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Posts Tagged ‘jaggery’

What a gratifying day I had. First, Lemme tell you how the day ended.

6 pm:- oil lamps are lit and the home smelt wonderful with the aroma of agarbathi. Sat in front of the shrine on a small mat and opened my Music notebook, sruthi box by my side. Started off  singing Saint Thiagaraja’s wonderful compositions. My daughter was sitting next to me.

1. “Nee Dayaradha” in Ragam Vasantha Bhairavi set to Rupaka talam.

2. “Maakelara Vicharamo” in Ravichandrika in Aadi tala.

3.  “Ethavunara” in Kalyani-my favorite raga, followed by

4. “Maamava Raghurama” in Saaranga set to Rupaka and kept going full on

5.  “Intha soukyamanine” in Kaapi set to Aadi tala

6. “Kaalaharana Mela” in Suddha Saveri/Rupaka

7. “Seethamma Maayamma” in Vasantha

8. “Brochevaarevare Raghupathe” in Sriranjani.

9. “Ramanuku mannan mudi”- a tamil composition by Arunachalakavi in Hindolam

Was not satisfied yet. 9 doesn’t seem to be a good number. My husband got super excited and wanted to do his share of promoting my singing. He played Pancharatna kritis from his ipod, which made me sing a couple of more Thayagaraja’s Gems 

10. Sadhinchane – Ragam Aarabhi

11. Jagadananda Karaka – Ragam Naatai

Now, is there a better way to end the day?- yes, by blogging about it !

Now, lemme tell you how the day started. After showering, Kept chanting “Ram” many times and started my “Neivedhya” preparations for the day.

Sri Ramanavami commemorates the birth of Lord Rama– incarnation of Lord Vishnu . Rama was a righteous king who took a human form and was born on earth to fight Evil. He underwent all the sufferings of mankind. Ayodhya- the birth place of Ram would be bustling with joy and festivity during this season. People observe fasts, perform pooja, chant slokas, read Ramayana, sing bhajans and kritis and make special offerings to Sri Ram.

In South India, Paanagam, neer moar and Kosumalli/kosambari is offered to the God, however in NorthIndia, Sabudana kheer and kichidi are done and can be eaten as fasting food.

Paanagam: A deliciously aromatic sweet punch!

 Ingredients:  

  •  Powdered Jaggery- 1/4 cup.
  • Dry ginger- Sukku- 1 tsp.
  • Cardamom-4.
  • Water- 4 tumblers.
  • Lemon juice- 1 tsp.

Method: Dissolve the jaggery in water and strain all the sediments.

Add powdered sukku, cardamom, lemon juice . Mix well, offer it to God and serve chilled!

Neer moar: Neer moar is an amazing thirst quencher and a must during the summer months in india. Just like how we see “Lemonade stands” by kids in the US, most of the street corners would have “Neer moar stands” in earthen pots to keep them chill. It’s a heavenly drink! 

Ingredients:

  • Curd/yogurt 4-5 tblsp.
  • Water- 3-4 glasses.
  • salt to taste.
  • Ginger scrapes- 1tsp.
  • asafoetida a pinch.
  • Green chilly cut into pieces-1
  • Curry leaves-few

Mix the above ingredients, churn well and serve chilled! a hint of lemon juice can be added.

Kosumalli/Kosambari: Kosumalli is a quick salad that is made with split green gram. It is very healthy and easy to make.

Ingredients:

  • Split green gram/pasiparupu- 1 cup
  • Salt- to taste.
  • lemon juice- 2tsp.
  • Cilantro- a fistful.
  • Coconut scrapes- 1tsp.
  • Cucumber-few slices-optional
  • Raw mango pieces-optional
  • For Tempering- oil-mustard seeds, urad dhal, asafoetida, green chilly- 2 slit, curry leaves-few.

Method:

  1. Soak the green gram for 1 hour after thoroughly washing it.
  2. Add all the above ingredients to the soaked gram.
  3. Heat oil- 1 tsp and add the ingredients mentioned in tempering. mix well, offer it to GOD and serve it in a plantain leaf.
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Feels good to be back to blogging again. Thanks to my blogger friends for the motivation.

