Showing posts with label Festivals. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Festivals. Show all posts

Pongal - The harvest festival

 Pongal - Thai Pongal the harvest festival of India, is celebrated as a four day festival starting with Bhogi, the last day of the month of Margazhi, Pongal - the first day of the month of Thai, Maatu Pongal - honouring the cows, bulls and buffaloes that help and the last day is Kaanum Pongal. The main festival of this 4 day festival is the Thai Pongal and this is celebrated as Makara Sankaranthi all over India. This day marks the journey of sun northwards and is called as Uttarayanam. 

This is the first festival of Gregorian Calender year and this marks the beginning of all auspicious events in any family. Thanking Sun God for all the abundant wealth he had given to the farmers is the main purpose of this festival. 

New mud pots are purchased and Sweet and Venn Pongal are prepared in these pots. The pots are deocated with rice flour, turmeric plants. All the vegetables are used to make thalatham or thalagam. Find below all the recipes that are made for Pongal. Also apart from the regular Pongal with jaggery.

As it is mandatory to use as much vegetables as possible depending upon the region and family tradition, either Thalatham or 7 kari kuzhambu or Aviyal is made as the side dish for Venn Pongal. 

Menu for the Pongal Festival

Chakkara Pongal

Venn Pongal

Thalatham or 7 kari kuzhambu or Aviyal

Ulunthu Vadai

Thengai Pachadi

Vazhaikkai Curry or Podimas


Home made curd

Bhogi - A festival of transformations

 The first day of the four day Pongal festival, and the last day of the month of Margazhi which normally falls on the 13th or 14th of the month of January every year by the people of Tamilnadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telengana, Karnataka and parts of Maharastra. The significance of this festival is to discard the old and bring in new, which includes changes and transformations. Bonfire is made oin the front of every house after putting nice and big rangolis. Kids play small hand held Damarus or Thappattais and run around the fire.

The festival of Bhogi is mainly celebrated to thank the rain god Indra for the abundance of rain that helped in abundance of crops, and to give more rains in the subsequent years. The instruments that are used for farming, the plough, the tractors etc are cleaned thoroughly and Kumkum and turmeric powder and sandalwood paste are smeared and they are prayed along with the Sun God and Mother Earth.

In all, it is regarded as the day of cleansing both ourselves inside out and also our homes.

Menu for Bhogi

Arisi Thengal payasam or Moong Dal Payasam or Sabudana Kheer

Thayir pachadi - Javvarisi Pachadi or Tomato Pachadi or Coconut Pachadi or Vendaikkai Thayir Pachadi

Paruppusili - Beans or Vazhaipoo

Potato Kara Kari

Koottu - Chow Chow, Pumpkin

Mor kuzhambu - Vendaikkai, Pumpkin

Rasam - Tomato or Pineapple 

Aama Vadai

Paruppu Poli

Gayathri Japam

 The day after Aavani Avittam all the menfolk do Gayathri Japam. On this day, no rasam is made. And only mixed rice varities are made. Some of the dishes that are made on this day are as follows.

Baisaki - The festival of the land of Punjab

The day when the 10th Guru of the Sikhs, Guru Gobind Singh laid down the foundation of the Panth Khalsa on 1699 is one of the important festivals of Sikh which falls on 13th or 14th of April every month (This is also the New Year day for Tamils). This is also the day of harvest festival of the Rabi crops. Its a thanksgiving festival to mother earth for giving a sumptous harvest. Its marked as a new beginning and beginning of Hindu Solar Year. 

Baisaki Recipes
  1. Carrot Halwa
  2. Aloo Gobi
  3. Coconut Ladoo
  4. Amritsari Chole
  5. Bhature
  6. Sarson ka Saa
  7. Makki Roti
  8. Atte ke ladoo
  9. Rawa Halwa (Rawa Kesari)
  10. Alu methi
  11. Dal Makhani
  12. Dal Tadka
  13. Dil Gajak
  14. Mixed Fruit Kheer
  15. Mooli Paratha
  16. Baingan Bharta
  17. Punjabi Pickles
  18. Paneer Butter Masala
  19. Dry Fruit Kheer
  20. Paneer Makhni
  21. Mint Paratha
  22. Tandoori Aloo
  23. Tandoori Baby Corn
  24. Dahi Papdi Chaat
  25. Cheese Stuffed Potatoes
  26. Chana Dal Pancakes
  27. Lentil Patties
  28. Paneer Cocktail
  29. Tandoori Baby Corn
  30. Besan ka Halwa
  31. Kesari Phirni
  32. Badami Besan Ke Laddoo

Aadi Pandigai - festival for newly wed

Aadi Pandigai is one of the major functions that is celebrated after marriage. The newly married couple are invited home and the son-in law and daughter are served with a wonderful feast. He is also served the festival special Coconut milk payasam in silver tumbler.

