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Jan 7, 2012

Thiruvaadirai Festival

Thiruvaadirai (Tamizh) or Thiruvaadira (malayalam) festival is celebrated in the Tamizh Month of Maargazhi (Dhanur month of Malayalam calendar) on a full moon day when the 'Thiruvadirai' nakshatram falls. This festival is celebrated with prayers to Lord Shiva in the form of Nataraja (The divine cosmic dance posture of Lord Shiva).

In all shiva shrines in Tamizh Nadu special poojas are conducted very early in the morning and the murti of Lord Nataraja decorated beautifully and is taken in procession (Aarudra Darisanam) inside the temple.

Thumba (white colour) flower is very auspicious on this day to Lord Shiva. This flower is also used in Indian Medicines. Very good if taken along with honey. I remember collecting the thumba flower early foggy morning  of Marghazi Month during my teen days to offer to Lord Shiva on thiruvadira day. It will be a nice sight to see these white flowers in a foggy morning.

In Kerala it is celebrated on the full moon day (thiruvadira star) in dhanur masam (month). Kanji (porridge) using Koovai (arrowroot) powder is made & offered to Lord Shiva. Ladies dress in the traditional kasavu or mundu, a lamp is lit (nilavilakku), ladies forms a circle around it and play the 'kai kottu kali'-a beautiful dance moving clockwise and anticlockwise directions uniformly in the circle moving their hands with grace. The  dance, music, chenda etc on the background is a feast to eyes and ears.

A kai koti kali song




and a video showing the graceful  kai kotti kali. thiruvadira dance

 

It is a ladies festival in Kerala, they get up early in the morning have bath. On thiruvaadira day, they avoid eating rice, hence koova kanji & fruits are taken. It is a fasting (nonbu / vratham).

In Tamizh Nadu, the traditional offerings to god are Kali (sweet) & Kootu (spicy & salty mixed vegetable curry). The making of kali & kootu differs in every household and so are the tastes, the best in their own way.

For Kali & Kootu Recipes click here 

May Lord Shiva - the destroyer of evil, bless you all with good health & peaceful life.

Om Namashivaya

Kali & kootu - Thiruvaadirai Special

Thiruvadirai festival is celebrated in the Tamizh Month of Maargazhi (Dhanur month of Malayalam calendar) on a full moon day when the 'Thiruvadirai' nakshatram falls. This festival is celebrated with prayers to Lord Shiva in the form of Nataraja (The divine cosmic dance posture of Lord Shiva).

click here to know more about this festival.
Traditional offerings to god are Kali (sweet) & Kootu (spicy & salty mixed vegetable curry). The making of kali & kootu differs in every household and so are the tastes, the best in their own way.


Sharing with you the recipe for Thiruvadirai kali & kootu as we prepare in our house. It is a simple dish without much of masal or tamarind.


For the Kali :

Thiruvaadirai kali


Ingridients :

The ratio for Rice rava to jaggery is 1:1.. If you find any more powder is left even after making kootu it canbe used in pulungari making or be used in any gravy curry you may make as a thickening agent.
  1. Raw Rice - 2 cups
  2. Jaggery - 2 cups*
  3. Cardamom Powder - 1 tsp
  4. Salt - a pinch
  5. Water -  4 and 1/2 cups
  6. Grated Coconut - 3 tbsp
  7. Ghee - 3 tbsp
  8. Butter - 2 tsp
Procedure :

  • Wash and soak the raw rice for 10 minutes.
  • Drain completely and roast in a pan till it turns golden in colour
  • cool & powder it like rava (semolina / sooji). Keep aside 1tbsp powder separately to thicken the kootu gravy.
  • Dissolve Jaggery in water (as per the measure), heat, strain and clean the impurities
  • In a pan / kadai heat the jaggery syrup, add a pinch of salt and bring to boil
  • Keep the rava ready. 
  • Add the ghee and cardamom powder, slowly add the powdered roasted rice little by little stirring simultaneously without forming lumps
  • when the water dries up, swtich off the flame and keep it covered for 10 to 15 minutes
  • Open the lid, add grated coconut, mix well.
  • Top with 2 tsp butter & offer the neivedhyam to God

Kootu (curry) :- For the kootu, two vegetables are traditionally used. Avarakkai (broad beans) and Kaavathu kizhangu (the seasonal root vegetable rpurple in colour) are used. however, now many vegetables like elephant yam (Chenai kizhangu), Koorkai kizhangu (chinese potato), Pumpkin (manajl poosani), Raw banana (Vaazhai kaai), carrot and green peas are used which makes the kootu colourful too. So you can use all of them or any combination of your choice. Some families have some counts of ingridients like 7 or 5 vegetables etc. But I am sharing here the recipe as I prepare but it is minus kaavathu kizhangu as I don't get it in this part of India.



Ingridients :-

  1. Broad Beans (Avarakkai) diced - 2 cups
  2. Kavathu kizhangu cubes - 1/2 cup
  3. Koorkai kizhangu - 4 nos.
  4. Elephant yam (Chenai kizhangu) - 1/4 cup
  5. Pumpkin diced - 1/4 cup
  6. Green Chillies - 2 nos. (or as per preference)
  7. Grated coconut - 1/2 cup
  8. Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
  9. Salt to taste
  10. Water to cook the vegetables
  11. Coconut Oil, Mustard seeds, Urad dal for tempering.
  12. Curry leaves - 1 sprig
  13. Roasted rice rava (used for kali)
Boil the vegetables in water adding salt and turmeric powder till they become tender. There should be some water remaining after cooking.
Crush the green chillies and mix it with the grated coconut. Mix this into the boiled vegetables.
Add the required amount of the roasted rice powder to thicken the curry to the required consistency
Put the curry leaves and temper mustard seeds & urad dal in coconut oil and add it to the curry.

This kootu and kali is offered early in the  morning to Lord Shiva along with prayers.

Enjoy the sweet and salty & spicy combination prashad listening to 'bho shambo...' sung by Sudha Raghunathan



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