Thursday, 29 November 2012

My dear friends, I want to know you something! I can't manage 2days in a week to blog; so I make a decision to write only on Sunday! I apologize for that but I have to do it; because, as a homemaker, I have a lots of work to do in my home and I love to study and it takes a lots of time. Beside that, I'm always tried to present you a fresh and rich subject in my blog; I think this extra times help me to serve the good one. Hope you understand the problem and agree with me! I will try to extend my time and add more feature in future. Please keep watching!
That’s all for today! Takecare yourself and your family! See you next Sunday, till then good bye! Have a good day/ afternoon/evening/night! Namaskar.

Monday, 26 November 2012

Tips from the kitchen of an Indian homemaker

Today’s Tips



1. To remove mud stains from clothes, soak and wash them in water collected after boiling potatoes. The stains will vanish!

2. Always store nail polish bottles in the refrigerator to prevent the polish from drying up.

 Beauty Tips:




1. If you fed-up with  excessive hair loss or early grey hairs, then soak some Fenugreek seeds (methi, an Indian spice) in night and in the morning make the paste of the seeds and apply it to your scalp. After 1½ - 2 hrs rinse it with plane water. This will strengthen your hair and make them dark and shiny.

2. To avoid Sunburn, mix 1 teaspoon of gram flour (Besan) with 2 teaspoon of curd and apply it on your face. Let it remain on the face for ½ hrs. Rinse with plane water. It helps in curing sunburns.
Festivals of India in the month of November
Jagadhatri Puja


At Chandannagar

Jagadhatri Puja is one of the important festivals celebrated mainly in the Hooghly district of West Bengal. Devotees worship and celebrate reincarnation of goddess Durga in the name of Jagadhatri and create the splendid ambiance with high festive spirits. The festival is also celebrated at Chandannagar, Krishnanagar, Nadia and Kolkata after Durga Puja and Kali Puja in the month of Kartik.

At Krishnanagar

Jagadhatri Puja is celebrated with immense glee and joy in Hooghly district of West Bengal.
The festival was initiated by Sarada Devi, Sri Ramakrishna’s wife who was believed to be reincarnation of the Goddess and still observed with high spirits in the centers of the Ramkrishna Mission all over the world.The Puja is popularly called as the reincarnation of goddess Durga, the savior to destroy evil and set peace on the earth.

The festival is celebrated in the grandiose manner by setting huge
idols of the Goddess Jagadhatri in spectacular pandals amidst stunning illumination.The idol of goddess is decked up beautifully by red clothes and ornaments. The goddess is also presented garland around the neck. Her mount is a tiger.


Illumination at Chandannagar
Illumination at Chandannagar



















Generally, Jagaddhatri is referred as another name of Durga. In Sanskrit and Bengali, the word 'Jagaddhatri' literally means 'Holder (dhatri) of the World (Jagat)'. According to Sri Ramakrishna,“Jagaddhatri holds the World. If she wouldn’t, the World might fall down”. This explanation can be applied for both Durga and Jagaddhatri. That is why in the hymns, the goddess is always referred as ‘Jagaddhatri Durga -

jayade jagadanande jayadekaprapujite.
  jaya sarvagate Durge Jagaddhatri namahstute.”


Translation: 

I hail Thee, o all-pervasive Jagaddhatri Durga, Thou art victorious and symbol of the joys of the world; it is only Thou in the world, who can be worshipped properly. Victory to Thee.
Flavors of India
Chicken Red Curry in Indian Style

        Ingredients

·         Chicken: -                                                                500gm.
·         Onion (slice in four pieces):-                                   2 piece 
·         Ginger paste: -                                                   1tablespoon
·         Garlic paste :-                                                    2tablespoon
·         Tomato(slice in four pieces):-                                  1 piece
·         Fresh Coriander :-                                                  1/3 cup
·         Curd:-                                                                     1/2 cup
·         Red Chili Powder (if you want):-                           1/2 teaspoon
·         Kashmiri red Chili Powder:-                                     1 teaspoon
·         Cumin Powder:-                                                  1/2teaspoon
·         Coriander Powder:-                                                1teaspoon
·         Turmeric Powder:-                                              1/2teaspoon
·         Mustard / Refined Oil:-                                      1Cup(150gm)
·         Sugar:-                                                              1/5teaspoon
·         Salt:-                                                                       to taste
 

