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Aavani avittam or Upaakarma falls on the Poornima(full moon day) in the month of Aavani (mid august to mid september). The Star Avittam also rises on the same day every year.

On this day all men and boys change their sacred thread (Poonal). For Thalai Aavani Avittam or the first festival after the upanayanam of the boys, Homa is performed using 1008 peepul twigs (samithu) reciting the Kamo karshi japam. Generally the changing of thread is performed in a common place in a locality which is usually a hall in the temple.

After a breakfast of Idli and Appam the boys(Brahmacharis) and men go to the temple where the sasthrigal or vadhiyar (priest) help them by teaching the mantras. Usually the men perform this ritual with out eating anything.

For lunch an elaborate menu is followed as this is the only festival exclusively for men.

I am planning the following Menu. Click on links to get the recipes. Some are posted below.

Pictures will be posted after neivedyam.

Beans parrupusali

Beans Parrupusali

Ingredients

  • Beans – 1/4 kg
  • Toor dal – 1 cup
  • Turmeric powder – 1/4 teaspoon
  • Red chilli – 1 no
  • Hing – 1/4 teaspoon
  • Oil – 3 table spoons
  • Channa dal – 1 teaspoon
  • Urad dal 1 teaspoon
  • Mustard seeds – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Salt to taste

Method

  1. Wash and soak the toor dal for 1/2 hour in warm water.
  2. Grind to a thick paste adding red chilli, hing and salt.
  3. Wash and cut the beans to small pieces.
  4. Add hing, turmeric powder and 1 table spoon oil and micro high for 6 minutes.
  5. Heat oil in a kadai, add mustard seeds.
  6. When it crackles add urad dal and channa dal and fry till golden.
  7. Add the ground dal care fully and stir well. Cook on a medium flame stirring occasionally it the dal cooks.
  8. Add the boiled beans and mix well.
  9. Cook for 3 more minutes and put off the flame.

Inji thengai pachadi
Ingredients

  • Ginger – 1 inch piece
  • Grated coconut 1/2 cup
  • green chilli – 1 no
  • salt to taste
  • Fresh curds – 1 cup
  • Oil – 1 teaspoon
  • Urad dal – 1 teaspoon
  • Mustard seeds – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Curry leaves – 1 twig ( finely chopped)

Method

  1. Wash and chop the ginger, add coconut, green chilli, salt and grind to a fine paste .
  2. Mix with curd in a serving bowl.
  3. Heat oil in a kadai,add mustard seeds. when it crackles add the urad dal and fry till golden.
  4. Add the curry leaves and pour on the ginger pachadi.

Elumichai saathamudu( lemon rasam)
Rasam

Ingredients

  • Toor dal – 1/4 cup
  • Turmeric powder – 1 pinch
  • Tomato – 1 no
  • Lemon – 1 no
  • Curry leaves -1 twig
  • Coriander seeds 1/2 teaspoon
  • Grated coconut – 1 tablespoon
  • Channa dal 1/2 teaspoon
  • Hing – a small piece(Powder is also ok)
  • blackpeppercorns 1/2 teaspoon
  • Jeera – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Red chilli – 1 no
  • Ghee – 2 teaspoons
  • Salt to taste
  1. Wash and pressure cook the Toor dal adding a pinch of turmeric powder.
  2. Cut tomato into small pieces and in a micro safe container micro for 1/2 minute.
  3. Fry the coriander seeds, channa dal, jeera red chilli, hing and pepper in 1 teaspoon ghee it golden.
  4. Add coconut to the fried items and grind to a smooth paste.
  5. Add dal, salt and 1 cup water to the tomatoes and micro high for 2 minutes.
  6. Add the ground paste and 1 more cup water and micro high for 3 minutes.
  7. Transfer to a serving bowl and add juice extracted from 1 lemon.
  8. Fry the curry leaves in 1 teaspoon ghee and add to the prepared rasam.
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My entry for Srivalli’s Microwave Easy Cooking Series

The Maharani of Sweets – Theratti Paal

P8100222

Recipe has been posted earlier here.

