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Nov 18, 2013

Pori Urundai (Sweet puffed rice balls) for Karthigai Deepam

A crunchy sweet shaped into balls made specially as a offering to Lord Muruga (Karthik) on the day of Thiru Karthikai. But it makes a good snack at anytime of the year.



You can use any variety of puffed rice viz., avil pori, nel pori, normal pori.

avil pori
Nel Pori



pori (nomal one)

















Ingredients :-

Puffed Rice - 4 cups
Jaggery - 1 Cup
Coconut - 2 tbsp (finely chopped)
Cardamom - 4 Nos.
Dry Ginger Powder - 1 tbsp
Ghee - 1 tsp

Preparation:-


  • The ratio of puffed rice to jaggery is 4 : 1 (Take a measure of jaggery which is 1/4th of the puffed rice)
  • Small preparations will ease the process. Put the puffed rice in a sieve to get rid of sand or small stones & black over roasted particles and put it on a plate & clean them.
  • Break a coconut (use only fresh ones). Make thin slices and chop them thinly. 
  • Powder the cardamom and Dry ginger.
  • Grate / slice with knife, the jaggery, melt it and strain it to remove impurities / sand particles.
  • In a small bowl or plate, pour little water & keep ready (to check consistency of jaggery)
  • Making the preparation & keeping them handy will ease the process.

Procedure :-






  •  In a Kadai, pour the melted & filtered Jaggery water, Chopped coconut and boil till it becomes thick & froth well. Drop a little of that in the water kept in a bowl. Take it out with your finger and roll it. If you are able to shape it round like a ball that is the perfect stage. If you throw it on a plate, it will make a sound. Turn off the flame.
  • Add Dry Ginger Powder, Cardamom Powder, mix well
  • Add the puffed rice (pori), mix well and let it stand for two minutes (to cool down a bit).
  • Start dividing them into equal portion. If it sticks to your palm, just moisten your palm with just few drops of water (or dip your finger tip in water and spread it to you palm) and start doing. don't dampen just moist.
  • Take out each portion and shape them into round balls (at this stage too, you may moisten your hands)
  • To further tighten the balls, grease your fingers & palm with ghee and tighten them once again. 
  • Perfect pori urundai (sweet puffed rice balls) is ready!
  • Store them in an air tight container.
Brought the karthigai Deepam Prashad for you


Nov 17, 2013

Karthigai Deepam

This festival of lights in southern india falls in the karthik month & the day in which karthik star falls and full moon day coincides.  In Northern india it is celebrated as Karthik Purnima / Dev Diwali. In southern India it is known as 'Karthigai Deepam'.

Sharing with you this year's celebration.



Appam, Pori - brought the prashad for you. Adai missing as I made only limited quantity and it's all vanished into our stomach before I could get you a glimpse of it.     

Put the traditional Maakolam using wet rice flour.





May this festival of lights bring more prosperity, good health and happiness into your life.

Best Wishes

Nov 9, 2013

Cuckoo - Male & Female koyel at breakfast hour

Everyday when rice is kept for crows, other birds and animals do visit to take their share viz., squirrels, pigeons, cuckoos, sparrows and parrots. During morning hours for few days I visited the place everyday to make them tolerate my presence. Then finally one day I sat patiently with my camera and with minimal movement able to capture these photos. Because of still posture for long time, my hands and legs pained but all is for a worthy shot though my humble camera could give only this much zoom.

Cuckoos are shy birds. Male cuckoos are black in colour and they are the ones who make long sweet calls. They are jet black in colour and have red eyes. Cuckoo and crow pheasant fall in same family.



 Female cuckoos have spots and brown in colour and gives out short and rapid calls. They don't build nest but lays eggs in a crow's nest. The male cuckoo divert the crows by making them come behind it while the female lays the eggs.



This female cuckoo is bolder than its counterparts and came boldly to have its share of rice.

Other winged friends..... couldn't share the picture of parrot as it got erased by mistake :-(



Nov 6, 2013

Crochet Elusive Rose Doily



Came across this interesting doily in a group for crocheters and with the help of one of the crocheters could download the pattern from http://www.freepatterns.com. Search for "Elusive Blue Rose Doily".


Happy Crocheting


Nov 5, 2013

Deepavali / Diwali - Festival of lights

Diwali / Deepavali  meaning 'Row of Lamps' is also known as Festival of lights - is celebrated during the tamizh month of  'aipasi' (14th day - naraka chathurdasi) and amavasya. 




People get up early in the morning (before sunrise) and take oil bath, wear new dress, lighting as many oil lamps as possible, perform puja. Then sweets & savouries are distributed. This is the only day when one can take oil bath at such an early morning hours.  The sweet and savoury making rituals start well before and completes just in time of the festival.

The history behind this festival is different in the north and south india though both symbolise the victory of good over the evil. In south India, it is considered as the day when the demon Narakasura was killed by Lord Krishna and during his death Lord Krishna granted his boon that the day be celebrated with valour. 

In northern India this festival is celebrated for four to five days starting with Dhanteras (the day people invite lakshmi by purcahsing gold and do puja after bringing home the Gold). The day falls on 18th day after Dusserah. Followed by Diwali, New year and Bhaituj (the day when sisters invite their brother home, pray for their wellbeing conducting pooja and offer them a feast). The navratri is considered to be the war period between Lord Rama and the demon Ravana. The 9th days resembles the victory of Lord Rama. The festival of deepavali is considered to be the day when victorious Rama returned Ayodhya. Hence Ram leela is celebrated widely on this day, in nortern india. An effigy of Ravana is made and a person dressed like Sri Rama will set the effigy of Ravan in fire by firing a burning arrow.

Ramlila - image got thru google search


Dhanteras is also known as Dhanvantri Triodasi.As name suggests it is observed during Trayodashi Tithi of Krishna Paksha (13th day). The day is celebrated as the birth anniversary of Lord Dhanvantari, the teacher and the father of Ayurveda. Lord Dhanvantari is the physician of Gods and considered one of the incarnations of Lord Vishnu.

In the olden days festivals gives an earning opportunity to the locals in the form of various items used for pooja etc. For diwali earthern lamps and small earthern pots (for puja) are used. 

The market gets colourful on the arrival of the festival with vendors selling colour powders known as 'rangoli' powders (used to draw designs to decorate doorsteps), earthern pots, lamps and various other festive things.  Now-a-days we can see many wax lamps coming in different decorated diyas (lamps).

Image courtesy : google search



Rangoli :- a colourful design decoration drawn near door steps
















But sadly the festival of lights is turning into festival of crackers and sweets. Focus is going off from traditional oil lamps to electrical lights.




fireworks


People hang kanthil (chandlier) of different colours with an electrical bulb inside to decorate their windows / balcony to mark the sign of the oncoming festival.  


All the celebrations comes to an end on the day of Bhaituj when sisters invite brothers to their home, do padh puja, offer them sumptuous feast and get their blessings. They pray for the well being of their brothers. This tradtional practice increase the bonding between the sister (s) and brother (s) and also an opportunity for a mini family get -together.

Every festival is celebrated to bring people together in the family as well as in the community. A nice traditiona passed on by our ancestors through generations. It is very important to understand the essence and celebrate the festival. So let us pass that knowledge to our next generation and may this year bring you more prosperity, peace, health and happiness to you and your family.


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