The Spirit of Christmas

©chitrangadasharan
©Chitrangadasharan
©Chitrangadasharan
©Chitrangadasharan

It’s Christmas time and it’s wonderful to see happy faces all around, in the markets, shopping malls, and elsewhere. Like others, I love to see the decorations of Christmas.

This also reminds me of my childhood and the sweet memories of my children’ s growing up days. They loved to dress up, and go to the Christmas parties organised in their schools, and our residential colony clubs.

The teachers used to dress up as Santa Claus, with big bags of yummy chocolates, cookies etc. My children enjoyed every bit of the celebrations and we parents also had fun along with them.

Happy and proud to be an Indian, where every religious festival is celebrated with full enthusiasm and excitement.

These pictures are from The Mall of India, Noida, India, and the cake is homemade by my daughter.

Merry Christmas to everyone 🎄🌲🎄🌲

Weekend Treats: Winter Special

Winter season in India, brings with it lot of green vegetables and fruits. As such, fruit desserts and sweets are popular and easy to make. One such dessert is ‘Gazar ka halwa’ or carrot Helwa, homemade with fresh carrots.

Gazar ka halwa, @chitrangadasharan

Talking about greens, Methi paratha is another popular winter recipe, made with fresh methi leaves (Fenugreek).

And, the mixed vegetables go well with it. For example, cauliflower, cabbage, carrots, green beans, green peas, cooked with some slices of tomatoes.

So, what are you cooking for this weekend?

Easy Diwali Sweets/ Snacks: Weekend Treats

Coconut Laddoo, ©Chitrangadasharan

You may buy as many sweets and snacks as possible from the market, and even receive sweet boxes from your family and friends. But, it gives immense happiness and satisfaction to make some sweets on your own.

Coconut Laddoo:

This is the easiest sweet to make at home, I believe.

Just cook 100 gm. dried Coconut powder, in 1 litre of milk, on low flame, till the milk reduces completely. Add sugar to taste, around 1-2 tablespoon, and 3-4 green cardamom powder. When slightly cool, make even sized Laddoos.

Methi Mathri ©Chitrangadasharan

Methi Mathri:

Snacks are also important and it’s best to prepare them fresh at home.

2 Cups maida (self raising flour), vegetable oil for the dough, and for frying the Mathris, ajwain, dried methi leaves, salt to taste.

Combine the ingredients and Prepare the dough as you would for namak para. Rest for 15 minutes, roll and fold the mathris, and fry on medium flame.

Have an enjoyable and prosperous festival of Diwali 🪔

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