RATHASAPTAMI | BOR-NAHAN

C746CEA1-3612-4B00-87C3-FE9C5A490972
Ratha Saptami also known as Achala/Magha Saptami Falls on the seventh day of the bright half of the lunar month, Magha Maasa. This day is dedicated to Lord Suryanarayan. This festival is celebrated by the Hindus across India. The Sun begins its journey towards the northern hemisphere ( Uttarayan ) which according to Hindu astrological reckoning is called Makara Sankranti. After the culmination into Capricorn ,the sun starts gaining momentum on the seventh day. This celestial movement is known as Uttaryan and also as ‘Brahma Marga’ .This day is considered to be very auspicious and divine.

A635B34F-5879-4A24-A4C1-21DEEBA3C719


The Spiritual Insight and True Meaning of Ratha Saptami :
Ratha means Chariot and is also symbolic of  ‘Our Mind’. Our mind always wanders in different directions with innumerable thoughts just  like different horses , so inorder to progress and attain peace, The Ratha should be pulled/ channelised towards ‘right direction’. All the right set of horses should pull in the right direction.

71EC5C12-3AE8-4CF7-BB6D-E7C84F5D849F

It is believed that Surya was born on this day to Sage Kashyapa and his wife Aditi, Arghyadana is offered to Sun God today which is offering water from a small Kalash in Namaskar Mudrav by chanting 12 diffferent names of Surya, Also worshipping Surya or Sun God today will bring you longevity, good health and success.Sweets  made out of sesame seeds are offered to Surya as Naivedyam.

73E47EFA-0E48-46AB-AB9E-AC37BFA05AE9
Haldi kumkum is the most important part of this Festival for married women. Women organise Haldi kumkum sessions right from Makar Sankranti to this day of Ratha Saptami as per their convenience. Married women adorn themselves in Black Saree,exchange Haldi kumkum, scented flowers, betel leaves, Til Gul vadi ( Sesame seeds and also distribute utility gifts known as ‘vaan’ to other women in family and friends. (This year we are distributing rice & lentil mixture as vaan )

D70BC5E0-7F67-47FD-85CB-E84A1CF7B8F2
Bor- nahan ( Berry Shower Ceremony) :
Bor-nahan or Berry Shower is celebrated for kids below 5 years of age. Boys are dressed as little  Sri Krishna and baby Girls in black dress with TIL Gul ornaments. Small children are showered with puffed rice mixed with fruits, veggies and goodies. Literally bathing them with sugarcane pieces, carrot pieces, coins, sugar moulds, peas, berries, chocolates mixed with puffed rice. Its a very old hindu ritual 
performed to thank God for blessing with us with children, to rice away the negative energy, wishing and blessing them with good health and long life and lots of love. Children from neighbourhood are invited to this ceremony they scramble up to collect all the goodies with their tiny little hands once the bor-nahan is over. Kids loot the goodies so lots of goodies are poured in…. its sheer joy to watch them enjoy this ceremony. Laughter and merriment. Berry Showers are super fun.

FOXTAIL MILLET CURD RICE

BC55D148-9B35-4AB4-A81A-BB9C2FEC3143How about a bowl of Curd Rice using Millets ? sounds Good y’all ? May sound boring & unsumptuous , but Tastes Utterly delicious, Trust me !! let me tell you, this one’s a keeper foreal. I just whipped up a heartwarming plate of Curd Rice by replacing Rice with Foxtail Millet, foxtail Millet also known as Kangni( in Hindi) Navane/Navanakki (in Kannada) is a tiny ,light yellow grain/seed that is a rich source of minerals like phosphorous, iron, potassium & magnesium. They are easy on digestion, gluten-free and rich in dietary fibres.
Millets had been an integral part of Indian cuisine in the past, but somehow got sidelined from our food basket, but it has regained popularity now as it’s considered to be a repository of all the goodness.I make sure I include some Millet based meal at least twice or thrice in a month in our diet.Read further to note down the recipe.
RECIPE
Preparation Time: 30 minutes ( includes time taken for soaking)
Cooking Time: 20 Minutes
Serves : 3-4
Ingredients:
• Foxtail Millet – 1 Cup
• Water for cooking Millet -2.5 cups
• Thick Curd ( Home-set ) – 1 Cup
• Warm Milk – 1/2 Cup
• Salt to Taste
For Tempering:
• Ghee- 1 tbsp
• Mustard Seeds- 1/2 tsp
• Cumin Seeds- 1/2 tsp
• Urad Dal – 1/2 tsp
• A Handful of Raw Peanuts
• A pinch of Asafoetida/ Hing
• Grated Ginger – 1 tsp
• Curry Leaves- 1 sprig
• Slit Green Chillies -1
Method:
• Wash and soak the foxtail Millet very well fresh water for 30 minutes.
• Pressure Cook the Millets by adding 2.5 cups of water and a pinch of salt for upto 2-3 whistles.Once the pressure settles, remove the lid and transfer the cooked millets in a big mixing bowl.
• Meanwhile take Kadai , Add a tbsp of ghee, once hot add in mustard seeds, jeera, urad dal, raw peanuts, fry until urad dal and peanuts turn slightly golden, then add a pinch of hing and grated ginger, turn off the flame and add curry leaves and slit green chillies.
• Now add thick homeset Curd to the bowl of cooked millets also add warm milk and adjust with salt, mix everything well. Mash the millets nicely using either a ladle or hands. Now add the tempering into the millets and Curd mixture. Give everything a good mix. Add extra Curd or warm milk if you feel the consistency is too thick.
Notes:
• You May also add in grated, carrots or cucumber, roasted cashews or pomegranate kernels or any other veggie or nuts you like to this dish.
• This Millet could also be cooked in a vessel directly instead of pressure cooking.

