Traditional bridal wear for the modern times

Traditional bridal wear for the modern times

Indian traditional wear is of several kinds. We have sarees, salwar kameez and the all time favourite,  lehenga.

In a traditional Indian wedding, the women of the family can spend months on end deciding what to wear. However, the most time consuming and difficult decision to make is the bride’s wedding dress. She is bound to be the centre of attention and her outfit is what matters most.

For an Indian bride, especially the north Indian bride, the most favoured bridal outfit is the lehenga – a combination of long skirt (lehenga), blouse (choli) and stole (dupatta). So what are these latest trends in lehengas?

Lehenga designs

Lehenga with Gota embroideryWell, until a few years ago contemporary was in, but now, traditional lehengas suddenly seem to be in demand. Thanks to the latest movies and television shows, Indian brides are choosing to go all out the traditional way when it comes to choosing their bridal lehengas. For the uninitiated, a lehenga usually is a full pleated skirt in colours like orange, pink, red, maroon, green and yellow. The cut of the blouse (choli) has been modernised and you have everything from tight fighting corsets to bikini patterned tops. The blouse can also be backless or with strings, adding glamour to an otherwise traditional outfit. Halter necklines and strapless blouses are also in trend.

Lehenga Colour Combinations

Lehenga CholiThe entire lehenga outfit as a whole can be of matching colour combinations or contrasting colour combinations. For example, we can have an orange skirt with a red blouse and a red and orange stole, or you can have a pink skirt, with a red blouse and an orange stole. The latest trends in bridal lehengas also have the skirt being made up of multicoloured panels, so that there are several colours together.

Thus, the traditional look maintains its status quo albeit with a modern twist.

- Cirimaya V

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Low budget weddings in Chennai

Low budget weddings in Chennai

Part 1 of the series

With rising costs of living in the metropolis, no wonder this is one of the most low budget weddings in Chennaisearched term in the search engines. But, instead of being called low budget weddings in Chennai, it would be ideal if the search had been marriage budget in Chennai. Because, even though people would not want to spend too less on a once in a lifetime event, they also do not want to spend more than what is necessary, keeping the rest as savings for other events that may be coming up in the near future such as baby shower, naming ceremony and so on.

What is the minimum wedding budget?

So, what is the minimum budget on which a marriage can be conducted decently in Chennai? Everyone wants to know the minimum cost that one needs to spend on a wedding. What exactly is the minimum price of a wedding? Let’s find that out.

Most of us are uninitiated in this field. Let’s break things down.

Some of the important activities are (not necessarily in order) matching of horoscopes, deciding the subha muhurtham, fixing the marriage hall, decoration, catering (before the event, during the event and after the event), number of guests, printing invitation cards, the music, the dresses for wedding and reception (sarees, suits etc for the bride, groom and the relatives), jewellery, accommodation for guests, vehicles for travel etc.,

Each of these activities may still be broken down into additional separate activities.

Of all the jobs listed above, getting the right marriage hall is the toughest of them all. If you have any experience in conducting marriages, you would agree with my statement. The search for the right marriage hall or the budget marriage halls should probably start one year or more before the marriage; the earlier you book, the chance of getting the best marriage hall for your low budget weddings in Chennai is bright. The cost of marriage halls in Chennai per day start with Rs.10,000/- (these are mini halls, with a capacity of 100-150 people) upwards of Rs.10,00,000/- [10 lakhs per day]. Some marriage halls have a capacity of more than 1000 guests; some even have sizable amount of parking space for the vehicles of guests. Low budget weddings in Chennai could also be titled minimum budget for a wedding in Chennai.

Matching of horoscopes can be done through online portals like ePanchang, which provide this service free of cost.

Finalizing on the muhurtham date is the one important task just before the booking of the mandapam. Many believe that the right date and time of marriage, on which the holy knot is tied, plays a major part in any successful marriage. So, getting the most auspicious date for both the bride and the groom becomes very important.

What is the minimum required for a wedding in Chennai?

The answer to this question is entirely dependent on the individual. To give you an idea, there are mini halls in Chennai, which cost you 10,000 rupees, with a capacity of just about 100 people.

Here, getting the marriage hall is the toughest job of them all. What information do you need, to home in on the hall of your choice? First of all, your budget, then your area of preference. Have at least three areas shortlisted. This is especially important, if the lead time to the event is shorter. The successful conduct of your low budget weddings in Chennai is also majorly influenced by the cost of the marriage hall. The more expensive the wedding hall, the more the cost of the other variables.

On the flip side, you may not have any choice at all, if you delay too much, because all the good halls may have been booked already. So, the idea is not to delay the booking. Before you book, you need to finalize on the date.

Find your auspicious date NOW, for free

 Next, you need to note down the number of guests for your event. Then, decide on whether the food served will be vegetarian or non-vegetarian fare. This becomes important, because not all halls allow non-vegetarian food to be served in their premises. This is more so especially if you want to cook your own food. Some halls allow non-veg food to be served, but not cooked. Some halls do not have kitchen at premises. So, veg or non-veg option will depend on whether you get the hall of your choice or not.

…to be continued

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The best dates to get married

Best dates to get married Astrology

Before we begin, if you are here just to find out the best dates to get married, click here to find out in an instant. If you want know about it, continue reading.

Well, that looks like a difficult one. How do I get to know the best dates to get married? What are the variables that actually decide the best? There are rules in astrology, which tell you in detail, dates and times to avoid. It also tells you dates and times that are good. When deciding on the dates, one has to cross out those dates which are not favourable astrologically, because it has the precedence. Of course, there are some exceptions, read on.

What do the planets say

Whether we like it or not, we know that some people are better in one or more ways than the others. Some are better of in terms of money, wealth, education and in other parameters. While we are not here to what the reason for their present status is, we all know that each one was born in a different date and time. Astrology says that the date, time and place of birth decides on the fate of an individual, among other factors.

astrologicall best dates to get married
Best dates to get married

The dates to avoid getting married

Before we decide on the best dates to get married, the easier approach is to cross out dates that we need to avoid. By default, there are certain dates that need to be avoided under all circumstances.

The dates to avoid for a wedding reception or a marriage ceremony are Amavasya [new moon], Prathamai, Pournami [full moon], Ashtami, Navami, Chandrashtama for the bride or groom

Best dates to get married in 2015

What else decides on the best dates to get married in 2015 or 2016? Once the avoidable dates are identified and removed from contention, what remains are the dates that may be considered. Of these, we need to identify the best, based on the horoscopes of the bride and the groom.

Why consider the horoscopes of both boy and girl?

Simple. The horoscopes [jathakam] of both the boy and girl are to be considered together, to identify common favourable dates for both of them. The marriage cannot be just conducted on a date that is considered good only for the boy or the girl. The good dates for both the boy and the girl are identified after positively matching their horoscopes. For more accurate information and to identify the best dates to get married, there are sites like which can identify the best dates for marriage.

Chettinadu Food – Marriage Cuisine

Chettinadu Food – Marriage Cuisine

Chettinad is a region of the Sivaganga district of southern Tamil Nadu state, India. Karaikudi is the capital of Chettinad, which includes Karaikudi and 74 other villages. Chettinad is the homeland of the Nattukottai Chettiars (Nagarathar), a prosperous banking and business community. Many of this community’s members migrated to South and Southeast Asia, particularly Ceylon and Burma, in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The people of Chettinad speak Tamil. Today there is a diaspora of Chettinad people who live in places such as the USA, Singapore and Malaysia.

Chettinad is well known for its Chettinad cuisine, mansions, and temples. “Chettinad” also means a social caste that specializes in the preparation of food. Chettinad cuisine offers a variety of vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes.Chettinads are considered master chefs who prepare food that reflects the excellence that people in Chennai/South India look for in the preparation and serving of food. Some cuisines have been renamed, such as Chicken Chettinad (Spicy Chicken Curry) or Veg Chettinad (a curry of selective vegetables) to reflect the specialty and care given during preparation of food.

