Goddess Saraswati – Madhubani Painting

As per Hindi Lunar calendar, Basant Panchami or Saraswati Puja is celebrated on the fifth day of Magh Shukla. Basant panchami is also called Vasant or Shree panchami. This year it will be celebrated on 01/02/2017.

maa-saraswati-madhubani-painting

Goddess Saraswati is the goddess of knowledge and basant panchami is celebrated as goddess Saraswati’s birthday.

In eastern parts of India especially in Bihar, Saraswati puja is celebrated with great pomp and show. Pandals are set up and statues of saraswati maa is placed and worshiped.

Chath puja is another festival celebrate with with great dedication in Bihar. Here is a madhubani painting depicting Sun God worshiping on Chath puja.

My memories of Saraswati puja

I have fond childhood memories of saraswati puja. I remember we used to had school holidays on basant panchami and we would get ready early in morning.

As kids, we used to get new sets of yellow color garments specially to be worn for saraswati puja.

Significance of yellow color on Basant Panchami

Basant panchami embarks arrival of spring. At this time of the year, yellow mustard flowers are in full bloom and nature has hue of yellow around it. I also remember special sweet saffron rice and yellow lentil curry was made for lunch on basant panchami.

We used to clean our ink pens and keep our books and stationery in front of maa saraswati and perform puja. As we were supposed to abstain from reading and writing on this day. This day was spent in total fun sans any studies. 🙂

About this Goddess Saraswati madhubani painting:

Madhubani painting is folk art of Bihar and you can read more about this art here.  In this Madhubani painting I have shown maa saraswati siting on swan holding her musical instrument veena. Goddess Saraswati is also known as veena vadini.

saraswati-veena-painting

Goddess Saraswati’s favorite color is white. Traditionally, goddess of wisdom and enlightenment is dressed in white clothes sitting on white lotus with white swan on her side.

However, Madhubani painting being all about bright colors, I have dressed saraswatiji in yellow attire with pink lotus flowers.

According to  vedas, each god has an animal or bird associated with them. Like ganesha has mouse and Krishna has peacock associated with them. In this basant panchmi Madhubani painting, I have kept Swan (maa Saraswati’s vehical) in white color with intricate colorful detailing.

goddess-saraswati-swan-art

I sincerely wish Goddess Saraswati grant all of us intellect and wisdom to differentiate between good and evil.

Happy Basant Panchami to all!

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Egg-less Millet and Sesame Seed Cake

This Bhaili blog has opened a whole new window for me. I started writing on my blog to share what all I was doing, and eventually it also became a medium to see what amazing things others are doing too.

For me, earlier baking meant only all-purpose flour and refined sugar bakes. Now I know baking is such a wide term and cakes can be healthy too. A cake baked from healthy ingredients is going to be guilt-free indulgence just like this egg-less millet and sesame seed cake.

eggless-healthy-cake

I have used millet flour, jaggery, sesame seed and home-made ghee in this cake. For additional flavor and to make it more interesting for kids, I have added pomegranate syrup as well.

Millet flour, jaggery, sesame seeds, pomegranate are iron-rich ingredients. Hence, this cake is a good one if you are looking for iron-rich recipe.

So without any delay here is the list of ingredients I have used in millet and sesame seed cake.

Ingredients:

  • Millet (bajra) flour: 1 cup
  • Whole wheat flour: 1/3 cup
  • Jaggery: ¾ cup
  • Ghee (clarified butter): 2/3 cup
  • Milk: ¾ cup
  • Almond extract: ½ tsp
  • Black sesame (kala til) seeds: 2 tbsp
  • Baking powder: ¼ tsp
  • Baking soda: ¼ tsp

Process:

  • Dry roast sesame seeds on low heat for a minute and crush it coarsely.
  • Take both the flours, add baking powder, baking soda and sieve three times.
  • Take grated jaggery, melted ghee, almond extract in a bowl. With the help of electric beater beat it for 5 minutes, and you will get a liquid with smooth consistency.
  • Add sieved flour into this mixture and make a quick whisk by beater.
  • Add warm milk in it to get pouring consistency of batter.
  • Add crushed sesame seeds and gently fold it in batter.
  • Pour this batter into a greased tin and bake it in pre-heat oven at 180° C for 30 minutes.
  • After 30 minutes, check by inserting a toothpick in center. If the toothpick comes clean it means cake is cooked or else cook for another 10 minutes at 160° C.