PAITHANI SAREE – A HAND WOVEN POEM IN GOLD & SILK

06A4A23E-B1A6-43FF-BE91-0CA0A2D8CD1DI never liked sarees before untill I understood what elegance, femininity & grace it gives a woman. I started draping one since my marriage and have been adorning it whenever I chance upon any occasion now.I have been loving collecting unique pieces right from the simple cotton sarees to the elegant silk weaves. And each such saree you own tells a story, don’t you think so? Be it an heirloom one- passed from your grandmother to your mother and then to you, bought for some festival, your wedding saree, or gifted by your loved ones. Read further to know about this new saree I recently added to my wardrobe.

D0204458-5420-4B40-98B6-C39B141A4B9C

I will be sharing a little read about my yet another favourite and exquisite weave- Paithani Saree. Paithani saree is a dream, a poem, an ornamental treasure, that is hand woven cautiously & intricately in gold and silk threads. This coveted heirloom that originated in the quaint little town of Paithan, Aurangabad, now speaks volumes about the Maharashtrian ethos. Paithani Saree is a pride of Maharashtra. It’s Classic & Timeless. It is still woven traditionally with the silver, gold and silk threads which requires skilled labour and in-depth knowledge about the fabric.

A genuine Paithani Saree is characterised by the motifs on the Pallu which is usually the ‘Mor’ or peacock design and also by the oblique border design. The Pallu designs may vastly vary with Motifs like ‘Morbangdi ( Peacock in Bangle design), Kamal(Lotus), Munia brocade (Parrot), designs from Ajanta Caves, Asavali ( flowering vines) Gazwel etc to name a few. These motifs make the saree quite unique and beautiful.

61C1FD79-235E-4D0B-B10E-898CF948BA87

A Paithani Saree is a must have attire in any Maharashtrian Brides’ wedding Trousseau. Recently my Father-in-law gifted me this beautiful dark green Maharani Paithani Silk Saree for my Dohale Jevan (Baby Shower) it’s such a beautiful weave, with reddish-orange Kadiyal border. Loved it so much, yet another special & beautiful addition to my saree collection.

Adorning all gold traditional Maharashtrian jewellery like the Kolhapuri Saaj, Mohan Maal, Nath, Lakshmi Haar, Thushi, Tode etc elevates the look of the Paithani saree altogether, making a woman look no less than a Goddess.

what’s your favourite weave ? Drop in the comments would love to know!!

DEEPA AMAVASYA

7D6155E5-3FB4-4126-BB8B-55DAF69D1F84This Day of the Aashadh Maasa according to Hindu Calendar is very auspicious and is celebrated by Hindus across India.Each Part of India has their own customs & rituals. This Day marks the commencement of ‘Shraavan  Maasa’ a Holy Month where people abstain from consuming meat and alcohol for the entire month. People indulge in offering prayers, observing fasts and performing Puja , each day of this month is regarded as pious. It is believed that Shraavan Maasa ushers in lots of prosperity , and well-being.