The word Chettinad, reminds the numerous mouth watering delicacies that have transcended the boundaries of Tamil Nadu to carve a worldwide following.

Chettinad Breakfast or tiffin includes


  • idly (steamed rice cakes)
  • dosai (a pancake made from a batter of rice) 
  • lentils crisp fried on a pan, vada (deep fried doughnuts made from a batter of lentils)
  • pongal ( a mish mash of rice and lentils boiled together and seasoned with ghee, cashew nuts, pepper and cummin seed)
  • uppuma (cooked semolina seasoned in oil with mustard, pepper, cummin seed and dry lentils.)
  • coconut chutney
  • Milagai chutney
  • sambar (seasoned lentil broth) 
  • mulaga podi (a powdered mix of several dried lentils eaten with oil).

Some of the most popular dishes in vegetarian. One or many of them includes in breakfast :

chettinad idli

  • Idiyappam
  • Paniyaram
  • Vellai paniyaram
  • Karuppatti paniyaram
  • Paal paniyaram
  • Kuzhi paniyaram
  • Kozhakattai
  • Masala paniyaram
  • Kadikoozh
  • Kandharappam
  • Seeyam
  • Masala seeyam
  • Kavuni arisi & athirasam.

Chettinad or Chettiar Lunch 

A Chettiar lunch is generally vegetarian. A wedding lunch generally comprises six grains, nine savoury side dishes and  sweets (including fruit).

veg recipes for chettinad, vegetarian thali

A standard lunch is normally made up of :


  • Boiled rice
  • Ghee for flavouring rice
  • cooked dhal
  • sambar (Main ingredients: vegetable and thick gravy of dhal)
  • kara kuzhambu (Main ingredients: vegetable and chettinadu special spices)
  • thaneer kuzhambu (Main ingredients: vegetable and light gravy of dhal)
  • soup (Main ingredients: vegetable and dhal extract)
  • rasam (Main ingredients: tamarind juice and pepper)
  • kootu (Main ingredients: vegetable and dhal or coconut)
  • poriyal (Main ingredients: vegetable and dhal or coconut)
  • masiyal (Main ingredients: mostly greens)
  • pachchadi (Main ingredients: vegetable, tamarind juice and dhal)
  • masala (Main ingredients: vegetable and chettinadu special spices)
  • curd
  • appalam
  • variety of pickles
  • payasam (a sweet conclusion of full meal)

More or less, every chettiar cuisine will have this menu style (just change in vegetables).

Chettinad food offers a variety of non-vegetarian dishes also. As Chettiars had business contacts throughout the world from time immemorial their cuisine is famous for its use of a variety of spices used in preparing mainly non-vegetarian food. Chettinad food is less spicy, less oily and harmless to the stomach. Minimum quantity of oil, spice, tamarind and coconut is used in the real Chettinad food. The meat is restricted of fish, prawn, lobster, crab, chicken and mutton. Chettiars do not eat beef and pork. The meals is incomplete without crisp papads or appalam.

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Kerala Food in Chennai, the traditional preparations

Kerala food in Chennai, the traditional preparations

Kerala has a rich culture and tradition. The rich tradition is still being followed by the migrants from Kerala, who have settled in Chennai. So, Kerala food in Chennai, is easy to come by. The spicy dishes, both vegetarian and non-vegetarian Kerala food are delicious. Most of these Keralan dishes are made using coconut and coconut oil. Spices are fried and sometimes ground at home. Grinding using the traditional ammikkal [grinding stone] for more tasty and healthy food preparation.

There is difference in the taste and method of cooking in different parts of Kerala. Regional availability of raw material for food forms the basis for this taste difference. Some people who live in places where spices like cardamom, cinnamon, and pepper grow in abundance. They will like to have more spicy food. When the availability of spices and chillies is less in certain regions, people tend to like food which are less hot.

Traditional Kerala food recipes, which include vegetarian dishes and  non-vegetarian recipes are not complete without the traditional payasam [kheer] like Ada Pradhaman, Pal Payasam, Ethakka Payasam and much more.

You can make your own preparation of these Kerala food in Chennai, some recipes are really simple to follow.

Traditional Kerala Breakfast

Here are few traditional Kerala breakfast items. These are usually served with Vegetarian Chutneys and Curries. The traditional Kerala breakfast can also be served with Non Vegetarian curries like Fish Molee, Chicken Curry and so on.

Kerala Puttu

  • Rice Puttu
  • Rava Puttu
  • Idli
  • Dosha
  • Uppumavu
  • Idiyappam
  • Palappam (Kerala Rice Crepes)
  • Appam
  • Ada (Coconut Pancake)
  • Wheat (Godhambu) Vellayappam

Vegetarian Side Dish for Breakfast

  • Cheru Payaru ( Green Gram) Curry
  • Kadala (Bengal Gram) Curry
  • Chana Masala
  • Thenga Chammanthi ( Coconut Chutney)
  • Coconut & Peanut Chutney
  • Kunjulli Chammanthi (Pearl Onions and Coconut Chutney)
  • Ulli Chammanthi (Onion Chutney)
  • Tomato Chutney
  • Green Peas Chutney
  • Kerala Sambar
  • CheruPayaru Stew (Mung Bean Stew)
  • Vegetable Stew

Non-Vegetarian Side Dish for Breakfast

  • Egg Roast
  • Fish Molee
  • Chicken Masala Gravy
  • Kerala Chicken Gravy
  • Kerala Chicken and Potato Curry

Lunch and Dinner menu of Kerala

A normal Kerala lunch consists of plain boiled rice served with vegetarian gravies and side dishes. A few non vegetarian dishes are also served occasionally.

Special occasions call for three or four course meals that include appetizers, bread and curry, plain rice or biriyani followed by desserts. It can be vegetarian or non vegetarian.

Traditional Kerala Breads


  • Palappam (Kerala Rice Crepes)
  • Appam
  • Coconut Ada
  • Idiyappam
  • Wheat Vellayappam
  • Kerala Porotta
  • Rotti (Sliced Bakery Bread)
  • Dinner Roll

Gravies or Curries for Kerala Style Bread

  • Fish Moilee
  • Vegetable Stew
  • Egg Roast
  • Chicken Masala Gravy
  • Kerala Chicken Gravy
  • Simple Kerala Chicken and Potato Curry
  • Kerala Chicken Roast
  • Prawns Tomato Roast
  • Spicy Chilly Fish Masala
  • Beef Masala
  • Spicy Beef Tomato Curry
  • Red Chilly Tomato Chicken Curry

Main Course

Main Course is usually plain rice served with one main gravy (Chaaru Curry), one or more vegetarian side dishes, one or more non vegetarian side dishes. In addition to rice, you can also have Tapioca (Kappa/Yuca). Biriyani, Pulav or Ghee Rice is also served along with side dishes.

  • Kappa Puzhukku (Seasoned Tapioca)
  • Kappa Erachi (Tapioca with Beef)
  • Pidi (Kerala Style Rice Dumplings)
  • Kerala Fish Biriyani
  • Egg Biriyani
  • Vegetable Biriyani
  • Chicken Pulav
  • Ghee Rice (NeyChoru)
  • Chicken Biryani
  • Shrimp/Prawn Biriyani
  • Plain Rice
  • Gravies or Curries for Plain Rice

Side Dish for Biryani

If you are making Chicken Biriyani, then you can choose a side dish like Fish Fry or Beef Fry. If your making Fish Biriyani or Egg Biriyani, then Chicken Fry will be a good choice. Remember to serve Raitha, Pappadam and Pickle with the Biriyani.

  • Kerala Fish Fry
  • Kerala Beef Fry
  • Spicy Beef/Pork Fry (Irachi Varuthathu)
  • Kerala Chicken Stir Fry (Kozhi Varattiyathu)
  • Kerala Chicken Fry
  • Prawns Tomato Roast
  • Kerala Chicken Roast
  • Tomato Chicken Roast

Side Dish for Tapioca (Kappa) and Pidi

The most common combination is Tapioca and Fish Curry. You can also have Chicken Curry or Beef Curry with Tapioca.

