Archive for August, 2007

Vara Lakshmi Vratham

This is the festival I celebrate with much dedication every year. Last week I celebrated it with my daughter. We do this pooja in the 2nd Friday of Sravana Masam the most auspicious day. And if it comes with pournami that’s very good. This year pournami(full moon day) is on Tuesday. I don’t know why I am fascinated about this day and the pooja on the whole. I don’t regularly do pooja even a Namaskaaram to the God though I have great respect towards our God’s. But Vara lakshmi vratham takes a special place somewhere in the corner of my heart and every year i do the pooja. My mother laughs at me as when I tell her I don’t want to do the pooja this year and guess what the next when I wake up I change my mind and do it. It happens every year and this year too. And I don’t know ABC of how to do a pooja I simply follow the book or printouts I find. I think the real essence of doing the pooja doesn’t matter how u do or what u do but how u feel to do and with dedication u do. It should come out of ur heart. Anything that done whole heartedly how bad it may look it will turn out well. I am not a strong believer in god as far as I know even I go to temples to get a peaceful mind and because now a days the temple’s are stacked with people I avoid them on festive days. when its rush and where we can’t even breathe properly. Guys we want peace at least to pray not think of other people walking on us. So after coming to USA I feel so relieved. As u all must have known this festival pooja and importance through other blogs. I am not repeating it. But if u haven’t and need to know anything about it you can find more details here.

This is the 6th year I am celebrating the festival after I have married my dear R. Can u believe it? I too can’t J . Good me. Even in my childhood I used to ask my mom don’t forget my toram( a thread knotted with different leaves and flowers) as I won’t get a holiday from school like my mom has. Good old days the mehandi we put on our hands and happily showed in school and do u know how beautiful our hands used to be. Hakuna Matata(it means no worries). Even now I have no worries but somehow I miss my past days. And not to mention as I am a last minute decider as usual I wanted to keep it simple so I selected the neivedyam to be simple yet nice. In my house sweets won’t go quickly and no time to make Gaarelu and poornaalu my all time favourites. So I made Pulihora, chekkara pongali, Kesari. We decorate a coconut like the Lakshmi devi the goddess we r praying with jewels and flowers.



Look in the picture my little girl is helping in doing pooja.

And friends what took me so long to post this is my daughter there is a little bit story too. I make it short. We went to New jersey last week. As we planned already I made the pooja simple so nothing is wasted and nothing is messed up. So in that matters everything went well and the trip was also fine. We enjoyed philly down town and New Jersey 6 flags safari and hurricane harbor. My daughter enjoyed a lot in the water and not to mention she got fever when we returned. It will be horrible if our little ones r down with fever. And it lasted for 4 days with high fever. She got little infection in her right ear which caused the fever. Today she was fine and the doc gave Good recovery certificate on the follow up visit(that is today). So at the end all is well. Now I got time for my post. So here I am writing my post. I should mention but we loved the Hurricane Harbour. We will go again but wait for my daughter to grow another yr older.



I completed the pooja successfully and u can observe my lamination which covers all the gods whom I worship. Lord Venkateswara , Sai baba, Ganesha, Lakshmi, Saraswathi, Parvathi Parameshwara with Little Ganesha. Hope u all like it.

I offered chakkerapongali,kesari,pulihora, banana, pomegranate and apples for Neivedyam.

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Lemon Rice (Chitrannam)

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This is my entry for JFI Rice hosted by Sharmi of Neivedyam this month. Brain child of Indira Mahanandi.This is a great event. After trying this and that I have settled for simple lemon rice which is easy to prepare and nice way of using ur leftover rice as well. With all those dishes we can make with rice. I feel this is easy one. And can be made in a jiffy. I have to say that this is different from what we make normally. After hearing my husband I said what? Onions in lemon rice? I added onion to the tadka so it gave a little different taste to the rice which is not typical lemon rice we have in Andhra. But it tasted really good. Well my husband loves it this way and he says in Karnataka they prepare lemon rice this way but I have no idea about it. Well wherever it may originate from the taste is good and we loved it. Well it tasted good.

