Friday, September 30, 2011

Giveaway Prasaadams For NAVARAATRI KOLU - Godumai Pittu - Wheat And Sugar Crumble


GODUMAI PITTU

Godumai Pittu is a traditional dish of Tamil Nadu prepared as the evening prasaadam during Navaraatri.

                                                  

Fridays which fall within the nine days of Navaraatri are very auspicious days. Elaborate poojaas are performed in the mornings.Women are invited for the pooja and they are considered as the Goddess personified and worshipped accordingly.They are treated with a grand traditional feast and are gifted with sarees and cosmetics. Sakkarai Pongal and aama vadais are traditional offerings made to the Goddess and served during lunch.
It is customary to prepare Pittu on Fridays as the evening prasaadam.

                                                 

THESE  DOLLS ARE FROM TIRUPATI AND THEY ARE CALLED MARAPAACHIS. THE AUTHENTIC MARAPAACHIS ARE MADE OF RED SANDAL WOOD KNOWN AS RAKTA CHANDANA IN SANSKRIT. THE WOOD HAS GREAT MEDICINAL VALUE .THE RED SANDAL WOOD PASTE IS GOOD FOR SKIN AND IT HEALS PIMPLES, RASHES AND BOILS. EVERY BRIDE IS PRESENTED WITH A PAIR OF MARAPAACHIS BY HER PARENTS  DURING THE WEDDING.
MARAPAACHIS COMMAND A PROMINENT POSITION AS THE RAAJA AND RAANI  IN THE NAVARAATRI KOLU.

THE SCULPTURE BESIDE THE MARAPAACHIS IS THAT OF GODDESS ANNAPOORNESWARI. SHE IS DECKED UP IN FINERY FOR THE NAVARAATRI OCCASSION.


INGREDIENTS

Broken wheat - 2 cups
Salt - 1 pinch
Turmeric powder - 1 pinch
Sugar - 1 1/2 cups
Cardamom powder - 1/4 tsp
Ghee - 3 tbsps
Cashew nuts - a few
Fresh coconut gratings - 4 tbsps


                                                  



METHOD

1. Dry roast broken wheat till the colour turns red.
2. Cool the roasted broken wheat and dry grind until the texture resembles fine sand,and spread it out in a deep plate ( taambaalam ).
3. Add salt and turmeric powder to one cup of boiling water.
4. Sprinkle the water table spoon by table spoon and moisten the flour evenly using your palms.
5. A fistful of moist flour when pressed between your palm and your fingers should acquire and hold the same shape and crumble as soon as you release your hold. Stop adding water at this stage.
6. Bundle up the moist flour in a cloth, and steam it using any steaming unit for ten minutes covering the bundle with a lid.
7. Transfer the steamed flour to the plate and spread it out so that it cools down. Crumble the lumps if any.
8. Heat half a tbsp of ghee and roast the cashew nuts and keep aside.
9. In the same pan roast the fresh coconut gratings to a  golden brown  colour and keep aside.
10. Add one cup of water to the sugar and boil it till you get a syrup of two thread consistency.
11. When the sugar syrup starts frothing add one table spoon of ghee and switch off flame.
12. Gently pour the thick syrup all over the flour and quickly rub and mix them together using the back of a ladle. 
13. Do not worry if you end up with crystallized sugar slabs after all the effort. Allow the mixture to cool. Dump the whole mixture in a mixer and give it a quick swish to blend the crystallized sugar and the wheat flour together.Transfer it to a plate.
14. Add the roasted cashew nuts, roasted coconut gratings, cardamom powder and the remaining ghee and blend well.



                                                  

Offer the Friday special  Godumai Pittu to Mother Goddess and give away the delicious prasaadam packed in small packets to one and all who visit your Kolu.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Giveaway Prasaadams For NAVARAATRI KOLU - Pachai Payaru Vella Sundal - Whole Green Gram Cooked With Jaggery

PACHAI PAYARU VELLA SUNDAL /

HESARUKAALU BELLADA HUSLI

This is another sweet sundal prepared using jaggery. The addition of salt and chillies enhance the taste of this sweet sundal and it is a welcome change after all the salty and lemony sundals.
                                                  

THIS IS A GLASS PAINTING OF GODDESS LAKSHMI IN THE DOME OF THE BAND STAND IN A PARK AT MYSORE.THANKS TO GUHAN FOR THE PHOTO.