  • Kerala Fish Curry
  • Netholi Fish Curry (Kozhuva/Anchovy Curry)
  • Simple Prawns Curry
  • Spicy Kerala Chicken Masala
  • Kerala Chicken Gravy
  • Chicken Masala Gravy
  • Kerala Pork Masala
  • Beef Masala
  • Kerala Style Chicken Curry for Pidi

Side Dish for Ghee Rice/Pulav

Ghee Rice is usually served with a spicy Non vegetarian Gravy like Mutton Curry, Chicken Curry or Beef Curry. The side dish should have lots of gravy to complement the Ghee Rice.


  • Kerala Chicken and Potato Curry
  • Kerala Chicken Gravy
  • Beef Masala
  • Chicken Masala Gravy
  • Spicy Beef Tomato Curry

Plain Rice is usually served with a nice gravy or Chaaru Curry.

  • Dried Prawns Mango Curry (Chemmeenum Mangayum)
  • Seasoned ButterMilk (Moru Kachiyathu)
  • Pulishery
  • Spinach Lentil Curry (Cheerayum Parippum)
  • Kerala Sambar
  • Tomato Rasam
  • Thakkali Curry (Tomato Curry)
  • Kerala Mushroom Curry
  • Vellarikka Moru Curry

Vegetarian Side Dish for Rice

  • Cabbage Thoran
  • Beans Thoran
  • Cabbage Carrot Thoran
  • Ivy Gourd Thoran
  • Aviyal
  • Beans Mezhkkupuratti
  • Spinach Thoran
  • Achinga Mezhkkuperatti
  • Mushroom Theeyal
  • Mushroom Thoran
  • Pavakka (Bitter Gourd) Thoran

Non Vegetarian Side Dish and Curries for Rice

  • Kerala Fish Fry
  • Fried Anchovies (Netholi/Kozhuva)
  • Kerala Fish Curry
  • Netholi Fish Curry (Kozhuva/Anchovy Curry)
  • Kerala Beef Fry (Ularthiyathu)
  • Spicy Beef/Pork Fry (Irachi Varuthathu)
  • Pork Ularthiyathu (Kerala Pork Stir Fry)
  • Kerala Pork Masala
  • Beef Masala
  • Red Chilly Tomato Chicken Curry
  • Spicy Kerala Chicken Masala
  • Kerala Chicken and Potato Curry
  • Kerala Chicken Stir Fry (Kozhi Varattiyathu)
  • Kerala Chicken Roast
  • Chicken Masala Gravy
  • Kerala Chicken Fry
  • Kerala Chicken Gravy
  • Spicy Pork Curry
  • Mutta Chikkiyathu – Scrambled Eggs
  • Simple Prawns Curry
  • Prawns Tomato Roast
  • Dried Prawns Stir Fry
  • Varutharacha Meen Curry
  • Thenga Aracha Meen Curry
  • Kerala Style Tomato Fish Curry
  • Unakka Chemmeen Podichathu

Typical Kerala Snacks

  • Chicken Cutlets
  • Kerala Fish Cutlets
  • Healthy Fish Cutlets
  • Vegetable Cutlets
  • Kappa Chenda (Boiled Yuca with Red Chilly Dip)
  • Kappa Puzhukku (Seasoned Tapioca)
  • Madukku San (Coconut Filled Crepes)
  • Aval Velayichathu (Sweetened Rice Flakes)
  • Avalos Podi
  • Godhambu Ada (Sweet Whole Wheat & Coconut Pancakes)

Sweets and desserts of Kerala

  • Semiya Payasam
  • Cracked Wheat Payasam
  • Mambazha Pradhaman
  • Rice Pudding
  • Paal Pidi/Paal KozhuKatta (Sweet Rice Dumplings)
  • Pazham with Pani

Brahmin Marriage Cuisine

Brahmin Marriage Cuisine

A Brahmin is a member of the priestly class in the Indian subcontinent and belongs to the upper caste society.

According to ancient Vedic texts (Rigveda) or later, in the Manusmṛti, there are four “varnas”, or classes
the Brahmins (poets, priests, teachers, scholars),
the Kshatriyas (kings, agriculturists and nobility),
the Vaishyas (merchants), and
Shudras (artisans, service providers and laborers).

In Hinduism, Brahmins were charged with performing religious duties as priests and preaching Dharma (as “one who prays; a devout or religious man; a Brāhman who is well versed in Vedic texts; one versed in sacred knowledge”). The Brahmins held authority over interpretation of Vedic and Puranic spiritual texts like the Vedas, Upanishads and Bhagavad-Gita, and were the teachers of the Vedic period.

The English word brahmin is an anglicised form of the Sanskrit word Brāhmana. Brahmins are also called Vipra (“inspired”) or Dvija (“twice-born”).

Brahmin Food

The main diet of brahmin is composed of vegetarian food, mostly rice which is the staple diet for millions of South Indians. Vegetarian side dishes are frequently made in brahmin households apart from compulsory additions as rasam,sambar,etc. Home-made ghee is a staple addition to the diet, and traditional meals do not begin until ghee is poured over a heap of rice and lentils. While tasting delicious, the cuisine eschews the extent of spices and heat traditionally found in south Indian cuisine. brahmin are mostly known for their love for curd. Other South Indian delicacies such as dosas, idli, etc. Coffee amongst beverages and curd amongst food items form an indispensable part of the brahmin food menu.The diet of Brahmin consists mainly of Tamil vegetarian cuisine, comprising rice.

The food is taken only after it is purified by a ritual called annashuddhi which means “purification of rice”

Brahmin Cuisine 

Brahmin cuisine is based on the concept that food shapes the personality, mood and mind. A healthy vegetarian diet fosters serene qualities. In Brahmin household food is cooked with a great deal of attention to cleanliness; to the balancing of nutrition, flavor, texture and variety.

The spices they use play an important role in our everyday life. Fenugreek as a digestive aid, cumin has multiple usages, dried legumes and beans are great protein sources, pepper is the best home remedy for colds and coughs, turmeric is the wonder healer of wounds.

Every ingredient used in the Tambram(Tamil-Brahmin) cuisine has a purpose that goes beyond taste and texture.



Typically, idli, dosa, arisi upma are the common breakfast dishes. Brahmins do not favor oily dishes early in the morning for breakfast. Tomato chutney is preferred rather than coconut chutney in many households. It is easier and faster to prepare. And the cholesterol content is lesser when compared to coconut chutney. And tomatoes contain lycopene, which is one of the most powerful antioxidants. A daily or even weekly dose of a spoonful of tomato chutney is good in preventing cancer.

Arisi Upma is a ready breakfast in just over 7 minutes. It has all the goodness of rice and wont let you get hungry soon.


Tamil Brahmin Cuisine

Lunch is not just a romance with food, lunch is an offering to the rejuvenation of the body, and the meal is cooked with the combination of spices in such a way that the soul stays serene.

This article cannot do complete justice in describing a typical Brahmin lunch, but well, let me highlight a few key dishes and their recipes.

  • Rice
  • Sambar
  • Rasam
  • Home-made ghee
  • Plantain pith curry – it makes a delicious side dish.

Various Potato Dishes

  • Potato roast curry – the favorite of all south Indian
  • Deep fried potato roast – is also a very delicious dish.
  • potato fry – no one gets bored
  • Lady’s finger fry

Various different vathals (dried vegetables) 

  • Manathakali Vathal
  • Sundakai Vathal

Gravy Side Dishes(kuzhambu) 

  • Onion vathal kuzhambu
  • Spring Onion sambar
  • Small onion sambar
  • Karuveppilai(curry leaves)

Some common dishes prepared with fresh green leaves are


  • Vendhaya keerai
  • masala morkuzhambu
  • keerai kuzhambu recipe
  • keerai koothu recipe

Yet another awesome combination is mor kuzhambu and vazhakai poriyal(raw banana curry). Mor Kuzhambu is prepared spiced yoghurt. This tastes great with raw banana curry.

