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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

Ingredients

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

Method

  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.

Paanagam
Paanagam

Ingredients

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

Method

  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.

Kosmari

Ingredients

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

Method

  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.

Sundals

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

Ingredients

  • 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

Method

  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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Kolu for Navarathri

Celebrations spread over nine auspicious nights to mark the victory of good over evil also known as Navarathri begin today.

In Tamil Nadu Navarathri is celebrated by setting up a gallery of handcrafted dolls representing major deities, scenes from everyday life, thematic doll sets representing mythological events or even modern day happenings and so on. Arrangements of dolls are always in odd numbered levels and are accompanied by home grown ragi and other handcrafted themes on the side. A golden glow of sesame oil lit lamps graces the kolu in the evening and a simple puja is performed. Women visit each others homes to see the kolu. It’s a norm to be asked to sing especially if one is young – the knowledge of music was once upon a time considered indispensable for a “nalla ponnu” (good girl). In essence Navarathri is all about creativity and socializing – there is no ritual apart from the ritual of being expected to be creative.

Neiveidyam or Prasaadam is Sundal – each day a dry bean/legume is cooked with mustard seeds and coconut. Guests are seen off with offerings of chandanam (sandalwood paste), Kumkumam and Tambulam (Betel Leaves with Coconut Mustard and Arecanuts).

In another more detailed post we’ll give you glimpse of a real kolu and share recipes we prepare for Navarathri, for now we start our celebrations with a tiny kolu we put together for sharing with our readers.

Image178_filtered

Navarathri wishes to all our readers!!

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Before we begin with the round up, I’d like to share something – my grandparents have had a petty accident recently resulting in a dislocated elbow requiring operation for my Thatha and an injury in the head for my Paatti. Age seems to have matters worse – the loss of independence and orientation is unimaginable. Latha, my amma, is awfully depressed mostly because she wants her parents to have a peaceful passage to the next world and not suffer for a many years before their death. We request all our blog readers and wonderful friends we have met online to pray for my grandparents and send them healing.

The Festival Cooking Series for Ganesha Chaturthi has about 39 entries which include narratives of celebrations, more on Lord Ganesh, memories and of course recipes. I have briefly indicated the content of each entry that is a “non recipe entry” so that you will get an idea of what the link leads to.

Ganesha loves to eat a lot and he must be one happy well fed kid right now going by the gigantic spreads and thalis that the food blogosphere churned out for him. I have included brief explanations for recipe based submissions wherever the title is too generic to figure out what the link will lead to . Overall each of these posts has a brief narrative of how Ganesha Chaturthi is celebrated and will leave you with a growling stomach.

arun
Arun Shanbag – Ganesha Chaturthi – excellent post that explains Ganesha’s iconography.

fusion
Renuka from FusionOn our first dear first God – Not to be missed Ganesha Facts that makes for a very interesting read

kribha
Kribha from En Samayal PakkamVinayakar Chaturthi 2007 – Details of her wonderful Celebrations and Kozhukkatais

kalva
Kalva from Curry in a KadaiGanesh Chaturthi – A beautiful ganesha that she made with chapathi flour and decorated with pulses.

aarti
Aarti from Aarti’s Corner –

padma
Padma from Padma’s Kitchen

  • Ganesha Chaturthi Celebrations – Hunger inducing giant spread interspered between accounts of celebrations at her home
  • Prasadam for Ganesha Chaturthi – Puja Procedure and Recipes for the Malai Modhak, Kudumullu, Uppu Undrallu, Pala Undrallu, Semiya Payasam, Paramannam, Pulihora, Bengal Gram Patties and Sauted Chick Peas

anarse
Roopa from Delectable Delights

namratha
Namratha from Finger Licking FoodGanesha Habba Platter – Recipes for Steamed Goodies for Ganesha like Kadubus and Idlis

srivalli
Srivalli from Cooking for all SeasonsVinayaka Chaturthi Tradition and Nievedyam for God – Recipes for Neveidyam of Sundal, Kudumulu and Nugul-untallu (Sesame Seeds Laddo).

anu
Anu from What’s Cooking! Ganpati Bappa Morya – Memoirs of this year’s celebrations and neiveidyam at her home.

maneadige
Ramya from Mane AdigeKai/ Kayi Kadubu and Ganesha Chaturthi – Malleshwaram Flower Market during Ganesha celebrations and Kai Kadubu recipe

cinammon
Cinnamon from Cinnamon Trail

sobila
Sobila from Iniya Tamil VirundhuInnipu Kozhukattai

vee
Vee from Past, Present and MeNaivedya Sweet Appe

spicesandglavours
Remya from Spices and FlavoursVinayaka Chaturthi– Recipes for Kozhukattai and Chickpeas Sundal

rohini
Rohini of Rohini’s KitchenVinayagar Sathurthi – Recipes for Kozhukattai sundal and Kozhukattai

mansi
Mansi from Fun and FoodChurma (Wheat Flour) Laddoos

Praveena
Praveena from Simply Spicy Undrallu with Ginger Chutney

victuals
Sheela from Delectable VictualsPoorna Kozhukkattai

svabhava
Smrithi from Smrithi’s WorldGanesha Chaturthi – Shares recipes she followed to prepare these delicacies – rice idli, curd rice, ambode, rasmalai, kalakand, coconut laddoo and chakli

