Category Archives: Food

Navarathri Golu

Its festive time everywhere in india with a difference that people call it with different names and celebrate differently . WIth the start of navaratri people are busy here preparing for Golu/kolu . Heck !! i dont know how it should be written ..tamil script is confusing 😦 . Anyways There are not many Tamil readers of this blog so i thought it would be a good idea to write a post about something that people follow here religiously .

Now don’t fall into conclusions that i am religious just because i am writing the post ,Infact i am the worst in my family when i comes to religious activities. Last two days i have been helping my cousin in his preparation for golu . So wrting the post about it seemed the most obvious for me .With my mom and my sister away from home I dont have any source of info now to go deep into this but i would share everything i know 😉 .

chettiyar pic
chettiyar pic

Golu is a custom that is practiced here in tamil nadu  during the navarathri days  to worship goddess shakti/devi as mark of victory of good over evil.Three – three days are allotted each for goddess durga goddess lakshmi and goddess saraswati . Relatives and friends are invited to the house usually ladies and girls . As far as i know , the festival is purely for girls 😛 .

The First part in setting up of a golu is to form a  base structure that is steps  called as Padi ,which is usually kept in odd numbers. My grandparents used to have wooden steps those days but nowadays people have gone way ahead . There are ready made Iron steps available which after use can be dismantled and used like a shelf  . Arranging it is a tough job though .. IT took me and my cousin about 3 hours to arrange the iron rods .

Once the steps are ready , each of them  is decorated with small idols or dolls of gods or goddess . The first step usually has a chettiyar doll like the one u can see at the right side. Other steps are decorated with various colorful dolls of various gods or anything that appears good ..

Shopkeepers keep their shops stuffed with dolls  well before the festival starts and the Creativity of the doll makers has added more beauty  . A group of women praying in front of tulasi plant , a ramayana set ,  DASAVATHARAM are some examples of innovations that doll makers have brought into this festival .  Dasavatharam set  being the latest craze  consists of 10 dols each portraying one of the 10 avatars of lord vishnu .Infact its the latest craze and my cousin bought a set too 😉 .

The creativity doesn’t end with just doll makers . Once their steps are decorated with thes colorful and lively dolls  people try something creative too  like setting up a  miniature park , zoo  ,a cricket match or anything else one could think of .

Once the Golu is set , people form the locality ,relatives are invited to the house . Mostly its the girls and ladies ( like i said before women’s festival) . On a lighter not guys are usually waiting  for this festival so that they could see some good looking girls  however i have been always unlucky on this part  😦  .


Girls sing kirthanais (bhajans !!! hope i am right) to please the gods. At the end they are given some gift and sundal to eat. Sundal is a dish made up of items like groundnuts ,peas etc. For each day a unique type of sundal is made which makes 9 different recipeis for the whole navaratri . Sundal is basically popular with the little ones. Although i had no interest in golus during my childhood i used to visit each home with my mom just to bring back sundal. The amount of sundal i collected those days was enough for me to survive on for a week . 😛

The festival’s end is marked by changing the position of a special doll (whose name i forgot) The doll is laid down horizontally which symbolically puts them to sleep . Then all the dolls are removed one by one and put into a trunk or whatever can hold them all . Next year same thing is followed with the additions of new innovative dolls.

Oh …btw here’s the golu at my cousin’s house ..


Remember, i said last week that i was going to stay alone and for the first time i was going to try my hands on cooking 😛 (oh yeah that leaves maggi ofcourse 😛 ) .Now that the not so adventurous day is over , i am going to write about it here today .

No suspenses !!! No guesses !! . The title of the post actually says it all 😀 .

So the day started at around 10 which was quite early considering the fact that i normally get up after 12 PM . So i went to kitchen looked around and found some things kept separately. Thanks to mom ,she knew it would take a week for me to identify the things required to cook . Before I began my cooking adventure (which was not that adventurous ofcourse ) , i would make it clear that all i wanted to cook was RICE and DAl , probably the easiest of all:P . Cooking rice was a piece of cake actually . Only regret was that i was too excited to check if it was cooked properly 😦 .

The real problem came with dal ( chane ki daal ) . I found it raw in a small box and wondered how to start..i knew it we have to put water and put in cooker with it ..but how long . .?? and what after that ??? I knew mom told me something about it but couldn’t actually remember it 😦

i looked up at the ceiling scratching my chin and started to recollect my conversation..

MOM– Come with me , I will tell u how to cook daal.

Me(playing counter strike ) – Later mom . This is important those damn guys are killing me . I have to pay them back.

MOM – Later !!! U forgot that i am going to leave in about half an hours time .

ME – Oh .umm ..ok tell me ..I can hear it while playing .

MOM – “………………………….”