Panakam and Kosumalli are offered to Lord Rama. Panakam is jaggery water in its simplicity but with various flavors and spices to cater to the individual tongue. Kosumalli is the plain old raitha with the goodness and proteins of moong dal.

There are various variations to Kosumalli like


  • Carrot Kosumalli,
  • Cucumber Kosumalli,
  • Radish Kosumalli and so on.

One thing in this community’s dishes is amazing that almost any dish can be substituted with any vegetable, fruit or grain and still made equally tasty with the assorted spice and flavor.

Brahmins have to eat curd rice with mango or lemon pickle. They believe that curd rice is absolutely essential to make a meal complete because of its cooling properties. The stomach needs to be cooled after such a very heavy and spicy meal.

A ripe banana to top it all. Do not tell me there is no space for the fruit. You must have it to complete the complete meal.

These dishes prepared the tambram way are not only delicious but healthy, nutritious and balanced in a way which no expert dietician can refute.


Kannada Marriage Cuisine


Kannada is a language spoken in India predominantly in the state of Karnataka. Kannada, whose native speakers are called Kannadigas (Kannaḍigaru) and number roughly 38 million, is one of the 40 most spoken languages in the world. It is one of the scheduled languages of India and the official and administrative language of the state of Karnataka.

Kannada Marriage

A kannada wedding can be said to be a relatively simple affair in comparison with the resplendent weddings conducted in other regions of India. As such there are various communities in Karnataka and the wedding rituals followed by each of these communities are typically different.

Cuisine of Kannada (Karnataka)

The cuisine of Karnataka includes many vegetarian and non-vegetarian cuisines. The varieties reflect influences from and to the food habits of many regions and communities from the three neighbouring South Indian states, as well as the state of Maharashtra to its north. Some typical dishes include Bisi bele bath, Jolada rotti, Chapati, Ragi rotti, Akki rotti, Saaru, Idli-vada Sambar, Vangi Bath, Khara Bath, Kesari Bath, Davanagere Benne Dosa, Ragi mudde, and Uppittu. The famous Masala Dosa traces its origin to Udupi cuisine. Plain and Rave Idli, Mysore Masala Dosa and Maddur Vade are popular in South Karnataka. Kodagu (Coorg) district is famous for spicy varieties of pork curries while coastal Karnataka boasts of many tasty seafood specialities. Among sweets, Mysore Pak, Holige, or, Obbattu, Dharwad pedha, Chiroti are well known.

Although the ingredients differ from one region to another, a typical Kannadiga Oota (Kannadiga meal) includes the following dishes in the order specified and is served on a banana leaf: Uppu (salt), Kosambari, Pickle, Palya, Gojju, Raita, Dessert (Yes, it is a tradition to start your meal with a dessert – Paaysa), Thovve, Chitranna, Rice and Ghee.

After serving ghee to everyone, one may start the meal. This is done to ensure that everyone seated has been served all the dishes completely.

What follows next is a series of soup like dishes such as Saaru, Muddipalya, Majjige Huli or Kootu which is eaten with hot rice. Gojju or raita is served next; two or three desserts are served; fried dishes such as Aambode or Bonda are served next. The meal ends with a serving of curd rice.

There is some diversity in core food habits of North and South Karnataka. While northern-style dishes have jola and rice as the primary cereals the south uses ragi and rice.

Karnataka Cuisine – Common to all regions

Some common vegetarian dishes prepared on a regular basis are:

Rice dishes


  • Bisi bele bath – rice cooked with dal, vegetables and spices; like Huli with rice, but often richer
  • Vaangi baath – cooked rice mixed with vegetables cooked in oil and spices; the vegetables are usually made into a palya beforehand and the vaangi baath mixed before serving
  • Chitranna – cooked rice flavoured with spices, particularly oil-popped mustard seeds and turmeric
  • Mosaranna – curd rice sometimes given a fried spicy touch with fried lentils and oil-popped mustard seeds.
  • Puliyogare – cooked rice flavoured with spicy tamarind paste
  • Maavinkaayi chitranna – cooked rice flavoured with raw green mango and spices
  • Nimbekaayi chitranna – cooked rice flavoured with lemon and spices
  • Avalakki – Akki (means rice), avalakki is baked flat rice that is soaked briefly and stirfried with cumin seeds, turmeric powder, peanuts, onions, green chillies, garnished with shredded coconuts and cilantro leaves.
  • Mandakki – Puffed rice that is soaked briefly and stirfried with cumin seeds, turmeric powder, peanuts, roasted ground grams, onions, green chillies, garnished with shredded coconuts and cilantro leaves.
  • Benne Dose or Butter Dosa – originating from central Karnataka city of Davangere, known for its enticing Aroma and mouthwatering taste.




  • Ragi rotti – A flat thick pancake made with ragi dough and flavoured with chillies and onions; the dough is shaped and flattened by hand.
  • Akki rotti – A thick, flat pancake-like dish made with a dough of rice flour, chillies, onions and salt; the dough is shaped and flattened by hand.
  • Jolada rotti – A flat pancake dish made with a dough of Sorghum flour and salt; the dough is shaped and flattened by hand. Jowar may be sometimes replaced with bajra.
  • Ragi mudde – Steamed dumplings made by adding ragi flour to boiling water.
  • Gunpongalu – Also known as Gundupongla, Mane Kaavali (skillet with houses), or Poddu. It is made with a rice rice batter (similar to dose) and cooked in a special skillet with compartments.
  • Chapathi – flat unleavened bread made from wheat flour, water, oil and salt. Unlike rottis, the dough rolled with a rolling-pin.


  • Kadalekaayi chutney
  • Hurali chutney
  • Kaayi chutney- grated coconut ground with dal (kadale) salted and garnished with oil-fried mustard and curry leaves
  • Kaayi chutney (green) – grated coconut ground with dal, green chillies and coriander salted and garnished with oil-fried mustard and curry leaves
  • Kaayi chutney (red) – grated coconut chutney ground with dal and dried red chillies salted and garnished with oil-fried mustard and curry leaves
  • Maavina chutney – grated raw green mango ground with grated coconut, dal, salted and garnished oil-fried mustard and curry leaves.
  • Heerekai chutney – grated ridge-gourd peel ground with grated coconut, dal, salted and garnished oil-fried mustard and curry leaves.
  • Eerulli chutney – grated onion peel ground with grated coconut, dal, salted and garnished oil-fried mustard and curry leaves.
  • Uddina Bele chutney – Fried Black Gram Dal with Tamarind, Red Chillies, salted and garnished oil-fried mustard and curry leaves.
  • pudina chutney-fry pudina leaves along onion, groundnut, black gram, green chilli, tamrind.add sugar and grind to fine paste.

Palya or side dishes

  • Hurali kaayi palya
  • Hurali palya
  • Hurali happala
  • Badnekaayi palya
  • Bendekaayi palya
  • Allugade palya



A salad prepared using simple ingredients such as lentils, green chillies and finely chopped coriander. The dish is generally finished with a tempering of mustard seeds and asafotida. Common variants include kosambari made with the above ingredients in addition to grated cucumber or carrot.

