Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Menthi Kura Pappu ~ Methi/Fenugreek Dal

  • Menthu aakulu/Methi leaves-1cup
  • Toor dal-1cup
  • Green chillies-3to 4 slit lenghtwise
  • Onion-1 no chopped
  • Tomato-1 no (optional)
  • Turmeric-1/3tsp
  • Tamarind-1/2 ''
  • Water-2 cups or add more
  • Salt to taste
  • Red chilipowder-1/2 tbsp
  • Oil-1tbsp
  • Mustard seeds-1/2tsp
  • Cumin seeds-1/2tsp
  • Red chillies-2 breaks
  • Hing- a pinch (optional)
  • Garlic -2 pods crushed (optional)
  • Curry leaves- few
  • Wash the dal with water twice and drain all the water.
  • Shift the dal in to a pressure cooker and add water, turmeric,onions,tomatoes,green chillies and tamarind .Cover the lid keeping the Weight on its top and allow to cook for 4 whistles.
  • Mean while take a hard bottomed pan,add oil for seasoning.
  • Heat oil ,add Mustard seeds,Cumin seeds ;when they splutters add the red chillies,curryl eaves ,hing and garlic pods.Let them all roast and turn off the stove.
  • Now when the cooker pressure comes down,open the lid and mash the dal & put it on a low flame adjust with salt and chilipowder.
  • Let it cook for few minutes till the chillipowder dissolves and bubbles out.Stir well in the middle of the cook.
  • Now add the seasoning and stir well.Switch off the flame.
  • Fenugreek dal is ready to serve & taste well with Rice,Roti or chapathi.
  • You can also do seasoning with Ghee instead of Oil for the kids to taste better.
  • If you feel the leaves taste bitter,add little salt to the leaves ,set it aside  for few seconds and later squeeze the water from it.(But doing so may lose some nutrition)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Republic Day

26th January 1950 is one of the most important days in Indian history as it was on this day the constitution of India came into force and India became a truly sovereign state. In this day India became a totally republican unit. The country finally realized the dream of Mahatma Gandhi and the numerous freedom fighters who, fought for and sacrificed their lives for the Independence of their country. So, the 26th of January was decreed a national holiday and has been recognized and celebrated as the Republic Day of India, ever since.

Origin of Republic Day

India became independent from the British Rule on 15th August, 1947. However, the country did not have its own constitution and wholly depended on the modified colonial Government of India Act, 1935. Also, India was headed by King George VI, until the adoption of the Indian Constitution in 1950. Prior to this, the seeds of a republican nation were sowed by Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru in the Lahore session at the Indian National Congress at the midnight of 31st December, 1929 - 1st January, 1930. The tri-color flag was unfurled by the nationalists present who took a pledge to celebrate ‘Purna Swaraj’ (complete Independence) Day every year on 26th January, while continuing to fight for the establishment of a Sovereign Democratic Republic of India.

The independence was achieved in 1947 while the professed pledge was redeemed on 26th January, 1950. The Indian Constituent Assembly was called together on 9th December, 1946, where a committee was formed. Dr. B.R. Ambedkar became the chairman of the committee, who along with the other members drafted the Constitution. The Indian Constitution included 395 Articles and 8 Schedules. The Constitution was adopted by the Constituent Assembly on 26th November, 1949. In the following year on 26th January, 1950, the Constitution of India came into force and became a ‘sovereign democratic republic’ of India, 894 days after the withdrawal of British Rule in 1947, which is why, it is said that India achieved its true independence on this day.

Next, elections were held and Dr. Rajendra Prasad was elected as the first President of free India. He took the oath at the Durban Hall in the Government House, which was followed by the Presidential drive along the five-mile route to the Irwin Stadium. He unfurled the National Flag at the stadium. This transition of India into a sovereign democratic republic nation is indeed a historical event. The two decade long journey, right from the conceptualization of the dream in 1930 to its actual realization in 1950, is certainly worth a grand celebration. Today, the Indian Constitution is the longest in the world, consisting of 397 articles and 12 schedules, providing a single citizenship for the whole nation. The national holiday is celebrated with festivities and patriotic fervor across the whole nation.

Republic Day Celebrations

The Constitution of India was enforced on 26th January, 1950 marking a historical moment in the Indian history. Hence, this day is honored with great joy, pride and vigor across the country as India was also declared a sovereign, democratic and republic state on this very day. The day calls in for grand celebrations, which are evident from the massive parades, cultural programs, recitation of patriotic poems and singing and playing of patriotic songs throughout. Though every Indian state holds its celebrations, but the capital of city of New Delhi witnesses a grand parade at India Gate, near the President's Palace. The below is the way of Republic Day celebrations in New Delhi.

How Is Republic Day Celebrated

The Prime Minister lays a floral wreath at the Amar Jawan Jyoti early in the morning to honor the soldiers who sacrificed their lives for the nation. A two minute silence is observed in their memory and the Prime Minister moves ahead to the main dais at Rajpath. The President joins him/her there along with the Chief Guest and other dignitaries. The Chief Guest is usually the Head of State or Government from a foreign nation. The President hoists the flag and soon, the National Anthem is played. This is followed by a 21 gun salute.

