Search This Blog

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Elai vadam/steamed vadam

This is a traditional Iyengar special. It is also known as Thaligai vadaam (thaligai meaning cooking in Iyengars terms). Since it is made on leaf it is called ilai vadam. A time consuming dish but worth its effort. An all time favorite for all iyengars. I am sure atleast those in age fifty now, would have tasted it in their childhood. A dish dying into non-existence. I am glad the dried vadam is available for sale in places like Tamilnadu. But the sad part is it breaks to pieces in transportation. I heard in earlier days they used to sprinkle water on vadam and pack it when still moist and carry to other places. Not a bad idea, but it has to be dried again in shade or sunlight to use further.
More than anything it brings the memories of my mother making it every year. It used to be a custom to make it when the daughter in the family is pregnant. This is given as a safe food to consume during postpartum period. As this doesn't require to be dried in hot sun and specially not prepared during summer it can be prepared any time.
This can be consumed immediately after steaming and tastes great. But is not prepared  frequently like any other south Indian tiffin as it requires lot of preparation. My mother used to grind it smoothly in Ural/Aattu kallu (grinding stone) those days when electric grinder was not there. It will then be left to ferment for minimum two nights. For best taste the batter should be sour.
On the third day soaked sago, cumin and salt is added. The reason to add sago or even khus khus is, it will make the vadam pluff well when deep fried. The things to be kept ready are the steamer, plantain leaves. A traditional brass vessel for making vadam was available then. Then later my mom used to do it in a idli  vaanai (kadai) with a fitting colander inside it and using the lid of the idli kadai.
The batter is diluted to the required consistency and taken in small vessel in batches. A laddle (karandi) bigger than a spoon and smaller than the usual laddle is used for the purpose. The plantain leaves are washed and cut into exact pieces to fit into the idli kadai. Some such twenty pieces will be kept ready. A wet cloth to wipe it each time will also be kept ready. A spoonful of the batter will be poured on the leaf and it will be spread with the index finger to a circle. In fact the term used for this process is VADAAM EZHUDARDHU meaning "writing". The water in the steamer should be boiling hot. Then the leaf with batter is carefully placed on the colander (kept upside down to get the flat surface) and covered.
The time taken for the vadam to cook will be exactly the time taken to spread the next vadam on leaf.
One should be pretty fast in making this. After a while the water should be filled in the kadai. When the water is less there will be an indication on the vadam not being cooked properly. You can see the batter dried and white( we call it poriyardhu). The cooked / steamed vadam is removed from the leaf and put on a cloth spread near the kitchen counter itself. We used to have a big bamboo round tray. The moongil thattu is put up side down  and the vadaam placed on it. The vadam  wl be transparent and silk like a cloth with the lines of plantain on it. We used to help to remove the vadam from leaf so that mom can continue doing it. And other reason is the steamed leaf helps in vadam coming out better. The same leaf can be used for three to four times. As kids we used to wait for the vadam to tear, so that we can eat it. But my mom used to insist that it should be done carefully, as the efforts taken by her should serve the purpose by atleast some two hundred vadams to come in shape and dried and preserved for use for the whole year. Most of the time this is used for dinner as side dish with freshly made rasam.
Sutta vadam/roasted vadam and vepampoo rasam is the best combo. It is also considered as auspicious to fry vadam during festivals. Normally it goes well with Morkuzumbhu.
We used to wait for the last vessel of batter to be made. My mom used to make it special for just consuming soon after steaming. She used to add paste of green chillies. That used to taste yummy.
I now think why this cant be made as a breakfast in small quantity.
I put this into practice this June, to please my family with the forgotten dish. I soaked only a cup of rice and made this. The reason behind this was also because I had plantain leaves left over after a function. It is not common to see plantain tree in the backyard in city like Hyderabad. More over we need to go to a marketplace to fetch the plantain leaves. It is a rare commodity unlike Chennai. I remember my grandmother making my mother prepare this. Those were the days when vadam was made just because plantain leaves were left over and to make use of it,this dish was done. Kudos to the patience my mom had to obey and adhere to her mother's-in-law order.
I think I should give the recipe now. Thanks for the patience and time taken to read the above. It is a pleasure sharing the memories of childhood and the experience we had with our parents.
Here is the Indian spring-roll and a healthier version to Vietnamese rice paper wrapper. Can try with vegetable stuffing and substitute the deep fried chinese spring rolls.



