Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!!!

New year comments greetings, new year cards, happy new year wishes, animate scraps

The yellow leaves, bare trees, morning chill, all signify just one thing now - New Year is on its way again! Soon, the air will be filled with greetings of "Happy New Year" all around the world. New Year is a widely celebrated holiday around the world. People, young and old, look forward to this occasion with equal anticipation, eagerness and excitement. It is one of the oldest celebrated holidays in the world and people celebrate this day in the grandest of ways, splurging on shopping and food royally. The day is marked with a shining optimism for the rest of the year."Happy New Year!" That greeting will be said and heard for at least the first couple of weeks as a new year gets under way. But the day celebrated as New Year's Day in modern America was not always January 1.

New Year History  
The New Year is one of the oldest festivals of the world, dating back to the pre historic era. The New Year History itself forms an extensive area of study. The history of New Year has undergone a series of changes over the ages to achieve its global form. The urge of celebrating New Year as a vibrant festivity emerged at the dawn of civilization. At present, New Year is celebrated on January 1 and it had been an essential part of the cultural and traditional practices of the different communities inhabiting the world. This had been the practice for the last few centuries but the New Year History had its root to yet far off times. Therefore, this is the principal reason that the New Year traditions vary from country to country.

The earliest instance of New Year is found in Mesopotamian culture. It was about 2000 BC, when the people of Babylon used to observe New Year celebrations on the day of the Vernal Equinox that is during the middle of March. It was the Romans, who recognized March 1 as New Year Day in their calendar. At that time there were only ten calendar months beginning from March. The relevance of this fact can still be seen in the names of some months, which were been set according to their respective sequences in the calendar. As in the calendar of the present time the months from September to December are placed as the ninth, tenth, eleventh and twelfth months respectively, previously they were positioned as the seventh, eighth, ninth and the tenth months. In Latin, 'Septem' means, seven, 'Octo' means, eight, 'Novem' means, ninth and 'Decem' means ten.

The Roman calendar also passed through an array of rectifications. The calendar was attributed with the months of January and February in 153 BC, by Numa Pontilius, the second Roman king. Thus the festival of New Year got shifted to the month of January for the first time, although people carried on observing New Year on March 1 for quite a long time after that.

This is still not the end of the New Year History. Several new calendars were been devised. Julius Caesar implemented the Julian calendar which was created based on the solar system whereas the previous calendar were based on the lunar cycle. The Christianity has added up new meaning to the New Year Celebration by lionizing the Christmas Day, the Annunciation Day and The Easter as New Year Day at various times. There had also been times when January 1 had been abolished to be celebrated as New Year altogether.

It was in the Gregorian calendar established by Pope Gregory XII , New Year was firmly positioned on January 1. It was readily accepted by the Catholics and then by the Protestants and soon became a holiday recognized by the entire world slowly and steadily.


The celebration of the new year is the oldest of all holidays. It was first observed in ancient Babylon about 4000 years ago. In the years around 2000 BC, the Babylonian New Year began with the first New Moon (actually the first visible cresent) after the Vernal Equinox (first day of spring).

The beginning of spring is a logical time to start a new year. After all, it is the season of rebirth, of planting new crops, and of blossoming. January 1, on the other hand, has no astronomical nor agricultural significance. It is purely arbitrary.

The Babylonian new year celebration lasted for eleven days. Each day had its own particular mode of celebration, but it is safe to say that modern New Year's Eve festivities pale in comparison.
The Romans continued to observe the new year in late March, but their calendar was continually tampered with by various emperors so that the calendar soon became out of synchronization with the sun.

In order to set the calendar right, the Roman senate, in 153 BC, declared January 1 to be the beginning of the new year. But tampering continued until Julius Caesar, in 46 BC, established what has come to be known as the Julian Calendar. It again established January 1 as the new year. But in order to synchronize the calendar with the sun, Caesar had to let the previous year drag on for 445 days.

Although in the first centuries AD the Romans continued celebrating the new year, the early Catholic Church condemned the festivities as paganism. But as Christianity became more widespread, the early church began having its own religious observances concurrently with many of the pagan celebrations, and New Year's Day was no different. New Years is still observed as the Feast of Christ's Circumcision by some denominations
During the Middle Ages, the Church remained opposed to celebrating New Years. January 1 has been celebrated as a holiday by Western nations for only about the past 400 years.

New Year celebrations are done globally and each country prides in observing the traditions of their culture. Some people feel New Year brings good luck and some pray for prosperity.

 Other traditions of the season include the making of New Year's resolutions. That tradition also dates back to the early Babylonians. Popular modern resolutions might include the promise to lose weight or quit smoking. The early Babylonian's most popular resolution was to return borrowed farm equipment.

The Tournament of Roses Parade dates back to 1886. In that year, members of the Valley Hunt Club decorated their carriages with flowers. It celebrated the ripening of the orange crop in California.

Although the Rose Bowl football game was first played as a part of the Tournament of Roses in 1902, it was replaced by Roman chariot races the following year. In 1916, the football game returned as the sports centerpiece of the festival.

 The tradition of using a baby to signify the new year was begun in Greece around 600 BC. It was their tradition at that time to celebrate their god of wine, Dionysus, by parading a baby in a basket, representing the annual rebirth of that god as the spirit of fertility. Early Egyptians also used a baby as a symbol of rebirth.

Although the early Christians denounced the practice as pagan, the popularity of the baby as a symbol of rebirth forced the Church to reevaluate its position. The Church finally allowed its members to celebrate the new year with a baby, which was to symbolize the birth of the baby Jesus.

The use of an image of a baby with a New Years banner as a symbolic representation of the new year was brought to early America by the Germans. They had used the effigy since the fourteenth century.

Traditions of New Year around the Globe

China - The Chinese New Year is known as "Yuan Tan". Among all the other New Year traditions around the World, the Chinese celebrations are very famous and colorful.

The traditional Chinese New Year is based on the lunar calendar and it may fall between January 1 and February 19. The Chinese New Year celebrations last for 10-15 days. Some of the different ways to express joy is by playing drums, setting off fireworks and beating the cymbals. The Chinese believe that it wades off the evil sprits and brings fortune. People exchange red envelopes with gold coins in it as a symbol of good luck.