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jihvarice.jpgUrad dal vadai is made in the same way as the recipe already posted for thayir vadai. The only difference is to make a hole in center before frying. Soaking in curd is optional.

For details of pooja and Kozhukattai recipes click here.

For Raw Rice Idlies click here.

Appam

I have prepared the appams in a kadai,(the big ones) as well as the appa kuzhi (small ones).

Appam

Ingredients

  • Raw Rice – 1 cup
  • Urad dal – 1 teaspoon
  • Grated coconut – 2 table spoons
  • Jaggery – 3/4 cup
  • Cardamom – 1 no
  • Oil – 1 cup for deep frying

Method

  1. Wash and soak the rice and urad dal for 1 hour
  2. Grind to a smooth paste adding very little water.
  3. Add the jaggery and coconut and grind to mix well.
  4. Add cardamom powder.The batter should be like dosa batter.
  5. Heat oil in a kadai on a medium flame and pour ladle full of batter in the center of the kadai.
  6. Smear oil on the appam using the chattuvam (slotted spoon). Once the appam rises turn slowly. cook both sides till brown.
  7. Drain the oil and take out on a kitchen paper.

You can also make the appams in a appa kuzhi.

This appam is my entry for JFI Rice event hosted by Sharmi of Neivedyam. I’ll post the pictures when I prepare the prasadam tomorrow.

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I have been baking these cookies or ghee biscuits alteast once a month for the past 25 years. Some times for my hubby and children, most of the time for my relatives and friends. Baking has always been a passion for me, there is nothing as delightful as making a car shaped cake for your kids or taking a bite off delicously melting cookies.

My mother used to make cookies in her old biscuit maker, placed on the stove with sand in the lowest campartment, biscuits in the middle and charcoal on the top. With some experience and experimentation, I have made a few changes to the recipe like using ghee instead of butter and omitting soda. Over the years many people have enjoyed these cookies that I bake. But the recipe received its ultimate seal of validation when Sunil, a chef at Taj and Anupama, his wife a professor in a Hotel management school said that my cookies are the best they have ever tasted. :DYay!!!

Choco chip cookies and Super soft idlies smeared with Mulagai podi are my entry for Anupama’s picnic event.

Ingredients

  • Maida – 3 cups
  • Sugar – 1 and1/4 cup
  • ghee – 1 cup
  • milk powder – 1 cup
  • Dark chocolate chips or gratings – 1/2 cup

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Method

  1. Grind the sugar to a fine powder.
  2. Mix ghee, sugar, milk powder and maida in a big bowl.
  3. Knead for 10 minutes till it blends well to form a ball.
  4. Now add the choco chips and mix well.
  5. Some chocolate will combine with the dough and give a light chocolate colour.
  6. Shape on your palm into 1 and 1/2 inch rounds. Place this biscuits on baking tray and bake in a pre heated oven in the convection mode at 230degree centrigrade for 9 minutes.
  7. You can also shape the biscuits using biscuit cutters.
  8. Store in air tight container and carry for your picnic.

Prepare idlies and mulagai podi as per the recipes.

In a plate mix mulagai podi with til oil and spread it on both sides of the idlies. It is easy to serve idlies in a picnic.

Idlies

PS: I just noticed that we have touched 100 posts and this is 101!

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With three birthdays and so many festivals in the month of aadi, There were too many heavy lunches. So last sunday I prepared a pathiya sappadu (saatvik khana – read healthy food that’s nice to your digestive system).It took just 15 minutes. So I am sending to Shaheens Express cooking event. I prepared Milagu kuzhambu (Black Peppercorns and Tamarind Gravy), Paruppu thogayal (a paste made of Lentils), Plain rice, pappad, Varutha Manathakali and Veepampoo (Roasted Black Nightshade and Neem flowers).

