Loka Samastha Sukhino Bhavanthu!

Loka Samastha Sukhino Bhavanthu!


warm WELCOME to my Hobby Lounge.
Just Recline, Relax smiley and Enjoy a "Good Time" @ My Hobby Lounge smiley


August 31, 2013

Janmashtami / Krishna Jayanthi Prashad

Hope you all celebrated Janmashtami 2013 with vigour.

Sharing with you the Janmashtami Darshan and Prashad.

August 27, 2013

Cheedai / Seedai tips - prevent explosion

Janmashtami special cheedai / seedai :-

How to make a cheedai making 'terror' into a 'pleasure'? i.e. How to prevent cheedai / seedai from exploding? Here are few tips which I practice and makes my cheedai making successful everytime right from first time.

  1. Seive the flour well.
  2. Very lightly roast the flour
  3. Roast the sesame seeds till they pop
  4. Never shape it to a perfect round. Slightly flatten on both sides or in an imperfect round shape.
  5. See that the surface is smooth (without cracks)
  6. Keep less oil and put more cheedai / seedai balls

100% if you follow the above, it will not explode. If you still are left with some fear..... no need to wear a helmet. Just keep a perfect lid handy and partly cover the kadai (not fully) to your side.  don't worry, after two batches, you will get the confidence to fry it without the lid. :-)

May your life be crisp like a cheedai, sweet like the sweet flattened rice and smooth like the butter. May the lord fill your life with his blessings.

Wish you all a happy Janmashtami

August 23, 2013

Crochet Baby Krishna on peepal leaf

Govinda aala re aala jara matki samhaal brijbaala.......
Agaya mera Kishan Kanhaiya!

Krishna on pipal leaf - we call him 'aalila krishna' - the cutest pose where the baby pulls its leg and try to put the finger in its mouth.

Mera shyam tera nam, bole man, subho shaam........
Mera Jeevan Teri Puja, Aur na mujhko sujhe duja koi kaam ....
Hear the beautiful song here :-

(remember this sweet devotional song by Singer Mohammed Rafi?)
I heard this many times in AIR - morning devotional programme.

I used acrylic yarn for this project as I had no cotton yarn in stock.Used golden thread for the ornaments. The hair, dress, peepal leaf are all crocheted.

May Lord Krishna bless you 

August 19, 2013

Crow Pheasant / chembothu

Crow pheasant, though has the name 'crow' as part of its name, actually belongs to cuckoo family.  Like the male cuckoo this bird also has red eyes and makes a quick calling sound like the cuckoo but the voice of this bird is deep.

 It makes a deep resonant call. My recordings don't have its call hence I googled to share the same with you. Just click the link and clik the play audio.


In the busy traffic at our place, recording a clear voice is not possible as the horn sound of vehicles will make the voice of the bird fade. But I am longing to make one to put it in my collection.
I first heard it at my aunt's place which was then a villlage. But could not catch a glimpse of it in the thick tall trees.

Recently I started hearing the familiar call in our place but could spot it only few times. Once I saw it crossing the road (like a road runner). Many a times it comes out during the peak morning hours. But when the rains started I could see it quite often.

Captured few shots of the 'crow pheasant' (Chembothu / कौवा तीतर) when it came in the open. A crow had built its nest in a tree and this crow pheasant visited the tree like usual and the crows started chasing it. Then it took refuge in a nearby tree where I could get a good glimpse of it.

I tried to capture the picture to my level best quickly with my humble camera.

What a beautiful coat of colours it has! I admire God's creation each and every time I peek into my surroundings. Thanking God for bring these feast to eyes to my window.

August 18, 2013

August 8, 2013

Crochet Cathedral Motif Doily

This doily I was using as a mat over the side table. It was done long back but only a month back, I realised that it was not posted here. I used a two ply silky thread (not branded one but a local make) which has light multi shades of lavender colour.

Here it is for your :-

The original pattern link I forgot but this diagram photo was with me in my collection. I could not find the diagram for those who wish to give this beautiful motif a try, hence I delayed the posting of this work for a month. It was obtained during my search for some other project. As it was a beautiful motif pattern, I included it in my to-do list and did it.

courtesy : google search. (don't remember the source).

August 7, 2013

Arinelli chadham / Gooseberry Rice / nellikai sadham

Arinelli  or arainelli is a variety of Amla (gooseberry) which is small in size compared to the regular gooseberry and differ in shape.They turn pink when fully ripe and little sweet. Flavour also differs from the regular gooseberry.

I remember the nostalgic childhoods days, we had eaten lot of them, in raw form or with little salt. At home, mother used to make pickle, variety rice, vathakal (stirfry) etc during the season. The way they hang in the branches is a feast for eyes. (picture below)

Arinelli (courtesy : google search)

I saw them (This variety) in the market recently after a decade and shopped some to relish some simple recipe at home. My first preparation was a Variety Rice known as 'nellikkai chaadham" aka Gooseberry Rice.

