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Tanjore Painting of Lord Bala Krishna made by Latha Narasimhan (me!!) Update: Thanks SeeC, for suggesting that I put a web optimized image with a copyright.

This year (update: refers to year 2007) Srijayanthi also known as Gokulashtami/Janmashtami/Krishnashtami falls on 4th September.As always I am posting the details and important recipes (prasaadams or offerings) of Krishna jayathi or Janmashtami or Gokulashtami, a few days ahead of the festival. This is for people who come here looking for these recipes.

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The following recipes have been posted on The Yum Blog, click through for the recipes.

  1. Navaneetham
  2. Sukkuvellam
  3. Thattai
  4. Seedai
  5. Vellaseedai
  6. Kodubale
  7. Paal cake

Lord Krishna’s Birthday is celebrated by Hindus all over the world! In the North this is celebrated as Janmashtami. In the South, the Iyers call this festival Janmashtami or Gokulashtami and the Iyengars celebrate as Srijayanthi or Krisnajayanthi.

In Karnataka, Iyengars place the idol of Lord Krishna in a mandapam and decorate him with the Bhakshanam (Snacks and Sweets in Tamil) they prepare for the festival. Garlands and thoranams are made out of Murrukus and Kodubales!

Kodubale

A few decades earlier back the children in the household used to decorate a chaparam(mandapam that can be carried on your shoulders), place the image of Lord Krishna in it and carry it around the streets. As a child I remember we too built these chaparams for the lord. My father as usual performed a Aaradanai (a poojai performed for Saligramam which is a divine stone considered to be a manifestation of Lord Vishnu) and a variety of Bhakshanams(sweets and snacks) were offered as prasaadam. These days children do a lot of craft work for their school project, but there is no inclination to build a chaparam for the lord.

Paal Cake

For children Srijayanthi definitely means a lot of snacking and jolly time for the sweet tooth. Snacks prepared usually have rice flour as main ingredient. Minimum five varieties of fresh fruits are offered. Naval pazham (Syzygium cumini , Skeels, Myrtaceae) the lords favourite fruit is definitely included. To know the medicinal properties of this fruit please visit this link.

Navaneetham

Sukku Vellam
Navaneetham and Sukkuvellam are two items that are prepared only for this festival.

The pooja is performed in the late evening as Krishna was born at midnight. Generally most of the sweets and savouries are prepared on that day only. The front yard is decorated by drawing a kolam (rice flour drawings on ground), called ezhakoolam. This is done using soaked rice ground to a fine paste and mixed with lot of water. A white cloth is used to soak the paste and make the drawing. Krishna’s feet is drawn from the front yard to the pooja room, indicating that the lord is entering our home. In my home my son has been performing the pooja for the last 5 years. We do the Srikrishna Ashtothra Naamavali (chanting of 108 names of Lord Krishna) for the Pooja.

We are hosting a virtual food event for the festival, and I am sure all my blogger friends will send their entries in great numbers. So while I prepare a huge array of sweets and snacks, I will post only a few in the coming days. My blogger friends will bring out the best of their culinary skills and post other great recipes which are prepared for this festival. :). Click here for details of the event.

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Akkaravadesil is my entry for JFI Rice event hosted by Sharmi of Neivedyam.

Click here for the recipe
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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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Update: Four Varieties of Kozhukattai (steamed stuffed rice flour wraps) have been given below. We prepare this for Ganesha Chaturthi. Scroll down for recipes.

I humbly Offer this to the lotus feet of the Supreme Mother Goddess Raja Rajeshwari.

VaralakshmiViratham is Observed by most families in south India. Varam is boon. Varalakshmi is the goddess who bestows upon her bhakthas, health, wealth, prosperity, joy, peace, etc.(Ashta Aishwaryam).

Though as Iyengars my family does’nt observe this festival, being a devotee of the goddess Raja Rajeshwari I always perform a simple Varalakshmi puja on this day. I have collected details of puja procedures from my neighbour, an Iyer aunty, Mrs.Rajam Sunderajan. Thankyou mami!

On thursday, the kalasam is made and decorated as Amman. For the kalasam you can use a jar or sombhu made of silver, bronze or brass. Even mud pots were used for kalasam in olden days. Fill the pot with a little rice, toor dal, 4 betal leaves, 2 betal nuts, 2 turmeric pods, a 1 rupee coin, 1 lemon. place 5 different kinds of leaves or 5 mango leaves on the mouth of the pot and cover with a coconut that is smeared all over with turmeric powder(manja thengai).

