September 2014
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Rasmalai, another popular Bengali Dessert like Rasgulla. RasMalai is a delicious dessert where homemade soft and spongy cottage cheese patties immersed in Chilled Creamy Milk. The first part of preparing malai(Soft cottage cheese patties) is same as we prepare cheese balls for rasgulla. The shape of the cheese differs. For rasgulla, we make balls out of the homemade cottage cheese, but for Rasmalai, we make patties. Also Rasgullas are immersed in sugar syrup whereas the Rasmalai are immersed in yummy evaporated milk. It seems to be a complicated process but very simple to make at home. Get ready to make this delicious Rasmalai for this Diwali!

Sabudana (Jevvarasi) is considered as one the main ingredient which can be used mainly on Vrat / viratham days. During Navratri festivals, it is a tradition to make Sabudana Vada, Sabudana Ladoo, Sabudana Payasam and Sabudana Kichadi. Sabudana Ladoo is very simple to make just like maladu or rawa ladu. Lets see the recipe now..

Rasgulla, a popular Bengali Sweet. Homemade Soft, Spongy balls of cottage cheese soaked in sugar syrup. The sponge cheese melts in your mouth making us to have more and more! Getting soft and sponge rasgulla is the challenge in this dish. The main trick to get nice and spongy rasgulla is kneading of the cottage cheese we prepared using full fat milk. Follow this recipe to get nice and spongy rasgulla at home! Ye Dil Mange More :-)

Chickoo fresh juice and milk shakes are very common in restaurants and juice shops. Chickoo is a very delicious fruit and Its calorie-rich soft, easily digestible pulp composes of simple sugars like fructose and sucrose that when eaten replenishes energy and revitalizes the body instantly. Indeed, it is a vital source of vitamins, minerals. We can make many dishes with this delicious fruit and one among them is Halwa. Chickoo cooked with milk, sugar and ghee gives a wonderful flavour to the halwa. When I first made this at home, everyone loved it and whenever I get good quality chockoo, I made it a practice now to make this halwa at home. Lets see how to make this scrumptious Chickoo (Cheekoo / Supporta) halwa.

Semiya Payasam is one of the oldest and traditional recipe. I read in one of the website that Semiya payasam has more than 500+ years of history and they quoted that Purandaradasa has mentioned Semiya Payasam in one of his spiritual keerthana "Rama Nama Payasakke". Whatever it is, believe me, its one of the simplest and tastier payasam which can be cooked quickly. For most the festivals and auspicious occasions we prefer jaggery based payasam. But for parties, birthday or other good occasions I prefer to make semiya payasam. My Granddaughter love Semiya Payasam and call that as "Noodles Payasam". She often request me to make this simple and delicious Semiya Payasam.

Aapam is very delicious dish made frequently in southern part of Tamilnadu and also in Kerala. This is a very healthy recipe as it does not involves usage of any oil. Aapam is steam cooked dish and hence good for the children too. Appam is generally served with Kadala Curry(Recipe to be published soon) and Coconut Milk in Kerala. In most of the restaurants in TamilNadu, Appam is served with Kurma or Kadala Curry or Coconut milk. Kadala Curry and Coconut milk are perfect accompaniment for this Appam. I personally like Appam with Coconut milk. The sweetness of coconutmilk gives a dainty flavour to the dish. I have seen many people who prefer kadala curry or other spicy accompaniment. Appam with Kadala curry and coconut milk, perfect and rich breakfast dish. 

Plantain Stem (Vazhathandu) is one of the vegetable with rich nutritional benefits. Adequate amount of dietary-fiber in the food helps normal bowel movements, thereby reducing constipation problems. Plantains are also rich in Vitamin A. A very healthy vegetable we should try and use it atleast once a week. I have seen many kids staying away from this healthy veg. So I thought of sharing Vazhathandu bajji recipe which I had seen in one of the TV shows couple of weeks before. Though making bajjis very frequently are not healthy, atleast once we should try and give this Plantain Bajji (Vazhathandu Bajji) and impress the kids and then we could try other dishes using Plantain like Vazhathandu Poricha Kuzhambu or Vazhathandu Curry. 

