Thursday, February 26, 2009

Muggulu (Rangoli)

Rangoli is a popular art form among Indian women. Rangoli are painted on the ground in front of houses using rice powder -- sometimes supplemented by flower petals and other colorful materials.

(picture courtesy: teluguone)

Since Sankranti is over, some might be surprised to see my post about rangoli. I came across a wonderful site Rangoli link which is the inspiration for this post. I have never seen a site with such amazing rangolis/muggulu and the process of sot lines... Check it out, and you will be delighted.
Maharashtrian Cucumber Salad (Kamang Kakadi)

2 cup finely chopped Cucumber
2 - 3 green Chilies, finely chopped
1 tsp Lemon juice
½ tsp Ghee
¼ tsp Cumin seeds (crushed or whole)
3 to 4 tbsp Peanuts powder (crushed roasted skinless peanuts)
2 tbsp finely chopped corainder leaves
1/2 - 1 tsp sugar (you will be surprised to see the difference in taste when you add the sugar)
Salt to taste


  • Chop the cucumber in very small pieces (without skin)
  • Put chopped cucumber into a mixing bowl, rub little salt and keep aside for 4-5 minutes. The salt will help the cucumber to loose water. Remove excessive water by squeezing cucumber and try to remove the water as much as you can. (At the end we should get 2 cups of squeezed cucumber)
  • Put the squeezed cucumber into another mixing bowl. Add peanuts powder, chopped cilantro, and sugar. Mix well.
  • In a small saucepan, heat Ghee. Add Cumin Seeds, chopped green Chilies and pour this mixture to cucumber.Put the remaining chopped chilies into a small bowl. Add very little salt . Crush them with spoon and mix it with cucumber.
  • Add Lemon juice and mix.Serve in any meal as side dish.
  • This is eaten during fast days in maharastra.

Shivaratri - Auspicious Darkness

Maha Shivratri (also called Shivaratri), which means Night of Shiva, is an Hindu festival celebrated every year. The most significant practices on this day are offerings of Bheel (Bilva) leaves to the Lord Shiva, fasting and all night long vigil. The day starts by waking up early, take head bath, do Shiva Pooja and start the fast. After sunset, we go to the temple, do Shiva Abhisekam and break our fast with milk or coconut water, dates, fruits & boiled sweet potato. Meditating Shiva with Sivashtakam,Viswanathashtakam, Lingashtakam and other siva stotras is pious.

Sabudana Khicidi - Fasting Food on Shivaratri


2 cups sabudana or pearl sago

1 ¼ cup roasted peanut powder

4-5 green chillies (chopped)

1 medium sized potato (boiled and chopped)

3 tablespoons ghee

1 spring curry leaves

1 tablespoon cumin seeds

Salt to taste

1 tablespoon lemon juice

Fresh coriander (chopped)


  • Wash sabudana well and then soak in some water overnight till the grains are separate and moist.
  • Heat some ghee in a pan and add curry leaves, cumin seeds and chopped green chillies.
  • When cumin seeds crackle add the potato cubes.
  • Mix well till the potato turns brown.
  • Add the sabudana and grounded peanuts, sauté for 4-5 minutes.
  • Sprinkle a little water and add salt and lime juice. Mix well.
  • Garnish with chopped coriander leaves. Serve hot and enjoy!!!.
Om Shivaya Namah!!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Guttivankaya Koora (Stuffed Brinjal Curry)

"Aha emi ruchi..anara maimarachi... roju thinna mari..moje teranidi...
taaja kuralalo raaja evaranandi...inka cheppala vankayenandi..."

This above verse is from a telugu song in "Yegire pavurama" movie. The meaning of these words is that Brinjal is the king of vegetables and we never get vexed eating brinjal everyday. I am not sure if all of you agree with it.. but I would.. My husband & I love brinjal.. Even my brothers and sister love it.. My mom is a great cook, anything she cooks is yummy. One of her speciality is guttivankaya koora. She made it whenever guests were at our home. Here is the recipe with some modern improvisations.. :-)

brinjals - 1/2 kg
sesame seeds - 1/2 cup
kaju - 3 tsp
almonds - 1/2 cup
tamarind - 1 cup
red chilly powder - 2 tsp
onions - 1
roasted channa - 2 tbsp
garam masala - 1 tsp
coriander powder - 1 tsp
tomato - 1
oil - 2 tbsp
salt to taste

Grind kaju, almonds, til to a smooth powder)
Take pan, add some oil and fry the above paste
Deep fry the brinjals for 3-4 minutes. You will notice that the brinjals have been half cooked
Mix the powder to brinjals and keep it aside
Take pan, add 4 tsp. After oil is heated, add onions, tomatoes and fry for 2 minutes. Then add salt, chili powder, garam masala, coriander powder, tamarind paste and cook for few minutes
Then add the brinjals (mixed with powder) and cook for 5 min.
Garnish with coriander leaves and enjoy!!!

