Neivilangai

Neivilangai has always been featured in our family’s Deepavali menu every year. These melt-in-mouth lentil flour laddu are popular among Indians & Sri Lankans. North Indians use Bengal gram (Besan) flour & south Indians use green gram flour to make delicious laddu. Neivilangai prepared by our grandmothers were extremely delicious and aromatic as they used…

Kummiyanam

Kummiyanam is a nutritious dessert made of rice, assorted legumes & palm jaggery prepared by the people in Tirunelveli, Nagerkoil, or Kanyakumari. It is offered to the lamented souls while remembering them in Aadi month (a Tamil calendar month usually falls between 15th of July & 15th of August). Likewise, I heard Japanese visiting cemeteries during…

Aadi Perukku

Aadi Perukku is a festival of fertility that is being celebrated by women in south India for more than 500 years. It was mentioned in Sangam Tamil literature, Paripadal, written in the 14th century. I like to quote them here: “Women getting ready to bathe in the river urging their men to dress in festive…

Tamarind Rice

Puliyodarai, a traditional rice dish, stays good & tastes divine even if it is kept without being refrigerated for 3 or 4 days.  I heard that my grand mother along with her younger children used to travel in a cart to a nearby town for their Diwali shopping; she preferred to carry tamarind rice &…

Chitrannam

Chitrannam is a platter of different rice varieties prepared on an auspicious Aadiperukku day, a day that brings in prosperity. It is believed that whatever we do on that day would grow manifold, so farmers used to sow their seeds and others would like to venture into new business on this day. I prefer to…

Idli Podi

Idli milagai podi is an indispensable condiment in every south Indian’s pantry.  I do not like to use store-bought idli podi as it is nicely powdered; I find idli podi satisfying only when I feel the coarse grits on my tongue. We use roasted rice for its sandy texture; roasted asafoetida & raw garlic for…

Ayurvedic Lemonade

Panakam is a traditional lemonade that we offer to God. Generally we end our fasting by drinking panakam as it helps to purify, energise & hydrate our body.          My grand father’s sister, a hardcore devotee of Lord Muruga, never missed to observe fasting on all Sashti days (once in every fortnight)…