Archive for September, 2011

Dasara – Navarathri – September 21st – September 30th 2017

Dasara is celebrated all over India as a religious as well as a social festival. Nava means nine and rathri means night and so Navarathri means nine nights. Some call it as Navarathri, some as Vijaya Dashami, and some as Dussehra. Doesn’t matter what you call, does it?

This year Dasara is celebrated from October 21st – September 30th 2017.

From day one of the festival, it is customary to keep a Kalasha (ಕಲಶ), this is filled with water(ನೀರು) and 4 betel leaves(ವೀಳೆದೆಲೇ) are arranged as shown below in the pictures. Apply Haldi (ಆರಿಶಿನ) , Kumkum(ಕುಂಕುಮ), and flowers, gejje vastra (ಗೆಜ್ಜೆ ವಸ್ತ್ರ)  as shown again. This Kalasha is kept in front of the Pattada Gombe (ಪಟ್ಟದ ಗೊಂಬೆ) which is given during the marriage to the bride. This ಪಟ್ಟದ ಗೊಂಬೆ signifies Lord Srinivasa and Goddess Padmavathi. Again, see pictures below. These ಪಟ್ಟದ ಗೊಂಬೆ are decorated with different jewelery, crown, bangles, dresses every few years.

P.S: The above pictures were taken in 2009 during my visit to Bangalore, at my second brother-in-law and co-sister Madhav Rao and Prameela’s house.

If you are keeping an elaborate Gombe (Dolls), than the Kalasha and the Pattada Bombe are placed on the top shelf. And all other arrangements follow next.

Even though all the 10 days and nine nights are important, there are a few  major days where pooja is done with great devotion and pomp.
Those days are as follows:

  • Saraswathi Pooja – October 9th
    Read more about Saraswathi Pooje here.
  • Durgasthami – October 9th
  • Ayoodha Pooja – Mahanavami – October 10th. Read more about Ayoodha Pooja here.
  • Vijayadashami – October 11th

Devotional Songs for Dasara:

1. Srinivasa Bhajane

2. Sri Venkateshwara Suprabhatha

3. Sri Venkateshwara Stotra

4. Sri Venkateshwara Prapathi

5. Sri Venkateshwara Mangalam

6. Venkata Ramanane Baro

7. Sri Mahalakshmi Ashtakam

8. Sri Saraswathi Slokas

9. Sri Srinivasa Kalyana by Sri Vadirajaru

10. Mahishasura Mardini Stotra in different languages

11. Sri Ashta Lakshmi Stotra

12. Link to Bombe Habba pictures

P.S: If you would like to share pictures of Gombe Habba (Doll Arrangement’s ) at your place, or friends place send them along. I will post them so everyone will have an idea of how to decorate their dolls this year.

ಗೆಣಸಿನ ಪಲ್ಯ – Yam Palya

Sneha, my Daughter loves ಗೆಣಸು, Yam or sweet potato palya. Every time she visits me, I have to make this for her. Now that she has her own car, and doesn’t have to wait for us to come back from work to go to the grocery store, she buys Yam from the stores, and asks me to prepare the palya. She eats it as is, doesn’t require rice or chapathi.

So, here comes the most easiest palya to prepare.


  • 2 firm Yams  ಗೆಣಸು, washed, peeled and cut into small pieces
  • for seasoning : mustard seeds ಸಾಸಿವೆ , hing ಇಂಗು , and turmeric ಅರಿಶಿನ, red chillies ಕೆಂಪು ಮೆಣಸಿನಕಾಯಿ, urad dal ಉದ್ದಿನ ಬೇಳೆ(ptional), channa dal ಕಡಲೆ ಬೇಳೆ(optional), curry leaves ಕರಬೇವು (optional)
  • fresh coconut ತೆಂಗಿನ ಕಾಯಿ grated (optional)


  • Place the finely chopped Yams  ಗೆಣಸು in a microwave safe bowl. Sprinkle few drops of water, and microwave until tender.
  • In a pan, heat oil and add all the seasonings. Add curry leaves ಕರಬೇವು.
  • When the urad dal and channa dal change color, add the cooked Yams  ಗೆಣಸು.
  • Add grated coconut ತೆಂಗಿನ ಕಾಯಿ.
  • Mix well. Garnish with cilantro.
  • Serve with Rice or chapathi.