Denmark - It is pretty surprising but, it is very auspicious to find the door heaped with pile of broken dishes on New Year in Denmark. Throughout the year people save all the old dishes and then throw them at the entrance of the homes on the New Year eve. It is believed that the number of broken dishes you have, that many friends you have which is considered very auspicious.

In most of the parts of Scandinavian countries, New Year celebrations are done with great joy and preparation. There are many Danish cuisines which served on the New Year party eve. Kale, is among the favorite dishes which is served with sprinkled sugar and cinnamon with white sauce.

African - American - The New Year is very commonly referred as - Emancipation Day or Jubilee Day. In 1863, the Emancipation Proclamation was announced which was abolition of slavery and it was read in Boston.

With the change in time the way of observing the New Year day changed. In the present time, 'watch services' are held in most of the African- American churches. Most of the traditions are associated with food that includes, serving of ham hocks, collard greens, black eyes peas and macaroni with cheese. Benne wafers are presented to all the near and dear ones which symbolize money, future prosperity and fortune.

Greece - January 1st is the most important date in the history of Greece. The day is not only observed as New Year but, also as St Basil's Day. The Greek Orthodox churches considered St Basil as one of the forefathers.

Special New Year bread is baked by all the family members. A coin is buried in the dough which is considered very auspicious.

Greeks celebrate the New Year with great pomp and show. They share traditional sweet bread with everyone. The coin brings good luck and fortune for the year.


 Traditionally, it was thought that one could affect the luck they would have throughout the coming year by what they did or ate on the first day of the year. For that reason, it has become common for folks to celebrate the first few minutes of a brand new year in the company of family and friends. Parties often last into the middle of the night after the ringing in of a new year. It was once believed that the first visitor on New Year's Day would bring either good luck or bad luck the rest of the year. It was particularly lucky if that visitor happened to be a tall dark-haired man.

 Traditional New Year foods are also thought to bring luck. Many cultures believe that anything in the shape of a ring is good luck, because it symbolizes "coming full circle," completing a year's cycle. For that reason, the Dutch believe that eating donuts on New Year's Day will bring good fortune. 

Many parts of the U.S. celebrate the new year by consuming black-eyed peas. These legumes are typically accompanied by either hog jowls or ham. Black-eyed peas and other legumes have been considered good luck in many cultures. The hog, and thus its meat, is considered lucky because it symbolizes prosperity. Cabbage is another "good luck" vegetable that is consumed on New Year's Day by many. Cabbage leaves are also considered a sign of prosperity, being representative of paper currency. In some regions, rice is a lucky food that is eaten on New Year's Day. 


 The song, "Auld Lang Syne," playing in the background, is sung at the stroke of midnight in almost every English-speaking country in the world to bring in the new year. At least partially written by Robert Burns in the 1700's, it was first published in 1796 after Burns' death. Early variations of the song were sung prior to 1700 and inspired Burns to produce the modern rendition. An old Scottish tune, "Auld Lang Syne" literally means "old long ago," or simply, "the good old days." The lyrics can be found here.


While the date of regional New Year celebrations varies in different countries of the world, the first day on the Gregorian calendar i.e. January 1 is celebrated as the New Year almost throughout the globe. Another contemporary practice that has developed over the years is celebrating the New Year's Eve, which falls on December 31st, a day before New Year. It is basically celebrated to commemorate the by-gone year and usher in the New Year with optimism and faith. People indulge in partying with family and friends and there are splendid displays of fireworks at the stroke of midnight and will induce the New year Activities to start with a blast.

Every New Year brings along a fresh stock of new days that inspire us to tread on new paths, to explore life in a fresh manner and to add to our lives what we missed in the previous year. As soon as the clock strikes midnight, the corks of champagne bottles are popped up and jolly sounds of New Year Wishes are in the air and it  takes you through the same festive entourage that is filled with enthusiasm and mirth. The moment the New Year Countdown begins, everyone experiences the adrenaline rush deep inside because of the excitement. It is the moment when we look back to the happy days and pray for more such moments to enlighten our lives. In order to make this moment a perfect one you need to be well prepared.

Wishing everyone and feasting in a grand manner marks the beginning of New Year. It's an occasion to enjoy and spread well-being all around, as it marks fresh beginnings and new outlooks. It is a day to make resolutions, which are followed by an attempt to stick to them throughout the year. New Year 2010 will be an event to watch out for. Since it is falling on a Friday, the weekend to follow will surely see some great festivities. There will be extravagance and grandeur all around as ever. Splendor will be the key word as the whole world gets united yet again, to usher in the New Year in style.

This day is not just any religious or regional festival it's a national event now. Enjoy the New Year and retain all the traditional values of your culture. Wish you all very Happy New Year!!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Dish Name Starts With D

This is an event hosted by Akhila .You can check out the details from the below link.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Rose Cookies

 This Rose Cookie  is also known as Gulaabi poolu/ Roja Poolu and is very famous in Vijayawada  and Hyderabad places in India.I ate these Rose cookies a lot during the Christmas Festival Season distributed from my Classmates and from My Favourite Miss Sumithra  Vinodhini .People often used to prepare for the Christmas Festival and for any other occasions.Even marks as a very special snack item for the Pot lucks. Kids can easily attract to these special cookies which are not available in the bakery and sweet shops .

Rose cookies are made easily when the "Rose Cookie " instrument or mould is available .We can make this Sweet Cookie to a Spicy Rose by adding the Chillipowder.In this recipe,the ratio of flours are same to sweet and hot but the adding of water or coconut milk & egg or baking powder is of our own choice.For the Last year Christmas 2008,in the Torrance,one of my Friend Anitha shared this cookies and her recipe .Soon,I remembered my past days eaten from my friends.From her  ,I am able to know this delicious cookie and helped me to make easier.I thanks to Anitha for sharing her recipe and here goes the description.

