Search Results for: label/Event Navrathri

Navrathri 2012 Event and A Give Away

Happy Navrathri to all my friends. Navrathri, 9 days of
Celebration, always brings a special joy to me. I love every part of
Navrathri,  Starting from Arranging the
Stairs(Golu Padi), Placing the dolls, Selecting a Theme for the Extra
Arrangement!!! Inviting Guest, thamboolam, SUNDAL!!!! Loads of Fun!!!! So the Preps begins a month before it actually starts!!! 

This Year, I have one more reason to Celebrate it Grand, My
Bala Kutty!!! This Navrathri, for the First Time, I am announcing my Own Event
and a Give away.

All you have to do is
  • Spread the Word, Share this Announcement in your FB Page.
  • Cook and Post a Recipe for Navrathri from 15th October 2012 – 31st October 2012. Link it to my Event Page
  • 1st Week of November i will pick up a Random Winner and they will be getting Either one of these 2 books and Mail you Wherever you are!!
    • Sanjeev Kapoor’s Vegetarian Magic   (or)
    • Tarla Dalal’s Easy Chinese Cooking

  • Recipe has to be Vegetarian, NO
  • Traditional Recipes you make in
    these days, Neivedhiyam, Vrat ka Khana, etc.
  • If you are posting it from archives, Then Re-post it with the Event Details and Link to the Event.
  • Use of Logo is appreciated. 

Hope you all Make it  a Success!!!


Navrathri 2012 Event Round-Up and Winner of the Give Away

Thanks a ton to everyone who made this Event and Give-Away a Big Success!!! Got 63 Awesome Entries!!!

Below is the Roundup of all the entries.

Now it is time to chose the Winner of the Give Away.  About 20 bloggers contributed their delicious delights to the Event. I have used Random Number Generator to Pick up the Winner, so, here it comes


And the Winner is Soumya of Nivedhanams Food Blog!!!! 
Congratulations Sowmya!!!!!!

Please do send me your Mailing Address within 2 days so i can send you the Cookbook!!! 

Once Again, Thanks a lot to all the bloggers for making this Event a Great Success!!!

Navrathri Golu Festival, How i celebrate my Navrathri & Neivedhiyams

Navrathri is next week,how many of you  are excited! One of the festivals I look forward with so much excitement is navrathri! The 9 days of pooja, meeting friends and foods excites me even more. I plan and visualize it months before,  what decoration to do? What theme shall we add this year, and I go for my navrathri shopping when I m in India both for new dolls and also for the thamboolam. 
Navarathri celebrations

I love to pick gifts for thamboolam, for my lady friends and also to all the kanya ponnu/girls who tag along their mommas. I take extra care and loads of love when I buy something for them, it might not be big or lavish but the love and thought behind it counts a lot. 

A small packet of pottu/bindi or a pair of hair bands make them squeal with joy. I gift even the boys who come, i keep a stash of stationery(2 pencils, a scale, eraser and sharpeners) for them. 

  • While buying gifts, please keep in mind the utility of it, try avoiding plastic, my manni/co-sister once gave a good  agarbathi/incense stick in thamboolam, something that is useful and will be gone in 10 days. 
  • I don’t gift blouse pieces with my thamboolam, all of us know it gets circulated, instead I give small face towels which can be carried by kids with their lunch box or by adults for gym/workouts/walks. 

  • Once I got some magnetic holders that can be stuck to fridge or doors and can hold utilities like scissors, knives in kitchen or pencil/pen in living room. For the past 3 years I m getting SS utensils from Chennai.

Coming to poojai, I m sharing what i do in my home, hoping a few would find it useful.

