The “Amma Tell Me” Series: REVIEW

A few months ago Bhakti Mathur, author of the Amma Tell Me series, sent me the Amma Tell Me series ten book set. I cannot express enough how delighted Akshaya and Udayan were to receive such a generous gift especially because these two are quite interested in learning all they can about the Hindu Gods and Goddesses and the associated myths. Read More …

Purattasi Shani & the Lighting of the Ellu Villaku (Black Sesame Lamp)

A lot of you ask me to write more about all the Hindu festivals and auspicious days that I observe and so I will be slowly covering these topics as they pass. Today was the fourth and last Purattasi Shani and to fully understand and appreciate this auspicious day, I must first tell you about Lord Shaniswaran. In Hinduism, Shaniswaran is the personified form Read More …

Sambhar

The past couple weeks have been crazy busy. First baby Vishnu came down with bronchitis, then the older two kids caught throat infections and were home from school for four whole days and I inevitably caught a cold while fasting for Skanda Shasti Viratham. Skanda Shasti Viratham is a six-day fast dedicated to the Hindu God, Murugan who is also referred to Read More …

Sri-Lankan Milk Toffee

Milk Toffee is a popular Sri-Lankan sweet that is often made for birthdays and holidays. It is my dad’s favourite sweet as well as my daughter’s so you can be sure that I make this a lot more than any other sweet. Milk toffee is quite easy to prepare as it requires very little ingredients. The only difficult step, which will improve Read More …

Deepavali in Toronto

Autumn is my favourite time of year probably because there are so many holidays to celebrate and so many reasons to get together with family from Thanksgiving and Halloween to Navarathri and Deepavali. One of the greatest things about living in Toronto is the fact that it is so multicultural here — We have the opportunity to partake in many different festivities even if they Read More …

Celebrating Navarathri: 9 Nights of Worship for The Divine Mother

Having grown up in a Hindu household, Navarathri was always a big deal. I have fond memories of my mother preparing jaggery pongal (sweet rice), sundal (tempered chick peas), and aval (sweetened rice flakes), decorating the idols with fresh flowers, and singing devotional hymns. Religion and culture were always important to my parents and although us children were born and Read More …

Traditional Milk Payasam

Payasam, similar to rice pudding, is made with tapioca and sometimes broken pieces of vermicilli boiled in milk and sugar. It is typically served as dessert after vegetarian meals but I remember my mom used to make this for me when I was sick and refused to eat anything but it. I haven’t made payasam in awhile mainly because until Read More …

Pineapple Rava Kesari (Semolina Pudding)

Rava Kesari is a popular sweet made from semolina, sugar and ghee. It is actually one of the first sweets that I had the confidence to master, due to its simplicity. There are so many different versions of this easy sweet dish but my favourite is the pineapple kesari, made with either fresh pineapple or canned pineapple chunks. Kesari is always Read More …

Vegetable Biryani

With Tamil New Year almost upon us I thought I would share my recipe for vegetable biryani. This aromatic and flavourful rice dish usually accompanies holidays such as Tamil New Year and Diwali as well as birthdays, family gatherings, and special dinners. As with any biryani you make at home from scratch, you can expect a long list of ingredients and some prep Read More …