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Friday, September 30, 2011

Vijaya Dasami-2011

This year Vijaya Dasami is on 6.10.11, on the ninth day of Navrathri. Last year I posted about the way this festival is celebrated particularly in Andhra Pradesh, in Hyderabad region. As Mahalaxmi pujai is considered auspicious to be performed on Dasami day, I wish those who can get the leaves (Jembi) keep them ready and perform Ashtothara Archana to Goddess Laxmi on Vijaya Dasami day, and offer Rassaanam as prasadam for dasami for Annai, along with other festival menu. Muthaarathi is taken in the evening to Devi(Durga,laxmi and saraswathi) to mark the end of nine day pujai. Golu bommai can also be moved that night along with kalasam (if placed).
On Durgaashtami  day doopam in the evening is offered to Goddess. Normally Naar doopam (coconut coir) is preferred.
I am posting the picture of the 'Jembi' leaf and also the stem with which I performed pujai. I dont know the botanical name of the leaf. It is beleived that the Pandavas kept their weapons under this tree and Vijaya Dasami marks the  celebrations of the victory of the war. The leaf is considered as Gold and in Telengana they greet each other giving this leaf - calling it " Bangaram". This is really a rare leaf sold just a day before and as precious as Gold now. I am happy and proud to follow and know more about our tradition. I am sure by sharing we can unveil the in-depth meaning  behind every custom followed in our culture.

Let us all seek the blessings of all the three Ichaa sakthi, Kriyaa sakthi and Gyana sakthi aspects of Devine feminity and have all round success in our lives by praying nine days and also on Dasami day, Devi in Sivasakthi roopam symbolising the sakthi as  MAHASAKTHI.

Monday, September 26, 2011



Goddess Saraswathi is worshipped on the last three days of Navrathri. Saraswathi aavaahanam and pujai are done on the day when Moola star is there.This year on sixth day of navrathri on sapthami thithi Moola star starts from 9.45am (IST) and 10.30am(PST). So on that day both Lakshmi and saraswathi will be worshipped. The aayudha pujai and Navami pujai which is important in Navrathri is known as Saraswathi pujai which falls on Navami (5.10.11) this year. Books and Suhasini (sumangali) pujai takes priority on that day.
This custom is followed all over, even if the practice of Golu is not followed in some houses. Apart from the Kizhamai prasadam, venpongal, coconut rice and kalkandu rice are offered to please the Goddess on Saptami, Ashtami and Navami respectively. Kanya Pujai is given importance during all the nine days, and Goddess Durgai is worshipped in Nine forms as NAVA DURGA. So each day  is dedicated to an Avatar of MAHA DURGA and worshiped in her incarnation as Devi Shailaputri, Devi Brahmacharini,Devi Chandraghanta,Devi Kushmanda, Devi Skandamata, Devi Kaatyayani, Devi Kaalratri, Devi mahagauri, Devi Siddirathri.
The chart giving details for the third three days is given below.
 Click the link to view the chart.
The kolam for seventh, eighth and ninth day are given below:

Kizhamai prasadam  for Tuesday is pongal. Wednesday prasadam repeats as Kadamabha saadam. If we are preparing coconut rice on that day kadambha saadam can be omitted. The link for Venpongal is given below.
Venpongal for Tuesday

Sunday, September 25, 2011



Mahalakshmi is worshipped on all ten days during Navrathri including Dassera. But second three days in nine days are meant for lakshmi pujai. She will be pleased with simple offerings like Sakara saadam,Paal saadam and Kalkandu saadam. Lakshmi Ashtothara namam, Sahasranamam and Kanakadaara stotram and Sri Suktham can be chanted on these three days.  Lakshmi Dwadasa Nama stotram is considered good. The kolam for fourth, fifth and sixth days are given below. Prasadams pertaining to the Days are also posted. I like to share my views regarding some columns in the chart. I included Navagraha offerings in the chart duly following the Day from 1st day of navrathri. The Danyam for Budha is Payiru(moong) so we can make payiru sundal on day one. Like wise followed by other days. Where sundal cannot be prepared with the danyam for Sukra (on friday) and Sun(on sunday) I try to include Mochai (if available) on Friday in other form like in koottu or kuzambhu, and wheat rava in sakarai pongal in small measure (2 tsp)  on Sunday. After 7th day of the week, when wednesday repeats, make prasadam for Rahu and next day kethu. This year we need to offer kethu prasadam on dassera. Making other types of sundal  can always be done as per one's own desire and convenience because choice of sundal available as per navagraha are Payiru (moong), Karruppu kadalai, and Thuvarai  alone. Here is the link for the chart for second three days.

The chart giving details is given in a spread sheet. Click the link to view the chart.