  • First and foremost, don’t get tensed or overly worked up, you are celebrating Ambal, a supreme power, a lady who knows everything and also you. The shradhai with which you do the pooja matters more than how many hours you do it or what you offer for neivedhiyam.
Golu Celebrations
  • I chant Ashtothrams(Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswathi) and do the pooja,  usually around 9:30 -10 in the morning. 
  • I do neivedhiyam both morning and evening. Mornings I usually offer freshly cooked rice, paruppu and payasam, as it is made everyday during navrathri, even otherise rice and paruppu are staple at home.
  • If you dont have time to make the above, a glass of fresh milk in the morning is good as neivedhiyam. If offering boiled milk, add a tsp of sugar and offer.  Evenings are mostly Sundal, that too, just a cup of any lentil/legume .
  • God’s grace till date I have one or the other coming for thamboolam all days so I offer the neivedhiyam done in the evening to them and coffee/tea and there will be snacks if I m expecting lot of people. Usually vadai/salad/poha etc along with the Sundal and coffee.
How to celebrate navrathri
  • Many people club one or two places together for their evening golu visit, so don’t expect them to be eating a big bowl of sundal or a big cup of coffee at every place. Serve less, so they also don’t feel guilty about wasting food and you too don’t feel bad about them not finishing what you offered.
How to celebrate Navarathri, Golu
  • While there might be days where I have to goto another pooja in the evenings , those days I offer fruits and a mix of nuts with rock candy or milk with sugar.
  • If expecting a big crowd any of the days, I keep their thamboolam ready a day ahead, make a big batch of sarkaraipongal/payasam and sundal. So I don’t spend much time in the kitchen, and enjoy the golu with my friends. 
  • Golu/navrathri is all about enjoying the goddess at home, do pooja and chant naamas everyday, be positive all days, do poojai/neivedhiyam with shraddhai and loads of love, for that is what will be measured by her not, what you offer and in what you offer !! Have fun ladies, for it is your 9 days!!

