March 2013
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Jevarasi Vadam(Sago Papad) a wonderful crispy and spicy papad . We can fry these vadam and have it with any rice or just like that. An easy to do papad during summer season. It is not mandatory that we need to do this during summer, my daughter-in-law who is in London, made these spicy sago papad last week. Tough it is snowy there, she dried the papads inside the room itself and after 7 days, the papads are dried completely and she fried the delicious papad. So summer is not a mandatory criteria. In India, especially in chennai, these papad will fry within 2 days. I have made plain Jevarasi Vadam(Sago Papad), we can even do flavoured papad using tomato and mint. But the plain papad is the traditional one... Lets go the recipe now...

Pumsuvana Seemantham

Seemantham, also known as Pumsavana Seemantham is an important traditional ritual carried out during pregnancy. Although in ancient times Seemantham was performed on the birth of each child, today it may be restricted to the first born. Seemantham ceremony marks a woman’s passage into motherhood and celebrates her fertility.

From the day of formation in its mother's womb, a child grows in different stages, each with a stipulated time frame. Accordingly, although brain formation takes much earlier, memory cells are said to start activating on the completion of seven months of pregnancy. Thereafter, the unborn child can record sounds and vibrations from its surroundings.

In order to format the brain in an optimal condition, Vedic tradition calls for the recitals of relics and verses known as Udhagasanthi or Uthakashanthi Japam in a soft but powerfulmantra recital that lasts for about an hour and a half. On completion of this japam (recitals), the pregnant woman is bathed in cold holy water, without the addition of any warm or hot water. This takes places even as late in the evening whereupon the child in the womb shakes and jerks from the stimulation of the cold water.

Each Vedic mantra is designed for a specific stimulation, so that its phonetic vibration attains its fullest value. Udhakasanthi Japam gives confidence to the pregnant women and also increases her mental strength, with supportive gathering members blessing the child and mother for a normal delivery.

Nowadays Seemantham is often combined with a "Valaikaapu" ritual hosted by the pregnant woman's mother. The Seemantham ceremony is more religious in nature as opposed to the Valaikaapu, which is meant to be an informal function. The ceremony itself has its roots in olden times when women would depend on the local midwife to deliver her child. In order to ease her passage, this ceremony would be performed to invoke blessings. However, the traditional ceremony is not of relevance today, since some doctors believe that mothers to be should avoid crowds towards their ninth month of pregnancy in order to avoid infection risks. Rituals such as pouring cold (holy) water on the mother to be may also be harmful to the fetus in some cases.

Writeup Courtesy : Wikipedia

The ritual is generally performed by the bridegrooms house.

Things to be brought by the Bride’s family:

Pattu Pai(Silk mat)
Seer Patchanangal(Snacks & Sweets)
Clothes for daughter and son-in-law
Beetle leaves
Sandal wood
Items for Pooja

Agarbathi – One small packet
Beetle Leaves – 8 or more
Camphor – One Small Packet
Coconut -1
Flowers – Min One Bouquet, or more if you wish & Flower-Garlands – 2.
Fruits – Min One Dozen, or more if you wish.
Ghee- minimum 2 pounds of boiled butter or more
Kalasham (if you can) – 2
Kumkum – 1 Spoon
Lamps -2
Mango leaves - 5 (if you can)
New Cloth ( blouse bit, about 1 meter, any color, other than black )
Oil or Ghee and 2 small Cotton balls
Plates – 5-small or medium
Rice – 2 pounds.
Sandal Powder-1 small packet
Supari – One small Packet
Sweet-Rice or paayasam, as much as needed for all your guests.
Thread – white – 1 roll.
Tumblers or small cups - 5
Turmeric Powder – Small Packet ( about 8 spoons )

Seer Patchanangal(Sweets & Snacks):

Some important and usual sweets and snacks brought as Seer(gift) by the bride's family are given below:
  • Murukku(7 rounds of kai murruku - 31 or 5 rounds of kai murukku - 51)
  • Paruppu Thengai(2)
  • Appam(11)
  • Adhirasam(20/25)
  • Theratipal
  • Varupayiru (Recipe is given below)

Out of the above, Appam, Pauppu thengai Adhirasam, Murukku are mandatory. The rest are optional.

