Monday, October 27, 2008


A very HAPPY DIWALI to all my readers! This is the menu in my home today:-)What's special at your place?

1. Rice

2. Parpu (Plain dhal)

3. Kempu Dantusoppina palya (Red Amaranth leaves curry)

4. Tomato Rasam

5. Whole moong dhal Sambhar

6. Southekayi Kosambari (Cucumber Salad)

7. Shavige payasa (Sevai kheer)

8. Sapseege Soppu Ambode (Fried flattened balls made from a mixture of Dill leaves and soaked bengal gram)

May this Festival of lights bring you all Joy , Happiness and Prosperity in the days to come! Enjoy !

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Iyengars are known for their Krishna Janmashtami celebrations which is celebrated on a grand scale. As a kid I was waiting for this festival as the first thing about the festival is the decorations and the second most loved part is the food.....Well...let me make the food part first honestly....we kids used to wait as to when the elders would give us all that Paniyara (sweets and savouries prepared for lord Krishna).

There are two groups within Srivaishnava community called as Tholappar and Mannar. There are some few changes in the way they celebrate the festival. Tholappar community wait for Rohini Nakshatra(star) to appear by referring to the Hindu Almanac (Panchaanga) whereas Mannar celebrate it as Sri Krishna Jayanthi or Gokulashtami, birthday of Lord Krishna. People fast during the day and offer prayers to the lord in the evening and either have a light snack or have a heavy dinner along with paniyara.

Decorations vary from home to home. A general way to follow is by placing an idol of baby krishna in A CRADLE decorated with flowers SINCE ITS THE BIRTH OF LORD KRISHNA. My grand ma's place had a huge checkered board hung from a certain height. Fruits and snacks were tied around the cradle of lord krishna WHICH IS CALLED PALA VASTRA. Many photos here show you a small preview about how the decorations are done .These are photos I have got from my sister, cousins celebrating at their home outside India and some from aunt's and my home in India.

Prayers are offered in the evening which starts with Saaligrama Aradhane, Panchamrutha abishekha(meaning cleansing the god with milk, curd, tender coconut, sugar, ghee..any combination of dry fruits, banana, followed by Purusha sooktha wherein we dress the lord and put him in the cradle. We recite krishna ashtothara namavali, followed by Mukundha mala shloka and Vishnu Sahasranama. After this we offer Naivedya, perform Maha mangalaarti and Shaathumorai(sing in the praise of the Lord) and Prasada vineyoga (holy water).

The next day we invite relatives, neighbours and friends who eagerly wait for the invitation. They are sent home with lots of snacks and sweets. We end the celebration with Rocking the cradle and Aarti for the lord!

The food that is prepared at our home on this day starts with prasada (sweet poha, a mixture of butter and sugar, and Rasayana (banana with jaggery)

The main dinner would be Anna(Rice), Saaru (Rasam) , Kosambari (Salads), Palya (vegetable), two sweets in the form of Payasam (kheer) and one dry sweet, Rice variety, Sambhar, Mor kolambu, Ambode along with paniyara prepared. Food is prepared almost whole day with so much zeal, excitement and enthusiasm.

The festival is long gone and the reason i am writing about it now is because with the write up its always nice to get a glimpse how we celebrate it with food and decor. It took some time to collect all these photos from all in the family. So here are a few for you to enjoy!

Paniyara photos:




Kadlekayi Burfi (Groundnut)

Godhimavina Unde (Wheat flour ladoo)

Kobbari Mitayi (Coconut)

Rave Unde (Semolina laddoo)

Photos of the Paniyaram (Sweets and Savouries) sent by Mythili Srinivasan (Bangalore), Pramod and Shubha (California)

Photo courtesy: Shashi Raghuram, Bangalore

Photo Courtesy: Mythili Srinivasan, Bangalore

Our Celebration In Pune!

Our Celebration in Bangalore!

My first ever celebration in Denmark!

Photo courtesy: Bharthi Sriram, Chicago

Photo Courtesy: Sharada Ramadas, Fremont, California

Photo Courtesy: Vidya Jagannath, San jose, California

Photo Courtesy: Arjun, Bangalore

Thank you all for sending your celebration pictures!

Friday, October 17, 2008


After making my Fridge Magnet Event a huge success, I throw this CHALLENGE to all my fellow blogger friends and my friends who are non-bloggers too. All of you can participate and help me make this event more successful than the first one.

So whats the challenge here u ask?

You are allowed to use some products only and a majority of them that you often use in your daily cooking is not allowed!!!!!:-)Like it already. Wait! there's more to it.

Here comes the interesting part:

Your recipes will be judged by none other than Meeta of Whats For Lunch Honey? . Meeta's knowledge and passion for Food and Ingredients makes her the ideal person to judge this challenge. Thank you so much Meeta!

Winners will be judged based on Selection of the Ingredients, Description and Presentation of the dish.

