Sabudhana Kichadi

Sabudhana kichadi is made during fasting days like Navarathri,. Mahashivarathri, Ekadasi. I started making this recipe after I got married. When I was chatting with my mom, I told her that I was bored with regular tiffin items and wanted to try something new. She suggested me this recipe. After that this has become a regular tiffin item in my house. We have this recipe for breakfast as well as for dinner. You can make this recipe during navarathri and can serve it to your friends. A different one from the sundal.

INGREDIENTS

Sabudhana – 1 cup

Cooked potatoes- 1/2 cup

Crushed peanuts- 1/4 cup

Salt – To taste

For Seasoning

Ghee – 2 tbsp

Cumin seeds – 1 tsp

Ginger- 1 tbsp(juliennes)

Green chillies- 2 (lengthwise)

Curry leaves – few

  • Wash and soak the Sabudhana for 4 hours.
  • Drain the water and keep the sabudhana aside.
  • In a kadai, add ghee, cumin seeds and saute for a minute. Then add the green chillies, ginger, green chillies and curry leaves and saute for a minute. Add salt and mix well.
  • Add cooked and chopped potatoes, little water and allow it to cook until the potatoes absorb salt.
  • Add soaked sabudhana and mix well. stir until they turn translucent.
  • Stir gently and make sure that the sabudhana donot stick to each other. Add ghee in between.
  • Finally garnish with crushed peanuts. The crunchy peanuts will make the sabudhana kichadi more delicious.
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Upma

Upma is the simplest and humble breakfast that can made in a jiffy. It is also an easy recipe for beginners. It can be made with sooji, vermicelli, samba sooji. The addition of onions to upma makes it too yummy.  Roasting the rava is one of the important steps. When the rava is not roasted, the upma will be sticky and when it is over roasted, then the taste is spoiled.

INGREDIENTS

Sooji -1 cup

Water – 2 1/2 cups

Onion- 1 finely chopped(optional)

Salt- To taste

For tempering

Coconut Oil – 2 tbsp

Mustard seeds – 1 tsp

Urad dhal – 1 tsp

Channa dhal – 1 tsp

Curry leaves – few

Ginger-1 tsp

Green chillies – 2

  • Measure and roast the sooji in the pan and keep it aside.
  • Now add oil and splutter mustard seeds. Once they crack, add channa dhal and urad dhal. When they turn brown, add green chillies, ginger and curry leaves.
  • Add water, salt and allow it to boil.
  • When they start to boil, add sooji and mix without forming any lumps.
  • Continusly stir so that they donot stick to the bottom.
  • Add coconut oil now and then to add flavour and also to make upma soft.

Note: You can add onions if necessary. It makes upma more tasty.

Skandha Shasti 2017

Skanda  Sashti or Kanda Sashti Vratam is an important festival dedicated to Lord Muruga. It is observed in the Tamil month of Aippasi and most devotees fast during the 6-day period. It starts from the next day after Diwali and the final day is celebrated as Kandha Sashti. The last day is also called as Soorasamharam day.

 

 

(Skandha Sashti Viratham starts on 19th Oct and the Sashti falls on Oct 26th and thirukalyanam on Oct 27th)

It is believed that Lord Murugan defeated demon Soorapadman with his Vel on the sixth day of the battle and the festival of Soorasamharam is observed every year to mark the victory of good over evil. Soorapadman’s cruelty went to an extreme, Lord Shiva asked Muruga to destroy asuras and free Devas from their cruel bondage. Shiva gave the eleven rudras eleven weapons, and Parvathi gave the Vel weapon to Lord Muruga for the war. The Vel, or sacred spear, is the most powerful weapon in Lord Muruga’s armory. During the first five days of the war the brothers of Surapadma and all other asuras perished. Soorapadman had such a big ego that he did not want to surrender to the Lord. He took the form of a big mango tree. On sixth day, Lord Muruga’s spear split the tree and one part became a peacock and the other became a Chanticleer(cock). Lord Muruga took Peacock as his vahana (Vehicle) and Cock on his banner.         