There is also another ritual known as ‘Deepa Puja’ / ‘Divyachi Puja’ that is celebrated on this day of Aashadh Amavasya ,also known as Deepa Amavasya, where people light a lot of Diyas or oil lamps in their Puja room or on a table , they decorate the diyas and offer naivedyam . It is believed that the illumination will ward off all the negative energies from the house and usher in positivity and happiness.

 

 

BENDEKAYI GOJJU | KARNATAKA STYLE OKRA CURRY

64B9622F-8B59-4C75-8941-0A1C219687D6
Bendekayi Gojju is A very popular recipe from Karnataka also known as ‘Kairasa’. A Gojju is a delicious Curry- A medley of flavours I would say – sweet, spicy and tangy all at the same time. Very Simple to make, a delight to your taste buds.
Okra/Bhindi is stir fried, then mixed & simmered along  with ground masala paste made up of coconut and few spices. It goes well with Chapatis, Dosas and Steamed Rice. I personally love eating it with rice and ghee. Bittergourd Gojju, Hog Plum Gojju, Pineapple Gojju are other Variants wherein the basic   Masala base remains the same, with just little tweaks here & there.
Note down the recipe of this delicious curry.
BC507643-164D-44C6-A27E-7009F55D42EE
                                        RECIPE
 
Preparation Time : 30 minutes
 
Cooking Time: 15 Minutes
 
Serves: 4-5
 
Ingredients:
Fresh Bhindi/ Okra/ Lady’s Ginger- 15-20 nos
• Turmeric Powder-1/2 tsp
• Grated Jaggery – 2tsp
• Lemon Sized Tamarind ball soaked in warm water
• Oil
• Salt to taste
 
For the Masala: 
Dry Red Chillies-8-10
• Urad Dal- 2tsp
• Chana Dal- 2tsp
• Fenugreek Seeds/ Methi Seeds – 1/4 tsp
• Cumin Seeds/ Jeera- 1 tsp
• Asafoetida/ Hing- a pinch or two of it
• White Sesame Seeds- 2 tsp
• Coconut – 1 cup
 
Tempering:
Oil-1 tbsp
• Mustard Seeds -1 tsp
• Asafoetida/hing – a pinch of it
• few curry leaves
 
Method:
wash the okra and pat them dry , then chop them into disc shape and keep it aside.
• meanwhile soak Tamarind in warm water.
• Heat a Kadai and add little oil , add in chopped bhindi and stir fry on a medium to low flame till they turn a bit aromatic.
• Squeeze out the juice from the Tamarind and add it to the stir fried bhindi, add grated Jaggery , add 1/2 tsp turmeric powder. Cook until the bhindi turns soft.
•Now In a Pan , heat few drops of oil, add in all the ingredients mentioned under the ‘ingredients for masala ’ except for coconut and sesame seeds.
•Roast until fragrant & dals turn golden.Time to add grated coconut toast for about a minute let the mixture cool, transfer all of that into a mixie jar. Now in the same pan dry roast sesame seeds on a low flame till it turns a bit golden.
• Now Add the sesame seeds to the mixie jar, pour in little water and grind it to a very smooth paste.
• Add this Paste to the cooked Bhindi along with salt to taste, mix everything well. Add water accordingly.Now let the curry boil on a medium flame till all the flavours merge in nicely.
• Reduce the flame and cook further for 5 mins the gravy thickens by then.
• Make a tempering of Mustard Seeds, hing & curry leaves , turn off the flame.
• Our Bendekayi Gojju is ready , serve it hot along with Chapati or Rice.

MURUNGAI KEERAI VADAI | DRUMSTICK LEAVES FRITTERS

FE6F4333-55D8-469C-8DB9-B0FD82500EE5

I usually don’t indulge much in deep fried stuff, but I when I do, I just indulge in guiltlessly. I fried these super delicious fritters/vadai named ‘Murungai Keerai Vadai’ i.e drumstick leaves fritters. Its a Tamil recipe. Keerai is a Tamil word for Spinach in English; Murungai translates to ‘drumstick leaves’ or ‘Moringa’.Moringa leaves /Drumstick leaves has a host of health benefits. Its rich in Iron and Proteins, helps lower blood sugar levels and is a natural energy booster. So you see I had quite a healthy indulgence !! It’s a perfect Tea-time snack very easy to make with just a handful of ingredients, read further to note down the recipe for this addictive healthy snack.

