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 rangoli. Show all posts
Showing posts with label rangoli. Show all posts

March 23, 2012

~Ugadi Specials~

In addition to the Ugadi Pachadi, we made mango rice, garelu (mini cabbage and lentil patties), and halwa puris (also known as bhakshalu). Here are a few other suggestions that you can make for the holiday:

- Tamarind Rice

September 24, 2011

*~*Rangoli Contest*~* - CLOSED

Put on your thinking caps and get those creative juices flowing for this special opportunity!

Rangoli is truly a work of art. It is drawn on all Hindu festivals and weddings all over the world, as it is thought to bring good luck. The designs are usually of flowers, simple geometric shapes, religious symbols, intricate patterns or a combination of all of the above. My grandmother once told me that my mom used to win prizes for her unique designs in all the rangoli competitions. Hopefully, one day I can impress her with mine. The material used to create these patterns is dry or wet granulated rice flour (white) and by mixing colors such as vermilion, turmeric, and other natural ingredients. These days, chemical colors are combined to produce more variety of choices. As colored powders are not readily available, we use colored chalk to create these beautiful works of art.
Diwali is the most popular festival and with it just a month away, we are looking into more elaborate designs. In the past, we have drawn simple designs due to the lack of time. The more intricate and unique the design, the more time and colors required to make it more appealing. Below are a few of the designs we have come across and would like to share with you:

This year, we decided to open up the floor and request our readers to share their rangoli designs with us.  Please send your ideas to Jahnavi at: All entries must be in by October  22, 2011. We will select one from the submissions, showcase it on the day of the festival and on our Facebook Fan Page for everyone's viewing pleasure. Feel free to use the same email address to send us questions about the CONTEST.

November 6, 2010

!*!Diwali Dhoom Dham Se!*!

Wishing You & Your Family

A Very Happy Diwali 

On Friday we celebrated one of India's most important holidays called Diwali. For those of you who are not well versed in Indian festivals, I thought I would share some insight into our culture. The festival earned the tag line, "festival of lights" from its name. Diwali is a contraction of the word Deepavali which translates into row of lamps; specifically oil lamps made with clay called Diyas. These lamps are then placed outside every one's homes to light the night. They signify the triumph of good over evil.  It has a nice ring to it, don't you think. Every holiday has its own traditions that make it meaningful and fun. Another tradition is that everyone wears new clothes and shares sweets with all their friends and family.  So, of course I put on my best Indian clothes and prepared for the day's events.

This year we decided to have a potluck dinner and invited a few people over to celebrate the holiday. The day started with decorating the front porch with rangoli.
We do this on all holidays, as you might have remembered reading on my post about Ganesh Chaturthi. Rangoli is the traditional decorative folk art of India. There are competitions that are held to see who can come up with the most intricate and unique designs. If you don't take my word for it, just check out this website:

As night approached, we lit diyas as well. We would usually place them outside but it was a particularly windy day so we arranged them inside to be enjoyed by all.

Colorful Diyas
Another tradition is eating Pheni (fried vermicelli) with sugar and hot milk. It is the first thing everyone eats on Diwali as a way of breaking fast.  I love it because it's so simple and once you mix the ingredients together, it tastes like payasm (kheer)

Pheni with sugar
As for all parties, my mom and I pre-plan the dinner menu so we can shop for the ingredients and prepare for the big day. This year we made most of the dishes except for a couple so we had time to do other things. Phew!

We made the green mango and spinach dal, tangy tomato curry, daddojanam (yogurt rice) and green beans. My aunt made the vegetable biryani and the mixed veg raita. We also had a variety of sweets to choose from at the party (including the ones some guests brought). Along with the boxed sweets, we also served gulab jamun that we made from scratch.

The Diwali Dinner turned out great and everyone raved about the food. The best part about holiday parties are the leftovers.  

***Quick Tips:
- Pheni is available at most Indian grocers during the Diwali festival time. 
- An easy and non  alcoholic beverage for holiday parties is Cranberry Spritzer. All you need to do is combine (1) part cranberry juice and (1) part Sprite. It has a refreshing taste.