INGREDIENTS


Rice
500 gms
Salt
to taste
Cumin
3 tsps
Sago/sabudhana
50 gms 
Khus Khus/poppy seeds can be replaced for cumin. Sago can be omitted if vadam is prepared just for consuming after steaming. Also green chilli paste can be added for spicy vadam if it is not going to be dried.
Need some six  Plantain leaves if they are big. Cut them to small squares. Pieces of leaves( Vazha Chimbi) are also available..

METHOD;
Soak rice minimum for 3 hours. Grind it very smooth and let it sit for fermenting for two nights.
Add salt. Soak sago and keep ready on the day the vadam is to be prepared.
Boil water in the steamer.
Add cumin to the batter just before making.
Mix the batter well and take in batches diluting as required.
Take a leaf and use the finger to spread the batter.
Spread well in thin layer in a circular motion on the leaf.
Place the leaf in the steamer and cover the lid.
By the time the second leaf is ready with batter the vadam wl be cooked.
Using the tip of your finger start to peel from the edge and the vadam will come out.
NOTE:
The reason for grinding the batter very smooth is to get an even layer when spread.
 When the first vadam is steamed you will make out. Can adjust the consistency of the batter accordingly.
It is easy to remove the steamed vadam from leaf. Since I did not dry them, I rolled it to make it easy to consume.
The steamed leaf can be used again and the vadam comes out easier than from the new leaf.











I am glad I could share this (though not planned for blogpost) as I had the pictures saved. Hope this will tempt a few to try. There is one more savoury snack, a signature recipe of my mother known as "PORI ARISI". (home made puffed rice) which I want to try soon.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Navamangali and Laxmi Dwadasa Naama sthothram - Golu 2014


I am posting the two important slokas to chant during Navarathiri on all nine days. One is Navamangali  (as given in Devi Bagavatham book) and the other Laxmi Dwadasa Naama (twelve names) sthothram of Mahalaxmi.

Kathyayyanee mahamaye bavani buvaneswaree
Danyoham athibakyoham baavithoham mahathmabi
yahprushtam soomahath punyam puranam vethavithkrutham
Namodevyai prakruthyaisa vthathryai thaitham namaha
Kalyanyai kamadaayai sa vruthyai sithyai namo nama:
Sath sithananda roopinyai samsararanaye nama:
Panchakruthyai vthaatryi buvaneswaryai namo nama:
Greedathe logarasana sagathe sinmaya: siva:
Aahaarasthyai sathaananda: vaasasthe hruthyam mama
Nama: sivayai kalyanyai santhyai bushtyai namo nama:
Bagavathyai namodevyai ruthrayai sathatham nama:
Jaya jaya jayadare jayaseela jayaprathe
Yagna soogara jaye thvam jayadevi jayavahe
Soogathe mosoothe devi prassanna bava sundari
Pushpasaaranandaneeya thulaseekrishna jeevani
Namasthe thulaseeroobe namo lakshmi saraswathi
Namo durge bagavathy namasthe sarva roobini


Source :(http://hinduspirit.blogspot.com/2010/05/navamangali-mantra.html)


SREE LAXMI DWADASA NAAMA STHOTHRAM
( By chanting the below Dyana sloka followed by twelve names of Mahalaxmi,one will be blessed with children and prosperity)
DYANAM
KAANTHYAA KAANCHANA SANNIPAAM
HIMAGIRI PRAKYAIS CHATURBIR KAJAIHI
HASTHOTHSHIPTHA HIRANMAYAAMRUTHAKADAIHI
AASICHYAMAANAAM SRIYAM
PIPRAANAAM VARA MAPJA YUKMAMABAYAM
HASTHAIHI KIREEDOJVALAAM
SHOWMAAPATHA NIDHAMBA BIMBA LALITHAAM
VANDE ARAVINDHA STHITHAAM

THRILOKYA POOJITHE DEVI KAMALE VISHNU VALLABE
YADHA THVAMACHALAA KRISHNE THADHA BAVA MAYEE STHIRAA
EESWAREE KAMALA LAXMIHI CHALA BOODIR HARIPRIYA
PADMA PADMALAYA SAMYAK UCHAIHI SREEHI PADMADHAARINI