Coconut milk Payasam (This is the most important neivedhyam for Aadi pandigai)
Curry - Potato CurryParupusili. As it is feast 2 different kinds of curries are made)
More Kuzhambu - Mostly it will be lady's finger or Ash Gourd

Though Thengai Paal Payasam is the important sweet, one can also make some other sweet the previous day. Sweets like Mysore PakBadam Kathlee or Cashew Kathlee can be made.

Akshaya Trithiya - The festival to thank and celebrate prosperity

Akshaya Thrithiya falls in the month of Vaikasi, it means that which does not diminish. Both Surya and Chandra are in their radiant best. This is the day when Adi Shankara recited Kanakadhara stotram and this is the Balarama Jayanthi and Parasurama Jayanthi. This is the day to worship Lord Kubera and Lordess Lakshmi. People pray by offerring white coloured items to the Lord and Lordess, which include Jasmine flowers, white cloth, milk and milk based kheers and payasams. Some of the Neivedhyams that can be offerred are:

Karadayan Nonbu specials

Karadayan Nonbu falls every year in the month of March, almost in the middle. The dates may vary between 13th to 16th.  This year in 2013 it falls on 14th March. The timing for tying nonbu sarady  is between 3.15 to 3.45 pm. For significance of this festival check here. Two different Adais are made on this day as neivedhyam to the Goddess.

* Uppadai
* Karadai

Thiruvathirai Recipes

Thiruvathirai festival comes in the Tamil month of Markazhi on the day when the star Thiruvathirai falls. The special dishes that are made are:

* Thiruvathirai Kali
* 7 curry kuzhambu (7 Vegetable Gravy)
* 7 curry poricha kootu (This is mostly made in Tanjore Brahmin families)

Neivedhyams for Navarathri|Navarathri Recipes

Navarathri is the festival of dolls, festival where and when woman is honoured and worshipped. In southern states of India, especially in Tamilnadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh dolls are arranged in steps. Every day morning and evening neivedhyams are done and prasadams are distributed. Kids, especially young girls dress up beautifully go to every house and sing songs that they know. Every kid be it a boy or girl is given with a packet of that day's prasadam, mostly Sundal. Fridays are special and Rice Puttu is made on this day as a special neivedhyam. Onions and Garlic are avoided on all the days of Navarathri. It is better to avoid grinding masalas and podis during these days as it is believed that Ambal lives in the house and she should not be given any discomfort. 

Mixed Rice varities as neivedhyam in the morning:

Payasams that could be offerred as Neivedhyam:

Sundals for Navarathri:

Other dishes that can be kept ready all through Navarathri to give it to guests who come in the day time, or who come quite late (after that day's neivedhyam gets over)

Menu for Aavani Avittam

Yajur or Rig Upakarma and Sama Vedha Upakarma is an important function of South India. 

A breakfast of Raw Rice Idly along with Gothsu and Chutney or some Sambar which can also be had for the lunch.

Menu for Lunch is just a suggestive one. Can do any menu, but there should be a Payasam, Vadai, Thayir Pachadi, sambar and rasam. If there is a Brahmachari in the house, appam should be made. In many house holds Poli is also made for lunch or for evening snack

Appalam (fried)
Thayir Pachadi  (option)
    Cucumber Thayir pachadi
    Carrot Thayir pachadi
    Javvarisi Thayir pachadi
Curry(any one or two)
     Potato Kaara Curry
     Cabbage and Peas Curry
Chow Chow Kootu
    Mysore Rasam
    Tomato Rasam


Recipes for Vinayakar Chaturthi

Vinayakar Chaturthi/ Pillayar Chaturthi/ Ganesh Chaturthi is the birthday or the rebirth day of Pillayar, or Ganesha or Vinayaka. Though it is often said, "Aavi Avanukku, Annam Namakku" - meaning, the smell is for the lord and the eatable is for us, praying lord Ganesha on any day not only on this special occasion gives an immense inner strength. This festival mostly comes in the month of August and September, that is after August 15th and before September 15th, in the month of Aavani and the Valarpirai Chathurthi (the chaturthi that comes in the growing moon phase, 4th day after the Amavasya).