RECIPE

Preparation Time: 3 hours (includes time required for soaking chana dal)

Cooking Time: 15 Minutes

Serves: 4-5

 

Ingredients:

  • Chana Dal – 1 cup
  • Murungai Keerai /Drumstick Leaves –1 Cup
  • Onion – 1 Large finely chopped
  • Green Chillies – 2-3 finely chopped
  • Dry Red Chillies -2
  • Ginger-1/2 inch
  • Garlic pods -3-4
  • Cumin seeds – ½ tsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil

 

Method:

  • Firstly, wash and soak Chana dal for a good 2-3 hours in water.
  • Wash the moringa leaves and keep it aside in a colander and let the excess water drain off.
  • Now once the chana dal is properly soaked and reay, drain off the excess water and add it to the blender.
  • Add in garlic pods, ginger, dry red chillies and cumin seeds.
  • Blend this into a coarse paste. Do not add water.
  • Now transfer this ground chana dal mixture into a bowl, roughly chop the drumstick/moringa leaves and add it to the bowl, add in finely chopped onions, green chillies and salt.
  • Mix everything together very well. Divide the mixture into mini sized lemon balls.
  • Flatten the mixture into round tikkis, gently presing between the palms.
  • Heat sufficient oil in a kadai to fry, once hot gently drop in the vadai and fry until both the sides are crisp and golden.
  • Remove once the vadai are ready on kitchen paper and serve them hot along with chutney and a hot cup of coffee or Tea.

 

Note: If you do not wish to deep fry you may also shallow fry them or use a Paniyaram pan and cook them similar to Paniyaram by dropping in the batter/mixture and drizzling with oil.

IYENGAR BAKERY STYLE MASALA TOAST

8E615D21-C71A-4523-B908-82532C0FB12D
Now who doesn’t love those Yummy goodies from the very famous Iyengar Bakery ? You all do right ? Yes I know !! Iyengars Bakery is a very famous bakery chain that has its origin in Bangalore. Even though there are many fancy boulangeries in the Metros these days, trust me nothing can beat the goodness and warmth of our good ‘Ol Iyengar Bakeries. Right from sweets to savouries everything is scrumptious. I love Masala Buns, Spicy Nippatu, Benne ( Butter ) Biscuits, Honey Cake, Dilpasand, Flaky Veg Puffs and Veg Masala Toast from the whole lot of things they make.
60698F3A-9E6D-4A76-8E61-F3375A9855EA
I made these Iyengar Bakery style Masala toasts, extremely simple to make and very delicious! These toasts are like open sandwiches. A mix vegetable filling of grated carrots, capsicum, tomatoes and onions sautéed in masala is placed on the top of crisp toasted bread. The mix vegetable filling is full of flavours – slightly tangy, little sweet and little spicy !! Read further to make these easy toasts, that are a great accompaniment with a cup of tea !
RECIPE
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
 
Cooking Time : 10 minutes
Ingredients:
• Whole wheat bread / White Bread -6 sliced in a triangle shape
• Butter (to make toasts)
• Finely  Chopped Onion – 1 Large
• Finley Chopped Tomato- 1 Large
• Finley Chopped Capsicum – 1 Large
• Grated Carrot – 1/2 Cup Or 1 medium
• Curry Leaves – 6-8
• Finely Chopped Green Chillies – 1-2
• Oil
• Mustard Seeds – 1 tsp
• Cumin Seeds – 1 tsp
• Turmeric Powder – 1/2 tsp
• Red Chilli Powder – 1/2 tsp
• Coriander powder- 1/2 tsp
• Garam Masala Powder- 1/2 tsp
• Salt to taste
• Finley Chopped Coriander leaves
Method:
• Heat a tbsp of oil in a Kadai , Once hot add in mustard seeds, let it splitter, add cumin seeds,let it sizzle. now add Finley Chopped onions and mix well.
• Add Chopped Green Chillies and curry leaves.
• Cook until the onions turn translucent. Add tomatoes, a pinch of salt, and cook well till the tomatoes soften.
• Now Add Chopped capsicums and grated carrot, also add in turmeric powder, red chilli powder, Coriander powder and Garam Masala. mix and cook very well.
• Add salt to taste. Cover and cook these veggies till they are done, also sprinkle a little water if the veggie filling looks dry. Cook until they are done.
• Add Chopped Coriander leaves and turn off the heat. Mix everything well and keep aside.
• Heat a Pan, drop in some butter and toast the bread triangles on a low flame ,until they turn golden and crisp on both the sides. Now place the filling over the top of the breads and spread it evenly. Lift the Toasts once the base is nice and crisp. Serve hot along with ketchup or as is  and a hot cup of tea.