Process:










  1.  Wash the chicken and marinate with curd, turmeric powder & Salt before cooking for at least 30mins. 
  2. Full heat the oil in a pan & fry the onions till brownish.
  3.   Add ginger, garlic paste, tomatos and fry for 3-4min.
  4.  Now add marinated chicken, rest of all powders, sugar in it and cook for 5mins.
  5.   When it becomes dry add 1cup of water and stir well.
  6.  Cover and let it cook for 10 minutes on low flame.
  7.  Take it off the flame when the potato well cooked.
  8.  Garnish with fresh coriander.
  9.   Serve hot with Rice or Indian plain Roti or Garlic Bread.



* You may avoid cumin, coriander or Kashmiri red chilli   powder. In that situation, add 1 cup paste of fresh coriander and green chilli.
* For Details about Ingredients, check your nearest Indian Store.

DESTINATION INDIA

Orissa (PART-VIII)
Sea-beaches of Orissa (Part-1)



The long coastal belt of Orissa offers the finest white sand beaches, deep blue sea and pleasant weather in the world.The beautiful sea side beaches of Orissa provide the tourists with a wonderful opportunity to experience the natural scenic beauty of the place. The sea beaches of the state draws several tourists from far and wide who are enthralled and enchanted by the captivating sight of the places.
The tumultuous waves of Bay of Bengal coupled with the cool sea breeze make the beaches of Orissa an ideal place to spend some time with close family and friends. The sea side beaches of the state serve as the health resort for many tourists who visit the places to regain lost health and vigor.
Far from the maddening crowd and hustle bustle of the city life, the serene and calm surrounding of the beaches of Orissa relieves the tourists from the stress and strains of daily mundane life. The beaches are easily accessible by good roads and well laid railway tracks from all parts of the country.
The state government of Orissa has taken steps to improve the tourism prospects of the sea beaches. The tourists can swim across the high waves of Bay of Bengal or enjoy sunbath on the sandy beaches of the sea side. Puri, Chandipur, Golpalpur and Talasari are some of the prominent beaches of the state that are always flocked by tourists.


  

Aryapalli Beach






Aryapalli Beach, a peaceful and charismatic beach located 30-km far from Berhampur and 6-km away from Chhatrapur, offers you an opportunity to hear the unsaid volumes of waves. The revitalizing climate of the Aryapalli Beach in Odisha provides lots of novelty to your mind, body and soul. Away from the chaos of the city life while spending some quality time at the beach, you feel the lap of nature in the sun, surf and sand amidst the green casuarinas plantations.
Aryapalli beach provides the tourists with a wonderful opportunity to enjoy the natural splendor of Orissa. The sunrise and sunset on the beach casts a magical spell on the spectators who are bewitched by the captivating beauty of Aryapalli. The tourists can enjoy a sunbath on the clean beach of the place. Those who want to add a bit of adventure in their trip to Aryapalli can swim in the tumultuous water of the sea. Tourism in Aryapalli Beach of Orissa is appreciated by its offering the opportunity to take a cute sunbath to the nature-loving visitors coming here.


Balaramgadi

                                                 




Balaramgadi of Orissa offers the tourists with a wonderful opportunity to experience the convergence of the mighty River Budhabalanga with the deep blue sea of Bay of Bengal. One of the notable Orissa beaches, Balaramgadi is situated at a stone's throw distance of just 2 km from the beach of Chandipur.

Golden sandy beaches, turbulent water of the sea and the cool sea side breeze represent the exotic beach of Balaramgadi. A natural health resort of the state, the fresh and pollution free air relieves the tourist from the stress and strains of daily mundane life. The sunrise and sunset on the beach casts a magical spell on the tourists. A walk on the sand rejuvenates the visitors with renowned energy and vigor.


The clean beach offers the tourists with a unique scope to experience sunbath on the sandy beaches of Balaramgadi. A swim in the tumultuous water of the sea fills the tourist with an utmost sense of excitement and thrill.



