Archive for January, 2019

Chandra Grahana – Lunar Eclipse Sunday, 20th January 2019

A Lunar eclipse, Chandra Grahana as we call it is visible in USA on Sunday, January, 20th. The time period is from 10:33 pm to 1:50 am.

 

Update: Makara Sankranthi – Jan 14/15th 2018

The 2nd week of January is the festival “Makara Sankranthi”. This year it is on 14th, which is a Monday here in USA and Tuesday 15th in India.

P.S: Please check your local calendars and temples to see the exact date.

Makara Sankranthi is a widely celebrated festival in different parts of India.  On this day,  Lord Surya or Sun is worshiped.  It is also celebrated as a harvest festival in many parts of India. On this day, Sun begins his journey to the Northern Hemisphere, most commonly called as Uttharayana.  As with all other festivals, this festival also has many legends, two such commonly told legends are:

1. Lord Surya or Sun visits Shani on this day.

2. Bheeshma Pithamaha, who was able to choose when he will die, chose this day to end his life.

The house is cleaned, and decorated with fresh green mango leaves tied as thorana to the front door. Beautiful, and colorful rangoli is drawn at the front of the house.  After performing the pooja, yellu(Sesame seeds) and Bella(Jaggery) is offered to God. Usually it is prepared by mixing Till, finely chopped Jaggery, roasted groundnuts cut into small peices, with finely chopped dried coconut, and Putani, also called as Hurigadale.

Attached below are the pictures and the steps to making Yellu Bella.

yellu

I use the following proportion to prepare the yellu:

* 1/2 cup Yellu or Sesame Seeds
* 1 cup Groundnuts or peanuts ( Fried, skin removed and cut into half)
* 1 cup Dhalia or hurigadale
* 1 cup finely chopped dry coconut
* 1 cup Jaggery, finely chopped

Usually the Sesame seeds are cleaned, washed and dried. Later, they are fried. I skip this step, and just fry the Sesame seeds for a few minutes.

Next, grate the black portion of the dry coconut. Chop them into squares as shown in the above picture. Chop the Jaggery also and make sure they are dry. My mom used to keep it in the sun for a few days.

Mix, all the ingredients together. Distribute to your family and friends. If all the ingredients are dry, it will stay for months.

Here is the recipe for Yellu Unde/Burfi:

Ingredients:

  1. Sesame Seeds/Yellu – 1 cup
  2. Peanuts – 1 cup
  3. Dhalia – 1 cup
  4. Jaggery – 2cups
  5. Grated Coconut – 2 tsp
  6. 7-8 cardamom – ground finely
  7. 2 tsp Oil or Ghee(I never use Ghee)

Method:

  • Fry the Sesame seeds for 4-5 minutes. Take out in a plate.
  • In a pan, heat oil or ghee. Now add the jaggery. Add just enough water so that the Jaggery dissolves.
  • Keep stirring for almost 9-10 minutes until the jaggery starts leaving the sides.
  • Next, add peanuts, sesame seeds, dhalia and mix well. Let it continue on the stove top for another 3-4 minutes. Add in the cardamom as well.
  • Turn off the stove. Grease a tray, and pour the mixture. Let it cool a little bit.
  • Cut squares. ANd the left over, was formed to a round shape.
  • Finally garnish with grated coconut.

I called it Yellu Burfi, and everyone called it Sesame Squares.

Most dishes prepared during this day are made out of Yellu or Sesame seeds and Rice. It is also tradition to prepare Sweet and Khara Pongal during this festival. The recipes are posted here in the blog and are attached below for your convenience:

If you wish to cook elaborate dishes during Sankranthi, many authentic recipes are posted here:

And you can find various Rangoli designs here:

Karuni Kayo Raghavendra – ಕರುಣಿ ಕಾಯೋ ರಾಘವೇಂದ್ರ Lyrics and Audio

I had written about this very famous song we used to listen my parents sing and we ourselves used to sing this for all these years. I had posted about this song on June 22nd 2010, close to 9 years back. Read about the post here:
Karuni Kayo Raghavendra – ಕರುಣಿ ಕಾಯೋ ರಾಘವೇಂದ್ರ

I had been searching for the lyrics for a long long time and never found it. Over the past three weeks since I was on vacation, I used to recite this song so many times. I talked to my mom today morning as well and she said there was no such song and we just used to sing it. I had also blogged about the first paragraph in my blog (Link above), and no one could find the lyrics.