The parade starts off with the Armed Forces regiments walking past the President. All the three regiments, that is, the Army, the Navy and the Air Force dress in their best official uniforms and march past finely. The Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Armed Forces, that is, the President takes the salute as the regiment pass by. The parade also includes people from the armed forces and civilians who have shown exceptional courage and distinguished themselves in various acts of heroism in different situations. The military parade is then followed with a vibrant and colorful parade of regional tableaus.

Folk Dance
Cultural and folk dances also form the part of the parade where school children sing and dance to patriotic songs. The parade ends by jets and fighter planes flying past the parade symbolically saluting the President. The parade is telecasted live on the national television, allowing the entire nation to view it. Lastly, the crowd stands up as the National Anthem is played. However, this is not the end of the Republic Day celebrations. It is, in fact, a three-day extravaganza, where on the 27th January, the creme of the NCC cadets hold a Prime Minister's rally. A wide variety of breath-taking performances and drills make the highlights.

Jets fly in formation during India's Republic Day Parade

All the major government buildings are beautifully illuminated with lights every evening from 26th to 29th January. On the third day after Republic Day, that is 29th, 'Beating the Retreat' ceremony is conducted consisting of massed bands marching to the popular tunes. The Drummer's Call follows wherein the drummers give solo performances. Thereafter, the Bugle Call follows which is characterized by the band master walking up to the President requesting to take the bands away. This marks the end of the closing ceremony of Republic Day. At 6 pm, the buglers sound the retreat and the National Flag is lowered. With this, the Republic Day celebrations are formally ended.

Today, the Republic Day is celebrated with much enthusiasm all over the country and especially in the capital, New Delhi where the celebrations start with the Presidential to the nation. The beginning of the occasion is always a solemn reminder of the sacrifice of the martyrs who died for the country in the freedom movement and the succeeding wars for the defense of sovereignty of their country. Then, the President comes forward to award the medals of bravery to the people from the armed forces for their exceptional courage in the field and also the civilians, who have distinguished themselves by their different acts of valour in different situations.

To mark the importance of this occasion, every year a grand parade is held in the capital, from the Rajghat, along the Vijaypath. The different regiments of the army, the Navy and the Air force march past in all their finery and official decorations even the horses of the cavalry are attractively caparisoned to suit the occasion. The crème of N.C.C cadets, selected from all over the country consider it an honour to participate in this event, as do the school children from various schools in the capital. They spend many days preparing for the event and no expense is spared to see that every detail is taken care of, from their practice for the drills, the essential props and their uniforms.

The parade is followed by a pageant of spectacular displays from the different states of the country. These moving exhibits depict scenes of activities of people in those states and the music and songs of that particular state accompany each display. Each display brings out the diversity and richness of the culture of India and the whole show lends a festive air to the occasion. The parade and the ensuing pageantry is telecast by the National Television and is watched by millions of viewers in every corner of the country.

The patriotic fervor of the people on this day brings the whole country together even in her essential diversity. Every part of the country is represented in occasion, which makes the Republic Day the most popular of all the national holidays of India.

On this Republic Day,Let us remember the GOLDEN HERITAGE of our country,

Feel proud to be a part of India,
Hope peace prevails in this part of the world and everyday,
Happy Republic Day!!


Thursday, January 20, 2011

Colocassia Fry ~ Chamadumpa Fry / Arbi Fry

This is an easy and very simple making Fry.Kids may also like this  to eat as a whole without rice like potato fry .I am sure  that every one can like this fry to prepare for kids .So here goes my recipe.
  • Chamadumpalu/Arbi/Colocassia- 10 no
  • Water
  • Haldi- a pinch
  • Tamaraind-1 "
  • Oil for frying
  • Vellullipaayakaaram-1/2tbsp or add up to your spice level
  • Wash the Chaamadumpalu with water.
  • Peel the skin or you can directly add them to the pressure cooker.
  • Pour some water in the pressure cooker and add the salt,turmeric and tamarind.
  • Allow to cook for 1 whistle.
  • When the pressure comes down ,drain all the water from the Chaamadumpalu and let it cool for  sometime.
  • Later ,remove the skin if not done.
  • Cut in to small cubes or circles.
  • Heat oil in a pan,shift all these pieces in to oil and wait for few seconds till all the pieces absorb oil.Don't let them turn,if done they may become smash.
  • Fry till they turn golden in color and place them in to a bowl.
  • Add the Vellulipaayakaaram or any other spicy chillipowders and mix well.
  • Taste with a steamed rice with a spoon of ghee.
  • Before pressure cooking the Vegetable,clean well to remove the dirt.
  • You may also mix Kobbari kaaram or Redchillipowder with a salt.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Food Palette Series Green and Give away

Food Palette Series Green is sponsered by Herb Seeds.Click the link below for the details.

Thank You

Coconut Curry ~ Kobbari Koora

This Coconut curry is very simple and easy to prepare.It goes well with a hot rice and Roti's.Here goes the recipe.