Kolam for fourth,fifth and sixth days:




Prasadam based on Kizhamai is posted below. The link for the recipe is also given for puliyodarai and sakkara pongal. Paal saadam can be prepared by taking a laddle full of cooked rice and adding little sugar and cardamom powder and mashing well with half cup of  milk while the rice is still hot.



Friday, September 23, 2011

NAVRATHRI-2011 (from 28.09.11 to 6.09.11)

This year Navrathri Pujai starts on Wednesday, the 28th September. There is a practice to arrange Dolls/Golu Padi on Mahalaya Amavasya day, which is considered auspicious day. Also Kalasa Sthapana is done on that day, choseing an auspicious time. The Pujai starts from the next day (i.e.) Pradamai and continues till Navami.
Thus nine days pujai and it marks nine nights which is Navrathiri.The tenth day being Dasami is celebrated as Vijaya Dasami.
This year the first day of Navrathri falls on Wednesday  and the Star is Hastham. I prepared a fresh chart making changes in the last year's chart, as the prasadam offered on "day one" changes in regard to Kizhamai (day) , Star (Nakshatram) and Navagraham . Other details remain the same. I am posting the chart for first three days, to make it convenient for us to refer and keep things ready and be prepared for the puja by giving a glance on the 9 columns given against each day.
The Thithi and Nakshatram on a day is based on the Sun rise and its duration during the day  is determined seeing the almanac. Normally the puja is done in the morning, and the chances are for the thithi and star to last for very few minutes/hour, and also to overlap on a single day. This year this happens on fifth day of navrathiri.So Panchami and Sashti pujai and offering prasadam  pertaining to thithi, and star is to be done on 5th day itself. The reason is the Panchami thithi lasts for 8min from sunrise and Sashti thithi stars, which lasts upto 5.00am of next morning (3rd October),before sun rise. Since sashti thiti does not exist during sunrise Sapthami thithi puja and prasadam offering is to be done on 3rd October, followed by Ashtami and Navami on 4th and 5th october respectively.
This year the Nine night festival is reduced to 8 nights and Ninth day is Vijaya dasami.
My best wishes to all for a Happy Navrathiri and Devi pujai. Please see the following post.

NAVRATHRI - 2011 CHART FOR FIRST THREE DAYS (09/28/11 TO 09/30/11)

Kolam is a sign of invitation to welcome all into the home, a practice by Hindus in South India. It is also put in the Pujai room, a special place in a home or a place allotted in the kitchen where the deities are worshiped. 
The dolls arranged in Golu during Navrathri also marks the worship of Gods and Goddesses in different forms. It is practice to put Kolam in front of the steps arranged, and light lamps in the traditional Kuthuvillakku. Devi Navarathiri is all about worshiping the Goddess on all nine days in nine different ways. 
The first one is by putting Kolam daily using different material/item and design on each day. Even in the present days many follow this and I have seen  colour Kolam put every day  in a plate and kept in front of the golu padi.  I tried to take pictures of the kolams I put every year  in different ways as explained in the"Sakala Kaarya  Siddiyum Sri Devi Bagavadamum" book and am  posting below, along with the chart giving the details of puja methods, to the extent possible.

Pottu vaitha kolam using rice flour

Kolam for Day One

Kattam potta kolam using wheat flour
Kolam for Day Two

Flower depicted in kolam

Muthu/pearl  used to mark Day Three kolam

The chart for first three days (28.9.11 to 30.9.11) is given below as a spread sheet. Click the link below to view the chart with 10 columns.                                                            
I wish all the viewers Happy Navrathri celebrations and I  share the above with the hope that it be will of some help to those who are keen to perform the pujai. I like to  learn more ways to worship, and seek the blessings of Devi to accept all our prayers. The prasadams offered on first three days based on the kizhamai is posted here below. I followed Mrs. shanthi Krishnakumar's blog for Kadambha Sadam and Paal payasam. The lime rice recipe is also given in her Aadi 18- chitra annam post. I am giving her post's link for the same here below.

Kadambha Saadam on Wednesday

Ellumichai Saadam on Thursday

Paal payasam on Friday
Daily panagam is offered to Goddess, initially when morning puja is done. Later after preparing neivedhyam
 we can offer when mahaneivedhyam sloka is recited. Sundal can be offered in the evening when we light lamp again.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Chinese mixed vegetable schezwan curry

This is a very tasty and easy to prepare side dish. This goes very well with noodles, fried rice and even our Indian flat bread/naan/pulka. The Schezwan sauce is the main taste enhancer in this dish. It is healthier to use varieties of vegetables in one dish. I am sure when  this dish is served with noodles it will be an all time favourite among children. I made this as an accompaniment for corn rice. Here is the recipe.