I am also giving the link for Milagu vadai made during Navarathiri for Moolam star. Goddess Saraswathi Aavahanam is done on this day and the neivedhyam is offered for moolam star.
It is similar to Anjaneyar vadai (which is put as garland). I followed Shanthi Krishnakumar's recipe (version 1 ) last year and it came out very well. I saved the pictures, when I prepared on
Sapthami day (11.102013).
I thank Shanthi madam for this authentic recipe. Here is the link.
http://shanthisthaligai.blogspot.com/2010/08/anjaneyar-vadai-milagu-vadai.html



Navamangali and Laxmi Dwadasa Naama sthothram - Golu 2014


I am posting the two important slokas to chant during Navarathiri on all nine days. One is Navamangali  (as given in Devi Bagavatham book) and the other Laxmi Dwadasa Naama (twelve names) sthothram of Mahalaxmi.

Kathyayyanee mahamaye bavani buvaneswaree
Danyoham athibakyoham baavithoham mahathmabi
yahprushtam soomahath punyam puranam vethavithkrutham
Namodevyai prakruthyaisa vthathryai thaitham namaha
Kalyanyai kamadaayai sa vruthyai sithyai namo nama:
Sath sithananda roopinyai samsararanaye nama:
Panchakruthyai vthaatryi buvaneswaryai namo nama:
Greedathe logarasana sagathe sinmaya: siva:
Aahaarasthyai sathaananda: vaasasthe hruthyam mama
Nama: sivayai kalyanyai santhyai bushtyai namo nama:
Bagavathyai namodevyai ruthrayai sathatham nama:
Jaya jaya jayadare jayaseela jayaprathe
Yagna soogara jaye thvam jayadevi jayavahe
Soogathe mosoothe devi prassanna bava sundari
Pushpasaaranandaneeya thulaseekrishna jeevani
Namasthe thulaseeroobe namo lakshmi saraswathi
Namo durge bagavathy namasthe sarva roobini


Source :(http://hinduspirit.blogspot.com/2010/05/navamangali-mantra.html)


SREE LAXMI DWADASA NAAMA STHOTHRAM
( By chanting the below Dyana sloka followed by twelve names of Mahalaxmi,one will be blessed with children and prosperity)
DYANAM
KAANTHYAA KAANCHANA SANNIPAAM
HIMAGIRI PRAKYAIS CHATURBIR KAJAIHI
HASTHOTHSHIPTHA HIRANMAYAAMRUTHAKADAIHI
AASICHYAMAANAAM SRIYAM
PIPRAANAAM VARA MAPJA YUKMAMABAYAM
HASTHAIHI KIREEDOJVALAAM
SHOWMAAPATHA NIDHAMBA BIMBA LALITHAAM
VANDE ARAVINDHA STHITHAAM

THRILOKYA POOJITHE DEVI KAMALE VISHNU VALLABE
YADHA THVAMACHALAA KRISHNE THADHA BAVA MAYEE STHIRAA
EESWAREE KAMALA LAXMIHI CHALA BOODIR HARIPRIYA
PADMA PADMALAYA SAMYAK UCHAIHI SREEHI PADMADHAARINI

I am also giving the link for Milagu vadai made during Navarathiri for Moolam star. Goddess Saraswathi Aavahanam is done on this day and the neivedhyam is offered for moolam star.
It is similar to Anjaneyar vadai (which is put as garland). I followed Shanthi Krishnakumar's recipe (version 1 ) last year and it came out very well. I saved the pictures, when I prepared on
Sapthami day (11.102013).
I thank Shanthi madam for this authentic recipe. Here is the link.
http://shanthisthaligai.blogspot.com/2010/08/anjaneyar-vadai-milagu-vadai.html



