Archive for the ‘Festival Special food’ Category

Nonbu Adai (Karadaiyan Nonbu adai)

Tuesday, March 13th, 2012

Karaidanyan Nonbu comes around Feb or March and the festival is something similar to that of Karvachaud in North India. In Tamilnadu, it relays the story of sathyavan-savithri. The sweet and savory adais made on that day is a special dish and as the adais are only made for that occasion, it is really worth waiting for. This year it is on March 14.

Since I have been talking about amma’s cooking for the past week, I thought of sharing her handwritten recipes here. For every festival I just have to refer to the notebook and what dishes I have to cook, how to serve and what is the procedure is there in that notebook. Actually I should say two books as she made one for each of us- My sister and I. The book is about 10- 12 years old as she first made it for my Sister’s wedding and the entire book was photocopied for the second daughter 😀

My sis and I still have it like new as it is something precious for us. It reminds me of the recipes and each incident that took place on a festival day and how we celebrated it as a Happy family!

I am just uploading pictures I took last year(but did not post it). I have give recipes for both sweet and savory adais. New pictures will be uploaded soon.

For Savory adai:

(Traditionally amma washes rice in water and then drains it, air dries the rice and powders it, then sieves it. Since I am lazy I just use store bought rice flour)
Rice Flour- 1 cup (plus 2 tbsp if the dough gets sticky)
Water – 1/4 to 1/2 cup
Salt- 1/2 to 3/4 tsp
Finely chopped green chilies- 1/2 tsp
Cooked Black eyed peas- 3 to 4 tbsp

For tempering:
Mustard seeds- 1/2 tsp
Jeera- 1/2 tsp
Gingerly oil- 1 tsp
Urad dal and chana dal- 1/2 tsp each
Ginger- finely chopped about 1/4 tsp
Finely chopped curry leaves- 1 tbsp
Coconut- 1 tbsp


To cook black eyed peas: Soak them overnight in water and pressure cook the beans.

Heat water in a sauce pan and let it boil. Add salt and lower the flame(or switch off for a minute). Add the rice flour and keep stirring so that a thick dough without lumps is made. Now add the cooked beans to it.

In another pan, heat oil and add mustard seeds and jeera, when they splutter, add green chilies, ginger and curry leaves. Stir fry for a minute just add coconut at the end. Add this to the rice flour dough.

When the dough is not so hot and can be touched, take a lemon size ball of the dough. Layer the palm of the hand with ziplock bag or plantain leaf. To make the adai, place the rice dough ball on top and pat it flat and punch a hole like a doughnut. Start arranging the adais in a idli steamer plate.

Steam for about 10 minutes on medium heat. Remove the steamed adais to a plate, place a dollop of butter on top of each adai and offer it to the goddess before tasting it.

For sweet adais:

Rice flour – 1 cup
Crushed jaggery- 1/2 cup
Elachi powder- 1/4 tsp
Black eyed peas- 3 to 4 tbsp(cooked)
Coconut- 1 tbsp


Soak jaggery in minimum amount of water. Filter it to remove any dust. Let the jaggery water boil and add the rice flour slowly. Add the cooked beans and coconut.

Just like above procedure, When the dough is not so hot and can be touched, take a lemon size ball of the dough. Layer the palm of the hand with ziplock bag or plantain leaf. To make the adai, place the rice dough ball on top and pat it flat and punch a hole like a doughnut. Start arranging the adais in a idli steamer plate.

Steam for about 10 minutes on medium heat. Remove the steamed adais to a plate, place a dollop of butter on top of each adai and offer it to the goddess before tasting it.

The best part in celebrating festivals these days is that it gives me an opportunity to show my little son about our culture. When we got married, N was so new to all of these and he was astonished the first year(it fades as you progress towards year 6, right? 😉 that festivals are celebrated in such a way and so many goodies are made at home as he was used to the store bought items. These days N remembers what is made for each festival and reminds me of the missing items in the list that my mom has made :D. Even yesterday he confirmed twice, “So you will make both adais”?

Remember that the offering is just one adai(one sweet and one savory) with unmelted butter on top.

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Happy Diwali!!

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

Wishing you all a Very Happy Diwali,healthy and a prosperous new year!

Usually we make lots of snacks for Diwali at home, with laddu and mixture being the must have items along with badusha, milk cake, rava ladoo,kara sev etc., Last year I made just a bit of each as I was in my last trimester and could not do much. This year, lil R is running around(crawling around) the kitchen so cooking with hot oil was not a good idea.

This weekend when lil R was napping, I made Badusha, Omapodi and mullu murukku.

Badusha recipe is from here, I just followed the measurements to make about 15 badushas and it came out so soft and almost like store bought badusha. Thanks Raks! It has been on my to-try list for a long time. It took me about 40 minutes to make these badushas.

Omapodi: I mixed about 1 cup of kadalai maavu(chickpea flour/besan) with 1/4 cup of rice flour, added salt and red chili powder(1/4 tsp each) and, slowly mixed in about 1/2 cup of water and 1 tbsp ghee to make it like a dough. Then I made the omapodi in the usual omapodi press in a murukku achu featured here. Lil one seems to love the crunchy omapodi without the omam :)A big issue in making snacks before diwali is that the father and son duo are finishing off these as fast as they could and N is already asking me if I am going to make a second round before the D-day!