  • Coconut- 1 cup grated (From fresh ground Coconut)
  • Green chilies- 3 to 4 slits
  • Onion-1 no small chopped
  • Oil-1tbsp
  • Cumin seeds-1/2tsp
  • Mustard seeds-1/2tsp
  • Bengal gram-1 tsp
  • Urad dal(split)-1tsp
  • Red chilies-2 breaks
  • Curryleaves-few
  • Salt to taste
  • Asafoetida/Hing-pinch (optional)
  • Cashews & Peanuts- Roasted few (Optional)
  • Kothimeer -few leaves
  • Heat the oil in a pan,add the Mustard ,cumin seeds and when they starts splutters add the bengal gram,Urad dal,and roast it.
  • Now add the redchilies and curry leaves and roast it.(Add Hing at this stage)
  • Add the chopped onions and green chillies and add salt for taste and cook for few minutes.
  • Now add the Coconut scrapings to the pan and mix well for few minutes.
  • Turn off the flame and finally add the Cashew & peanuts and garnish with Kothimeer.
  • Serve hot with Rice or roti's.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Happy Sankranthi ~ Chakkara Pongal

May Pongal fill your life with sweetness!
May the sun radiate peace, prosperity and happiness in your life on PONGAL and always! Like a bright and beautiful Kolam may your days be sprinkled with joy and happiness!
 May the Pongal bring in new hopes and good harvest for you!Wishing you a Happy Pongal!

I wish you all my Friends ,Blog readers &Visitors and everone  a Very Happy Pongal.

The best of South Indian dishes are relished during the harvest festival of Pongal making the occasion a gourmet's delight.So I want to let you Know about the preparation of "Chakkara Pongal".Try this popular recipe with love and share the dish with family and friends and have a blast this Pongal!!

  •  Long Grain Rice -1 cup
  • Moong Dhal -1/8 cup 
  •  Milk -1 cup 
  •  Melted Butter (Ghee)- 1/2 to 1 cup
  • Powdered Jaggery (Gur) or Brown Sugar- 1 3/4 cup 
  •  Cardamom Powder 1/2 tsp 
  •  Raisins 10 no
  • Dry coconut pieces-few
  •  Cashew Nuts (whole) 6 to 8 no

  • Cook rice and moong dal with milk and water until well done. 
  •  Fry cashews,coconut pieces and raisins in ghee until golden brown and keep aside.
  • Take water and add gur (or brown sugar) and boil it until it dissolves and becomes thick. 
  •  Add cooked rice and dal to gur and keep stirring on low heat until well mixed.
  • Add remaining ghee in spoonfuls and continue stirring.
  • Add powdered cardamom and mix well.
  • Decorate with fried raisins and cashews.
  • Offer to the God & Serve to your Frends & family with a Smile and Enjoy!!!
  • You may also cook the rice and Moong dal with Water instead of Milk.
  • You can also Dry roast Moong dal and Cook.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Pongal ~ Festival Of Kites

Pongal is one of the important festivals in India. Prayers are offered to the Sun God on this occasion. In many other parts of India, it is known as Sankaranthi. The reason for worshipping the sun god is that he is considered powerful and helps in the growth of paddy and other plantations. This festival is important for farmers and so is celebrated in a very grand manner in villages.The houses are washed, and all maintenance jobs are completed. During the festival, many different kinds of Rangoli are drawn before the houses early in the morning.

Makara Sankranti is a festival of harvest all over the Indian Continent, especially the Indian Union. Every month the Sun moves from one zodiac constellation to another and the day on which Sun changes the constellation is called Sankranti. Makara Sankranti (usually falls on  January 14), the Sun’s movement into Capricorn (Makara) constellation is considered very important, as it is the beginning of a six-month period of the auspicious time of Sun’s northern course called Uttarayana Punya Kaalamu. Bhogi is the day preceding Sankranti and Kanumu is the day after Sankranti. One month preceding Makara Sankranti is known as Dhanurmasamu. During the entire Dharnurmasamu girls decorate the mungili or vaakili (the entrance to the house) with huge muggulu (designs with sand of lime stone or rice flour, turmeric and kumkuma) with Gobbemmalu (globes made of cow dung and decorated with flowers, turmeric and kumkuma, and incense) in the center, and worship Gobbemma (Goddess) while singing and dancing around the muggu (design).

Sankranti Rituals & Celebrations in Andhra Pradesh 


Gobbemmalu are cow dung balls which are kept on Muggu (Rangoli), which is designed to invite prosperity and bliss into the house. Gobbemmalu are decorated with pasupu (turmeric powder), Kumkuma (red vermion powder) and with several grain types. They are also decorated with flowers (garlands).Usually the Pongal Kolams are drawn specifically showing the sugarcane,kites,sun ,Bhogio pallu/Bhogi Kundalu(pot) and Ox.

Boiling Milk:

It is a great tradition to boiling milk in a small earthen pot until some of the milk spills over. It is believed that the direction of spilling milk may direct the familys future in that particular year.

Four Days of Pongal

Lasting for over four days Pongal, a harvest festival is celebrated in the month of Shravan. Pongal literally means, "boiling over". The Tamil harvest festival is celebrated with decorated cows, processions and decorative Rangoli. Pongal is a sweet porridge made from newly harvested rice and eaten by all, even the animals. Each day of this festival has a special significance, however, it is celebrated more grandly in the villages, while the city folk mainly celebrate on the second day only. It is widely celebrated in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.