Thursday, September 11, 2014

NAVRATHRI 2014-IST

This year Navarathri celebrations are from 25th September to 2nd October. Vijaya Dasami on 3rd October. As per the Almanac, the Mahalaya Amavasya is on 23rd September. As Amavasya thithi is also prevailing on 24th till 12.25PM (IST) the nine day puja  which starts only on Pradamai thithi,this year starts on Thursday (25th September)Arranging golu padi (dolls) and kalasastapana can be done on 23rd or 24th (till amavasya thithi rules)during an auspicious time.
This year there are only eight nights of celebration instead of nine nights.Again the Ashtami thithi is only upto 8.47am on eighth day (2nd October) so the puja for Ashtami and the Durga Ashtami festival is on 1st October. Since it is on 7th day both saptami and ashtami puja is on 1st October.
I am posting the link for spread sheet(chart) giving the details of nine ways of worshiping and offering to be made during the 8 days.
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/pub?key=0AlPi-SCjGqUXdFV3ek1ZR1pJQ2hmejFuaS1ZMEJjRnc&output=html

In  India in every Hindu home Shakthi the Mother Godess is honoured in their own tradition.  Even in temples Durga Devi is portrayed as blessing the visiting devotees in various forms during the ten day festival. In accordance with  the lunar calender, as per the astrological  star of each day, Alankaram (form) is chosen  to symbolize the triumph of good over the evil and portrayed on all 10 days.
Source: Kanaka Durga Temple, Vijayawada, A.P.


Let us Pray Devi by chanting slokas of Durga, Balathripura Sundari, Gayathri, Annapoorani, Lalitha Thripura Sundari, Mahalaxmi, Saraswathi, Mahisasuramardhini. Rajarajeshwari on Dasami is the Alankaram in temple.
MAHADEVYAICHA VIDHMAHE SARVASHAKTHYAICHA DEEMAHI THANNO DEVI PRACHODAYATH.
Happy Bathakamma to all my friends in Hyderabad. Bathakamma Panduga is the special way of celebrating  Navarathiri in Telangana region. It is a delight to watch ladies and girls performing the fete around the decorated flower plate. This is another form of worship to Maa Durga from her devotees.  

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Kolam/Mugulu drawn during Navarathiri

The pictures below are taken from my 2011 posts. The Kolum is drawn in Puja place or before Golu. Day one using rice flour pulli/dots kolum (hridayakamalam) is put , On 2nd day Kattam pottu, wheat flour kolam, On 3rd day a flower kolam using pearls. On 4th day padikattu kolam using akshadai, on 5th day Bird kolam using Kadalai, on 6th day Devi namam (names) using paruppu, on 7th day Thittani using flowers, on 8th day Padmam using Kasu (coins) and on 9th day Any Ayudam using camphor (karpooram) are drawn.
Starting with pulli kolum, the clockwise pictures are the nine kolum to be put during Nine days
The center Picture is the Puja at Seattle during 2013


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

NAVARATHIRI-2014 (USA /PST)/Kumari pujai/Navadurga pujai

I am happy to post the Navarathiri chart continuously for the sixth year. It gives me a great pleasure in sharing this with my relatives and friends, who follow the details given in my spread sheet.  This year the Navarathiri puja starts on  Wednesday,24th September. Amavasya is on 23rd and Kalasa stapanas and arranging Golu/dolls can be done on this day.Pradamai thithi is on 24th wednesday and 1st day puja for Devi starts on this day. The puja can be performed on consecutive 8 days till Navami,
Thursday 2nd october. Vijaya Dasami is on 3rd October.
I shared the details which I followed from the book DEVI BAGAVADAM, in my earlier posts. This year the chart is prepared based on the Almanac (date) and showing in tabular columns the nine ways to worship Goddess by offering Prasadam as per thithi, star, day, performing puja with nine types of flowers and aromatic leaves, and fruits. putting daily a different Kolam using a different material each day (http://hemakrish-beshanaindiansamayal.blogspot.com/2014/09/kolam-during-navarathiri.html )and in the evening Sundal neivedhyam to be offered using the  pulse as per  Navagraha. Different eatables to be given to Kanya each day.
Kumari puja-worship of a young pre-puberty girl is given prominence during Navrathiri. As per Devi Bagavadam a girl child starting from the age of two  to ten  is worshiped each day. Alternatively on the last day of Navrathiri we invite nine young girls and honor them by washing their feet, offering them prasada and giving them a token.
During Navrathiri we maintain a sattvic lifestyle of vegetarian food. One usually fasts during these nine days, taking one meal at sunset of a particular type of food. The fast is ended on the eighth day,
Ashtami by worshiping nine young girls.As per tradition, puris, kesari and sundal are served to young girls. While doing so, each girl is assumed as one form of Goddess Durga. Accordingly by chanting the name of each form, the worship is done honoring the girl. Thus Navadurga  or Nine manifestations of Ma Durga worship is also fulfilled.
These are the Nine forms of Goddess Durga representing Her various attributes.

