Chithirai kani/ Tamil Varusha Porappu/Tamil puththandu

Chithiraikani or Tamil varusha porappu is celebrated in the Indian state of Tamilnadu. It falls on the second week of April. This is considered as the beginning of new year by the Tamilians. The tamilians in all over the world celebrate this vigorously. Similarly the Malayalam speaking people will celebrate their new year as Vishu. Sometimes both  are celebrated on the same day.  14th April 2017 – 13th April 2018 is called as Hevilambi year.

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On the day before the new year, people place a mirror and decorate it with Konnai poo(yellow colour flower) that blooms during this season. In front of the mirror a brass thambalam(large size plate) is placed. Rice is spread over the plate and the fruits and vegetables are arranged. Three main fruits to be arranged are Mango, Banana, Jack fruit.  Golden cucumber,  grapes, orange,  apple, raw mango, snake gourd, lemon, coconut are also arranged.  Apart from this gold, silver, coins, rupees, panjangam, dhal, turmeric powder, kumkum, beetel leaves, paaku are also placed. On the side of this a lamp is lighted. This is called as Vishu kani.
On the next day morning, we are directed by the elders to go to the pooja room with the eyes closed.  This is practised because the first thing seen on the new year should give us happiness and prosperity for the whole year.  Kani is seen by touching the plate with both the hands.
The elders will give some money for the youngsters as their blessings and it is called as Vishu kaineettam.
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On this auspicious day, for the sadhya, along with the regular food, payasam, vadai and pachchadi is made.

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Tamil Puththandu Nal vaazhuthukkal !!!!

Menu for Chithirai kani and Vishu

Sambar / Mor kootan

Rasam

Mathan kootu

Paruppu vadai  or Mupparuppu vadai

Thayir Pachadi

Koorka-mezhukkuperatti

Chadha-chadhayam 

Thakkali thokku/ Manga kari / Maa-inji, Pachai kuru milagu

Nenthrakai vathal/chips

Curd

Appalam/Pappadam/Vadam

Sooji papad

Papad/Fryums are thin, crispy tortilla like stuff that is either roasted or fried and accompanied with rice. My amma and both grandmothers make these crispy stuff at home during summer season. In my home we make these as a team work. Every single person at home will involve. We chit chat and enjoy doing these work. Missing those golden days. They wake up early in the morning and make vadam before the sunrises. And a portion of the fryum dough is always kept aside for us to eat.  I discussed with my NorthIndian friend about this and asked her about the papads they make in their home. One of it is Sooji papad. And the minute I heard about this, I found it different and wished to make it. She got the recipe from her mom and explained me. Here is the outcome of it.  Thank you so much Priyanka for the recipe.

INGREDIENTS

Rava/Sooji – 1 cup

Water – 8 cups

Cumin seeds – 2 tsp

Salt – To taste

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  • In a heavy bottomed pan, add sooji/Rava.
  • Add water into the pan and stir continuously. Donot forget to add salt at this stage.
  • Stir continuously and the mixture will start thickening slowly. At one stage, it will start boiling and will leave the sides.
  • At this stage add cumin seeds. Donot add in the beginning. It will change the colour of the papad.
  • Turn off the stove.
  • Spread the sheet in open terrace or under the fan.
  • Take a small ladle of the batter and spread gently on the sheet.
  • Dry it completely.  Store it in a container and use when required.
  • Heat the oil in a pan and fry the fryums one by one.
  • Serve with hot sambar sadam or any rice of your preference.

Panguni uthiram

Panguni Uthiram is one of the most important festivals for Hindus. It is also called as “Meena Uthira Palguni”. The important aspect of this day is that the Pournami and Uthiram start falls on the same day of Panguni month which is the last month of the Tamil Calendar year. According to the mythology, celestial weddings take place on this day and so Panguni Uthiram is known as the “Full Moon of Divine Marriages.

Important events happened on this day

  • Goddess Mahalakshmi came to life on Earth from the ocean of milk which was churned by the Devas and the Demons on either sides and thus this day is also celebrated as Mahalakshmi Jayanti. On the same day she got a place in LOrd Vishnu’s heart.
  • The day connotes the wedding of Goddess Parvati and Lord Shiva, Lord Rama and Sita, Lakshmanan and Oormila, Bharathan and Maandavi, Chathruknan and Sruthakeerthi.
  • Deivayaanai became the adopted daughter for Indiran on this day.Also she married Lord Muruga on this day.
  • Lord Brahma got the boon of having Goddess Saraswathi on his tongue.
  • Indhiran reunited with his wife Indirani on this day. Hence this day is also called as “Couple’s day”
  • Also Lord Ayyappa was born to Lord Shiva and Mohini avatar on this day.
  • According to Kandapuranam, there is a legend Manmadha Dhakanam. Manmadhan, the Lord of Kama disturbed the penance of Lord Shiva and the offended Lord Shiva destroyed the Lord of Kama into ashes. Rathi the wife of Kama Deva offered her prayers and request to bear the sins of her husband. Lord Shiva relented and reincarnated Manmadhan.

