The day is dry and bright. The people are preparing for an auspicious day. The day Lord Ganesha gives strength to overcome the obstacles in our lives, makes us stronger. The prayers have listened, all mighty Ganesha will lead us along the path of righteousness. All of Mumbai, indeed all of India, is full to bursting with anticipation. This can only mean one thing: Ganapathi Bappa Moria. Ganesh Chaturthi is also known as ‘Vinayaka Chaturthi’ or ‘Vinayaka Chavithi’ is celebrated by Hindus around the world as the birthday of Lord Ganesha. With such a hype, you’d expect gatherings, puja, food, decorations… and you will not be disappointed! The spirit goes on for a whole 10 days. One has to experience the high energy Ganesh Chaturthi for whole 10 days from puja on day 1 till procession on the on the 10th day of Ganesh Chaturthi. It is said that the high spirited Ganesh Chaturthi procession started as early as 1894.
Kudumulu or Undrallu are steamed sweet rice balls made of rice flour, Jaggery, typically made Andhra Pradesh state in India. They offered to Lord Ganesha on the festival of Ganesh Chaturthi (Vinayaka Chavithi). They are also called bellam kudumulu, teepi kudumulu, bellam undrallu. Fresh sweet potato crop comes in fall, though they are available throughout the year. Perfect time for Ganesh Chaturthi, Navaratri, and Diwali. Ganesh Chaturthi is also a festival of food. Lord Ganesh is said to be a foodie. His favorites varieties of Prasad are modak, kheer, Puran Poli, undrallu, kudumulu, and list goes on. Foodies wait for mouth-watering food made of grated jaggery, coconuts, and dry fruits on Ganesh Chaturthi.
Ganesh Chaturthi is high spirit and enthusiastic celebration. Preparations start days before the festival. Preparations to make Ganesh idol to buying new clothes and planning for food etc. Ganesh Chaturthi is also known as ‘Vinayaka Chaturthi’ or ‘Vinayaka Chavithi’.
Rasam is a South Indian dish served commonly with white rice. The term “rasam” literally means soup or juice in Tamil, while in Sanskrit it means “the essential products of digestion”. An authentic rasam would have a sour base prepared using tamarind. I may include lentils and vegetables. Often wise home cooks use the excess water from cooked dal. Cooked dal is used for dal or sambar. Flavorful, nutritious The spices of rasam blend in smoothly to create a flavorsome and aromatic spicy soup. This light savory papaya rasam fits appropriately as a low carb meal with brown rice or quinoa.
Around the world, almost 10% folks relish a wide assortment of Colocasia as a staple food. The leaves of this plant are quite popular while Colacasia stems are enjoyed by a very limited group of people. So please go ahead and relish this low carb, highly nutritious delicacy. This vegan Colacasia Stem Saute is a gluten-free recipe. It is a delicious Keto Indian curry benefiting the body tremendously for being highly fibrous and packed with nutrition.
Colocasia: How to Recognize it by Form and Name?
Colocasia plants also known as Elephant-ear plants because of their large leaves shaped like those of elephant’s ears. Unlike Alocasia, Colocasia leaves droop downwards.
Colocasia is called by a host of names in different Indian languages such as Taro, Arvi (Hindi name); Kachu (Bengali); Aaloo (Marathi); Sempu (Tamil); Chempu (Malayalam); Kesavedantu (Kannada); Pan (Manipuri) etc.
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.
The word ‘Sankranti’ means the movement of the sun into Capricorn. On Makar Sankranti, the sun enters new zodiac-sign of Capricorn or Makara. Most Hindu festivals are based on the lunar calendar, making the dates of festivals change every year. But Makar Sankranti is a festival which falls on the same day every year as it follows the solar calendar. As Makar Sankranti is one of the oldest solstice festivals and falls on the equinox, day and night on this day are believed to be equally long. Post the festival, it is officially the beginning of spring. Indian summer and the days become longer, and nights shorter.
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 offering prayers to them for helping with a successful harvest season.
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.
Bandaru Laddu is also known as Thokudu Laddu – one of Andhra’s most favorite sweet. They are originated in a place called “Machilipatnam” in the state of Andhra Pradesh, India. The so-called modern day Machilipatnam used to be called “Bandaru”. Hence the name Bandaru Laddu. These laddus made by pounding the fried besan murukus. In the Telugu language which is spoken in the state of Andhra Pradesh Pounding is called tokkudu. Hence the name Tokkudu Laddu. Bandaru laddu, with its striking and smooth velvety texture melt right in your mouth.
Like most cultural celebrations, food forms a major part of the Diwali experience. Carts sell sweet and spicy food on nearly every street throughout the festival, and families and friends watch the festivities or relax afterwards over sweets. Food is also a major part of the Indian identity. Children grow up at their mothers’ apron strings, watching as families come together to cook and chat. As adults, they return to bring the family recipes to life and catch up on everything that’s happened between visits. To cook Indian food is a window into what it is to be Indian, and I intend to give each of my readers that authentic experience.
Gond, also known as Gum arabic, acacia gum, acacia, is a natural gum collected from different species of the acacia tree. Acacia is most known for its medicinal values. It is widely used in treating various conditions. Acacia has a long list of benefits. With so many benefits, let’s make a satisfying laddu with it. Though it is called gum, it doesn’t stick to teeth. It is a bit sticky, but is known to reduce plaque and is used to treat gingivitis. Along with health benefits, gond has perfect crunchy texture, that it is a great ingredient to make laddus. Though Acacia gum odorless, bland, its brittle texture makes laddu unique. What a great way to celebrate Diwali.
Rava Laddu is south India’s common sweet made for festivals, weddings, gatherings, pujas. Laddu can be compared to bliss balls, truffles known to the western world. To be more precise, Rava laddu is no-bake, no chocolate bliss balls or no-bake, no chocolate truffles. Rava aka Semolina and coconut laddu is all-natural and high-quality and tasty dessert you can ever have. It is perishable. Will stay fresh for 3-4 weeks. Freshness can be extended by refrigerating and also by not using milk. Don’t settle down with store-bought low-quality sweets. Making your own laddu is easier than you think. Satisfy your sweet tooth with homemade, natural, high-quality sweets.