 Balighai





Balighai beach of Orissa is situated at a stone's throw distance of just 8 km from the famous place of Puri. A well known tourist destination, Balighai provides the tourists with a wonderful opportunity to experience the convergence of the calm river with the tumultuous sea.

An ideal place to spend time with family and friends in the midst of nature, Balighai is frequented by several tourists from far and wide who are absolutely awed by the natural splendor of the place. The salubrious weather, exotic sea beach and confluence of the swift flowing river with the turbulent sea represent the beautiful place of Balighai.


The point where river Nua meets the sea



There is a small forest around the beach and you may spot some deers. The beach is also the point where river Nua meets the sea.There is a Turtle research center here which is also visited by travelers to orissa beaches.Chaurasi is the site of the shrines dedicated to Laxminarayanan, Amareshras and Barahi. The Balihirana Sanctuary famous for the protected Indian Black Bucks can also be visited.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Good morning/Good afternoon/Good evening my friends, wherever you are! This is 7:00pm. 25th November, Sunday in India and I’m here for you with my evening coffee! Hope you are enjoying your weekend, so am I.
Today is the 10th day of Muharram. In India, it is a big event and a National holiday. I want to express you, how it is celebrated here.




Muharram commemorates the martyrdom of the Prophet Mohammed's grandson- Hazrat Imam Hussein. It is observed all over the world by the Muslims especially the Shia community. Tazias, glittering replicas of the Martyr's tomb, are carried in procession through the streets. The Tazias of Lucknow and Hyderabad are noted for their splendour. In places like Lucknow, Delhi, Agra and Jaipur, grand scale processions are held. People beat their chest in mourning to the tune of beating drums and chant 'Ya Hussain'. Devotees beat themselves and inflict wounds on their own bodies.

The mourning starts from the 1st day of Muharram and lasts for 10 days until 10th of Muharram. It is the first month of Islamic calendar. During this month, while on a journey, Hazrat Imam Hussain, his family members and a number of his followers were surrounded by the forces of Yazid, the Muslim ruler of the time. During the siege, they were deprived of food and water and many of them were put to death. The incident happened at a place called Karbala in Iraq in 61st year after Hijra. This dispute was result of a disagreement among Muslims on the question of succession after the demise of Hazrat Ali, the fourth caliph.Some sects of Muslims hold meetings where speeches are made on the happenings of Karbala and on the lives of martyrs.

The Shias, however, observe this festival in a different fashion. As Muharram, the first month of the Muslim year, approaches, they put on black clothes, as black is regarded as a colour of mourning. Majalis (assemblies) are held every day during the first nine days where Shia orators relate the incident of the martyrdom of Hazrat Imam Hussain and his party in a great detail.


Tazia Procession in Delhi, India


The killing of Hussain happened on the tenth day of month of Muharram, and the event was called Ashura. It is now observed as a day for public expression of grief. These circumstances divided the Muslim community into the Shias and the Sunnis. The Shias consider Ali, Hassan and Hussain the rightful successors of Prophet Mohammed and mourn their death during Muharram.
The first nine days are also spent in making bamboo and paper replicas of the martyr’s tomb. On Ashura, the tenth day, decorated taziyas, or tombs embellished with precious metals, are carried through the city streets. Large processions are formed and the devoted followers parade the streets holding banners and carrying models of the mausoleum of Hazrat Imam Hussain and his people, who fell at Karbala. A horse is led in procession in memory of Hussain’s horse, Dul Dul. It is a sad occasion and everyone in the procession chants "Ya Hussain", with loud wails of lamentation.
Muharram began in the evening of Wednesday, 14 November 2012, and ends in the evening of Friday, 14 December 2012.

 Well, that’s all for today! Take care yourself and your family! Have a good day/ afternoon/evening/night! Namaskar.

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Tips from the kitchen of an Indian homemaker

Today’s Tips

 

Marinated fish with salt, turmeric



1. To bake potatoes crisp and brown, soak the peeled potatoes in hot water for a while, pat dry and pierce all over with a fork before placing them in hot fat along with the roast. 
2. If fish is to be stored for more than a day, clean it, rub with salt, turmeric and if liked, a dash of vinegar before freezing.