Sweet and spicy dishes

  • Menasinakaayi gojju
  • HuNuse gojju – made with tamarind
  • Bendekaayi gojju – boiled ladies-finger vegetable (okra) cooked in a gravy sweetend with jaggery and soured by tamarind.
  • Tomato gojju – cooked cut or mashed tomato with a sweet-sour gravy.
  • Eerulli (Onion) and Tomato gojju – cooked cut or mashed tomato mixed with cut onion with a sweet-sour gravy.
  • Haagalakaayi gojju – Bittergourd pieces marinated with salt and turmeric to remove some bitterness cooked with a sweet and sour gravy.
  • Thondekaayi gojju

Saaru (Main course)


  • Huli- Combination of vegetables and lentils simmered with spices, coconut, tamarind and seasoned with Ghee, asafoetida, curry leaves and mustard, it is an integral part of every formal meal.
  • Majjige Huli- Cooked vegetables simmered in yogurt with coconut, spices, asafoetida, curry leaves and mustard.
  • Tovve- Mushy lentils cooked till creamy, spiked with spices and Ghee. Vegetables are also added to this dish like Ridged gourd, cucumber etc.
  • Obbatinna saaru – made from the left over broth while preparing the sweet obbattu.
  • Bas saaru – made from the broth of boiled lentils and spring beans
  • Mosoppinna/Hulisoppu saaru – made from lentils and spinach
  • Maskai- Combination of vegetables cooked and mashed with spices and seasoning.
  • menasina saaru – rasam made from pepper, turmeric, and other spices
  • Bele saaru – has toor dal as one of the ingredients
  • kaalina saaru- Legumes cooked with coconut, spices, tamarind and tempered with asafoetida, curry leaves and mustard. Popular legumes include Kadale kaalu or Chickpeas, Halasande Kaalu black-eyed peas, Hesaru kaalu moong beans, Hurali kaalu Horse gram, Avare kaalu Indian beans
  • Haagalakaayi saaru: Haagalakai, the Indian bitter gourd is simmered with coconut, tamarind and spices and spiked with Jaggery and asafoetida, curry leaves and mustard The bitterness of the gourd is cut through by the sweetness of the jaggery and tartness of the tamarind.
  • Gojju- traditionally this is thicker than the Saaru but thinner than chutney. It is served with hot rice and is sweet, tangy and spicy. It is served in between courses as a palate cleanser. It is made from diverse ingredients including eggplants, okra, fenugreek, tamarind, pineapple, bitter gourd, tomatoes, lemon-lime, etc.
  • Tambuli – A yogurt based cold dish similar to Raita made from Doddapatre soppu. Optional ingredients in this dish includes vegetables and greens.
  • Fish / Mutton / Chicken Saaru – A very famous local curry made mainly from assorted spices and meats. Often mixed and eaten with Ragi Balls and Rice or Bhakri


Huggi – cooked rice and kadale or hesaru (mung bean), with coconut, milk, elakki and sweetened with bella (jaggery)

Ginnu – sweetened, flavoured and steam boiled colostrum of cow, buffalo or goat

Kajjaya – Rice and jaggery fritters deep fried in Ghee.

Kadabu – deep fried (kari kadubu) or steamed pastry with assorted sweet filling.

karjikaayi – deep fried crisp pastry with dry sweet filling

unde – ball shaped sweets with the following variations :

  • chikkina unde – ellu and bella
  • chigali unde – made from ellu
  • rave unde – made from semolina
  • shenga unde – made from peanut
  • mandakki unde – made from mandakki
  • avalakki unde – made from avalakki
  • Ladoo – made of deep fried chickpea flour droplets and formed into balls that are dipped in sugar syrup.
  • Hesarunde Moong dal ladoo.
  • Godhiunde- made from Wheat
  • Gulaadike Unde- made from Maida and Sugar – A Davangere speciality,
  • Besanunde – made from besan
  • tambittu – made from rice or wheat flour and jaggery.
  • sikkinunde – made from jaggery, dried coconut and maida .

paayasa – milk and jaggery/sugar based porridge, with the following variations

  • bele – made from split kadale or hesaru (mung bean)
  • Jeerige
  • Gasa-gase
  • Sabbakki or Seeme Akki
  • Shavige
  • Anna
  • Halasu
  • Rave

Nuts like cashew and almond, and dry fruits like raisins.

obbattu or holige – stuffed or plain sweet flat bread/pancake/crepe with variations including :


  • beLe – made from togari or kadale beLe.
  • kaayi – The filling is made from coconut and jaggery
  • sakkare -Filling made of sugar and desiccated coconut
  • shenga – The filling is made of peanuts and jaggery. In Northern Karnataka, this variety is called kaayi hOLige, the kaayi referring to peanut (as opposed to coconut in Southern Karnataka).

sakkare achhu – little sugar statues/toys made during Sankranti

Haalubaayi – A fudge made with ground rice, jaggery and coconut.

mysore pak- A fudge made with Chickpea flour, sugar and ghee.

dharwad pedha- Milk scalded and thickened with sugar. Synonymous with Dharwad

karadantu – Gokak town in Belgaum district and Amingarh of Hunagunda Taluk in Bagalkot district of Karnataka is famous for the karadantu, the most famous form has a mixture of dry fruits and edible gum.

sheekaraNi – pulp of ripe fruit (usually mango or banana) with additions such as sugar, elakki, jaakayi, jaapatri, milk, etc.

Damrottu – Ash gourd toasted in ghee and simmered with sugar, milk solids and sweet spices

Kunda – prepared from thickened milk, a speciality from BeLagaavi
Badushah or Suralipoori

Senige Huggi – A very famous sweet made during diwali in Shikaripur near Shimoga

Sweet Pastries – The following can be grouped together. These are often accompanied by milled sugar, and/or warm milk flavoured with saffron and almonds.


chiroti, phenori – unleaved, layered, sugar-coated fried sweets.

shaavige chiroti – vermicelli pastry.

kesaribhath, Sira – This is made of rice (or semolina in southern karnataka) cooked with sugar/jaggery, cardamom, saffron, milk, dry fruits (mostly raisins), and sometimes fresh fruits like banana, mango and pineapple. Popularly colored yellow/orange/saffron or left white. In North Karnataka, the semolina version is called Sihi Sajjige or Sheera or Sira; kesaribhath usually refers to the rice version.

Hayagreeva – A chickpea based dessert prepared on special occasions; popular amongst the Maadhwa community

Paramanna – Rice pudding with Ghee and Jaggery

Mamu Puri – Flour, Ghee, Sugar, Khoa, first khoa is packed between 2 halves of chapati then fried. It is exported mainly to gulf.

Maaldi – A delicious sweet dish made of powdered ‘baked wheat roti’s’, poppy seed, jaggery, hurakadle (daria), and served with ghee. It is a must sweet on the occasion of marriages .


Pickles are usually raw seasoned vegetables and sea food, but there are cooked varieties as well called Bisi Uppinakayi (hot pickle). The seasoning varies from plain salt to spices like green chilli, red chilli powder, black pepper, whole and powdered mustard seeds, coriander seeds, etc. They significantly differ from North Indian pickles or achar in that considerably less oil is usually used in the pickles; salt is the main preservative.

  • Mavinkayi – Raw green mango
  • Midi Mavinkaayi – Immature raw mangoes, usually used whole
  • Amtekayi
  • Nimbekayi – Whole and sliced lemon and lime
  • Gaja Nimbekayi – A larger variety of lemon, resembling a grape fruit
  • Bettada Nellikayi
  • Nellikayi
  • Tomato
  • Heralikayi – a green citrus fruit, only the peel is used in the pickle.
  • Hagalakayi – bitter gourd
  • Prawn, shrimp and crab, especially in coastal areas



  • Bonda or Bajji – deep fried vegetables (and sometimes chicken and seafood) in batter
  • Pakoda
  • Vadey – Ambode, Sabbakki vadey, Bele vadey etc.
  • Chakkuli
  • Nippattu
  • Nuchchina Unde
  • Kodubale
  • Khaara Mandakki – Puffed rice with Hot Boondi and Khara
  • Aloo Bonda
  • baaLaka – deep fried vegetable and fruit chips or wafers. The vegetables are usually dried and seasoned with spices, and even butter milk. Common candidates are potato, sweet potato, yam, cassava, ripe jack fruit, banana, plantain, chilli, bitter gourd, varieties of suitable green bean pods (usually gori kaayi/chaLLe kaayi), etc.