Bhogi is the first day of Pongal or Sankranthi festival and is dedicated to Lord Indra. Lord Indra considered as the “Lord of Clouds and Rain”.

Significance or Importance of Bhogi:
As this is a day to worship lord Indra, it is also called as ‘Indran. It is believed that the worship of lord Indra makes the harvest grand and brings plenty of prosperity to the land.

The celebrations start on the day which is known as "Bhogi".Bhogi is celebrated on Pushya Shukla Dashami or Dhanurmasa Dasami. On this day, generally everyone gets up early in the morning, takes a head bath. Then a bon fire is made with all the trash in front of the house. All the old and useless things are disposed from our house and replaced with new ones ,marking the beginning of a new life.
Then rangoli is drawn in front of the houses

Bhogi - Rituals and Customs & Bhogi Pooja  
 For a grand celebration of Bhogi, all houses are cleaned and washed. People decorate their houses with “Rangoli / Kolam / Muggu”. Women draw the rangoli with rice flour and other natural colurs to welcome the prosperity of harvest in a grand style.In some regions, cow dung balls are kept on the patterns of rangoli. Fresh harvest of rice, turmeric, sugarcane, gooseberries and some other grains are used to decorate houses.

Pulagamu with fresh rice from the harvest and a kalagalupu koora (mixed vegetable curry) with chikkudu (beans), vankaya (egg-plant or brinjal) and other vegetables are prepared. Pongali (rice pudding with milk) is an important item during this festival. Special dishes like karapupusa, chakkilalu (brittle salted and peppered lentil-rice pretzels), palakayalu (hard fried rice globules), ariselu (sweet rice cakes) etc., are also prepared.

 Special Puja on Bhogi:
Before cutting the paddy, a special puja is performed on Bhogi to worship every god to continue the showers of bliss and prosperity on them with a good harvest in coming years.

Bhogi Mantalu (The Bonfire):

Bhogi Mantalu is one of the age old traditions on Pongal season in South India. The Bonfire is lightened up with cow dung balls, old clothes and some oils. It is believed that this bonfire (sacred fire) cures some diseases.

Bhogi Pallu or Bhogi Pandlu - Bhoda Pandlu

“Bhogi Pandlu” is a special ritual to be performed on the day of Bhogi. On Bhogi, the children are dressed up with new dresses. In the evening Bommala Koluvu (arrangement of images of Gods, toys and dolls) and Bhogi pallu (Zyziphus fruits, floral petals,sugarcane,rice and coins) showers for children, Perantamu (gift giving, that includes clothes, lentils, betel leaves, betel nuts, flowers, turmeric and kumkuma) for women are given.They are given Aarti and Bhogi Pandlu are showered on the heads of children to protect them from the evil forces.The Bhogi pallu fruit only is showered on the kid is due to the shape and the color of the Sun.
Bommala Koluvu
Bhogi Pallu

The second day, the Pongal day, is celebrated by boiling fresh milk early in the morning and allowing it to boil over the vessel - a tradition that is the literal translation for Pongal (in Tamil). People also prepare savories and sweets, visit each other's homes, and exchange greetings.The puja or act of ceremonial worship is performed when rice is boiled in milk outdoors in a earthenware pot and is then symbolically offered to the sun-god along with other oblations.

All people wear traditional dress and markings, and their is an interesting ritual where husband and wife dispose off elegant ritual utensils specially used for the puja. In the village, the Pongal ceremony is carried out more simply but with the same devotion. In accordance with the appointed ritual a turmeric plant is tied around the pot in which the rice will be boiled. The offerings include the two sticks of sugar-cane in background and coconut and bananas in the dish. A common feature of the puja, in addition to the offerings, is the kolam, the auspicious design which is traditionally traced in white lime powder before the house in the early morning after bathing.

On this day the paddy is reaped. Using the newly reaped rice, "pongal" is made and offered first to God. The sun God is said to come on a chariot that is driven by seven horses. Turmeric sprigs and sugarcane is placed in the pooja. The pooja is dedicated to the sun god and his chariot.

Then food is offered to God. Once the pooja is done, everyone in the house take a little Pongal and sprinkle it around the house. This is done as a ritual to ask God to bless their home. People on this day generally wear new dresses, use new utensils or even household items and discard the old ones the previous day. New rice on this day is cooked in pots until it over flows.

This overflowing of rice means Pongal. This ceremony of overflowing of rice is considered as a joyous occasion. This occasion has no actual meaning but is an expression of happiness that the new harvest is here and they enjoy it by dancing and making music. The dish called Pongal is cooked and prepared, with rice dal and sugar. Pongal is also called as "venpongal", ven means white. Another kind of it is prepared with dhal and jaggery which is called chakraipongal. chakrai means sweet. The other common dishes prepared during pongal are Brinjal, Sambar, vada , idli.