I also read in Devi Bhagavatham another method to make the kalasam. You can fill the pot partially with holy water from any river and place some gold jewellary. cover the mouth of the pot with 5 mango leaves and a coconut smeared with turmeric.

If you have a ambhals Mugam(Face) you can attach it to the kalasam. you can also draw the face of Goddess on the kalasam.If you have a statue of the goddess You can decorate that for the puja. kalasam is further decorated with jewels and silk saree. All this is done in the puja room or a place at home where you want to do the puja. Manja pongal is prepared as prasadam on thursday. At the beginning of the puja Devi is invoked in the Kalasam (Aavahanam). From now we will refer to kalasam as Devi. The devi can be placed on a special platform(mandapam) decorated with Vaazhai kannu or young plaintain trees and maavilai thooranam.

The method of making the kalasam varies, you can stick to the method passed on by your family. Devotion and faith are most important for the puja.

On friday, the day of varalakshmi puja, the front yard is cleaned and decorated with kolam(As we do everyday). Devi is carried from the front door to the puja room and placed in the Mandapam.

Now the Kalasa pujai, archanai, ashtothra pujai and charadu pujai are performed by a sasthrigal(purohit). If you live in a place where you cannot invite a purohit you can do the puja yourself. puja CDs are easily available. Neivedyam is performed.(offering).

The charadu(yellow thread) is worn in the wrist and the purohit is honoured with sambavanai (Vaayanam).*Thambhulam is distributed to ladies.

On saturday punar pujai is done for the Devi and the neivedyam offered is sundal. Thambulam is distributed to ladies. This culminates the puja.

On saturday night after Deeparaadanai the kalasam is kept in the rice pot for a day.

May the world be blessed by the Goddess Vara Maha Lakshmi!

I humbly request The Devi and all my visitors to forgive any mistake in the procedure.

The neivedyam prepared on the day of the puja are

  1. Kozhukattai (kadubu, moodak) prepared with 4 variety poornams (fillings)- which has been posted below.
  2. Appam
  3. Vadai
  4. Idli made from raw rice.(Paccharisi idli)

All recipes will be posted in a day or two.

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

Kozhukatai(Modhak)

Ingredients

For the outer cover

  • Rice flour -3 cups
  • salt to taste
  • Water 3 cups
  • Oil – 1 table spoon

For the Coconut filling

  • Grated coconut – 1cup loosely packed
  • Jaggery – 1/2 cup
  • Cardamom – 1 no

For the sesame filling

  • Sesame seeds (Til) – 1/2 cup
  • jaggery – 1/2 cup
  • cardamom – 1 no

For the urad dal filling

  • Urad dal – 1/2 cup
  • green chillies – 1 no (finely chopped)
  • curry leaves – 1 twig(finely chopped)
  • Oil – 1 table spoon
  • Hing – 1/4 teaspoon
  • salt to taste
  • mustard seeds – 1 teaspoon

For the channa dal filling

  • Channa dal (kadalai paruppu) – 1/2 cup
  • jaggery – 1/2 cup
  • cardamom – 1 no
  • Grated coconut – 1 table spoon

Method

For the outer cover

  1. Bring the water to boil in a heavy bottomed pan.
  2. Reduce the flame to medium and add the oil and rice flour and stir well to get a smooth dough.
  3. Take off the flame and mix further to remove lumps thouroughly.
  4. Cover and allow to cool.

For the Coconut filling

  1. Melt jaggery with a little water, in a kadai on a medium flame.
  2. Add coconut and cardamom powder and cook for 2 minutes.
  3. The filling will become thicker when it cools.Transfer to a container.

For the sesame filling

  1. Dry roast the sesame seeds till they crackle.
  2. Allow to cool and grind in a mixer.
  3. Mix with powdered jaggery and cardamom.

For the urad dal filling

  1. Wash and soak urad dal for 1/2 hour.
  2. Drain well and grind coarsely adding salt and hing adding 2 table spoons water.
  3. Heat oil in a kadai and add mustard seeds.
  4. when it crackles add the curry leaves, green chillies and the ground urad dal.
  5. Cook on a low flame stirring well for 3 minutes. Urad dal will be cooked by now.

