Posts Tagged ‘saatvik khana’

Maa Villakku

My ancestors are from the town of Nagapattinam – they were trustees of the Krishnar Kovil at Nagapattinam. About five generations ago, when Nagapattinam was beseiged by sea water ingress, and all land became barren and soaked in salt, my ancestors abandoned all property and the temple for the city of Srirangam to start a new life. In those days losing so much of property and wealth was considered a shame of great volumes and people quietly moved to another place to build a new identity.

Krishnar skipped almost four generations in popularity as “Kula Daivam” (concept similar to patron saint), often referred only in “thatha- paatti” (grandparents) stories of ancestors. For almost 130 years no one from the family visited the temple.

I am very happy to say that last week my sister in law Padma, my athai Komala and I visited Krishnar at Nagapattinam to peep in and say that we are still devoted to him. It was a wonderful journey and we were spell bound by the sculpture of Krishnar at Nagapattinam. I will do a detailed post on our journey soon.

We offered Maa Villakku to Krishnar – we used “Nattu Sakkarai” (a kind of yummy sugar) instead of Jaggery. Click here to see the recipe for Maa Villakku that I posted earlier.

I am linking to Maa Villakku recipe on the request of Gayatri who wanted it for Purattasi Sanikizhamai Balaji Puja (Puja to Lord Balaji on the saturdayof Purattasi month in Tamil Calendar).


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I like to think of Vazhakkai also known as Raw Banana or Green Plaintain as the unsweetened cousin of Banana. Plaintains and Kerala are almost synonomous thanks to the fanatical devotedness of people to munching on Kerala’s various plaintain delicacies. Yet this aint a recipe from Kerala but Tamil Nadu, the other state where Plaintains are cooked up and served in all kinds of forms.

Vazhakkai Podi

Vazhakkai Podi or a mix of grated raw banana/unripe plaintain with a powder and is typically served with Rice. Me thinks this will make a superb combination with More Kuzhambu. For a change I used them to make Parathas.

Preparation time: 10 minutes, Cooking time: 20 minutes, Serves 3 – 4


For Vazhakkai Podi (Powder)

  • Raw Banana/ Green Plaintain * 1
  • Channa Dal 1 1/2 tbsp (Bengal Gram Dal)
  • Urad Dal 1 1/2 tbsp
  • Red Chillies 2
  • Hing/ Asafoetida – a small piece
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil

*Update: Vazhakkai are Plaintains that are unripe or Green in colour not the sweet Bananas that are not yet ripe. Raw Bananas is a colloquial reference used in Madras which also appears on the bill when you pick a bunch of these green plaintains. The term “Raw” is used to refer to the “paccha” or “raw” taste of these as compared to a normal Banana. Since there seems to be some kind of confusion, I have updated to avoid misinterpretation.
For Parathas

  • Whole wheat flour 2 cups
  • Water to Knead
  • Salt
  • Ghee


For Vazhakkai Podi
1. Wash and trim the ends of the Green Plaintain/ Vazhakkai. Cut into two and steam in a Microwave for 3 to 4 minutes along with the skin. The Green Plaintain/ Vazhakkai should be cooked about 3/4 and not very mushy. Remove and set aside for cooling.
2. Roast Channa Dal, Urad Dal and Red chillies with a drop of oil. Set aside for cooling. Make sure that you don’t add too much oil for roasting, when ground this must be dry.
3. When the parboiled Plaintain is cool, grate it finely along with the skin. Please don’t discard the skin, it is edible and very nutritious. Ensure that the banana is completely cool, else the gratings may be very mushy.
4. In a blender grind the roasted Channa Dal, Urad Dal and Red Chillies along with Hing and Salt to a fine powder.
5. Mix the grated Green Plaintain/ Vazhakkai with the ground powder. Transfer to a Bowl.

For Parathas
1. Knead the Wheat flour with water and salt into a firm elastic dough, add a drop of ghee towards the end to finish. Set aside for 20 minutes. Divide the dough into round balls. Set aside some flour to dust while rolling.
2. Roll out one ball into a round of 4 inch diameter using a belan or rolling pin using some flour to dust. Ensure that the center is thick while the sides are rolled out thin.
3. Fill in 1 1/2 tbsp of filling in the center, bring the sides together from 5 to 6 points. Press gently. This should give you a flat round with filling inside.
4. Dust both sides of this flat stuffed round with some flour and roll out into a round of 5 inch diameter.
5. Cook both sides on a tawa on medium heat until brown spots. This makes one paratha stuffed with the Raw Banana/ Vazhakkai Podi.
6. Proceed similarly with the rest of the dough.

Vazhakkai Podi Parathas

Parathas stuffed with Vazhakkai Podi for JFI: Banana hosted by Mandira from Ahaar.


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I invite all visitors to see the janmashtami round up. Just click on Balakrishna’s picture for that! To know about the event for Ganesh chaturthi Click on Ganesha.

