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Special Festival Recipes                        Tastes of India

Here are a few special festival oriented recipes

 Please check for regular updates.       

Janmashtami - Krishna Jayanthi

This is the birthday celebration of Lord krishna. Its celebrated widely all over india. Apart from his favourites of milk, curd & butter the main neivdyam
(Prasad) for Janmashtami among South Indians are SEEDAIS. There are two varities sweet and salty. Below are recipes for both.


Rice flour - 2 cups
Urad dal flour - 1/4 cup
Ghee - 1 table spoon
Jeera - 2 teaspoons
Hing powder - 1/4 teaspoon
Grated coconut - 1 table spoon
Salt to taste
Oil for deep frying - 2 cups


Mix all the ingredients except oil and make a soft dough using water.

Make small balls around 3/4 cm in diameter( smaller than a marble) and leave to dry on a white cloth.

After you finish with all the dough, Heat oil in a deep kadai and start frying the seedais a handful at a time.

Keep the flame in medium throughout and stir in between for even cooking.

Once the sound subsides totally, lower the flame, drain the seedais well and remove on a kitchen paper.

Store in airtight containers.


Seedai tends to burst if water gets trapped in between or small rice grains. Roll the seedai well.
To avoid Knead the dough very well. Seive the flour before roasting.




Rice flour - 2 cups
Urad dal flour - 1 table spoon
Jaggery - 1 and 1/2 cup
Cardamom - 2 nos
Coconut cut into small pieces - 2 table spoons
Ghee - 1 table spoon
Oil - 1 cup for deep frying


Mix the flours, cardamom powder and the coconut pieces in a container.

In a kadai mix jaggery with 1 cup water and boil on a medium flame.

Once jaggery melts, pass through a filter to remove the dirt.

Clean the kadai and boil again.

Keep the flame low and add the ingredients mixed together.

Stir well, this will form a ball. add 1 tablespoon ghee and mix. leave to cool for a while.

Make 1 inch balls with the dough.

Heat oil in a kadai, on a medium to low flame fry a few balls at a time till they are brown.

Drain well and take out on a kitchen paper. This seedai tends to develop cracks on outer layer.

Your vella seedai is ready.

 Ganesh Chathurthi                                                                                      

                                          Ganesh Aarti

                         Jai Ganesh Jai Ganesh, Jai Ganesh deva
                         Mata jaki Parvati, Pita Mahadeva.

                         Ek dant dayavant, char bhuja dhari
                         Mathe sindur sohai, muse ki savari, Jai Ganesh...

                         Andhan ko ankh det, kodhin ko kaya
                         Banjhan ko putra det, nirdhan ko maya, Jai Ganesh....

                         Pan chadhe, phul chadhe, aur chadhe meva
                         Ladduan ka bhog lage, saht kare seva, ,Jai Ganesh....

                         Jai Ganesh, Jai Ganesh, Jai Ganesh deva,
                         Mata jaki Parvata, Pita Mahadeva


Ganesh Chathurthi recipes

Sweet Kozhukattai ( modakam)

1 Coconut (grated)
2 cups Jaggery
4 cups Rice Flour
2.5 cups Water
2 teaspoons Cooking Oil

Direction For Cooking

Preparation of Filling:

Melt jaggery in a pan. Add grated coconut. Stir until thick. Leave to cool.

Preparation of Shell:

In another pan boil water. Add two tea spoons of oil. Add rice flour and stir continuously, until it thickens. Remove from the stove.


Wet palm and fingers with few drops of cooking oil and shape balls of the cooked flour into small cups, fill them with one table spoon of filling and close the flour cup. Make cups until all the flour and filling are completed.

Place the modakam balls in a slightly greased idly plate or an ordinary stainless steel plate and place it in a pressure cooker or vessel with boiling water.

Steam for 12 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes. Eat warm.

Salt Kozhukattai (a variation)

Soak 100g urud dal for 1 hour. Add 3 green chillies, 1/4 tsp salt, a pinch of asafoetida and grind it into a thick coarse paste. Place this on idli plates and steam. Remove and when it cools a little separate them gently.

Heat 4 tsp of oil in a fry pan, add mustard seeds. When it pops, add 6 tsp of grated coconut, cooked urud dal mix. Add a bunch of curry leaves.

Using this as stuffing, make kozhukkattais as described in sweet  kozhukattai.


Devi Navarathri is dedicated to the three Devis - Durga, Lakshmi & Saraswathi. The celebration of these deities is done in a grand manner in every household in south india.

The first three days is for Durga (Shakthi, Power), next three for Lakshmi (Wealth) and last three for Saraswathi ( Education)

Here are few simple recipes made during these festival days.

Semiya payasam:

Semiya       200 grms

Milk            1 litre

Sugar         1 cup

Mikmaid       2 tbsp (optional)

Cashew, raisin  few

Cardamom   1 pinch powdered

Ghee          2 tbsp

Heat ghee in a kadai, add semiya, roast till golden. Remove and keep aside. Boil milk and 1 cup water in a thick botttomed container. Once the milk comes to a boil simmer and boil for few more minutes. Now sim the stove and add the semiya. Keep stirring if not the milk will overflow. Cook the semiya in the milk for about 5 mins. Add cardamom, roasted raisin and cashew. Payasam is done. serve hot or chilled.

Channa sundal:

Sundals are most sought after prasadham during navarathri. These are basically soaked, cooked and seasoned  lentils. A variety of sundal can be made from Kabuli channa, green peas, lobia, white peas and such.

Kabuli Channa sundal:

Kabuli channa            1/2 kg

Salt     per taste

Turmeric powder        1 pinch

Red chilli powder        1/2 tsp

Garam masala powder 1/2 tsp

Rai( mustard)            1/4 tsp

Hing                        1 pinch

Soak the channa for minimum of 6 hours and wash well. Cook with a little salt and a pinch of soda ( optional) for 5, 6 whistles.

Once done drain the water and keep the chana aside. In a kadai heat 3 tbsp of oil add mustard and hing, once it splutters add the cooked channa. Add salt, turmeric, red chilli powder and garam masala powder. Mix well. Put of the stove.

The same process can be used to make other sundals with peas, brown channa etc.

Lemon rice:

Cooked rice 2 cups

Lemon juice 2 tbsp

Salt           per taste

Green chilli   1 slit

Red chilli      2

Urad dal       1/2 tsp

chana dal   1/2 tsp

hing          1 pinch

curry leaves few

turmeric   1/4 tsp

Oil  2 tbsp

Wash, cook 2 cups rice and cool it in a plate. Add oil in a kadai, add mustard, urad, chana, hing, curry leaves, red and green chillies. Mix well. Once the color changes, add lemon juice and put of the stove (or it will become bitter)

Add salt and rice. Mix thoroughly and serve.

Sakkara pongal

Rice 2 cups washed and cooked

Jaggery 4 cups grated

Cardamom  1 pinch powdered

Cashew, raisins  few each roasted in ghee

Ghee 6 tbsp

green camphor and saffron strands  a pinch ( optional)

Wash cook rice and cool. Ina heavy bottom kadai add the jaggery and little water. Make a paakam (thick strands of jaggery similar to the consistency of honey). Once this is done simmer the stove and add the cooked rice. Add 2 tbsp ghee. Mix thoroughly and cook for 10 mins. Stir continuously. Add the cashew, raisins, camphor and saffron. Add the rest of the ghee and stir well till the rice drains the watery content and becomes a semi solid. Its done.

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