For the channa dal filling

  1. Wash and cook channa dal with 3/4 cup water on a medium flame till all the water is absorbed and channa dal looks translucent.
  2. Allow to cool and grind to a powder.
  3. Add the coconut, jaggery and cardamom powder and grind to form a dough.
  4. Keep in a microwave safe glass bowl and micro for 2 minutes stirring in between.

How to proceed

  1. Make 1 and 1/2 inch diameter balls out of the rice dough. Shape it into a cup with your fingers.
  2. Place 1 teaspoon of the prepared filling and cover to form a modhak shape – i.e bring all the end of the cup together. You will get a round ball with a cone on top.
  3. Make these modhaks or Kozhukkatais with all the fillings.
  4. Steam in a pressure cooker without weight for 3 minutes. You can place the kozhukatais on an idli stand to steam.
  5. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before removing from the cooker.
  6. Your kozhukatais are ready for neivedyam (offering to Lord Ganesha).

Update: To see the microwave version of steaming head over here.

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We have 2 entries from our blog for the summer express cooking event hosted by Shaheen . One from Latha (given below) and one from Viji.

Super Fast Bisi Bele Huli Anna by Latha Narasimhan

Today I was very busy preparing goodies for my daughter and son in law . I am visiting them this weekend to celebrate my daughters 25th birthday. So I thought I need to cook some quick lunch. This is what I prepared in just 12 minutes.

bisibelehuli

 

Ingredients

  • Rice – 1 cup
  • Toor dal 1 cup
  • Turmeric powder – 1/4 teaspoon
  • Onion – 1 medium sized
  • Carrot – 1 medium sized
  • Cabbage – a few leaves
  • Beans – 5 nos
  • Oil – 2 teaspoons
  • Hing powder – 2 pinches
  • Ghee – 1 tablespoon
  • Tamarind Pulp- 1 tablespoon
  • Salt to taste

For the paste

  • Coriander seeds – 1 teaspoon
  • Channadal – 1 teaspoon
  • Methi Seeds 1/4 teaspoon
  • Hing – a small piece
  • Cardamom – 1 no
  • Clove – 1 no
  • Red chilli – 1 no
  • Star Anise – 1no
  • Cinnamon – 1 stick
  • Grated Coconut 2 table spoons

spices
Clockwise from 12’o clock: Hing, Methi Seeds, Coriander Seeds, Cloves, Cinnamon, Star Anise, Cardamom, Channa Dal and Red Chillies in the middle (Note: These are not quantities, its just a picture to get an overview of spices)

Vegetables
Clockwise: Grated Coconut, Chopped Carrot, Beans, Cabbage and Onions in Tupperware Containers

For Serving

  • Groundnuts – 1/2 a cup
  • Papads – 3

Some Prerequisites

  • Grated Coconut stored in the fridge
  • Thick Tamarind Pulp stored in the fridge
  • You must be fast with vegetable cutting
  • And a small cooker aids in fast cooking of rice and dal is quite handy to speed up things
  • An organized kitchen where all spices are handy

Method

  1. Put three cups of water to boil in a Hawkins Ventura.
  2. Wash the rice and dal, drain partially reserving about half a cup, and put in Hawkins Ventura along with turmeric powder directly. Note: I used a 3 litre venture which cooks amazingly fast.
  3. Fry all ingredients for paste except coconut in one teaspoon oil stirring continously till golden.
  4. Add coconut and fry for 1 more minute. Keep aside for cooling. Note: I stored this in the fridge for my weekly supplies and dint need to grate.
  5. Cut Vegetables and Micro on high for 4 minutes. Note: You might want to also do this the previous day. I cut very fast.
  6. Grind the fried ingredients to a fine paste adding a little water.
  7. Set aside Tamarind pulp from the fridge.

8th to 10 minute

  1. By now the rice and dal in the cooker will be ready, with all pressure released. (The benefits of a small cooker). Add vegetables, paste, tamarind pulp, ghee and salt into the cooker and cook for 2 minutes.

10th to 12th minute

  1. Fry 3 papads in the microwave.
  2. Roast groundnuts on high for 45 seconds in a microwave for serving

Serve hot. 🙂
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Most of what we prepare and post on this blog is in fact quite quick. You might want to check this handy super fast dosa for a quick breakfast recipe. Cooking fast is not just preparation but also clever use of time.