Thiru Kalyanam is observed on the next day of Soorasamharam. The famous ‘Vetri Vel’ chanting that takes place on the Shasti day is associated with the victory of Skanda over Soorapadman.    

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The Skanda Shasti Vratam (fasting) 

The Skanda Shasti Vratam is believed to be highly beneficial and is observed mainly by Tamil speaking people. It is important to note that the day when shasti thithi conjugates with panjami thithi is chosen for Shasti Vratam. The Shasti vratam is also famous in Kerala. The energy of Lord Muruga, also called as Skanda, is abundantly available during these sacred 6 nights of darkness destroying energy.

Most devotees fast during the 6-day period.  There is no common method of Skanda Shasti fasting. Different devotees observe it differently. Some people only fast on the Soorasamharam day. The fasting ends with the Thirukalyanam on the next day.  But there are some basic rules followed by all the devotees.

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  • Non-vegetarian food is completely avoided during the period.
  • Some people also avoid garlic and onions.
  • Those who are observing the fast make it a point to read scriptures related to Lord Muruga or recite the Kanta Shasti Kavasam or Subramaniya Bhujangam.
  • Most devotees also visit Skanda temples during the period.
  • When it comes to Kanda Shasti fasting, some devotees only take a single meal a day.
  • Some take the meal at noon and others at night.
  • Some devotees confine to fruits and juices during the 6-day period.

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There are several Skanda devotees who see the Vratam as an opportunity to clean the body and get rid of unwanted toxic elements. Such devotees confine to water, coconut water and other fruit juices.

It must be noted that ‘Vrata’ or ‘Vratam’ in Sanskrit means ‘vow.’ Vratam should not be misunderstood as mere fasting. By observing a Vratam a person is trying to purify his mind through meditation, worship and by sticking to some ‘vow’ that he/she has taken. Now, this vow can include fasting, not telling lies, not getting anger etc. A vratam should be seen as a deliberate attempt on your part to bring back discipline into your life.

Always my mother will tell us that she observed sashti viratham and by coincidence or with the blessings of Lord Muruga, my brother and I were born on Sashti thithi. It is a strong belief for me that if we wish to get something in life and observe fasting on this day, it will be fulfilled by the grace of God.

Some methods for observing Viratham – I got these details from my uncle. Thank you Ganesh mama…

Shasti Viratham is mainly done for Lord Muruga. Usually Kanda sasti will falls in tamil month of Aippasi.

  1. First meditate on Lord Muruga – You can do this silently or by chanting Om Valli Devasena samedha Sri Subrahmanya Swāmine namaha dhyāyāmii
  2. Now invoke Lord Muruga – Take the idol or picture or Vel and keep it near you or hold it in your hands. You can silently pray to Muruga or chant Om Vali devasena… swāmine namaha āvāhayāmii
  3. Now you can place the idol in the appropriate place chosen by you in the puja area – you can chant – Om āsanam samarpayāmii
  4. Now you can sprinkle some water – Om…namaha arghyam
  5. Now you can pour some water on the feet or near the Vel – Om… namaha pādhyam
  6. Sprinkle some water again – Om… namaha āchamaniyam
  7. Now you can sprinkle rose water or usual water – Om… oupachārika snānam
  8. Sprinkle some water again as final purification – Om…snānānandharam āchamaniyam
  9. Now you can offer turmeric paste or if you have special dress for idol you can offer it –Om… vastrārtham akshadām
  10. Now you can offer sandal paste to the Vel or idol – Om gandhān dhārayāmi
  11. Now you can do decorations with flowers or garlands – Om…gandhsyopari alankāranārtham akshadām
  12. Now you can offer kum kum – Om…haridrā kumkumam
  13. Finally, you can offer some flowers – Om…pushpaih poojayāmi

Now you can light the lamp and chant Skanda Sasti Kavacham, Subrahmanya Bhujangam or read Skanda Purana or any text related to Lord Muruga.

You can also perform archana after lighting the lamp or your usual method of daily puja with camphor and agarbathis.

If you have prepared any food (neivedhyam) you can offer it to the lord and perform Arathi.

At the end of the puja you can thank Lord Ganesha for helping in successfully conducting the pooja.

