Chithirai kani/ Tamil Varusha Porappu/Tamil puththandu

Chithiraikani or Tamil varusha porappu is celebrated in the Indian state of Tamilnadu. It falls on the second week of April. This is considered as the beginning of new year by the Tamilians. The tamilians in all over the world celebrate this vigorously. Similarly the Malayalam speaking people will celebrate their new year as Vishu. Mostly both  are celebrated on the same day. Sometimes on the next day.

This year- 14th April 2018 to 13th April 2019 is called as Vilambi year.

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On the day before the new year, people place a mirror and decorate it with Konnai poo(yellow colour flower) that blooms during this season. In front of the mirror a brass thambalam(large size plate) is placed. Rice is spread over the plate and the fruits and vegetables are arranged. Three main fruits to be arranged are Mango, Banana, Jack fruit.  Golden cucumber,  grapes, orange,  apple, raw mango, snake gourd, lemon, coconut are also arranged.  Apart from this gold, silver, coins, rupees, panjangam, dhal, turmeric powder, kumkum, beetel leaves, paaku are also placed. On the side of this a lamp is lighted. This is called as Vishu kani.
On the next day morning, we are directed by the elders to go to the pooja room with the eyes closed.  This is practised because the first thing seen on the new year should give us happiness and prosperity for the whole year.  Kani is seen by touching the plate with both the hands.
The elders will give some money for the youngsters as their blessings and it is called as Vishu kaineettam.
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On this auspicious day, for the sadhya, along with the regular food, payasam, vadai and pachchadi is made.

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Tamil Puththandu Nal vaazhuthukkal !!!!

Menu for Chithirai kani and Vishu

Sambar / Mor kootan

Rasam

Arasanikkai kootu

Paruppu vadai  or Mupparuppu vadai

Thayir Pachadi

Koorka-mezhukkuperatti

Chadha-chadhayam 

Thakkali thokku/ Manga kari / Maa-inji, Pachai kuru milagu

Nenthrakai vathal/chips

Curd

Appalam/Pappadam/Vadam

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Watermelon rind chutney

I haven’t heard about this chutney until one of my friends told me about it. She asked me to try and post it on my blog. I made slight change by replacing the channa dhal with melon seeds. It is very healthy and easy to make too. Instead of throwing the white portion of the watermelon, we can make it to a healthy recipe. Thank you Gayathri for the wonderful recipe.

INGREDIENTS

Watermelon rind – From half fruit

Urad dhal – 1 tsp

Melon seeds – 2 tsp

Coconut bits – 2 tbsp

Curry leaves – few

Red chillies – 2

Tamarind – small piece

Jaggery – few

Salt

Oil – 3 tsp

For seasoning

Oil – 1 tsp

Mustard – 1 tsp

Urad dhal – 1 tsp

  • In a kadai add oil and saute urad dhal and melon seeds. Saute until they turn golden brown in colour.
  • Then add coconut, curry leaves, red chillies, tamarind and saute well.
  • Transfer it to the mixie jar and add jaggery, salt.
  • Again add oil to a kadai and saute watermelon rind until they are cooked well.
  • Transfer it to the mixie jar and grind it with other ingredients to a fine paste.
  • Finally take a small pan and temper mustard seeds and urad dhal.
  • Serve it with idli or dosai.

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Aloo Paneer Matar

Aloo paneer matar is a North Indian gravy prepared with potato, cottage cheese and green peas.  They are cooked in the tomato gravy along with the spices. This is the first recipe I made after my wedding so this is always special for me.  It is very easy to make as well as tasty. You can serve this as a side dish not only for roti, kulcha, naan but also for jeera rice, ghee rice…