  • Maida-2 cups
  • Wheatflour-1 cup
  • Sugar-1 1/2 cups
  • Water/Coconut milk-1 cup or you can use fresh coconut
  • Elachi Powder-a pinch
  • Eggs / Baking Powder- 1 / a pinch
  • A pinch of salt to conter act the sugar
  • Oil for deep frying
Apparatus : Rose cookie Instrument

Rose Cookie Instrument
  • Scrape the coconut & extract the milk, beat the eggs well and keep it aside. 
  • Take the Maida & Wheat flour, sieve it place in a bowl add the eggs, sugar, salt & keep mixing using the coconut milk little at a time to make a fine smooth batter like for Dosas' - keep aside for atleast 30 minutes.
  •  Take a wok /Kadai/ pan, pour the oil kept for deep frying place on heat, now place the mould into the oil & keep it immersed when the oil is very hot.
  • Remove mould from the oil & lightly dip half way only into the batter  & put it back into the hot oil pan.
  • Wait for a second & start shaking the mould, the Cookie will leave the Mould -fry the cookie on both sides till golden brown .
  • Remove & drain then let it cool, Continue making the cookies with the remaining batter.
  •  Place the Cookies in an air-tight container and enjoy !!

  • You can also keep two cooking pans of oil on the gas and makes easier to dip the mould in one pan and the other pan to fry the cookies.
  • Cookies are made only with the Maida flour also and adjust the rice flour instead of wheat flour if you feel sticky to release from mould.
  • Use fork or pointed long Needle instrument to release the cookie from the mould to turn.
  • Be careful while shaking the mould in the oil to avoid overflow of oil.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Vellulipaaya Kaaram Podi ~ Spicy Garlic Powder

Vellulipaaya or Velluli  is a Telugu word Known as "Garlic" in English.This Vellulikaaram is often used at South India.Its preparing is simple & easy and also can be stored for a longtime.It can be ate mixed with the plain steamed rice along with a ghee or adding this powder  to any Fries makes more tastier. and also be served for Tiffins & Snack items.So here goes the South Indian style Spice mix powder.

  • Garlic Pods- 5(layers are not removed)
  • Red Chillipowder-1cup (or can Use dry  roasted Redchilies )
  • Salt-required as per taste
  • Cuminseeds-1tbsp
  • Shift all the above ingredients in to a mixy jar and turn it to form a fine powder.
  • Transfer the powder in to a plate and let it cool and mix with spoon if any lumps or balls founded.
  • Store the powder in an air-tight container and keeps well for months and Use it whenever you want in the South Indian way.
    • This powder is mixed with little amount of warm cooking oil and can be stuffed in the middle of any fried vegetable like bittergourd, Brinjal and Lady's finger.
    • Mixing the Powder in the Lemon Juice makes the Simple Lemon Chutney
    • Can also try it by mixing in the Puffed rice Masala with a ghee and serve for kids as a snack item.

    Tuesday, December 21, 2010

    Datta Jayanti ~ 2010

    God Bless You and Keep you safe not only Today But throughout Life That is Coming in your Way.

     Wish you a very Happy & Prosperous  Guru Dattatreya Jayanthi 2010.

    Challa Pindi (Rice Flour in Yogurt)

    Challa is a telugu word .It means Curds beaten with water,Buttermilk with a Churn-staff.This is one type of Upma which can be prepared at anytime easily when the curd is left over and goes well at anytime of the day to taste.Its making is very easy and simple .It tastes excellent only if the curds are sour.This is one type of instant Upma prepared in South India.Usually people in South India,follows to cook regularly for kids when they are recovering from the ill ,to make their bitter tongue tasty.So,friends,In India making the Curds to sour is easier than in U.S.Sometimes leaving out the curds from the refrigerator doesn't turn sour because of the cool weather.So,to make this Challapindi more tasty add a little amount of Lemon Juice to fill up that sourness.Moreover,this variation of Upma doesn't requires any combination of Powders,Pickles or Chutneys as it has tangy spicy kick to it and doesn't taste good unless hot.So here goes the recipe.

    • Rice flour-1cup
    • Yogurt/Curd-1cup (Well whisked)
    • Water-1cup
    • Onion-1/2  chopped
    • Green chillies-4 to 5 (Slit in Lengthwise)
    • Lemon juice-1 tsp or as required (optional)
    • Oil-1tbsp
    • Urad dal-1/2tsp
    • Bengal gram-1tsp
    • Mustard seeds-1/2tsp
    • Cumin seeds-1/2tsp
    • Red chilli-1 (broken)
    • Ginger- 1/2 " pieces
    • Curryleaves- few sprigs
    • Hing/Asafoetida- a pinch (optional)
    • Cashewnuts & Peanuts- few (optional)
    • In abowl,mix the curd with water and whisk well.To this add salt,rice flour and mix it in to a smooth flowy consistency like a dosa batter.
    • Now heat pan with the oil for the seasoning.Add the Mustard seeds,Cumin seeds,Bengal gram ,Urad dal and redchilli.
    • When the seeds start spluttering,add the green chillies slits,ginger pieces,cashew,peanuts & curry leaves and saute for a while.
    • Now add the chopped onions and cook till they turn translucent.
    • Now keep the gas in lowflame,add teh Rice flour & Yogurt mixture slowly and keep stirring continuously still it starts bubbling and the riceflour mixture becomes thick and cooked.
    • Turn off the flame,add lemonjuice &mix.
    •  Serve it hot by having into a plate and enjoy it soon when it is hot!!!

    • Omit Onions & ginger,during the fasting days.
    • If the curd is sour no need to add lemon juice.
    • Soak Moongdal and add to the seasoning ,cook with little amount of water.
    This recipe goes to the event hosted by Akheela....... Food Palette Series White and Giveaway Winners.
    and also goes for the ARS Event E2 announcement " B for Breakfast"

    Dattatreya Stotram

     Dattatreya stotram is a prayer to worship  Lord Dattatreya. Sri Guru Datta is considered as one of the 21 avatars of Lord Vishnu. He was the son of Anasuya and sage Atri. He was the combination of the Hindu trinity, Lord Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva.Datta stotram is recited daily by datta devotees but it is highly meritorious to chant the mantra on Datta Jayanthi.