On this Makara Sankranthi day , Makara Jyothi ,the celestial lighting at Sabarimala is an important event which is witnessed by the largest number Sabarimala Temple Pilgrims every year and this wil be telecasted in the TV channels for all to see.
Legends of Pongal

All the festivals have some interesting legends associated with it. Pongal, the much awaited festival of South India particularly Tamil Nadu also has interesting legends associated with it. The most popular legends attached to Pongal celebration are discussed below:

Legend of Mount Govardhan

 The first day of the festival Bhogi Pongal has an association with legend of Lord Indra (the God of clouds and rains) and Lord Krishna. Earlier, people used to worship Lord Indra who was the King of the deities. This honor given to Lord Indra made him full of pride and arrogance. He thought himself to be the most powerful of all the beings. When child Krishna came to know about this he thought of a plan to teach him a lesson. He persuaded his cowherd friends to worship Mt. Govardhan rather than Lord Indra. This angered Lord Indra and he sent forth the clouds to generate non-stop thunder, lightning, heavy rains and flood the land. As per the tale, Lord Krishna lifted the huge Govardhan Parvat on his little finger to protect the cowherds and the cattle. He kept standing with the lifted mount to save all the humans from the ravaging storm of Lord Indra. The rains continued for three days and at last Indra realized his mistake and divine power of Lord Krishna. He promised humility and begged Krishna's forgiveness. Since then, Krishna allowed to let the Bhogi celebrations continue in honor of Indra. Thus, the day gave the origin to the Pongal celebration. The festival got another name of Indran from this legendary story.

Legend of Lord Shiva

Another legend associated with the festival relates to Lord Shiva. The third day of Pongal known as Mattu Pongal involves Lord Shiva and his mount, Nandi (Basava), the bull. According to the legend, Lord Shiva once asked his bull to go to the Earth and deliver his message to the people to have an oil massage and bath daily and to eat food once a moth. Mistakenly, Basava announced to have an oil massage and bath once a month and to eat food daily. Enraged Shiva cursed Basava and said that due to this mistake there would be lack of grains on the Earth. He banished the bull to live on earth forever and help people plough the fields. Thus, Mattu Pongal has an association with the cattle. It is also called Kanu Pongal. The celebrations of the festival are similar to the festivals of Raksha Bandhan and Bhai Dooj of North India.

Mattu Pongal:

The third day is called as Mattu Pongal  is meant to offer thanks to the cows and buffaloes, as they are used to plough the lands. Jallikattu, a violent taming the bull contest, marks this day.

Decorated Cow
Mattu Pongal- which is pongal for the cows. Cows are worshipped on this day (according to Hindu culture cows are considered holy). The cows are decorated. Their horns are painted, colors are applied and some clothes are tied on the cows. Then the cow is taken around to each house. On this day in some villages in south India, there are bull fights are held.

Multi-colored beads, tinkling bells, sheaves of corn and flower garlands are tied around the neck of the cattle and then are worshiped. They are fed with Pongal and taken to the village centers. The resounding of their bells attract the villagers as the young men race each other's cattle. The entire atmosphere becomes festive and full of fun and revelry. Arati is performed on them, so as to ward off the evil eye.

According to a legend, once Shiva asked his bull, Basava, to go to the earth and ask the mortals to have an oil massage and bath every day and to eat once a month. Inadvertently, Basava announced that everyone should eat daily and have an oil bath once a month. This mistake enraged Shiva who then cursed Basava, banishing him to live on the earth forever. He would have to plough the fields and help people produce more food. Thus the association of this day with cattle.

Kaanum Pongal:
This is the last day of Pongal. On this day, a turmeric leaf is washed and is then placed on the ground. On this leaf are placed, the left overs of sweet Pongal and Venn Pongal, ordinary rice as well as rice colored red and yellow, betel leaves, betel nuts, two pieces of sugarcane, turmeric leaves, and plantains. In Tamil Nadu women perform this ritual before bathing in the morning. All the women, young and old, of the house assemble in the courtyard. The rice is placed in the centre of the leaf, while the women ask that the house and family of their brothers should prosper. Arati is performed for the brothers with turmeric water, limestone and rice, and this water is sprinkled on the kolam in front of the house.Sometimes the banned cockfights, bullfights and ramfights are included.  Sun, Mahabali (a mythological king of anti-Gods or asuras or danavas) and Godadevi are worshipped during this harvest festival.

People on this day go out for a picnic and enjoy. This is a day when everyone spends time outside the house. People on this day travel to see their near relatives. During this day, the smaller members of the family pay their respects to their elders, and the elders bless them by giving them some money. Some food is left on some leaves for birds to eat. Some begin their day by visiting the temple.

Gangireddu & Haridasu - Popular forms of Sankranti

 Gangireddu is a sacred bull, which is decorated with beautiful clothes and ringing bells. Haridasulu are the people of a cast who are dedicated to receive charities from other people.Haridasu makes gangireddu (bull) to dance. The scene clearly depicts bulls obedience to his master. Haridasu sings songs and gangireddu dances according to his masters song."Ayyagaariki Dandam Pettu,Ammagaariki Dandam Pettu"

"Haridaasu (servant of Lord Hari/Vishnu)" is a special attraction of this festival, just like Santa for Christmas. These Haridaasus wake up very early in pre-dawn hours, bathe, wear special saffron clothes, and visit each home in the village. They wear Vaishnavite markings on the face, necklaces of rudraksha (probably seeds of Guazuma tomentosa plant) beads, flower garlands, tamboora (stringed musical instrument) on one shoulder, chirutalu (castanets) in one hand, anklets with bells, etc., and visit homes while singing religious songs (Vaishnavite, especially praising Lord Rama). They collect alms (especially rice), provided by the villagers, in a pot called akshayapaatra carried on the head.  Usually people belonging to saataana, daasara, raaju etc., castes/tribes practice this kind of lifestyle.  Villagers compete to give alms to these Haridaasus.

