Thursday, October 25, 2007

Navrathri 2007

Hi everyone, hope you all had a wonderful Navrathri. I did too. This year, I got my dear hubby and his friend Gopi to build me steps for displaying my golu. The backbone for any golu is the steps. All these years we managed to find cardboard boxes and arranged them to form steps. It worked but was not all that polished. It was uneven. We went to LOWES and bought Deck Steps. We needed two side panels which were already precut into the shape of steps.Then we bought wooden planks which would rest on the side panels and two wooden beams to hold the two panels together. All in all it was a fun project and Sathyan's very first woodworking project. It was a great success and I am indeed very glad with the results. Thanks Sathyan and Gopi.

After the steps were ready, we had to cover it with a cloth before draping my expensive kanjeevaram saree on to the steps. We ripped an old comforter, measured, cut and placed the cloth on the steps, pinning it down as we worked our way from the top. Now it looked nice, hiding away all the wood and gaps. Then came my kanjeevaram saree, draped neatly and cautiously over the five steps. On the topmost step I placed the "Marpachi Bommai" or " Pattada Bombe", which signifies "fertility" and is given to a daughter in her wedding.On the second step, came the sandalwood deities. Originally dolls from mythology are placed depicting stories related to Dussera and Navrathri. But now a days even barbies and other toys have a place on the steps. It's all about keeping your tradition alive and using your creativity.

I made a zoo this time using my son Saakash's train set as the main attraction. Around the tracks i created small areas for animals and put some picnic tables all over. Saakash is 2 years and 9 months old. He was not very happy to see his train but not play with it. So we asked him to be the train operator and he was fascinated. He was the best train operator we ever knew. I finished the display with a rangoli of Lord Ganesha, the remover of all obstacles, praying for a smooth celaebration.

So now for the Grand Finale, I invite each and every one of you to come and view my doll display, Navrathri 2007.

Here are some wonderful golu pictures shared by my good friend Priya. She keeps saying that her golu is very simple but I feel it's very elegant. It's the thought and the dedication that goes into it, rather than the enormity. Don't you agree with me?

Golu at my co-sister Vani's place in Singapore: Yet another masterpiece! Seems like creativity runs in the family.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Vegetable Skewers!

We had been camping to Del Valle Regional Park. It was fun. We didn't do much other than cook cook and cook. We made Indian style Grilled Corn, Vegetable burgers and of course Vegetable Skewers. It was really good. You can make this in a gas grill or an oven but nothing like it grilled on coal.

Paneer - Cubed into 1" pieces
Mushrooms - few button mushrooms or big ones cut into quarters
Peppers - Red , yellow and green, cut into cubes
Onion - cut into cubes
Cherry tomatoes - a few or cut up a regular tomato into pieces
Pineapple - cubed, I used Dole canned pineapple
Zucchini - cubed
Olive oil - 1 tbs
Salt and pepper to taste
Juice of one lemon for garnishing.

For Marinating:
Fresh yogurt or curd - 1 cup
Red Chilly powder - 2 tsp
Tandoori masala - 2 Tbs
Ginger-garlic paste - 2 tsp
Chaat masala - 1 tsp
Salt to taste

Mix all the above ingredients for marination and add cubed paneer and mushrooms. Marinate this in the refrigerator atleast for 20 mins. Leaving it overnight is good.
Take 1 tbs of olive oil or any other cooking oil in a bowl and mix in the rest of the cut vegetables along with salt and pepper.
If using bamboo skewers, you will have to soak them in water for 1/2 an hour to prevent burning of the sticks on the grill.
Skewer the vegetables in the order of your choice and grill it for 5 to 10 minutes till done.
Enjoy with a drizzle of lemon juice.

Paneer Maggi!

Yes......yet another MAGGI recipe for those who love paneer. My Brother-in-law is an all time paneer-lover. So Vijay, ask Shruthi to make this for you.

When we had been to Boston for a vacation, my cousin's hubby made this yummy paneer maggi. It was "the" comfort food on a very chilly night. People from BITS,Pilani will be more familiar with this dish. It was made in their canteen.


Maggi Noodles, masala flavor- 1 packet
Paneer- cubed and deep fried- 1/2 cup
2 Tbs onion finely chopped
frozen peas- 1 Tbs
any vegetable of your choice like green capsicum, red capsicum, beans, carrot- 3 Tbs
red chilly powder- according to taste
garam masala powder- optional
salt to taste
oil for frying

Take a vessel and boil about 2 1/2 teacups of water.
Take about 1-2 Tbs of oil in a kadai, fry onions till pinkish. Add vegetables of your choice, add lil salt and fry till half cooked.Add fried paneer and mix. Break the noodle cake , crumble in your hands and add to the kadai. Add the masala powder, lil chilly powder and garam masala powder and mix .Add boiling water and cook the noodles till done. Enjoy hot, yummy noodles with any sauce of your choice.