Makara Sankranthi is celebrated for three days. The first day is Bhogi. North India is known as Lohri. The second day is Sankranthi which is dedicated to worshipping Surya (the Sun god), Varuna (the rain god) and Indra (king of gods). The third day is Kanuma which is dedicated to cleaning cows, farm animals, and farm equipment and also offering prayers to them for helping with a successful harvest season. Sweets called nuvvula laddu, sakinalu, ‘ariselu’ and ‘bobattlu’ are made and offered to family and extended families. Pongali made of fresh harvest rice and jaggery is made. For this reason, in Tamilnadu, it is called Pongal. Since Sankranti falls in winter, consuming sesame seeds mixed in jaggery is beneficial to keep the body warm. Eating sesame and jaggery is believed to take away the bad elements of the minds and hearts of people. Sesame helps retain the Shakti (Divine Energy) and Chaitanya. It is known to eliminate sins if used in drinking water, bathing, applying til oil on the body and other uses. It is said sesame seeds have a greater ability to absorb and emit sattva (One of the three components in the universe, signified by purity and knowledge) frequencies.
Alu Gobi with Chinese Cauliflower: A Healthy Fusion
Alu Gobi, a common vegetarian dish cooked in a majority of Indian households. The aromatic flavorsome alu gobi served with fluffy chappatis or steamed rice is a comfort food relished by kids, adults and the elderly generation after generation in India. Yet, potato & cauliflower stir-fry is also enjoyed by other nations. A little digging into the history takes us 8000 years back to South America where potatoes originated.
The potatoes journeyed from South America through Spain, Italy and reached England only in the 19th Century. Every country blended the potatoes with their very own veggies, herbs & seasoning. In between that, the 14th Century traces references of “alu gobi curry” in the cuisines of the affluent Mughal Empire. Mughals were believers of Islam with Turkish ancestry and their non-vegetarian recipes are popular till date. A wide assortment of rich spices and dry fruits came to India along with them. Drawing inspiration from the Central Asian Alu Gobi recipe, the royal Mughal’s chef impressed the royalty with meatless vegetarian curry made with potatoes, cauliflower, and exotic spices! The conjugal of alu gobi and spices made its mark in Indian vegetarian recipes. It has survived through years while the hands cooking them and mouths enjoying the lovely dish have changed.
This festive season, enjoy low-carb and low-sugar Indian food without sacrificing genuine Indian taste. Those looking for low-carb, low-sugar recipes will find a haven here. Whether it is Diwali, Navratri, Dasara, Sankranthi or Rakhi, this sensational laddu will impress everyone.
Tiny Seed. Big flavor. That’s amaranth.
Originally a staple of the Aztec diet, amaranth soon made its way to Asia where its taste, texture, and nutrition earned it the title of “king seed.” The leaves, flowers, and seeds of all three are edible. When you add amaranth in amounts up to 25% of total flour used in gluten-free recipes you improve the nutritional value, the taste and texture of gluten-free baked goods. Additionally, amaranth is an exceptional thickener for the roux, white sauces, soups, and stews.
Amaranth or rajgira means “immortal” or “everlasting” in Greek because it contains more than three times the average amount of calcium and is also high in iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and it is the only grain which contains Vitamin C. Rajgira also has far more lysine, an essential amino acid, which the body does not manufacture, compared to other grains. Lysine is needed to metabolise fatty acids, absorb calcium, and is essential for strong, thick hair.
Amaranth is a less popular cousin of quinoa—another previously obscure, gluten-free supergrain favored by the ancient Incas. These crops have similar nutritional profiles, but amaranth is less likely to be found in your grocery store.
Amaranth is high in protein and important minerals, such as calcium, iron, potassium, and magnesium. But its most desirable nutritional feature is amino acids. Amaranth nearly matches the optimal amino acid ratios set by the World Health Organization.
In the state of Telangana, batukamma is the largest festival, celebrated in grand scale for 9 days. Goddess Gauri a reincarnation form of Laxmi is worshipped on the name of Bathukamma. Of course, no celebration in any culture would be complete without food. 5 or 9 types of naivedyam (prasadam) called saddulu is offered to Goddess Gouri on the 9th day. Shown in the picture are Nimmakaya saddi, Nuvvula saddi, karivepaaku saddi, Palli saddi, perugu saddi and minappappu saddi. For those who don’t know the Telugu language, they are lemon rice, sesame seeds rice, curry leaves rice, peanut rice, curd rice, and black gram (urad dal) rice.
