Posts Tagged ‘Festival cooking.’

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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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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Lakshmi: The mere utterance of the words “Perumal Theertham” conjures up memories of my Thatha (grandfather) performing the Aradhanai (puja) daily. Each summer holiday as a child I would wake up to a morning filled with the wetness of Madi Thuni (clothes) hanging in the backyard, the smell of freshly ground spices, the waft of sandalwood and the fast rhythmic chanting of my Thatha.

While Paatti and Kollu Paatti were busy cooking the neivedyam, I’d rush to get a fresh bath and stand in line with the other kids for the delicious prasaadam my Thatha would distribute after his prayers – three udhrini (spoon) theertham (water), three udhrini milk, a few pieces of kalkandu (sugar candy) and a couple of tulsi leaves.

My favourite of course to this date is perumal theertham – its heaven conjured up with water and a few flavorings, one of them being Saffron.


Perumal Theertham (Divine Water)

Perumal theertham in a Kulla Pathram (silver glass) and Udhrini (spoon)

Krishnar doing the Kalinga Narthanam, Sangu (Conch shell), Japa Mala (Beads for prayers), Theertham for Abhishekham (holy bath)

Abhishekham (holy bath) with Perumal Theertham


  • Drinking Water – 1 Glass
  • Cardamom – 3 pods
  • Saffron – 1 tsp
  • Tulsi Leaves – 1 or 2
  • A pinch of pachai karpooram.


Pound the cardamom and dissolve along with saffron into the water in a Silver Pela (Glass). Add Tulsi leaves.

Update: A pinch of Paccha Karpooram or Edible Camphor can also be added to the Theertham for flavouring. Thanks Rajeshwari and Nirmala for reminding us about this. In Kovils (temples) praasadams of the sweet kind are usually flavoured with Edible Camphor. For example Akkaravadesil, the rice pudding served in South Indian Vaishnava temples or Pachamrutham served in Ayyappan temples as Asha has pointed out. We usually skip the Paccha Karpooram.


Latha: Kalkandu or Sugar Candy lends a heavenly taste to this Rice Pudding. This is prepared for most of the Iyengar festivals and in Perumal Kovils. Saffron lends the Pongal a beautiful peachish tinge to the Pongal.


Kalkandu Pongal (Sugar Candy Rice Pudding)

Kalkandu Pongal – Sugar Candy Rice Pudding


  • Rice – 1 cup
  • Moong Dal – ¼ cup
  • Milk – ½ litre
  • Kalkandu (Sugar Candy/ Rock Sugar) – 1 ½ cups
  • Cardamom – 6 nos
  • Saffron – 10 to 12 leaves
  • Ghee – 1/3 cup
  • Cashew – 4 tbsp (or more)
  • Dry Grapes – 4tbsp (or more)

*cup = 225ml measures approximately 8oz. Arakapadi is one of the many traditional measures used in Tamil Nadu. Most cup measures translate into Arakapadi measures.


  1. Wash Rice and Dal and pressure cook together with 3 cups of water.
  2. Take out the Rice and Dal and mash using 2 tbsp Ghee. Transfer to a heavy bottomed pan.
  3. Add ½ litre milk and cook on low fire. Add the Sugar Candy and keep cooking on a low to medium fire stirring occassionally for approximately 5 minutes. The Pongal will now be in a semi solid state – it will become thicker as it cools.
  4. Crush the Cardamom and add to Pongal. Mix well and transfer to a serving dish.
  5. Dissolve the Saffron with 1 tbsp lukewarm milk.
  6. Toast the Cashew and Dry Grapes separately with the remaining ghee in a Kadai.
  7. Decorate the Pongal with Cashew and Dry Grapes and Saffron Milk.

Serve Hot or Chilled.

Perumal thirtam and Kalkandu Pongal are our entries for Sunita’s Think Spice, Think Saffron event and RCI Tamizh Festivals hosted by Viji of Vcuisine.

– Latha and Lakshmi

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

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

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

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

Aarti from Aarti’s Corner –

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

Roopa from Delectable Delights

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

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

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

Cinnamon from Cinnamon Trail

Sobila from Iniya Tamil VirundhuInnipu Kozhukattai

Vee from Past, Present and MeNaivedya Sweet Appe

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

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

Mansi from Fun and FoodChurma (Wheat Flour) Laddoos

Praveena from Simply Spicy Undrallu with Ginger Chutney

Sheela from Delectable VictualsPoorna Kozhukkattai

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

Sushma from Cook SpotMurrukku and Rava Sweet

Kajal from Kajal DreamsSalty Rajgara Seero or Farali Seero

Bhawna from From my plate – Chawal Ki Kheer

Roopa from My chow chow BhathKadabu and Panchgajaya

Shilpa from Aayis Recipes

Siri from Siri’s Corner

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

raaga 2
Raaga from The Singing Chef

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

Bharathy from Spicy ChillyKozhukkattai and Paruppu payasam

Ujwala from Cuisine PointKarigadbu/ Kadubu

Vijaya from Daily MealsModak or Kozhukattai or Modakam

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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