Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Navratri – Celebrating the nine forms of Goddess Durga

Nine nights of feasting, fasting and prayers are followed by the grand festival of Dassehra, celebrated all over India, tommorrow, October 24, especially with much fervor in Kolkata (earlier called Calcutta)

Sarvajanik Durga puja at Aquem, Margao, Goa

Mesmerising - the deities have been decorated, beautifully.

The nine forms of Goddess Durga celebrated during Navratri are:

Shailputri – also known as Parvati

Brahmacharini – Most generous avatar (incarnation)

Chandraghanta - Represents bravery

Kushmanda – It is believed that worshippining this form of Durga, enhances a person’s intellectual abilities and decision making skills

Skanda Mata – Goddess of health

Katyayani - Goddess of beauty

Kalratri – Personifies power

Maha Gauri – Goddess of fertility

Siddhidatri – Goddess of Siddhi (accomplishment)

Wish you all A Very Happy Dasshera !!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Homely Drumstick !

Drumsticks – commonly used as a vegetable in South Asia are infact immature seed pods, which are rich in vitamin C. These are known as Mullakada in Telugu, Murungakai in Tamil and Sango in Konkani. The botanical name of the drumstick tree is Moringa oleifera.

Drumsticks cut into pieces

India is the largest producer of drumsticks, with an annual production of 1.1 to 1.3 million tonnes of tender fruits wherein the state of Andhra Pradesh, leads the production.

When compared with common foods, fresh moringa leaves are more nutricious sources of some of the essential nutrients *, as listed in the table below:

I love drumsticks especially when cooked in rasam (tangy tamarind soup with seasoning) and sambar (dal cooked with vegetables and seasoning) Drumstick curry also is made which has an unique taste.

Rasam (called Charu in Telugu)
Four NGOs: Trees for Life International, Church World Service, Educational Concerns for Hunger Organization, and Volunteer Partnerships for West Africa — have advocated moringa as "natural nutrition for the tropics."

One unique feature about this tree is that it delivers leaves and pods (however these are mostly termed as fruits) throughout the year, with minimum maintenance.

*Source: Wikepedia

More Ganesh decorations !

Here are some more pictures of decorated Ganesha's during the Ganesh Chathurthi festival.

The Ganesha worshipped at my parents place

Decorated the traditional way alongwith the matoli (various fruits are tied overhead the Ganesha statue)

Ganesha, worshipped at my uncle's place, with flowers and holy leaves (especially bael leaves)