Onasadya, movie, summer break, et al.

So how was Onam for you all? Hope it was as yummyful as mine was. Yes I prepared a mini-sadya like I had mentioned in my earlier post, albeit with some able help from Amma whom I kept texting at frequent intervals for recipe-guidance :). Even though it was not an elaborate spread as I would have loved to have, yet I had a sense of huge achievemnt when I laid them on the table. You see, one must consider my hatred for cooking and anything remotely close to the chore to understand this sense of accomplishment :D.

And this sense was magnified when R perched on top of the table to click a photograph 😀 Here’s the proof …

Onasadya @ Deeps'

I have to say though, that Namnam, the fussy-eater that she is, had to be told that Maveli would come home and have sadya with us only on the condition that she would eat all that was prepared. Upon hearing this she, very excitedly, looked around only to enquire about his obvious absence. Now, being such a happy occasion, the last thing we wanted was for her to feel dejected. So I told her that now since he was blessed, he was just like God who could see her and reside in her heart. The things a mother has to say to get her daughter to eat :). Anyway, needless to say she was convinced and agreed to eat without much fuss. And just one look at the relished-faces of the father & daughter was enough for me to take it as a stamp of approval for my effort :).

After a good sadya followed by an afternoon siesta, it was time to venture out. Since it was a weekend, we had good one day and a half and enough energy to make some constructive use of it. But the blockhead that I was, I suggested we go for a movie instead! And which one ,you may ask! It was Mere Brother Ki Dulhan. Yeah yeah, hoot all you want :(. How was I to know that it was one of the most pathetic movies to come out in the recent past? The reason why I suggested the film was because I thought we’d get to see some interesting acting. Noooo, nooo, not Imran Khan’s! C’mon I’m not so stupid that I’d expect him to act, of all the people! In fact I was more interested in watching Ali Zafar who I had really liked in Tere Bin Laden. And it had some peppy songs which Namnam loved, so it was not a task to convince her to come along. But half hour into the movie and we realized the true worth of it or worthlessness of it, rather.

All it had to offer was Katrina Kaif, who seemed to have used up all her acting skills on shrieking, shrieking and more shrieking! I’m sure she will give a stiff competition to Anu Malik, really. Ok now I completely respect her decision to dub in her own voice, but could she, please, not mouth dialogues of timeless classics in her ‘brit’ accent and make a hash of them?? Some classics are just meant to be what they are- classics! Just let them be. Filmmakers, are you listening?? And Imran Khan, well…he seemed to have tried to make up for his lack of acting skills by relying heavily on his eyebrows! Needless to mention, they failed miserably. Which hardly left Ali Zafar any space on screen. Or so I thought. Lets not even get into the plot or cinematography or music as there’s nothing worth mentioning.

So as it turned out, barely an hour or so into the movie, we were out of the hall and on our way back! Phew!

The next day passed by faster than I had thought as it was the last day of Namnam’s summer hols and we got busy packing the school bag, ironing the uniform, brushing her shoes, and of course stocking up the fridge with nuggets, and butter and jam and juice and other tidbits for the whole week.

So thats it from this end of the world. The summer break is officially over. Barring Federer’s loss in the US Open, the season has started on a promising note with some lovely weather in sight. I’m hoping it gets better and lasts for the rest of the year.

With that let me sign out out my blog page and start hopping by yours 🙂

Onam wishes out of a non-post!

I’ve deleted 4 drafts till now and yet I refuse to give up. I intend to post something today as I have already resolved that I AM going to press that ‘publish’ button, come what may. Even if it means just wishing you all a “Happy Onam’ 🙂

Yes, its Onam tomorrow. Even though we haven’t planned any lavish celebration, I do intend to cook a mini-sadya. The good thing is that tomorrow is a Friday and R will be home. But the downside is that my domestic help will be on his weekend off which means that I’ll have no option but to seek some helping services from R and Namnam !

No pookalam this time although Namnam has already contributed her bit by scattering some rose petals all over the floor and claimed that ‘it is pookalam’.

And another highlight of the day was when Namnam wished to know the significance of the festival and learnt the story of Maveli. So fascinated was she by the story that she narrated it to R when he came home for lunch, albeit with some nudges when she kept mixing up Maveli with Vamanan and vice-versa 🙂

Anyway its time for me to sign off. I do realize that blogging has become a ‘once in a blue moon’ affair and I’m not very happy about it. I hope to get back to it as soon as Namnam’s school reopens next week. So long till then.

Heres wishing one and all a very happy Onam!

Avial

Avial is a typical Malayali dish made with a mix of vegetables, curd & coconut. It is prepared with much gusto, especially during festivals, weddings and other special occasions.

Even though this dish is a side-dish, it is sometimes made with gravy and eaten with rice.

I always thought Avial was a very difficult curry to make, hence never gave it a try…till last week that is. I made it on Onam, and surprisingly it turned out well. And was very easy to make too.

Chinkurli had wanted to know the recipe of Avial and I’d said that I would share it if my attempt turned out fine.

Also, when Sari mentioned that Ona-sadya reminded her of me, I was so thrilled that I felt the best way to thank her was by sharing the recipe of this dish which is such an integral part of Ona-sadya 🙂

So, Chinkurli, Sari, this one is for you :)…

Ingredients

Vegetables ( Yam, Pumpkin, Ash Gourd, Plantain, Beans, Carrot, Drumsticks, all cut in long thin pieces)- 2 cup
Turmeric– 1 teaspoon **
Curd– 1/2 cup
Scraped coconut– 1 cup
Green Chillies– 4-5
Coconut Oil– 2 teaspoons
Curry leaves– 3-4 sprigs
Salt– taste

Avial made @ Deeps'

Method

– Place all the vegetables in a thick bottomed vessel.