Wait for 15 minutes before you invert cake on wire rack for further cooling. Attempting to unmould in hurry can break the cake.

This cakes tastes good all by itself but combination of pomegranate syrup made this humble millet cake a bit glamorous. After all who doesn’t like a bit of glamour in life. 🙂

Millet-cake-with-pomegranate-syrup

Ingredients for pomegranate syrup:

  • Pomegranate juice: ½ cup
  • Sugar: ½ cup
  • Water: ¼ cup

Process

Add all the ingredients in a heavy bottom vessel and keep on a medium flame. Reduce the liquid to half. It will take roughly 20 minutes.

I had kept syrup for boiling while I was baking cake kept an eye on both.

If you bake cake regularly you will notice difference in texture of this cake as compared to refined flour cake. Millet flour gives it a slight airy feel.

eggless-millet-seasam-seed-cake

Add small amount of pomegranate syrup once the cake has cooled. You can even add syrup just before serving.

This cake stays good in refrigerator for 3-4 days. Meanwhile, if you are looking for other options in healthy cakes, you can also have a look at cottage cheese muffins and egg-less banana and walnut muffins.

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Easy-to-make Tomato Chutneys

It’s popularly said, “make hay while the Sun shines”. I say make tomato chutneys when you have ripe red tomatoes available in abundance. 🙂

In winters tomatoes are available at quite a reasonable price. Apart from making pizza sauce, I regularly make these two varieties of tomato chutney in winter. These chutneys add extra flavor and taste to simple meals.

The first traditional sweet tomato chutney taste wonderful with multi-grain paratha or stuff paratha’s. While the spicy and sour one goes well with kebabs, pakoras and samosa.

So here is the list of ingredient for the traditional Marwari sweet tomato chutney or tamatar ki lungi as it’s called in my family.

tomato-chutney-rajasthani

Ingredients:

  • Tomato: ½ kg
  • Green chilly: 2 finely chopped
  • Ginger: ¼ inch
  • Mint leaves: 5-6
  • Raisins: 1 tbsp
  • Fennel seeds: ½ tsp
  • Mustard seeds: ¼ tsp
  • Cumin seeds: ¼ tsp
  • Asafoetida: ¼ tsp
  • Salt: ½ tsp
  • Turmeric powder: ¼ tsp
  • Jaggery: ¼ cup
  • Ghee: ½ tbsp.

Process:

I know you must be thinking these many ingredients for a chutney? But trust me this chutney has some amazing taste and you must try this.

  • Roughly chop tomatoes and finely chop chilies.
  • Heat ghee and add mustard and cumin seeds.
  • Let seeds crackle and then add fennel seeds and asafoetida.
  • Now add chopped chilies, stir it and add chopped tomatoes.
  • Add salt and turmeric powder, reduce the flame to minimum and cover the tomatoes. Cooking covered on low flame for 10 minutes will make tomatoes tender.
  • Now add grated ginger, raisins and mix well.
  • Add 1 cup of water and jaggery. Let water boil and simmer it on medium flame for few minutes. You will get chutney with thick consistency.
  • Take it off the flame and garnish it with chopped mint leaves.
  • Sweet tomato chutney is done and ready to be served.

Tomato-chutney-sweet

  • Jaggery can be substituted with sugar, also you can adjust sweetness per your taste. Since this chutney has water content, it doesn’t have a long shelf-life and may not last for more than a week even if kept in refrigerator.

Sour and Spicy Tomato Chutney

I learned this spicy tomato chutney from one of my bhaili’s mom. It has south-Indian taste to it and is amazingly delicious.

spicy-tomato-chutney

Here are ingredients of this simple and spicy version of tomato chutney.