Panguni Uthiram is considered to be the right day to tackle all kinds of relationship problems and give an immeasurable boost when you join hands with your better half in life. Precisely, the joy of a loving and positive company is celebrated on the Divine Marriage Day, Panguni Uthiram. The divine combination of Uttaraphalguni starwith the Full Moon on Panguni (Tamil month) drives away sufferings and anxiety in nuptial life. By worshipping the Divine Couples on this day, we can connect with their energy to alleviate our relationship troubles.

Panguni Uthiram is the day to eliminate doshas in nuptial life. If the marriage was not conducted on auspicious time and if there are any doshas, then this is the day to alleviate them. The day gives you an opportunity to strengthen and improve your relationship. This day can actually dissolve all doshas and negative influences that cause disturbances in family life.

Festivals in Temples

The festival is celebrated over a ten day period in most of the Murugan Temples.’Mu’ stands for Mukunda (Vishnu), ‘Ru’ for Rudra (Shiva), and ‘Ka’ for Kamala (Brahma), therefore Muruga represents the three divine functions – creation, protection and destruction. People will assemble in thousands to witness car festivals at Palani. Men will observe a typical foot pilgrimage (pada yatra) to the temples of Lord Muruga and cover about one hundred kilometers over three to four days and nights. Some people vow to offer ‘Kavadi’ to Lord Muruga. They will bear Kavadi (two vessels connected and tied at the end of a long stick) on their shoulders and walk across the distance. Womenfolk will offer cool beverages like buttermilk or even food to devotees. At Mylapore, the ten day Panguni Festival will come to an end on this full moon day with the Thirukalyanam (celestial marriage). Ayyappa Jayanthi (the birth anniversary) of Lord Ayyappa will also be observed and celebrated in Ayyappa temples in Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

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Fasting

Panguni Uthiram is considered as one of the most important vrat/fast for Lord Muruga. Observing this fast with faith and dedication would remove the obstacles in marriage.

Thengai Thogayal

Thogayal are similar preparations to chutney with a pasty consistency.  My mom and grandmom makes ulundhu thogayal and Paruppu thogayal regularly at home. It goes best with Sambar and curd rice. Also it can be mixed with plain rice along with the ghee. I came to know about coconut/ thengai thogayal through one of my friends.  She is experiencing second pregnancy with morning sickness. But this is the one recipe which she loved to eat. Whenever her mom asked her as what to make something special for her to eat, she asks for this. I learnt this from her and made this at home. I mixed it with hot steaming plain rice and topped it with a teaspoon of ghee. It was heavenly.

INGREDIENTS

Coconut – 1/2

Urad dhal – 1 tbsp

Red chilli – 4 or 5

Tamarind – half lemon size

Asafoetida – 1/2 tsp

Jaggery – 1/2 tsp

Salt – To taste

Oil – 2 tbsp

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  • Shred the coconut and keep aside.
  • Add a tbsp of oil in a kadai and fry the coconut, urad dhal and red chilli. Saute until they turn light brown.
  • Allow the ingredients to cool for a while.
  • Grind everything together with salt, jaggery, asafoetida and tamarind.
  • Again add oil in a kadai and splutter mustard seeds. Add the ground thogayal and saute till the oil separates.
  • Serve it with curd rice or mix it with plain rice topped with ghee.

Rama Navami

Rama navami is considered as the birthday of Lord Rama. It falls  on the ninth day from Ugathi. Usually in Hindu culture ashtami( the eighth day from full moon day or no moon day) and Navami(ninth day from full moon day or no moon day) is considered as inauspicious days. People wont celebrate any function on these days. So Lord Vishnu said in one birth he will born on ashtami and in another birth he will born on navami. In this way we started celebrating gokulashtami(Birthday of Lord Krishnan) and Ramanavami(birthday of Lord Rama).During this day people make Neer mor or Sambaram, paanagam and kosumalli to offer it to Lord Rama. Moreover since this comes during Summer season, consuming Neer mor(Spicy buttermilk), Paanagam and kosumalli will cool one’s body and helps in hydrating. Here are the recipes for the occasion.

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Paanagam

Kosumalli

Sambaram

Grapes Popsicle

Popsicles are new to me and I heard it from one of my friends who made wheat milk kulfi. Later when I went to the Supermarket, I saw this popsicle mould and immediately grabbed one for me. First, I made banana popsicle with the ripened bananas and milk. Almost it came out good but I was not totally satisfied. Then we bought black grapes and I wished to made popsicles with that. Popsicles are very easy to make and there are thousands of popsicles that can be made according to your creativity. Grapes popsicle is very tasty and these are best to beat the heat.  People always prefer to eat ice creams but they increase the body temperature. Popsicles will help you really in Summer.

INGREDIENTS

Grapes – 1 cup

Sugar – 1 tbsp

Water – 1/4 cup

  • Add a cup of grapes, sugar, water in the juicer and grind. If you are using the mixie, then strain it to remove the debris.
  • Fill 3/4 th of the popsicle and close it with the lid.
  • If your popsicle mould doesn’t have lid, then cover it with the cling wrap and insert the ice-cream stick.
  • Freeze it for 6-8 hours.
  • Then show the mould in running tap water to thaw it. This will help in removing the popsicle easily.
  • Have it in summer and I bet your kids will love it. The best way to make your kids to eat fruits.

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.
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