Sunday, August 22, 2010

Kandi Podi /GunPowder

This is one of my all time favourite powders. Very easy to prepare and when we are running short of any curry or dal at home when can just have this with hot rice and a dollop of ghee/oil. In my childhood days, my mother used to prepare this and mix it with rice and used to give it to us. Uh...Umm. Just thinking of that taste and going back to childhood memories for a while makes me so happy. In Andhra, we call it as “Kandi Podi” /Gun powder, in some other places it is called as Parrupu podi .growing up older day by day I forgot the recipe of how to prepare this powder and started searching over the internet and there are so many variations in it, so finally I found my taste at one destination and tried and really turned out very well and got the same taste as my mom’s. Thanks to Sailu for sharing.  Here goes the recipe:
Recipe adapted from: Sailu’s (with a slight variation)

·  Kandi pappu/tuvar dal/toor dal – 1 small cup
·  Senaga pappu/bengal gram/channa dal – 1 small cup
·  Cumin seeds- 1 1/2 tsp
·   Dried red chillies – 8 (adjust to your spice level)
·  Asafoetida/hing /Inguva – 1 tsp
·  Salt to taste

·Heat a heavy bottomed vessel and add both the dals and slowly, dry roast on low to  medium heat stirring constantly till they turn red. Don’t burn them. Remove from pan and keep aside.
·In the same vessel, add the cumin seeds and toss them on medium heat for 2-3 minutes add the dry red chillies and stir fry for 3-4 mts. Remove from pan and keep aside and let them cool.
·  Once cool, grind all the ingredients to a slightly coarse or a rough texture.
· Add salt to taste and asafoetida and combine. Store in an air-tight container.
· Serve hot with white steamed rice and a dollop of ghee.

Kandi Podi 

Friday, August 20, 2010

Varalakshmi Pooja - 2010

Source : and other internet sources.
Vararalakshmi Vratam or VaraLaxmi Puja or Varmahalakshmi Vratham, is an important pooja observed in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and some places of Maharashtra and Orissa. Varlakshmi Vratham 2010 or Var Mahalaxmi puja 2010 date is August 20. VarLaxmi Vratam is observed on 2nd Friday during the Shravana masam. Because of any reasons, one who could not able to perform the Vratha on second Friday can observe the Var Laxmi Vrata on any Friday in Shravan maas. Whoever missed to perform the Varalakshmi vrata on August 20, can perform Varlaxmi Vrata on August 27 or September 3 in 2010.
A Lakshmi Homa is performed on Varalakshmi Vratham at Amma Sri Karunamayi's ashram in Andhra Pradesh
Significance and Importance of Varalakshmi Vratam – Vara Laxmi Vratha Mahatmya:
Lakshmi is the Goddess of wealth and prosperity. Worshipping Goddess Laxmi during Shravan month is highly auspicious because the whole month is dedicated to the divine couple, Lord Vishnu and Goddess Laxmi. Friday is the most auspicious day for Laxmi Devi. Hence, worshipping Lakshmi Devi on Shravan Shukravar is highly meritorious.
Ashtalakshmi showers their blessings on Vara Laxmi Vratha performers:
As the eight forces of the world, known as Ashta Lakshmi – primeval force (Aadi Laxmi), wealth (Dhana Lakshmi), courage (Dhairya Laxmi or Veera Lakshmi), wisdom (Vidhya Laksmi), Children or family development (Santana Laxmi), success (Viajaya Lakshmi), food (Dhanya Laxmi) and strength (Gaja Lakshmi) are dedicated to Goddess Laksmi. Puranas described that observing Vara Laksmi Vratham would bless a woman with all eight energies for life.
For complete vratam and other pooja material , you can find in :
Wishing all my friends ,family members and people who visit my blog  : a Happy Varalakshmi Pooja . 
Take Care

Friday, August 13, 2010

Strawberry Banana Pie

Uh.mmmm !!! It’s So yummy ,tasty ……can’t resist my sweet tooth ,want to have one more bite. .. ha.. It is really looking so yummy . It is one of the Strawberry and Banana Pie that I am telling you about.

While we are moving from California to Atlanta, one of neighbours who used to stay beside my home , she gave this as a small remembrance token. It is really so yummy…and me and R have completed half of the Pie in nothing less than half an hour. Next day I shared the pie to my dearest friends N and P .So over all, we all gave a big publicity to that Pie shop (Polly’s Pie). Just thought of sharing with you all the pie…Have a look at it…

See the fresh strawberries.......... looks so yummy..........uhmmmmmm..