If you are like Sneha, just eat it as is. 🙂

Mahalaya Paksha – Sept 12th – Sept 27th, 2011

The fortnight (15 days) preceding the Dasara or Navaratri is known as Mahalaya Paksha or Pithru Paksha. This period is important for honoring our ancestors. Men, whose fathers or Mothers have passed away, offer their obeisance (shraddha) to their ancestors during this period.

The last day of this period called as Mahalaya Amavasya, the new moon day, is considered as the most important day in the year for performing obsequies and rites.

This year in the Khara Nama Samvatsara, Mahalaya Amavasya falls on September 27th 2011. The pitru tarpana given during this time is a way of showing gratitude to your departed ancestors.

1. Amavasya Tharpana

ಬೂದ ಕುಂಬಳಕಾಯಿ ಖಾರ ಕೂಟು – Winter Melon Spicy Kootu

It has been almost 3 years since I posted the recipe for Sweet ot Sihi Kootu. Many of you asked for the recipe for Khara – Spicy Kootu. Even though I prepared this many times in the past 3 years, I really didn’t have anytime to take pictures and post the same. Last weekend, we went to Indian grocery store and brought winter melon, also called ಬೂದ ಕುಂಬಳಕಾಯಿ. My Husband and I kept talking about what to prepare. We had two options, Majjige Huli or Khara Kootu. At last, we decided to prepare Kootu. So, attached below is the pictorial details of how to prepare mouth watering, taste like Rayara Mutta ಬೂದ ಕುಂಬಳಕಾಯಿ ಖಾರ ಕೂಟು – Winter Melon Spicy Kootu.

Ingredients for grinding:

  • 5 red chillies ಕೆಂಪು ಮೆಣಸಿನಕಾಯಿ
  • 10 black pepper ಮೆಣಸು
  • 3 tso urad dal ಉದ್ದಿನ ಬೇಳೆ
  • 3 tsp channa dal ಕಡಲೆ ಬೇಳೆ
  • 3 tsp coriander seeds ಕೊತ್ತಂಬರಿ ಬೀಜ
  • 1/4 cup fresh coconut ತೆಂಗಿನ ಕಾಯಿ grated
  • 2 tsp tamarind  ಹುಣಿಸೆ ಹಣ್ಣು paste


  • 1/2 winter melon ಬೂದ ಕುಂಬಳಕಾಯಿ cleaned, and cut into 1 and 1/2 – 2 inches thick
  • 1/2 lb french beans ಹುರಳಿ ಕಾಯಿ ( optional)
  • 1/2 lb carrots ಗಜ್ಜರಿ (optional)

Other Ingredients:

  • 2 cup toor dal ತೊಗರಿ ಬೇಳೆ, washed and cooked in pressure cooker
  • handful of peanuts. ಕಡಲೆ ಕಾಯಿ / ಶೇಂಗಾ ಬೀಜ / ನೆಲಗಡಲೆ
  • curry leaves ಕರಬೇವು
  • mustard seeds ಸಾಸಿವೆ , hing ಇಂಗು , and turmeric ಅರಿಶಿನ for seasoning
  • 1 tsp jaggery ಬೆಲ್ಲ


    • Fry all the ingredients listed in grinding, except coconut and tamarind

    • Add the coconut to this fried ingredients.

Next, add the tamarind and grind all these in a mixer.

    • Take a microwave safe vessel, and cook the winter melon until they are tender. A little bit on the harder side.

    • In a big vessel, add oil. Around 2-3 tsp. Next add all the ingredients listed in the seasoning. Add also the peanuts.

  • Fry for a few minutes, and next add the cooked winter melon.

  • Mix all the ingredients well, and now add the ground mixture

  • Let this boil for a few minutes. Make sure it doesn’t  burn, this happens if the steel vessel you are using doesn’t have a thick bottom.
  • Now, add the cooked dal, jaggery and let it boil for 15-20 minutes.

  • Once the Kootu is done, serve with Rice, and fried Happala and sandige.

  • Enjoy the spicy ಬೂದ ಕುಂಬಳಕಾಯಿ ಖಾರ ಕೂಟು – Winter Melon Spicy Kootu.

P.S: It has been a while since I wrote anything in Kannada, and I had no clue what was ಬೂದ ಕುಂಬಳಕಾಯಿ called in English and actually how to spell it in Kannada. My Husband came to my rescue and sent me a link which had a list of all Indian vegetables names in many languages and Kannada as well. Attached below is a list for the same. Thanks so much, Raghu.

Indian Vegetables

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