Skanda sasthi vratam is very effective. Fasting on this day, reciting skanda sasthi kavacham and worshipping Lord Muruga / Karthikeya on this day is very good for those who are trying to conceive.

The couple will surely be blessed with children on doing this vratam.

Baby potatoes in Cashew gravy

Baby potatoes are the potatoes which are removed from the soil before they are fully grown. They can be cooked in many ways. In India, baby potatoes are used to make a very popular dish -Dhum Aloo. They are less in calories and fat free. With the skin, they are a good source of fibre and helps in maintaining weight. They also lack cholesterol and help in reducing the risks of heart disease. I coated them with the masala and cooked them in cashew gravy. So this is a rich recipe and people who are diet conscious please donot read further :P. But it can very well be consumed by persons who are thin and slim.

INGREDIENTS

Baby potatoes – 20

Cashews – 15

Garam masala powder- 2 tbsp

Red chilli powder – 2 tsp

Coriander powder – 2tsp

Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp

Curd – 4 tbsp

Water – 1/4 cup

Salt – To taste

Oil – 2 tbsp

Cilantro- few

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  • Wash the baby potatoes well to remove the mud.
  • Pressure cook the potatoes, peel off the skin and keep aside.
  • Soak the cashews in milk for half an hour and grind it to a fine paste.
  • In a pan add oil and the garam masala. Keep the stove in medium flame and saute until the raw smell goes off. If you are using the induction stove, saute it in 350 watts.

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  • Then add the cooked baby potatoes, mix well with the masala.
  • At this stage you can also add coriander powder, turmeric powder and salt. Then close the lid and cook it in medium flame or 700 watts for 5-7 minutes.

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  • Then open the lid, add red chilli powder and mix well. Red chilli powder should not be added before since it will turn black.
  • Now add the water, curd and the ground cashew paste.
  • Mix well and close the lid. Cook in high flame or 900 watts for five minutes and then in medium flame or 700 watts until the gravy thickens.

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  • Cook until the gravy thickens and the oil separates on the sides of the pan.

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  • Garnish it with cilantro and serve with Roti/Chappathi.

Navarathri

The word Navarathri means nine nights.  Navarathri is celebrated five times during the year-  Vasantha navarathri, Ashad navarathri, Sharadh navarathri, Paush navarathri and Magha navarathri.  Sharadh navarathri is the most important navarathri and is called as the Maha navarathri. It is celebrated for 9 nights and 10 days during the tamil month Purattasi. During these nine nights and ten days prayers are offered to the three main Goddess- Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswathy. The first three days is for Goddess of power – Durga, the second three days for Goddess of wealth- Lakshmi and the last three days for Goddess of knowledge – Saraswathy.  The main aspect of Navarathri is kolu where the dolls are arranged in a series of steps. The dolls are arranged on Ammavasya- no moon day and the pooja starts from the very next day and the final day is celebrated as Vijayadasami.

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Story:

Once there lived a demon Mahishasuran. He performed tough penance and obtained the boon that he can be killed only by a virgin.  After having the boon he conquered all the three worlds. He also started to  harass the Devas and humans. So everyone went to the God to save them from the demon. In order to eradicate him and to save the Devas and Humans, the Divine mother was born.  She did penance for nine days and nine nights and obtained power from mum moorthigal – Brahma, Vishnu and Shivan. On the tenth day she was empowered as Devi Durga and destroyed the Demon. So the day is celebrated as Vijayadasami. The nine nights prior to Vijayadasami is called as Navarathri.

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           Navarathri celebration in my house starts with my Dad buying dolls every year. Every year we will buy something new in my home. A week before Navarathri, we will start making arrangements to set up the dolls in order. The first and foremost thing is to set the steps on which the dolls are to be placed. Then we will decorate the room with paper flowers and hanging festoons. Its always fun to unwrap the boxes and to take the dolls out.  Each and everyone of us in my family will join together in doing all these arrangements. On the day of Ammavasai, my mom will draw a small rangoli under the steps and then the most important doll the marappachi bommai  (Doll made out of wood) is placed. It is for this reason the doll is given to the daughter when she gets married and goes to her husband’s house.  Followed by this other dolls are arranged.