There is no limit to the number of entries per person. Two best entries will be selected. Winners will get a small prize. I will get in touch with the winners for their mailing address.

So here's what you can NOT use:
Gluten - Avoid all wheat, rye and barley, and all products containing them.
No to Oats!
No milk (basically no dairy), no nuts, coffee, tea, rava (semolina), yeast, No refined sugar.
Legumes- Avoid all beans, peas, Lentils and pulses, especially soya, and all products containing them.

What you are allowed to use:
All veggies for ex: (greens in plenty), broccoli, etc.
All Fruits
Raagi (Finger millet flour)
Rice based products, corn, quinoa and a whole range of other grains/flours that are gluten-free.
Sorghum (Jowar)
Pearl millet (Bajra)
Jaggery, honey, maple syrup, Fruit sugar(fructose).

Very Limited quantity: (abt 2-3 tblspn)
Oil (obviously no deep frying), Coconut

You can come up with any recipe, whether its sweet, savory, main course, breakfasts, side dish. The list is endless.

Since mine is Veggie blog....' No to NON-VEG of any kind'
Simple Rules :
1) Post your recipe on your blogs. Please make it an exclusive post for this event and do not combine with tags, awards, etc.
2) Add a link back to this event announcement.
3) I have created a small logo for this event. You can add it in your blog too! To use the logo right click on the logo and go to properties and copy paste the url mentioned there.

4) Your entries should be mailed to
5) Format for sending your Entries:
a) Your name:
b) Where are you from:
c) Your post URL:
d) Subject: Challenge
e) Picture of the Dish:

6) So what if you don’t have a blog, you can still send me your recipe by emailing the picture and I will definitely include it as part of the contest! Non-bloggers also follow the same format mentioned above except point (c).

7) So what are you guys waiting for???? Go and create yummylicious recipes from the above given ingredients and mail them to
All your entries should reach me before the 20th of November 2008.

I am looking forward to receive some amazing tasty recipes from you all! Good luck to all of you!

Thank you Telegraph India!


Congratulations to other bloggers who have been featured and mentioned too. I would like to thank RC of Red chillies for posting this article on her blog. It was a pleasant surprise for me and it made my day! I know its a small mention of my blog but I am thrilled to bits because this is my first ever step to little fame:-).

I thank every one of you for supporting me with your constant suggestions, feedback and requests for recipes! I want to mention a special thank you to my dad and mom, hubby and sisters and my extended family for all their feedbacks and suggestions to the blog!

Take a look at the below mentioned link:

Thanks and Regards,
Veda Murthy

Sunday, October 5, 2008


'Ulunda Ogare' is a recipe request from one of my readers. It feels fantastic if people show so much interest and want to try the recipes that I prepare at home. All the recipes I have posted here have been tried and tested first and then added here with all the details.
The method that I have posted is one of the most authentic way to prepare Ulunda Ogare. Its a recipe that has been passed from many generations i.e., from my Maternal Great Grandmother Soumyanayakamma to my Grandmother Seethamma and then to my mom and now to me. Today I am sharing it with all my family members, friends and readers staying in different countries.

Black gram(Uddina bele in kannada, Ulundha parappu in tamil, Urad dhal in hindi) is the main ingredient in this rice recipe. Thats where it gets the name Ulundha and Ogare means Rice. Before you start, I suggest you all to read the whole recipe and keep all the things ready as shown in the pictures.


Rice - 3 cups ( Pressure cook rice with little oil and salt)

For grinding: (This makes about 2 and 1/2 cups of powder)

Fry all the ingredients below separately without Oil.

1. Curry Leaves- 1/2 cup
2. Black Pepper - 2 tbl spn
3. Black gram - 1 cup
4. Cashew Nuts - 1/2 cup
5. Dry Coconut (Grated) - 1 cup
Firstly grind curry leaves, cashews, black pepper and black gram and then add dry coconut and grind again to a powder consistency.

For Seasoning:

Oil - 2 tbl spns
Mustard seeds - 1 tspn
Black gram - 1 tspn
Bengal gram - 1 tspn
Curry leaves - (4-5)
Cashews - (4-5) chopped
Dry coconut - 1 tbl spn
Ground Powder - 2 cups
Salt to taste

For Garnishing:
Ghee - 2 tspns
Uddina happala (pappadam/pappad) - (1-2) break it in to pieces after deep frying.
Citron (Herale Hannu in Kannada / Nartanga in Tamil) - 2
Black gram soaked in little milk - 1/2 cup
Fresh Coconut - 1 cup

1. Prepare rice and allow it cool down by spreading it on a plate.
2. In a heavy bottomed pan, add oil, all the seasonings one by one.
3. Add the ground powder and mix well.
4. Add rice followed by the garnishings like fresh coconut, happala (papad) pieces, soaked black gram, ghee, salt as per taste. Mix them well. 5. Switch off the stove and add the juice of Citron (Herale Hannu / Nartanga). If Citron is not available, use lemon. Mix well and serve it with papad.