Kite Flying - A tradition  During Sankranti 

Kites Flying
Kite flying is a major tradition during the Sankranti days. In some regions, Kite flying is started in the month of December and is continued till February. In some North Indian as well in some South Indian cities, kite flying competitions are held.

During the Pongal, the schools announce holidays for children, they are actively participate in Kite flying competitions. In India, kite flying is a widely participated recreational activity. Even old aged people also participate in this competition.

Its a sight to be experienced on a dawn of Cold January Winter,the households view with eachother in designing and roling out the Muggulu/Rangolis/Kolams of various designs and sizes,often stretching from one end of the street to the other.Be it the City or Country side the Muggulu makes homes very inviting .Girls traditionally make gobemma and place them in the Rangoli and pray.Streets would be lined with the colorful rangolis seems like the mother earth is shining in her best colors.All the girls wil perform their artistic talent in their Muggulu drawing by dots or in design.Competitions are also held in schools and streets by some people to encourage them and prizes are distributed .It's very funny and obviously if we take more time to complete our design,sure the back pain wil be the result.

The charm of this harvest festival is shopping which starts months before and the girls are especially seen in Langa,Voni and the Pattu parikini and paavada and decorated with Ornaments seems to look very beautiful.Usually girls are dressed in atraditional during this Festive season .

In Andhra Pradesh every Textile showrooms and Clothes store and the Jewellery shops Managers will give advertisement in the News papers and Televisions announcing the discounts for the Festival.Every women will rush the shops.

Finally Here goes the One simple Telugu Sankranti Poem

Vachindi Vanchindi Sankranti
Techindi Techindi Kotta Kanti
Maa Palle Ayyindi Mustabu
Daanikinka ledandi Javaabu

Haridaasu paata "Harilo ranga hari"
Chinnavaalla maata " Bari ledando mari"
Bulli papa Aaata " Gobbilloyi Gobbilloyi"
Chinnakkala pani " Muggulloyi Muggulloyi"

Bhogi pandaga naadu "Mantaloyi Mantalu"
Makara Sankrati naadu "Gaareloyi Gaarelu"
Kanuma naadu " Koti Prabhala Kantuloyi Kaantulu"
Moodu pandagalu mugiyagaane, "parikshaloyi parikshalu!!"

During the Pongal season, people eat sugar canes and decorate the houses with Kolam.Even though Pongal was originally a festival for the farming community, today it is celebrated by all. Coinciding with Makara Sankranti and Lohri of the north, it is also called Pongal Sankranti and thus celebrated in some form in various parts of India.

              Divya's Cooking Journey Wishes A Very Happy Pongal to Each  & Every One !!!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Sweet Pongal


  •  Raw Rice-1cup
  •  Green Gram Dal-1/2cup
  •  Milk-1cup
  •  Jaggery (powdered)-3cups
  • Ghee-4tbsp
  •  Cashewnuts-2tbsp
  •  Raisins-2tbsp
  •  Cardamoms (powdered)-5no
  •  Cloves (powdered)-2no
  •  Nutmeg (grated or powdered)-1 small piece
  •  A pinch of Saffron
  •  Water-2 1/2 cups

1. Roast dry the green gram dal for a couple of minutes.

2. Cook the rice and green gram dhal with 2 1/2 cups of water and 1 cup milk in the microwave or on the gas and set aside.

3. Dissolve the jaggery in 3/4 cup water and cook on a low heat till the jaggery melts.

4. Strain the jaggery to remove the dirt.

5. Put the syrup once more on the heat and stir till it becomes slightly sticky.

6. Add the cooked rice and dhal.

7. Heat the 4 tbsp ghee.

8. Fry the cashewnuts and raisins and add to the pongal.

9. Add the powdered cardamoms, cloves nutmeg and saffron.

10. Mix well and serve hot.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Sankranti ~ Makara Sankranthi date in 2011

Sankranti, also known as Makar Sankranthi, marks the Suns transit into Makara Rashi. Sankranti 2011 date is January 15, Saturday. This day marks the beginning of Uttarayana Punyakalam. It is celebrated throughout India with various names. Makara Sankramana Snan is the most observed ritual during Sankranti.

Sankranti is celebrated as Pongal in Tamil Nadu for three days. In Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, Sankranthi is celebrated for four days. Bhogi, Sankranti, Kanuma and Mukkanuma are the four festivals during Makar Sankranthi.