Most of the families perform Valaigappu on this same auspicious day.

Seer patchanangal may differ for each family, caste, religion. I would like to clearly specify that the above said information are purely based on my knowledge on Seemantham and not the exhaustive one which covers all traditions.

Recipe of Varupayiru:

Ingredients for Poori:
Chole(Chick peas)1 Cups
Yellow Split Peas1 Cups
Moth Beans(Payaru)1 Cups
Horse Gram1 Cups
Karamani(Black eyed peas)1 Cups
Seasame Seeds1 Cups
Aval(Poha)1/2 Cup
Peanuts1/2 Cup
Finely slitted Coconut1/2 Cup
Seedai1 Cup

Ingredients for Grinding:

Red Chillies10
Hing1 teaspoon
Salt1/4 Cup
Turmeric/Haldi/Virali Manjal1


  • Wash and Soak the Chole(Chick peas), Yellow Split Peas, Moth Beans(Payaru), Horse Gram and Karamani(Black eyed peas) INDIVIDUALLY in water over night
  • Soak the seasame seeds in water for 1 hour in the morning
  • Drain the water from the ingredients well & spead on a cloth for 2-3 hrs, to dry thoroughly.
  • Roast each individually on a dry kadai first on medium heat and then on low flame till crisp.
  • Smear the skin from the pulses after roasting
  • Dry roast the poha/aval in a pan. 
  • Dry roast the peanuts and smear the skin
  • Dry roast the slitted coconut till it becomes golden brown color. Mix all the roasted pulses, Poha and peanuts
  • Now grind the grinding ingredients to a nice paste by adding little water
  • Add this to the pulses, aval and poha mixture and mix well 
  • Spread this in a flat plate and keep it sun to dry completely
  • Meanwhile prepare the seedai and when the varapayaru is dried completely in sun, add the seedai and mix well and store it in a air tight container
  • The varapayaru is now ready for Seer. This is very healthy snack too..

You can refer to the Balanced diet recipes (After Delivery) in the below link

Pathiya Samayal(Balanced Diet after delivery)
Pathiya Samayal

Plain Poori is one of the traditional breakfast dish. Instead of having a plain poori, if we mix some Methi leaves, they become more healthy. Methi leaves are very good for health and because of its bitter taste, our children won't like it to take it as a poriyal. So this is a slight variation of Plain poori with Methi leaves paste which will be liked by everyone in our family.

You might be heard of Aviyal which is a famous tamil dish. Have you heard of Aviyal Kuzhambu ? Try this and let me know your comments!!!

Aviyal Kuzhambu
Aviyal Kuzhambu

Preparation Time10 mins
Cooking Time 30 mins

Chopped Raw Banana(Vazhakaai) (lengthwise)1/2 cup
Chopped Potato (lengthwise)1/2 cup
Chopped Carrot (lengthwise)1/2 cup
Chopped Brinjal (lengthwise)1/2 cup
Chopped Snake Gourd(Pudalangai)(lenthwise)1/2 cup
Chopped Cucumber(lengthwise)1/2 cup
Chopped Drumstick1
Tamarind1/2 teaspoon
SaltTo Taste
Turmeric1/4 teaspoon
All the vegetables mentioned above are not always mandatory. We need atleast 2 cups of chopped vegetables (lengthwise) to make this kuzhambu

Ingredients for Grinding:
Coconut1 Cup
Raw Rice1 teaspoon
Cumin Seeds1/2 teaspoon
Red Chillies3
Green Chillies5

For Seasoning:
Coconut oil1 ladle
Curry LeavesFew

  • Cut all the vegetables lengh wise and keep it aside
  • Cook the vegetables in a heavy bottomed vessel by adding water and turmeric.

