Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Tamil Feast: The architectural placement of the sumptuous dishes and an array of accompaniments make a Tamil Wedding feast an exciting experience.
It starts with the invitation to the meal, usually morning breakfast, by the host and hostess - who bustle around in a crowd of relatives - to the dining hall. Shiny clean banana leaves are spread in neat rows and guests sit on the floor on mats on rectangular boards, (though tables and chairs are common these days) wiping off their leaves and rolling up their sleeves in preparation to eat.
For breakfast, pongal (a spiced and nut-dotted dal-rice melange similar to khichri) is a hot favorite, eaten with a spicy eggplant gotsu or coconut chutney or tamarind sauce. Idly is also served with coconut and onion chutneys, sambhar and gunpowder. Making the start of the day sweeter is kesari (a semolina, ghee and sugar cooked pudding).
• Pongal (spiced and nut-dotted dal-rice)
• Coconut chutney
• Gotsu (spicy eggplant preparation)
• Idli, sambhar, chutney and gunpowder
• Kesari or sweet Pongal
• Hot kaapi (coffee)
• Payasam (kheer made of rice)
• Laddu or mysorepak
• Jangri (South Indian jalebi)
Lunch begins with the pudding.
Lunch is a ballet in precision and placement. Each element of the menu has its special place on the leaf, and its positioning seems to follow a complex architectural blueprint.
It begins with a small smidgen of payasam, or kheer, usually made with rice, which is put on the right top corner of the lower half of the leaf and stays there a scant few seconds before it is gathered up by hungry guests. An equal helping of dal keeps it transient company; ready to be mixed in with the hot rice when it comes.
• Thair pachadi (raita)
• Pickle and salt
• Lentil salad
• Sweet Salad
• Appalam (papad)
• Moru (Lassi)
An array of accompaniments
The top right side corner of the top half of the leaf becomes home to a dab of thair pachadi (raita) most often made with shredded cucumber and coriander leaves, maybe a small piece of chilli thrown in for spice. Atleast 2 vegetables combined with coconut shreds is a standard fare. Another favourite is the popular avial (a curd based stew composed of over ten to twelve vegetables).
Condiments like pickle and salt dot the left corner of the top half of the leaf joined quickly by a sweet salad and its savoury counterpart, both lentil-based. The left corner is also where the vadai, or fried lentil dumpling, and the fried appalam (large papad) are served, along with the solid sweet, such as laddu or mysorepak. On some rare occasions, jangri (the bright orange flower-like South Indian version of the jalebi) may be part of the dessert selection.
The Rice factor
The main actor in this culinary drama, rice is heaped, steaming and white, on the centre of the banana leaf, with a small puddle of hot ghee dripped into its middle. The dal is mixed in, rapidly followed by the tamarind-water rich sambhar, studded with onions, potatoes, drumsticks or carrots. The next round could be with morkuzhambu (the southern kadhi) made traditionally from yoghurt, coconut and a few watery vegetables like cucumber or pumpkin.
More rice is eaten with the liquid rasam, and diners have to slurp very fast to avoid losing it to the inexorable flow down the midrib of the leaf. Second helpings of payasam are offered; however, it is hard to down any more after steadily savoring each sumptuous round of food! Moru, or buttermilk, or thair, or yoghurt is mixed in with rice as the last course.
But this is only the standard celebratory lunch. In weddings with a high budget, there may be many varieties of rice as part of the meal: thenga shadam, rice mixed in with roasted coconut and spices or lemon rice, with its tang of lemon juice and crunch of nuts and chillies add interest and colour.
• Aloo bonda or mysorebonda
• Bajji (Pakora)
• Sev mixture
• Coconut chutney
• Maida barfi or almond barfi
• Hot kaapi (coffee)
Wedding feeding can also encompass evening tiffin, which mandates salty and spicy snacks made with various thicknesses of sev, or chickpea flour fried crunchies, nuts, raisins, coconut and dried peas. Sweets often served include almond cake; the whole washed down with steaming hot kaapi, or coffee, for which the South is so famous.
Dinner (at evening reception)
• Bisibele bath (sambhar rice)
• Dahi bath (curd rice)
• Lemon Rice or coconut rice
• Pachadi (Raita)
• Puri and potato vegetable
• Thair vadai (dahi vada)
Badam kheer, ice cream or both
If dinner is the meal at the reception, special dishes like badam kheer, or almond payasam, bisibele bath (sambhar rice with nuts and vegetables) and dahi bath are favorites. These days, however, things are changing. The traditional meals may have the same basic menu, but guests are often limited to close friends of the family and relatives. Which doesn't mean that there is less food!
This message is gathered from a wedding web site.
