August 2017
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Chakka Pradaman is a traditional payasam of Kerala. It is a mouth-watering dessert that makes the taste buds tingling. Usually this is prepared for Onam Sadhaya. The main ingredients of chakka prathaman are chakka varattiyathu and jaggery. But making chakka varatti itself is a heavy time consuming task. So this is the easier and quicker way to make Chakka Pradhaman (Jackfruit Payasam), this is a simpler version and obviously tastes different than chakka pradhaman with varatti but still so so yummy and tasty with the rich flavor of jackfruit along with coconut milk. 
The conventional Chakka Pradhaman with Chakka Variety recipe is already published. Click here for the recipe

Malpua is a pancake served as a dessert or a snack originating from the Indian subcontinent, popular in India and Bangladesh It is a very popular dish of Odisha and is also served to Lord Jagannath of Puri in his Sakala Dhupa. We can also say, Malpuas are Indian version of pancake topped with reduced flavored milk known as rabdi… Malpua is a mouth watering classic Indian dessert made for festive occasions.

As it name suggest, this kuzhambu is made of Garlic cloves and curry leaves. Both these have medicinal properties and hence good for health.  This kuzhambu will go very well with Idly, Pongal, Aappam, Idiappam in addition to the white rice. I usually make Poondu kuzhambu differently, but this method that i saw in one of the TV show and attempted the same. It turns out to be very good.  This kuzhambu will come out as a thick consistency like pulikachal.

Curry leaves has various health benefits. It poses the qualities of herbal tonic. Curry leaves are also useful in preventing premature graying of hair. Curry leaves are beneficial in problems like constipation, stomach problem, vomiting, nausea and rashes. The use of curry leaves in cooking enhances the taste and smell of food. Garlic acts as an antiseptic and it has its own medicinal benefits. 

Traditional Maharashtrian rice is an amazing combination of spicy flavours. The main flavor is from Goda Masala which is readily available in most of the shops. We can even use garam masala instead of Goda Masala but authentic Masala Bhat has Goda masala in it which has some more unique ingredients in addition to conventional garam masala,. This is a one pot meal and a perfect potluck dish too.

Kalyana Rasam has a wonderful taste and flavor. I always wonder the speciality of rasam being served in Marriages. It has a unique taste with tangy and spice well balanced. The flavour of pepper makes this a big hit. Normally when we do tomato dal rasam, we put the rasam powder and make the tamarind juice boil well to get rid off the raw smell of rasam powder. Here in kalyana rasam, we add the spice powder only at the end which makes it very tasty. Lets see the recipe now.

Thengaai Poorna Kozhukattai is a delicious sweet and is favourite for Lord Ganesh. Devotees will offer this yummy dish for Lord Ganesh on evey Ganesh Chathurti(Vinayaka Chaturti) and even of monthly chaturthi days. Even on the auspicious Varalakshmi Viratham we make this yummy kozhukattai as neivedhyam dish. We can make many different varieties of kozhukattai, but thengai purana kozhukattai is the traditional neivedhyam dish.

Paal Kozhukattai is an easy to make modak variety which is a popular chettinad dish. We can make Pal kozhukattai with sugar or jaggery. This is the Pal kozhukattai preparation with jaggery and coconut milk. I have already published the sugar version of this Paal Kozhukattai. Always jaggery with coconut milk goes very well and the taste is so good that we will be tempted to have more. Here also rice flour based kozhukattai balls are cooked in thin coconut milk and then combined with jaggery and finally garnished with thick coconut milk. 

Vinayaka Chaturthi is the great Vinayagar festival and also the birthday of Lord Vinayagar or Pillaiyar. Vinayaka Chaturthi also known as "Ganesh Chaturthi" in Maharashtra and North Indian States. Vinayakar chaturthi festival is observed in the Tamil Month "Avanai-Valarpirai Chathurthi” or (4th day after new moon in Aavani) is special day for Elephant headed Lord Shri Vinayaka. The elephant headed vinayagar son of Shiva and Parvati, is widely worshipped as the supreme god of wisdom, prosperity and good fortune. Lord Vinayaka is the Prime God for everything. We always pray to Lord Vinayaka before starting any auspicious events / pooja. We always offer Appam, Aval, Pori, Modhagam and lots of fruits for Lord Ganesha. 

Many of us are still Maggi Lovers. Maggi is very quick and easy to make. Especially street style maggi is so yummy as it is enriched with  stir-fried veggies. Though lots of us have confusion of whether to cook maggi anymore or not, I still feel once a while we can have Maggi. This veggie rich Maggi Noodles are so easy and also quick to make. In most of the office pantries this spicy veggie rich Maggi will be the most popular dish. Hot and spicy Street Style Veggie Maggi Noodles is always a delight to our taste buds!