                                                   

THE LIFE SIZE  WOODEN DOLLS DRESSED UP AS A COUPLE ARE CALLED NALAGOWRIS.THEY HAVE FLEXIBLE JOINTS AND DETACHABLE BODY PARTS.THEY CAN BE DRESSED UP AND ARRANGED IN ANY POSTURE.THANKS TO SAVITHRI AND PRANAV FOR THE PICTURE.

INGREDIENTS

Whole green gram - 2 cups
Powdered jaggery - 3/4 cup
Salt - 1/2 a pinch
Oil - 2 tsps
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
Curry leaves - a few
Broken red chillies - 2
Fresh coconut gratings - 4 tbsps

METHOD

1. Dry roast green gram till it gives out a pleasant aroma.
2. Switch off flame, add water and soak the green gram for half an hour.
3. Wash the soaked green gram, add fresh water and boil it.
4. Pinch one grain to check if it is cooked. The green gram should be soft enough to break easily, but it should not become mushy.
5. Add salt and boil for two more minutes and drain.
6. Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds.
7. When the mustard seeds splutter add the broken red chillies, curry leaves and then the cooked and  drained green gram.
8. Add powdered jaggery and blend well on low flame.
9. Allow the jaggery to melt and stir for two more minutes.
10. Switch off flame and garnish with fresh coconut gratings.

                                          

Offer the healthy and delicious Pachai Payaru Vella Sundal to the Goddess and share it with  the visitors.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Giveaway Prasaadams for NAVRAATRI KOLU - Kosambari - Cucumber and Green Gram Dal Salad


KOSAMBARI / KOSUMALLI

Kosambari is a traditional side dish prepared during all the feasts in South India and it occupies its own specific space on the banana leaf. It is one of the easiest , quickest and tasty Prasaadams served in leaf cups during Navaraatri.



THIS IS A GLASS PAINTING  OF PAARVATHI IN THE DOME OF THE BAND STAND IN A
PARK AT MYSORE.



                                                                                


THE GRANDEUR OF THE MYSORE PALACE ILLUMINATED FOR DASARA. BOTH  THE
PHOTOS ARE CLICKED BY GUHAN.


INGREDIENTS

Green gram dal - 1 cup
Finely chopped cucumbers - 4 cups
Oil - 2 tsps
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
Asafoetida - 1 pinch
Finely chopped green chillies - 1 tbsp
Curry leaves - a few
Salt - 3/4 tsp
Lime juice - 2 tbsps
Chopped coriander leaves - 2 tbsps
Fresh coconut gratings - 2 tbsps




METHOD

1. Wash and soak green gram dal for half an hour.
2. Thoroughly wash and chop the cucumbers along with the green peel and let it stand for fifteen minutes .
3. Heat oil and add the mustard seeds.
4. When the mustard splutters add the asafoetida and then the green chillies and the curry leaves.
5. Add the soaked and drained green gram dal and saute till dry.
6. Squeeze out the water from the cucumber and add the vegetable to the dal.
7. Quickly saute for a few more seconds till dry and switch off flame. Neither the dal nor the cucumber should be cooked. Sauteing is done only to remove moisture.
8. Dissolve salt in the lime juice and mix with the dal and cucumber mixture.
9. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and fresh coconut gratings.



Offer to Shakti and then relish the prasaadam with all the invitees.

Giveaway Prasaadams For NAVARAATRI KOLU - Nilakkadalai Kaara Sundal - Spicy Peanut Salad

NILAKKADALAI KAARA SUNDAL /

KADALAEKAI KHAARA HUSLI



A visit to a Navaraatri Kolu used to be an exciting outing for the womenfolk of yore as it gave them an opportunity to dress up in all their traditional finery. It also give them a platform to show case their talent in music and dance.
Children dressed up as their favourite mythological  characters  visited their friends and relatives  not only to behold the grand display of dolls but also to indulge in the sundal prasaadams given to them in each and every  house.
Most children love peanuts.Here is a Navaraatri Giveaway Prasaadam prepared using peanuts.

