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August 30, 2019

Ganapathy - A sketch by me

Aum Gam Ganapathye Nama:

Sharing with you a Ganesh ji sketch made by me.....


making of Ganesh ji....





Ganpathy Bapa Morya!

August 29, 2019

Krishna - a free hand sketch!

There are few poses and paintings of Krishna, that inspired me and I always had an urge to try them and finally here I am with one of such favourite paintings and pose of Krishna that I always loved. The child form....

While I was glazing at this sketch, I remembered the lovely lines from the poem of Mahakavi Bharathi - "Pillai Kani Amudhe, Kannamma Pesum Por Chitirame!"



sharing with you making of this little krishna....






August 28, 2019

Sri Krishna Janmashtami Celebrations....

Made a short video with Krishna Janmashtami Celebration photos at my home....



Song : Chitram chiru Kaale (Thirupavai song : 29) Singer : Smt. Lalita Gopalakrishnan ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Sri Krishna Janmashtami is known by different names through out India viz., Janmashtami or Gokulashtami or Krishna Jayanthi. This is a festival to celebrate the birth of Lord Krishna, the 8th incarnation of Bhagavan Vishnu. Celebrated on Ashtami tithi, the eighth day of the dark half or Krishna Paksha of the month of Bhadrapada in the Hindu calendar, when the Rohini Nakshatra is ascendant. This is celebrated usually in the months of August or September in the said month when the above thithi and star falls. Sri Krishna was born to Queen Devaki and her husband, King Vasudeva in Mathura. Devaki's brother is Kamsa. During that time, Mathura was in miserable state as Kamsa, had put his father, King Ugrasen in prison and declared himself the new king. When Vasudeva and Devaki got married, a voice from the heaven (a divine prophecy) proclaimed that "Devaki's 8th child would kill Kamsa". To protect himself, Kamsa rushed to kill his sister but gave up the idea of killing after being assured by Vasudev that he will hand over all his children to Kamsa. Kamsa put his brother-in-law and sister in prison. Kamsa killed all the six infants as soon as they were born. The seventh child (Balram) was saved due to divine intervention, when he was transferred from Devaki's womb to that of Rohini's (the other wife of king Vasudev). When Krishna was born, with the divine intervention, Vasudeva secretly carries the infant Krishna away across the river Yamuna and exchanges him with his close friend King Nand of Gokul and takes his daughter to the prison back. When Kamsa tries to kill the newborn, the exchanged baby appeared as the Hindu goddess Durga (Yoga Maya), warning him that his death has arrived in his kingdom, and then disappears, according to the legends in the Puranas. Krishna grows up with Nanda Baba and his wife Yashoda. When Kamsa knows his whereabouts, he sends various demons to kill baby Krishna. Krishna slays all the demons sent by him. Later when he grows up into a boy, he kills Kamsa putting an end to his tyranny. Krishna has two siblings viz. Balram (Baladev) and Subhadra (Wife of Arjun and mother of Abhimanyu). In Puri, Krishna is worshipped as Jagannath and blesses people along with his siblings. Krishna Janmashtami is celerbated through out India with Vigour. Though the rituals practiced vary from one region to the other, the spirit and devotion to the Lord is same everywhere. Hare Krishna!

June 5, 2019

Arachukalaki

Arachukalaki or Arachakalaki - the name itself explains the process of making this dish. "Arachu "means grind and "kalaki" means mix. A vert easy and handy dish to make when you simplify the cooking process or if it is summer time and you want to reduce your time in the kitchen or when unexpected guests come.

This is a distinctive side dish of Palakkad Iyer Cuisine. A curd based side dish to accompany Molagootal or Molagooghyam (Mulagushyam).





Molagooshyam recipe is here :- https://youtu.be/LgGG2iOHPGM



Keerai Molagootal recipe is here :- https://youtu.be/pFKe3E2Y5qY



Pickled Tender Mango and Gooseberry can be used for making this dish. Pickling is a process which our ancestors adopted to preserve seasonal items for consumption during off season. They would be preserved in its brine. The video is available HERE!!    Follow the video except the masala adding part to make this preserve.




