel leaf, betelnut, turmeric, small mirror and a comb. Any other goodies according to one's mights, can be added if interested. Small girls(Kanyas) are considered as form of Lakshmi and thamboolam is  offered to them also. The ladies and kids who are invited also sing songs in praise of the Goddesses and the daily pooja ends in the night with an "Arathi" to the kolu.

"Saraswathi Pooja" and "Ayudha Pooja" is celebrated on the 9th day. Books, tools and musical instruments are kept in Pooja on "Saraswathi Pooja" day. Poojas are done for the vehicles at our home as it plays an important role in our daily life. Vijayadasami day is very auspicious for new ventures. Kids are enrolled in music classes, games classes etc. People gift their gurus with "vasthram"(clothes) and get their blessings.

On the 10th day night take 'arathi' and put the dolls to 'sleep'. Next day, wrap everything carefully with cloth and paper and pack neatly. This can be used for the following year.

Do's and Don'ts:

Do's: 
1. Have bath daily in the early morning.  Wear fresh clothes.
2. Offer home made neivedhyams (list of neivedhyams are given below) daily. People who cannot afford monetarywise, offer atleast milk and fruits.
3. Light lamp in the morning and evening. Offer flowers daily.
4. Eat only Saatvic Food. 
5. Try to give thamboolam to ladies and at least 2 small girl children, every day preferably in the evening. 
7. Recite slokas of Goddesses daily and pray for the well being of the family and to guide the family towards the path of justice, love, and divinity.  
8. Do arati daily at the end of the day.

Don'ts: 
1. Do not dust your home. Dust before the festival starts. 
2. Do not bite or cut your nails on Navarathri. 
3. Do not stitch. It is believed that  Mahalashmi does penance in the tip of the needle. (Generally, stitching with needle is not done on Fridays and Tuesdays).
4. Do not quarrel, do not shout loudly, do not use harsh words, do not gossip and curse others.
5. Do not have a hair cut. (applicable to gents in the family also)
6. Do not study on the Saraswathi pooja day. Keep all your books and modern gadgets in pooja and seek HER blessings.   
7.Read the books kept in pooja on Vijay Dashami day, sing songs and start new ventures if any.  

What are the offerings?


The best part is the "Naivedhyam". Payasam is made daily.  Mostly the offering is Sundal(Sweet or Salt). Puttu is made on a Friday of Navarathri. Kondakadalai (Black chana dhal) sundal and appam is made on Saraswathi Pooja day. 

In addition to these,  kadalai urundai, pottukadalai maavu, sweet ellu podi are also made in some houses. Varieties of mixed rices, one for each day, can also be prepared for naivedhyam in the morning. Puliyodharai, coconut rice, venn pongal, sakkarai pongal, lemon rice, curd rice, akkaravadisal etc.

SALT SUNDAL:

INGREDIENTS:
Any pulse of your choice- 1/4 kg.

TEMPERINGS:
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp.
Turmeric powder- a pinch.
Urad dhal - 1 tsp.
Dry red chillies - 1 0r 2
Scraped coconut - 1/4 cup
Hing
Salt - as per taste
Curry leaves - few
Oil - 1 teaspoon
METHOD: Cook the pulses as said here and temper with the given ingredients.


SWEET SUNDAL: 

This is made only with Karamani(cow peas) or Pachaipayaru(green gram)
Karamani or Pachaipayaru - 1 cup
Crushed jaggery - 3 teaspoon

TEMPERINGS:
Oil - 1 teaspoon
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp.
Dry red chilly - 1
Scraped coconut - 1/4 cup

METHOD:

Cook the pulses as said here, drain the water completely. Heat a teaspoon of oil and temper with mustard seeds and dry red chilly. add the cooked pulse, a pinch of salt and jaggery. When thick add coconut and mix well.