Ingredients:

  • Tomato: ½ kg
  • Ghee (clarified butter): 2 tbsp
  • Red chili powder: ½ tbsp
  • Asafoetida: ¼ tsp
  • Salt: ½ tsp
  • Turmeric powder: ¼ tsp
  • Mustard seeds: ½ tsp
  • Few curry leaves

Process:

  • Roughly chop tomatoes.
  • In a heavy bottom skillet, add tomatoes, salt and turmeric. Mix well and cook tomatoes covered on low flame for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes tomatoes will turn tender and you will get a paste kind consistency. Evaporate any excess water and then take it off the flame.
  • In this chutney, flavor comes from tempering of spices. Keep all ingredients ready while tempering to get the best flavor.
  • In another skillet heat ghee on medium flame. Make sure heat is not high or spices will burn. In hot ghee add mustard seeds, asafoetida, curry leaves. Take it off the flame and immediately add chili powder.
  • Add these tempered spices in cooked tomatoes and mix well.

Spicy tomato chutney is ready. I told you this chutney is pretty simple.

South-indian-tomato-chutney

This chutney stays good in refrigerator for up to a month. However, I usually prefer making in small batches for a week or so. Some of my friends make it in large quantity and relish it even for a month.

You can replace ghee with any oil of your choice.

If you are looking for other chutney recipes then do check mint chutney, tamarind and jaggery chutney and garlic chutney.

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My Free Mandala Coloring Book

Mandala is no less than a meditative art, as it relaxes and rejuvenates mind. This art is so intricate that it keeps mind totally focused on what you are doing. It completely disconnects the mind from outside thoughts and helps mind to relax.  After all calm mind attracts creative and positive energy.

I believe this is the reason behind rising popularity of Mandala. You don’t have to depend on anything or anybody to keep you engaged or occupied. Just a pencil and paper and you are ready to meditate. You can read my post on how to draw Mandala in six easy steps to learn to draw intricate mandala.

However, if drawing is not your cup of tea, but still have inclination for Mandala art, do not worry! Mandala coloring book will be perfectly suitable for you.

Coloring a Mandala is so therapeutic, it reduces stress and gives calm and peace. Trust me you will feel relaxed and rejuvenated once you complete coloring. This is the reason, coloring books are so popular these days.  After all, it’s not possible for every one of us to sit and meditate with closed eyes!

Adult coloring books with intricate and inspiring patterns keep you happily occupied for hours.

So, here I’m sharing my free Mandala coloring book “Mandala Coloring Book – Meditation with Colors“. You have to just download this book (right click on the link –> “Save link as”), print it and start coloring.

Mandala Coloring Book - Meditation with Colors

Best part is, you can print it multiple times and color it as many times (with different color combinations) you want. Also, you can print in size of your choice if you want to gift to elderly people – print in large sizes for easy coloring.

I must tell you, it’s rather addictive and very engrossing once you start coloring these intricate mandalas. You won’t want to stop once you start 🙂

You can even frame this mandala after coloring and decorate your home with your personal creations. Framed colored mandalas can also be gifted to  your loved ones as a lovely personalized gift.

If you like intricate art forms, then have a look at some of my madhubani paintings. If you are interested in learning how to draw madhubani paintings read my post on Madhubani painting in 6 easy steps.

Do let me know your inputs and suggestions on this book. Your feedback will help and encourage me to create more coloring books in future.

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Healthy sweet-potato dessert

At times its good to try different things and create some healthy food. Healthy eating is in everyone’s mind these days and we all trying to incorporate easy to make healthy recipes in our cooking.

I’m happy to share this sugar-free oats and sweet potato mithai that I made few days back. Honestly speaking I wouldn’t have used oats in preparing this sweet. Since I was running out of mawa I used oats in the filling.

Sweet-potato-baked-dessert

Normally I always keep mawa in my refrigerator as my family is fond of mawa sweets like chandrakala, suji and gond ki barfee or parwal ki mithai.

I was glad with the taste and texture of rolls with addition of oats in it. Surprisingly family didn’t find out that it contained oats. I later on disclosed I have used oats. 🙂

Oats is very versatile and blends seamlessly. Like in this oats and banana pancakes kids won’t even come to know that this delicious and gorgeous looking pancakes have oats and banana in them.

Coming back to this desert I made it as healthy as possible. Like there is no frying, no sugar and no refined flour as well. Here is the list of ingredients and by having a look at ingredients you will realize what I’m saying is so true.