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Shravana masam

Hi Friends,

         After a little long gap , settled in Atlanta in a new home , i am back to blogging , Since from yesterday (as per atlanta calender) Shravana masam begins for us. This was my 2nd year after marriage to perform the mangala gauri pooja, Yesterday , was such a day i am too busy in performing pooja and running here and there  to get the things done on time for R.

Taking this opportunity , i thought of sharing some information regarding the shravana masam and teh gauri pooja  and also would like share my pooja photos too...

Source adapted from : hindu pad and other internet sources.

Shravana Masam or Shravan month or Shravana masam, also known as Sawan mahina, is very auspicious Hindu month. Each and everyday during the Shravana Mas has some significance. In 2010, Shravan month begins on 26th July and ends on 24th August in North Indian Hindi calendars. In Marathi, Gujarati, Kannada and Telugu Panchangam, Shravan mahina starts on 11th August and ends on 8th September.
Mangala Gouri Vratam is done by newly married ladies on Tuesdays in Sravana Masam. Normally newly married ladies do it for 5 years. At the end, there will some Udyapan mentioned in the story, that needs to be performed. The unique aspect in this vratam is getting the Kaajal on the steel spatula while reading/listening the story. The blouse pieces used in the Alankar is to be folded in a triangle shape. The Procedure of doing the Vratam depends on your family's traditions. Hence please speak to the elders in the family too.

Mangala Gouri Puja or Mangal Gowri Vratam, also known as Shravan Mangalvar Vrat, is the most observed austerity falls on Mangalvar in Shravan month (August). Mangala Gowri vrata is dedicated to Goddess Mangala Gauri who is also known as Goddess Parvathi. Mangala Gouri Vratam 2010 dates are – 17 August, 24 August, 31 August, and 7 September in 2010 as per Telugu, Kannada, Marathi and Gujarati calendars. Mangal Gauri Vrat in 2010 dates in Hindi Hindu lunar calendar followed in North Indian states such as Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Uttaranchal, etc. are – 27 July, 3 August, 10 August, 17 August, and 24 August. In 2010, as per North Indian calendars there are 5 Mangalvar in Shravan month and 4 Mangalvar in calendars of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.


Goddess Gauri is one of the manifestations of Goddess Parvati. She is the divine energy, Mother Goddess. She is considered as a perfect wife for her husband, Lord Shiva. After the conclusion of her ferocious form Goddess Kali (the black Goddess, man-eating manifestation of Goddess Parvati), observed a severe penance to get rid of her black complexion. And she returned as Goddess Gowri, the very pretty young woman with a golden complexion. Goddess Gowri is the most acceptable consort of Lord Shiva.
Being a princess Goddess Gowri accepted her ascetic husband and turned herself into her husband’s way. Goddess Gowri is a clear representation of purity and austerity. She is the Kanya (Kumari or unmarried girl) who has performed severe tapas (penance) to marry Lord Shiva.

 Soon will post the pictures taken at my home .

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Palakura Ava Pulusu /Spinach stew

Normally, this stew is made with bachali Kura (in Telugu), but for a change I made it with palak. This stew tastes good with mudda pappu/ simple toor dal and a dollop of ghee in hot white rice. Just by thinking of it, hu… it’s so yummy and mouths watering … you too give a try. Here goes the recipe…

  • Bottle gourd – 1 small size (cut into cubes)
  • Okra /Ladies finger – 4 (cut into 2” length)
  • Green chillies – 3
  • Salt as per taste
  • Cilantro leaves – few handfuls (fresh)
  • Tamarind pulp – goose berry size / 1 tbsp (all measurements are as per US Standard measuring spoons)
  • Spinach – 1 bunch (finely chopped and washed)
  • Red chilli powder – 1 tbsp
  • Rice flour – 1 tbsp
  • Mustard seed powder / Rai powder – 1 tbsp

  • Menthulu /fenugreek seeds – 1tsp
  • Avalu/Rai seeds – 1 tsp
  • Jeera – 1 tsp
  • Hing – 1 tsp
  • Red chillies – 1 or 2