Sankranti 2011 dates – Calendar of Sankranthi 2011:

    * Bhogi 2011 – January 14, Friday
    * Sankranti 2011 – January 15, Saturday
    * Kanuma 2011 – January 16, Sunday
    * Mukkanuma 2011 – January 17, Monday

Bhogi marks the beginning of Sankranti festival. Sacred bonfire is the main ritual during Bhogi. This ritual is called as ‘Bhogi Mantalu in Andhra Pradesh. Kite flying, Rangoli designs (Pookalam, kolam or muggulu), Gobbemma, Gangireddu and haridasu are the main aspects of Sankranthi festival. Kanuma, third day during Sankranti festival, is associated with the legend of lifting of Govardhan Giri by Lord krishna. Mukkanuma, the final day of Sankranti festival, is celebrated to worship cattle.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Happy Sankranthi ~ Ariselu

Sankranthi Subhakaankshalu

Happy Pongal Wishes.

Ariselu is one of the traditional sweet of Andhra Pradesh,which is originated from South a part of Andhra.Usually this sweet is made for Marriages and Festivals.At the time of Kaartikamasam also for the Kedareshwara swamy Vratam,offered this item for Naivedyam and sure this dish is made during "Makara Sankranthi" Festival as it is the right time for the new harvest to the farmers.Every women in the house seems being busy to cook this sweet with the help of servants or by their neighbours.The traditional way of making this delicious sweet takes for 2days.One day for soaking the rice in water for overnight and the second day for blending the powder and preparing the syrup for the dough to make Ariselu.

Son-in-Laws arrive to In-Laws home for this Big festival and they are tasted with this special item and Festival gifts.In India,some people distribute this sweet for the Kid's First Birthday time as a variety describing that "Adugulaki Ariselu" (as the infant started foot steps) and allow the kid to walk on this sweet item as a tradition too.I came to know this at the time of my kid Neelesh 1st Birthday. Also prepared at the time of Marriage Function & Baby shower time. 

One important thing is Old rice for rice flour will give a good result than the New rice ,it becomes hard.Regarding this delicious sweet ,I recollected some beautiful Child-hood memories as kid.I used to go to my grandparents home for each and every festival along with my Mother and there would be a big family gatherings.I remember whenever the ariselu are made,my grandma used to soak the rice for whole night and she wake up early in the morning to blend the rice.Now a days ,powders are easily prepared by using the Mixy jars and blenders.Those days ,people use their own energy and prepare the powder in the Stone Pestle.Really it was very hard ,as I experinced it by put my hand to the pestle for only 2times along with my grandma and use to go for play.Once after cooking these ariselu another work was to press them with an special instrument to drain all the excess oil/ghee from it. Frying them in the Ghee known as a "Nethi Ariselu"We all the kids ,use to play and enjoy all the festival items made by my Grandma.Me,while returning back to home ,I used to pack more ariselu than other kids.I like this sweet Very much especially made by my Lovely Grand Mother.She also says that the "Beauty of the dough can be stored and used whenever we want" also known as "Chalimidi".

Those who have no time ,can choose an option from purchasing from the Sweet shop and enjoy the Festival Sweet.So, friends with a tough work for this Sankranthi I prepared these Ariselu following the Instructions given by my Mother.I felt little harder making the sweet alone but was Yummy.Here goes the recipe

  • Rice- 2cups
  • Jaggery(grated)/Sugar- 2cups
  • Coconut grated-1/2 cup or 1cup cubed and shallow fried coconut pieces  (optional)
  • Water-3 cups approximately
  • Ghee-2tbsp
  • Sesame seeds or Poppy seeds-2tbsp
  • Oil /Ghee for deep frying
  • Also keep excess flour
  • Plantain leaf/Ziploc bag/parchment cooking paper -to press the balls
  • Wash and soak the rice in water over night for 7-8 hrs.
  • Drain the rice and dry the rice on a cotton cloth,so that the cloth will absorb any remaining water.
  • Make a fine powder out of this rice,sieve the rice powder and if desire grind once again and make a very  fine powder.And take this flour in to a bowl and cover with a lid and set it aside.
  • This powder should be little wet and don't leave it dry.
  • Now make a Jaggery/Sugar syrup in a vessel by adding water just to cover the jaggery under a flame and start boiling.When the syrup is made remove from the heat and strain to remove if any dirt in the Jaggery.
  • Bring back to heat and boil it in to a low flame till it becomes like a thick syrup.
  • To check the syrup consistency,take a half cup water and leave a drop of syrup and check that should become like a lump.
  • Then add rice flour,Coconut and Sesame or Poppy seeds and stir well to avoid lumps.
  • The texture should come somewhat like a soft Chapati dough.
  • If you think the mixture is semi-solid,add some rice flour.
  • Remove from the heat and add little ghee to make a softy dough.
  • Cover with a lid and cool it for few seconds ,it means the dough should be able to touch with your hands to make balls.
  • Apply Oil/ghee to your hand and surface of the Plantainleaf or polythene sheet and put one dough on it and press to form a circle.(It should be thicker)
  • Heat oil/ghee in a pan and meanwhile prepare the circle shapes from the remaining dough.
  • Drop them in to oil and fry under a lowflame till light brown and Fry one at a time.
  • After the discs turn golden color,remove the discs,and press hardly between two laddles to squeeze extra oil/ghee.(Normally ariselu absorbs oil/ghee when fried)
  • Spread them in abig plate to cool.After they become cool store them in an air-tight container.
  • Serve this special delicious yummy Ariselu for the guests and friends in a plate and Enjoy!!!
  • You can store and use the dough whenever you want and If it becomes too hard ,just add about 2tsp of water along with the 2tsp of sugar and boil.
  • You can add sesame or poppy seeds along with the flour or sprinkle it after making the circles from the balls.
  • Don't make  the circles thin,it will be crispy.Make thicker to taste soft and crunchy.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