        Jatadharam, Pandurangam,
          Soolahastham Krupanidhim,
          Sarvaroga haram devam,
          Dattatreyamaham bhaje. //1//

          Jagat utapathi karthre cha,
          Sthithi samhara hethave,
          Bhava pasa vimukthaya ,
          Dattatreya namostuthe. //2//

          Jara janma vinasaya,
          Deha shuddhi karaya cha,
          Digambara daya moorthe.
          Dattatreya namostuthe. //3//

          Karpoora kanthi dehaya,
          Brahma moorthy daraya cha,
          Veda sasthra parignaya,
          Dattatreya namostuthe. //4//

          Hruswa deergha krutha sthula,
          Nama gothra vivarjitha,
          Pancha boothaika deepthaya,
          Dattatreya namostuthe. //5//

          Yagna bhokthre cha yagnaya,
          Yagna roopa daraya cha,
          Yagna priyaya sidhaya,
          Dattatreya namostuthe. //6//

         Adhou brahma madhye Vishnur,
          Anthe deva sada shiva,
          Moorthy thraya swaroopaya,
          Dattatreya namostuthe. //7//
          Bhogaalayaya bhogaaya,
          Yoga yoyaya dharine,
          Jithendriya jithagnaya,
          Dattatreya namostuthe. //8//

         Brahma jnana mayee mudhra,
          Vasthre cha akasa bhoothale,
          Prgnana gana bhodaya,
          Dattatreya namostuthe. //9//

        Sathya roopa sadachara,
          Sathya dharma parayana,
          Sathyasraya parokshaya,
          Dattatreya namostuthe. //10//

         Soola hastha gada pane,
          Vana mala sukundara,
          Yagna soothra dara Brahman,
          Dattatreya namostuthe. //11//

         Datha vidhyadya lakshmeesa,
          Datha swathma swaroopine,
          Guna nirguna roopaya,
          Dattatreya namostuthe. //12//

    Phala stuthi

    Sathru nasa karam sthothram,
    Jnana vijnana dhayakam,
    Sarva papam samam yathi,
    Dattatreya namostuthe.

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    Dattatreya Jayanti

    Dattatreya Jayanthi, also known as Datta Jayanti, is celebrated as the birthday of Lord Dattatreya – the Trimurti avatar of the Supreme Gods of Hinduism – Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva. The birthday of Lord Dattatreya is celebrated on Margashirsha Purnima the full moon day in the month of Margashirsh. In 2010, Dattatreya Jayanti is on 20th December 2010.

    The Story of Lord Dattatreya

    According to puranas, Lord Dattatreya was born as the son of Sage Atri and Anasuya. Once Sage Narada was describing the pativratyam (devotion to her husband) of Anasuya to Goddess Saraswati, Laskshmi and Parvati devi. Hearing a lot about Anasuya, the three Goddesses wanted to test her Pativrata Dharma. For this, the Trimurtis appeared as sanyasis (sages) in front of Anusuya and asked her to give food without wearing any clothes. Anasuya falls in dilemma – she cannot come in front of other men in nude, and she cannot refuse to give food to sanyasis. She prayed to her husband and sprinkled some water on the three sanyasis in order to clean their feed. All of a sudden, the three sanyasis were transformed into small babies. Anasuya felt a motherly attachment to them and fed the three babies with breast milk. As soon as Sage Atri came back home he realized that the three babies are none other than the Trimurtis Gods. Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva woke up in their original form and gave a boon to Anasuya that they will take rebirth as her child in a single form in the name Dattatreya.

    Dattatreya Jayanti Celebrations

    Dattatreya Jayanti is celebrated with much importance at Ganugapur Sri Kshetra Dattatreya Temple in Maharashtra. Dattatreya Temple in Dharwad is another popular temple dedicated to Guru Datta. Dattatreya temple Bhaktapur, Nepal also celebrates Datta Jayanti.

    Dattatreya Stotram and Dattatreya mantras are chanted by Lord Dattatreya devotees during the festival.

    Note :
    • Click here to read Dattatreya Stotram.

    Monday, December 20, 2010

    Food Palette Series White and giveaway Winners

    This Event was hosted by Akheela...You can check out the details from the above link.

    Navel Orange Rice /Pulihora ~ Boddu Naarinja Pulihora

    Pulihora, or Puliyodhara ,or Chitrannam is a very common preparation in Andhra Pradesh,Karnataka,Tamil Nadu & Indian Cuisine.Puli means sour taste.Pulihora can also be referred as Sour rice.It is also known as "Tamarind Rice or Lemon Rice". This dish is cooked for almost all good occasions and during festive days.It is offered and distributed in temples under the name of "Prasad".Devotees Queue to get Pulihora after darshan .It is easy and inexpensive to cook and is a good stomach filler.Other versions of Pulihora are made with Un-ripe sour Mangoes,Sour Pomegranate,Sour Orange & Lemon.This can be served as a Break fast or as a Tiffin.

    So ,friends I tried preaparing of Pulihora with the "Navel Orange " This Pulihora recipe preparation is almost same as the preparing of "Lemon Rice".The juice of the fruit is different and it gives more sourness than the Lemon/Lime.In India ,these fruit can be available and it is used in the  Pooja purpose for "Nomu" in the "Padhahaaru Phalala Nomu".So friends ,go through my recipe and try when the Fruit is available and enjoy its taste.

    The Navel Orange appears like this

    • Rice-2 cups
    • Navel Orange /Naarinja Pandu rasam-1/4 cup or more for sourness
    • Salt to taste
    • Oil-2tbsps
    • Turmeric -1/4tsp
    • Bengal gram/Chana dal-2 tsp
    • Urad dal/Black gram dal-11/2tsp
    • Mustard seeds- 1tsp
    • Cumin seeds- 1tsp
    • Green chillies-4 no slit in lengtwise( Adjust up to spice level)
    • Curryleaves-few sprigs
    • Peanuts- 1tbsp
    • Cashew nuts-1tbsp
    • Hing/Asafoetida-2tsp
    • Kothimeer leaves- few for garnishing

    • Take rice in a vessel and wash thoroughly and drain all the water and add the fresh water according to the measurements (1 cup rice = 2cups water,here 4 cups water is needed for 2 cups of rice).
    • Cook the rice in a pressure cooker for 4 whistles  or in an Electric cooker .When the rice is done,shift the cooked rice in to large vessel or plate and spread it evenly to get cool.
    • Meanwhile,heat oil in the skillet,keeping in a low flame add Bengal gram,Peanuts .
    • Roast them well.
    • Add the cumin seeds,mustard seeds,cashew nuts,greenchillies,redchilies,turmeric,curryleaves and hing.Turn off the flame.
    • Now add the desired amount of salt and the seasoning to the evenly spreaded rice and mix well with the hand or with a large spoon.
    • Mix well all the ingredients to the rice and pour the Navel orange juice and combine well.
    • Finally garnish with the fresh Coriander leaves and serve it into a plate at room temperature.