Andhra Marriage Cuisine

Andhra Marriage Cuisine

Andhra food is one of the oldest native foods of country and is marked by traditional preparations as dictated by the rich cultural heritage of the community. Hot and Spicy flavors predominate the Andhra Cuisine which includes the Moghul influenced Hyderabadi cuisine as well.

Telugu Cuisine

The cuisine from Andhra Pradesh is also called Telugu cuisine. The foods of Andhra Pradesh are famous for the heavy use of spices. Rice is the staple food in the Andhra cuisine and is usually consumed with a variety of curries and lentil soups and broths. A typical meal in Andhra cuisine consists of a combination of cooked rice, dal (pappu), curry, pickles (pachadi), yogurt (perugu) or buttermilk (majjiga), and papadum (appadam). Chewing paan, a mixture of betel leaves and areca nut is also a common practice after meals.

Widely used ingredients of Andhra Cuisine

Tamarind is one of the widely used ingredients in Andhra recipes. Most meal accompaniments use tamarind. Chutneys, Pulusu, Sambar( lentil stew), Rasam(tamarind soup), pulihora all use tamarind in good amounts. Green chilies, red chilies and jaggery are other ingredients that are used in Andhra cooking.

Cooking Methods and Utensils of Andhra Cuisine

A lot of Andhra recipes are generally prepared by stir-frying in oil. Delicious curries and rice dishes are made by stir-frying in a mukudu (skillet). Andhra food is also prepared by boiling. Chutneys are prepared by grinding (rubbi) the ingredients to a paste in a modern or conventional blender (rollu). The Amandasta godda is used to crush spices.

Andhra Food Specials

Pulihora, Gongoora pacchadi ( leaves chutney), Bobattulu, boorlu and kakinada kajha are some of the utterly compelling Andhra food. Aaviri kudumu ( urad dal idli) is a steamed breakfast item that is often considered a healthy Andhra food.

Kids generally love desserts like Putarekulu and Chegodi for a snack. Uttapam is an Andhra food that is fast growing in popularity throughout the world.

Andhra breakfast (tiffin)

images (1)

A typical Andhra breakfast single day consists of a few chosen from the diverse types of items listed below. Usually it consists of Idli (Rice and lentil based steam cakes), Garelu a.k.a. Vada (Deep Fried Lentil Dough), Minapattu a.k.a Dosa (Rice and Lentil based Pan cake or Crepe or breads or porriges, eaten with condiments. Tea, coffee or milk is sometimes taken with these dishes.

The most common Andhra dishes are:

  • Idli : A Rice and lentil based steam cakes, often eaten plain with some ghee added to it or dipped in condiments like Kaara Podi (Chili Dal Powder) or Chutney and Sambar.

Andhra Dosa Varieties

  • Minapattu a.k.a Dosa: Rice and Lentil based Pan cake or Crepe fried in flat pan laced with cooking oil, accompanied with Chutney and Sambar.
  • Pesarattu: A Moong Dal based Pan cake or Crepe fried in flat pan laced with cooking oil. It is usually served with ginger chutney. Some times Pesarattu is filled with Upma, known as Upma Pesarattu.
  • Godhuma Pindi Attu (Wheat Dosa): Wheat dough Pan cake or Crepe fried in flat pan.
  • Dibba Attu (Idli batter based Dosa): Idli batter poured into a thick and deep frying dish and fried until the outer layers become crispy and brown.
  • Atukula dosa : Dosa made from Atukulu a.k.a Poha.
  • Atukula Upma: Upma made from Atukulu, just replacing atukulu with sooji.
  • Rava dosa: Dosa made with Sooji dough with Chili, Coriander leaves, Onion and Pepper.
  • Saggubiyyam Uttapam : Uttapan (Thick Dosa) made from Sago (Saboodana).

Andhra Upma Varieties

  • Godhuma Uppindi: Upma made from Broken wheat flour.
  • Uppindi a.k.a Upma: Upma made from broken Sooji flour.
  • Saggubiyyam (Sago) Upma : Uppma made from Sago (Saboodana).

Andhra Vada Varieties

  • Garelu (A type of Vada) : Deep fried Lentil based Doughnut, or regular deep fried Dal mixture.
  • Punukulu or Punugulu: Bonda, a deep fried dish made from Idli/Dosa batter.
  • Gunta Punukulu: Made from Rice and Dal batter fried in half sphere-shaped pan.
  • Saggubiyyam Punukuli: Vada made from Sago (Saboodana).
  • Mong Dal Punukulu: Bonda, a deep fried dish made from Idli/Dosa batter.
  • Thapala Chekkalu : A Deep fried Rice and Dal based flat Vada added with onions, Curry leaves and chili.

Andhra Atukulu or Poha Varieties

  • Atukulu: Also known a Poha in Northern states, Moist Rice flakes sautéed in little oil.
  • Challa Pongarelu: A Poha (Rice Flakes), Rice and Curd dish.
  • Atukula dosa: Dosa made from Atukulu a.k.a Poha.
  • Atukula Upma: Upma made from Atukulu, just replacing atukulu with sooji.

Andhra Bread and Roti Varieties

  • Nokulu annam: made corn of Jowar and jaggery.
  • Chapatti: Flattened Wheat dough heated in flat pan. Served with Dal or Chutney.
  • Puri: Wheat dough deep fried in cooking oil. Served with Potato Bajji or Chutney. Though a North Indian dish, It is prepared on some occasions.

Bhojanam (Lunch and Dinner)


Lunch is usually an elaborate meal in most traditional function; the meal is served on arati aaku, a single plantain leaf, or vistari, a larger plate made of several leaves sewn together. Recently, more people have begun using broad steel plates called kancham. Lunch is served on a single plate in a specific arrangement. Curries and pappu are placed to the right of the diner, while pickles and podi are placed on the left. Special items such as pulihora and garelu are placed at the top right. A large scoop of rice is placed in the middle. Small amounts of pulusu, ghee and buttermilk are typically sprinkled onto the leaf. The ghee is mixed with every item except perugu/majjiga. Food is given tremendous respect in Andhra cuisine and they have a perfect balance of nutrients and flavours in every meal.

Course and servings

Annam is a staple of the entire meal and is typically mixed with the other course using the right hand. It is the main source of carbohydrates. Spiced pickles, pachadis, podis and papadum (appadam) are available as condiments.

The order of a meal is to start with modhati muddha (first bite) with an appetizer of an ooragaaya (spiced pickle) followed by a pappu, which can be made with some vegetables added to it or eaten plain with a pickle accompanying it. It is the main source of protein for vegetarians. This is followed by a couple of koora varieties (curry/main dishes) either only vegetarian or a combination of vegetarian and non-vegetarian for getting their vitamins and minerals. A Pappu or Rasam or a Charu (Usually Kadi is the third part of the course. The fourth course of the meal is either a Perugu (Curd or Yogurt) or as Majjiga (Buttermilk) accompanied by a spicy pickle or any of the other condiments. After meal paan or somph, (Arcenut, Betel on Pan Leaf) is also offered in traditional households. On festival or auspicious occasions, sweet is served along with the meal, which is usually eaten first.

Koora/kura/curry (main courses)

Koora – Koora is a generic word for a protein based dish. The actual dishes are called by the material used and the style they are cooked. The different methods of cooking are:

  • Vepudu (Fry): crispy fried vegetables, typically including: okra (bendakaya), ivy gourd (dondakaya), potato (bangaladumpa), colocasia and several regional vegetables but prepared separately for different days.
  • Pappu Koora (Lentil based dish): boiled vegetables stir-fried with a small amount of half-cooked lentils (dal).
  • Podi (Powdered Dal based condiment or seasoning): Mixed with Rice and spoonful of ghee or sesame oil.
  • Gojju (Gravy), Tomato or coriander seed base adding Drum Stick, Brinjal, Okra etc.
  • Pulusu (Sour Paste or Gravy): Pulusu Koora/Aava petti Koora (Stew dish): boiled vegetables cooked in tamarind sauce and mustard paste are two main varieties of Pulusu.
  • Kaaram Petti Koora/Koora Podi Koora (literally dish with curry powder added): sautéed vegetables cooked with curry powder or paste, served as a solid mass. The vegetables can be stuffed with curry powder or paste and are usually cooked whole.
  • Pappucharu (Thick Dal Broth) or *Charu (Diluted than a Sambar)
  • Rasam (Clear soup)
  • Ooragaya (Pickled), Avakaya, Gongura, etc.
  • Pachadi (Pasty/saucy condiment)

Other gravy based curries are chiefly made with vegetables cooked in tomato sauce and onion with coriander and cumin powder.