Mullu Murukku: Mom gave me her usual dozens of boxes filled with powders of every kind you can imagine when I went home this summer.So the murukku mavu is from her. I mixed in some melted butter, salt and red chili powder and made murukkus in the murukku press.

So how are you celebrating your diwali? Share it with us!

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Our Guarded Golu

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

Today is the first day of Hindu festival Navrathiri(9 nights of festival), also called as the festival season of Dussera(end of navarathiri or the 10th day).Since I grew up in Tamilnadu, my family had the tradition of keeping bommai golu(story telling through toys/dolls) to celebrate the victory of good over evil.The entire story of navrathiri can be found here.

Usually, the dolls are kept in tiers(called as padis in tamil), each tier will represent some aspect of life- stories of gods and goddess, events that happen in day to day life,places like zoos,parks, grocery shops will also shown through dolls.My sister and I will be planning for days for navrathiri when we were young, as that was an excellent opportunity to show our creativity and imaginations through the way we decorated the toys at home.My sister was an excellent kolam(rangoli)artist and she would draw some natural scenes or animals in front of the golu.

This year though with lil R crawling all over the place, our golu became the most guarded item of the house. See it for yourself :) N thought of the idea of guardrailing the golu!!

The first two tiers consists of deities and the last tier has the hand made beadwork toys made by my grandmother- these toys are about 60-70 years old. It consists of a setting of a home with a cradle, well,chairs, wedding orchestra, kitchen and gas stove(I am told gas stove was just bought at home at that time and it was a craze).The golu also has two wooden toys called marapachi(the bride and groom),carved out of wood and is a must for every doll display.

And the offering for golu? Sundal, ofcourse!!
Sundal is made with beans(kidney beans,garbanzo, black eyed peas, peas etc). The offering today at home was black eyed peas sundal and this is how I made it.

Black eyed peas- 1 cup
Salt- 3/4 tsp
Tuemeric powder- 1/2 tsp
Mustard seeds- 1/2 tsp
Cumin seeds-1/2 tsp
Urad dal- 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves- few
Dried red chili-1
Hing- 1 pinch
oil- 1 tsp
Coconut- 4 tbsp

Soak the dried beans in water over night. Pressure cook the beans the next day. Drain and discard the blackish water.Heat oil in a pan, add hing and mustard seeds.When the seeds splutter, add cumin seeds, curry leaves, urad dal, red chili and stir fry for a minute. Add the cooked beans,salt and turmeric powder and stir fry for 2-3 minutes.At the end, add the coconut and mix well.Switch off. Offer it as a prasad to the golu/deity first before tasting.

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Sheera and Vishu Wishes

Wednesday, April 14th, 2010

Wish you all a Very Happy Tamil New year/Vishu kani.

April 14 is the Tamil New Year and according to our calendar, the year Vikruthi starts today. The tradition for vishu celebration is to keep a tray filled with coins and cash, clothes and fruits infront of a image of deity and seeing the reflection of the tray in a mirror and seeing it as the first object, the first thing in the morning. This image is also a representation of materials one can expect in the new year (hence the reflection in the mirror).

Though a feast is prepared for Tamil New Year back home which includes a bitter neem rasam and a sweet and sour mango chutney, I just kept it simple this year with some Sheera, instead of the usual payasam(kheer).

Sheera can also be made as a prasad(offering) for satya narayana pooja. This is a quick and simple dessert too, and can be served either hot or cold.


Sooji/Rava/Semolina: 1 cup
Sugar : 1.5 cups
Ripe Banana-1
Milk- 2 cups
Ghee- 4 tbsp

Cashews/almonds/saffron- to garnish
Cardamom powder- 1/4 tsp


Heat ghee in a frying pan and fry the rava till it turns golden brown in color and you can smell the aroma of toasted rava.

In the mean time boil 2 cups of milk in a sauce pan. Finely chop the banana.

Once the milk is bubbling, simmer the flame and add the bananas. Lightly mash them and add the toasted rava(slowly). Take care while adding the rava to the hot milk as rava bubbles vigorously.

After adding rava, add in the sugar and stir well. The melting sugar will thin out the sheera. Stir on low flame for 2-3 minutes and switch off.

Grease the insides of a pan(any shape) with a tea spoon of ghee. Transfer the sheera to the pan and level it. Once it has cooled, you can slice it and serve it as kesari slices, instead of a gooey-pudding.

Roast cashews in ghee. Garnish the sheera with cashews, saffron and cardamom powder. If you are making it for satya narayana pooja, just use the five ingredients milk, ghee, sugar, banana and rava.

I am sending this Sheera to Priya’s Cooking with Cardamom seeds event.

Kiran tagged me in for a chain link, and I have to share about 10 women I admire the most. Actually going through Kiran’s list, I thought pretty much she has covered about women who young girls and others look up to. Your post was awesome Kiran!

Thanks for tagging me in for the link- Since I should keep it going too, I’d say I admire women who are like an all rounder in cricket field- especially the home makers and working women who juggle a lot of chores in a day and still manage to run the show! That includes women I haven’t met or heard about yet, but who go about doing these tasks as though it is nothing!

What do you say gals? Do you agree with me?

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