    • Do not add the Juice ,when the rice or seasoning is too hot.This may change the rice to taste in bitter.
    • You can also prepare with the left over rice.
    • Add salt to the rice while cooking only,inorder to spread evenly soon without lumps.

    Friday, December 17, 2010

    Semiya Carrot Payasam ~ Vermicelli Carrot pudding

    Hi Friends,I prepared  two food items as for today's Festival  ("Mukoti Ekadashi" & "Gita Jayanthi") Naivedyam .One is the "Navel Orange Rice "& the Other is the Semiya Carrot Payasam.I want to share the pudding First .This Pudding attracts kids very much by adding carrot and the color attracts them to have it soon and makes it very healthy.So here goes my Pooja snap &recipe to share with you all and have a Treat!!

    • Vermicelli /Semiya-1/2 cup (Choose plain or Roasted of your choice)
    • Carrot-1 no grated
    • Milk-1 cup
    • Sugar-1/3 cup or more for sweetness
    • Boiled Water-1/2 cup (optional)
    • Ghee-3tbsp
    • Cashews-5
    • Almonds-5
    • Raisins-5
    • Elachi Powder-1/2tsp
    • Boil the milk & keep it aside.
    • Heat a pan with 1 tbsp and roast all the nuts and raisins individually.
    • In the same pan add another 1tbsp of ghee and roast the Vermicelli,untill it turns in golden and keep it aside.
    • Add the remaining 1tbsp of ghee and roast it well.
    • Now add the hot water and let it cook untill the vermicelli turns soft.(Optional)
    • Add the boiled milk and sugar and stir well to combine all the ingredients.Cook untill the Vermicelli gets swollen.
    • Finally add all the Fried Nuts & raisins,and sprinkle with Elachi Powder.
    • Yummy.......Yummy....... Vermicelli Carrot Payasam is ready!!!Enjoy it either by chilled or Hot.
    • Reduce the Sugar ,if the carrots used are sweet.(Natural Color will obatain with the addition of Carrots instead of Food Color)
    • Adding of boiled water ,makes easier to cook Vermicelli.
    • You can also choose the boiled carrots to a blender and blend them to a fine paste and use it.

    Mukkoti Ekadashi & Gita Jayanti

           I wish you all a very Happy Mukkoti Ekadashi & Gita Jayanti  & May Lord Bless You  !!!        

    On this path,effort never goes to waste,and there is no failure.Even a little effort toward spiritual awareness will protect you from the greatest fear
                                    ~ ~Bhagavad Gita

    Thursday, December 16, 2010

    Mukkoti Ekadashi ~ Vaikunta Ekadashi

    Mukkoti Ekadashi, also known as Vaikunta Ekadasi, is observed on Dhanurmasa Ekadashi or the 11th day of Dhanurmasam. Mukkoti Ekadashi 2010 date is December 17. This festival is celebrated with lot of fervor at Vishnu temples in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. In 2010, this famous Ekadashi vratam falls on Margashira masa Shukla Paksha Ekadashi as per Telugu and Kannada calendars.

    Vaikunta Ekadasi festival is more elaborately celebrated by Vaishnavites. It is more prominent for Tamil and Telugu speaking people. Fasting, keep vigil at night and passing through the Vaikunta Dwaram are the important auspicious activities on the day.

    The main event on Mukkoti Ekadasi is the Vaikutha Dwara Darshanam – the ‘Vaikunta Dwaram’ or ‘the gate to the heaven’ is opened on this day in Lord Vishnu Temples in South India. This is the passage encircling the innermost sanctum of the Lord Vishnu Temple. Thousands of devotees queue up to pass through the Gate of Vaikunta on this day.

    ‘Vaikunta Dwara Darshanam, visiting the Lord through Vaikunta Dwaram (Entrance to Heaven), is the main highlight during Mukkoti Ekadasi day in Vishnu temples. Vaikunta Dwaram is opened on only Vaikunta Ekadashi day which lies at North side to the temple. Devotees observe upavasam (fasting) throughout the day and break their fast on Mukkoti Dwadashi day, the day after Mukkoti Ekadashi.Vishnu devotees also fast on the day and keep vigil all night. They avoid all sort of food made of rice.

    Significance of Vaikunta Ekadashi:

    The significance of Vaikunta Ekadasi can be traced back to the Padma Purana. The Purana indicates that Lord Vishnu took the form of ‘Ekadasi’ – female energy – to kill demon Muran. This happened during the month of Margazhi. Impressed by ‘Ekadasi,’ Lord Vishnu told her that whoever worships him on this day will reach ‘Vaikunta’ (heaven).

    Like all Ekadasi days, devotees fast on this day and observe vigil the whole night. Some people indulge in meditation, Japa and singing of Hari Kirtan. Rice is avoided during ekadashi days as it is believed that the demon Mura finds a dwelling in the rice eaten on Ekadasi day.

    It is widely believed that the gates to the heaven open - the Gate of Vaikuntha - on the Vaikunta Ekadasi day. It is one of the most auspicious days in Lord Vishnu Temples in South India.

    How to observe Vaikunta Ekadasi?-Vaikunda Ekadashi Fasting

    How to observe Vaikunta Ekadasi?

    Vaikunta Ekadashi falls on the eleventh day in Margazhi Shukla Paksha in Tamil Calendar and in Telugu Calendar the same period is Pushya Shukla Paksha.

    Things needed for Puja and Prayer

    • A picture or photo or idol of Lord Vishnu
    • Fruits
    • Tulsi leaves
    • Betel leaves (optional)
    • Betel nuts (optional)
    • Yellow bananas
    • Unbroken coconut (optional)

    • Wake up early in the morning. Take bath and offer prayers.
    • You can perform a simple puja to Lord Vishnu at home by offering fruits and Tulsi leaves.
    • You can just light the lamp and prayer or meditate for few minutes – or the normal ritual you do daily. Only difference is that today it is dedicated to Lord Vishnu.
    • If there is a Vishnu temple nearby visit the temple and witness morning pujas and rituals.
    • Complete fast or upavasam on the day is the main observance.

