Crossandra flower Kanakambaram Poo Tamil

How to make thick fresh flower garlands 

The first picture shows thick garlands of various flowers, kakada ( called kattu malli in Tamil )
kanambaram and jasmine ( called malli in Tamil ) 

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The bright orange coloured flowers are beautiful.  I purchase either at the local flower vendor or go to the flower market in Koyambedu

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Tie flowers on both sides of a string some where near the centre
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Turn after tying
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Tie two or three flowers with stalks placed on the thread on the left side of the image

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The thread on the right side goes around the stalks and the other part of the thread
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The next set of floers are placed to the right of the previous set of the flowers such that the stalks are on the thread
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Repeat the procedure,  the thread on the right side goes around the thread on the left side tying the stalks of the flowers

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A close up view of the two flowers being placed on the thread

After tying , cut the excess thread and tie to securely hold the flowers

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Beautiful orange garland !
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This type of decoration can be used for bridal hair decoration for wedding, baby showers , seemantham or valaikappu

Kanakambaram in Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam  is called crossandra or fire cracker flower  in English, aboli priyadarsha in Hindi.Kanakambara in Kannada



Maavilai kolam mango leaf rangoli easy


Rangoli auspicious Diwali 

2 by 2 dots maavilai kolam

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3 by 2 dots maavilai kolangal

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 4 by 4 dots mango  leaves rangoli

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 5 by 3 dots mango leaf rangoli

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7 by 4 dots maavilai rangoli

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9 by 5 dots maavilai kolam - different type

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Mango leaves are considered auspicious in South India.  We invariably find toran  made of mango leaves hung on the doorways of houses during festivals like Diwali, Sankranti,  Varalakshmi Pooja and Navratri and also during  functions like house warming ,  Aksharabhyasam, baby showers etc.

So kolam with mango leaves called maavilai kolangal are also important to emphasise happy occasions in our homes.  Above what we see is a collection of rangolis using these patterns.
When drawn in white we  can decorate with geru to denote a function or festival.

Unamancheri Ramar temple near Vandalur Zoo



Old temples in Chennai | Historic temples in Chennai 

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I went to this temple before Rama Navami to have a darshan of the Lord.  The Google map shows the route from Vandalur Zoo a very famous landmark in Chennai.  It is 4.7 km when we turn right near Tamil Nadu Police Academy in Unamancheri.  If you take the grey route shown in the map it goes through the village.  Take a right turn at the last right ,  you can see a small temple on the road.
Proceed further towards the right .  You will reach the temple shown in the map after travelling through some narrow lanes in the village.

The temple is very beautiful in a serene atmosphere.  There is temple pond as is common in very old temples.

This is the side view of the temple.  What we see in the front is Hanuman sannidhi.  On the left is the main temple.  The rare fact about this temple is  that Sri Rama, Sita Devi, Lakshman,  Bharat, Shatrughan idols are there in the temple.

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This embedded video is from my YouTube Channel.

In the temple I met the priest and requested him to give information on the temple.

He stated that the temple is more than 1000 years old.  The year of construction was around 847 AD (!)  .  In such old temples only the sanctum sanctorum is there ..  There is no door also for the garbagraham as it is also called.  Maha mantapam , Ardha mantapam, maha dwaram and Garuda sanndhi were constructed later.  So when lamps were lit in the temple it was visible to the entire village in those days.

It seems that a Vijayanagara king , Achutya Raya was born physically challenged.  Lord Narayana
appeared in his dream and asked the king to come to Unamancheri.  There the Lord gave the king Pattabhisheka darshan along with Sita, Lakshman,  Bharat , Shatrughan and Hanuman.  The Lord told the king to construct a pond and perform Pujas to Him.  The king as instructed and slowly his physical defects started to disappear.  He further expanded the temple into a bigger temple.

The original name it seems was Unam maikkum solai ( meaning garden that destroys physical defects ).  The priest said that this is the name in British records also.

Inside the temple Sri Ranganatha ( kula deivam of Lord Rama according to the priest ) has been  carved above the sanctum sanctorum instead Gaja Lakshmi we see usually in many temples.

Sculptures of Sri Devi,  Bhoo Devi,  Nila Devi,  Bibi Nachiyar and Malayala Nachiuar are there he said.  On the roof we can find carvings of  Rahu,  Ketu,  fish , crane , lizards and flower.

The seal of the Vijayanagar Empire - boar, dagger, sun and moon are seen outside the temple


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People with delayed marriage, progeny and with defects come to the temple and pray .
Outside the  temple on a pillar is Kalinga Narthana Krishna ,  he showed us.  People personally offer Puja to this sculpture for solving problems like delayed marriage and progeny

Please watch the video.  It is in Tamil  with English subtitles.   

Masala khichdi and kadhi recipe images


Khichdi ,kadhi easy to  understand step by step pictures


A Maharastrian dish my sister in Nagpur prepares quite often.  It is very tasty and healthy too. 
This is not the usual khichdi made with rava in Tamil Nadu.  

We need , chopped onion, tomato, vegetable like potato, carrot , peas , beans

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It is prepared directly in a pressure cooker .  I add oil and a little ghee too

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Saute with mustard and  curry leaves

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Add onion pieces
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When onion is cooked , add tomato this ensures that the tomato is  not over cooked

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For one and half measures raw rice ,  I have taken quarter measure toor dhal and quarter measure moong dhal.  We can also prepare with half measure toor dhal  or half measure moong dhal
Wash the  rice and dhals well

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Add the vegetables

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Add turmeric powder

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Add dhania powder ( coriander powder )

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Add chilly powder .  If you want it hot , two chopped green chillies can be added

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Add the washed rice and dhal


Mix well
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Add kasuri methi,  it gives a fine flavour

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Add garam masala

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Add water,  the water level should be little more than what we have for rice alone in a cooker

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Mix well after adding salt 
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I add jaggery it is optional

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Add coriander leaves

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Wait for five or six whistles

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Meanwhile prepare kadhi, first take whisked thick curd

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Dissolve three teaspoons of gram dhal flour in water . no solid pieces should remain .  Add to curd on a stove.  The curd should just boil ,  if we over boil it gets spoilt

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Saute with green chillies, garlic pieces and  cumin  seeds .  Mustard is not used

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Add this to the curd

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Add salt
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Add coriander leaves

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Khichdi  is ready in cooker

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Serve hot for lunch , Sunday or weekday !
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