Ingredients:

  • Sweet potato: 2 (medium size)
  • Cottage cheese: ¼ cup
  • Milk: ½ cup
  • Oats: 1/4 cup
  • Ghee (clarified butter):1 tbsp
  • Rose extract: 1/4 tsp
  • Honey: ¼ cup
  • Dry rose leaves
  • Almond flakes: 1 tsp
  • Pistachio flakes: 1 tsp

Procedure:

  • In a pan keep milk for boiling. Once milk start boiling add oats in it and steamer on low heat just like we make porridge. In 5 minutes oats will get cooked and porridge will be ready. Take it off flame when you get thick stick paste kind consistency.
  • Add cottage cheese, honey, almond and pistachio flakes and Mix it thoroughly. Once blended take it off the flame.

Cottage cheese can be easily made at home, you can read the how to make cottage cheese procedure. Cottage cheese is very nutritious and should be included in our diets. Kids simply love these healthy cottage cheese muffins.

  • Let few steam escape and add rose extract and dry rose leaves. Mix it so that rose flavor is well blended in filling. The filling is ready and will look like this. Taste of filling itself was delicious and tasted like dry rabdi.

oats-sweet-potato-mithai-filling

  • Now we proceed for the outer layer of this healthy dessert. Clean and peel sweet potato. Make thin slices of sweet potato and soak them in water. Soaking in water will prevent slices from getting black.

Sweet-potato-slices

  • Put one spoon of filling in center of each sweet potato slice and roll it.
  • Pierce a toothpick to secure the roll. Repeat the process and make as many rolls as you want.

sweet-potato-dessert

  • Grease a baking tray with ghee or unsalted butter. Arrange these rolls in tray for baking brush these rolls slightly with melted ghee.
  • Preheat the oven @ 200C. Bake these rolls for 15 minutes.
  • On baking sweet potatoes will become tender. As each oven behaves differently you need to confirm if they are cooked by touching them. If they are under-cooked bake them for 10 more minutes.

Garnish them with rose petals before serving.

sugarless-sweet-potato-dessert

I hope you enjoy making these healthy dessert. If you are looking for sugar-free sweets do try these sugar-less peanut ladoo.

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Eggless malpua muffins with orange rabdi

I enjoy experimenting in kitchen, making some changes in traditional food. My family is fond of desserts so no doubt you will find here lots of easy to make dessert recipes.

I try to make food that’s close to its authentic taste but is healthy and easy in approach. Like instant moong dal halwa, kesaria daliya and parwal ki mithai.

This time presenting our traditional malpua and rabdi with a healthier twist.

Egg-less-malpua-muffins

Instead of deep frying, I have baked the malpua batter in muffin molds. Served it with orange rabdi  and jaggery syrup.

Ingredients for malpua muffins:

  • Whole wheat flour: 1 cup
  • Ripe banana: 1/2
  • Jaggery: 1/2 cup
  • Ghee (clarified butter): ¼ cup
  • Fennel seeds: ½ tsp
  • Grated dry coconut: 1 tbsp
  • Crushed black pepper: ¼ tsp
  • Cardamom powder: ½ tsp
  • Almond extract: 1/2 tsp
  • Milk: ½ cup

Process:

  • Take banana in a bowl and mash it with fork.
  • In another bowl take grated jaggery, ghee, almond extract and beat for 2 minutes till jaggery is blended well in ghee.
  • Add fennel seeds, grated dry coconut, crushed black pepper and cardamom powder and mix everything together.
  • To bring out authentic malpua taste, add grated dry coconut (not desiccated coconut). Similarly freshly crushed black peppers works wonder as compared to pepper powder.
  • Add mashed banana and flour, and mix it gently till you get lumpy batter.
  • Add warm milk and make a smooth batter.
  • Pre-heat the oven at 180 degree centigrade.
  • Line the muffin liners in muffin moulds and pour the batter. This proportion of batter will give you 6-7 muffins.
  • Bake for 20 minutes at 180 degree centigrade.
  • Check by inserting toothpick in center. If it comes clean then it means muffins are baked. If toothpick appears stuck then bake for another 5-7 minutes.

As baking powder and baking soda is not used, muffins will be dense but flavorsome.

