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Showing posts with label oriya festivals. Show all posts
Showing posts with label oriya festivals. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

The Fast ( Sabitri Brata Series )

Five more days to go. I guess most of us would be done with shopping (clothes/accessories/make-up) for Sabitri and all those dresses/blouses would have gone to the tailors for stitching. Now the uphill task is to get these notorious procrastinating guys from delivering on time. So, keep reminding the fellas that D-day is nearing. And get your shopping list ready for buying those edibles.

Now moving on to the matter of the fast, I have got a few queries on what is ok to consume on Sabitri and what can be offered as the prasad. So, I am doing this blog post to answer all those queries. You can still drop a query by means of a comment on my blog or on my Fb page (here). Read on -

  • The thumb rule - "No cooked items please". All fruits, salad vegetables, milk products, sabudana and sprouts are ok. 
  • No sweets please unless it is 'misti doi' .
  • Tea and coffee are debatable. Best to avoid but if you are addicted, have a cup or two to keep you from feeling cranky.
  • No regular salt. Use black salt.
  • No ice-cream.
  • The prasad usually consists of all possible types of fruits. Though most senior ladies advice you to stick to a few 'desi' fruits, people staying abroad may find it tough. So, all fruits are ok. 

Some easy recipes that you can make -

1. Sabudana with milk - Soak 1 cup sabudana overnight. Drain the water and mix it with 1 cup milk, 1-2 mashed bananas, 1/2 cup chopped apple, freshly grated coconut, crumbled chenna and some sugar/jaggery. Consume immediately.

2. Sabudana with yogurt - Soak 1 cup sabudana overnight. Drain the water and mix it with 1/2 cup yogurt, small pineapples pieces, apples pieces, pomegranate and some sugar. Consume immediately.

3. Fruit Salad - Take assorted fruits in a bowl. Sprinkle some black salt and black pepper powder. Add a dash of lime juice. Toss. Keep aside for 5 mins. Dig in.

4. Sprouts Salad - Take moong sprouts, channa sprouts chopped cucumber, chopped avocado, black salt , black pepper powder and lime juice in a mixing bowl. Toss together. Keep aside for 15 mins. Dig in.

5. Dahi Sharbat (Lassi)- With the mango season at its peak, add some fresh mango pulp to your dahi sharbat to make it more interesting. 

6. Mango Milkshake - Chilled milk, mango pulp and sugar buzzed together for 1-2 mins. 

7. Watermelon Slush -  Watermelon cubes, lime juice, crushed ice, sugar and water tossed together in a blender will give you a most gratifying sip.

Note - Different households have different views on what is permissible. Hence, do consult with your MIL if you have any doubts.

Read more on the Sabitri Brata series Here and Here .

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Sabitri Sajaa ( Savitri Vrat Series )

Today's post is a sneak peek at what should be there in the 'Sabitri Sajaa' or the thali/basket that forms a part of the offerings on Sabitri Brata. As one can easily make out, most of these are the essentials for most married women .

So,lets decode them one by one ( starting from the center and then going in a clockwise fashion )-

1. Sindoor/Vermilon -  It is the single most sign that a married woman sports on her forehead or in the middle parting of her hair . Hence, I have placed it in the center.

2. Alta - This is the red liquid that you see on the hands and feet of most Indian classical dancers. Married odia women apply it on their feet on every auspicious occasion.

3. Bangles - Glass bangles to be precise. It is compulsory for married women to sport a few of these on their wrists.

4. Mirror - A symbol of vanity, all women love looking into it (we all love to be presentable, don't we). This is also a must have in the thali.

5. Comb - Another vanity item that needs no introduction. Mostly a small comb is put as a symolic gesture rather than a full sized one. You can buy a full sized one if you are doing the Brata for the first time.

6. Kajal - To heighten the beauty of those mesmerizing dark Indian eyes !! Yes, no one wear this black stuff better than the Indians. What you see here is a small one that is mainly used for pooja purpose but you can also substitute if with a Kohl stick if you want.

7. Lali Sankha - These opaque red bangles are a must for all married Odia ladies. Usually , one needs to buy two sets ( or 4 pieces ) of these for the brata. Two have to be tied to the Tulsi plant (Chaunra) and the other two are supposed to be worn after performing the pooja.

8. Brata (or red thread) - Odia women tie it around the upper arm (right hand) after performing the pooja. (Not in picture )

Ofcourse one can also include bindis, liquid sindoor and any new jewelry pieces along with the above mentioned items in the thali. The new saree which is supposed to be worn after the pooja is also offered for worship.