“Sevai” is a tiffin dish that can be done in a jiffy these days. I remember my mom making this for sunday evening tiffin. It’s quiet a project as it was done in a more elaborate fashion, from scratch. She would wash the rice, soak it for few minutes and dry it in a towel and powder it finely. Then cook it in a pan with , salt and few drops of oil  and make rice balls and steam the balls in cooker. The steamed rice balls are then pressed in a machine called “sevai nazhi” to extract noodles and then seasoned with a variety of flavors and enjoyed as an evening meal on the weekends when the whole family is together. She would certainly ask my help to hold the sevai nazhi while she can turn the handle to get the noodles out of the nazhi. You can season them in a variety of flavors like Coconut , Lemon, jaggery-sweet sevai, Pepper-cumin(Milagu Jeera), Tomato, Chakarai(Cane sugar) sevai.

With the fast paced life style we have these days, it would be hard to do that.  Further,this dish can be done in a microwave to save time. Rice noodles are available to buy from chinese or Indian grocers and can be used for this. Although I would still vote for the taste  and texture of the sevai done by conventional method, I am pretty used to using ready-made rice noodles for this preparation. This is a an exciting lunch option for kids, as they always love to eat noodles that are colorful and fun

Done in a Microwave including the seasoning:

Steps:

  1. Take water in a microwave container and heat it until the water boils.
  2. Remove the container from the microwave carefully and soak the rice noodles for 5 minutes and drain all the excess water.
  3. Season with a variety of flavoring and mix well.
  4. Enjoy with chutney or by itself.

Coconut sevai(Thengai sevai):

Ingredients:                                 

  1. Oil- 2tsp.
  2. Mustard seeds-1 tsp
  3. Urad dhal-1 tblsp
  4. Dry Red chillies-2
  5. Curry leaves 5
  6. Cashew nuts-3
  7. Ground nut(optional)-5
  8. asafoetida 1tsp.
  9. Salt to taste
  10. Shredded coconuts- 11/2 cup.

Method:

  1. Heat oil in a microwave safe dish with ingredients 2-8 and microwave for 2 minutes with the lid closed halfway through.
  2. Then add shredded coconut and saute for 1 min in microwave.
  3. Add  the microwaved contents to drained sevai , add salt and mix well. 

Lemon Sevai (Elumichai sevai):

Ingredients:

  • Oil- 2tsp.
  • Mustard seeds-1 tsp
  • Urad dhal-1 tblsp
  • Channa dhal- 1tblsp.
  • Green chillies-2
  • Curry leaves- 5
  • Cashew nuts-3
  • Ground nut(optional)-5
  • Asafoetida- 1tsp.
  • Turmeric powder-1 tbsp.
  • Salt to taste
  • Lemon juice juice from 1 lemon.
  • Method:

    1. Same as mentioned for coconut sevai. Add ingredients 1-10 and heat it in microwave for 2 minutes
    2. Add  seasonings,salt and lemon juice, at last and mix the sevai well.

    Vella Sevai(Sweet jaggery sevai):

    This is my favorite.

    Ingredients:

    1. Jaggery- 1 cup
    2. Shredded coconut- 1/2 cup.
    3. Ghee- 2 tsp.
    4. Cardamom powder- 1tblsp.
    5. Cashews-5
    6. Raisins-5

    Method:

    1. Add the jaggery and coconut in a microwave pan and mix for 2-3 minutes until it blends well.
    2. In another microwave dish, add ghee and cashews and raisins and heat it for a minute .
    3. Mix jaggery coconut blend to ghee toasted cashew and raisin and give it a gentle toss.

     Sending this for MEC event hosted by Lata Raja of Flavours and Tastes http://lata-raja.blogspot.com/

    Microwave Easy cooking(MEC) event initiated by Srivalli of  http://cooking4allseasons.blogspot.com/

     Checkout this link

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    Maanga Pachadi

    Maanga Pachadi

    “Maanga Pachadi” is my all time favorites. This is a must in Weddings and Festivals. I would ask even 5 helpings to the serving guy in the wedding, without being ashamed about it. My mom used to do it just like that, coz she knows that I love it. This dish in particular is done on Tamil New Year’s day. The term “arusuvai”- means 6 tastes. The speciality of this dish is, it has all the 6 tastes, our taste buds would recognize and the reason why its done on New Year’s day is to signify,  Life is composed of Ups and Downs and Victory and Defeat, Happiness and Sorrow. These are the ingredients with 6 tastes.