Navrathri Mixed Rice Neivedhiyams

Varalakshmi Vratham & Navrathri Kalasam Jodanai/Decoration and Pooja

People who are new to this tradition might find the heading pretty weird, what is kalasam and what do jodanai mean. Kalasam is the symbolic representation of the God/Goddess for whom we perform the pooja. Every big pooja/function in Hindu tradition involves the use of Kalasam.  The Kalasa/Kalasam/Purna-Kalasha is considered a symbol of abundance and “source of life” in the Vedas. The Kalasha is believed to contain amrita, the elixir of life, and thus is viewed as a symbol of abundance, wisdom, and immortality. It is believed to be a symbol of auspiciousness  and thus worshiped in all Hindu festivities and functions from childbirth, marriage, house-warming, and many more festivities which cannot be included in one single post. 
As a Hindu, Navrathri and Varalakshmi pooja are two most important festival to me, for which i wait very eagerly. Reason is,  i personally get to decorate this kalasam/Kalash. The Woman of the house-hold does the decoration/jodanai of the Kalasam. If it is a joint-family, elders in the family will take incharge and rest will take care of other preparations for the pooja.
Now coming to the Decoration, every house-hold has different traditions and rituals when it comes to the jodanai/decoration, As a Tambrahm (Tamil Brahmin), i m listing the way i do.
For us, the kalasam is important for both varalakshmi vratham and navarathi. I do the same way for navarathi too,except for the mango leaves and the thazhampoo/Fragrant screw pine flower, which we don’t use during navrathri, as they might dry out during the 9 day festivity.
So, now let us begin. First Varalakshmi Vratham after marriage has to be initiated by your Mother-in-law or any elder in your family, after which you can do the pooja on your own from next year. . By initiation i mean, your Mugam/Goddess face will be kept along with your Mother-in-law’s  kalasam. 
Previous day to the pooja, wash, clean and wipe all the pooja vessels. I use a silver pot for the kalasam, which is always kept neatly wrapped in a piece of cloth, along with the Mugam. So, it will be ready to use whenever taken out. But then, i wash  it with little water and soap, and wipe it well to my satisfaction. Some, like my mom, till date use only Brass pot for the kalasam, it depends on their tradition.
The Kalasam for the Varalakshmi pooja is decorated the previous night. It is usually done as the last job, finishing all house-hold work. First let us prepare the place where you are going to place the kalasam and do the pooja.
Neatly sweep and mop the place. Do Ezhakolam/Kolam using rice flour/rangoli using wet rice flour. the corners of the pooja place are decorated with borders and the center where the kalasam is placed is decorated with a padi kolam. Do this a bit early, since it has to dry before placing the other decorations.
We make a setup of mandapam/small temple like decoration. i used my coffee table and placed a plain wooden plank for doing kolams and used my kid’s  old study table as mandapam.
The corners of the mandapam are adorned with Vazhaikannu/Baby Banana tree (hope the english translation is correct) and a thoranam of mango leaves,symbolising auspiciousness/Subham.
Next the top of the mandapam ,is decorated with a silk cloth, i use my silk saree to cover it. Now the Temple setup is ready.  Now let us start decorating the main kalasam.
Both varalakshmi vratham and navarthi i  use the Goddess mugam/Face in silver. These days, the mugam/face comes with all the decoration and jewelry,so needs very little touch-ups. 
The List of things to be put inside the kalasam, Keep them ready before starting the decoration.
Rice ( 2 heaped cups)
5 dried dates/ i used normal dates, since i couldn’t get any dried ones.
5 Vetrilaai/Betel leaves
5 betel nut
Vermillion and turmeric (small boxes)
Kaatholai karugamani
one ripe lemon
5 nos 1 re coins/silver coins
The Silver pot is neatly wiped and decorated with Chandan/Sandalwood and vermilliion. Now the list given above is added one by one. 
First the rice, then dried dates, raisins, coins, betel leaves, vermillion and turmeric, lemon, and  kaatholai karugamnai, which is very important.
After all this, a bunch of mango leaves is inserted in the center along with fresh thazhampoo/fragrant screwpine flower then a coconut smeared with turmeric is placed at the mouth of the pot. 
Care to buy a good coconut that will sit nicely on the pot(size matters). Adjust the mango leaves and the screwpine flower to come neatly around the coconut , so it looks like a blossoming flower with the coconut as the center.
The pot is dressed up like a lady by tying a pavadai/skirt around its neck. These days we get ready-made skirts to be used on the kalasam at Giri Trading or every famous shop selling traditional pooja materials.
The goddess face/mugam is inserted into the pot neck at the end of the coconut. Some even place the mugam at the kudumi/fibrous cone-shaped portion on the coconut. But according to our family traditions we do it at the neck of the kalasam.
Next the kalasam is decorated with jewels and fresh flowers. I use a little kajal to add more beauty to the eyes. I also have a pair of thandu maalai with i put at each side of the mugam and a ready-made pearl jadai/hair decoration, which i placed at the back of the kalasam. Now the entire setup would look just like a lady, sitting before you.
Place a plate full of rice on top of the mandapam which is decorated with a silk cloth, Carefully place the kalasam/ambal on it.
Next day morning, the pooja can either be done before raghu kaalam or after raaghu kalam. I usually do after, since i cannot take the tension of doing both the pooja and the cooking simultaneously.
Get ready with the Neivedhiyam first, which usually are Poorna kozhakattai, Raw-rice idly, Sundal, Rice and toor dal, Muparuppu vadai, sarkarai pongal or payasam.
Before starting the pooja, keep all the pooja requirements ready by your side. Keep the flowers for archanai/pooja ready in a big plate/thambalam. Mani/pooja bell, thoobakaal/plate for camphor, camphor cubes, incense sticks, match stick, ghee/oil for the lamps.
We normally Madisaar, while performing this pooja, a simple saree or a decent salwar kameez will also do. Place a big banana leaf inside the mandapam, where the kalasam would be placed with the pointed end facing left-side of the goddess. Place 2 cups of raw rice at the center and spread it as a circle, that is where you will be keeping the kalasam.
Now, put kolam/rangoli at the entrance, where you will be welcoming the goddess. Place a manai/palagai/palaga/wooden plank with kolam, carefully place the kalasam on that plank. Light a small diya/deepam/lamp. Make a small ganapthy/vinaygar using turmeric and do the vinayagar pooja and a small neivedhiyam to ganapathy,  a piece of jaggery/banana. After the thoopam and deepam. 
Chanting these Mantra,
Thirumalin maarbil vazhum Lakshmi
Sri Vaikundathai AAlum Lakshmi
Devargal Potrum Mahalakshmi
Thiruvarul Puriya Vara vedum
Carefully lift the goddess along with the palaka/plank and come inside the house,walk slowly and carefully place the goddess inside the mandapam on the banana leaf laid with rice. If you have a another lady or your own daughter you can help, ask them to hold the other end of the palaga and slowly walk together. since it was only me doing, i did all by myself. Always keep in mind it is a delicate kalasam, have bhaya and bhakthi together while entering with the kalasam.
Light lamps near the mandapam, The Pooja details is generally given in Vratha Pooja Book, but then i m giving a general outline. First vinayagar pooja is done. Then we do Sankalpam, chanting the day, year, thithi and naksthara and seeking goddess blessing for the whole family.
Next comes the kalasa pooja, where we invoke the almighty to come and adorn the kalasam and accept our pooja. Then Lakshmi Ashohram is chanted. After the Neivedhiyam/Offering, we perform pooja for the Sacred thread which will be worn on the right hand. 
This is how i perform the varalakshmi vratham pooja. The kalasam is kept like that till next day morning. Next day again we do a simple pooja and neivedhiya/offering. In the evening, after the lighting lamps and a simple offering,  we move the kalasam towards north symbolizing the end of the pooja and in the night before going to sleep the kalasam is kept inside the rice pot and next day morning, the decoration are removed, the rice is used for regular cooking and the coconut is used to make sweet/dessert and the lemon is juiced.


