Friday, 3 August 2012

Aadi Perukku - A prayer to Nature

A very typical Tamilian festival, Aadi perukku or Padinettam per, falls on the 18th day of the Aadi month (Tamil Calendar). Per the Gregorian calendar, it usually falls around the 2nd or 3rd of August. The festival is usually celebrated to welcome the rising water bodies (especially the Cauvery). People gather around the rivers / other water bodies and perform a pooja. They also carry with them loads of pre-mixed food, that can be eaten without mess. This time, it also fell on the day of Raksha Bandhan, Rig Avani Avittam and Gayathri Japam (Aug 2, 2012).

Today, in the concrete jungle, we obviously cannot perform a pooja near a river. But, we can eat! :-)

In this special, we'll see (and eat, of course) - coconut rice, puliodharai, lemon rice, thachi mummu and aviyal.

Recipes below

Coconut Rice:

In 2 tsp ghee, roast mustard seeds, aasafoetida, urad dal, channa dal, curry leaves, red / green chilli &  dessicated coconut. Roast until you get the aroma of coconut but watch out - coconut shouldn't become black / brown. Add very little salt. Add cooked rice and mix delicately. Garnish with roasted cashew nuts / peanuts and finely chopped coriander.

And for that Grand Sweets feeling, fry appalam, break into small pieces and mix with the coconut rice. 

Serve hot with aviyal


A slightly complicated process to make the pulikaachal; nevertheless it's quite similar to vethakozhambu. This will stay on for months (of course, if you don't finish eating it by then).

Pour 2 tbsp gingelly oil in a thick bottomed pan, add mustard and asafoetida. Add channa dal and roast until golden brown. Add dry red chillies, salt, plenty curry leaves and the thick tamarind puree. (Do not, I repeat, do not grind the tamarind in the mixie ). Let it simmer until the gravy is thick and the raw smell of tamarind is off. Dry roast sesame seeds, grind and add to this mixture. You can also garnish with roaste cashew nuts / peanuts.

Take a few spoons and mix with hot cooked rice.

And serve hot with appalam / pappadam / vadaam. Slurpp :-)

Lemon rice:

In 2 tsp oil, add mustard seeds, asafoetida, urad dal, channa dal, green chillies and roast until the lentils turn a nice golden brown. Add 1/2 tsp turmeric powder, curry leaves and salt. Turn off the stove. Add hot cooked rice, and mix well. Squeeze 1 lemon (or more if you like it tangy). Garnish with coriander leaves and roasted peanuts.

Serve hot with spicy potato curry :D


Aviyal is typically made with yam, pumpkin, potato, peas and any other vegetable that you deem fit. Boil the vegetables; Grind plenty coconut, toor dal, green chillies into a fine paste. Mix the vegetables, very little salt and coconut paste, on simmer. Keep stirring until it thickens. Temper mustard seeds, asafoetida and curry leaves in coconut oil and pour on top of the aviyal. (I know people add curd to it, but in Chennai, it tends to turn a bit sour and I particularly don't like sour aviyal, so I avoid it)

Thachi mummu:

For the uninitiated, this is our most beloved curd rice. You might wonder what's so great about it. The humble curd rice in it's various forms, with those delightful side dishes, makes for the most divine of all Tambrahm cuisine.

Note: Curd rice is never to be eaten hot. 

Cook rice so it's super soft. Mash it like you would, for feeding babies. Add plenty milk, little curd and some salt. Mix well. Temper mustard seeds, asafoetida, curry leaves, green chillies & ginger finely chopped and mix with the curd rice.

Serve chilled with vadu maanga, vetha kozhambu, ara puli kozhambu, avakka oorgai, puli inji, manga thokku, or even my most favorite - rasam vandal ;-)

I know this picture doesn't do justice to the yumminess of the dishes, but who can wait to take pictures when this is on the table, waiting to be devoured.

1 comment:

  1. //I know this picture doesn't do justice to the yumminess of the dishes, but who can wait to take pictures when this is on the table, waiting to be devoured.//

    Actually it does :D


Munch on....