Archive for the ‘Festivals’ Category


I have never celebrated a deepavali with out this sweet! It takes less time to make more number of cakes and so it is easy for distributing among your friends! Just melts in your mouth like icecream! It took around 50 minutes for me to organize the things and finish the preparation. I got about 75 pieces measuring 1 and 1/2 inch squares. After preparing we must leave it to cool for 1 hour before cutting into cakes.


  • Kadalai maavu, besan or gram flour – 3 cups
  • Khoa – 1 cup
  • Sugar – 5 cups
  • Ghee – 2 cups
  • Cardamom – 6 nos or almond essence- 1 teaspoon


  1. In a pan heat ghee and fry the besan on a medium flame till you get a nice aroma.
  2. In another heavy bottomed pan mix sugar with 2 cups water and heat on a medium flame.
  3. When the syrup forms one thread consistency, add grated khoa and the besan, ghee mixture and cook on a medium flame stirring continously.
  4. Add the cardamom powder or essence. Keep cooking till there are bubbles all over and the mixture starts leaving the sides.
  5. Grease a stainless steel or glass plate with ghee. To test if the cake is ready you can pour a small amount on the plate and check.
  6. Pour the cake in the greased plate when it is ready. Allow to cool. The ghee and khoa will take time to cool and solidify.
  7. Cut into squares with a sharp knife. If the cake is not done you can cook again on a low flame for a few more minutes.

Just follow the steps shown in the picture and you will make a superb cake!:)

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  • Nuts of choice – 300 gms (I used Cashew, Almonds and Walnuts)
  • Dry Fruits of choice -200 gms (I used Raisins and Kishmish)
  • Potato fingers – 100 gms
  • Salt – 1tsp
  • Chilli Powder/Cayenne Powder – 1tsp
  • Ghee or Clarified Butter – 1 tbsp


  1. Remove stem from dry fruits like Raisins and Kishmish. Toast separately (i.e. don’t toast raisins and kishmish together) on a stove top with some Ghee till they become crunchy. Drain well and transfer to a large mixing bowl.
  2. Toast Nuts separately in the microwave. Depending on the nuts and what variety you choose the time will vary. Almonds take more time than Cashews or Pistachios. Therefore nuts should always be toasted separately. Cashews, Almonds and so on should not be toasted together. Method for toasting: Coat nuts of one variety with a little ghee and spread on a flat microwaveable plate or container. Microwave on high for 1-2 minutes. Check after the first 45 seconds and stir. Thereafter stir after every 30 seconds and check for doneness. Keep for an additional 30 seconds if you feel the nuts need more toasting. Timings given are for toasting 100 gms of nuts in a 900 watt oven and are likely to vary.
  3. Transfer Nuts to the Mixing bowl. Add Potato fingers, salt and chilli powder and mix well.
  4. Store in an air tight container and munch on them 😀

This post is off to Vee for JFI-Festive Series. I am off on a vacation this week to Shimla. See you all next Monday. Happy Diwali!!

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Boondi Ladoo

My friend Raji and I have been making Boondhi laddoo for Diwali since 8 years. The first time we ended up making a whooping 450 laddoos because we didn’t know how many laddoos we will get for each cup of flour! But the laddoos tasted great and we could call ourself experts from then on! 🙂 I usually make these a day prior to diwali. This time I decided to make a small quantity for posting in the blog. Making small quantities is challenging too! Before you realise the syrup is ready! Menu Today is very right when she says method and measures must be right! Any sweet comes out well when you follow the correct method and measurements! 🙂 You will get around 25 laddoos for 250 grams of flour.


The teeny weeny laddoo in the middle is for all the fabulous kiddos we meet online like Anjana and (Sri) to the power 2 (Srivalli’s kiddos), Red chillies bundle of naughtiness, Medha (Manisha’s daughter), Kavin (Kribha’s son), Nirmala’s son Siva and her toddler, Laavanya’s baby, Hema’s lucky baby who gets a barn and a cake that looks like this and more that I might have missed.