Pickled Mango & Gooseberry - in the photo below :-




Gooseberry = Amla | Nellikai
Tender Mango = Uppilitta Kanni Manga | Uppula ooriya Vadu Manga

Let us go into making of this wonderful recipe. I am using pickled mango in this recipe.

Video recipe is available in "Mira's Askhaya Patram"






You will need :- (Serves - 3)

  1. Pickled Gooseberry or Tender Mango - 2 to 3 pieces
  2. Grated coconut - 1/4 cup
  3. Green Chillies - 2 nos. (or as preferred)
  4. Curd - 1 cup
  5. Coconut oil - 1.5 tbsp
  6. Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
  7. Fenugreek seeds - 1/4 tsp
  8. Curry leaves - few
  9. Dried Red Chilli - 2 nos.
In the above list, traditionally fenugreek seeds are added in the tadka (Tempering). However, you can even add directly to the raita, roasted and powdered fenugreek. Some families grind little mustard along with the coconut masala. You can follow any of this method to bring in variation. I have not included salt in the above list as pickle will be salty. However, you can check the seasoning at the end and adjust accordingly.

Process :-

  • Grind together the pickled mango or gooseberry, grated coconut and green chillies to a smooth paste.
  • Transfer to a serving bowl. Add curd to it. Mix well.
  • Tempering :- Heat oil, add mustard seeds. After they splutter, switch off gas, add fenugreek seeds, when they start changing colour, add curry leaves and dried red chillie.  Add to the ground mixture.
  • Mix well. Manga - Arachukalaki is ready. 


  • check the seasoning at the end. Usually there is no requirement for adding salt as pickle is used. You can adjust the seasoning if required.



May 27, 2019

Sweet Chundal - Karamani | Lobiya | cow pea

This is the first type of Chundal that we make on Navratri Day-1 - for a sweet start of the celebration.

Karamani Payaru (Tamizh)
Lobiya (Hindi)
Cow Pea (English)

Video recipe is here :-




The best combination with this is Elachi (Yelakki) Banana. They taste simply divine with this chundal. Do try this and share your experience here.

May 14, 2019

Aviyal Kootan


The term Aviyal means Boiled. The process by which this is made. Some don't use curd. Instead they use Raw mango during the mango season. Some use tamarind as a souring agent. This dish comes handy when you only have little quantity of a mix of vegetables left. History of aviyal : Some say that it was first made by Bhima (one if the pandavas) in king Virata's palace where they spent a year in disguise during their last year of exile. Bhima was working as a cook and during a feast, unexpected guests arrived and there were no sufficient vegetables to cook any single recipe for a side dish, so Bheema used whatever available vegetables to make a new dish and that is called Aviyal. Glossary : Ashgourd | Vellai Poosani | Ilavan | Safed Bhopla Elephant Yam | Senai kizhangu | Chena | Suran Long beans | Karamani | Payaru | Chavli Drum stick | Murungai kai | Moringa | Shevgya


Aviyal recipe video :-

This recipe can be made in two different consistency. Thick one becomes a side dish whereas thin gravy consistency goes with plain rice like a curry. Some use it as an accompaniment to tiffin items Dosai and Adai. For thick aviyal, use water just enough to cook the vegetable and the beaten curd should be thick to get a thick consistency. This aviyal is served as one of the accompaniment during Sadhya (Fesast). Will make a video on that as well. During Mango season, use raw mangoes especially the thothapuri (Kilimuku) variety to make this. In that case, no need to add curd. In case if you want to, then use curd that us not sour.


April 25, 2019

Maa Vadu | Kanni Manga | Tender Mango Pickle

As the season of Mango comes, the first to hit the market is the Tender mangoes known in Tamil as Vadu Manga.