Ingredients:

Rice………………..1 cup

Lemon…………….1 big

Salt…………………to taste

Turmeric………….1/4 tsp

Tadka:

Mustard seeds………..1/2 tsp

Red chilies……………….2

Chana dal………………1/2 tbsp

Urad dal………………..1/2 tbsp

Curry leaves……………..4

Ginger ………………………cut into small pieces

Peanuts………………….fist full

Green chilies…………2-3 cut lengthwise

Onion……………………..1/2 cut lengthwise

Oil………………………….2 tbsp

Method:

  1. Cook the rice and let it cool.
  2. Now mix lemon juice, salt and turmeric into the rice mix well without breaking the rice.
  3. Keep aside.
  4. Now in a pan add oil and red chilies, mustard seeds, chana dal, urad dal, curry leaves, ginger, peanuts, green chilies, onions.
  5. Fry till onions r soft and peanuts and chana dal, urad dal turn golden brown.
  6. Now mix the tadka to the rice and again mix well.
  7. That’s it finished in a jiffy.

Good for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. As you wish. Great way to use leftover rice.

And last but not the least I too got an award. I am Rocking girl. Thank u Padma.


Now after I got this award I would like to give it out to all my blogger freinds.Everyone deserves it. As we all strive to make difference in our own sense in bringing out the variety of posts whatever it may be in. 

Poori Bhaji with a twist of Egg


This is for “A Mad Tea Party’s” Poori Bhaji Party. Hope I am not late. Though I made them I was not able to take photos of them. Now I again made them for just me and my daughter (well R has gone to office and takes his box) J .My Mom used to make them very often for Sunday breakfast or call them brunches. I was the one who pressed lot of pooris in the poori maker (well I am greedy as I would get one extra poori). Even if I am not able to eat them I want that extra poori. Well now-a-days we don’t make them being health conscious and all and looking how much oil it takes (well if made perfect it don’t take too much oil). May be once a month. But the day we make them we have them to heart. As I told earlier I made these for lunch all within a span of 15mins.

Preparation time: 5mins

Cooking time: 10mins

Ingredients:

Onion…………………1 big cut lengthwise

Green chillies……………2 cut lengthwise

Potatoes………………………2 big

Egg………………………………1

Gramflour……………………1 tsp

Salt…………………………….to taste

Red chilli powder…………..1 tsp

Turmeric powder…………..1/2 tsp

Water……………………………1 cup

Tempering:

Oil…………………1 tsp

Red chillies…………1

Mustard seeds………1/4 tsp

Cumin seeds…………1/4 tsp

Curry leaves……….4

Method:

1. In a pressure pan heat oil and add all the tempering ingredients one by one. Let them splutter. Add onions and green chillies let them fry.

2. Now add potatoes and all the ingredients except egg and gram flour should go in. cover and cook for 2 whistles.

3. Mean while mix the poori dough and keep it in fridge.

4. Now take off the whistle and cover check the water if u want can add some more now in a tsp of water mix gram flour and add it to the bhaji

and now add one egg let it stay before mixing till it gets thick now mix well mashing the egg into little balls.

5. That’s it it’s done.


Now coming to Pooris:

  1. Wheat flour, Salt to taste, Water mix all together and add a little oil to coat at the end. Keep it in fridge till u r ready to make. Pooris will turn out well if u make them within 5mins or 10mins if u have to wait keep in fridge (not for long). I made them right away.
  2. Make balls out the dough and roll them round with 4 or 6 inch diameter (as u wish depending on ur pan size)
  3. Heat oil in pan to deep fry the pooris. The oil should be hot and poori should raise once u drop it in oil.turn around and heat till u get light gold brown drain and remove. You get nice pluffy pooris.

Enjoy them hot.

Happy Independence Day

“HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY” TO ALL INDIANS AROUND THE WORLD!!!!

“Saare Jahaan Se Achha Hindhusthaan Hamara hamaraa……..”

I salute all the leaders and soldiers who sacrificed their life’s to give us the fruit of independence which we are enjoying now.

I am a proud Indian.

This is the song we have in our native place Andhra which I love from all.

“Yhe desa meginaa yendhu kaalidinaa pogadaraa nee talli bhoomi bharathi ni…..”

The above line means “Where ever you may go praise your “mother India”. Don’t forget the land where u r born.”

So Have Happy and Nice Independence day all of u.