  • Kadalai maavu, besan or gram flour – 1 cup
  • Rice flour – 1 table spoon
  • Sugar – 1 and 1/2 cup
  • Water for syrup – 1/2 cup
  • Cardamom – 4 nos
  • Lavang (Krambu) – 8nos
  • Cashew – 10 nos
  • Dry grapes – 10 nos
  • Ghee 2 teaspoons
  • Oil for deep frying – 250 ml
  • Saffron colour – 1 pinch


  1. Mix the water and sugar in a heavy bottomed pan and heat on a medium flame.
  2. The syrup should be of one thread consistency. The syrup will be ready when all the sugar melts. Add the cardamom powder and 1/2 pinch saffron powder to the syrup and mix well.
  3. Mix the flours and divide into 2 portions. Mix one portion with a little water to form a batter slightly thicker than dosa batter.
  4. Heat oil in a pan on a high flame.To test the temperature of oil just drop a pinch of batter. If it rises immediately the oil is ready for making the bhoondis.
  5. Hold the bhoondi karandi (perforated ladle) above the oil as shown in picture. Pour a ladle full of batter and spread as you would spread dosa. Immediately reduce the flame to low.
  6. Fry well till the sound stops. Drain and add to the syrup immediately. Rise the flame to high again before you fry the next batch.
  7. Make boondhis with rest of the batter. Keep mixing the syrup with boondhi. Mix rest of the flour with water and make the boondhis.
  8. Fry cashew nuts, dry grapes and lavang in ghee and add to the boondhis. Mix well and leave to cool for 10 minutes.
  9. Now you can start making balls out of the soaked boondhis. Towards end if you find it difficult, just heat on a low flame for 2 minutes stirring well.
  10. Store in airtight container. Will taste good after a few hours as the boodhis soak well.

Laddoos are famous for getting spoilt soon. You can keep your laddoos for 10 days if you follow these tips.

  1. Use good quality sugar for all sweets.
  2. Fry the boondhis in low flame till the sound subsides.
  3. Use boiled or drinking water for the syrup and batter as it will reduce degradation due to oxidation.
  4. Store in dry airtight containers. Your hands should be clean and dry while serving the laddoos.
  5. Never use water if you are not able to get the balls. Mild heating will help you make the balls towards end.

So many of my visitors requested for this recipe. I hope all of you make great laddoos this Deepavali.



Arusuvai Friendship Chain

After seeing many many posts on the Amish Friendship bread starter we have been inspired to start a friendship chain from here in India. For starters we’d like to focus locally – chain that spreads across foodies living here in India. Thanks Bhags and Bharathy for helping us come up with this.

Arusuvai Friendship Chain is about sending along a surprise ingredient as a gift to your friends for them to prepare something tasty with it, share the recipe, and pass on other surprise ingredients to more people. Arusuvai means six tastes (aru=six, suvai=taste) in Tamizh and is used to refer for Tasty preparation with six tastes – inippu/ thithippu (sweet), orappu/ karam (hot), kassappu (bitter) , pulippu (sour), uppu(salt), tuvarpu (tastes that one gets in raw leaves).
The chain will start with me passing on a “surprise” to Bharathy and Renuka, who will continue the chain. In other words, you need to wait for your turn to get a “surprise ingredient” to be a part of it. So the buck starts here 😀 and stops nowhere.

Arusuvai Logo – Transparent Background

Arusuvai Logo – white background

When you receive a package with a “surprise ingredient” as a part of Arusuvai here are the basic rules you need to follow:

  1. Prepare something tasty with it and post recipe with a picture if you are a blogger with the logo, a link to person who passed it to you and to this post if you like for reference.
  2. If you don’t blog, do share the recipe with the friend who gave it to you or post it as a guest post on someone you know who blogs.
  3. Pass on a “surprise ingredient” to two or more friends, one of whom must preferably blog. We all want to have some fun together right? 😀

Since this is starting here in India we request all people in India who blog or have blogged or those who’d like to be a part of this chain to show themselves up 😀 – we’ll ensure you get to be part of the fun.

Wait for Bharathy and Renuka to post and pass on.

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We have already covered menu for all festivals from Aadi to Navarathiri in our previous posts. Here we are compiling a list of all to send to RCI Tamizh Festivals hosted by Viji of Vcuisine.

