Friday, December 30, 2011

Recipe - பச்சை புளியஞ்சாதம் (Instant Puliotharai)

பச்சை புளியஞ்சாதம் (Instant Puliotharai)

This is yet another recipe I learnt  from my mother in law, She does this for neivedhyam mostly.
The advantage is, of course, you can make this the moment you feel like having puliotharai!

Tamarind (புளி) - size of a big lemon
rice (அரிசி) - 1 cup
Sesame oil (நல்லெண்ணெய்) - 3 tbsp
Mustard (கடுகு) - 1 tsp
Broken Urad dall (உளுத்தம் பருப்பு) - 2 tsp
Channa dall (கடலை பருப்பு) - 2 tsp
Roasted groundnut (வறுத்த வேர்கடலை) - 2 tsp (optional)
Dry red chillies (காய்ந்த மிளகாய்) - 8 - 10 numbers
Curry leaves (கருவேப்பில்லை) - 2 sprigs
Turmeric powder (சமையல் மஞ்சள்பொடி) - 1/2 tsp
Asafoetida powder (பெருங்காயம் பொடி) - 1/2 tsp
Salt (உப்பு) - to taste

1. Cook the rice and keep aside
2. Squeeze the tamarind with little water to make a thick juice. Please ensure the juice is not thin. We just need about 2/3 cup of thick juice, not more.
3. In a kadai, add 1/2 the quantity of sesame oil, add mustard and the broken pieces of dry chillies. Let the chillies darken a bit as the mustard crackles, add the urad dall, channa dall and then the groundnut. Switch off gas and add the turmeric powder, asafoetida powder and curry leaves.
4. Take the tamarind juice in a wide vessel useful to mix the rice, add the hot rice to this and immediately add the seasoning given above. Add the balance oil to this and salt to taste
Leave it for a few minutes before mixing well.
The tamarind juice kind of gets semi cooked with the hot rice and it will not taste raw.Your pachai pulianchaadam is ready to be eaten with vadam/pappad and just plain curd!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

December Season

December Season

Right from my first year of marriage, I have been watching my mother-in-law keenly following the December music season every year by marking the kutcheris she wanted to attend in the The Hindu dated December 01 featuring details of concerts in all the sabhas in Chennai. Earlier she used to attend at least 5-6 kutcheris at The Music Academy, Narada Gana Sabha and Sri Rama Bhakta Jana Sabha. Nowadays due to old age traveling alone is not possible, but she tries to attend at least a programme or two in Sri Rama Bhakta Jana Sabha.

Despite almost zero knowledge in classical music (I can only listen), my interest was slowly kindled by this over the years that I started bothering my husband to take me for a kutcheri or two. This happened a few years back. From that point onwards, I too started marking the concerts of musicians I like to hear, but alas, it just stopped with that and we managed to hear just one kutcheri of Sanjay Subramaniam at Bharat Kalachar during the season two years back. Inspite of four sabhas within 3 km radius of my office, I have not been able to attend any programme with my office work and other commitments - the same commitments that did not give me time/inclination to blog for the past few months. I thank you all for the number of hits I have been getting on my blog everyday which made me feel really guilty for not writing for some time. This year has been really busy with so many personal problems. Hope to be regular on blogging in 2012.

I have to mention here that Dorai Thatha and Rajeswari Chitti, avid music lovers and regular attendees of the season have been offering me a drama ticket for the 1st of January every year and I have never been able to make use of it.

This year also I kept aside the kutcheri schedule that came with The Times of India and selected 4-5 kutcheris. I have not been able to attend any of these, but out of sheer luck, Ranga got a couple of tickets for a kutcheri by Sudha Raghunathan in Chennayil Thiruvayaru at Kamarajar Arangam last Sunday.

We entered the auditorium to see the front hall full with various stalls of these sponsors and all hands were full with the pamphlets distributed by these people.

One thing I have always heard about was very true; the ladies were decked up like they were attending a wedding! Of course, the December music season in Chennai is almost like a family function for music lovers and they like to dress up so beautifully for the season!

We joined the long, long queue of lovely dressed women and men but were finally disappointed with the mess-up at the entrance. In spite of having a high priced ticket, we could get seats only very much at the back as the whole thing was disorganized. The organizers were so careless about the issue of tickets and seat allotment.

We finally settled in our seats and the concert that was supposed to begin at 7.30 pm finally started at 8 pm. Once it began, all was forgotten and Sudha Raghunathan’s singing mesmerized one and all! I liked her rendering of Nee Irangaayenil best. Katrinele varum Geetham was enjoyed by all present, but for me nobody can beat M S Subbulakshmi in that! Thani avarthanam was really nice and everybody enjoyed it!

Here is the song Nee Irangaayenil

Concert ended around 10 pm with Thalaivaari poochudi unnai.

We came out to have a glimpse of the Saiva Unavu Thiruvizha organized there. The food ranged from a typical South Indian food to chaats, pizzas, ice creams and sweets galore at Sri Krishna Sweets stall. Coffee was mainly from Narasu’s Coffee but was very disappointing. The smell of coffee engulfed us the moment we came out of the auditorium, but the taste was very mediocre! We did not get to taste any of the food in the stalls, but looking at people hogging, I am sure it must have been good!

There a huge apt banner of Kalyana Samayal Saadham scene featuring Ranga Rao as Gadothgajan.

Really nothing to beat the fun fare during December Season!