Saturday, October 13, 2018

Gudannam / Jaggery Rice and Chitranna / Lemon Rice to celebrate Navaratri

Lalitha Sahasranama is a very ancient Sanskrit Hymn in praise of Mother Goddess and it is religiously recited by Her devotees during Navaratri Pooja. It consists of Her thousand beautiful names which describe Her various attributes including Her favourite foods. The line 'Gudanna preeta manasa' in the Stotra / Hymn describes her as 'The One who loves rice mixed with jaggery'. Offering Gudanna to Mother Goddess during Navaratri is considered very auspicious. Likewise another line describes Her as 'Haridraannaika Rasika' meaning  'The One who relishes turmeric or yellow rice'. Chitranna or Lemon Rice with its auspicious yellow colour rendered by the use of turmeric powder is one of the Maha Neivedyams offered to Her. Here are the recipes for two of the traditional Maha Neivedyams (main food offerings) offered to the Goddess during Navaratri.

Rice - 1 cup
Powdered jaggery - 1 cup
Ghee - 2 tbsps
Cardamom and edible camphor ( Powdered together) - 1 pinch
1. Wash and soak rice for fifteen minutes and drain.
2. Heat one tbsp of ghee in a kadai and fry the drained rice till dry.
3. Add three cups of water and allow the rice to cook on low flame.
4. Add powdered jaggery when some water is still left in the cooked rice.
5. Cook till the jaggery syrup thickens and coats each and every grain of the cooked rice.
6. Stir in the powdered cardamom and edible camphor.
7. Add the remaining ghee and switch off flame.
Offer it to Devi and enjoy the prasadam.

Rice - 1 cup
Juice of 1 lime
Salt - 1 tsp
Sesame oil - 2 tbsps
Mustard seeds - 1 pinch
Asafoetida - 1 pinch
Black gram dal - 1/4 tsp
Bengal gram dal - 1/4 tsp
Peanuts - 2 tbsps
Red chillies ( broken) - 2
Curry leaves - a few
Coriander leaves for garnishing
Turmeric powder -1/4 tsp
1. Pressure cook rice with two cups of water and allow to cool.
2. Spread the cooked rice on a deep plate (tambalam) and fluff it up to remove lumps.
3. Dissolve salt in lemon juice and keep aside.
4. Heat sesame oil in a pan and splutter the mustard seeds.
5. Add Black gram dal and Bengal gram dal and roast till the colour changes.
6. Add peanuts and fry till they crackle.
7. Add broken red chillies, asafoetida and curry leaves.
8. Stir in turmeric powder followed by the lemon juice and salt mixture.
9. Switch off flame and add the seasoning to the fluffed up rice.
10. Gently mix the rice with the seasoning without mashing up the rice.
Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and offer the auspicious yellow coloured Chitranna to Devi and enjoy the Prasadam.

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Tondekayi Tomato Masale Gojju - Ivy Gourd and Tomato Spicy Gravy

Tondekayi / Ivy gourd is one of the vegetables I cook very often not only because of its various health benefits but also because the little gourds taste splendid in curries, chutneys, pickles and fries. Tondekayi Tomato Masale Gojju - today's lunch special - is a spicy finger licking Ivy Gourd gravy which pairs very well with all types of rotis.

Ivy Gourd/ Tondekayi - 20
Big and juicy Tomatoes - 4
Onion  - 1
Sesame seeds -  2 tbsps
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1/4 tsp
Green chilly -  1
Fresh ginger -  1'' piece
Curry leaves - a few
Sambar Powder - 1tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Salt - 1 tsp
Sesame oil - 2 tbsps
1. Chop off both ends of Tondekayi / Ivy Gourds and cut them lengthwise.
2. Boil the cut gourds in sufficient water for ten minutes adding a pinch of salt, drain and keep aside.
3. Peel and sliver onion and ginger, slit the green chilly and keep aside.
4. Chop tomatoes, blend in a mixer and keep aside.
5. Dry roast sesame seeds and grind into a fine powder and keep aside.
6. Heat oil in a kadai and splutter mustard and cumin seeds.
7. Add the slivered onion, ginger and slit green chilly followed by curry leaves.
8. When the onion turns pink in colour, add the semi cooked Tondekayi/Ivy gourds.

9. Saute till the moisture evaporates and then add turmeric powder and sambar powder.

10. Stir well for a minute and add the juice of tomatoes.

11. Cook till the gojju emanates a pleasant aroma.

12. When the oil starts to come out add 2 cups of water, salt and the roasted and powdered sesame seeds.

13. Cook till the spices blend together and the gojju reaches the required consistency.

Enjoy the Tondekayi Tomato Masale Gojju with your hot hot rotis.