Menu for Varuda Pirappu

Recipes prepared on Sri Rama Navami

Kalanda Sadam recipes for Padinettam Perukku
Sakkarai Pongal

Maa Villakku and Sweets for Aadi Velli Kizhamai

Akkaravadisal for Thiru Aadi Pooram

Menu for Varalakshmi Viratham

Menu for Aavani Avittam (Upakarma)

Treats for Sri Jayanthi

Sundal for Navarathiri
Kabuli Channa Sundal

Godumai Halwa for Deepavali

and the ubiquitous recipe of Perumal Theertham for all occassions

Tamizh festival cuisine is so vast that one cannot compile an exhautive list of recipes. I have been able to cover just a small fraction of the wonderful recipes prepared during festivals. In keeping with the theme of our blog to preserve traditional recipes, we’ll share more in the coming months.

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Preparing Godumai (Wheat) halwa on Deepavali is almost like a custom in many Iyengar households in SouthIndia. My mother (Lakshmi’s Paatti) used to prepare this every year. Although so common in Tamizh Nadu, I am preparing this Halwa for the first time. For my children halwa has always meant Badam halwa or Carrot halwa or Dumroot! They never attempted to taste Godumai halwa even when we visited my parents during Deepavali! I decided to prepare this as an entry to RCI Tamizh Festivals hosted by Viji of Vcuisine. The halwa was exactly the way my mother’s would taste and I am extremely happy that this traditional sweet will reach thousands of food lovers through my blog! 🙂 My son loved it and now it has become one of his favourites! 🙂



  • Whole wheat (wheat grains) – 1 cup
  • Sugar – 1 and 1/2 cups (You can increase to suit your taste)
  • Cardamom – 4 nos
  • Ghee – 4 tablespoons (You can increase if you like)
  • Saffron colour – 1 pinch

For garnishing – 1/2 cup chopped dry fruits like cashew, badam and pista lightly fried in 2 teaspoon ghee

  1. Wash and soak the wheat for 12 hours.
  2. Grind in a mixie adding 1 cup water. Strain through a seive to get a thick milk. Grind again adding 1 more cup of water and strain again. You will be left out with only the husk in the seive. Add enough water to squeeze out all the milk.
  3. Pour the milk in to a thick bottomed pan, add sugar and cook on a low flame. Keep stirring continously.
  4. Add the ghee when the halwa starts thickenng. Add the cardamom powder and the saffron colour. Mix well.
  5. Cook till you can roll the halwa into a ball with your fingers.
  6. Add chopped dryfruits sauted in ghee. Spread on a greased plate. allow to cool and cut into desired shape.

TipsIf you want a thick halwa like what we get in sweet shops, add 2 cups sugar in place of 1 and 1/2 cups.

You can add 2 cups chopped dry fruits to get the dryfruit halwa we get in sweet shops.

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Sri Rama Navami is the first festival after Varuda Pirappu. It falls on the navami day of sukla paksham (Waxing moon) after the tamizh new year. As it is a festival during summer months, Neer Moor( Butter milk) and Panagam ( Sweetened water) are the main naivedyams for the lord. Kosamari (Salad) using Cucumber is also prepared. On road sides people set up pandals (Tents) to supply Neer Moor and Panagam stored in large earthern pots, to passers by.

Recipes for Neer More, Panagam (Paanagam) and Kosamari follow.

Neer Moor

Neer Moor


  • Curd – 2 table spoons
  • Drinking water – 2 cups
  • Curry leaves 1 twig finely chopped
  • A pinch of salt


  1. Beat the curd well adding all ingredients.
  2. Store in a Earthern pot or a copper vessel. You can also refrigerate for 1 hour.



  • Drinking water – 2 cups
  • Jaggery – 3 teaspoons
  • Cardamom – 1 no
  • Lemon juice – 1 teaspoon


  1. Mix all ingredients and strain to remove impurities in jaggery.
  2. Store in an earthern pot or copper vessel or chill in the fridge.



  • Cucumber – 1 no
  • Moong dal 2 table spoons
  • Coriander leaves – 2 twigs
  • Grated coconut 2 table spoons
  • Green chillies – 1 no
  • Salt to taste


  1. Peel and grate the cucumber. Soak the moong dal for 15 minutes and drain.
  2. Mix the grated cucumber, soaked dal, finely chopped coriander leaves and green chillies and salt.

