Indian Party Menus ~ Holiday Brunch Party

Some delicious options for different occasions, that’s Indian Party Menus.
Hope you would find this new series helpful when planning your party food menu.

Holiday Brunch Party at My Home.

Theme: Christmas brunch get-together
Guest number: 5
Time: for brunch
Venue: Home
Preparation: Homemade

Brunch Menu:
Strawberry-Orange Soy Smoothie
Carrot-Cucumber Kosambari
Cumin-Basmati Rice
Chana Masala
Alu Curry seasoned with fresh, grated coconut
Masoor-Tomato Dal (thick soupy like in Sambar consistency)
Coconut-Onion Pacchadi

Chocolate -Pecan pie (eggless)
Carrot-Pecan cake (eggless)

Party Favors:
Party food takeout
Some toys and chocolate

Share your holiday party menus.

Home as a Hobby ~ Pumpkin Bouquet

Pumpkin Bouquet
Ceramic pumpkin and few flowers and leaves,
a pretty pumpkin bouquet for the holidays.

December Tomato Harvest

December Tomato Harvest
December Tomato Harvest

Cold front, freezing temperatures and northern winds … winter is here in Houston. Due to frost warning, I had to harvest tomatoes from my September-planted tomato plants. From 8 tomato plants, the yield was about 8 pounds of cherry tomatoes and few Brandywines. They need some time to ripen, and what I have now would be enough to prepare some comforting soopas and sambars for this coming winter.

Indian Party Menus ~ Telugu Thanksgiving Party

Some delicious options for different occasions, that’s Indian Party Menus.
Hope you would find this new series useful when planning your party food menu.

Thanksgiving Party at a friend’s home.

Theme: Telugu Thanksgiving in Kaarthika Vana bhojanam style
Guest number: 11
Time: for Lunch
Venue: Home
Preparation: Homemade

Party Food Menu:
Brinjal bajji and onion pakodi
White rice
Chicken Kurma (Kodi Kura)
Spinach Dal
Alu vepudu
Bottle gourd pulusu
Drumstick sambar
Kandi Pacchadi
Onion Pacchadi
Carrot and karela perugu pacchadi
Homemade dahi
Pomegranate(danimma) daddojanam
Papads and dahi mirchi (Majjiga Mirapa)

Paalathalikalu with ghee and mudda pappu
Mango kulfi

Served on:
Paper plates covered with fresh banana leaves

Party Favors:
Party food takeout in ziplock bags

Autumn Americana ~ Pecan Picking

Happy Deepavali, dear friends and readers. I have missed the web world, and it is good to be back and blogging again. Right now, it’s pecan harvest time in Houston. Mature, pecan trees line up the streets where we live and during autumn season you will see families with baskets and bags picking up the pecans that are fallen under the trees. We also joined the fun this year and picked up about five pounds of pecans from our neighborhood pecan trees. There are still plenty more pecans to pick and share. The shelled pecans were of good quality and very tasty.

Vijay and I, we both like pecans very much and we add them to kosambaris, cakes, pies and pralines. Pecans were one of the gifts that we chose to carry to Nandyala on our last India trip. We wanted our families back home have a taste of this wonderful americana treat. As we had hoped, they loved the pecans, particularly the jaggery-pecan pralines we prepared. Pecans truly are autumn wealth, and it’s good to get some directly from generous pecan trees.

Pecan Harvest
Pecan Harvest from Neighborhood Pecan Trees

Shelled Pecans
Shelled Pecans ~ An Autumn Wealth

Fall Flowers ~ Tree Roses

Rose Tree
Rose Tree in Bloom ~ from Our Garden

Weekend Kittaya

Kittaya, the Cute Cat

Indian Party Menus ~ Dasara Party Menu

Some delicious options for different occasions, that’s Indian Party Menus.
Hope you would find this new series helpful when planning your party food menu.

Dasara Party at My Home

Guest Number: 40 (adults + children)
Time: from Noon onwards
Venue: Home
Preparation: Homemade

Dasara Feast:

Traditional Sweets:
Ravva Laddu
Sesama Laddu
Cashew Chikki
Chanadal Payasam (for neivedyam)

Muruku in 3 different shapes
Cashew Pakodi (gatti pakodi)

Lunch Menu:
Tamarind Pulihora
Basmati Rice
Ghee Chapati
Tomato Pappu
Drumstick Sambar
Gongura Pacchadi
Turia (beerakaaya) Kura
Alu+chikkudu vittanaala pulusu kura
Nune Vankaaya Kura (Stuffed Brinjal Curry)
Peas Guggullu (Sundal)
Homemade Perugu (dahi)
Appadam and Vadiyaalu
Fresh Ghee
Fruit Salad with cantaloupe, red grapes, taatinunjalu and persimmon
Homemade lemon sherbet (Lemon juice+honey+salt+plain soda+cumin powder)

Served on:
Paper plates covered with fresh banana leaves

Party Favors:
Turmeric and Kumkum Packets
Fruits and Small Diya
Homemade Sweets and Snacks listed above in ziplock bags

Dasara in Houston

Navaratri Alakarana

Devi Avatar Decorations for Dasara
Devi Avatar Alakarana for Navaratri ~ at Sri Meenakshi Temple, Houston

Bommala Koluvu, Gollu at Meenakshi Temple, Houston
Bommala Koluvu for Navaratri ~ at Sri Meenakshi Temple, Houston

Maa Durge, Maa Ambe, Maa Jagdambe, Maa Bhawani, Maa Sheetla, Maa Vaishnao,
Maa Chandi, Mata Devi. Jai Mata Di.
Shubha Dasara, dear family and friends.

