Rakshabandhan: A Beautiful Indian Festival to Celebrate the Brother-Sister Relationship

Rakhi ki Thali ©Chitrangadasharan

One of the most beautiful Indian festivals is Rakshabandhan.

This festival is about the special and pious bond, to celebrate the brother-sister relationship.

When the siblings are growing up together at their parents home, it is always about fun, sweets, gifts etc.

But, as we grow older, it’s unlikely the brother-sister will remain in the same city, or may be in the same country.

Yes, life takes the siblings to different directions, due to education, work, career, even marriage.

It’s then that the festival of Rakshabandhan becomes an emotional festival.

The sacred thread, which the sisters tie on the wrist of their brothers, to wish them happiness, prosperity, good health and all good wishes, can’t be done in the same way, as it was done in their childhood days.

So, there is a practice to send the colourful and auspicious Rakhis in envelopes, via post, or couriers, or even online.

That little small sacred thread, called Rakhi is symbolic of the pure and true love and the special bond, which the brother and sister share with each other.

If the brother is married, a special and beautiful Rakhi is also included for the sister-in-law.

Perhaps, it’s only in Indian culture and traditions, that the brother-sister relationship is celebrated in this beautiful manner.

Because, this is a relationship, Forever. 🌹🌹

Indian Dessert Chena Murki: Weekend Treats

Indian Dessert, Chena Murki, Picture by ©Chitrangadasharan

There is no end to the dessert options in Indian Cuisine.

Popularly called Mithai, you can have the mouth watering Rasogulla, Gulab Jamun, Burfi, Kalakand, Rajbhog, Peda, Laddoo and the list is endless.

But, there are many festivals in India, in which those who observe vrat or fast, can have phalahaar (comprising of Satvik food).

Milk and milk products are considered to be Satvik food.

Chena Murki (displayed in the picture) is made of Chena (paneer/ cottage cheese), and it can be consumed by those who are observing fast or vrat.

Paneer or Chena can be easily prepared at home.

Just add sugar, grated coconut (fresh or dried), and green cardamom powder.

Combine all ingredients and cook for 5 minutes and it’s ready.

For the detailed recipe, please refer to the link below.

Easy Indian Dessert : Chena Murki for Vrat and Festivals

©Chitrangadasharan

Monsoon Special: Weekend Treats

The Indian Masala Chai ©Chitrangadasharan
The perfect snack for the rainy season, Pyaz ke pakode with masala chai ©Chitrangadasharan

What would you do, if you are confined to your home due to the rainy season, during weekends?

In India, Chai and pakoda is everyone’s favourite, during the rainy season.

Rains do something magical to the senses,

When every living creature is happy, and feels rejuvenated.

And there is a food for every mood, isn’t it?

The chai/ masala chai or tea contains nutritious herbs, and has a rich aroma.

Pakodas can be made of many different ingredients. But, my favourite is onion pakoda/ pyaz pakoda.

Enjoy the rainy season, and of course the weekend.

Homemade Pizza: Weekend Treats

©Chitrangadasharan

Weekend time is to relax and also try something exciting and different from the regular menu choices.

Normally in Indian homes, the lunch and dinner consists of Roti, daal, chawal, sabji, raita, salad etc.

But, I believe that on weekends it should a different menu, usually planned and cooked at home. It’s a good idea to involve the family members, especially kids in preparing the lunch or dinner.

Pizzas are easily available at food joints or through delivery. But, it’s an enjoyable experience to make everything from the scratch.

So, enjoy virtually the Paneer pizza— Homemade.

Raisin, Cinnamon Cake: Weekend Treats

Picture by ©Chitrangadasharan

When you want to make your loved ones smile,

Bake a cake,

When you feel relaxed, because it’s weekend,

Bake a cake,

When you are feeling a bit low,

Bake a cake,

When you have something to celebrate,

Bake a cake,

Happiness is- – – – –

Baking a cake for your loved ones.

©Chitrangadasharan

Halwa, Kheer as Prasad: Weekend Treats

Suji Halwa as Prasad, Picture by ©Chitrangadasharan
Rice Kheer as Prasad, Picture by ©Chitrangadasharan
Picture via Google
Picture via Google

Anyone familiar with the Indian traditions, must be familiar with the significance of Prasad (offerings) in Puja (worshipping.)

Though there can be many food items, fruits, dry fruits etc. which we can offer in pujas, the most common Prasad is Halwa, Kheer and seasonal fruits.