  • Soak the tamarind in water and extract the juice. Soak the raw rice in water for sometime.
  • Take the coconut with soaked rice, red chillies and green chillies and cumin seeds in a mixer.

  • Grind the cocunut with soaked rice, red chillies and green chillies and cumin seeds into a fine paste.

  • When the vegetables are half cooked add the tamarind extract and salt and let the mixture boils till all the vegetables are fully cooked.

  • Then add the ground paste and when the mixture starts boiling then switch off the flame.

  • Add the coconut oil and curry leaves. 

  • The delicious Aviyal Kuzhambu is ready to serve with plain rice.
  • Aviyal Kuzhambu
    Aviyal Kuzhambu

Gobi Manchurian, a special North Indian vegetarian side dish. Dry Gobi Manchurian is a rich starter to treat our guests. I have this yummy dish many times and once my son's Client came home for dinner. He is a Hungarian and though he is a non-vegetarian, he likes this dish very much and he wondered that Vegetarian dishes are equal substitute for non-Vegetarian dishes. Unique flavour of the sauces which we use in this, make this dish liked by many children.

Gobi Manchurian
Gobi Manchurian

Preparation Time10 mins
Cooking Time 30 mins

Gobi Manchurian
Gobi Manchurian

Ingredients :
Gobi/Cauliflower1 medium size flower
Ginger-Garlic Paste2 tablespoon
SaltTo taste
Green Chilli2
Corn flour2 tablespoon
All Puropse flour/Maida2 tablespoon
Rice Flour2 teaspoon

Ingredients for Sauce:
Gingelly Oil1 tablespoon
Red Chilli Powder1/2 teaspoon
Minced Garlic1 tablespoon
Finely grated Ginger1 teaspoon
Green Chilli2
Soy Sauce2 teaspoon
Chilli Sauce1 tablespoon
Tomato Sauce3 tablespoon
Vinegar/Lemon Juice2 teaspoon
SaltTo taste
Chopped Coriander Leaves3 tablespoon

  1. Cut the Cauliflower/Gobi into florets. Heat water in a saucepan and bring it to boil. Add salt and add the boiling water to the florets and let the florets rest in boiling water atleast for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, drain the water using a strainer and keep it ready

  2. Grind the ginger-garlic paste and green chilli to a fine paste in a mixer

  3. Take the rice flour, corn flour and maida in a bowl. Add salt and ground ginger-garlic-green chilli paste and mix well. Add less than 1/2 cup of water and mix well to get a thick batter

  4. Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan to fry the Cauliflower florets. Add few drained florets to the batter and dip each floret in batter to coat it completely and then drop it in hot oil to fry them

  5. Deep fry the florets in oil in a medium flame. Turn the fried florets once to evenly fry in all sides

  6. Remove the fried florets and place it in a paper towel to drain the excess oil. Repeat the above steps to fry all the remaining florets

  7. Heat the gingelly oil in pan and add minced garlic and fry for 2 minutes. Then add chopped garlic and green chillies and fry for another 2 minutes. Now add chopped onions and saute it till it turns transparent

  8. Add all the sauce, salt, Vinegar and red chilli powder and mix well. Keep it in medium flame for 5 minutes

  9. Add 3 tablespoon of water and allow it to boil. Simmer the flame and add the fried gobis and mix well and keep in flame for 2 minutes

  10. The delicious crispy Gobi Manchurian is ready to serve
Gobi Manchurian
Gobi Manchurian

Tamil Speaking Brahmins settled in southern part of India mostly in Tamilnadu, Kerala, Andra and Karnataka. Broad classification of Brahmins involves Iyer  and Iyengars and even their style of cooking varies slightly. Even within Iyers, depending upon their birth places, their cooking style varies. For example, Tirunelveli Brahmin cooking is slightly different from North arcot Brahmins and even Palagat Brahmins. Though there are slight differences, the underlying concept remains same within all Brahmins.


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