Malpua-muffins-with-orange-rabdi

Ingredients for Orange Rabdi:

  • Milk: 1 liter
  • Sugar: ¼ cup
  • Orange extract: ¼ tsp
  • Fresh orange pulp: ¼ cup

Procedure:

  • Let milk simmer in a heavy bottom vessel on low heat. Keep stirring in between.
  • When the milk is reduced to one-third, then add sugar. Stir it well and let the sugar dissolve. Take it off the flame after a minute.
  • Let it cool completely and then add orange extract and orange pulp.
  • Orange rabdi is ready.

Ingredients for jaggery syrup:

  • Jaggery: ½ cup
  • Water: 1/8 cup
  • Cardamom powder: ¼ tsp
  • Few saffron strands

Procedure:

  • In a heavy bottom pan, add jaggery and water and let them simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Check syrup’s consistency by pouring a spoonful of syrup. Keep in mind It will get little thicker on cooling so take it off the flame accordingly.
  • After taking it off the flame, add cardamom powder, saffron and stir.
  • Jaggery syrup is ready to use.

Jaggery syrup is just like sugar syrup we make  for jalebi or gulab jamun or boondi.

Just before serving, remove muffin liner and place malpua muffin in serving plate. Add generous amount of orange rabdi and drop some jaggery syrup just before serving.

malpua-muffins-with-rabdi-jaggery-syrup

This dessert plate gives you fusion of flavors. Orange rabdi adds a contrasting blend to sweet jaggery syrup.

I hope you enjoy making and delighting your family with this Indian dessert with a twist.

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Restaurant review- Sigree Pune

I love cooking and me and family prefer healthy food cooked at home. We go out on special occasion and this time it was occasion of our marriage anniversary. Last week we visited Sigree (D.P road Pune) after a gap of three years and were again delighted by their service and food.

According to me a good restaurant is one where customers would want to visit again and again, and I can safely say Sigree is one of my choicest restaurant in Pune.

It was a weekday lunch buffet and on reaching we came to know they are having coastal festival going on. Being a vegetarian I had doubts what would coastal festival have for us.

sigree Pune

However, I was purely delighted by their malabari grill potato, goan roasted mushroom, grill paneer shaslik and some lip-smacking grilled pineapples. Since I’m big lover of grill food, enjoyed their starters.

Sigree-pune-startersYou should try this moong dal tikki if you are fan of some healthy and crispy starters.

Since the starters were spicy, the staff promptly took notice and arranged some non-spicy starters for my kiddo. At times even a small gesture like this makes your day.

Sigree-pune-startersThese baby corns were simple and crisp. A perfect finger food for my daughter. 🙂

starter-baby-corn

I was almost full by starters and subz dum handi just had enough space left for tasting main course. Main course had variety of regular spreads like paneer pepper fry, aloo gobi matar sabzi,  and khatti dal.

But I felt salads could have been more creative. However, raw papaya pickle caught my attention. It’s something I’m going to try soon at home and will definitely share the recipe once I make it. 🙂

raw-papaya-pickle

If you like instant pickles do try this instant and easy to make mix vegetable pickle.

There was also mulligatawny soup and it was worth trying it. I actually called chef and asked its recipe and he was kind enough to share it with me.

Mulligatawny soup

Having said that, desserts were on weaker side. It had rice kheer, pineapple pastry, malpua, strawberry mousse along with melons as fresh fruits and vanilla and strawberry ice-cream.

desserts at sigree pune

Too simple in this age of innovative desserts. Also when you are charging Rs 580 per person more is expected. Dessert is something people usually taste at the last and it has to be too good to keep your restaurant in persons memory. Since I’m not someone with sweet-tooth, it was OK with me. However, its one thing that they can work upon.

They are having this coastal festival till this year end (2016). On the whole it deserves your visit and it’s worth trying.

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Egg-less Banana Walnut Muffins

Making egg-less muffins using banana is quite easy. Banana gives a super moist texture and makes it healthy too. Keeping kids in mind, I try to keep it as healthy as possible. That’s why I use whole-wheat flour and milk which make these muffins a quick healthy breakfast or evening snacks option.

Healthy-banana-muffins

These egg-less muffins stay good for 2 days at room temperature, so it’s a good lunch-box snack as well. If you are looking for healthy tiffin ideas then you can also check these nutritious egg-less banana and oats pancakes which are super yummy and easy to make.