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First step –  One sense creatures like plants, climbers, etc.,

Second step –  Two sense creatures like snail, conch.

Third step – Three sense creatures like ant, silverfish.

Fourth step –  Four sense creatures like Crab, Beetle.

Fifth Step –  Five sense animals and birds.

Sixth step – Six sense humans.

Seventh step – Rishis, Sidhdhars

Eighth step – Ashtadhik Balargal, Navagraha Athibathigal.

Ninth step – Brahma, Vishnu, Sivan.

The message of this is we humans should slowly attain the stage of Divine by being and doing good things.

Kuththu Vilakku decorated as Goddess..

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            During all the nine days of Navarathri, in the morning, pooja is performed by chanting various slokhas and singing songs. Also Sundal or payasam is made and offered to God. Later this is given to the friends and relatives who will come for vethalai paaku. In the same way we will go to many houses to see the kolu and to get the vethalai paaku.  In recent days, along with the vethalai paaku some gift is also given. Finally at the end of the day Haarathi is done with turmeric powder and kumkum.  On the ninth day, the books and musical instruments are arranged in front of the kolu. Pooja is performed and the food includes vadai and payasam. On the next day to glorify the victory of Durga Devi,  Vijayadasami is celebrated. On that day too pooja is performed and after deeparathanai, The elders will give the books to all the members in the family. Thus the Navarathri is celebrated in my family.

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       This year, it is the first navarathri for me after my wedding. My husband and I bought dolls from many places. It was a visual treat to see many people and to see the dolls being sold in the shops.  While my dad guided us in getting the dolls and giving ideas to set the steps, my Krish encouraged and helped me in arranging things. I should also thank my mom for teaching me and my brother many slokhas and songs. It helped me to chant one or the other each day. Also I thank my thatha for telling many stories whenever the power goes off and my Paati for giving me the confidence to do each and every thing boldly.

Navarathri  Day 1 (21.09.17)

Devi : Maheswari
Flower :Malligai
Neivedhyam :Ven pongal
Thithi  : Pradhamai
Kolam :Draw rangoli by using dry rice flour
Raagam  : Thodi Raagam
Slokam   : Om swethavarnaayai  vidhmahe
soola hasthaayai dheemahi
thanno Maaheshwari Prachodayaath

Navarathri  Day 2(22.09.17)

Devi: Kowmaari
Flower:Sevvarali
Neivedhyam: Puliyodharai
Thithi: Dwitheeyai
Kolam:maavinal kolam . (Draw rangoli by using wet flour.)
Raagam:kalyaani
Slokam: Om Siki vaahanaaya vidhmahe
Sakthi Hasthaayai Dheemahi
Thanno kowmaari Prachodayaath

Navarathri  Day 3(23.09.17)

Devi: Vaaraahi
Flower:Champangi
Neivedhyam:Sakkarai pongal
Thithi:thrutheeyai
Kolam:malar  kolam poda vendum . (Draw rangoli by using flowers-pookolam.)
Raagam:kaambhodhi
Slokam: Om Magishathvajaaya vidhmahe
Thanda Hasthaaya Dheemahi
Thanno Vaaraahi Prachodayaath

Navarathri  Day (24.09.17)

Devi:  Lakshmi
Flower: JaathiMalli
Neivedhyam:Kadhamba Saadham
Thithi:chathurthi
Kolam:Atchadhai kondu padikattu pola kolamida vendum (Draw rangoli in shape of steps by using atchatai (mix of rice,turmeric,ghee.))
Raagam:bhairavi
Slokam: Om Padma Vaasinyai cha Vidhmahe
Padmalochanee sa Dheemahi
Thanno Lakshmi prachodayaath

Navarathri  Day 5(25.09.17)

Devi:  Vaishnavi
Flower: Paarijaatham & Mullai
Neivedhyam: Curd Rice
Thithi: panchami
Kolam: kadalai maavaal paravai kolam poda vendum (Draw a bird like rangoli by using Bengal gram flour.)
Raagam:panchamaavaranai  keerthanai paada vendum.bandhuvaraali
Slokam: Om Syaamavarnaayai  Vidhmahe
Chakra Hasthaayai Dheemahi
Thanno Vaishnavi Prachodayaath