Serve chilled.

Menu for Sri Rama Navami is my second entry for RCI-Tamizh Festivals hosted by Viji of Vcuisine.

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Dasara is one of the main festivals for Hindus. It is celebrated with great enthusiasm all over India! We have always kept a grand Golu( Display of dolls and handicrafts) almost every year! This year due to ill health of my parents I am not in a mood for great celebration.

Daily puja, chanting of Lalitha Sahasranamam, and visiting the temple atleast one of the days is very important for people who like to celebrate the festival. Kalasa puja is performed on all days by Srividya upachakars. Chandi homam is performed everyday at The Raja Rajeshwari Temple in Bangalore on all the 9 days.

North Indians hold Jagratha or Chanting Bhajans on Devi whole night. They also invite girls below 10 years on Durgashtami, for a special puja. Poori and Sooji halwa are the prasaadams offered to Devi on this day.

Gujarathis have the Garba dance organised in various places.

In Karnataka Dasara is the Nadahabba or state festival. Mysore Dasara is famous world over for its amazing procession of elephants on Vijayadasami that highlights Indian culture – the Wodeyar Maharajas started this practice of celebrations on a grand scale. The entire Mysore Palace is lit with lamps on Vijayadasami.

Here’s a spectacular true to life photo taken by Ananth that I found on Flickr.

Mysore Palace
Photo by Ananth – licensed under Creative Commons

On the whole Dasara is a festival celebrated with great fervour all over India.

It must be observed that there is a small shortage of vegetable supply during the month of purattasi. So dry lentils are used to make prasaadam. They are rich in proteins and minerals and compensate for the deficit in supply of vegetables.

Tamilians prepare a variety of sundals as prasaadam every day and offer it to the Golu. Follow this link to see a stream of photos of a typical Golu uploaded by Mohan Ayyar. The other prasaadams include, Kunukku, appam and puttu. Recipes will be posted soon for the other recipes. Black chickpea sundal is prepared on saraswathi puja.

Sundals are made using various dried lentils. Some of them need to be soaked for 8 hours, while the smaller varieties need to be soaked for 1 hour. The prasaadam for friday is puttu, saturday is appam and kunukku. Kaaramani sundal is prepared with jaggery on tuesday.

Prasaadam on Saraswathi puja is black chickpea sundal and Boli/ Poli, along with a usual festival menu. Image of goddess Saraswathi is worshipped along with books and musical instruments, on this day.

On Vijayadasami day, all the machinery used in factories and industries are decorated and aayuda pooja is performed. Menu on Vijayadasami is similar to any tamizh festival.


Kondakadalai(chickpeas, black and white) , Groundnut, Kaaraamani(Blackeyed beans, white and black) , Paasi payaru(whole moong dal), Kadalai paruppu (Channa dal) Are the items used for sundal. Chick pea needs to be soaked for 8 hours. Ground nut and kaaraamani can be soaked for an hour. Paasi payaru and kadalai parrupu are usually dry roasted and pressure cooked.

Kabuli Channa Sundal
Kabuli Channa Sundal

White Black Eyed Beans Karamani
White Black Eyed Beans – Karamani Sundal


  • Beans of your choice – 1 cup
  • Oil – 2 teaspoons
  • Mustard seeds – 1 teaspoon
  • Urad dal – 2 teaspoons
  • Red chillies – 2 nos
  • Curry leaves – 1 twig
  • Coconut – 2 table spoons(Cut into small pieces)
  • Salt to taste.
  • Hing 2 pinches


  1. Wash and soak the beans as required. Or dry roast if you are preparing Paasipayaru sundal.
  2. Pressure cook the beans with 1 cup water.
  3. Heat oil in a kadai, add mustard seeds. when it crackles add red chilli pieces and urad dal and fry till golden.
  4. Add the coconut pieces and curry leaves and stir for a minute.
  5. Now drain the water from the cooked sundal and add to the coconut.
  6. Add salt and hing and stir for 2 minutes on a medium flame.
  7. Your sundal is ready for neivedyam.

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