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Monthly Archives: October 2008

Mysore Pak

Two of my fondest memories of Deepavali are the smell of fresh, hot-off-the-stove mysore pak within the house and the fumes from firecrackers outside. My mom would spend the day before Deepavali in making various kinds of sweets and savories that culminated in dinner(the high point) – poori-masal – poori with potato masala, one of the most popular dishes in South India. She always started with Mysore Pak – a simple sweet, containing just 3 ingredients yet complicated in its own way and hence, difficult to master. It also happens to be one of my favorite sweets (well, I am a self-confessed sweet-o-phile 🙂 ), so I try to follow my mom’s tradition and make mysore pak first and stop right there, as well – he he!

This year, M (who comments here regularly) and I decided to get together to make the Deepavali bhakshanam(snacks). M’s mom (who again is a regular reader / commentator of this blog) had already made yummy omapodi (thin sev flavored with ajwain) and “Deepavali marunthu”, literally means “Deepavali medicine”, which is quite unique to Deepavali. Made of medicinal elements like pepper and ginger, a small bit of this marunthu goes a long way in healing indigestion after gorging during the festival.

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Posted by on October 28, 2008 in Cooking, Desi, Traditional cooking

 

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Ganga, Yamuna, Saraswathi

Mid-2007, I went on a trip, well not just a trip but a holy trail of sorts starting from Varanasi (Kasi) – the holiest of holy places for a Hindu -> Ayodhya – the birthplace of Lord Rama -> Naimisharanya – a small hamlet on the banks of Gomathi river where Srimad Bhagavatam was spoken by Sage Suta to several other rishis and the abode of many sages -> Allahabad land of triveni sangamam -> Chitrakoot – the land o the banks of River Mandakini where Lord Rama is said to have spent the majority of his vanavas (the 14 years of forest exile) and back to Varanasi (Kasi).

Our first stop from Varanasi was Ayodhya; en route we made a quick halt at Nandigram, the village from where Bharata ruled Ayodhya when Rama was in exile:

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Posted by on October 24, 2008 in Travel

 

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Deepavali

Deepavali or Diwali, as the festival is popularly called, literally means “a row of lights”. It is usually celebrated on the 14th day after full-moon/new-moon day in the tamil month of Aipasi (or Ashwina in Sanskrit).

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Posted by on October 23, 2008 in Pandigai (Festival)

 

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Maida Burfi

All those who read the comment entries on Golu would know that I made a maida (all-purpose flour) sweet for Navaratri. I am calling it “a maida sweet” cos I am not sure what I should call it 🙂 I started out making maida cake, and what I ended up with was not firm like a cake or runny like a halwa. Left with a sweet that tasted awesome (if I may say so) but was shapeless, I decide to roll them into balls and press them down like a peda.

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Posted by on October 20, 2008 in Cooking, Desi

 

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Navaratri

Navaratri is the festival of nine nights (well, ten if you include the last day of dasami pooja) celebrated in different parts of India in varying traditions. Durga Pooja in the East, Dussehra in the North and Golu in South are some of the forms in which these nine days are celebrated. Whatever the form may be, these 9 days promote Devi (Goddess) worship and the underlying message is the victory of good over evil.

Navaratri commences on the day-after Mahalaya Amavasya and celebrated for the next nine nights, culminating on Vijayadasami (literally means victorious tenth day). The tenth and final day is considered auspicious, especially for new beginnings. Hence, it is customary to start a new business or enroll in a new class or even school, on this day.

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Posted by on October 15, 2008 in Pandigai (Festival)

 

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