Wednesday, May 28, 2008


costumes of women

thavani:this is the costume of the tamil women before marriage

madisar: this is the trditional costume of brahmin women

saree: this is the most important costume of tamil women

costumes of men

dhothi: this is the traditional costume of tamil men


Pongal : The four-day Harvest festival is celebrated all over the state in January. The festival begins on the last day of the Tamil month with Bhogi Pongal followed by Surya Pongal on the next day. It is on this day that Chakkara Pongal, a delicacy of harvest rice cooked with jaggery, ghee and cashew nuts is offered to the Sun God. The third day, Mattu Pongal is dedicated to the Cattle when cows are bathed and adomed with colourful beads and flowers. Jallikattu, the bullfight is held on the last day known as Kannum Pongal.

pongal cooked in pots

Skanda Sashti : Skanda Sashti is celebrated in Saivite temples all over Tamilnadu on the sixth day in the holy half of the month of Aippasi (Oct 15 - Nov 15). Legend is that Skanda Sashti is celebrated on the destruction of evil by the Lord Kartikeya, son of Shiva. When it comes to celebration there must be mention of the grand celebrations at Tirupparankunram, Tiruchendur, two of the 6 'Padai Veedu' temples of Murugan. At Sikkal, the festival image of Subramanya receives a spear, from the Ambal shrine, and breaks out in sweat, a day before the climax of the festival.

Karthikai Deepam : The festival starts on the Panchami before Pournami (fifth day of the brighter half of the month of Kartikai ie. Nov 15 - Dec 15) early in the morning with a brief flaghoisting ceremony (Dwajaarohanam).

thiruvannamalai deepam

Monday, May 26, 2008

south indian tradition


Tamil Nadu is famous for its hospitality and its deep belief that serving food to others is a service to humanity. Traditionally, vegetarian dishes predominate the menu, including a variety of sweets and savories. It was developed over many centuries by Tamils who live in the region of present day Tamil Nadu in Southern India, India and Tamils of Sri Lanka. It is characterized by the use of rice, legumes and lentils, its distinct aroma and flavour achieved by the blending of spices including curry leaves, tamarind, coriander, ginger, garlic, chili, pepper, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, cumin, nutmeg, coconut and rosewater. The word "curry" is actually derived from the Tamil word 'kari' which meant"sauce".

food served in a banana leaf

DOSAI: It’s a famous tiffin of tamilnadu . It’s usually served with 3 types of chutney and sambar .


There are certain basic spices which go into most dishes - We heat a pot - add ghee in it then we add cumin seeds or mustard seeds and asafetida till they sizzle. Then we add red chili powder, coriander seed powder and turmeric powder. We also add our minced ginger at this time. We then add our vegetables, salt and steam the dish. Asafetida, is used mainly for its strong taste on the same lines of garlic.
coriander seeds and coriander

Cumin Seeds - is a basic spice used in most dishes in North India. It has a strong but pleasing flavor. Cumin may be fried whole in oil, or ground, or roasted and ground, or ground and then roasted, all with very different results. Turmeric (haldi)is also a basic Indian spice and is virtually used in most Indian savory dishes. It has no real taste and is mainly for its medicinal properties and the lovely color that it gives to the dishes.

The Healing Powers of Turmeric

Turmeric is a wonder spice. In India it has been revered for its healing properties and used as a daily supplement. In the Ayurveda system of health, turmeric has many medicinal properties and is an anti-inflammatory agent to treat a wide variety of conditions, including flatulence, jaundice, menstrual difficulties, bloody urine, hemorrhage, toothache, bruises, chest pain, and colic. Because of its effects on enzyme related to inflammation, turmeric may have the same mode of action as anti-inflammatory medicins. In it is used for cuts and burns and is known as an anticeptic and an antibacterial and for ulcers in the stomach.
Also called curcumin, is a mustard-yellow spice from India. Indians use it more for its healing properties (as a daily dietary supplement) than for taste. It has an astringent taste but is otherwise tasteless. It also provides a wonderful color to foods making them more apetizing.