    Fasting for 24 hours. It is believed that a partial or total abstinence from food on Ekadasi is rewarded with bliss.

    If you have any health problem or are taking medicines, please consult your doctor before deciding on fasting. You can also opt for a partial fast by avoiding food made of rice.

    Do not eat food made from rice on Ekadashi.

    Evening Prayers

    • Take a bath in the evening.
    • Repeat the morning puja to Vishnu.
    • Visit Vishnu temple and witness the evening puja and rituals.
    Prayers for Vaikunta Ekadasi

    • Vishnu Ashotharam (Listen)
    • Vishnu Sahasranamam  ( Read in English )
    • Or Simple Chanting of – Om Namo Narayana
    • Vishnu Shatanama Stotram (Listen)
    No Sleep

    Staunch devotees who observe Vaikunta Ekadasi fasting do not sleep on the day. They spend the whole night at Vishnu temples or by singing prayers or listening stories dedicated to Lord Vishnu.

    Next Day Morning

    The fast is broken on the next day (Dwadashi) after taking bath. Offer prayers to Lord Vishnu by lighting a lamp and then you can break the fast.

    Ekadasi Food - What can be eaten on Ekadashi?

    Ekadasi, or Ekadashi, is an important Upvaas (fast) dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Millions of Hindu devotees observe Ekadasi, which is considered highly auspicious by Lord Vishnu devotees. The traditional approach is to abstain from food completely on the day. But nowadays a complete fast is not possible for many people. Such people consume certain food items on the Ekadasi day and observe only a partial fast.

    It is believed that demon Mura found a dwelling place in the rice and Lord Vishnu appeared in the form of Ekadasi to annihilate Mura. Therefore devotees who fast on the Ekadashi day avoid food made from grains.

    Many devotees due to several reasons – like health and job commitments – observe partial fast on the day. Such people avoid non-vegetarian and food items made from beans, pulses and grains, especially rice. The most preferred Ekadasi fasting food in western parts of India is Sabudana Khichadi with potatoes and ground nut - but no onion and garlic.

    The food that can be consumed on the Ekadasi day includes fresh and dried fruits, milk products, vegetables and nuts.

    As the list of Ekadasi food expands there will be new issues cropping up like – Are you sure this can be consumed on Ekadasi?

    So the golden rule is avoid pulses and grains on Ekadasi.
    Drink lots of water and eat fresh and dried fruits.

    In Hinduism, Upvaas is meant to bring a person close to Brahman. So forget about the rules and regulations and what you are going to gain from the Ekadashi fast. Spend the day in purifying the mind and body.

    Mukkoti Ekadashi Celebrations:

    All the people and the devotees rush to the temples on this day & every  part & corner of the temples are seen by decorating with colorful crafts ,Garlands , Rangolis etc.Really the eyes make a Feast .Not only at the Temples,every Hindu houses are seen with Clean & Colorful. Every temple street will be seen with a full rush of the devotees and the Chantings of the Lord are heard through Mike facility.

     Mukkoti Ekadasi festival holds the grand celebrations in Tirumala Tirupati Sri Venkateshwara Temple & devotees observe Mukkoti Pradakshinam, Bhadrachalam Sri Sita Ramachandra Swamy Temple, Simhachalam Sri Lakshmi Narasimha swamy Temple, Srikurmam Maha Vishnu Temple, Srikakulam Andhra Maha Vishnu temple, Mangalagiri Sri Panakala Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy, Ranganatha Swamy Temple near Nellore and Yadagirigutta Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy temple.Apart from these temples, all the temples dedicated to Lord Vishnu and his incarnations celebrate Vaikunta Ekadasi.

    Mukkoti Ekadashi is also observed as Vaikunta Ekadasi. In Kerala, this Ekadasi is celebrated as Swarga Vathil Ekadashi at Trivandrum Padmanabha Swamy Temple. In North India, it is known as Putrada Ekadashi.
                       May Lord Vishnu bless you all & Happy Mukkoti Ekadashi !!!Note:

    All the above source & Image is adapted from Hindupad & Devotional,Various Internet Resources.I thank these web resources for Sharing.

    Wednesday, December 15, 2010

    Gita Jayanti ~ Bhagavad Geeta Jayanthi

    Gita Jayanti, also referred as Bhagawad Geetha Jayanthi, is the day when the Bhagvad Gita was rendered by Lord Krishna to Arjuna in the Kurukshetra on the first day of the famous 18-day battle in the Mahabharata.
    The Geeta Jayanti Day or the Birthday of Srimad Bhagavad Geeta is celebrated traditionally on the 11th day (Ekadasi) of the bright half (Sukla Paksha) of the month of Margasira (Dec./Jan.). (Coincides with Vaikuntha Ekadasi). This was the day on which the teachings of Lord Sri krishna was revealed to the world through Sanjaya (who was blessed with the Divine Sight to witness the war of Mahabharata by Bhagavan Vyasa)!! In 2010,Gita Jayanti is on 17th December.

    The greatest quality of Bhagavad Gita is that it prompts you to think, it prompts you to take decision, and it prompts you to look at life differently and refreshingly and all this without surrendering your individuality.
    Bhagavad Gita adapts to the present and discusses an issue by rooting itself in the present. Every moment a confused Arjuna opens the Gita to take the advice of Krishna. And through the immortal Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna has been discussing and debating and finding solutions to the various problems faced by the confused Arjunas for centuries and will continue to do the same forever.
     According to prominent Hindu scriptures, on this day, Lord Sri Krishna made the glorious teachings of Bhagavad Gita to Arjuna. Today, Bhagavad Gita is a world-famous scripture and also used as business and communications guide for modern world.Bhagvad Gita was first told to Arjuna by Lord Krishna nearly six thousand years ago during Kurukshetra war.

    The Mahabharata
    Geeta or song is a well-known composition, being the dialogue between Krishna and Arjun, just before the Mahabharata war. In the Geeta, Krishna says, "Of all the months I am Margashirsha." Hence the importance of this month.The Geeta is a small part of the Mahabharata, the greatest epic in the world, composed of more than one, hundred thousand slokas.