Ingredients

For Milagu Kuzhambu (Black Peppercorns and Tamarind Gravy)

  • Tamarind – lemon sized
  • Coriander seeds – 2 teaspoon
  • Black peppercorns – 2 teaspoons
  • Red chilli – 1 no
  • Channa dal – 2 teaspoons
  • Urad dal – 2 teaspoons
  • Hing – a small piece
  • Oil- 2 teaspoons
  • Curry leaves 2 twigs

For Paruppu thogayal (Lentils Paste)

  • Toor dal – 1 cup
  • Red chillii – 1 no
  • Oil 1 table spoon
  • Hing – a small piece
  • Salt to taste

For plain rice

  • Rice – 1 cup
  • Water 2 and 1/2 cups

For the varuvals (roasted items)

  • Manathakali vathal (Black Nightshade)- 2 table spoons
  • Veepampoo (Neem flowers) – 2 table spoons
  • Ghee 2 table spoons
  • Salt to taste

Method

  1. Heat 2 and 1/2 cups water in a small Hawkins Ventura cooker.
  2. Wash the rice, drain well and add to the boiling water, close the cooker.Takes around 5 minutes to cook
  3. Soak tamarind in hot water.
  4. In a kadai heat 2 teaspoon oil and fry coriander seeds, channa dal, urad dal, peppercorns, redchilli and hing till golden.
  5. Add curry leaves and fry for a moment and transfer to a plate.
  6. Heat 1 table spoon oil and fry toor dal, red chilli and hing till golden, stirring continously.
  7. Transfer to a container and leave to cool.
  8. Extract juice from tamarind adding 1 and 1/2 cup water, add salt and bring to boil in medium flame.
  9. Grind the fried items for milagu kuzhambu in to a powder and add to the boiling tamarind water and mix well.
  10. Let it boil for a minute and transfer to a serving bowl.
  11. Add salt and grind the toordal to a powder and add 1 cup water and grind furtherto a smooth paste.
  12. Add more water if required and transfer to a serving bowl.
  13. Heat 1/2 tablespoon ghee in a small kadai and fry the manathakali vathal (black nightshade) till it puffs. Add salt and transfer to a small cup.
  14. Heat 1/2 table spoon ghee in the same kadai and fry the veepampoo (neem flowers) till slightly black.Add salt and transfer to a cup.
  15. By now the rice will be ready with pressure released.
  16. Serve all these items with papads made in the microwave.

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Generally boiled rice is not used for idlies when it is prepared as prasaadam.

Ingredients

  • Raw rice – 2 cups
  • urad dal – 1 cup

Another option

  • Raw rice – 3 cups
  • urad dal – 1 cup
  • methiseeds – 1 teaspoon

Method

  1. Wash and soak the dal and rice for 6 hours and grind to a smooth paste. For detailed instructions click here.
  2. Allow to ferment for 8 to 10 hours and steam the Idlies.

For details of pooja and Kozhukattai recipes click here

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One Thayir pachadi is always included in a tambram menu. My mother used to make one pachadi every day. This is one of them. (Raita in hindi).

Posting this recipe on special request from Kamini of Bubbling Cauldron.

Aloo pachadi
Potato Pachadi

Ingredients

  • Potato – 1 no(medium)
  • Fresh Curds – 1 cup
  • Green chilli – 1 no
  • Corriander – 2 twigs
  • Ginger – 1/4 teaspoon finely chopped
  • Hing – 2 pinches
  • Mustard seeds – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Urad dal – 1 teaspoon
  • Oil – 1 teaspoons
  • Salt to taste

Method

  1. Wash and pressure cook the potato. Peel and mash well
  2. Beat the curds well and add mashed potatoes.
  3. Add hing salt, finely chopped ginger, coriander and green chillies. Mix well.
  4. Heat oil add mustard seeds and when it crackles add urad dal and fry till golden. Add to the pachadi.
  5. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve as a part of your meal.

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