 Beauty Tips:

 

 

1. If your face is dry and rough, take equal amount each of Melon, Pumpkin, Cucumber and Watermelon and make a paste of these. Then blend it with milk cream and apply it on your. After 1 hr rinse your face with plane water and see the magic!
 
2. For a glowing skin, make a paste of 2 table spoons of cream (malai), 1½ table spoons of Ata (wheat flour ) and few drops of lime juice. Daily apply this paste on your face for 5 minutes, then remove it and wash. Try to think positive, take proper sleep and drink lots of water certainly no one can look more charming.



* Note : For oily skin use besan (gram flour) instead of Ata (wheat flour ) .
   

Festivals of India in the month of November

Chhath Puja

 

Evening prayer to the setting Sun



Chhath also called Dala Chhath, is an ancient Hindu festival and only Vedic Festival dedicated to the Hindu Sun God, Surya, also known as Surya Shashti. The Chhath Puja is performed in order to thank Surya for sustaining life on earth and to request the granting of certain wishes. The Sun, considered the god of energy and of the life-force, is worshiped during the Chhath fesival to promote well-being, prosperity and progress. In Hinduism, Sun worship is believed to help cure a variety of diseases, including leprosy, and helps ensure the longevity and prosperity of family members, friends, and elders.
The rituals of the festival are rigorous and are observed over a period of four days. During this period, the worshiper observes purity, and sleeps on the floor on a single blanket.They include holy bathing, fasting and abstaining from drinking water (Vratta), standing in water for long periods of time, and offering prashad (prayer offerings) and aragh to the setting and rising sun.



Morning prayer to the rising Sun



This is the only holy festival which has no involvement of any pandit (priest). The devotees offer their prayers to the setting sun, and then the rising sun in celebrating its glory as the cycle of birth starts with death. It is seen as the most glorious form of Sun worship. In the evening arghya people express their thanks to Sun God for its work in growing their crops during the preceding year and morning arghya is considered as a request for a bountiful crop, peace and prosperity in the year to come.
 

The prasad offerings include sweets, Kheer, Thekua (a wheat based cake) and fruit offered in small bamboo soop winnows. The food is strictly vegetarian and it is cooked without salt, onions or garlic. Emphasis is put on maintaining the purity of the food. Offerings are preferably cooked on earthen Chulha (oven). Some traditions are exercised with little difference varying from region to region and across the families with basic similarity.

 
Thekua

Kheer











Chhath is an important festival celebrated in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh and many other parts of India in which setting Sun (dawn) is worshiped. Although Bihar celebrates Chhath most elaborately it is also followed in some parts of West Bengal, Jharkhand, Orissa, Assam and also Mauritius, mainly among the Bhojpuri and Maithali speaking people. Chhath is also important for Nepalese worshipers of god as well as in eastern Uttar Pradesh. The best place to witness Chhath would be around Northern Bihar where it is celebrated in great grandeur. Chhath is a Hindu festival but many Muslim families also participate in this holy festival.
Flavors of India

Cauliflower with Potato in Indian style (Phool-kapir jhol)

     Ingredients:

·         Cauliflower: -                                                     1 piece.
·         Potato (slice in 4 pieces):-                                1piece 
·         Ginger paste: -                                          1/2 teaspoon
·         Tomato(slice in four pieces):-                           1 piece
·         Green chili:-                                                   3-4 piece
·         Fresh Coriander :-                                           1/3 cup
·         Red Chili Powder (if you want):-                   1/2 teaspoon
·         Kashmiri red Chili Powder:-                             1 teaspoon
·         Cumin Powder:-                                          1/2 teaspoon
·         Coriander Powder:-                                      1/2 teaspoon
·         Turmeric Powder:-                                      1/2 teaspoon
·         Cumin Seeds:-                                             1/2 teaspoon
·         Mustard / Refined Oil:-                               1 Cup(150gm)
·         Sugar:-                                                       1/5 teaspoon
·         Salt:-                                                                  to taste


Process:

 

 