Chakraalu is one of the Famous Festive traditional South India item.Chakraalu is also known as Murukku or Janthikalu.Its preparation is simple if the Murukku Press is available and if not also we can done it by passing the dough like a thread and forming a circular shape. This is an all time snack item for kids and elders.Children can enjoy its crackling sound while eating and even me too when I am a Kid.Now enjoying it by seeing when my kid eats it.I am sure all the South Indian people almost like this and it goes well as a Tasty tea time snack .I remember well this item was prepared specifically during the "Pongal /Sankranthi" Festival and my school Vaccation time by my Grand Mother when I reach her for the holidays.So friends , I am posting for you all  for the upcoming" Pongal " festival .Try and Enjoy!!

  • Rice flour/Biyyam Pindi-3 cups
  • Besan flour/Gram flour/Senagapindi-1 cup
  • Red chillipowder according to taste
  • Ajwaiin/Vaamu-2tsps
  • Hot cooking oil-little
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil for frying
Apparatus: Murukku Press & Plastic Sheet

Murukku Press Instrument
  • Take vessel or bowl ,Mix the Rice flour,Besan flour,Ajwaiin,salt,and red chilli powder and mix well using little water at a time.
  • While mixing the dough add little hot oil and mix it well to form a soft dough.
  • Heat the oil in a deep pan for frying.
  • Divide the dough in to small portions and place the small dough in to the Murukku press by fixing it with the desired shapes.
  • Press these directly in to the oil or you can press them on a Plastic sheet and place them in the oil.
  • Fry the  chakraalu  till golden brown.
  • Use this dough for making various shapes of chakraalu.
  • Drain the excess oil by placing these Chakraalu on a Paper Napkin.
  • Cool and store it an air -tight container and are ready to eat anytime of the day.
The below are the various shapes of chakralu made by the dough.
Ribbon Pakodi
Sanna Karappusa

  • Replace the Besan With Urad dal (Minapa Pindi) to get a different vesrsion.
  • Also can try with the Millet flour and you can add little quantity of melted butter for taste.
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      Tuesday, January 4, 2011

      Maamidikaaya Pulihora ~ Green Mango Rice

      Mango Rice is one of the South Indian traditional rice item prepared and offered as Prasadam (Offering to God).This can be made fast and simple with the grated raw mango and tastes very yummy if the green mango is un-ripe .This can be served as a Morning breakfast or Tiffin and aslo for any Occasions .This Mango Rice is specifically prepared on "Ugadi" festival-The telugu New Year.On the occasion of "Ugadi"Festival,people celebrate the season's fresh produce of Mangoes by preparing Maamidikaaya Pulihora.Raw mangoes are usually available in India during the months March & April (Summer season). So here goes my recipe for Easy to make and delicious to eat !!
      • Cooked rice-2 cup (Each grain should be separate)
      •  Peeled & Grated Raw green mango-3 cups (Adjust according to your taste)
      • Salt to taste
      • Turmeric-1/4tsp
      • Kothimeer leaves-few
      • Oil-3tbsp
      • Chanadal/Bengal gram dal-1tbsp
      • Urad dal/Split black gram dal-1tbsp
      • Mustard seeds-1tsp
      • Cumin seeds-1tsp
      • Green chillies-3 to 4 slit in lengthwise
      • Red chillies-3
      • Hing-1/4tsp
      • Groundnuts-3tbsp
      • Cashewnuts-3tbsp
      • Curryleaves-few
      • Take a large vessel or plate and spread the cooked rice and and let it cool for not to stick together.
      • Place grated mango in a bowl by mixing with turmeric and keep it aside.
      • Now heat a pan with oil undera medium heat,add the mustard seeds.Once they pop up add the cumin seeds,chanadal,urad dal,peanuts,cashewnuts and let them turn on medium heat.
      • Now add the green chillies,red chillies ,curry leaves and hing.Toss them for few seconds and turn off the heat.
      • Spread the cooked rice on a wide plate,sprinkle salt and grated mango mixed with the turmeric and add the seasoning.
      • Mix well all together by using the hand or big spoon.Combine well till the seasoning is blended with the rice.Adjust salt.
      • Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and serve it on a plate and Enjoy!!

      • Adjust the quantity of grated mango to suit your Tangy flavour.
      • Taste this Rice with Curd or Vadiyalu.
      • You can also prepare by using Biyyam Ravva /Rice ravva.

      Saturday, January 1, 2011

      Happy New Year Wishes!!!!!

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

      May the dawn of New Year leads you to the path of beautiful tomorrows and brings abounding joys, filling your heart with love and home with happiness.

      Raise a toast to good times and welcome year 2011 with good friends & good cheers. Wishing you eternal bliss and superb time ahead.