But one thing is for sure, it took much more time to type this recipe than to cook!!!

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Tamilian’s meal is not complete with out curd rice. Curd rice is not just mixing rice and curd. Read on to know how Iyengars make it an absolute delight.

Ingredients

  • Rice – 1 cup
  • Milk – 2 cups (boiled and cooled)
  • Fresh curds – 2 tablespoons
  • Salt – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Green chillies – 2 nos (cut into small pieces)
  • Curry leaves – 1 twig finely chopped
  • Fresh cream – 2 table spoons
  • Hing – a pinch
  • Ginger – 1/2 teaspoon (finely chopped)
  • Pomegranate – 2 tablespoons
  • Seedless grapes – 10 nos ( cut into 2 pieces )
  • Cashew – 4 nos (cut into pieces)
  • Oil – 1 teaspoon
  • Mustard – 1/2 teaspoon

Method

  1. Wash the rice and cook in a pressure cooker with* 2 and1/2 cup water.
  2. Transfer the rice to a deep container and mash when still hot, adding a little milk as you mash.
  3. Slowly add the remaining milk as you keep mixing. Allow to cool for 5 minutes.
  4. Add curds, salt and cream and mix well.
  5. Heat oil in a small kadai, add mustard seeds. when it crackles add curry leaves and green chillies.
  6. Add the seasoning,hing, cashews, ginger and fruits and mix well.
  7. Serve with a pickle of your choice.

Tips
* The rice should be over cooked so that it can be mashed well.

If the rice soaks up all the milk, more milk can be added.

Cashews are raw and not fried.

Red chillies can also be used or seasoning.

The fruits are optional as they may not be available through out the year.

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Iyengars are famous for preparing a perfect puliyodarai. It is not at all as difficult as it is made out to be. If you can boil water, you can make puliyodarai.

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Pulikaichal

Pulikaichal is a preserve which stays for a few months in the fridge. This when mixed with rice is called Puliyodarai. I make pulikaichal once in a month as it can also be served as a side dish to adai, pesarattu etc.

Ingredients

  • Tamarind- 1/2 cup tightly packed
  • Turmeric powder – 1 teaspoon
  • Salt to taste

For the seasoning

  • Red chillies 5 nos (cut into pieces)
  • Mustard seeds-2 teaspoons
  • Groundnuts- 1 cup
  • Channa dal- 1/2 cup
  • Urad dal- 1/2 cup
  • Hing – 1 small piece or1/4 teaspoon powder
  • Til oil (sesame oil) – 1 cup

For the powder

  • Til oil 2 teaspoons
  • Red chillies – 5 nos
  • urad dal – 2 teaspoons
  • Channa dal – 2 teaspoons
  • Fenugreek or methi seeds – 1 teaspoon
  • coriander seeds – 2 teaspoons
  • Hing – 1 small piece

Method

  1. Soak the tamarind in warm water and squeeze out thick juice to make 1 and 1/2 cup pulp.
  2. In a kadai heat 2 teaspoon oil and fry the ingredients for the powder, stirring continously till golden.
  3. Allow to cool and grind to a fine powder.
  4. In the same kadai heat 1 cup oil and add mustard seeds.
  5. When it crackles add all other ingredients for the seasoning and fry till golden.
  6. Lower the flame and carefully pour the tamarind pulp in to the seasoning.
  7. Add turmeric powder and mix well.
  8. Allow to simmer till the pulp is thick.
  9. Add salt and the powder and mix well. put off the flame.
  10. Allow to cool and store in food safe, air tight containers in the fridge.

For the rice

Ingredients

  • Raw rice – 1 cup
  • Ghee – 2 teaspoons
  • Til oil – 1 teaspoon Curry leaves – 1 twig

Method

  1. Wash and prepare rice in a pressure cooker, with 1 cup rice and 2 cups water.
  2. Allow to cool a bit and transfer to a shallow dish.
  3. *Pour 2 teaspoon ghee and curry leaves fried in one teaspoon til oil.
  4. Add 3 tablespoons of the pulikaichal and mix lightly with a **thuduppu.
  5. Reheat for 20 seconds in the microwave and serve with chips.

*Ghee helps in separating the rice grains.

**Thuduppu is the flat laddle used to turn dosas. It heps in mixing without breaking the rice grains.

Note

You can increase or decrease the chillies as per your taste.

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