Pappu Dal

  • Pappu (Dal/Lentils) Toor Daal (Kandi Pappu) or Moong Daal (Pesara pappu) cooked with a vegetable or green. No masala is added to the dal. Some regions include garlic and onion in the seasoning while some regions prefer asafetida (hing/Inguva). Some times the cooked version of the dal is replaced with a roast and ground version of the dal like Kandi pachadi (roasted toor daal ground with red chiles) and pesara pachadi (soaked moong daal ground with red chillies or green chillies).

A very popular Andhra combo is mudda pappu (plain toor dal cooked with salt) with Avakaya.


  • Pulusu (sour) is a curry-like stew that is typically sour and cooked with tamarind paste. Other common bases are tomatoes or mangoes. The mixture can be flavored with mustard, chilies, curry leaves, jaggery, onions, or fenugreek. Fish, chicken, and eggs are typical meat additions.
  • Pachi Pulusu is an unheated version of pulusu typically made of mangoes or tamarind consumed during warm months.
  • Challa Pulusu / Majjiga pulusu – Sour buttermilk boiled with channa dal and coconut paste
  • Menthi Challa / Menthi Majjiga – Sour buttermilk seasoned with ginger / green chili paste and menthi seeds fried in oil.
  • Perugu – The last item of the meal. Perugu (curd) is normally consumed with an accompaniment like pachadi or ooragaya.


Pachadi(Chutney/Raitha) and Ooragaya(Pickle) are two broad varieties used at times with rice. Pachadi is typically made of vegetables/greens and roasted green/red chilies. It is prepared fresh and is consumed within a day or two. Ooragaya is prepared in massive amounts seasonally and uses liberal amounts of chilli powder, methi (fenugreek) powder, mustard powder and oil. For a typical Andhrite, no meal is complete without this very essential item. It is consumed on its own mixed with rice or is also eaten as a side dish with pappu/koora.


Apart from a sizable population who are vegetarians, majority of the population cook non-vegetarian dishes. The state also has abundant seafood supply and has extensively established poultry industry. Lamb meat is another traditional fare cooked with century old recipes.

Apart from Hyderabadi biriyani, the rest of the state has its own recipe and generally known as Andhra Biriyani. Kodi (Chicken) Biriyani and Mutton Biriyani are the most popular Biriyani dishes. One version is the Nellore Chicken Biriyani available in many restaurants.

Kodi (Chicken) Koora and Mutton (Lamb) koora are two popular dishes, often made with range of spices and condiments. The gravy base is usually Onions, Tomato, Coriander, Tamarind and Coconut. These gravies are mixed with steamed rice on the plate during lunch. Also pepper is used for fried meat dishes. Popular dishes served commonly in Andhra-style restaurants include the spicy, Andhra Chilli Chicken, Chicken Roast, and Mutton Pepper Fry. Among seafood Tamarind base is widely used. The state’s large Shrimp farming makes Shrimp and Prawns widely available. Andhra Restaurant chains and hotels are very popular in other states due to its extensive variety of meat in the menu.

Evening snacks (tiffin)

Many savoury snacks make appearance during evening time. These are


Andhra Munakombu
Beeja Manoli Upkari
Rice Nippet

Bajji and Bondaalu or Punukulu- with spicy dips (allam pachadi)

  • Vamu Bajji
  • Vankaya Bajji
  • Aratikaya Bajji
  • Urla Gadda Bajji
  • Mirapakaya Bajji – a local variety of extra-hot chilies stuffed with spices and dipped in chickpea batter and fried.

Urla Gadda Bonda
Vegetable Bonda

  • Ulli Kaadalu Pakodi
  • Sanna Pakodi
  • Vankaya Pakodi
  • Royallu Pakodi
  • Kodi Pakodi
  • Ullipakodi – fritters made with sliced onion and spices in chickpea batter

Gaare – Gaares are a deep fried and spiced dough.

  • Perugu gaare/Aavadalu – Gaare are marinated in a yogurt sauce.
  • Bellam Garelu
  • Rava Garelu
  • Ulli Garelu
  • Pulla Garelu
  • Ring Chips

Murukullu orJantikalu
Pesarapappu Jantikalu
Challa Murukulu
Sakinalu or Chakkiralu
Chekkalu or Chuppulu
Maida Chips
Colocasia Chips
Plain papadam
Aam papad

Maramaraalu or Popped Rice

Usually mixed with tomatoes, onions, coriander and lime juice and added with salt and chilli powder, mixed thoroughly and served

Bean/Pea Snacks

  • Senagala Talimpu
  • Guggillu

Sweets and Savouries

Sweets and Savouries form an important part of Telugu culture. Made on festive and auspicous occasions, they are also gifted to visiting relatives. Some of the savouries are also made for evening snack.


  • Sunnundallu – Laddu made from with roasted Urad Dal (Minapappu) and Jaggery (Bellam)
  • Telangana sakinalu – Crispy snack made from rice flour and seasame.Made especially during Telugu festival Sankranti.
  • Boondi Laddu
  • Poornalu or Boorelu
  • Rava Laddu
  • Bhakshalu or Bobbatlu or Polelu
  • Ariselu
  • Kakinada Khaja
  • Payasam
  • Gavvalu
  • Chakodi
  • Telangana Garjalu
  • Chakkera pongali (sugar pongal)
  • Laskora Undalu (coconut laddu) or Raskora Undalu (coconut laddu)
  • Boondi
  • Palathalikalu
  • Ravva Kesari
  • Pappuchekka
  • Jeedilu
  • Kobbari Lavuju
  • Pootharekulu
  • Vennappalu

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Karadaiyan Nonbu in South India and Karva Chauth in North India!

Tying saradu Mother-in law tyng the Karadaiyan  Nonbu Saradu for her daugher-in-law

Karadaiyan Nombu in South India, is also called ‘Savithri Vratham’ and is the most important festival for married women in South India, the Tamil Brahmins. This  fast  was maintained by Savithri for her husband Satyavan, who was  to be whisked away by God of Death, Lord Yama! It is believed that the lady was so deeply devoted and loyal to her husband that she could pray and fast for her husband right amid the woods, and, and retrieve her husband from  the merciless clutches of Lord Yama! The first day of the month of ‘Panguni’ after the month of ‘Masi’ usually on  14th March of every year, is observed as this Vratham or Karadaiyan Nonbu. The word ‘Karadaiyan’  is derived from the naivedyam offered in prayer, first eaten and then served to their husbands, by married women. The sweet and salted versions are called ‘Thithippu  Karadai’ (sweet version)  and ‘Uppadai’  ( the salted version) .

karva chauth blog lady Karva Chauth fasting by  Radha

Karva Chouth in North India is akin to Karadaiyan Nonbu in South India: Similar to Karadaiyan Nonbu in South India, there is a fasting festival for all married women in North India, very popular and of great significance in UP< Gujarat, Jammu and Kashmir, Uttaranchal, Haryana and Punjab. The only difference being the month that it is celebrated and the fasting time and method by the women. While in South India on ‘Karadaiyan Nonbu’ the married women fast, for the longevity of their husbands, till the  time for puja (  may be anytime as stipulated by the pujari or pandit), and can comfortably  have liquids or milk or tea, not so strictly followed like the North Indian women ; the North Indian women fast for the longevity of their husbands from sunrise to moonrise, without even drop of water!