1) Shri Shailaputri - daughter of the Himalayas, yielding steadfastness.
2) Shri Brahmacharini – personifying purity, deep love and shraddha.
3) Shri Chandraghanta – who holds the power and Soma of the Moon.
4) Shri Kushmanda – unfolds bliss, happiness and well-being.
5) Shri Skandamata - Mother of Skanda, she personifies eternal fire.
6) Shri Katyayani – the power of transformation as the aspect of Ma Kali.
7) Shri Kalaratri – destroyer of darkness and ignorance.
8) Shri Mahagauri – bestower of purity and endless virtues.
9) Shri Siddhidatri – bestowal of all accomplishments, spiritual powers and knowledge.
Courtesy:hindupad

I am giving below the link for the chart which is as per US time. This year there is a variation in the chart from that of Indian time ( IST). In India the Navrathiri puja starts on 25th September and ends on 2nd October. Vijaya Dasami is on 3rd. The Puja for Sapthami and Ashtami are to be performed on same day (ie) on sapthami thithi (1st October) and Navami on 2nd October. Hence I prepared two separate charts. In US,  the puja is to be performed on all 9 days starting from 24th September through 2nd October.
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/pub?key=0AlPi-SCjGqUXdE9XRjBCaUtVSUxSRmM5S08xa1Znd2c&output=html
Wish you all a happy Navrathiri. Let us offer and pray with deep shraddha and reverence and am
sure Devi will confer Her devine grace.
The link prepared as per Indian Time is posted in the following post.




Sunday, July 27, 2014

Murungai keerai/drumstick greens powder (Repost)

When it comes to podis, there is nothing to beat Kandipodi in Andhra cuisine which is called Parruppu podi in tamil. Also in the list are Karivepilai podi (Curry leaves podi), Thengai podi (Coconut podi), Pudina podi (Mint Leaves Podi) and Murungai keerai podi ( Drumstick Leaves podi).

In the South Indian hotels especially in Andhra, we find these podis along with pachadis (gongura and avakai) on the table ready for our service. And in all Andhra house hold, no meal is complete without having hot rice with ghee mixed in podi. The recipe is known as "annamlo podi" (literally meaning powder with rice). Since we grew up in Hyderabad, we are used to start with dry type rice with podi and fried curries as the first dish in our lunch. It is easy to make children eat when there is podi at home. This can be preserved for 3 weeks or more once it is prepared.
Here is the recipe using drumstick leaves which we rarely use to make poriyal. The podi is simple
to prepare and when mixed with rice, it tastes good and the green color is attractive. I used black sesame seeds here. The powder appears brown.


.
INGREDIENTS
Murungai/drumstick keerai      2 TBLSP
Sesame seeds                      1/4 CUP
Urad dal                                  1/4 cup
Red chillies                            15 TO 20
Garlic (without peeling the skin) 10 CLOVES
Tamarind                         gooseberry size
Salt                                  to taste



METHOD:
Clean drumstick/murungai leaves and wipe with cloth.
Dry in shade on a kitchen towel. 
Dry roast the dried leaves till crisp.
Make powder and use 2 tablespoon of the powder for preparing the podi.
Dry roast urad dal, sesame seeds separately. 
In little hot oil fry red chillies.
When it is cool, powder together urad dal, sesame seeds and red chillies.
.Finally add powder of leaves, salt and tamarind ( i used dried tender leaves of tamarind/chintha chiguru) and garlic and grind to powder..
Have it with hot rice with ghee or sesame oil.