[ To be continued ......]

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Latest on Online Shopping Destinations (Sabitri Brata Series)

Compared to the mad rush that one comes across during the Karva Chauth festival, Savitri Brata can be deemed as a quite laid back festival. The women observe a fast for their husbands and deck themselves with new clothes and sankha-sindura (red bangles - vermilion ). But these days along with the essentials, quite a few Odia women have also started purchasing makeup items, skincare products, accessories and other items of clothing.

Keeping the changing trends in mind and also that fact that quite a large proportion of my readers are women, I am sharing a few of my favorite websites. Ofcourse, there are lots of them but I have narrowed down the choices based on my personal shopping experience while keeping it as relevant a possible -

1. Nykaa.com - The one stop shop for anything related to beauty and skincare. It has the widest range of products available online but the shipping time may be a bit too much if there is a sale going on. With Mother's day being tomorrow, check out some great deals HERE!!

But you may need to pay extra for shipping /COD orders.

2. Peachmode.com - I love the Sarees and the Anarkalis they stock. And at such awesome prices ( best price when i compare to other sites ). I personally pick a few pieces in March for a wedding in the family and I am still counting the compliments. But sadly, they have only few pieces of each item. So, if it catches your eye, buy it immediately.

3. Shopatplaces.com - Love ethnic stoles and kurtis. This is the right place for you. They stock some really awesome prints, especially the Bhagalpuri stoles and the Phulkari dupattas which are worth a kill .

Have a discount going on for purchase of two items and COD orders are free.

4. Amazon.in - They have some pretty good options if you are looking for appliances. One can purchase hair styles, straighteners, Scholl express pedi, various Derma rollers and other stuff from Amazon. (I feel that this is one department where they have better options and even better prices as compared to Flipkart ). Usually they do not charge extra for COD orders.

5. Limeroad.com - The ethnic collection is amazing and they keep announcing surprise sales / Happy hours every now and then. My bet would be to buy during discounts or when they offer free shipping on COD orders. Have to pay extra for COD orders.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Re-posting: Pariba Ghanta ( Dwitibahana Osa Special )

Dwitbahana Osa is a fast observed by childless women in Orissa ( Do not worry if you are unable to relate to this....this custom started centuries ago before the DINKs first appeared on the scene ) . Once a woman observes a fast, she usually continues the tradition throughout her life. The presiding deity 'Dwitibahana' is offered a variety of fresh vegetables and soaked legumes/pulses to appease him. These offerings are used to prepare 'Ghanta', an Oriya delicacy and consumed the next day by these fasting women and their families. As 'Ghanta' is usually made in huge quantities and distributed among the neighbors.

The sprouts, raw banana and raw papaya used in this preparation are rich in folic acid which is usually prescribed by doctors to women who are trying to conceive. Folic acid is also very important for the early stages of fetal developement.

'Dwitibahana Osa' is being marked on 26th September this year . Though I prepare 'Ghanta' on special occasions, this year it is going to be special as my MIL is here with us. Check out Hypercity @ Kundanahalli ( You can get chopped vegetables here ) or Total @ Murugeshpallya for the vegetables and sprouts. Since the chopping of the vegetables is the most time consuming step, try to do it the day before. Here is the recipe:

Preparation Time - 20-25 mins ( I have excluded 30 mins required for chopping all the vegetables and grating the coconut )

Ingredients - Diced pumpkin/Kakharu ( 1 cup ), Ash gourd/Pani Kakharu ( 1/2 cup ), Raw Banana/Kancha Kadali ( 1/2 cup ), Suran/Yam/Mati Alu ( 1/2 cup ), Colocassia/Saru ( 1/2 cup ), Raw Papaya/Kancha Amruta Bhanda ( 1/2 cup ), Aubergine/Baigana ( 1/2 cup ), String beans/Jhudunga ( 1/2 cup ), Lima beans/Simba ( 1/2 cups ), Oau/Amba ( 1/2 cup ) or Desi Tomato ( 1 cup ), Ripe Cucumber/Budha kakudi ( 1 cup ), Parwal/potola ( 1/2 cup ), spine gourd/kaankada ( 1/2 cup),  Soaked and sprouted mixed pulses 4 cups ( yellow peas/matar, chick peas/kabuli chana, green moong/gota muga, bengal gram/kala chana ), 1 whole coconut ( half grated and half chopped ), turmeric ( 1 1/2 tsp ), ginger (  2 inch ), jeera-lanka gunda ( 2-3 tsp ), ghee ( 4 tbs ), dry red chilli/sukhila lanka ( 3-4 nos ), jeera ( 1 tsp ), bay leaves ( 2 nos ), garam masala ( 1/2 tsp, optional), sugar ( 4 tbs ), salt to taste.