S.P.Balasubramiam - As melodious as ever

I am a big fan of Balu garu. He is a blessing for all telugu people. Every telugu person is proud that Balu garu is from A.P. I think apart from Gantasala garu, he is the superb singer in telugu industry. He is a instituation by himself. He is blessed with an amazing move people through your voice...and let me tell you all, Indians around the world are moved too. His voice has an extraordinarily youthful quality. I have always listened to his film songs and have always loved them. I grew up in hyderabad and on festival days my mornings would start by listening to devotional songs of Sivashtakam, Vishshtakam, Lingashtakam sung by Balu sir (these were the days when loud speakers were played during festivals/national holidays). I use to make "puulla dandalu", 'mamidi toranalu" by singing the songs(ofcourse..sang to myself. I cant dare to sing loud, it would be a torture for the people listening.hahaha!!!). Apart from being a great fan of him, I appreciated his personality when I watch him anchoring "Paduta Teeyaga". I realised that he took singing seriously and he sincerely worshipped it.

He has sang different kinds of songs from "Adi Bikshuvadi nedi adigadi", "Onnamalu Nerpalani annukunna", "Oh Priya, priya", "Sapatu eto ledhu patayani padu brother"..

Sripathi Panditaradhyula Balasubrahmanyam who is legendary singer, actor, dubbing artist(he use to speak for Kamal Hassan in Telugu movies mostly),producer and music director of South. He had sung in Hindi, Telugu, Tamil and other Indian languages. He is from Konetammapeta and this place is in Nellore district of Andhra Pradesh.

He received a Doctorate in 1999 from Pottisreeramulu University, Andhra Pradesh. He won 6 times a National Award. He won the Padmashri award in the year 2001.

I will surely write more about this great personality in my coming posts...

To know more about him and his whereabouts you can go to the official site of Balu garu is

See ya.. HB

PIBARE RAMA RASAM (Relish the nectar of Lord Rama's Name)

Today I was in spiritual mood and wanted to write about some nice kirtanas. One of my favorite ones is "Pibare Rama Rasam" and I wanted to write my thoughts about it. My husband and I are going to VA this weekend to meet our friends V & S. My friend S has learnt classical music training for 10 years and has a lovely voice. I might request her to sing this kirtana for us.

TYPE: Kirtana

RAGAM : yamunAkalyANi
POET: Sadashiva Brahmendra


pibare rAmarasaM rasane
pibare rAma rasam


dUrIk.rta pAtaka saMsargaM
pUrita nAnAvidha phala vargam || 1 ||

janana maraNa bhaya shoka vidUraM
sakala shAstra nigamAgama sAram || 2 ||

paripAlita sarasija garbhANDaM
parama pavitrI k.rta pAShANDam || 3 ||

shuddha paramahaMsAshrita gItaM
shuka shaunaka kaushika mukha pItam || 4 ||

Wow!! Such a lovely kirtana... Everytime I hear this, I feel pious... I knew this kirtana from my childhood, but never got a chance to find the meaning of it. Today when I was planning to write this post, I thought "Why not find details of the composer and the meaning of this lovely words.." and I started my research in my favorite search engine.. Google. This kirtana is written by a celebrated composer "Sadashiva Brahmendra". He is of Telugu Niyogi origin who lived in Madurai in Tamil Nadu. I am still searching to find the meaning of the kirtana. If anyone can get it, please post it me. I will highly grateful.

Thanks and meet you soon in my next post...Ciao

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Hi...I am blogging

Hi folks,

This is my first journey in blogging....I am highly exicted with my blog. I want to use this blog as a facebook where I can write my thoughts.. thoughts which were in my mind for so long.... I love my site name.. "Shwaas"... hmmm what a wonderful name... I got associated with this name few years back when I watched a marathi movie called "Shwaas" with my husband. My husband hails from Maharastra, and so one evening, we decided to watch a movie. We somehow came across to this movie and read some great reviews..What a heart breaking movie..Its a story of a grandfather's dilemma of saving his grandson's sight who has been struck with retina cancer. The movie is very life like, every dialogue ( i dont understand marathi, my husband was translating it for me), every gesture, every scene was so simple & honest..And moreover the title is so apt... Shwaas - Breath...In this fast moving world, we are desperate of money, fame, power. We make tremendous efforts to get these 3 things in our lives, and we keep on striving every day to get more and more.. but do we think about love and do we have take time out of lives for others with unconditional motives? Do we make efforts to preserve our precious memories, people whom we love?? Do we care about our SHWAAS.. "My-Shwaas" is about my precious breath which keeps going for the people who love me & the people whom I love & care...