Roasted leaves

powdered leaves


Roasted ingredients

Drumstick podi

.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Vegetable salad with dip

As we all know vegetable salads are packed with nutrients and fibre and are a great way to get our daily serve of vegges.The dish may be served at any point during a meal. The recipe needs patience to cut vegetables and can be had with just salt and pepper. But to make it more appealing and interesting there are many ways to prepare and present it. It is tempting when viewed in  the TV cookery shows. To mention one such, is the daily programme telecasted in DD Podigai channel which are really worth watching. All the hosts give their best. These cannot be viewed on net. So I thought I should share those recipes which I noted down.
I am posting a salad to start with. The simple salad was prepared by Ramesh Ganapathy. I liked the accompaniment of a dip for this.
I regularly make salad  at home with a salad dressing. First I learnt this when I watched Mallika Badrinath
demonstrating it. She told to use a small bottle for this purpose and assemble the dressing ingredients and shake well. It should be refrigerated and used along with chilled cut raw vegetables for best result. Later to my surprise I saw Salad Dressing Mixer in a Supermarket in Arizona, and bought it. I was doubly happy to posses it as it had the recipes and a neutral millilitre scale printed on the bottle. Less I knew about Vinaigrette, French dressing, Russian dressing then.  After watching the Food network channel regularly,I started making different types at home.   There are many  salad dressing available in supermarkets too.





Ingredients for the Dip:


Paneer/Cottage cheese
100 gm
Curd/yoghurt
2 tablespoon
Green chilli
1
Lime juice
½ teaspoon
Tomato sauce
1 tablespoon
Mint leaves/Pudina
½ cup
Paste of sauted green bell pepper and onion
2 tablespoon
Mustard seeds
1 tsp
Salt
to taste



Vegetables for the salad
One each of Carrot, Bell pepper (3 colors), Beetroot and Cucumber.

Method
Cut vegetables for salad  in lengthwise and refrigerate them and use them just before serving.
Cut one small size onion and green bell pepper and saute in little oil and keep.
In a mixie jar take crumbled paneer, green chilli, salt, mustard seeds, mint leaves and the sauted onion and bell pepper and grind to smooth paste.
Add tomato sauce, curd and lime juice and blend again to mix well.
Remove and serve this dip with chilled vegetables.
It tastes yummy.
Boost your energy, immunity and vitality by eating raw vegetables that are high in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
The TV host always concludes his show saying it is a (anbu kattalai) humble order rather than a request to his viewers to try this. I tried couple of times and am happy to share this too.


Saturday, June 14, 2014

Chocolate cake

It has been almost a year now after I last posted summer special Vadams/fryums. I have good collection of rare recipes in my book. Most of them tried and tasted. I was a busy Grandma and also had a setback
 in my health. But nothing stopped me watching cookery shows and noting down many of them. I am a regular reader of all posts of the bloggers whom I follow.
To start with, I think it will be apt if I post a sweet item. This is the first sweet item which I am posting in my blog. There are couple of reasons for posting this. One marks the successful ONLINE learning of the
 famous PADUKA  SAHASRAM,  the great work of Swami Desikan comprising 1008 stanzas in sanskrit.
I dedicate this to my Guru Mrs. Chandra who taught me this. On completing this I made the sweet to offer to Lord.
The other memorable event was my 60th Birthday celebrations. It made it more special because my family members gifted me a cookbook. It had SIXTY  recipes from my blog which  each of my family members liked the best. I thank all relatives of my extended family who appreciated my cooking. The purpose with which I started this blog is served. They named  the book as  Family Cookbook.  I am happy to say my junior most niece is  trying her hand referring my recipe on traditional dishes. I consider the book as an AWARD for my efforts to post them in the blog.
I am happy I could share the recipes which I collected in dozen diaries since years. Each family will have a signature recipe. But none of our elders had the opportunity to write them and publish. The cook books came later and presently the internet. Thanks to the internet world.
This is for you Mrs.Chandra
Here is the recipe for Chocolate cake.

INGREDIENTS


All purpose flour/Maida
1 cup
Sugar
3 cup
Condensed milk
½ tin
Clarified butter/Ghee
½ cup
Cocoa powder
¾ cup

METHOD

Mix cocoa powder in condensed  milk and keep ready.
Heat a pan and melt ghee. Add flour and fry continuously till you get good aroma and set aside.
Make sugar syrup with 1/2 cup water till  you get one string consistency.
Add roasted maida and mix well for few seconds.
Add cocoa powder mix and stir well.
Keep stirring till it begins to leave sides.
Remove and pour into a greased plate,
Cut to the desired shape.
Remove pieces when it is cool .




Thank you my dear


Thank you all