Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Preparing a quick meal

A different blog this time. Was bored out at home and thought of eating something different for lunch other than the normal rice i eat everyday. When i was in Rajasthan, India i had developed a love for aloo paratas and decided to prepare some stuffed paratas for my lunch. Here goes the making of the paratas.

250 g wheat flour (I used pilsbury atta. A worthy substitute for its softness)
100 g peas
100 g potatoes cut nicely
100 g carrot cut nicely
Other vegetables a little to add flavour
1 tbsp chilli powder
1 tbsp mustard seeds
1 tbsp cumin seeds
Salt to taste


Mix all the above ingredients all make a dough with water and a little curd. Add 2 spoons of oil for a soft dough. Make sure that the dough is not too sticky. If it becomes too sticky add some more more flour and mix throughly.

Make small balls of dough of the size of a golf ball and set aside. With the help of a rolling pin roll the balls in a flat surface ensuring that the dough does not stick on to the surface. A little flour on the surface would suffice for this.

Once all the ball of dough has been rolled heat a pan in medium flame and roast the rolled dough one by one. Heat on both sides until the parata becomes light brown in colour. Your paratas are ready to be consumed. I had mine with a cup of salted curd and some pickle. :)

The idea for this blog comes from a close friend of mine, Madhumathi aka Mad, who is too busy to post her blogs today. A small tribute for her friendship. Here is her blog --> Madhu's Blog

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Festival of Lights

Well let me start of with a greeting.. :)

The biggest and the grandest Festival of Lights is here. A time of the year to rejoice and get together with family. I do miss mine being in Singapore. Wishing you all a prosperous diwali.

A small blog about diwali.

A colorful festival that is celebrated by all Hindus worldwide is Deepavali, which is also known as the festival of lights. This festival usually falls around late October and November. One important practice that the Hindus follow during the festival is to light oil lamps in their homes on Deepavali morning. By lighting the oil lamps, the Hindus are thanking the gods for the happiness, knowledge, peace and wealth that they have received. The Hindus consider Deepavali as one of the most important festivals to celebrate.

The Legend - There is even an interesting legend behind this festival. The story goes that Narakasura, a demon, ruled the kingdom of Pradyoshapuram. Under his rule, the villagers suffered a lot of hardship as the demon tortured the people and kidnapped the women to be imprisoned in his palace. Seeing his wickedness, Lord Khrishna set out to destroy the demon and the day Narakasura died was celebrated as Deepavali, the triumph of good over evil!

Preparations - Preparation for Deepavali starts usually at least two to three weeks before the festival. It is known that the Hindus will be busy cleaning their houses to prepare for the festival. Some would even renovate their houses to prepare it for Deepavali. Usually the family will shop for new clothes and for accessories to decorate their homes. Prior to the festival, Indian shops will be selling festive items like Deepavali greeting cards, carpets, Punjabi suits and flowers. The Hindus will frequent these shops when they are shopping for Deepavali.

Celebrations - The Hindus usually awake early in the morning of deepavali around 3am and the first ritual will be having an oil bath, which is an important feature of Deepavali. Hindus will be dressed in their new clothes on Deepavali. Most of the ladies would be clad in silk saris or Punjabi suits of various bright shades. Hindus particularly dislike dressing in black on that day, as they consider black an inauspicious color for the festival. Hindus would also pay their respects to the elderly and most families would go to the temple after having breakfast. This is also an important practice for them. The reason why they would be going to the temples is to pray to get happiness and prosperity on Deepavali. The houses would be decorated with oil lamps and children will play with firecrackers to celebrate the festival. On the first day, they would not go visiting but would stay at home to welcome the guests who visit them.

Food - Visiting Hindus during Deepavali will be an interesting activity, as you will get to taste a wide variety of delicious food. In every home that you visit you are bound to be served with a tempting spread of sweets. Some of the popular sweets are halwa, burfi and laddu. Hindus love eating spicy food and for non-vegetarians they indulge in favorites like chicken tandoori, prawn sambal and fish head curry. In homes of Hindus who are vegetarians popular dishes like thosais, idlis and naans are prepared.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

A Tribute to Anand Prabakaran

You were a cheerful, ever helping friend. There are many moments which come to my mind when i think of you. It is sad that you are no more with us. May your soul rest in peace and your memories stay with us.

Readers : This is the photo of Anand. P fondly known as Iyer. He was a class mate of mine in Annamalai University. On Oct 2, 2009 he accidentally slipped into a waterfall in Mysore and his body was found only on Oct 4. He was cremated on Oct 5 in Chidambaram, Tamil Nadu, India.