Tandoori Chicken


Tandoori chicken is one of India’s most popular dishes. Tandoori chicken is originated from Mughals and now widely known as part of Punjabi cuisine famous for its wide range of tandoor recipes .This particular dish has a nice blend of sour curd/yogurt and masala blended well in the chicken when marinated. The spice mixture gives this crisp nice taste to the chicken. All of its work goes into how we marinate and how we cook them. If anything goes wrong it’s not less than a disaster. After many trails I have settled with this recipe of my own and all the trails r good but something is missing the perfect one I found in restaurants. I don’t say mine is ultimate but I got what I desired. And it’s the taste I loved in the restaurants in Hyderabad famous for its Nawabi Cuisine.

For more information about tandoor chicken click here.

Preparation time: 10mins

Cooking time: 45mins

Ingredients:

Chicken (drumsticks)………………….6 (make horizontal slits on the chicken pieces)

Yogurt……………………………………….2cups

Ginger-garlic paste………………….11/2 tbsp

Red chili powder………………………2tbsp

Garam masala…………………………2tbsp

Coriander powder…………………….1tbsp

Cumin powder…………………………1tbsp

Red food colour…………………………pinch

Lime juice …………………………………1tbsp

Oil ………………………………………….to grease the pan

Method:

  1. Clean and wash the chicken and cut slits horizontally.
  2. In a bowl add the clean chicken and mix all the ingredients till blended well into the chicken.
  3. Cover the bowl and refrigerate it for 4 hours.
  4. Now preheat the oven to 350F and grease the pan with oil.
  5. Place the chicken drumsticks on the pan and place them in the oven for 40-45mins till the chicken is cooked and crisp outside.

Note:

  1. The yogurt should be sour not fresh.
  2. Turn the chicken pieces once helps the chicken to be crisp on all sides.
  3. If corn flour is sprinkled on top of the drumsticks before keeping them in oven they taste better (this is optional).
  4. Will be better if u can use skewers by placing them on aluminum tray so that the chicken doesn’t touch anything may result as actual tandoor style. Next time I will try this way.


Look it’s gone my daughter couldn’t resist them. And yup it’s my daughter’s hand in the first picture.

Gongura pachhadi


This is Called “Andhramata Gongura”. Gongura chutney and Mudda pappu is evergreen combination of Andhra. Well my father tells a little poetry while eating. Gongura pachhadi can be made in different ways. This is the way my grandmother and mom prepare when they are in a hurry and to make it soon for any lunch or dinner. Its shelf life is 1 week if refrigerated. But it’s authentic taste and flavor tempts us very much. There r different ways to make a pickle out of this but even this is very good. We make this as it tastes good and fresh. And the nutrients we get from this are more. It is fresh and has a very different taste. Specially made in coastal districts of Andhra as I know. And the onions in this chutney give a very special and different taste. When it is served with piping hot rice with a dash of ghee and this chutney it tastes good. And when I saw these leaves in grocery store then I grabbed a bunch so that I can make it. Then I called up my mom for recipe. Even though I make all kinds of chutneys I never prepared this one. And came to know it’s not special and I know how to do this one. I was so happy finally I could make this.

U can find more information on Gongura in Wikipedia.

Preparation time: 5mins

Cooking time: 5mins

Ingredients:

Gongura leaves/sour leaves…………4 hand full of leaves (don’t use the stem)

Red chilies (dried)………….10-12(as per spice level) toast them in a pan till it leaves flavor.

Onion……………………………1/2(small)

Cumin seeds………………….1/2 tsp

Garlic pod…………………………..1

Tempering:

Mustard seeds…………1/2 tsp

Cumin seeds………………1/2 tsp

Urad dal……………………1/2 tsp

Red chilies…………………1

Garlic pod………………..1

Curry leaves………………4

Oil………………………………1 tbsp

Method:

  1. Wash the leaves and cook in a pan covered till it leaves water and reduces to ¼ of quantity it is cooked.
  2. In a blender/chopper add cumin and garlic pod and red chilies and blend.
  3. Now add the cooked leaves and again blend adding salt.
  4. At the end add onion and blend it once.
  5. Now add the tadka/tempering to it and mix well.

Tempering:

Add tbsp oil in a pan and add red chilies, garlic, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, urad dal, curry leaves. Add them in this order and let them leave a bit flavor around and add to the chutney prepared. Don’t over fry them

Note: 1.The gongura leaves are so sour adjust the spice level based on that. It goes well with rice and ghee as any other chutney does.

2. The taste also depends on tempering for any dish.