ME (jumping off my seat) – Yeppi !!! .I Finally killed a terrorist !!!! 😛

MOM – Oh great.. Anyway are u clear ??? . Can u make it tomorrow ???

ME – Ya Ya .I can manage . Let me play now !!

DAD ( smiling his way into the room ) – Are u sure u want to cook ??? why dont u eat out like always ?? . I would hate to see u suffer from food poisoning .

ME – Grrrrrr……….

So now whole world was rotating around me . I don’t know what to do with the dal. I realised like always i have been really inattentive exactly when my mom was telling me the details 😦 . I finally sat in the hall and switched on the TV . Suddenly Jumping with excitement and praising myself i satin front of my PC . I finally had a way out. Opened a free sms site and sent a message to a dear freind of mine who lives in kolkatta 😛 .She always used to tell me how great cook she is ?? So thought of taking her help . She came online in about 10 minutes .

She : Kya hua !!

Me : Mujhe pakana hai Daal !! kaise pakate hai bata !!!

She : oh, Sun pehle dal ko cooker mein paka

Me : arre meine cooker mein rakha tha..3 vissil ke baat dekha paka hi nahi hai kya karoon 😦

She : ok to 2 vissil aur laga . fir ek kadai le aur usme oil daal aur jab dhuaan aaye usme jira , mirch ,namak aur thoda shakkar daal diyo . aur oil ko jyaada mat jalne de.

Me : Arre lekin yahan 2 tel hai kaunsa use karoon .

She : jo cooking oil hai woh

Me : Acha , kaunsa cooking oil hai

She : ek hoga til ka tel woh mat use kar doosra wala jo dikhne mein white hoga woh use kar

Me : ok daal diya ab .

She : jira mirchi daal aur sun puri baat sunke jaa nahi toh sab jal jayega .. aur fir thoda garam masala aur tmatar bhi ..

ME : ab mein garam masala kahan se doondo mummy shayad bahar rakhna bhool gayi 😦

She : acha chod jo hai woh toh daal ..aur sun..

before she could complete the sentence, i went to kitchen and came back after a minute or so

ME : arre daala .par jeera daalte hi kaala hogaya ..i think woh jal gaya hai ..meine usime namak mirchi sab daal diya

She : uff … bola tha tujhe sunke jaa ..

ME : acha chod aage ya karoon

She : ab daal ko tel me daal aur thoda sa pani dal ke paka fir se .

I was too brave to transfer the contents with my bare hands .. Result : it was so hot that i dropped it on the floor spilling half of the content. Then I realized that i should have started with some more of it to compensate for these type of losses 😛 .Now the dal looked really less for me . But i was happy of the fact that it was finally going to be ready in a minute .

I was really hungry now so switched off the gas . After about 30 minutes i had a plate full of Uncooked rice ,a daal that only looked like a daal and some potato chips on my plate . Yummy !!! potato chips are my favorite . Well ,what followed was 15 minutes of unbearable penance and it was hard to accept that i hardly ate swallowed about 5 spoons of it 😦 . I tried to eat more but couldn’t , i had to surrender. I took the food and threw outside thinking atleast street dogs would savor my unique cuisine 😛 .

I could hear my stomach making sounds asking for something edible but i had none . My worst fears were going to come true .

Me : Oh no ! Not maggi .. I will cook anything but maggi

MY AE (Alter Ego) : Oh yeah .So what do u wish to cook MR Chef ??

Me : umm well dunno . But i will make a way out for us . dont u worry !!

MY AE : Its already 2:30 . just because u play the stupid game till 3 morning and watch ur own ass getting kicked i had to miss my breakfast .I dont wish to miss my lunch too .

Me : Oh . i am noob i know it ,but its just a matter of time before i become a pro in the game so u can stop nagging me and about the food , i think we can go to a good restraunt and have food 😀 . Brilliant idea . Isn’t it ??

MY AE : The idea sucks dude. there’s no time and energy left in u to reach the place. U might well end up in a hospital bed taking glucose .

Me : so what do u want me ot do ??

MY AE : Cook what u are best at .

Me : What about my Oath ??? .I promised not to eat maggi atleast today!!!

MY AE : As usual, break it . I wont tell anybody ,just between u and me 😉 ..howz the deal 😛 ???

Me ( moving towards kitchen ) : yeah right !! i guess thats the only option .

ME AE *beaming with a victory*

Man proposes god disposes . Thats what exactly happened here . .Well my cooking adventure ends here but i guess i wont stop with it I will try it again :P. Perhaps next time it would be a little better and yeah next time i am going to give some respect to the kitchen and try not to make a mess out of it . Last but not the least I assure u i wont eat maggi next time . Its a Promise !!! 😛

let me leave u with calvin now . Chao !!

Click the image to open a bigger Pic

Calvin- The cook

Calvin- The cook