Vellam Puttu/Steamed Rice Flour Sweetened using Jaggery – Navrathri Neivedhiyam

Vella Puttu/Steamed Rice flour, sweetened using Jaggery. A Traditional Neivedhiyam/Offering  done during Navrathri  Friday. All these years, i have made only Sundals, Kheer/Payasam or other sweets these days. But this year, i learned how to make this from Amma and planned it for this friday. It is  a quick and easy to make recipe. Usually, they use home pounded Rice flour for this. But i have used Store-bought Rice Flour.
1/4 Cup Rice Flour
1/4 Cup Jaggery
2 tbsp Freshly grated Coconut
2 pinches of salt
1/4 cup water
2-3 pods of cardamom crushed
3 nos each Almonds and Cashews
1 tbsp raisins

  • Dry roast the Rice flour in a pan to just make it hot. This will take just 2 minutes. We don’t want the rice flour to change color.
  • Take the warm rice flour and spread it on a plate. Mix the salt in 2 tbsp of water, sprinkle little salt-water on the flour and mix well with your hands. The Water mixed flour should  hold if you hold it tightly, and collapse if you break it.
  • Take the Salt mixed flour in a bowl/steamer plate and steam cook it for 5-8 minutes. I used my Idly Steamer.
  • After the given time, take it out of the steamer, spread it on a flat plate. Heat Jaggery with 2 tbsp of water and prepare a syrup of single-string consistency.
  • Pour this Jaggery syrup on the steamed rice flour and mix well. Add grated coconut, cardamom and roasted nuts and raisins . Mix well and Serve.
There is a chance of the Jaggery syrup getting into ball-like consistency, in that case, the puttu might become little clumpy. Do not Worry, let the puttu rest for sometime, then take it in a mixer and pulse it 2-3 times and transfer it to a flat plate, the puttu will separate and become powdery.

Kuttu in Kitchen – His Cooking Event

Kuttu is my Son, 4 years old. Yes, 4 years old and he cooked something, well not for me but for himself. I posted these pics in my FB page, jokingly said i m going to send this to Priti’s Event and to my surprise, she asked me to send it. 
This Lovely scene happened on this weekend. Weekend Mornings are always Lazy!!!! My Son wakes up only by 10 or 10:30. But this time, he happened to wake up early and asked for some breakfast. I had some Dosa Batter in the fridge, I kept it out and was heating up the tava, he suddenly came with a stool and said “Amma, Kuttu Dosai Pannanum!!”. I didnt want to say No to his curiosity. I just stood besides me, jus to make to sure he doesnt get himself hurt!!! But, Mummy the ignorant, Son made 3 small cute dosas and had all it by himself. I m jus posting the pics and giving you the measurements for the dosa/idly batter.

3 cups Parboiled rice
1/2 cup urad dal
1 handful of raw rice
1 tsp Methi seeds


Soak Rice and Dal separately for 3-4 hrs. Methi seeds with the dal. Grind urad dal and methi first and then grind Rice to a smooth battter. Then mix them together.I normally use Mixie to Grind. If you are going to make dosa, you can just take the required batter and add salt and make it immdly. It has a good taste. Many, like my hubby doesnt like dosa’s to be sour. 

To make idlies, let the batter sit outside for a day. If you are grinding it in the morning, leave it out for the day, you will get good idlies for night.

Sending these cuties to Festive Food – His Cooking Event hosted @ Indian Khana

Meal in Minute-30 Event and a Giveaway

At-last i m in Chennai after two years, Vacation, finally!!! But it doesn’t look that way for me, both my kiddo’s were sick,and my younger one is suffering a very bad allergy!!! Poor fellow and poor mommy!!! With his First Birthday nearing next week, we are so busy with shopping, i couldn’t find time to sit and look my blog baby!!! Finally today, when everyone in the house is busy looking @ our Shopping Loot, i m here tending my Virtual baby!!!
I m happy to announce another Event in my Kitchen!!! Meal in Minute-30, Do you like the name? Courtesy: My Hubby.
Yes, with so many things happening around us, we find so less time to cook something healthy and delicious too. So, let’s make something healthy and filling in 30 minutes. What do you get to cook something in 30 minutes? Yes, you have a Prize too!!! Not one, but two!!! 2 Lucky Winners will get Rs.500 Flipkart Vouchers and a Surprise Gift for one from me.
The 2 vouchers are by CupoNation is a publishing website which offers a variety of home and kitchen related discount coupons for a number of leading online retailers in India like flipkart, snapdeal, homeshop18 and many more. 

