Monthly Archives: May 2014

Sesame Seed Rice

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If you have been to temples in India you probably already know that the “Prasad” or “Prasaadam”, which is the food that is first offered to God and then offerred to the devotees is most delicious! Some temples like the Balaji temple in Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh is popular for the food as it is popular for Balaji, the main deity in the temple!
The gurudwaras across India and the food served at the Langars (Community kitchen) is an experience all in itself. Traditionally every place of worship has a history of food and specialities served at each of them. Devotion to the almighty combined with a love for pure and saatvik, simple and delicious food is what draws millions of people to these ancient temples of India.
My very favorite story as I was growing up was that of “Yellorai” or “Yellu Saadam” or Sesame Seed Rice served at the local Krishna Temple near our home. My grandmother who is an ardent Krishna devotee and is very fond of him, spends a good amount of her day singing to baby Krishna, feeding him curd and butter and praying to him. She would make a weekly visit to the temple to show her devotion to her favorite Krishna. She would go early in the morning for the morning “arati” and spend the whole morning there praying and some chatting and gossiping with her other old grandma or ‘mami’ friends. Then she would come home with her small steel dabba (box) of this delicious, awesome tasting “Yellorai” or Sesame seed rice. It always was just perfect, the spice, the aroma and the taste, just as divine as the divinity whom it was offered to..

Here I have tried to recreate that same flavor…

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You will need:
Cooked Rice – 1 Cup; Cook and cool in a large mixing bowl
Salt to taste
3 tbsp Seseame Seed Oil (Til Oil/Gingely Oil)
1 tsp Mustard seeds
1 tsp Channa dal
1 tsp Urad Dal
Curry leaves

For the dry powder:
6 Dry Red chillies
1 tbsp Black Sesame Seeds
1 tbsp White Sesame Seeds
1 tbsp Urad Dal
a pinch of Asafoetida (Hing)

Roast all the above ingredients with a few drops of oil. Roast on a low flame until light golden brown. Cool and grind into a coarse powder.

Method:
1. In a pan, heat the seasame oil. Season with mustard seeds, channa dal, urad dal and curry leaves.
2. Turn off the stove. To this seasoning add the dry powder and mix with the cooked rice.
3. Add Salt and taste and tsp of Sesame seed oil. Mix well and serve.

Have a great day!

Shirdi – The Abode of Sai Baba

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This post had been long overdue. I have been wanting to write a post on Shirdi – one of my favorite places to visit in India. The last time we went to Shirdi I had taken pictures in and around the bustling town so it can be part of my post that I was going to write soon..however that soon is materializing only now, 2 years later šŸ™‚ . The writing and blogging bug seems to me biting me more than ever before now, so heer goes my short story on Shirdi.

I share a very personal and spiritual connection to Sai Baba..like most people do. To me God or Sai Baba is not somewhere out in the universe, somewhere in the distant or somewhere external… but God is here with me, my own conscience, something or someone internal to me and someone I share a informal very personalĀ relationship with, someone I get angry with, upset with, happy with and typically share a deep bond with..So a visit to Shirdi really does not have much significance except for the fact that when i am in the “Mandir” in the presence of Sai Baba’s idol I just consciously spend more time reflecting on my inner self..and I think it is that way for a lot of people. To each his own experience…

But going to these quaint, colorful and bustling cities of India is a passion. India is such a myriad experience of colors, diversity, food and culture…So rooted in tradition and superstitions, so innocent in its beliefs that it intrigues me and sometimes even amuses me..just watching people in their blissful experiences makes me wonder all over about the beauty of creation and life..

With all that said, here are some of the pictures that I took on my visit to Shirdi..

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This beautiful Brass “Urli” with water and flowers sat at the reception of our hotel

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In theĀ local Shirdi market – a guava vendor selling guavas, when you buy one he would slit in intoĀ 6 andĀ smear the insides with a salt and red chilli powder mixture..the guavas were divine!

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Local sellers selling holy threads and lockets, rings all bearing the picture of Sai Baba..wearing theseĀ is a belief of protection and love for Sai baba

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A view of one side of the Mandir and the people around it

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A vendor selling fresh red roses to beĀ offerred to Sai Baba

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Beautiful, colorful fresh garlands galore for Sai Baba

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Idols of Sai Baba for worship in a local store

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A local store sells various idols, framed images and other Sai baba artifacts

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Roasted, salted peanuts – a great snack!

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Colorful holy thread

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Flower garlands

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Sai Baba knick knacks at a local store

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Ā And last but not the least – Dal vada – a great tea time snack at the railway station..those were delicious!

Hope you enjoyed the visual delight and pictures from Shirdi…

 

Cabbage and Sprouts

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Its been a while again šŸ™‚ that I posted on this close to non existent blog. But today was just a day that I felt like I should wake this blog up with a quick recipe..So here it goes a very simple and quick recipe…

Cabbage and Moong Sprouts Stir Fry

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You will need:

1/2 head Cabbage – Washed and chopped fine
1 cup moong sprouts – Wash and soak whole moong lentils in warm water overnight. Drain and tie in a muslin/kitchen towel to sprout
2 Green chillies – slit lengthwise
Curry leaves (optional)

Method: This is a very simple, typical Indian stri fry side that can be served with rotis or rice.
In a pan, heat some oil, season with mustard seeds, cumin seeds and urad dal. Add the curry leaves, green chillies and chopped cabbage. Stir fry for 2 minutes. Add the sprouted moong beans. Saute.
Add 1/2 tsp turmeric powder and salt to taste. Add about 1/4 cup water and cover with a lid. Cook until dry, garnish with chopped cilantro and serve hot.

Will be back with more soon… šŸ™‚

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