V0045106 Savitrī pleading with Yama for her husband, Satya Savithri asks God of Death Lord Yama to spare  Satyavan

 Savithri  Satyavan story and Karadaiyan nonbu: Impressed by the Piety, dedication, and exemplary oratory skills of Savithri a beautiful and accomplished woman, Lord Yama offered her three boons and she cleverly asked for restoring the eyesight of her blind father-in-law, a Hundred sons to her father, and a Hundred sons to her, by her husband Satayavan, who was to die 3 days after their marriage, thus tactfully got her husband back, with strict fasting and prayers.
Karadaiyan Nonbu fasting in South India: Is observed at a particular time on that day, which has to be religiously followed by all the Tami Brahmin married ladies. The unmarried girls too pray for getting good husbands. Fasting is observed by married women, not spinsters.

karamani Karamani symbolic of Savithri’s fasting in the woods

Karadai and Karamani in Karadaiyan Nonbu:  The sweet and salted version of Karadai or the Prasadam or the only meal Item for the ladies who observe the Fast or Vratham, is made from rice flour, jaggery , cardamoms and chopped coconut pieces, while the salted version is made with rice flour, coconut, asafetida and chillies and curry leaves.

Coconut cut pieces Karadai blog Coconut pieces in Karadai for Karadaiyan Nonbu

The most Important Ingredient in Karadai is the herb called ‘Karamani’ a red lentil that is symbolic of Savithri’s fasting in the woods, where herbs are aplenty.

Velladai Sweet karadai, with jaggery and butter at the center            uppadai Uppadai or Salted version of karadai

Adai naivedyam

Karadaiyan Nonbu Naivedyam : Besides Karadais, the fasting Naivedyam on ‘Karadaiyan Nonbu’ also consists of white unsalted butter, Vetrilai ( betel leaves), Pakku ( supari), pazham ( bananas) and coconut.

Karva chauth mehendi North Indian lady all decked up on Karva Chauth day!

Ritual differences in Karadaiyan  Nonbu in  South India  and Karva Chauth in North India: In North India ,the married women eat early in the morning before sunrise and the special meal or sweet dishes are usually made by the mother in law , they bathe and pray and wear bright red saris wear jewelry apply  mehendi or henna in their hands, and thereafter, do not even drink water, till they see the moon. UP the ladies take milk, sugar etc in the  morning so they can withstand thirst all day
Sargi 1 Cashews, lamp and silk dupatta Sargi for Karva Chauth
Sargi 2 Sargi for Karva Chauth milk, sweets and lamp

The plate that is to be taken for evening puja before the moon appears is called ‘Sargi’ in Punjab and in. The puja plate usually has a lamp, sweets and some dry fruits and fruits, once the moon is spotted the fast is broken by consuming water fed by the husbands,  and some sweet given to regain lost energy.

In South India, on Karadaiyan Nonbu day,  the women bathe and adorn themselves in silk saris ,  some in Madisar or nine yards, wear jewelry  and bangles, and mehendi application is more optional. They do the puja at the time specified by the solar calendar, pray for the longevity of their husbands, offer the naivedyam to Goddess Kamakshi Amman,

Kamakshi amman blog Goddess Kamakshi Amman Karadaiyan nombu blog pic 1 karadai placed with butter and Nonbu saradu on plantain leaves
wear the yellow thread with jasmine slung at the center, around their necks as if newly married, and eat the  hot karadais with butter melting on them ,all placed on a plantain leaf… While wearing the  ‘Nonbu Charadu’ or the yellow thread,  they chant the following  ‘Urugadha Vennayam oru adayum vaithu nonbu notren oru nallum en kanavar piriyamal iruka vendum’ which translates thus ‘Just like the melting butter over steaming adais, the woman and her husband must remain bonded for life, inseparable!’

Karva Chauth in North India – the name: ‘Karva’ means pot , and Chauth ( means fourth in Hindi), which is observed on the fourth day of the dark days after full moon day or Poornima. The women pour water from the pot ( Karva) into the soil and do puja and then using a sieve they see the moon and the faces of their husbands through it.
karva chauth moon
North Indian ladies look the moon through the sieve on Karva Chauth

The women then enjoy singing and eating a sumptuous meal with an elaborate menu along with their families.

The beginning of Karadaiyan Nonbu, in South India, yellow thread at a marriage hall : The first time a  woman wears the  yellow thread is when she first gets married at a hall, amid Vedic  chanting and music, and blessings of all, when her groom ties the thread around her neck.

This can be witnessed at any South Indian Wedding, at any  of the Kalyana Mandapams or halls in Chennai.
The spirit and essence of Karadaiyan Nonbu and Karva Chauth is one: Fasting by married women for the welfare and longevity of their husbands.


Saptapadi or Seven steps in Hindu marriage!

Saptapadi or Seven steps in Hindu marriage!

Holding hands in saptapadi

Saptapadi or  seven steps is the most important rite of a Hindu marriage ceremony. The word Saptapadi means “Seven steps”. After tying the Mangalsutra, the newly wed couple take seven steps around the holy fire, that is called Saptapadi.

In a Hindu marriage , the most Important rite is the tying of the Thali or Mangalsutra, by the groom around the neck of the bride, but the marriage is incomplete without the ‘Saptapadi’ or ‘Seven steps’!

Round the fire
The Seven Steps and their significance:

  • With the first step , the couple invokes the Gods for plentitude of food.
  • With the second step , the couple prays to the Gods to give them both mental and physical strength and a healthy life free from ailments.
  • The third step is for the fulfilment of spiritual obligation for the couple and for the successful performance of their spiritual duties.
  • The fourth step is for the attainment of happiness in all walks of life.
  • The fifth step is to pray for the welfare of all living entities in the entire Universe.
  • The sixth step is for bountiful seasons all over the world.

The seventh step is taken invoking the prayer and sacrifice for universal peace.

The variations in Sapdapadi or Seven steps: During  Saptapadi or seven steps, some communities, the groom holds only the little finger , while taking his bride round the fire seven times, in gentle steps, in still others, he holds her right hand cupped fingers all together. The most sacred and critical Seven Steps.

Husband and wife only after the Sapdapadi: The man and woman who tie the knot, are declared husband and wife, only on completion of the ‘Saptapadi’ or ‘Seven steps’.

The sentimental and deep values of Sapdapadi  in Hindu marriage: When a wedded couple takes the seven steps or rounds holding each other’s hands firmly, around the fire, they not only evoke the Almighty’s blessings and pray for each other ‘s health and well-being, they pray for their families, and the whole Universe. The ritual embraces all the elements of nature, fire, water and seasons, spirituality and universal peace.

The Implied elements of true partnership in ‘Saptapadi’: The couple during Sapdapadi, agrees to be with each other in times of pain and pleasure respect each other’s likes and dislikes, family values. The partners agree to be perfect companions through all walks of life.

The Saath pheras or seven steps in the North: The North Indian weddings have a similar , very Important ritual where the couple goes around the fire seven times, called ‘Saath Pheras’ Or ‘Seven rounds’ where they pledge to be with each other in all times of pleasure and difficulties, not quarrel and part ways, also pray for their families. The difference in the North Indian customs is that the ‘Dupatta’ or the bride’s head cover, is tied to the Dupatta of the groom and they walk in close proximity around the Agni or fire. The priest or pundit chants very effective mantras as they go round the fire.

Saath pheras blog
Saptapadi followed by Metti or toe-ring slipping: This most important rite of a Hindu marriage is followed by the groom bending down, lifting his wife’s feet one by one,  and slipping the silver toe-ring (another symbol of marriage), into her second toe of each feet.

Metti saptapadi blog

The essence remains the same in Saat Pheras and Saptapadi: Whatever be the differences in rituals between a North Indian Hindu wedding and a South Indian Hindu wedding the essence of ‘Saat Pheras’ and ‘Sapdapadi or Seven steps’ is one and the same evoking blessings for the well -being of the couple, their families and the whole Universe.