1.  Cut the cauliflower into medium pieces and marinate with Turmeric Powder & Salt before cooking.                  
2.       Full heat the oil in a pan & fry the cauliflower and set aside.
3.       In the same oil, pour in the cumin seeds and when it smells, add the potatos, turmeric powder. Salt and fried still color of potatoes should take up a bit of brownish.
4.       Now, add the ginger paste, tomato & fry for 2-3 min.
5.     Add ¼ cup water with rest of the powders of ingredients, sugar and cook for 2-3 min.
6.       Add about 500ml. of water and stir well.
7.       Add the fried cauliflower, green chili and mix well.
8.       Cover and let it cook for 10 minutes on low flame.
9.       Take it off the flame when the potatoes are well cook.
       10.       Garnish with fresh coriander and serve hot.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

DESTINATION INDIA
Orissa (PART-VII)
     Puri (3)



Chilka Lake




Chilka Lake - Asia's largest brackish water lagoon with water spread ranging from 1165 sq km m the rainy season to 906 sq km in the dry season is nestled in the heart of the coastal Odisha (Orissa). It extends from Bhusandpur in Puri district in the North to Rambha-Malud in Ganjan district in the South, separated from the Bay of Bengal by a 60 km long narrow strip of marshy islands and sand-flats. 




Chilika is recognized as one of the most important wetlands in the world because it is home to a phenomenal variety of birds. Chilika Lake offers visitors a spectacular display of its colorful avian charms in a thousand different hues presented by over 160 species in the peak season between November and February. The lake and its reed islands teem with nesting birds-white bellied sea eagles, ospreys, golden plovers, sand pipers, flamingos, pelicans, shovellers, gulls, include migratory ones flying great distances from Iran, Central Asia and Siberia. 

The large Nalabana Island (Forest of Reeds) covering about 16 sq km in the lagoon area was declared a bird sanctuary in 1987. The core area of about 9 sq km attracts around 400,000 waterfowls of different species. Often underwater, the island gradually emerges with the outset of summer. It is literally a paradise for bird-watchers.

 




Another major attraction at Chilika is Irrawady dolphins which are often spotted off Satpada Island. Satpada, bounded by the lagoon on three sides, offers an excellent view and attracts the visitors to its entire 30 km stretch of sand bar. Boats arranged by OTDC are available for both the islands. The lake also supports the local fisherman in earning their living from Chilika's prawn, mackerel and crabs.

Of late, slightly reduced number of birds owing to growth in prawn farming as well as silting and reduced salinity has alarmed the conservationists. The plying of mechanized boats, the increasing of different fishing nets and gears has threatened the flagship species of the Chilika lagoon, the Irrawady dolphin.



Pipili

Pipili (also known as Pipli) is a town and a NAC under jurisdiction of Puri district. It is famous for designing beautiful Applique handicrafts. It is a town of artisans famous for their colourful fabrics.



Pipli Handicraft market

Futher ahead on the National highway 40 Km from Puri one can reach Pipili, a craft village for Applique work. One can find a series of shops decorated with many applique works with bright colors. Applique is an art, a process of cutting coloured cloth into shapes of animals, birds, flowers leaves gods, goddesses and other decorative motifs and stitching them on a piece of cloth.



Applique work

The varieties are like umbrellas, lamps shades, wall cloths, table covers, sofa covers, children cloths, bad covers and many more. These are prepared by skilled craft persons, perhaps, a remnant of Mughal days. People love to see the varieties they even like to purchase the handicrafts.



Gundicha Temple




The most important sanctuary of the Lord Jagannath is the Gundicha Temple--the abode to Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra. Except for these few days, it is unoccupied. But there is a small establishment of servants by whom it is regularly maintained. It is situated at the other end of the great highway (Badadanda).

The distance between the gates of Jagannath Temple and the Gundicha Temple is exactly 2,688.0696 meters (8327 feet). The temple is surrounded by a wall and stands in the middle of garden. It consists of four pars connected with kitchen rooms, by a narrow passage. The tower, a construction of Pidha type, is 75 feet high with a base of 55 feet by 46 feet outside, and 36 feet 8inches by 27 feet inside.

All the four structures (Vimana, Jagamohan, Natamandap, and Bhogamandap) bear the traces of several plastering and are carved in places with obscene figures in mortar. There is a plain raised seat, 4 feet high and 19 feet long, made of chlorite and this is called the Ratnavedi -- the throne on which the images are placed when brought to the temple.




* There are more places to  see in Puri, I just want to share the best.