                                                  

INGREDIENTS

Peanuts - 2 cups
Coriander seeds - 2 tbsps
Bengal gram dal - 2 tbsps
Red chillies - 4
Split black gram dal - 1/4 tsp
Asafoetida - 1 pinch
Oil - 2 tbsps
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
Curry leaves - a few
Turmeric powder - 1 pinch
Salt - 3/4 tsp
Lime juice - 1 tbsp
Fresh coconut gratings - 4 tbsps

METHOD

1. Soak the peanuts in boiling water for half an hour.
2.Heat 1/2 tsp of oil and add coriander seeds, Bengal gram dal, black gram dal and red chillies and roast till they become golden in colour .
3. Add asafoetida and roast for a few more seconds till you get a pleasant aroma and switch off flame. Allow it to cool down.
4. Grind the roasted ingredients into a slightly coarse powder and keep aside.
5.Heat the remaining oil in a pan and add mustard seeds.
6. When it splutters add curry leaves followed by turmeric powder.
7. Drain and add the now bloated up peanuts and saute till dry.
8. Blend salt and one and a half tbsps of the ground spice powder. ( Store the remaining powder in a dry container for future use).
9.Switch off flame and mix in the juice of lime.
10. Garnish with fresh coconut gratings.


                                                      

Offer the delicious Nilakkadalai Kaara Sundal to Mother Goddess and distribute it among the eager children.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Giveaway Prasaadams For NAVARAATRI KOLU - Sihi Kosambari - Soaked Bengal Gram Dal With Sugar And Coconut Gratings.

SIHI KOSAMBARI / KADALAI PARUPPU

SAKKARAI SUNDAL

Navaraatri is the time when the primordial female energy - Shakti - is celebrated with great devotional fervour through out India.
                                                  
THIS IS A GLASS PAINTING OF  GODDESS CHAMUNDESWARI  DECORATING  THE DOME OF THE BAND STAND IN A PARK AT MYSORE. THANK YOU GUHAN  FOR THE BEAUTIFUL CLICK.
All the creations of Devi are represented by clay dolls and are arranged on decorative steps constructed for the purpose. This display of dolls during Navaraatri or Dasara is known as Kolu in Tamil and Bombe kooriso habba  in Kannada .

                                                 
 THE LOVELY SKETCH OF NAVARAATRI KOLU IS SPECIALLY CREATED BY  YOSEE FOR THIS POST.THANK YOU YOSEE.

Women and girl children are considered as personifications of  Mother Goddess. They are revered and treated with a grand feast and taamboolam is offered to them.                                          

Devi , Durga or Shakti is worshipped in the mornings on all the nine days. An auspious bath is given to the Goddess and She is anointed with sandal paste.She is then decked up with new clothes, garlands of flowers and ornaments. Flowers and vermilion are offered ( Archana) while chanting Her one thousand and eight names. Variety rice dishes like pongal, lime rice,tamarind rice and curd rice, lentil fritters (aama vadai) , and porridge ( paayasam ) are offered to her along with fruits, coconut and betel leaves and areca nuts. Finally lamps with wicks dipped in ghee ( Aarati ) are waved in front of her and the pooja is completed.

Evening times are more for social and cultural activities. Friends and relatives are invited for the evening Aarati. A little before 6 P.M. lamps are lit and sweet and savoury snacks are offered to Mother Goddess. The ladies sing and dance in praise of Devi and finally aarati is waved in front of Her.

Men and little boys are also treated with light refreshments. The women and girls considered as The Devi , are presented  with a tray of Taamboolam consisting of betel leaves, areca nuts, a coconut, a small box of vermilion,a small packet of turmeric powder or turmeric sticks, a string of flowers, a small mirror, a comb, glass bangles and a blouse piece, which are considered as symbols of auspiciousness. The evening prasaadam is given to them in leaf cups ( donnais ) or paper cups along with the Taamboolam.

Here are a few ideas for the Navaraatri Giveaway Prasaadams starting with Sihi Kosambari.