Carrot1 no
Green bell pepper/capsicum1 no
Onion1 no
Paneer200 gm
Chinese cabbagefew
Green Beans10 no
Tomato1 no
Ginger1/2 tsp
Garlic1 tsp
Schezwan sauce3 tblsp
Cornflour4 tsp
Sugar1/2 tsp
White pepper1 tsp
Saltto taste


Make chunks of carrot, capsicum,onion and paneer. Shred cabbage and cut cauliflower to small florets.
Chop ginger and garlic. Julienne the beans. Cut tomato into semi-circular pieces.
Keep schezwan sauce ready. (Recipe for home made sauce is posted on 11th August in this blog).
Heat 2 teaspoon oil in a sauce pan, add chopped ginger and garlic and fry till garlic turns light brown.
Add the vegetables one after the other and stir. Add paneer and saute for some time.
Add schezwan sauce and mix. Pour 2 cups of hot water and cook.
The vegetables should be crisp and not fully cooked.
Add salt, sugar and white pepper.
Mix cornflour in a cup of cold water mix well and add to the cooked vegetables.
When it thickens and looks glazy remove.
Serve hot garnishing with cilantro.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Chana Kulcha/ Oil free spicy chana

There are varieties of dishes made with this legume. It is one of the best side dishes for flat Indian bread/roti.  The brown skinned chickpea/karuppu kadalai  is one type.The other one commonly used in salads and seen in canned products are the "kabuli chana" type. Garabanzos/kabuli chena have a delicious nutlike taste and texture that is buttery, yet somewhat starchy and pasty. These are noted ingredient in many Middle eastern and Indian dishes such as hummus,falafels and curries.
The garbanzo/ kabuli chena also known as chicpeas has many health benifts. Even though legumes are known for  their fibre, the fibre in garbanzo can be more helpful for supporting digestive tract function. Not only because of  its high  fibre content (12.5  grams per cup which is 50% of daily value) atleast 2/3 of  fibre in it is insoluable. This helps our colon cells to stay  optimally active and healthy. They also provide concentrated source of protein and are remarkable in terms of their antioxidant composition. Above all it gives satisfaction of full feeling when consumed, and is effective in eliminating our sense of hunger and appetite.
Garbanzo beans should be soaked for at least 4 hours.  Two to three cups water per cup is required. Overnight soaking is also good and is not harmful. Soaking helps to reduce the cooking time. It can be used by cooking in pressure cooker or on stove top.
The nutlike taste of this cooked legume helps when added in salads and soups.When a gravy consistency is required for side dish to go with dry pulkas/flat bread some more ingredients are added and it is always the masalas in Indian preparations. I keep preparing the quick chana masala.  But the dish which I tried after seeing the Urdu cookery show has an unique method and taste. The foremost one to mention is that, there is absolutely no use of oil in its preparation. Though the list of ingredients seem to be long ,the way they are  used and its quick preparation and final presentation like a CHAT item makes it unique. All you need is to soak the chana , assemble the ingredients, and cook.Beleive me it is so yummy.Though the title for this dish is chana kulcha, it was best as a chat item, even without kulcha. When I came to know its health benefits I decided to use garbanzo frequently. And I will  make this dish very often as there is no use of oil.. Thanks to the show "Aks-e- rasoi.


Garbanzo beans/Chicpeas 1 ½ cup
Water3 ½ cup
Bay leaf/taj patha1 no
Big brown elachi/cardamom1 no
Green elachi/cardamom3 no
Cloves/lavang3 no
Cinnamon1 piece
Pepper5 grains
Tea bag1 no


Ginger and garlic paste1 tsp
Red chili powder1 tsp
Coriander powder1 tsp
Cumin powder 1/2 tsp
Pepper powder1/2 tsp
Chana masala powder1/2 tsp
Garam masala powder1/2 tsp
Green chili2 no
Coriander leaves2 tblsp
SaltTo taste


Finely chopped onion1 or 2 no
Finely cut tomato2 no
Finely cut green chillito taste
Coriander leaves 1/2 cup
Chat masalaTo taste
Tamarind chutneyTo taste

Soak Kabuli chana/garbanzo beans in water overnight.
Drain, wash and combine items given under "to pressure cook" and cook for 10 minutes and wait for 5 minutes and remove the cooked bean. 
Heat a pan and add the cooked bean and keep stirring slightly mashing the beans.
Add ginger garlic paste and few spoons of water and cook.
Add all the dry powders and salt. Mix well and keep stirring.
Add finely chopped green chillies and coriander leaves and mix.
Remove and garnish with finely cut tomatoes, chopped onion,green chili(optional) and coriander leaves.
Sprinkle chat masala, spread little  imli chutney/tamarinnd sauce and serve with kulchas. 
Spice bag can be used to put spices and tea bag while cooking the peas in pressure cooker.