In the state of Telangana, monsoon rains starting in June till October, bring plenty of water into the lakes, rivers. Many colorful flowers as gunugu, tanged, banti, chamanti bloom everywhere. Women arrange these flowers in a tower shape in a plate called batukamma. Groups of women sing and dance around the batukamma. The festival begins 9 days before the Saddula Bathukamma which falls two days before Dussera. Women sing and dance all 9 days and immerse batukamma them in near by lake or pond. On the last day of 9 days of batukamma, men bring huge quantities of flowers and women make huge batukkammas. Large group of women gather, sing and dance around batukamma.
అసలీ బతకమ్మ పండగ ఏమిటి?
బతుకమ్మ తెలంగానోల్లకు షానా పెద్ద పండగ. బతుకమ్మ పండగను తొమ్మిది రోజులు జేస్తరు. దసరాకు రెందు దినాల ముందస్తది. వర్షా కాలంలో వర్షాలు పడ్డంక రోడ్డెమ్మటి తంగేడు పూలు, గునుగు పూలు బాగా పెరగ బడతయి. గవాటితోని బతుకమ్మ ని పెద్దగ పేరుస్తరు. పసుపు తోని గౌరమ్మ ని జేషి దాని పైన బెడ్తరు.
In the state of Telangana, monsoon rains starting in June till October, bring plenty of water into the lakes, rivers. Many colorful flowers as gunugu, tanged, banti, chamanti bloom everywhere. Women arrange these floweres in a tower shape in a plate called batukamma. Groups of women sing and dance around the batukamma. The festival begins 9 days before the Saddula Bathukamma which falls two days before Dassera. Women sing and dance all 9 days and immerse batukamma them in near by lake or pond. On the last day of 9 days of batukamma, men bring huge quantities of flowers and women make huge batukkammas. Large group of women gather, sing and dance around batukamma.
This is the time of the year 9 sacred days are celebrated in large scale. Though they are called different names, celebrated differently, worshipping avatars of Durga is common. Navratri, Mysuru Dasara, Batukamma, Kullu Dussehra, Durga Puja, Nadahabba etc. This high-spirit festival is celebrated in many different ways. Some fast, some feast, some jagaran (not sleeping thru the night), some dance every night, some worship with high devotion.
Bathukamma is a unique flower festival celebrated in the state of Telangana, India. It is a highly enthusiastic festival, especially for women. It represents Telangana’s culture. Bathukamma is a beautiful round flower arrangement with colorful seasonal flowers stacked in the shape of temple gopuram. The arrangement signifies the Gouri goddess Bathukamma. Flowers used to make Batukamma are Bera, Thangedu, Thamara, Gunugu, Banthi, Gummadi, Kanakambaram, Mandhara, and Ramabanam. Women arrange floral batukammas beyond their creativity. Women dress up in their best, expensive pure silk sarees, wear jewelry. In the evening, all women carry plates of flowers to a nearby lake, arrange all in a circular shape. They dance around batukammas clapping rhythmically with traditional songs praising the goddess and to take birth again.
If you have never made Patra at home, you missed a most delicious, nutritious snack. More than store-bought frozen Patra, homemade Patra is soft, fresh, flavorful, and most importantly, nutritious. You will be so proud of yourself, making a recipe with so many benefits at home. Colocasia leaves are still so fresh after cooking Patra. Yet they retain a great texture to hit the spot every time. When you make at home, you can customize according to your taste buds, with organic, non-organic ingredients. That’s a bonus. Many of us know Patra as a Gujarati dish. Did you know, it is equally common in Karnataka? Though the base recipe is same, ingredients are different in Gujarati and Karnataka versions. Some of you probably expected Karnataka version has coconut. Yes, you are right. Every South Indian loves coconut. We look for ways to add coconut to every dish. Karnataka version is a bit spicy too. Karnataka version called as Pathrode or Patra vada.
Even if you’re a purist who only eats whole foods, you still have those craving moments to have a satisfying snack. It is certainly hard to find a satisfying snack which is healthy, low in calories, low in sugars and carbs which always hits the spot. For those who want to be on a low-calorie diet or on a healthy diet, store-bought chewda is not an option. Don’t lose hope, you can make a modified version of chewda, which gives the same satisfaction, yet a healthy one without unhealthy oils, unknown ingredients, and chemicals. Chewda is a popular Indian snack, which is a mixture of a variety of crunchy snacks. Chewda can be compared to Chex mix, that many westerners know.