Wedding Mithai/Sweets are an inseparable part of Indian weddings. The guests of the wedding are welcomed with a variety of sweets. In India, presenting sweets in weddings is considered as a warm and an honest gesture. There are different types of Indian weddings and the types of sweets that are served in them change with the changing communities.
Be it Bengali, Gujarati, Rajasthani, Telugu or Maharashtrian wedding, the ceremony will not be completed without sweets. The wedding mithai/sweets are made with all the perfection and precision as the guests will always remember the wedding for the sweets they were offered. The hosts always feel delighted to choose a variety of sweets for their son's or daughter's wedding.
India Wedding Planner.com is happy to guide you with the details about Wedding Mithai or sweets.
One can taste different wedding sweets in different wedding occasions. In a Tamil wedding Payasam that is the sweet liquid made up of rice is presented to the guests. The menu also includes Laddu, a sweet ball and jangri, a circular sweet. A Maharashtrian wedding comprise of the sweets like Jalebi and Gulab Jamun, Shrikhand and Basundi. A Bengali Wedding will comprise of the Bengali wedding/mithai sweets like Rasgulla, sandesh and rasmalai. The Gujarati wedding mithai/sweets comprise of the SonPapadi. Marwaris have special badam katlis, sweets made of fresh almonds, made for the weddings. Sindhis have different wedding mithais/sweets that are either made of white grams or pumpkins that have been enriched in flavor by adding a lot of dry fruits to it.
Be it any occasion, wedding mithai/sweets have always played a major part in Indian weddings. It is sort of compulsion to add sweets in the wedding feast's menu because it is a joyous occasion and people want to express their happiness by distributing sweets.
This information is gathered from a wedding web site.
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
It is the best time for a couple, when they get to know each other and from the bond of a lifetime. Here’s how you can make your honeymoon a memorable one.
TIME IT WELL
Preferably, avoid putting off your honeymoon for later. The period after marriage is usually the best.
PLAN IN ADVANCE
That way, you can take into account each other’s desires and decide on a location accordingly. Whether it is sandy expanses, snow-clad hills or beaches.
While it is fun to be on your own and explore a city and discover each other, going as part of a group can be a great experience too, especially it it’s a bunch of recently married friends.
THINGS TO REMRMBER
• In all the hustle-bustle of the wedding, don’t forget to make a proper packing list so that you travel in peace.
• If you’re the romantic sort, carry along music that you both like.
• Despite all the planning, things can go wrong. Take it in your stride. Something unplanned can be memorable too.
• Ideally, use the services of a travel agent. That gives you enough breathing space to focus on just the essentials.
• You might be on a budget honeymoon, but carry a little more money than needed. Add, ideally choose all-inclusive accommodation – food, transportation, activities, etc.
This information is gathered from daily news paper.
Saturday, August 1, 2009
Indian brides wear jewelry sets that are made in gold, be it necklaces, bangles, anklets and earrings. Many a time, the bridal jewelry is set with diamonds and other precious stones. The modern day bride prefers to have some modern wearable items of gold jewelry in her trousseau. Not many would like to be weighed down by heavy jewelry that cannot be worn often and will be more an invitation for thieves. Come the wedding season and you can see crowds thronging the jewelry stores. Indian bridal jewelry has always been considered her 'streedhan' - personal wealth that would stand in good stead in times of need.
Indian jewelry for brides is created to enhance the beauty of the woman. The gentle tinkle of the anklets around delicate feet, a set of jingling bangles on her hands and an exquisitely crafted necklace round her neck - the Indian bride looks resplendent in her finery and colorful profusion. Some bridal ornaments such as waistbands and armlets are seldom worn these days.
Indian bridal jewelry varies from region to region as well as different communities. Precious stones such as jade, garnet, emerald, amethyst, pearl and coral are widely used in Indian bridal jewelry. Stones are said to pass their own special healing touch to the wearer. The precious stones are said to have an effect on one's blood vessels and temperament. Use of navarathnas or nine precious stones can be seen in finger rings and earrings.
The mangal sutra is an important item in the bridal jewelry. This necklace is tied by the husband around the wife's neck as a symbol of their union. This is usually created on a necklace strung with black beads. It is considered a protection against the evil eye. Many a bride makes a few changes to suit her tastes, keeping well within the prescribed parameters.
The conventional gold pendant is often replaced with a diamond. The length of the mangal sutra is one of personal preference. Black beads are sometimes interspersed with gold beads. South Indian brides wear silk saris that are offset by exquisite jewelry in gold. Bridal jewelry encrusted with rubies, emeralds or pearls is popular. The south Indian women wear a thaali as a symbol of their marriage. This is usually in the form of a thick yellow thread with gold pendant.
This information is gathered from a wedding site for the benefit of the parents who are intending to plan a marriage.