cookspot
Sushma from Cook SpotMurrukku and Rava Sweet

kajal
Kajal from Kajal DreamsSalty Rajgara Seero or Farali Seero

frommyplate
Bhawna from From my plate – Chawal Ki Kheer

recipeofchoice
Roopa from My chow chow BhathKadabu and Panchgajaya

shilpa
Shilpa from Aayis Recipes

siri
Siri from Siri’s Corner

Manju from Mirch Masala – Paattis Special – Kozhukattai recipe from her Paatti

raaga 2
Raaga from The Singing Chef

bindiya
Bindiya from In love with FoodBreakfast Ambrosia – Recipes for Puris, Masaledaar Chane and Suji Halwa

bharathy
Bharathy from Spicy ChillyKozhukkattai and Paruppu payasam

Ujjwala
Ujwala from Cuisine PointKarigadbu/ Kadubu

vijaya
Vijaya from Daily MealsModak or Kozhukattai or Modakam

asha
Asha of Foodie’s HopeBadami Peda

If I have forgotten to include someone’s entry or have messed somewhere with the links – do ping in comments.

Vee from Past, Present and Me will be hosting the next editions for Dassera and Diwali. Head over to her blog for details.

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Kozhukattais or Kadubu (in Kannada) or Modhaks (in Marathi) are rice flour wraps stuffed with a variety of fillings – they are steamed or there are other deep fried varieties and offered as prasadam to Lord Ganesha. I prepared a few kozhukattais to post the pictures before the festival which starts tomorrow – 15th of September.

Instead of steaming in the cooker, I steamed them in my tupperware microwave safe container for just 3 minutes!

Kozhukattais steamed in crystalwave Mw dish
Sweet Kozhukattais/ Modhaks steamed in the Microwave. Green container is perforated and the yellow is filled with 1/2 cup water

Maavu and Poornam
Kozhukattai/ Modhak Dough (Kozhukattai Maavu) and Jaggery filling (Poornam)

Four different kinds of Poornam (fillings) can be made. For all the kozhukattai recipes click here. I prepared sweet kozhukattais. Maharashtrains prepare a similar Modhak called Ukadiche Modhak that also has nuts and dry fruits like cashew and raisins and flavorings like khus khus or saffron.
How to steam kozhukattais in the Microwave?

1. Take two microwave safe containers. First container should be bigger and the second should be perforated (with holes in the bottom) and smaller. The second perforarted container should sit inside the first in such a way that the bottom of the second container is a few centimeters above the bottom of the first container. Refer to the first photograph above to get an idea.

2 . Fill the first container with water and put the second container inside it. Place Kozhukkattais in the second container. Make sure that the kozhukattais are not touching or submerged in the water.

3. Cover and microwave on high (for a 900 watts oven) for 3 minutes. Let kozhukattais sit in the container for a couple of minutes before taking them out.

Note: Over steaming can result in broken kozhukattais. Initially I set the microwave on high for 5 minutes but then in 3 minutes the kitchen was filled with the smell of jaggery – the filling I made. I switched it off and let it sit in the steam for a couple of minutes. Timings may vary depending on oven power – I use a 900 watts oven.

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Lord Ganesha
Swarna Herambar – as rare picture of Lord Ganesha given by my spiritual guru

Celebrations for Ganesha Chaturthi – Event Details

Bhags from Crazy Curry and Sobila who writes at Tamil Menu have requested an event for Ganesh Chaturthi also. In fact the suggestion is that we pick up a festival each month and get people to blog about it.

We couldn’t agree more – festivals are not really so much for feasting and indulgence but more for socializing and devoting time to celebrate our culture. And how can there not be an online community celebration of the birthday of a God who has such a powerful and universal appeal? Ganesha – the elephant headed god with all his various forms and distinctive iconography will surely be delighted.

Here are some guidelines:

  1. Post something related to the festival of Ganesha – It can be about some story on Ganesha that appealed to you. It can be about how you celebrate the Ganesh or Vinayaga Chaturthi. It can be treasured memory of the festival Or it can be a special neivedyam or recipes you prepare for the Elephant God.
  2. Email me at naralatha@gmail.com following details on or before 20th September27th September.:
    1. title of your entry
    2. your name
    3. your blog name
    4. permalink of post
  3. In your post, please include a link back to this event post to complete the circle.
  4. The deadline for the entries is September20th 27th September 2007. You can send more than one entry also. Please send pictures where ever possible.

Ganesha Puja Procedure

Some visitors wanted to know the details of the Ganesh puja procedure. The Idol is installed in the Puja room or a special mantap decorated for the purpose. The puja begins with Invocation of Lord Ganesha( Avahanam). Ganapathi ashtotaram (108 names) is the usual mantra for the Archanai. Even 1008 names ( Sahasranaamam) can be chanted for the puja. Neivedyam or offerring is always a variety of Kozhukattais!

If you have come here looking for kozhukattai recipes click here.

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