The Vinayagar idol is purchased from the vendor on that day or the previous day from the road side where it is made fresh using clay and is pressed in moulds. Now a days, big idols are installed in the street corners too and are taken in a procession and immersed in the sea. A small umbrella is placed behind the idol (which is normally struck to some extra clay that is given by the vendor). The idol is decorated with erukkam poo and archanai is made mainly using erukkam pul and the different leaves available in and around the house. The idol is decorated with small towels and gold ornaments too.

A full pooja is done at home and after the pooja neivedhyam with the following items are done. But if there is no time or if one needs to pray to Pillayar on any day, the following can be done:

Om Sumukhaya Namaha
Om Ekathanthaya Namaha
Om Kapilaya Namaha
Om Gajakarnakaaya Namaha
Om Lambodharaaya Namaha
Om Vikataya Namaha
Om Vignarajaya Namaha
Om Vinayakaya Namaha
Om Dhoomakethave namaha
Om Ganadhyakshaya namaha
Om Phaala chandhraya Namaha
Om Gajananaya Namaha
Om Vakrathundaya Namaha
Om Soorpakarnaaya Namaha
Om Herambaya Namaha
Om Skantha Poorvajaya Namaha
Om Sidhhi Vinayakaya Namaha

If one is not able to do the full Ashtothra atleast praying using these 16 names of Lord Vinayaka helps in getting succes in all our actions. Praying to Lord Vinayaka chanting these names before starting anything helps in giving us mental strength and ability to do the work with ease.

 Here is the list of Neivedhyams that are offerred to Vinayakar on that day in any Tamil Family.
List of Neivehyams:
All types of Kozhukattais
  Thengai Poorna Kozhukattai
  Ellupoorna Kozhukattai
  Ulunthu Pooranam
  Paruppu Pooranam
  Ammani Kozhukattai
   Aama Vadai
   Ulundu Vadai
Moong Dal Payasam
Thengai and Rice Payasam
Ammani Kozhukattai Payasam

To make the Outer cover for the Kozhukattais and also to make the dough for Ammani Kozhukattai click here

Onam Recipes

Onam, the flower festival of Kerala is very special to Keralites. During Onam, the people of Kerala prepare a grand luncheon for their family, friends and relatives which is called as Onam Sadaya.

There is a huge list of recipes prepared for Onam. Though not all, many of the dishes are prepared by almost all families.

Malabar Appam
Paruppu Puttu
Kuzhal Puttu
Banana Ericherry
Mor Kuzhambu
Sweet Chutney
Pineapple Pachadi
Parippu Curry
Aama Vadai
Medu Vada
Masala Vada
Coconut Milk Rasam
Kachiya Moru
Naranga Curry
Lady's Finger Kichadi
Vazhakkai Kalan
Mambazha Pulusherry
Pumpkin Erissery
Yam/Senai Erissery
Brinjal Theeyal
Payar Thoran
Beans Thoran
Spinach Thoran
Cabbage Thoran
Plantain Chips
Nei Payasam
Moong Dal Payasam
Parippu Payasam
Wheat Payasam
Parippu Pradhaman
Ada Pradhaman
Kootu Curry
Moru Curry
Parippu Pradhaman
Ada Pradhaman
Kootu Curry
Moru Kalan
Parippu Curry
Tomato Rasam
Paaladai Pradhaman
Moru Curry
Dry Fruit Kesari
Tomato Pachadi
Banana Halwa
Cucumber Pachadi
Mango Pickle - Kerala Style
Rice Puttu
Paal Payasam
Semiya Payasam
Stuffed Tender Mango Pickle
Lime Pickle
No Oil Spicy Mango Pickle
Mysore Pak
Puli Inji
Dhoodi Pradhaman

Aadi Perukku Recipes

Aadi Perukku or 18 aam perukku is a festival to worship the river, river beds, lakes and water sources. Normally, mixed rice varities are made for this festival in particular.

Sakkarai Pongal
Coconut Rice
Lemon Rice
Tamarind Rice
Bagala Bath or Curd Rice

Click here to read the Significance of Aadi Perukku