Pickling is the first activity that happens in the Mango season. Various types of pickles are made and it various as per the region. Pickling is an amazing technique passed to us by our ancestors to preserve a seasonal item and make it available in another form for the whole year.

Sharing with you an exotic pickle recipe using Tender Mangoes. 

Kadugu Manga | Kanni Manga (Malayalam)
Vadu Manga | Maa vadu (Tamizh)
Tender Mango Pickle (English).

The video recipe is below. Please click on it to view the video  :-


March 3, 2019

Tamarind - Old & New - Info - பழைய புளி புதிய புளி

Generally, it is told that Old tamarind is good for health. What actually an Old Tamarind is?

In this video, I have explained what the term "old Tamarind" and "New Tamarind" actually means. (Pazhaya Puli, pudhiya puli). 



January 3, 2019

Chillies of India - Apex varieties

Hi,

Wish you all a very Happy and Prosperous New Year 2019!

My first post of this year. It is a spicy start up with this post on Chillies of India with the history of Chillies.

Chillies are commonly seen to spice the Indian, Thai and Indo-Chinese cuisines. They are later entrant to Indian Market. It was native to South America later spread & cultivated at different parts of the world. Chillies were brought to India by the Portugese in the 16th Century.  

Then what did we use to spice up our food before the arrival of Chillies? -  "Black Gold" as known to the entire world, our own Black Peppercorns!!! It spread to the world from our Country during the ancient trading system.  Grown in the state of Kerala.

Chilli is a fruit or a vegetable? Chilies, with their internal, edible seeds, are most definitely a fruit. Yes, a fruit most often eaten like a vegetable, but a fruit nonetheless.


The variety from the State of Andhra Pradesh is the famous "Guntur Chilli". This State is known for it's spicy dishes. Andhra Pradesh is the largest producer of Chilli in India.

 "Bhut Jolokia" is the spiciest Chilli in our country from North East India.

" Gandhari" is  from Kerala. This variety is also known as Bird's eye chilli and is grown in north eastern india as well. Normally, chillies will be hanging down towards earth  from the plant. However , this chilli stands up straight with their pointed end towards the sky. They are smaller in size and spicy in taste.

If you have ever wondered after eating in a fine dine Restaurant about the flavour of chilli used in the dish?

The "Pandi Mirch" is the most common variety of Dried Red Chilli from Southern India that is used widely in fine dine restaurants for Tadka (tempering) and in fine dine Chinese Cuisines. This gives spiciness and flavour to the dish, to which it is added. 

The variety "Byadgi Chilli" from Karnataka is grown in a place called Byadgi. This has second largest turnover in chilli production in India. This gives more colour and is less spicy and hence used in fine dine cuisines of restaurnats.

Kashmiri Chillies are rich in colour but they are less spicy. So for Masala Powders that need to be Red in colour, this chilli can be used.

Naga Chillies are also very spciy. 

Do you know, to keep elephants at bay, in Africa, Chillies are ground and mixed with dung, made like big cakes and then burnt to naturally drive elephants away. Even armies, use this as a weapon when needed.

The round Chillie known as "Madrasi Chilli " - is actually called "Mundu" from Ramanathapuram district of Tamizh Nadu. If you have noticed the photos mentioning cuisines from tamil nadu, the red plum like garnishing tadka on top which enhance the presentation is actually this Mundu chilli. This chilli is not very spicy but it gives nice flavour to the dish.

There are many varities of Chillies grown in our country but I have shared few important ones that has an important place in cuisines widely preferred. Chillies are an integral part of our Indian cooking infusing their Colour, Taste and Flavour according to their charachter. 

Research says, Chillies have health benefits viz., source of Vitamin C, reduce intestinal tumors, helps in weightloss, etc... but should be under nominal use. Anything in excess will create it's own problem.

Spice up your food to stay active and healthy!

Jai ho!


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