Cottage cheese and its whey protein is very nutritious and should be included in our daily diets. You can easily make cottage cheese at home by following these three steps to make cottage cheese.

Coming back to this egg-less whole wheat muffins recipe, here is the list of ingredients that I use. Proportion mentioned will make 13-14 muffins.

Ingredients

  • Ripe bananas: 2
  • Clarified butter (ghee): 2/3 cup
  • Honey: ¾ cup
  • Milk: 1 cup
  • Vanilla extract: 1 tsp
  • Chopped walnuts: 2 tbsp

Dry Ingredients

  • Whole wheat flour: 1 cup + 1/3 cup
  • Baking soda: ½ tsp
  • Baking powder: ½ tsp
  • Cocoa powder: 2 tbsp

Process

  1. Bring together all dry ingredients and sieve them 3 times.
  2. Line the muffin molds and keep them ready.
  3. Mash banana in a bowl with the help of fork and make puree of it.
  4. At this stage you can keep oven for preheating at 180 degree centigrade.
  5. In another bowl take honey, clarified butter and vanilla extract. Now, beat for 2 minutes with the help of electric beater. Adding vanilla essence while beating fat (butter or ghee) helps in even distribution of flavor in bakes.
  6. Now add dry ingredients in this bowl and fold slowly. You will get a thick paste. Add warm milk – make sure milk is warm (neither hot nor cold).
  7. Beat just enough to form a smooth batter while mixing dry and wet ingredients. Be careful not to over beat.
  8. Add half of the walnut in batter and fold it twice.
  9. Pour the batter in muffin molds and sprinkle remaining walnuts on top of muffins to give muffins a nice nutty look.
  10. Keep muffins in oven to bake for 20-25 minutes. With this same batter you can also make egg-less banana walnut cake. Just pour this batter in a cake tin and then bake it. Things can be pretty simple and versatile. 🙂
  11. After 25 minutes check by inserting toothpick in the center. If it’s sticky bake for another 5-7 minutes.

This goes without saying that each oven behaves differently and you have to understand your oven language as much as possible. So keep an eye while baking is in progress.

banana-cake-egg-less

These muffins were looking gorgeous but you know kids are not so easy to please. You have to make food more appealing to titillate their interest in food.

So, by arranging three chocolate chips on a slice of banana I made a face on muffins and sprinkled little amount of icing sugar to add drama. My daughter was pretty amused by seeing these small additions. Her interest perked up and she  instantly wanted to have these healthy muffins.

egg-less-healthy-bakes

Seeing your child smile while having food you cooked gives an immense amount of satisfaction. I know all moms would relate to this awesome feeling.

So, try this easy recipe and make your kids happy. If your child enjoy muffins then you can try this wholesome egg-less cottage cheese muffins and Egg-less banana walnut muffins as well.

Egg-less banana oats pancake makes a easy and healthy lunchbox recipe.

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Madhubani Painting – Sun God Worshiping

In Hindu tradition, the Sun is the symbol of prosperity, progress, courage and overall well-being. Sun God is believed to cure serious health problems and grant long healthy life. It’s a common daily ritual to offer ‘Arghya‘ to the rising sun to seek his blessings.

So, here in this Madhubani painting I have shown the Sun and his younger wife (Chhathi Maiyaa) on the right hand side. While on the left hand side, a woman devotee is standing in water and offering Arghya.

Madhubani painiting depicting Sun worship

Just like Madhubani Painting is the most popular folk art of Bihar, Chhath Puja is the most popular festival of Bihar. It’s also celebrated in Uttar Pradesh and Mithila region of Nepal. However, these days it’s celebrated by devotees in many parts of India.

Significance of Chhath Puja

Chhath Puja is dedicated to worship of the Sun god and his wife Chhati Maiya. It’s a common belief that Sun god’s wife Chhati Maiya fulfills the wish of having child. So, devotees perform Chhath puja to thank the Sun god and his wife for fulfilling their wishes.

My memories of Chhath Puja

Having spent most of my childhood in Bihar, I have closely seen my grandmother performing this ritual. Preparations for this festival start weeks before and lot of emphasis is given on cleanliness and purity during the preparation.

