Avani Avittam or Upakarma

Upākarma “Beginning” (Sanskrit: उपाकर्म) and also called Āvaṇi Aviṭṭam (Tamil: ஆவணி அவிட்டம்), is a Vedic ritual still practiced by modern Hindus of the Brahmin caste. ~ wikipedia

This is the most important ritual observed by the men in the Brahmin Community. Avani Avittam is also known as Upakarma or Yaghnopaveetha Dharana, is the ceremony of changing the scared thread (Poonal). Every year, the festival of Avani Avittam falls on the full moon day of the month of Hindu calendar month of Sravan (August-September). The next day is Gayathri Jappam, where the Gayathri Mantra is chanted 1008 times.

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I enjoy observing these rituals. I woke up early before sunrise Continue reading

Maha Kumbha Mela

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It is the power of faith that can part a river, move mountains, and endure the hardships that come bundled up for being an integral part of Kumbha Mela, a congregation of millions, gathered together to be freed from the vicious earthly cycle of life and death and move towards a heavenly realm, which knows no suffering or pain. It’s the mythological history of India and the sacred religious texts that bind us carnal souls to an eternal hope – things will be better, without the ever-imminent fear of them getting worse that cripples us here. “An eternal life free of sins” is the promise that comes attached with the magnificent Continue reading

Kashi Yathrai

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In the above photo you can see my husband ready to go to Kashi yathrai and my anna (elder brother) holding the umbrella for him and trying to change his mind. With extra effects of flowers falling from the umbrella.

Kashi yathrai refers to an age-old Brahmin ritual where the groom “decides” to take up ‘sanyaasam’ (i.e. asceticism, monkhood) for spiritual pursuit. He would ultimately be ‘convinced’ by the Continue reading

Saffron Turmeric Milk

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It’s been ages since I touched my blog. Since I’ve been busy with my pregnancy I’ve not managed my time to type up a blog. I wanted to share this drink with all of you pregnant women out there. Know what you intake while pregnant. Don’t drink or eat blindly without knowing the purpose of each diet.

Now that I am in my sixth month of pregnancy, I drink a lot of Saffron Turmeric Milk. During pregnancy women drink Saffron Turmeric milk. I was told by my elders that this milk contains products for fairer complexion of baby’s skin. After some detail research I came to know the medical reasons behind this solution of Saffron in Turmeric milk.  Continue reading

Keerai puttu

1Watching my mother-in-law making keerai puttu (spinach puttu). I wanted to log this recipe in my blog for my viewers. It tasted divine with pickle and mix veg curry.

Puttu is a South Indian and Sri Lankan breakfast dish of steamed cylinders of ground rice layered with coconut. It is highly popular in the Indian states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu as well as in many areas of Sri Lanka, where it is also known as pittu. Puttu is served with side dishes such as palm sugar, coconut chutney or banana.

Ingredients:

  • Red rice flour 2 cups
  • Hot water 3/4 cup
  • Salt adjust to taste
  • Coconut shreddings 1/2 cup
  • Spinach (keerai) 1 cup

Method:

  • Pour hot water on the rice flour and stir with a large wooden spoon (can use hand to mix if water is not too hot)
  • Mix well so that it looks like the photo above
  • Add the salt, coconut and spinach
  • Mix well then put the contents into a steamer pot
  • Let it to steam for 15 minutes
  • Enjoy the aroma and the taste of Sri Lanka 🙂

Puttu is generally cooked in a metal puttu kutti vessel with two sections. The lower section holds water and the upper section holds the puttu — where the rice mixture is inserted with layers of grated coconut. Perforated lids separate the sections to allow the steam to pass between them.

A number of alternative cooking vessels are used, such as traditional vessels where a perforated coconut shell is attached to a section of bamboo, or a chiratta puttu made of a coconut shell or of metal shaped similarly to a coconut shell.

Further alternative cooking vessels include a pan similar to an Idli pan with small holes in the bottom, pressure cookers and, mainly in the Malay Archipelago, hollow bamboo stalks.

Try this recipe and leave comments below 🙂

Prad

 

Chooo Chooooooo

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I was near the rail road tracks, everything is silent. Only a few guards walking around and some teenagers comparing their Ipods. Then suddenly a noise is heard from the distance. Is it like thunder or something else? I turned my head toward the direction of the noise and saw lights, and the noise gets louder. I heard a “chugga chugga” sound, and then a horn, “choooooo”. Then the trains rushed up near me, the rushing wind messing up my straightened hair and I heard the train wheels on the tracks “clink clink.” People rushing in and out of the train in mid of early peak hours. Heard some echoing announcements within the train. That is all I heard for a long time until the train moved away and the silence creped in again.          – My first Gautrain trip.

Continue reading

Banana Loaf

My all time favourite is my amma’s banana loaf. A simple recipe will be shared below.

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Ingredients:

  • 2 cups Self- raising flour
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 125 g butter
  • 4 large bananas

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Method: 

  • Cream the margarine and mix well with the sugar.
  • Mash bananas, add milk into mixture.
  • Add the banana mixture into margarine mixture.
  • Add flour and bicarbonate soda and mix well.
  • Bake in a moderate oven for 25 to 30 minutes.
  • One can add nuts or choc chips if desired.

Prad 🙂

Mookkutthi – Nose piercing

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I got my nose pierced when I was 18 years old, before my engagement. In India especially in Tamil Nadu young women pierce their nose at a very early age. I received a diamond nose ring for my marriage from my amma by our traditional customs. I was wearing this diamond mookkutthi while I was Continue reading

Tuk tuk aka Auto Rickshaw

Am sure some of you guys would’ve spotted these small motorbike kinda taxis services on the road in Johannesburg. It is called a Tuk tuk. In my country (India) we call them Auto. I was surprised to find these vehicles on the road. They have been imported from India to SA.

 

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Some info:

Auto rickshaws are a common means of public transportation in Continue reading