    Kauravas and Pandavas

    The main story of the Mahabharata is the war between two branches of the Kaurava family- the hundred sons of Dhritarashtra, led by the eldest brother, Duryodhana, on the one hand, and on the other, their cousins, the Pandavas or sons of Pandu, led by their eldest brother, Yudhishthira.

    Yudhishthira had been cheated out of his kingdom in a game of dice to which he had been challenged. He lost and was thereby condemned to cede his share of the kingdom to Duryodhana, while he and his four brothers had to go into exile for thirteen years, the last of which they had to spend in concealment. All this they did, but when Yudhishthira asked for his kingdom back, Duryodhana bluntly refused. Yudhishthira, who was by nature a pacifist, and had an instinctive loathing for war, reduced his demands to a mere five villages; still Duryodhana refused. As a final gesture Yudhishthira sent his friend Krishna, son of Vasudeva, and head of a neighboring clan, the Vrishnis, on an embassy in which Krishna was to make a final bid for peace... Duryodhana then, knowing full well that Krishna was God, rejected for the last time Yudhishthira's offer, thereby defying God Himself. Yudhishthira, having gone to the utmost limit to avoid war, now reluctantly gives in and the scene is now set for a battle that was to prove ferociously destructive. There is, however, a last minute hitch: Arjuna's nerve fails him."'

     Krishna and Arjun

    Arjun, throwing away his weapons, begins to dialogue with Krishna, his charioteer and bosom friend. Krishna tries to convince Arjun that fight be must. In this setting the entire doctrine of the Geeta is presented. Geeta is perhaps the only scripture that was taught in the battlefield. That's why it relates so much to all of us. Arjuna was a man of action and not a renounced person sitting in Himalayas. Geeta teaches us how to live a righteous life, how to make conscious choice to act according to Dharma, while performing all our day-to-day duties.

    Significance of Bhagavad Geeta Jayanthi:
    The Universal Message of the Gita

    The Bhagavad Gita is considered by many Hindus to be the holiest of all the scriptures in Hinduism. It is one of the most often quoted Hindu scriptures within Indian (and perhaps even Western) literature. The Gita is a central treatise of the expansive epic, the Mahabharata. It is often referred to as the jewel in the crown of hindu philosophy and religious thought. The Gita consists of 18 Chapters and 700 verses that formed the discourse given to Prince Arjuna of the Pandava dynasty by Lord Krishna on the battlefield of Kurukshetra.

    While the Bhagavad Gita is considered by some to be the Bible of Hinduism, “the teachings of the Gita are broad, sublime and universal. They do not belong to any particular cult, sect, creed, age, place or country. They are meant for all. They are within the reach of all. The Gita has a message for the solace, peace, freedom, salvation and perfection of all human beings.”

    The four Yogas explained in the Gita

    Prince Arjuna was overcome by doubt and fear as he faced the prospect of doing battle with his half-brothers, gurus and friends. Lord Krishna, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, removed his doubts by teaching him about the four-fold yogas of karma (action), bhakti (devotion), gyana (devotion) and prema (love).

     The day is observed all around the world  and the ocassion is celebrated with the reading of Bhagavad Gita in the temples and Hindu Organizations  across the world.Some organizations also distribute copies of the Gita for free to promote the message of this holy scripture and distribute food for the poor.Discussions and seminars are organized on the day.All Hindu temples, especially those dedicated to Lord Vishnu and Lord Krishna, conduct special pujas on the day. Even in the Schools and coleges conducts special programs for kids like Elocution,Essay writing,Painting ,Songs giving the few topics from the Bhagavad Geeta.

    Gita Jaanthi is celebrated throughout India and the world with lot of gusto. In ISKCON temples, Geeta Jayanthi is celebrated with utmost devotion and enthusiasm. Special pujas and abhishekas are offered to the Lord on this day. Mass recital of Bhagvad Geeta is performed throughout the day.

    Gita Jayanti is also celebrated as Mokshada Ekadashi. On this day, devotees observed fast and on Dwadashi day fast is broken by taking ritual bath and performing Krishna puja.

    The ideal way to celebrate Gita Jayanti is by reading at least a stanza from the Bhagavad Gita.

      I Wish you all of you to Celebrate a Very Happy Bhagavad Gita Jayanthi . 


    The Source & Images are adapted from the Google,Hindupad ,Devotional & various Internet Resources .

    Tuesday, December 14, 2010

    Tomato Coconut Curry ~ Tomato Kobbari Kura

    • Tomatoes-4 no (medium)
    • Onion-1no
    • Greenchillies-4
    • Redchilies-2
    • Turmericpowder-2 pinches
    • Fresh grated coconut or pieces-1/2 cup
    • Cuminseeds-1/2tsp
    • Mustard seeds-1/2tsp
    • Coriander powder-2tsp
    • Curryleaves-4
    • Oil-1tbsp
    • Water-1cup
    • Salt to taste
    • Slice the tomatoes in to small pieces & the green chillies (long pieces).
    • Grind the coconut,sliced onion,redchillipowder,1pinch turmeric powder &cumin seeds together well.
    • Take a pan ,add oil & heat it.
    • Add the Mustard seeds,curryleaves,and roast it.
    • Now add the Sliced tomato pieces & greenchillies in to the pan,& add water,coriander powder,1 pinch turmeric powder & salt.
    • Add the grinded paste to these tomatoes and cook till the tomatoes are totally cooked & smashed.(If you like spicy food ,add more chillipowder or chillies)
    • Serve with plain steaming rice.

    Please let to know what you think about this recipe and If tried with any other variation.Your Comments will help to share those recipes that most people find enjoyable.

    Bread Laddu ~ Sweet Bread Balls

    This Laddu preparation is very simple and everyone can enjoy its taste well by melting the balls in the mouth.Bread Balls can be served as a simple Evening sweet snack item.This can be prepared very soon ,If some one arrives home and also marks as a special Dessert for any Get together & Kitty Parties.So friends ,have a look to my recipe and try it to taste & enjoy.