What you have to do to get one of these Vouchers
  1. Cook any Vegetarian Meal in 30 minutes, No Eggs Allowed. The Cooking time of the Dish should be 30 minutes apart from the Preps, like vegetable cutting, Preparing the Ingredients like Soaking, fermenting etc.
  2. Use the linky tool below to add your entries.While Sending the recipe to the Event, Mention that it is for the Recipe Contest happening @ Enveetu Kitchen by CupoNation. No Archived Entries please.
  3. Do Check the RaffleCopter Window to qualify for the giveaway. 
  4. The Contest runs till August 5th 2013. By August 10th, i will post the roundup and pick the winners through
  5. Non-Bloggers too are welcome to send in your entries, Mail me your entries to with your Name, E-mail and Name of the Dish and a Photo of the dish.
  6. Use of Logo is Optional, But would help to spread the word about the event, More the Merrier

So, Lets get creative and cook delicious in 30 minutes. 

Potato Capsicum Curry – His Cooking Event

Blessed are those Wives, Whose Husband Knows Cooking and also does it sometimes. A heartfelt appreciation to Priti for hosting an Event like this, to showcase our better half’s Talent!!!! My hubby is a Good Cook, not to exaggerate, all the 3 brothers cook very well. An art they adopted from there Father. My Father-in-law in his late sixties, Enjoys cooking even now. He makes Lip-smacking Puri-Aloo!!!! All the puri’s will be of the same size and we call the Aloo as Traditional Sydoji Lane Recipe!!!!! Sydoji Lane is the name of the street .where my in-law’s live 🙂

Now Coming to this Aloo-Capsicum Curry, this is one of the tasty recipe from my dear hubby. When i was pregnant with my Kuttu, he used to cook for me every weekend!!!! But the problem is, he is a Perfectionist!!!! VIRGO!!!!!  If he is cooking, he needs things his way and takes all the time on Earth, which makes my BP go sky-rocket. Now, that’s a lot of story there, let us get to the recipe.

5 medium Potatoes
2 medium Capsicum
2 medium Onions, thinly sliced
2 green chillies, finely Chopped
2 sprigs of curry leaves 
2 tsp Sambhar powder/Red Chilli Powder (He used Sambhar Powder)
Hing, turmeric each a pinch
Salt to taste

Wash, peel, cut the Potatoes to small cubes and Boil them until soft, but firm, Don’t over-boil it or else you will get mashed potatoes!!!!. Wash the capsicum and Chop them to thin Slices. Heat oil in a Wok, Splutter mustard seeds, add hing and turmeric, curry leaves, green chillies. When the chillies are slightly roasted, add Onions and sauté till translucent. Now add the boiled potatoes, add Sambhar powder/Red Chilli Powder, salt and Mix well. Let it cook in a slow flame for 10-15 minutes or till the rawness of the chilli/sambhar powder escapes. Then Add capsicum and Mix well and cook for 7-8 more minutes.Take care of capsicum, it shouldn’t be over-cooked. Take it off the flame garnish with some fresh coriander and Enjoy with Rice/Roti’s

Sending this to Festive Food- His Cooking Event hosted @ Indian Khana

Announcing Kids Delight Event December 2015

Hello Friends, i will be hosting December Edition of Kids Delight, an event by our very own  +Srivalli Jetti . The Theme for this edition is Party Pleasers- Finger Food. December is a month of festive spirit. Kids at home for Winter holidays, Meeting friends and family. Family reunions, Family dinners for Christmas and New Year and many more.  Why not, make something special for our lil masters, who make our lives so special!!! 

Some important guidelines to follow :

  1. Cook, fry, saute, bake or blend any Vegetarian Dish that fits the theme finger food for parties. Since this is a Vegetarian blog, i cannot accept meat entries. However, Eggs are allowed in a Baked Dish. 
  2. The dish prepared should have been accepted by your own kid, kid from your family or friends. Or even something that you loved eating as a kid. 
  3. Entries need to be posted in your blog between 15th December 2015 and 15th January 2016.
  4. Kindly link up this event announcement(this post link) and Valli’s Kid’s delight announcement.
  5. Bloggers kindly link your entries in the linky tool below.
  6. Non-bloggers are also invited to participate, kindly send in your entries along with the picture to

       An InLinkz Link-up