  • Wash the spinach leaves and finely chopped them and keep it aside.
  • Take all the chopped vegetables in a vessel along with spinach leaves and boil them by adding sufficient water, salt and turmeric.
  • Soak the tamarind in hot water for 5 min, and extract the pulp of it.
  • Take a bowl and add red chillies powder, rice flour and rai powder mix them thoroughly by adding very little water so as to form the mixture into a paste. .
  • Once all the vegetables and spinach are well cooked and become tender soft, add the above rai mixture to the cooked vegetables, add the extracted tamarind pulp also and let them all boil together for 5 – 7 minutes.
  • Heat a pan with some oil in it and add all the seasoning items and let them pop up and once they splutter, add to the above stew.
  • Palak (spinach) Ava pulusu is ready to be served hot.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Vegetarian Pasta

Hi Friends, after a short break I am back here with a Italian dish “Pasta” which is very famous word. In my home almost in every week one night menu should be Pasta. Of course, after marriage and after coming to US only I came to know about this.So let us just have a look at how this pasta came into existence and some of the different varieties of pasta we have.
Source Adapted from: Wikipedia
Pasta is a generic term for foods made from an unleavened dough  of wheat or  buckwheatflour and water, sometimes with other ingredients such as eggs and vegetable extracts. Pastas include noodles in various lengths, widths and shapes, and varieties that are filled with other ingredients like ravioli and tortellini. The word pasta is also used to refer to dishes in which pasta products are a primary ingredient. It is usually served with sauce. There are hundreds of different shapes of pasta with at least locally recognized names. Examples include spaghetti (thin rods), macaroni (tubes or cylinders), fusilli (swirls), and lasagne (sheets). Two other noodles, gnocchi  and spätzle, are sometimes considered pasta. They are both traditional in parts of Italy. There are different varieties of Pasta, I am writing the recipe for Penne Pasta. Penne (pronounced /ˈpɛni/ [UK], or /ˈpɛneɪ/ [US]) is a type of pasta with cylinder-shaped pieces. Penne is the plural form of the Italianpenna, deriving from Latin penne (meaning "feather" or "quill"). Penne is a popular ingredient in pasta salads. Penne makes excellent and versatile pasta for many applications because of its very practical design. The hollow centre allows it to hold sauce, while the angular ends act as scoops
Even though there are different varieties of preparing the dishes with different pasta shapes. Below is one recipe which I follow:
·  Pasta – 1 small packet (basically of any shape, I used Penne Pasta shape)
·  Olive Oil – 1 tbsp
·  Carrots – 2  medium sized cut into small pieces of 1” inch length
·  Tofu – 1 small square block cut into small cubes like paneer cubes.
·  Onion -1 medium sized cut into small pieces .
·  Pasta Sauce – 1 cup (there are many varieties of this available in market; I used Classico Brand (Tomato & Bail flavour).
·  Black pepper  - crushed 1 tsp
·  Black Olives – 8 (I Used TJ’s Black ripened Olives )

Method to cook Pasta:

·  Take a large vessel and fill with water. The more the better - pasta only sticks when cooked in too little water.
·  Add salt. Salt makes pasta taste better,
·  Bring the water to a rolling boil. This means a boil you can't stop by stirring.
·  Measure the pasta you need. Pasta generally doubles in size when cooked, so 1 cup uncooked = 2 cups cooked.
·  Slowly add the pasta to the boiling water. Ideally, the water shouldn't stop boiling, but if that happens, it's ok.
·  Stir and stir some more! Pasta will stick together if it isn't stirred during the crucial first moments of cooking.
·   Most pastas cook in 8-12 minutes.
·  You can regulate the heat so the pasta/water mixture doesn't foam up and over the vessel sides.
·  Really the only way to tell if the pasta is correctly cooked is to taste it. It should be firm, yet tender, with a tiny core in the middle.
·  Now drain the pasta and remove the water from it and shake off excess water.
·  Add 1 tsp of Olive Oil to the boiled pasta and closed the lid over the pasta.
·  This normally makes the pasta shapes resist without sticking with each other.

Cooking the Sauce:

·   Take another pan and add ½ tbsp of Olive Oil, make sure that olive oil shouldn’t be too hot at any given point of time.
·  Add Onions and sauté them till the time onions colour turns to slight pink colour and becomes transparent.
·  Now add carrots and tofu, olives and sauté them in the middle till they are cooked.
·  Once cooked now add pasta sauce and stir it well to combine with the cooked vegetables.
·  Simmer the heat and cover it with a lid and let it boil for 3 min.
·  Turn off the heat and add the crushed black pepper.

Serving the Pasta:

·  Take a bowl /Plate add the cooked pasta and on to the top of it add this hot pasta sauce and serve hot.