INGREDIENTS

Potatoes – 2

Matar – 1 cup

Paneer cubes – 1 cup

Tomatoes – 4

Onions – 2

Turmeric powder – A pinch

Garam masala – 1 tsp

Red chilli powder -1/2 tsp

Salt – To taste

Butter – 2 tsp

Cumin seeds – 1 tsp

Coriander – To garnish

To grind

Ginger – A piece

Green chilli – 2

Garlic – 7 cloves

Onion – 2 tbsp

Water – To grind

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  • Pressure cook the potatoes, peel the skin and cut them into big pieces.
  • Grind ginger, garlic and green chilli into a fine paste with little water.
  • Grind the tomatoes and make it into a purée.
  • Heat the pan, add butter, cumin seeds and allow them to crackle.
  • Add the garlic, ginger,green chilli paste and sauté until the raw smell goes off.
  • Then add the onions and sauté till they are translucent.
  • Then add the tomato purée and simmer the stove until the tomato purée is cooked. Add little quantity of water.
  • Add the green peas,potatoes, salt,chilli powder, garam masala and cook for 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Add 1 cup of water and allow it to come to a boil.
  • Mash 2 to 3 pieces of potatoes in the pan to thicken the gravy. Simmer till the gravy thickens.
  • Finally add the paneer cubes, mix well and cook for two minutes.
  • Garnish with the coriander and serve hot with rotis or jeera rice.

Note: You can add sugar to adjust the tangy taste of tomatoes.

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Avakkai – Mango pickle

Avakkai is one of the most popular pickles in South India with its origin in Andhra Pradesh. This is my brother’s favourite. He just love this hot and spicy pickle. This year my amma, kindled my interest to make this pickle.  The seeds are intact in this pickle. We cut the mangoes cross sectionally to retain the seed. You can get this done from the shop keeper. When I made this and posted the photos in some other forum, I got good feedback and some asked for the recipe too.  Hence I couldn’t resist myself from posting the snapshot of the comments.

INGREDIENTS

Cut mangoes – 7 cups

Red chilli powder – 1/2 cup

Kashmiri red chilli powder- 1/2 cup

Mustard  powder – 1/2 cup

Turmeric powder – 1/2 cup

Fenugreek powder – 1 tsp

Channa dhal – 1/ 8 cup

Salt – 1/2 cup

Asafoetida – 2 tsp

Oil – 1 1/2 cups

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  • Wash the mangoes that you have bought from the shop after cutting. Spread it on a cloth and allow it to dry completely.

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  • Heat the pan and turn off the flame. Now add the mustard and allow them to absorb the heat. Grind them to a fine powder.
  • In a glass bowl/vessel, add red chilli powder, salt, asafoetida, turmeric powder, mustard powder, fenugreek powder, channa dhal and mix well.
  • To the above mixture, add the oil and mix everything well.
  • Finally add the mangoes in small batches and coat them well.
  • If you are using steel vessel, then transfer them to a glass or ceramic container.
  • Allow them to rest for a week. Mix them daily.
  • Keep them in a clean, dry place.
  • After a week or ten days, transfer them to a glass bottle and refrigerate them.

Note:

Use a good quality chilli powder to get the red colour. I used normal chilli powder for spice and kashmiri chilli powder for the colour. So added them in equal quantities.

Dry the mangoes well for long shelf life.

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20

Seven cup cake

Seven cup cake is one of the easiest burfi/cake varieties that requires very less time to make. I learnt this sweet from my mom. She makes this sweet in two ways- one in this method and the other using khova. This sweet is always special to me because this is the first recipe I posted on my blog. Now I have moved to my own website and would like to post the same recipe as the first one. But this time it is with video.

INGREDIENTS

Grated coconut  –  1 cup

Besan flour – 1 cup

Ghee – 1 cup

Milk – 1 cup

Sugar – 2.5 to 3 cups

  • Take a heavy bottomed pan. Add Besan flour and roast it.
  • Add ghee, grated coconut,milk,sugar to it and mix it thorughly.
  • Stir it continuosly for every 5 mintutes. this step should be repeated until you see the bubbles .
  • Grease the tray with ghee and pour the mixture into it.
  • Make pieces and it is ready to serve.
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