    • Bread-10
    • Sugar (Powdered)-100 gm
    • Ghee-5tsp
    • Almonds-5
    • Cashews-5
    • Raisins-5
    • Elachi /Cardomom- 3 pods powdered
    • Fresh Grated Coconut-2tbsp

    •  Remove the brown part or the edges of the bread slices with a knife and put the bread in the mixy jar.
    • Make it as Rava (Do not use water) & shift in to a bowl.
    • Add powdered sugar,Elachi powder,grated coconut to this bread and mix well.
    • In a frying pan,heat ghee, and fry all the cashews,almonds & raisins and add it to the bread.
    • Using that ghee,make the bread into small balls.
    • Yummy...Yummy Bread Laddu's are ready & Enjoy!!
    • Coconut & Elachi are together can be make Powdered.

    Friday, December 10, 2010

    Skanda Shasti/Subramanya Sashti in 2010

    sEenaavidaaraka skandha mahaasEna mahaabala
    rudrOmaagnija Shadvaktra gaMgaagarbha namOstu tE

    Skanda Shasti / Subramanya Shasti:
    Who is Skanda? -
    • Skanda is the avatara of Manmatha.
    • He is in the same kakshya of Indra.
    • He is the lord of War.
    • During Srinivasa Kalyana Srinivasa devaru nominated him to invite the audience, as he has six faces and can see all six directions.
    What are his other names ?–

    Kumara, Skanda, Murugan or Shanmukha or Subramanya or Kartikeya

    • He is called as Kumara– as he always looks like a small boy
    • He is called as Shanmukha as he has six faces
    • He is called as Kartikeya as he was brought up by six sisters named Kruttika.
    • He is called as Shanmatura as he was brought up by six mothers
    • It is on this day that Sri Subramanya, who was born on Margashira Panchami killed Tarakasura.
    When is this Skanda Shasti celebrated? -

    It will be celebrated on Margashira Shukla Shasti. This day is also called as Subrayana Shasti.

    Why is Skanda Shasti celebrated? -

    Subramanya likes this day very much, because it is on this that he killed Tarakasura. If one does the skanda darshana, snaana and daana on this, he will be from all his brahma hatyaadi sins. If one does this vratha, they have Sarpa bhaya nivruthi, satsantaana yoga, from skin diseases.

    How is Subrayana Shasti celebrated?–

     On this day we have to perform the pooja of Subramanya. Subramanya swamy is worshipped in the form of five - hooded snake. While doing the Subraya Shasti we have to do the pooja to mainly to Shankapaala, one of the serpant.

    Shankapalantargata  bharatiramana  mukyapranantargatha  sri Sankarshanaya nama:

    We have to chant “Om ram skandhaaya nama: Om” while inviting Subramanya.
     We have to chant “Dhanu:shaktidharO dhyEya: kaamadO bhayanaashana:” for dhyana shloka.
     His vehicle– Mayura

     Why on this Brahmacharis will be invited for bhojana?–

    Subramanya is a brahmachari. He likes young brahmacharis as they will not be having any dwesha-asuya, and their heart will be pure. Skanda will be invited to have avaahana on Subramanya on these brahmacharies, and will take the sampoorna pooja done to brahmacharies. Major bhakshyas done on this day will be from Urad dal. Brahmachari to be given Vastra, Dakshine, etc

    Subramanya Sashti or Subrahmanya Shashti is observed on Margashira Shashti in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala. .Margasira Subramanya Sashti 2010 date is December 11 i.e;on Saturday. Lord Subramanya, also known as Kumara, Skanda, Murugan or Shanmukha is worshipped during this festival.  In Kukke Subramanya temple, Karnataka, Subramanya Sashti is observed with utmost enthusiasm and devotion. It is one ofMargashirsha maas or Margashira masam is the ninth month as per traditional Hindu calendar. It is believed as one of the auspicious months for Hindus. Margashira month is considered as auspicious month for Telugu people as it is the favorite month for Lord Krishna. Lord Krishna himself says that he is the Margashiram. This month marks the beginning of Hemanta ruthu.

    In North Coastal districts of Andhra Pradesh like Vizianagaram, Srikakulam and Visakhapatnam, observe Margashira Lakshmivarapu Nomu or Margashirsha Guruvara Laxmi Vrat. Guruvar (Thursday) is called as Lakshmivaram in this region. Goddess Lakshmi is worshipped during the Thursdays in the month of Margashirsha. Subramanya Shasti, Mokshada Ekadashi, Hanumath Vratham, Datta Jayanti and Dhanur Sankramana punyakalam are the major festivals during Margasira month.

    In Puranas, Margashirsh maas is mentioned as ‘Maasonam Margashirshoham which means there is no auspicious month as Margashiram.

    Importance of Margashira Masam as per Bhagavad Gita:

    Margashirsh month is also mentioned in the Bhagwad Gita by Lord Sri Krishna. The below slokam tells about the significance and spiritual importance of margasheersha maas.

    Bruhatsama thatha samnam

    Gayatri Chandasamaham

    Masanam Margashoham

    Ruthunam Kusumakarna

    It means – Lord Krishna says “I, myself, stay in Bruhathsama in the Samaveda, Gayatri in Chandassu or literature, Margashirsha or Margashira in months and Vasant rithu in rithus or seasons”.

    It is said that performing ritual bath in the Ganga river during Margashirsh month gives the result of ten million grahan snan. Vishnu Puja during the month is highly auspicious. Lakshmi puja is observed on Margashirsh lakshmivar or Guruvar during margashira masam. Vishnu Sahasranama parayana and visiting Vishnu temples in the month is most preferred deeds.

    In Skandagiri Subramanya temple located in Hyderabad, Subramanya sasti is an eye-catching event. Nagadevatas or Serpent Gods are also worshipped on this day. In fact, Subramanya swamy is worshipped in the form of five-hooded snake.

    In Maharashtra, Margashira Sashti is celebrated as Champa Shashti (Chamba Sashti) to commemorate the victory of Khandoba over wicked demons.

    I wish you all a Very Happy Subramanya Sashti & to attain the blessings from the God.

    • You might also like to read Ashtotram & Pancharatnam of Sree Subrahmanya Swamy
    • To Know more to read about prayers of Sree Subrahmanya Swamy click here