LINKS FOR LAST BUT NOT THE LEAST OF NAVARATHRI OFFERINGS:

TIPS ON COOKING PULSES FOR SUNDAL
MENU IDEAS FOR NAVARATHRI
AAMA VADAI
PUTTU
PAYASAMS
KADALAI URUNDAI
APPAM (TANJORE STYLE)
APPAM (NEIYAPPAM)
KONDAKADALAI(BLACK CHENNA SUNDAL)
KABUL CHENNA SUNDAL
GROUNDNUT SUNDAL
GREEN GRAM SUNDAL
RAJMA SUNDAL
FRESH BUTTER BEAN SUNDAL
BEACH SUNDAL
FRESH RED BEAN SUNDAL
POTTUKADALAI URUNDAI
AKKARAVADISAL
PULIYODHARAI
COCONUT RICE
VENN PONGAL
SARKARAI PONGAL
LEMON RICE
CURD RICE/BAHALA BHATH
Some other iyengar style rice recipes.  Iyengar puliyodharaiMilagoraiMelkote PuliyogareTirukoshtiyur tirumaalai chambaElloraiLentils khichdiIyengar special kadambamKalkandu bhath (iyengar style), Ulundhorai

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

VANGI BHATH POWDER / BHATH POWDER (KARNATAKA STYLE)


Recipe courtesy : My karnataka friend, an energetic and diplomatic lady and a wonderful cook, nearing 70. I have tasted some of her food.  Most of her dishes retain the authentic flavour of Karnataka cuisine. I tried it, as mailed by her and needless to say it was awesome.

INGREDIENTS :

Red chillies (Byadgi) - 100 gm
Coriander seeds (dhania) - 75 gm
Channa dal - 50 gm
Urad dal - 25 gm
Cinnamon - 1" piece - 2
Marati moggu - 2
LG Asafoetida (Hing / Perumkayam) - 1/4 tsp.
Dry coconut - 1/2 cup
Oil - 2 tsp.

METHOD:

Fry the ingredients separately to golden brown with little oil in medium flame.

When cool, grind the fried ingredients along with dry coconut to a fine powder. Store in airtight container and use when preparing the bhath. 

This powder can be stored in refrigerator for 15 days.

Monday, October 8, 2012

SAMBHAR SADHAM


INGREDIENTS:

Raw rice - 1 cup
Toor dhal - 1 cup
Tamarind - a small lemon sized ball
Mixed vegetables(ash gourd, pumpkin,avarakkai, tomato,) - 1 cup
Small onions - 10 no.  

Sambhar powder  - 1 1/2 tablespoons
Salt - as per taste
Hing
Oil - 2 tablespoons
Gingelly oil - 2 teaspoons
Ghee - 2 tsp.
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp.
Curry leaves - few


To powder:
Coriander seeds - 1 tablespoon
Dry red chillies - 1
Methi seeds - 1/8 tsp.

METHOD:

Chop vegetables to fairly big pieces.

Extract juice from tamarind. Keep aside.


In a spoon of oil fry the items  given in "To powder"and grind to a fine powder.

Pressure cook rice alongwith toor dhal . Mash well.


In a kadai, heat oil, fry the onions till transparent, add curry leaves, hing and the chopped mixed vegetables, little salt and when half done add the tamarind extract, sambhar powder and boil till the raw smell goes. Now add the mashed rice and dhal. Add remaining salt and ground powder.  Mix well.  Add a cup of water and allow it  to cook till everything mixes and infuses well. Temper with mustard seeds and curry leaves. Top with ghee and gingelly oil. Serve hot with deep fried javvarisi vadaam or papads.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

RASA VADAI


INGREDIENTS:

Whole white urad dhal - 1 cup
Green chillies - 2 or 3
Ginger - 1/2" piece
Curry leaves - 1 sprig
Pepper - 1/2 tsp.
Salt - as per taste (or approx.1/2 tsp.)
Oil - 1 cup

For garnishing:
Coriander leaves - few
Chopped tomato - 1

METHOD:

Soak dhal in water for an hour.

Chop green chillies, ginger and curry leaves.

Grind the soaked dhal in a grinder to a smooth paste using very little water. The batter when dropped in water should float and that is the consistency. When smooth and slightly frothy, add salt, and also the chopped items, and grind again for two more minutes.

Take out the batter and add pepper. Mix well.

Heat oil . Meanwhile, wet your palms with water, take out a ball from the batter and flatten it using your hand and put a hole in the centre. (OR) can use a plastic cover (OR) banana leaf.

Carefully drop them into the oil and turn it on both sides and cook till golden brown. Make a batch of vadai. Repeat the process for each batch.

For the rasam:

Coarsely powder a spoon of jeera and 1/4 spoon of pepper.
Puree a tomato. Soak half the lemon size of tamarind in 1/2 cup of water and extract juice from it. In a deep vessel, add pureed tomato, tamarind extract, salt to taste, and hing. When it boils, add 1 tablespoon of rasam powder. Allow it to boil till the raw smell is diffused. Now add 3 1/2 cups of water. When it starts boiling and frothy, switch off the stove.  Heat a spoon of ghee,  add mustard seeds and pepper-jeera powder. Put  it on the rasam. Garnish with coriander leaves. Keep it hot and ready.