Aantu unde or dryfruit laddoo is a famous sweet in karnataka! This nutritious laddoo is a must be in the diet of young mothers, three months after delivery. This surely helps new mothers to recover back to their original health.

I have tasted this unde many times but never bothered to prepare at home. But now I learnt the method for Asha’s RCI karnataka!Thanks Asha, I have learnt so many new authentic karnataka recipes because of you!


On thursday when all the people were shopping for Gowri, Ganesha festival, I went around searching for aantu or cooking gum used in this Laddoo. It is available in Granthike Aangadi in Sampige road, Malleshwaram.

All ingredients used in Aantu Unde



Cooking gum or Aantu after dryroasting.


  • Cashew – 1 cup
  • Badam- – 1 cup
  • Dry grapes – 1cup
  • Dates – 1 cup
  • Dessicated coconut – 1 cup
  • Cooking gum (Aantu)- 1 cup
  • Sugar – 1 cup
  • Ghee – 1 cup
  • Cardamom – 6 nos


  1. Chop the badam, cashew nuts, dates and dry grapes to small pieces.
  2. Dry roast the cooking gum in a heavy bottomed pan, on a low flame till it puffs up as shown in picture. Crush a little when cool.
  3. Roast the badam and cashew with 1 table spoon ghee till light golden.
  4. Powder the dessicated coconut, sugar and cardamom.
  5. Melt the ghee and combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.
  6. *Make into 2 inch radius balls and store in an air tight container.


The most difficult part is to make the undes. Chopping the dry grapes and dates to fine pieces helps in binding.

You can use sugar as per taste.

You can add any other dry fruit of your choice.

Can be stored for months.

Update: Since dry grapes (raisins) are indispendable for the making of these laddoos I am sending this to Swapna of Swad of India for AFAM – Grapes. “A Fruit a Month” (AFAM) is a monhtly event that rounds up recipes of a particular fruit.


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Prasadam literally means the benedictions or the blessings of the divine. The practice of offering to God before one eats – “prepare, serve and then eat”- is prevalent in different forms throughout India. My grandparents until a few years back adhered to this strictly – my Paatti would prepare our daily food and offer everything (Neiveidyam), while Thatha would do the Aradhanai (prayer offered to Saligramam – divine stone considered to be a manifestation of Lord Vishnu). This act of offering can be understood as “God eating before one does” at one level. The other level of understanding is that God’s blessing or love is transmuted through the food that has been offered and therefore becomes prasadam. “Bhogya” or the act of God consuming food is believed to purify food and transfer a boon.

Consumption of food in the form of Prasadam therefore becomes consumption in Saatvika Bhava – the purest mood with which one is supposed to engage in all activities.

One of the motivations for people undertaking pilgrimages even today is because they seek the prasadam – there are gods and some temples in India that are known specifically for granting some boons – like progeny or cure from mental illness.

In all 30 delicious prasadams (some of them are spreads!!) were sent in for Little Krishna. Each of these isnt just a recipe but a sharing of celebrations and stories of Krishna. While there isnt anything like virtual munching just as yet, do use your imagination and enjoy these treats.

Arun Shanbag’s brilliant Photo Essay on Krishna that includes an extract from his upcoming book – Prarthana: A Book of Hindu Psalms. Take one look at the brilliant sandalwood sculpture and you’ll never want to take your eyes away. Arun writes on a whole lot of stuff from Indian arts and temples to globalization, health and street food.

Angooli Basundi-kajal
Kajal has sent in this awesome recipe for Angoori Basundi – a heavenly mix of Basundi with Rasgullas. Do check out some Gujju recipes also when you head over.

Praveena has made some gorgeous looking Paal Payasam – the colour and texture are absolutely perfect.

Pineapple halwa_tbc
TBC who’s more than just a budding cook feeds Krishna Pineapple halwa – very apt for kids. Don’t forget to admire the lovely streaks of light on her halwa.

Head over to Rajitha’s hunger inducing blog for some tastyRibbon Pakodas.

Viji from Vcuisine has sent in her impressive spread for Janmashtami – head here for the bunch of recipes.

Gopalkala is traditionally prepared in Maharashtrian homes for every Krishna Jayanthi. Archana, a very dear blogger friend, shares her recipe of Gopalkala.

Perfectly made Thattais and Appams from Prema. Thattai colour and texture are absolutely on the mark – this is how the dish is meant to look!!!

Drool over coral coloured Kalakand from Sobila who writes at Iniya Tamil Virunthu

Sweet Pedas from Rachna (think Botswana, think Rachna) for Guruvayoorappan – rich in milk to please his palate.

Choco chip buns (name one kid who wouldn’t devour these) from Raaga – The Singing Chef.

Seven cup cakes in cutesy little hearts is Madhavi’s contribution.

kopri mithai-madhuli
Coconut Barfi (Kopri Mithai) from Madhuli’s thali. Once you’re done with drooling over the thali, do check out Madhuli’s cute little kanha.

Menu Today stacks up some Seedais on a Manga Thattu (Mango shaped plate) – both Uppu and Vella Seedai. MT – what’s your name?

