The word "khana" in Indian Khana Made Easy means food. So come on, let's explore and cook some easy Indian food together including gluten-free and vegan dishes.


Showing posts with label Makar Sankranti. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Makar Sankranti. Show all posts

January 14, 2014

~Happy 2014 & Makar Sankranti To All~

"Good things come to those who wait."

Hope everyone had a good holiday! This past Christmas, instead of buying gifts for everyone in our family, we planned and invested in a MODERN NEW KITCHEN. Our holiday was spent clearing off everything from the kitchen and into storage; only the essentials were kept around. 

The construction started in the new year and is still going. With no cook top, we've been preparing our vegetable curries with the use of the microwave and a hot plate. We also bought some frozen entrees (ex.: Tandoor Chef's curries, Masala Dosa with Coconut chutney, Udupi Onion Uttapams with Tomato chutney and Deep Foods' Palak Paneer & Paneer Bhurji Pockets). Occasionally we eat out so we don't get bored of the same old dish. 

With each week, the scenery changes so there's something new to look at and admire. I can't wait for our kitchen to be furnished with all new appliances and cabinetry. It will surely be a wonderful splendor! Once all the construction, installation, and tiling is completed, we will post the before and after pictures. We can't wait and we know you can't either!

January 13, 2013

Cheers To A New Year & Fruitful Harvest!

2012 was definitely a memorable and "climatic" year for us all. Alas, it's 2013. Just as everyone is celebrating a New Year, we start the year off with Makar Sankranti, the harvest festival (also known as Pongal, Uttarayan, and Maghi). Since it fell on a working day (as usual), we started the celebration early and made something today. The most common dish prepared is Pongali (sweet or savory). 

We made the sweet version and ate it to our hearts' content.  

Happy Makar Sankranti Everyone!!

January 14, 2012

A Kite Festival...Up, Up & Away!

Happy Sankranti!! Sankranti is a major harvest festival celebrated all over India. It's the only holiday that follows the solar calendar unlike all others which follow the lunar one. On this holiday, families prepare a dish, using rice and lentils from the new crop, which is popularly called as pongali (sweet or savory). Also, one of the popular pastimes on this holiday is flying kites. One can see kids of all ages flying them from rooftops and sometimes even on the streets. As a kid, my mom and her siblings used to compete with their friends to see whose kite can go the farthest. She told me that the sky used to be full of kites of various sizes, colors and shapes.

Every year, Gujarat hosts an international kite festival that is one of the grandest. People from all over (such as Japan, Australia, Malaysia, USA, Brazil, Canada and other European countries) participate in this event.

Did you know this was a favorite sport among the Maharajas? They found the sport both entertaining and a way of displaying their prowess. Trained fliers were employed to fly the kites for them. Slowly, the art caught on and became popular among the masses. Today, manufacturing of kites is a serious business. There are stores in India that are open 24 hours up till the festival so that people can get their kites and supplies to enjoy the sport. I haven't seen anything like that here, but some retail stores do carry kites. I was at Costco the other day and decided to buy one. Woohoo!! Up, up and away into the sky!!

January 15, 2011

Happy Sankranti To All!

I love the holidays, don't you? I've had the opportunity to celebrate not only my native holidays but also American ones since I moved here. I realized that every holiday no matter the religion, there are key elements that make them one of the same: prayer, food, family and more Food. The first holiday we celebrate after New Year's is Pongal. It is a harvest festival which is celebrated all through India but called by different names in different regions of India: for instance in the South, it is known as Pongal (Tamil Nadu), and Sankranti (Andhra Pradesh). In the north it is known as Makar Sankranti (Bihar, Goa, Uttar Pradesh), Maghi (Haryana), and Uttarayan (Gujarat and Rajesthan).
I would love to go on and on but I still have to tell you all about the goodies prepared for this holiday. I know you are dying to I am dying to tell you. Just as there are different names for this festival, the food prepared is also different in the regions. In the north, poha and jaggery are eaten together with milk or yogurt, sweets made with Sesame seeds, chikkis (peanuts and jaggery), and multi-colored halwa. In the South, specifically in Andhra Pradesh and Tamilnadu, Pongali (Telugu) or Pongal (Tamil) is made and also it is served as prasad at the temples. Other items that are made in other areas in the South are Ariselu (flatbread with jaggery) and Sakinalu (rice flour and cumin pretzels).
Wow, by the time I finished typing all those goodies' names, my mouth was watering. Since Sankranti fell on a working day this year, we prepared the popular dish the night before and ate in the morning after prayer. My mom even drew some rangoli before going off to work. She's a Wonder Woman, I tell ya! The Pongali dish was prepared in two versions: Meetha & Namkeen (sweet and savory).

I hope you've enjoyed learning more about our festivities and cuisine. Please feel free to share with us what you did on the holiday. Sharing is Caring!