Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Aadi Perukku - Variety rice and Sweet Pongal

My 50th post! Celebrating Aadi perukku and celebration on the blog too!

Aadi Perukku, is celebrated all over Tamilnadu today, on August 3. This comes with the Tamil calendar Aadi month 18.
The festival is mainly concentrates about the fresh water flow of the rivers which will boost the farming.

The festival coincides with the annual freshes of the rivers and to pay tribute to water's life-sustaining properties.
For the blessing of mankind with peace, prosperity and happiness, Nature worship in the form of Amman  deities are organized to shower Nature’s bountiful grace on human beings. The Goddess, as Pachai Amman, is a manifestation of divine design, to establish peace and harmony in the world. Pachai amman or Kanni amman appeared in many local spots which exhibited holy centers by inherent energy presence and influence of over that localities.
In the manifestation of Pachai Amman in Thirumullaivaayal, the amman deity was successful in establishing peace and prosperity in this world. She is called the goddess of marriage as she blesses those awaiting marriage to enter into wedlock.
There is a tall statue of Ayyanar housed in Pachai amman temple of Thirumullaivaayal which is an added attraction. A holy tank near the temple is said to possess medicinal properties. Devotees surge to have a rendezvous with the Goddess on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays and more specially on Aadi month.
this magnificent Aadi festival celebration takes in a grand spree in Munda Kanniyamman deity temples and Pachai amman or any other Mari amman or Ayyanar temples of South India. (Source:Wiki)


Sundar should be surprised to see this picture, as he is not aware that I made Coconut rice and Lemon rice. I had prepared only Tamarind rice and Sweet Pongal before he went to office. My mil prepares all these and draws the kolam of the river in front of God and offers all these variety rices to God. Although, I did not draw the river kolam but I prepared to enjoy varieties of variety rice!

Let me start with the sweet pongal.

Sweet pongal
You need
Big size Jaggery (size of a bell pepper)
2 cups water
few cardamom pods
roasted cashews (in ghee)
roasted raisin (in ghee)
1/4 cup ghee
2 cups nicely cooked rice and moong dhal (3:2 ratio)

In 2 cups of water add the jaggery and let it form a thick consistency. To this add the cardamom pods. Then add the cooked rice-dhal combination. In low flame, cook this together. Keep stirring so that it does not stick at the bottom of the pan. Pour ghee 1 tsp at a time. When it is almost ready add the roasted cashew and raisins.
Serve this hot topped with a tsp of ghee.

Coconut Rice
You need
1/2 cup grated coconut
2 tsp coconut oil
1/2 inch finely chopped ginger
1 cup cooked rice
2 green chillies slit
 For Tampering
1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
1 tsp Urad dhal
few curry leaves

Tamper the mustard seeds in 1 tsp oil. Add the urad dhal and saute till golden brown then add chillies, ginger and curry leaves. Now add the grated coconut and fry til golden or the nice aroma comes. Then top with 2 tsp of coconut oil. Mix this with the cooked rice and saute for about a minute or two along with the rice. Add salt as much required.


Lemon Rice
You need
1 lemon
1 cup cooked rice
2 slit green chillies
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
Salt to taste

For Tampering
1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
1 tsp Urad dhal
1 tsp Channa dhal
2 tsp oil
few curry leaves
few coriander leaves

Add oil in small saute pan and add the mustard seeds and once it crackles add the urad and Channa dhal. Saute till golden brown. Then add the slit green chillies, curry leaves, coriander leaves and turmeric powder. Saute a little for about a minute. Now add this to the cooked rice. To this add the juice of 1 lemon and salt to taste.


Tamarind rice or Puliyogare
You need
4 tsp Puliyogare paste with the oil (recipe follows)
1 tsp roasted coriander powder
1/4 tsp roasted fenugreek seeds
few curry leaves
1/4 cup roasted peanuts

I usually dry roast the fenugreek and coriander seeds and powder them. I store the powder for about a month or two. I dont prefer to use the ready to use coriander powder. As they do not give the fresh taste and aroma in the puliyogare. Add the puliyogare paste along with the oil in it to the cooked rice.

Then to it add the powdered mixture, roasted pea nuts, roasted curry leaves and roasted cashews(optional). Check for salt and add if required. Serve this with nice Sabudana vadam or papad or even potato chips goes great with it.

For Puliyogare paste
You need
1 Big lemon size tamarind
10-15 dry red chilies powdered
2 cups water
1/2 cup sesame oil
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
For Tampering
1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
1 tsp Urad dhal
11/2 tsp Channa dhal
2 tsp oil
few curry leaves

Tamper the mustard and then add the dhal and saute till golden brown. Add the curry leaves - very little. As I always store the Puliyogare for more days. To this add the tamarind, turmeric powder and powdered red chillies. Add water and let cook for about an hour or until the raw taste goes off. While cooking slowly add the sesame oil. Add the oil little by little. If you do not intend to store the puliyogare for more days, then you can reduce the amount of oil.
Cool it and store in an air tight container for 1 month or two.

And finally, to conclude the lunch with curd rice. We always take curd at the end of every meal so that we do not feel more spicy and our food get digested well. In very simple way, just mix curd and cooked rice with some salt for curd rice. But to make it colorful and tasty I add few things listed here
You need
1/2 cup curd
1 cup nicely cooked rice
1" finely chopped ginger
3 chopped green chillies
1/4 cup grated carrot
finely chopped curry leaves and coriander leaves 
For Tampering
1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
1 tsp Channa dhal
1 tsp oil

Tamper the mustard seeds in 1tsp oil and saute the channa dhal.  Add this to the cooked rice. Then add the ginger, chillies and grated carrot. Add the curd and mix well so that there are no lumps.
You can add sweet pomegranate and/or grapes if you have.
Serve the curd rice with a spicy Vadu Mangai.



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