There are lots of rituals – I can recall my grandmother fasting and drinking water only after offering prayers to the rising and setting Sun. During these two days, she would even restrain herself from speaking and used to guide us only through gestures. She used to stand in water, meditate and wait for sun to rise.

All family members would gather at the river bank before sunset and sunrise (the next day) to offer ‘Arghya‘ to the Sun.

This Madhubani Painting is dedicated to Sun god and Chhathi Maiyaa

As you can see I have tried to merge both Sun and his wife. I have kept minimal use of madhubani motifs to add emphasis to focal points.

Madhubani painiting Sun motif

Focal point means where you want your viewer to focus in the painting. My two focal points in this painting are the Sun and the woman devotee. Therefore, I have not created any distraction by adding motifs between these two focal points. You can see popular Madhubani motifs in this painting by me.

Repeated arches were added to create a detailed yet not distracting background. This detailed background gives depth to this other-wise simple madhubani painting. You can learn more about madhubani background here.

Madhubani Border

Border adds frame to a painting and is important part of a painting. Here I have created repeated circles in border. Using circle in border indirectly emphasize on the circular Sun. Have a look at intricate border process in this Ganesha Madhubani painting.

Madhubani painiting depicting Sun god with border

You can easily learn Madhubani painting by reading detailed step by step instructions in this post on Madhubani painting in six easy steps.  You can read more about Madhubani painting in detail in what is Madhubani painting.

Madhubani painting can be either riot of bright colors or even a black and white Madhubani painting can be stunning.

As I have mentioned in earlier posts, objective of sharing my Madhubani paintings is to help others who are keen on learning Madhubani painting. I’m myself learning each day and have fair share of flaws. However, if I can help or inspire others in their creative journey I will be most happy.

If you like intricate art forms, do have a look at how to draw mandala? If you are familiar with joys of coloring then this free printable coloring page might interest you as well. I keep on updating art related post on Bhaili.  You can subscribe to this blog for regular updates.

So, don’t forget to pour in your suggestions and feedback in comments. Your response will encourage me in this endeavor.

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Instant Moong Daal Halwa

Diwali is the busiest time for us ladies. So much work – shopping, decoration, gifts to be packed, food preparations etc. However, when it comes to food preparations for Diwali, I look forward more to desserts.

In this busy festival time, I try for dessert that’s easy to make and gets ready quickly, as there are other delicacies to be made as well.

I have grown up having moong-dal halwa on Diwali. My family Diwali celebration is incomplete without desserts like sweet boondi, gulab-jamun, chandrakala and of course this lip-smacking halwa.

Instant moong-dal halwa

So, below I have explained the process of making quick version of traditional moong-daal halwa.

Ingredients for moong dal halwa

  • Moong dal (green gram spilt): 1 cup
  • Mawa/khoa: ¾ cup
  • Sugar: ¾ cup
  • Ghee: ¼ cup
  • Milk: ¼ cup
  • Cardamom powder: 1 tbsp
  • Almond flakes: 1 tbsp
  • Pistachio flakes: 1 tbsp

Process

In the usual version, moong dal is soaked for few hours and then ground to fine paste. However, this paste being sticky, takes longer time to cook which is a tiring process.

Here, in this easy version I have used dry moong dal. No soaking of dal is required, just grind dry moong dal to coarse powder.

Moong-dal powder for halwa

  • Heat ghee in heavy bottom vessel and roast moong dal powder in it till it turns slight golden and you start getting roasted dal fragrance. It will take roughly 15 minutes on medium heat to get dal roasted.
  • Add mawa and mix it properly to break any lumps if any.
  • Add sugar, milk, cardamom powder and stir continuously. Mix for another 2-3 minutes and tasty moong daal halwa is ready.
  • If you don’t want mawa, you can replace it with 2 1/2 cups of milk.
  • Garnish with almond and pistachio flakes before serving.

Easy moong-dal halwa

If you are fond of dal preparations, you may also like moong dal tikki and farra (healthy meal prepared out of chana dal (bengal gram spilt).

Do visit and like Bhaili’s Facebook page to get regular updates. You can also find me on Pinterest. You may also subscribe to this blog by entering your email-id in EMAIL SUBSCRIPTION section (top of the right-hand column for desktop-readers and bottom of screen for mobile-readers).