Vinayaka Chaviti Celebrations

Vinayaka Chavithi 2010 Celebrations at My Home
Bala Ganapathi on Vinayaka Chaviti

Vinayaka Chavithi 2010 Celebrations at My Home
Purnam Kudumulu and Undrallu ~
A Virtual Vinayaka Chavithi Pandaga Bhojanam to All Our Family and Friends
Vinayaka Chavithi Subhakankshalu!

Homemade Ganapati Bappa

Homemade Ganesh for Ganesh Chaturdi
Homemade Ganesh with Clay

I made bala Ganapati with clay today for Vinayaka Chaviti festival tomorrow. The decorations are with kumkum, turmeric and rice powder. Eyes are whole urad dal (minapa pappu) and the laddu is dotted with skinless, split mustard seeds. It’s a simple vigraham, still looks divine to my eyes.

Vinayaka Chavithi shubhakamnaye! May Bhagavan Ganesha bless us all with peace, happiness and health!

Homemade Ganesh
Bala Ganesha with Kumkum and Pasupu Decorations

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Mahanandi Readers’ Ganesha

Sachin Ganesha
Sachin and Family’s Clay Ganesha

Vaijayanthi Ganesha
Vaijayanthi & Arvind Family’s Play-doh Ganesha

Rashmi Ganesha
Rashmi and Family’s Clay Ganesha

Rashmi Ganesha
Vinayaka Chaviti Celebrations at Rashmi’s Home From UAE

Narayan Swamy Ganesha
Narayan Swamy and Family’s Clay Ganesha

Sireesha Ganesha
Sireesha and Family’s Play-doh Ganesha

Chaitanya Ganesha
Chaitanya and Family’s Rice Flour and Sugar Ganesha

Thank you Sachin, Vaijayanthi, Rashmi, Narayan Swamy, Sireesha and Chaitanya for sharing your Ganesha with us.

Brinjal Sesame Kura

Bigger isn’t better always. You always know that for making delicious dishes, what is needed is not a big house, even bigger multiple kitchens. Sometimes, bigger things bring bitter results. All you’d need is a tender heart that responds to love and affection to make food that touches the other hearts. I have come to know that this applies to brinjal harvest as well. When you grow your own brinjals, pick as soon as they are just big enough to eat, when their skin still has high gloss finish and inside is tender. When you slice open and find brown flesh and dark seeds, you have waited too long. Bitterness claimed the brinjal soul, and it isn’t a culinary friend any more. The younger ones with angelic pulp and barely developed seeds taste better than bigger and bulky brinjals.

Here is traditional brinjal recipe with sesame I made last weekend for Janmastami with my brinjal harvest. Brinjal and sesame are a good combination and it is just not Bharath, many other world’s cuisines favor this endearing combination. The soul is the same, the dress-up and names are different from country to country. If you have never tried brinjal sesame combination before, try it once. It’s good and tasty, worthy of festival feast.

Homegrown Brinjal from the Backyard Garden
Homegrown Brinjal

Brinjal Sesame Kura
(for 2 or 4, for 2 to 1 meals)

Brinjals: Pick 8 to 10 small, fresh looking brinjals. Wash and remove the end. Take water in a bowl. Add a teaspoon of salt. Cut brinjal into bite sized pieces and drop the pieces into salted water.
Slice one red onion or shallot thinly lengthwise.

Sesame: Place a stainless steel pot on stovetop and heat. When the pot is hot, add 6 dried red chilli, a tablespoon of coriander seeds, half teaspoon black peppercorn, quarter teaspoon cumin, 6 cloves, one-inch piece of cinnamon stick in listed order and at the end 3 tablespoons of sesame seeds. Constantly stirring, roast the spices to fragrance. Remove them to a plate and cool. Take them in a blender. Add a garlic clove, a tablespoon each – , chopped fresh ginger, tamarind pulp and jaggery pieces, and half cup of water. Blend the ingredients to superfine paste.

Brinjal Sesame Kura: Heat the stainless steel pot again. This time, add a tablespoon of sesame or peanut oil and when oil is hot, do the curry leaf tadka. Add and saute onions to soft. Remove the brinjal pieces from water and add them in the pot. Sprinkle half teaspoon of salt and pinch of turmeric. Cover and cook on medium heat until the brinjal pieces are tender, for about five to eight minutes. Stir in the sesame-spice paste and half cup of water. Adjust salt, sour(tamarind) and sweet(jaggery) levels according to your taste. Mix well and simmer for about 15 minutes on low heat.

Serve immediately and politely accept the applause from your guests. Sesame brinjal kura tastes great with Pongal rice and sorghum roti with some ghee and pickle on the side.

Sesame Brinjal Kura with Pongal
Brinjal Sesame Kura with Pongal and Red Chilli Pickle ~ Good Meal for a Hungry Soul

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