Today is the auspicious day of Shri Jagannath Yatra, and therefore I thought of sharing the Prasad, which I have offered to Lord Jagannath.

Halwa, can be prepared with wheat flour, suji (semolina), Besan (black gram flour), dry fruits Halwa and many more.

Halwa is prepared with pure desi ghee and sugar or jaggery, dry nuts, and other ingredients, with devotion and purity.

Rice Kheer is prepared with rice, milk, dry nuts, cardamom, sugar or jaggery, again with devotion and purity.

After offering to the Lord, the Prasad has a unique divine taste.

My best wishes to everyone for a Blessed Rath Yatra day.

Jai Jagannath 🙏🙏

Birthdays Make You Feel Special

Picture by ©Chitrangadasharan
Picture by ©Chitrangadasharan

Birthdays are special days, and we make sure that the birthday person feels happy and special. Spending time with family and friends, with good food, gifts, birthday wishes, music, dance and what not!

Then there are various social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, WhatsApp and others, which are flooded with birthday wishes.

Then there are phone calls, video calls and other advanced technologies to make you feel special and happy for your special day.

All this sounds so good, and the birthdays are really special nowadays.

However, when I was younger, and there was no social media, birthdays were celebrated by visiting the temples, receiving blessings from the elders of the family, new clothes, having sweets or some delicious homemade food and all that.

Those were days of joint family system and there were so many people within the family, that there was no need to go outside or invite others.

It was always a celebration time.

After my marriage, my father, mother, grandfather always sent me letters (handwritten, of course) on the occasion of my birthdays.

Those letters are my precious possessions, even now.

Rice kheer and sweets were a must for prasad on birthdays, but cakes were optional.

Well, now I prepare all the delicacies— the auspicious and traditional kheer, Laddoos, and of course cakes, because it’s always good to carry on and combine the traditions with modernity.

©Chitrangadasharan

The elders

Weekend Treats: Mango Lassi

Mango Lassi, Picture by ©Chitrangadasharan

Mango Lassi is perhaps the best Summer drink, for the hot summer in India.

The flavour and aroma of the ripe mangoes, combined with homemade curd or yogurt can be prepared in less than 5 minutes.

No need to add sugar, as the mangoes are sweet enough. But, if you are making it for the kids, you can add a little bit of sugar or honey.

You can also add saffron or cardamom powder for added flavour.

For the best fruit based smoothies, always go for fresh fruits.

Wash and peel the mangoes, and purée them in a blender.

Add curd and 3 to 4 ice cubes and blend again.

Usually the mango pulp and curd can be taken in equal quantity.

1 cup mango pulp + 1 cup curd

But, you can have your choice, whether to increase the mango pulp, or increase the amount of curd, according to the person, for whom you are making this delicious and nutritious drink.

©Chitrangadasharan

Weekend Treats: Alcohol Free Beverages

Easy to make non- alcoholic beverages

Whenever, we sit down and relax with family and friends, it’s quite common to have some beverages.

There are so many choices, like tea, coffee and others.

But, how about having something healthy, nutritious and also yummy!

It’s especially good for children, if you can serve them something, which is yummy, as well as with lot of nutritional value.

And, it’s always good to avoid serving alcoholic drinks to them, and some others, who have some health issues.

Here, I have shared some extremely healthy drinks, which includes watermelon, oranges, pineapple, coconut milk, guava and others.

Remember to serve the kids in an attractive way, because children love well served food.

Please follow the link to know the details of preparation and presentation of 7 interesting alcohol free drinks.

7 Easy to Prepare Non- Alcoholic Drinks or Beverages

If you have any questions, please let me know in the comments section.

©Chitrangadasharan

Weekend Treats: Walnut, Cinnamon Cupcakes

Walnut, Cinnamon Cupcakes, Picture by ©Chitrangadasharan

Weekends are special, and the quality time we spend with our family, can be made more enjoyable, by cooking something delicious.

Cooking is an an expression of love and care, and also it is an art.

There are immense possibilities, if you have interest in this creative art.

Not only that, cooking is therapeutic too.

When you see the joy on the faces of your loved ones, it gives you pleasure and satisfaction.

This weekend I am sharing the recipe of Walnut, Cinnamon Cupcakes.

I like cupcakes more than the other cakes, because it’s easier to serve, and you can watch your portion as well.

Try it and have a wonderful weekend with family!

Please follow the link for the details of this recipe.

Easy to bake, Walnut, Cinnamon Cupcake Recipe