– Add turmeric and salt and sprinkle some water over the vegetables.

– Cook the them till they are soft. Make sure the vegetables don’t break or stick to one another.

– Coarsely grind the coconut and green chillies and mix them well with curd.

– Add them to the cooked vegetables and stir carefully.

– Remove from fire.

– Put some coconut oil and garnish the avial with curry leaves.

** Turmeric is an optional ingredient. In some parts of Kerala, Avial is prepared without turmeric.

TIP: Avoid using too much of water when preparing it as a side-dish.

Onam aashamsakal!

Tomorrow is Onam.A festival of great significance to Malayalis.A festival that symbolizes fervour &enthusiasm.A festival about dancing,feasting,merry-making.A festival that signifies happiness,prosperity &togetherness.A festival I look forward to celebrating every year.

Onam,like I have mentioned in my earlier post,falls in Chingam,the first month of the Malayalam calendar.More information about the festival is available here
If you have read my earlier mentioned post,you would also have read about the virtual ona sadya that many of us offered to serve you all today.

A sadya comprises of Rice, Sambhar, Erisseri, Kalan, Olan, Aviyal, Thoran, Koottukari, Pachadi, Inji-puli, Pickles, Upperi/chips & Payasam(dessert).And it is particularly lip-smacking when devoured in a banana-leaf! I’m sharing recipes of two dishes here,which I’ll surely be making tomorrow.For the rest of the recipes ,do visit my mother’s page,‘AMBROSIA’.

SAMBHAR

Ingredients:
a)Vegetables(Drumstick,Ladies Finger,Brinjals cleaned&sliced into long pieces) – 1 cup
b)Sambhar Dal(Red Gram Dal) – 1 cup
c)Turmeric powder – 1 teaspoon
d)Tamarind juice – 3 tablespoons
e)Coriander Powder – 1 tablespoon
f)Grated Coconut – 2 tablespoons
g)Fenugreek seeds -1 teaspoon
h)Asafoetida powder – 1 tea spoon
i)Mustard Seeds – 1/2 tea spoon
j)Whole Red chillies – 3-4 for masala and 2-3 for seasoning
k)Curry Leaves – 2-3 sprigs
l)Salt -2 teaspoons/as per taste
m)Vegetale oil – 1tablespoon for the masala and 2 teaspoon for seasoning

Sambhar made @ Deeps' on Onam(02-09-2009)
Sambhar made @ Deeps' on Onam(02-09-2009)

Method:
1. Wash the dal.
2. Pressure cook it with 3cups of water,turmeric powder & salt,till tender.
3. Boil & cook separately all the vegetables except ladies-finger

4. For masala,
* heat oil in a frying pan.
* splutter fenugreek seeds
* add red chillies&coriander powder
* when turned brown,add grated coconut and fry till the raw smell is replaced by an aroma.
* add asafoetida powder,sauté for a few seconds and turn off the heat.
* once the mix cools down,grind it to a smooth paste.

5. Add the vegetables(including ladies finger) to the dal and bring it to a boil.
6. Add the tamarind juice and stir all the mix together
7. Now add the ground paste and keep boiling for another minute.
8. Turn off the heat.

9. For seasoning
* heat oil in a pan
* splutter mustard seeds
* add red chillies & curry leaves
* saute for a second

10.Season it onto the curry.

The Sambhar is ready to be served!

ERISSERI with Pumpkin

Ingredients:
a)Ripe Pumpkin(cut into cubes) – 1cup
b)Turmeric powder – 1/2 teaspoon
c)Grated coconut – 1 cup
d)Cumin seeds – 1/2 teaspoon
e)Chilli powder – 1/2 teaspoon
f)Mustard seeds – 1 teaspoon
g)Whole red chillies – 3-4
h)Curry leaves – 2-3 sprigs
i)Coconut Oil – 2 tablespoons for the paste and 2teaspoons for seasoning
j)Salt – 2teaspoons/as per taste

Erisseri made @ Deeps' on Onam(02-09-2009)
Erisseri made @ Deeps' on Onam(02-09-2009)

Method:
1. Cook pumpkin after adding just about enough water(the water-level should be at par with the pumpkin),with turmeric powder & salt

2. For the paste
* Heat oil in a pan
* Splutter cumin seeds
*Add grated coconut & chilli powder
* Fry till brown.
* Once the mix cools down,grind it to a smooth paste.

3. Add the paste to the vegetable and boil and mix well.

4. For seasoning
* Heat oil in a pan
* Splutter mustard seeds
* Add red chillies & curry leaves
* Add a few coconut-scrapes
* Saute for a second

5. Season it over the Erisseri and serve!

This is how an authentic Ona-sadya** looks like
Onam Sadya in Vazhayila

Hope you enjoyed the spread(especially you,Hitchy! 🙂 )

And yes,if and when any of you post recipes on the occasion of Ona-sadya,please do let me know so that I can hop by and book a place for my share and drool!

On that note,to all my fellow Malayalis “എന്റെ ഹൃദയം നിറഞ്ഞ ഓണം ആശംസകള്‍”!
And to others,here’s wishing  a very happy & prosperous Onam 🙂

PS: **Image courtesy Google Images

EDITED TO ADD:Thank you once again for the loving wishes and making this day even more special.I’m sorry I’ve not had the time to visit many of you.I intend to make it up by resuming my blog-hopping soon 🙂
We had a wonderful Onam today.I made Erisseri and Sambhar proof of which I’ve uploaded above 😀 ! Namnam & I had the perfect company in our good friends,another mom-daughter duo,J & O to decorate a pookalam.Here are two images of our creation 🙂

Pookalam
Pookalam
Happy Onam :)
Happy Onam 🙂