The past three days, I kept singing this in my dream constantly. Today, I decided to write down the lyrics I was singing and look how amazingly the song came out. I thought it was just a dream, but when I kept getting the same dream and repeating the lyrics, I decided to write it down finally. I recorded the song, and posted it on youtube.

 

I know the song has no ankitha, shouldn’t be sung is what everyone says. For me, this is the most dearest song of my beloved Rayaru. It brings tears to me when I sing this. I am posting it so I can keep track of it. Hope you all understand my sentiments.

The lyrics in English are listed below. I will translate in Kannada also soon.

karuni kayo raghavendra raghavendra raghavendra

thande neevu raghavendra taayi neevu raghavendra

bhandu neevu raghavendra balaga neevu raghavendra

raghavendra rakshamam raghavendra phahimam

raghavendra rakshamam raghavendra phahimam || 1||

Vidye neeve Raghavendra Vaidya neeve Raghavendra

Muni neeve Raghavendra Yati neeve Raghavendra

Raghavendra rakshamam raghavendra phahimam

raghavendra rakshamam raghavendra phahimam ||2||

Prahlada neeve Raghavendra Bhalika Neeve Raghavendra

Vyasaru neve Raghavendra Guru neeve Raghavendra

Raghavendra rakshamam raghavendra phahimam

raghavendra rakshamam raghavendra phahimam||3||

Drishti  neeve Raghavendra srishti neeve raghavendra

Shakthi neeve Raghavendra Bhakthi neeve Raghavendra

Raghavendra  rakshamam raghavendra phahimam

raghavendra rakshamam raghavendra phahimam ||4||

Gyaana neeve Raghavendra thapaha neeve Raghavendra

poorna neeve Raghavendra Chandra neeve Raghavendra

Raghavendra  rakshamam raghavendra phahimam

raghavendra rakshamam raghavendra phahimam ||5||

Butternut Squash Sweet Potato Corn Soup

You can make soup and many other recipes in minutes if you own an Instant Pot(IP). My daughter loved it so much, she brought a smaller size of the same. I make everything in the IP. From sweet Pongal, toKhara pongee, to bisibele bath, and to soup, I use the IP for almost all of my cooking.

I had a bag of frozen butternut squash, sweet potatoes and several boxes of frozen corn. I wanted to make something warm, not too spicy, and a dish with no onion or garlic.

This soup was super delicious and very filling.

Ingredients:

  • 1 bag of frozen butternut squash
  • 1 large sweet potato – washed, peeled and cubed
  • 1/2 bag of frozen sweet corn
  • 1 tsp – cumin powder
  • 1/2 inch ginger finely grated
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 tsp crushed black pepper
  • 3/4 cup – Almond milk(optional)
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tsp Olive oil

Method:

  • Turn on the IP to sauté, add oil crushed red pepper
  • Add sweet potatoes and fry for 2 minutes
  • Add frozen squash and corn and fry again.
  • Now add cumin powder, grated ginger and mix well.
  • Add salt, water to completely cover the vegetables
  • Turn the IP to soup setting, and the time was 30 minutes
  • Once the vegetables are cooked, blend with a immersion blender
  • If you don’t have one, you can blend in your mixer once the soup is cool
  • Next, add almond milk ( optional) and bring to a slow boil
  • Serve the soup with some crushed black pepper and some olive oil

Spinach Dosa

This is the most healthiest Dosa you could ever eat. It is made up of Spinach, Ground Oats, Jowar flour and Chickpea flour or wheat flour. I have made the dosa once with Chickpea flour and once with Whole wheat flour. Both work well.

Very simple, and loaded with lots of health benefits and perfect if you are dieting.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup spinach chopped finely and cooked
  • 1 Cup finely ground Oats
  • 1 Cup Jowar flour
  • 1 Cup Chickpea Flour or Wheat Flour
  • 2 green chillies
  • Salt to taste.
  • 1 tsp Jira
  • Oil to make dosa

Method:

  1. Cook the spinach and let it cool.
  2. Put all the ingredients spinach, all flours. salt and green chillies in a blender and grind until smooth.
  3. Take out in a bowl, and add lira.
  4. Oil a pan and make Dosa.
  5. Serve with Chatni or Chatni Powder.
  6. Enjoy the most healthiest dosa.

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