                                             


INGREDIENTS

Bengal gram dal - 2 cups
Salt - 1/2 a pinch
Ghee - 2 tsps
Sugar - 6 tbsps
Cardamom powder - 1 pinch
Fresh coconut gratings - 6 tbsps

METHOD

1.Dry roast bengal gram dal on low flame till it gives out a pleasant aroma.
2. Switch off flame and add 4 cups of water and allow the roasted dal to soak in it for half an hour.
3. After half an hour switch on flame and cook the dal in the same water adding the salt till it becomes soft but not mushy.
4. Drain the dal and keep aside.
5. Heat ghee in a pan and add the cooked and drained dal and saute till dry.
6. Add 3 tbsps of sugar and stir till it melts and becomes dry again.
7. Allow to cool and then mix in the remaining sugar and cardamom powder.
8.Garnish with fresh coconut gratings.

              

Offer the delicious Sihi Kosambari to Mother Goddess and distribute it to all those who visit your Kolu.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Onam Special - Puli Inji - Fresh Ginger In Spicy Tamarind Sauce

PULI INJI

Puli Inji is one of the relishes served in the great Onam Sadya feast. The flavour of this relish is enough to stimulate a good appetite.The spicy and tangy puli inji complements the sweetish coconutty taste of the rest of the vegetable dishes served during the feast.


                                                  


INGREDIENTS

Peeled and chopped fresh ginger - 2 tbsps
Finely chopped green chillies - 2 tbsps
Tamarind - one plum size
Crushed jaggery - 2 tbsps
Salt - 1 1/2 tsp
Coconut oil - 2 tbsps
Mustard seeds- 1/4 tsp
Red Chillies - 2
Curry leaves - a few
Turmaric powder - 1 pinch
Asafoetida - 1 pinch
Fenugreek seeds - 1/4 tsp

METHOD

1. Dry roast asafoetida and fenugreek seeds till you get a pleasant aroma. Cool , powder and keep it aside.
2. Soak tamarind in warm water and extract a thick juice.
3. Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds.
4. When the mustard splutters add the broken red chillies and curry leaves followed by the chopped fresh ginger and green chillies.
5. Saute till the ginger is fried and add turmeric powder.


                                                 


6. Pour in the tamarind juice.
7. Add jaggery and salt. One pinch of chilly powder can be added if desired, to enrich the colour.


                                                  

8. Cook till the puli inji becomes thick and switch off when the oil starts to separate.


                                                  


9. Blend in the dry roasted and powdered asafoetida and fenugreek seeds.


                                                  

Store in a clean dry container and relish the tongue tickling Puli Inji with your meal.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Onam Special - Ragi Ada Pradaman - A Pudding With Steamed Ragi Chunks In Jaggery Syrup And Coconut Milk

RAGI ADA PRADAMAN

Ada Pradaman is the most favoured dessert for all auspicious occasions in Kerala. Even though other sweets are served Ada Pradaman occupies an integral position in the Onam Sadya feast.
Ada pradaman with freshly prepared adas is most delicious.
The first step to prepare the ada is to soak and drain the rice. Then the rice is pounded into a smooth flour. This flour is mixed with water to form a thin batter. The batter is applied on wilted and greased banana leaves , folded and then steamed. The steamed rice sheets are peeled out of the leaf and cut into small pieces to be used in the preparation of Ada Pradaman.
Store bought Ragi flour is good enough to prepare Ragi Adas for Pradaman. Ragi adas are steamed using idly plates instead of banana leaves.
Here is Ragi Ada Pradaman knitting together the tastes of Kerala and Karnataka on the happy occasion of Onam Sadya.


                                                  

INGREDIENTS

Ragi flour - 2 tbsps
Sugar - 2 pinches
Ghee - 3 tbsps
Crushed jaggery 3/4 cup
Thick coconut milk - 4 cups
Cardamom powder - 1 pinch
Chopped copra ( dried coconut ) - 1 tsp

METHOD

1. Mix 1 tbsp of ragi flour with water adding a pinch of sugar and 1/4 tsp of ghee to make a thin and smooth batter.
2. Grease a tattae idly plate and pour the batter into it.
3. Swirl the plate so that the batter spreads evenly inside the idly plate.
4. Prepare another plate similarly using the remaining ragi flour.
5. Steam in a pressure cooker for fifteen minutes without the weight.
6. Cool the adas thoroughly. The idly plates  with the adas can be refrigerated for fifteen minutes before easing them out of the plate.