HOW TO SERVE: Take half the quantity of rasam in a wide bowl. Keep it ready. When a batch of vadais are done, drain from oil and drop them in the rasam. Allow it to get soaked for 5 minutes. Drain and transfer to another vessel. Meanwhile make the next batch of vadais and repeat the process with all the batter.

Transfer 2 vadais to a serving dish. Pour the required quantity of rasam, Garnish with some chopped tomatoes and coriander leaves. Serve piping hot.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

KHARA BHATH (KARNATAKA STYLE)


During my frequent Bangalore visits, my son took me to various food outlets in the city. I am amazed to see so many variations in the breakfast items of Karnataka. One such item is Khara bhath. This is a variation to the rawa upma we make at Tamil Nadu, but somewhat similar to that , with a different taste. It tasted awesome with ghee and butter and so silky, melting in the mouth with coconut chutney alongwith filter coffee. I was tempted to make it at home and needless to say, it was delicious.


INGREDIENTS:

Rawa(sooji) - 1 cup
Carrot, shelled peas, beans - 1/2 cup

Tomato - 1
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp.
Urad dhal - 1/2 tsp.
Dry red chilly - 1

Turmeric powder - a pinch
Bhath powder - 2 tsp. 
Green chilly - 1

Grated ginger  - 1/4 tsp.
Curry leaves - few
Coriander leaves - few
Oil - 2 tablespoons
Ghee - 1 tablespoon OR Butter - 1 tablespoon.
Water - 2 1/4 cups
Hing - 1/8 tsp.
Grated coconut - 2 tsp. 

Salt - to taste
Cashews - 6

Lemon juice - 1 tsp.

TO POWDER:

Coriander seeds(Dhania) - 2 tablespoons
Gram dhal - 1 tsp.
Urad dhal - 1 tsp.
Dry red chillies - 3
Cinnamon stick - 1"
Cloves - 2
Hing
Dessicated OR fresh scraped coconut - 2 tsp.



METHOD:

Chop all the vegetables finely. Slit green chilly into two.
(Onions are optional. I didn't use it). 


In a pan, dry roast the items given in "TO POWDER" in a medium flame, When cool grind in a mixie to a powder. This can be stored in a bottle and used when making any bhath.

In a kadai, dry roast rawa till a nice aroma comes. Keep aside.

Heat a spoon of ghee, fry the cashews till golden brown and keep aside.

In the same kadai, heat oil, ghee and add mustard seeds. When it splutters, put in urad dhal, hing and chillies. When they turn golden brown, add turmeric powder, chillies, curry leaves and tomatoes. Saute for a minute and then add finely chopped vegetables. Saute again for a minute. Now add water and salt. When it starts boiling gently add roasted rawa and quickly stir so that no lumps are formed. Now add the bhath powder and mix well. Cover with a lid till cooked. 


Add ghee or butter, roasted cashews and grated coconut. Mix well.

Squeeze the juice of the lemon and garnish with coriander leaves. Serve hot with coconut chutney alongwith filter coffee.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

VEGETABLE CUTLET


INGREDIENTS:


Boiled mixed vegetables (Beans,carrot and peas) - 1 cup
Boiled and mashed potatoes - 2 cups
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp.
Broken cashews - 2 tablespoon
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp.
Coriander powder - 2 tsps.
Chilli powder - 1/4 tsp.

Chat masala - 1 tsp. 
Green chillies(finely chopped) - 2
Ginger garlic paste - Optional (I did not use)
Onions - Optional (I did not use)

Chopped coriander leaves - 3 tablespoons
Corn flake crumbs - 1 cup
(Corn flake crumbs can be substituted with bread crumbs. As I did not have bread crumbs at home, I crushed the corn flakes and powdered to crumbs in the blender.)
Oil - to deep fry
Maida - 2 tablespoons
Salt - as per taste

(AFTER MANY MESSAGES TO ME,  I AM ADDING A NOTE TO THIS POST. ENSURE THE MIXTURE IS DRY AND NOT MOIST. THE CUTLETS DOESN'T BREAK IF THE MIXTURE IS DRY. SQUEEZE OUT THE WATER COMPLETELY FROM THE BOILED AND WHIPPED VEGETABLES. YOU CAN USE YOUR HAND OR SQUEEZE USING A CLEAN CLOTH. ALSO THE POTATOES SHOULD BE PERFECTLY COOKED.  DO NOT  ALLOW TO STAND THE POTATOES IN  WATER. WHEN DONE, IMMEDIATELY TAKE OUT THE POTATOES FROM WATER. THE POTATOES WHEN MASHED SHOULD BE LIKE CRUMBLES AND NOT LIKE A PASTE. THIS IS THE CORRECT CONSISTENCY FOR THE CUTLETS)


METHOD:

Boil potatoes(DO NOT OVERCOOK) and peel the skin. Mash well alongwith salt to taste. Keep aside.