Garnishing - 1/4 cup raisins, 1/4 cup cashews, 4 tbs chopped coriander leaves. (optional) ( You can keep aside 2-3 tbs of the grated coconut for garnishing. )

Cooking - Put all the vegetables into one pressure cooker. Add salt and turmeric and cook for 1 whistle. Remove from flame and keep aside till steam escapes.

Put the sprouts and chopped coconut slices in to another pressure cooker. Add salt and turmeric and cook for 2 whistles. Remove from flame and keep aside till steam escapes.

Heat 2 tbs of ghee in a large wok. Add the jeera, bay leaves, broken red chilli and chopped ginger. Fry for 1 minute maximum.

Add all the sugar, boiled vegetables and sprouts.

Mix well and cook covered for 4-5 minutes.

Add the jeera-lanka gunda and grated coconut. Mix together and remove from the flame.

Garnish with fried raisins, cashews and chopped coriander leaves. Sprinkle the remaining ghee over the ghanta.

Serve with arua (raw) rice and khatta.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Poda Pitha And Ratha Jatra (The famous Chariot Festival of Puri)

Ratha Jatra also known as the Chariot festival or Car festival, is one of the most important festivals in Orissa and also a major tourist attraction. This festival is celebrated in honour of Lord Jaganaath who is an incarnation of Lord Vishnu.

Every year in the month of Asada, the Chariots of the Lord Jaganath accompained with those of his siblings, Lord Balabhadra & Goddess Subhadra roll from Srimandira to Gundicha temple, the abode of his Mausi maa ( Mother's sister ). The sight of the sea of humanity which follows the Gods during this journey is a truely overwhelming experience.

The majestic sandalwood chariots take more than two months to prepare and are built newly every year. The chariots also have very interesting names :
Nandighosa - Lord Jaganath's chariot
Taladhwaja - Lord Balabharda's chariot
Darpadalan - Lord subhadra's chariot.

Important rituals on this day are :
Pahandi - the Lords are carried from the temple to the chariots in a grand procession; and
Chera pahanra - the chariots of the Lords are swept by the incumbent King of Puri with a broom which has a few gold strands in it.

The chariots are pulled by the eager followers who believe it be aspicious. The journey takes about midday to evening. In case the Lords are not able to complete the journey on the same day, they resume the remaining jouney on the next day.

The Lords stay at Gundicha temple for 7 days and return to Shri mandira in a similar procession which is called the Bahuda or Ulta Ratha Jatra.

During their stay at the Mausi Maa Mandira, various edibles are offered to the Lords as prasad. SOme of them are Khaee, Khira Kadali, Gajja, Pheni, Poda pitha, Manda pitha, Enduri pitha, Arissa pitha and Karaka pitha.

Ratha jatra is also celebrated at the ISKON temples and by the oriya community settled in various parts of India and abroad.

Catch the live action in Hyderabad @ Jaganath Temple, Banjara Hills or @ ISKON temple, Secundrabad.

Jai Jaganath!!!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Sabitri Osa ( Brata )

Sabitri Osa is celebrated in Orissa by married women on the Sabitri Amavasya day ( no-moon day of the lunar calendar). It marks the occasion when Sabitri brought back her husband from the dead by pleading with and out-witting Lord Yama.

The day starts with the worship of Gods Lakshmi-Narayan. Prayers are offered for the
husband's long life. A new saree, sindoor, sankha-chudi, brata (sacred thread),aina(mirror), kajala (kajal) and alta are first worshipped and then worn by the women.

Women then touch their husband's feet as a mark of respect and devotion. The katha (story) of Sabitri Satyawan ( has its roots in the Mahabharat ) is then read by one of the married ladies of the house.

Women keep a fast and eat only fruits, curd or sagu (subudana) twice during the day.

As eating cooked food items are not permitted, the sagu( which is more filling as compared to fruits ) is soaked for 2-3 hours. Cut fruits, curd, coconut and sugar are added to it and mixed. This is not offered as prasad to the Gods. Rather it is eaten in addition to the fruits which were worshipped.

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