We can make bajji using many vegetables. Conventionally we use Raw banana, Chilli or potato. But we should try Plantain bajji, carrot bajji, capsicum bajji which gives a unique taste. Lets see how to make this yummy dish.

Bread Potato Rolls are a very delicious evening snack. They are crispier outside but softer inside. A perfect snack to be served with tea / coffee. Very simple and easy recipe even for the beginners. Try this easy and tasty Bread Potato Rolls and share your comments! Serve this yummy dish with ketchup or green chutney and enjoy your evening.

Onam is the Hindu festival celebrated by the people of Kerala in India. It is the state festival of Kerala. It is considered as the harvest festival too.Onam is celebrated in honour of King MahaBali. Onam falls in the month of Chingam, which is the first month according to the Malayalam Calendar.The ten days of Onam are celebrated with great fanfare, by Malayalees. Of all these days, most important ones are the first day, Atham, and the tenth and final day, Thiru-Onam (Thiruvonam). The rich cultural heritage of Kerala comes out in its best form and spirit during the festival. This year 2014, Onam festival is celebrated on 7th September.

Pookalam is the main part of Onam. The floral carpet, known as ‘Onapookkalam’,[3][8] is made out of the gathered blossoms with several varieties of flowers of differing tints pinched up into little pieces to serve the decorator's purpose. 

The Onam sadya (feast) is another very indispensable part of Thiruvonam,[8] and almost every Keralite attempts to either make or attend one. The feast is served on plantain leaves and have more than 13 to 15 curries, along with traditional pickles, papadam and a dessert called 'payasam' (a sweet dish made of milk, sugar, jaggery and other traditional Indian savories). In hotels and temples, the number of curries and dishes may go up to 30.

Image courtesy : Google
The tradition of buying and wearing new clothes for the occasion of Onam is called the Onakkodi.
During the Onam, Keralite Hindus install an image of Thrikkakara Appan or Onatthappan (Vishnu in the form of Vamana) in their home[3] just as Hindus install images or murtis of Lord Ganesh on the Ganesh Chaturthi festival.

Traditional dance forms including Thiruvathira, Kummattikali, Pulikali, Thumbi Thullal etc. are performed as part of celebrations all over Kerala at this time. Thiruvathirakali is a women's dance performed in a circle around a lamp.Kathakali dance is also commonly performed during this time, with dancers enacting famous mythological legends.The swing is another integral part of Onam, especially in the rural areas. Young men and women, decked in their best, sing Onappaatt, or Onam songs.

Image courtesy : Google

Some Special Recipes for Onam:

Milk Halwa (Paal Halwa), is one of the famous sweet in Srivilliputhur, Tamilnadu. Palkhova and pal halwa are the 2 famous sweet there. My MIL's younger sister's native place and whenever she came to visit us she would come up with pal halwa and palkova. I personally like the taste the pal halwa more than palkova. Whenever there is excess milk at home, I make pal halwa or palkova. Pal halwa shelf life is less compared to palkova but very delicious dessert. Lets see how to make this yummy Milk Halwa.

Pal therattipal(Palkova) is a delicious dessert made in southern part of India. It is famous in srivelliputhur in tamilnadu. A decade before, people used to prepare this dish in home itself. But nowadays we are buying it from sweet stalls. If we do it in our home it will be surely delicious and we can reduce the quantity of sugar if necessary also. It will take at least 45Min's to prepare Pal therattipal(Palgova)and one more advantage is that we do not need to stir the milk continuously. We have stir it at the time when milk initially boils and later for 5 Min's after we add sugar. So lets see how to make homemade palkova .

Paniyaram are always a wonderful dish and they are always unique and tasty compared to the conventional breakfast dishes. We can make paniyaram using simple idli-dosa batter and with simple variations we can have many different varieties. Here I have given here how to make Instant Paniyaram using Oats and semolina. If we have sudden visitors or guests in our home, this would be a perfect dish to treat them. This dish is instant and simple yet very delicious. Serve this Instant Oats Paniyaram with coconut / Onion chutney and enjoy the taste!


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