Festival Samayal - An offering to the Gods

Festival Samayal - An offering to the Gods

Product ID: 25309

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Author: Viji Varadarajan
Publisher: Orient Enterprises
Year: 2008
Language: English
Pages: 84
ISBN/UPC (if available): 8190287605


Festivals in India are an important aspect of the social, religious and cultural life of its people. Food is an integral part of this festivity. Each festival is associated with particular dishes that are also related to the season when the festival occurs. Generally, festivals occur on dates according to the Indian calendar that is linked to the solar or lunar cycles.

Samayal or cooking is rooted in family traditions. South Indian Brahmin cuisine is mainly vegetarian and fosters satvic qualities, calms the mind and is essential for spiritual progress. Food in a Tam-Bram household was cooked with strict adherence to rules of cleanliness. Nutrition was balanced in the choice of ingredients and flavour, texture and variety were incorporated into the final presentation of the dish. Food was always offered untested to the divine first. This energized the meal with sustenance and healing properties.

The modern generation associate cooking special dishes for festivals with tedious ritual and stress. The author uses modern equipment available in kitchens that cuts time and takes the grind out of the cooking.

Viji introduces each festival, when it occurs in the Tamizh and Roman calendar and a list of recipes cooked traditionally on the festival day. The ingredients and the steps to make for a universal audience.

The whole process of cooking for festivals has been made enjoyable and achievable for the novice and an experiences chef. Celebrate each festival with Viji and keep the traditions alive for future generations.


Semia Payasam (Saffron and vermicelli dessert)
Maangai Pachadi (Raw Mango relish)
Aama Vadai (Rice-black gram cakes)

Paanagam (Brown sugar and dry ginger drink)
Neer Mor (Spiced buttermilk)

Kasa Kasa Payasam (Poppy seed pudding)
Yelumiccha Pazha Saadham (Lemon rice)
Milagu Jeeragam Saadham (Pepper rice)
Thayir semia (Vermicelli in Yoghurt)
Maa Vilakku (rice-jaggery lamps)

Rava Kesari (sweet semolina)
Kothu Kadalai Sundal (Chick pea snack)
Venn Pongal (Soft rice and black gram melange)
Kuzhakattais (Rice steamed parcels/dimsums)
Thengai Poornam Kuzhakattai (Sweet coconut for parcels)
Ulutham Poornam Kuzhakattai (Savoury filling for parcels)
Mani Kuzhakattais (Steamed rice marbles)

Aval Payasam (Beaten rice Pudding)
Paal Poli (Fried pancakes in milk)

Neiappam (fried sweet dumplings)
Mullu Murukku (Star fries)
Thattai (Savoury biscuits)
Uppu Cheedai (Savoury marbles)
Vella Cheedai (Sweet marbles)
Rava Laadu (Sweet semolina balls)
Paal Kuzhakattai (Sweet rice balls milk)

Kuzhakattai (Rice steamed parcels/dimsums)
Thengai Poornam Kuzhakatta (Sweet coconut / dimsums)
Ulutham Poornam Kuzhakattai (Savoury filling /dimsums)
Mani Kuzhakattais (Steamed rice marbles)
Idli (Steamed savoury cup-cake)
Paruppu Payasam (dhal pudding)
Ellu Urundai (Sesame brittle)

Sugian (fried coconut fudge)
Makka Cholam sundal (Corn Salad)
Kothu Kadalai Sundal (Chick pea snack)
Verkadalai Sundal (Peanut salad)
Konda Kadalai Sundal (brown chick pea snack)
Kadalai Paruppu Sundal (Bengal gram snack)
Payatham Paruppu Sundal (Green gram toss)
Pattaani Sundal (dried pea’s salad)
Karamani Sundal (Sweet black-eyed beans)
Mocchai Kottai Sundal (Field beans toss)
Nava Dhaania Sundal (Nine gram Salad)
Aval Payasam (Beaten rice pudding)
Medhu Vadai (Black gram doughnut)

Badam Halwa (Saffron almond fudge)
Kunja Laadu (Sweet gram powder balls)
Deepavali Mixture (Munchy medley)
Thattai (Spicy savoury biscuits)

Pori Urundai (Jaggery puffed rice balls)
Thengai Adai (coconut – dhals pancake)
Dhideer Mor Kuzhambu (Instant yoghurt spices)

Thiruvaadharai Kali (Jaggery rice crumble)
Thiruvaadharai Kootu (Vegetable melange)

Poli (Sweet filled pancake)
Medhu Vadai (Black gram doughnut)
Venn Pongal (Mushy rice melange)
Shakkarai Pongal (Sweet melange)
Kootu (Mixed vegetable gravy)
Paal Payasam (Rice pudding)
Puliyodharai (Tamarind rice)
Mangai Saadham (Raw Mango rice)
Thengai Saadham (Coconut rice)
Thayir Saadham (Seasoned yoghurt rice)

Vella Shakaravalli Kizhangu (Sweet potato syrup)

Vella Adai (Sweet rice doughnuts)
Uppu Adai (Savoury rice doughnuts)
Neiy (Clarified butter/ghee)