Boil mixed vegetables, drain the water completely. Squeeze out excess water using your hand and give a quick whip in the mixie. Keep aside.

Prepare a semi-thick maida paste using water. Keep aside.

In a non-stick pan, heat 1 tsp. of oil, add cumin seeds, and when they sizzle, add cashews and then chopped chillies, (if using onions and g.g.paste, add at this stage) simmer the stove and add the turmeric, chilli and coriander powders. Now add the chopped coriander leaves, vegetables, and little salt for this mixture. Saute well.

Transfer this mixture to a vessel, add mashed potatoes and mix well.

Take out small balls from it and shape to oval balls or any shape of your choice.

Dip these balls in the maida slurry (A VERY QUICK DIP) and immediately coat it with corn crumbs. Slightly press with your hand so that the crumbs stick to the mixture well. Again dip it in the slurry and again coat it in the corn crumbs. Deep fry in oil till crisp and golden brown on all sides.

Sprinkle chat masala. Serve hot with sauce or ketch up.

Monday, September 3, 2012

MANGO RICE / MAAVINKAI ANNA / MANGAI SADHAM



INGREDIENTS:

Basmati rice OR Sona masoori - 1 cup
Grated raw mango - 2 cups
Mustard seeds – 1/4 tsp.
Split urad dhal – 1 tsp.
Chenna dal – 1 tsp.
Roasted peanuts – 2 tsp.
Cashewnut - 6
Dry red chilly– 2
Green chilly - 2
Cumin seeds - 1/4 tsp.
Turmeric powder -1/4 tsp.
Hing – a pinch
Curry leaves – 2 sprigs
Salt - as per taste
Oil - 2 tablespoon
Ghee - 1 tsp.

METHOD: 


Peel and grate the mangoes.

Pressure cook rice and transfer to a plate. Spread the grains without breaking.

In a kadai, heat oil, add mustard seeds. When they splutter add urad dal, chenna dal, dry chillies, chopped green chillies,
 curry leaves, turmeric powder, hing, roasted peanuts, cashews and finally cumin seeds. When golden brown, add the grated raw mango, salt and saute for a minute. The mangoes should be cooked and crunchy as well. Add this to the cooked rice and gently fluff and mix well without breaking the rice grains. Serve hot. Ideal for lunch box.

NOTE: The mango should not be overcooked. It should be crunchy.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

CABBAGE VADAI / CABBAGE VADA


INGREDIENTS:

Whole white urad dhal - 1 cup
Chopped cabbage - 1 cup
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp.
Green chillies - 3
Curry leaves - 1 sprig
Salt - as per taste (or approx.1/2 tsp.)
Oil - 1 cup



METHOD:

Soak urad dhal in water for an hour.

Chop the cabbage finely, add 1/4 tsp. of salt, mix well using your hand and leave it for 10 minutes. Squeeze out the excess water using your hand.

Chop green chillies and curry leaves.

Grind the soaked dhal in a grinder to a smooth paste using very little water. The batter when dropped in water should float and that is the consistency. When smooth and slightly frothy, add salt and grind again for two more minutes.

Take out the batter and add the cabbage, cumin seeds, green chillies, curry leaves and mix well. The batter should be as shown in picture.

Heat oil . Meanwhile, wet your palms with water, take out a ball from the batter and flatten it using your hand and put a hole in the centre. (OR) can use a plastic cover (OR) banana leaf.

Carefully drop them into the oil and turn it on both sides and cook till golden brown.

NOTE:

Ensure medium heat of oil. If oil is smoking, the vadai will become red but will not be cooked.

Do not add salt in the beginning. The batter doesn't double if added in the beginning. Add salt only when the batter is smooth.

Wet your palms,or fingers or plastic cover or banana leaf for each vadai and the vadai doesn't stick to your hands.
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