                                                  

7. Use a blunt knife or the back of a spoon and peel out the adas from the idly plates. Cut the ada into small pieces using a sharp knife and keep aside.
8. Dissolve jaggery in one cup of water and filter.
9. Add 1 tsp of ghee and boil the jaggery water in a thick bottomed vessel until it is sticky.
10. Gently add the ada pieces and cook on low flame until the syrup becomes thick.


                                                  

11. Add the thick coconut milk and switch off flame when it is just about to boil.
12. Blend in the cardamom powder.
13. Fry the copra pieces in the remaining ghee and pour it over the Ragi Ada Pradaman.
Enjoy the flavoursome Ragi Ada Pradamn either warm or cold.


                                                  


PAAL RAGI ADA PRADAMAN - A VARIATION

Milk is  used instead of coconut milk to prepare Paal Ragi Ada Pradaman.
1. Boil four cups of milk until it becomes thick and flavoursome.
2.Add a paste made of 1/2 tsp of rice flour and little water to the boiling milk and continue to boil for one more minute. This step prevents the milk from curdling when it is added to the jaggery syrup.
3.Keep the milk aside . Let the adas cook in the syrup till the syrup becomes thick. Gently pour the thickened milk into the syrup and cook for two more minutes and switch off flame.
4. Add cardamom powder and top with cashew nuts and raisins fried in ghee or chopped copra fried in ghee.

                                                  


Enjoy the Paal Ragi Ada Pradaman either warm or cold.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Onam Special - Kaalan -Elephant Yam And Chayote In Spicy Yoghurt Cheese And Coconut Gravy

 KAALAN

Ona Sadya  feast is held on the tenth day of the Thiruvonam festival celebrated with much grandeur in God's Own Country - Kerala. A festive spread of the special Kerala delicacies served on banana leaves includes at least eleven different vegetable preparations to go along with rice. While Upperis, pachadies, pickles and pappadams are served as side dishes, pradaman / paayasam and fruits satiate the desire for desserts.The lavish meal is also punctuated with a drink of warm shukku vallam ( water boiled with dry ginger powder ), and puli inji ( a ginger and tamarind sauce ) to help digest the great festive extravaganza.

                                                  


INGREDIENTS

Thick but slightly sour curds - 500 ml
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Chilly powder - 1/2 tsp
Salt - 2 tsps
Crushed black pepper - 1 tsp
Elephant yam chopped - 1 cup
Chow chow or chayote chopped - 1cup
Curry leaves - a few
Fresh coconut gratings - 4 tbsps
Green chillies - 2
Coconut oil - 1 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp

METHOD FOR PREPARING THE CURD BASE/ SPICY YOGHURT CHEESE

1. Whip the curd smoothly adding turmeric powder,chilly powder, crushed pepper and curry leaves.
2. Gently  cook the mixture, stirring now and then  till it becomes slushy and reduces to one cup.
3. Stir in salt, switch off flame and keep it aside.
(This spicy  yoghurt cheese base can be prepared in bulk and stored in the refrigerator for future use )

TO PREPARE THE COCONUT PASTE

1. Grind the fresh coconut gratings with green chillies into a smooth paste adding little water if necessary and keep aside

TO PREPARE THE VEGETABLES

1. Grease your hands well before chopping the yam to avoid itching.
2. Remove the rough peel and cut the yam into one inch long and 1/4 inch thick slices.
3. Add a pinch of salt and a  pinch of turmeric powder and cook with just enough water.
4. Peel the Chow chow/chayote and cut them into one inch long and 1/4 inch thick slices.
5. Cook with a pinch of salt and a pinch of turmeric powder.

TO PREPARE KAALAN

1. Combine both the cooked  vegetables in a pan adding very little water if it is too dry.

 
                                              

2.Add the coconut paste and cook for three minutes.


                                                  

3. Add the spicy  yoghurt cheese, stir well and immediately switch off flame.

                                         
                                                  


4.Heat the oil and add mustard seeds.
5. When the mustard splutters add a few curry leaves and pour the seasoning on the thick kaalan.


                                                  

Enjoy the delicious kaalan with steaming hot rice topped with half a teaspoon of coconut oil.