    1. Mango- Sour.                                                                              

      eattasteheal.com

      eattasteheal.com

    2. Jaggery-Sweet.
    3. Green Chilly- Pungent or Hot and Spicy.
    4. Salt-Salty.
    5. Methi seeds & Vepampoo or Neem Flower- Bitter.
    6. Turmeric-Astringent.

    “Ayurveda” mentions including all 6 tastes in a meal for optimal nutrition. Each taste feeds our mind, body, senses, and spirit in its own unique way. From a modern nutritional perspective, the 6 Tastes satisfy each of the major dietary building blocks. Sweet foods, for example, are rich in fats, proteins, carbohydrates, and water, whereas Bitter and Astringent foods are high in vitamins and minerals.

    The brain sends the body signals when it requires energy in the form of food. By incorporating all 6 Tastes into each meal, we ensure that these signals are adequately met, thus avoiding food cravings or the over-consumption of certain foods.

    Taste-Primary actions,(Common Sources)

    Sweet -Builds tissues, calms Nerve, (Fruits, Grains, Natural sugars).

    Sour -Cleanses tissues, increases absorption of minerals, (Sour fruits, Yogurt, fermented food).

    Salt-Improves taste, Stimulates digestion, maintains electrolyte balance, lubricates tissues, ( Natural salts, sea weeds).

    Bitter -Detoxifies and lightens tissues, (Dark leafy vegetables, bitter guard, herbs).

    Pungent -Stimulates digestion, metabolism, ( Chilly peppers, garlic, herbs,spices).

    Astringent– Absorbs water, tightens tissues, antiinflammation, (Turmeric, legumes, raw fruits,veggies). 

    Ingredients:

    • Sour Mango-1.                                                               Cooking 003-1
    • Salt- To taste.
    • Turmeric powder-1/2 tsp.
    • Jaggery scraped-1/2 cup.
    • Green chilly-2.
    • Mustard seeds-1/4 tsp.
    • Asafoetida-a pinch.
    • Fenugreek seeds or Methi seeds-1/4 tsp.
    • Curry leaves-5.
    • Neem flowers or Vepampoo-1/4 tsp.
    • Oil-1tsp for seasoning.

    Method:

    1. Peel the skin of Mango and cut them into thin sheet like pieces.
    2. Add Salt, turmeric powder and add just enough water and cook it.
    3. Add jaggery, after the mango is cooked and wait until it melts.
    4. Keep oil and add mustard seeds. Once the mustard splatters, add green chilly, methi seeds, asafoetida, curry leaves and finally neem flowers.
    5. Remove from heat and enjoy a tasty and healthy mango pachadi.

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    Chakka Pradhaman

    This is my first post. I would like to start with a sweet note. My Cousin Harini visited me from Texas after finishing her graduation. I was planning something sweet for her, for having completed her studies successfully. I asked her what would she like me, to cook for her. The first thing that came out of her mouth was- “induka, I want chakka pradhaman”. Wow, what a choice!. That was one of my all time favorites.

    My grand mom hails from palakad. She used to make this for us, which would be heavenly. Since we don’t get fresh chakka here in the US, I got the tinned chakka(Jackfruit cholai-pieces). Here is how I made it.

    Jaggery

    Ingredients:

    • Ripe Jackfruit- 10 numbers.
    • Coconut milk – 3/4 Cup.
    • Coconuts shredded-1/4 cup.
    • Grated Jaggery(Vellam)-3/4 to 1 Cup( depending on how sweet you want it).
    • Ghee-11/2 tsps.
    • Cardamom powder-1/4 tsps.
    • Sliced Cashewnuts.
    • Chopped Almonds.

     

    Jackfruit

    Preparation:

    1. Grind coconut with little water and take extract coconut extract.
    2. Chop jackfruits into very small pieces.
    3. Heat 1 cup water in a vessel.when it starts boiling,add jackfruit pieces and cook till it becomes soft.
    4. Add jaggery and let it melt completely and add cardamom.
    5. Now add the coconut milk along with little( regular milk if required).
    6. Fry cashew nuts and chopped almonds in ghee and garnish.
    7. When a nice aroma comes from payasam and its thickened, remove from heat.
    8. Can be served warm. Best tastes chilled.

    Note: I personally grind the jackfruit pieces once its cooked with water, for a better consistency.

    When ever i do a sweet dish, I also do “Neivedhyam“-offering to GOD, before consuming.

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