Manasi who blogs at A Cook at Heart offers the ubiquitous Semiya Kheer

Delicious Malpua with Rose Flavoured Rabdi is Mansi’s contribution

Gokulashtami Seedais from Elle n Chikki who write at Lemon and Chillies blog. A visit to their blog will educate you on how Madras is not Chennai and sundals are to be served in a pottalam.

Madhavi from Madhu’s Vantalu serves diamond shaped Rava Kesari cakes.

Veggie Platter’s Suma Gandlur sends in Paalakaayalu, with gorgeous looking Mosaravalakki and Sihi Avalakki

Perfectly shaped light brown wheelies orVellai Murukku – just one among the huge spread that BubbaLili cooked up for Srijayanthi.

Easy Crafts from Simple Indian food has sent in Besan Rava Ladoo, Sugiyan, Manakombu, Thattai, Uppu Sheedai and Vella Sheedai.

A unique recipe of Payasam from Srivalli who has sent in Senega Pappu Payasam.

Rave Unde and Nipattu, snack items that any person in sniffing distance of a Kannadiga would know about, is Mamatha’s contribution to the celebrations.

Jayashree serves Uppu cheedai, Vella Cheedia and Neyyappam for her first love.

Emily from the awesome ROL blog sends in this lovely recipe of Cheese Straws.


  • 2 cups butter, room temperature
  • 1 pound (1/2 kilo) extra-sharp Cheddar cheese, finely grated and at room
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne (hot) pepper

In a large bowl, cream the butter and Cheddar cheese. In a separate bowl,
combine the flour, salt, and pepper and gradually add to the cheese mixture.
Form into 1-inch balls, place on an ungreased baking sheet, and flatten with
a fork. Bake at 350 degrees F for 10 to 15 minutes.
Makes 12 dozen small straws.

Emily also writes, “Cheese Straws are a traditional snack in the American South. They’re
basically butter, cheese, flour, and hot pepper–very tasty. I hope you and
your readers can get Cheddar cheese. If not, any tasty hard cheese will work
just as well. And you can use ghee for the butter. Ghee will probably be
better than butter with milk solids.”

Prema Sridharan, a non blogger sends in this yummy Rabdi recipe.

RABRI (also called RABDI)


  • 2 litres thick milk
  • 1 cup cream of milk removed from boiling milk and refrigerated
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4-5 cardamom seeds powdered
  • a pinch of nutmeg, pistachio powder as per individual preference
  • little saffron soaked in milk any food colour of your choice(optional)
  • broken nuts – cashews, sarra paruppu and almonds of your choice


Bring the milk to boiling on low fire in a deep heavy pan. Add the sugar and cardamom seeds and leave to simmer over a low heat for 2 hours until all the milk is reduced to one quarter (as an alternative can do it in the microwave) Remove from heat and add the nuts (cashew and saraparuppu can be roasted in ghee and added or added fresh when milk is boiling), can add the saffron and nutmeg,pistachio powders also at this stage Serve hot or cold as per preference.

Renuka who writes at Piece of Cake shares Navaneetham and Banana Sheera.


  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 3 tbsps sugar
  • 1 tsp rock sugar (kalkandu)
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon ghee
  • 1 tablespoon curd

Boil milk, add sugar and kalkandu till dissolved. Stir in butter, ghee and cream on low heat. Once it comes to a boil, remove from flame, stir in curd.

Banana Sheera

  • Rava – 1 cup
  • Sugar – 3/4 cup
  • Milk – 1 ¼ cup
  • Banana – 2
  • Saffron – few
  • Cardamom powder – pinch
  • Ghee – 1 tbsp
  • Cashew nuts – few
  • Raisins – few

In a pot, pour milk, sugar, cardamom powder and saffron and stir till sugar has dissolved. Mash the bananas and set aside. Fry raisins and cashews in ghee and mix with the bananas in a bowl. In the same pan, fry rava till light brown. Pour in the milk mixture and keep stirring till mixture thickens. Stir in bananas, cashews and raisins and stir till mixture leaves the sides of the pan.

Asha from Foodie’s Hope, who keeps everbody’s spirits in the food blogosphere high, was the first to send in Uppu Seedai for Little Krishna.

Sharmi from Neivedyam
has prepared Uppu Seedai and Vellam Seedai. She has also posted beautiful pictures of Krishna. Sharmi, sorry to have missed out. Thanks for pinging in comments.

Poori Laadu
Poori Laadu with the standard Navaneetham, Uppu and Vella Seedais is what I (Lakshmi, Latha’s daughter – for those who’re still confused) made for Srijayanthi.

You can take a look at Amma’s fabulous array of goodies – Kodubale, Paal Cake, Uppu Seedai, Vella Seedai, Navaneetham and Sukku Vellam (for digesting all of that 🙂 ).

I hope I haven’t left anybody out – do ping in comments. Thanks a Million for sharing all your fabulous celebrations.

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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


  • 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


  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

  • 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)


  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)


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

Click here for the recipe


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