Ingredients :

  1. Arinelli - 10 Nos.  (gooseberry)
  2. Green chilli - 2 Nos.
  3. Gingely oil - 2 tbsp  (Til tel / sesame oil)
  4. Mustard seeds - 1 tsp  (kadugu / Rai)
  5. Black gram - 1 tsp  (ulundu / urad)
  6. Bengal gram - 1 tsp  (kadalai paruppu / chana dal)
  7. Asafoetida powder - 1 pinch  (perungayam / hing)
  8. Curry Leaves - 8 Nos.
  9. Salt to taste
  10. Cooked Rice - 1 cup
Procedure :-
  •  Wash the gooseberries and pat dry.
  •  grind the gooseberries & green chillies in a mixer (without water)
  • Heat oil in a wok. Add mustard seeds. When they start spluttering, add Black gram and bengal gram, asafoetida powder and curry leaves. 
  • When the grams turn goldben brown, add the ground gooseberry chilli mix and saute for a minute in low flame.
  • Remove from fire, add Salt to taste, mix well. 
  • Add cooked rice and gently mix it.
  • Gooseberry rice is ready to serve!

(Optional : you can add turmeric powder while tempering. But I avoided as I like the rice in its natural colour)

August 6, 2013

Celestial Showers - Monsoon 2013

Seasonal Celestial showers bring in so much happiness and feast for eyes. Sharing some shots with you..... grab your umbrella otherwise you may get drenched :-)

clouds floating over the peaks

Season's first shower :-

Come the rains, the season of corn arrives on carts loaded with them on one end and a small charcoal fire stove on the other, occupying the corners of the road at open spots with a small thatched sheet as roof to give shade from rains.

Having the hot bhutta (Corn) roasted over coal fire, I was enjoying and taking some rain shots.

Isn't it a feast for eyes!.....

Every monsoon season I feel that nothing more is delightful in life than the first shower and the smell of earth. It reminds me the song "Aaj se pehle aaj se jyada, khushee aaj tak nahee milee Itanee suhanee aisee mithhee, ghadee aaj tak nahee milee"....(song from hindi film : chitchor)

We like to go on a drive to enjoy the scene that monsoon brings and here are some for your eyes!

fog and falls - all through the way....................

Lot many passers by clicked pictures by the small waterfalls on the roadside. These are people who travels by the hills, specially to get a glimpse of these tiny waterfalls and more beauty that rain brings along with it.

Humming some rain songs..... here it is for your ears (forget the language and enjoy the rain & the music)

It was raining very very heavily and we took a small drive through the kanheri hills to see the beauty of the rain....


 Hope you enjoyed the celestial fiesta as much as I do.

See you with more pictures in the next monsoon season..

wish you all a great day

August 5, 2013

Milagu Kuzhambu / Pepper Sambar

Milagu Kuzhambu / Pepper Sambar or Pepper Gravy.

As the Name Suggest it is ofcourse a spicy dish that is also Tangy with a tinge of sweet & salt as well thus making it an Yummilicious dish that will make you crave for more.

This is a traditional recipe which is also given in "Kattu Chadham" - (for Food Parcels) given to the Bride & Groom's family and their relatives when they travel back to their place after the marriage Ceremonies are over.  They Food is put on a banana leaf and parcelled nicely so that it lasts during the travel!

In Olden days, the transport facilities were very minimal or almost none when people walk or travel in a Bullock Cart or by Train driven by Coal Engine / Steam Engine. It takes time for them to reach their place.

Hungry Stomachs eagerly look into the bag of food parcels.... Opening the food parcel itself is a nice experience. A Foodie always opens it with his / her mouth watering.... the yummy food on the green banana leaf.... what a bliss!

So, 'Kattu Chadham' i.e. food parcels are given to them to eat on the way till they reach their destination. This Milagu Kuzhambu is also made and packed with the food parcel.

If it has to be used for long journeys, then More Oil is used and the gravy is boiled till it is reduced to a thick paste. 

The Recipe video is now available in Youtube Channel : Mira's Akshaya Patram. Added below :-

Milagu Kuzhambu

A good accompaniment with hot cooked white rice. It can also be taken as a side dish with Dosa, Chapathi too. 

Ingredients :-

  1. Black Peppercorns - 1 tsp
  2. Red Chillies - 2 Nos. (or as preferred)
  3. Black Gram - 1 tsp (urad/ulundu)
  4. Split Red Gram - 1 tsp (tuvar/arhar)
  5. Curry Leaves - 8 Nos.
  6. Tamarind - 1 small lemon size
  7. Jaggery - 1 tbsp
  8. Salt to taste
  9. Asafoetida powder -1/4 tsp
  10. Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
  11. Sesame Oil - 3 tbsp + 1tsp for roasting
  12. Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
  13. Rice flour - 1 tbsp (Added at the end for thickening)

Procedure :-

  • Cook Tamarind till it is soft. Once it is cooled, Adding 2 cups of water, extract tamarind water from it. 
  •  For Roasting masala :- 

  • Heat a wok, add 1tsp of Sesame oil. When it is hot, add Urad and Tuvar dal and fry till they start changing color. Add the dried Red Chillies, Curry Leaves and the Black peppercorn and fry till the dals turn golden in color. Transfer to a plate and allow it to cool.

  • Once the roasted items cools down, grind it to a nice paste adding little water. Mix this paste to the Tamarind Extract.

  • Heat a wok, add 3 tbsp Sesame oil. Add the Mustard Seeds. Once they complete spluttering, add the Tamarind Extract + Paste mix.
  • Add turmeric powder, asafoetida powder, Jaggery and Salt. Bring to boil
  • Dissolve 1 tbsp of rice flour in little water and add it to the boiling gravy by stirring it simultaneously to avoid lumps formation.
  • In slow flame cook this mixture for 10 minutes stirring in between. Then switch off the flame.
  •  Yummy & spicy pepper sambar / milagu kuzhambu  is ready to be had with hot rice or as an accompaniment to tiffin item like dosa / upma or with chapathis.

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