Navarathri  Day 6(26.09.17)

Devi : Indraani
Flower:Semparuthi
Neivedhyam:Coconut rice
Thithi:sashti
Kolam:kadalai maavinaal Devi naamathai kolamida vendum  (Write the name of the goddess  using Bengal gram flour.)
Raagam:Neelaambari
Slokam: Om Kajathvajaayai vidhmahe
Vajra Hasthaaya Dheemahi
Thanno Iyndree Prachodayaath

Navarathri  Day 7(27.09.17)

Devi: Saraswathi
Flower:Malligai & mullai
Neivedhyam:Lemon rice
Thithi:Sapthami
Kolam:Narumana malargalaal kolamida vendum (Draw rangoli by using  fragrant flowers-pookolam.)
Raagam:Bilahari
Slokam: Om Vaakdevyai  vidhmahe
Vrinji pathnyai sa Dheemahi
Thanno Vaani Prachodayaath

Navarathri  Day 8(28.09.17)

Devi: Durga
Flower:Roja
Neivedhyam: Paayasa annam
Thithi:ashtami
Kolam:padma kolam  (Draw traditional lotus shaped rangoli)
Raagam:punnagavaraali
Slokam: Om Magisha mardhinyai vidhmahe
Durga devyai Dheemahi
Thanno Devi Prachodayaath

Navarathri  Day 9(29.09.17)

Devi: Saamundaa
Flower:Thaamarai
Neivedhyam: Akkaravadisal
Thithi:navami
Kolam:Vaasanai podigalal aayudham pola kola mida vendum (Draw weapon shaped rangoli  by using fragrant  powder.)
Raagam:vasantha raagam
Slokam: Om Krishna varnaayai vidhmahe
Soola Hasthaayai Dheemahi
Thanno Saamundaa Prachodayaath

Vijaya dasami(30.09.17)

Devi: Vijaya
Flower: Malligai,Roja
Neivedhyam: sakkarai pongal,sweets
Thithi: dasami
Slokam: Om Vijayaa devyai  vidhmahe
Mahaa Nithyaayai Dheemahi
Thanno Devi Prachoday

Happy Dussehra!!!!

Vermicelli Dosai/Vermicelli Crepe

As I always mention in my blog that I am a foodie and would never stick on to one type of dish. I get bored eating the same food daily. So I always make different varieties of food and experiment different types of cuisine. As usual I was bored of eating regular tiffin items. So I decided to make rava idli but in turn landed up making this tiffin.  My husband and I loved this tiffin and we enjoyed it with kaara chutney.

INGREDIENTS

Vermicelli – 1 cup

Ravai – 1/2 cup

Thick curd – 1 cup

Finely chopped Coriander leaves – 3 tbsp

Finely chopped green chillies – 2

Ginger – 1 tsp

Grated carrot- 1/2 cup

Soda – 1/2 tsp

Hing – A pinch

Salt – As required

Water- To adjust consistency

For Seasoning

Oil – 1tsp

Mustard seeds – 1 tsp

Channa – Dhal – 1/2 tsp

Split urad Dhal – 1/2 tsp

Curry leaves – few

  • In a bowl, add vermicelli, sooji, coriander, curry leaves, green chillies and ginger.
  • Add curd and mix well.
  • Now add the soda, salt, hing and mix well.
  • Adjust the consistency of the batter by adding water.Keep it aside covered for 10 minutes.
  • Finally add the grated carrot into the batter and mix everything together.
  • Now add oil to the pan and splutter mustard seeds. When the mustard seeds starts to crack, add spilt urad dal, channa dal and fry till they turn golden brown color. Add them into the batter.
  • Allow the batter to sit for 20 minutes. The batter is ready to use.
  • Heat the griddle and add a ladle of batter. Now spread it like a dosai. Drizzle oil and cook on both the sides. When it turns light brown in colour, remove it from the griddle.
  • The vermicelli dosai is ready to serve. It goes best with kaara chutney or Tomato pickle.

15 days Theme performance

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