Appam is one of the important neivedhyam dish for Krishna Jayanthi festival. On the auspicious occasion of Krishna Jayanthi, especially in the evening when we plan to invite Lord Krishna home, we have to fry the sweet appam. Nei Appam is one of the famous dish in Kerala.  We usually make nei appam for many occasions like Avani Avittam, Karthigai Deepam and many auspicious occasions. Even we can prepare this as an evening snack and serve this as an after school snack for the kids!

Betel Leaves, also called as Vethalai in tamil has lots of medicinal properties. In Southern India, we consider these leaves as so auspicious and we offer betel leaves to God and also its auspicious to give to women and girls betel leaves with betel nuts along with turmeric and kumkum. Also, in marriages or other occasions, after a heavy food, we will take betel leaves with betel nuts for digestion. For cough / cold my MIL used to make a kashayam with betel leaves, pepper and tulsi leaves. With the betel leaves we can make quick rasam which helps to soothe and cure cold / cough. Betel Leaves Rasam / Vethalai rasam is simple and easy to make and it has the strong flavor of vethalai along with other spices. 

Seedai is one of the important Neivedhyam dish we make for Krishna Jayanthi. Coconut seedai is a traditional dish made in our home every year for Krishna Jayanthi. Unlike, salt seedai, which should be done cautiously, this coconut seedai doesn't have the fear of bursting. A very simple to make seedai with a rich flavour of coconut. We need to make these seedai with our hand pressure only with the moisture of the freshly grated coconut. A very crispy and yummy snack. These seedai are hard to bite. We need to just put them in mouth and slowly enjoy the flavour of coconut and eventually it will crumble and you can enjoy the taste of the coconut seedai!

Vella Seedai or sweet Seedai is one of the important neivedhyam dish for Krishna Jayanthi festival and Thirukarthigai festival. This is one of the trickiest dish. Even for more experienced people, sometimes it wouldn't be a successful attempt. Every time is an experience with this sweet seedai. Beginners may find it difficult in their first attempt. For beginners, you can see this another method for sweet seedai which will be easy for them for their first attempt. The other method of making sweet seedai would not be crispy. We just need to prepare adhirasam dough but make small balls out of it and make seedai. So you may not go wrong in that. 

Uppu Seedai (Salt Seedai) is another important and traditional neivedhyam dish for krishna jayanthi festival. In my childhood days, my mom used to prepare 5-6 batches of dough and me and my sister with my dad had helped my mom in rolling the dough into small balls. My dad has lots of patience and he used to roll it into very small ball and small balls are actually very crunchy than the bigger balls. It is a bit of tiresome process to make uppu seedai but the end result would be very delicious. We used to think why mom is making 5-6 batches but later we could see we have more seedai so that we could enjoy the delicious and crispy seedai atleast for a week. 

I know many people who are very scared of doing this uppu seedai. Many of us have a bitter experience in doing uppu seedai as sometimes it may burst while frying in the oil. The steps looks simple, but some points we need to keep it in my mind while preparing the dough to avoid bursting.  There are many reasons why it is getting burst in the oil. Please refer my notes for how to Avoid Uppu Seedai(s) from bursting in hot oil. 

Gokulashtami (Sri Krishna Jayanthi) celebrates with great pomp and show, the birth of Lord Krishna who was born more than 5000 years ago in the 28th year of Dwapur Yug. It is one of the most celebrated festivals for Hindus not only in India but also, all over the world. Janmashtami is about the joy, people all over the world feel for their beloved Lord Krishna. Gokulashtami (Sri Krishna Jayanthi) falls on 8th day after Avani Avittam function. Normally on this auspicious occassion people will fast from the morning and during the sunset, they will do pooja for Lord Krishna by offering lots of sweets and neivedhyams. Butter is favourite for Lord krishna and hence people will offer milk, curd, buter, Aval, fruits and some more sweets to God on this special day. During Krishna's childhood, he is fond of butter and he will steal the butter from pots which will spill out in the floor and when he walks, it forms a nice palm prints. So keeping this in mind, the devotees will draw small footprints from the entrance of house to the pooja room.

Varalakshmi Pooja is an important pooja performed by many women in the states of Andra and Tamilnadu. This year Varalakshmi Viratham is on 4th Aug 2017.

Varalakshmi Pooja is celebrated on the friday, before the full moon day, in the Tamil Month Sravana (July-August). Varalakshmi is yet another form of Lord Vishnu’s consort, Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth. Varalakshmi is believed to be the one who grants boons (Varam).

Varalakshmi Pooja can be performed any woman with no restriction of caste or creed. The legend of Varalakshmi Vratham is that Goddess Varalakshmi appeared in a woman devotee named Charumathi’s dream and expressed her satisfaction in the woman’s devotion towards the Goddess.

Tamil Month Aadi, marks the beginning of monsoon in TamilNadu. During this month, water levels in the rivers increases due to monsoon. To show our gratitude to the nature and to thank Mother Cauvery river, we celebrate Aadiperukku. Adiperukku is a unique South Indian and specially a Tamil state festival celebrated on the 18th day of the Tamil month of Aadi.

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