One of the most memorable moment in a girl's [or womens] life is her wedding and after that is the time when she is being pampered by her near and dear ones. This second most important occasion in her life is definitely the baby shower.Valaikappu as it is known in TamilNadu,South India, is a function that also has a spiritual note attached to it.The meaning of this term is enveloping the women and the lil one growing inside her with a divine shield.
This is traditionally performed in the last trimester of the pregnancy.A small function is held at home..Friends and relatives are invited and they shower their love and blessings on the mother-to-be.She is anointed with Kumkum, turmeric and sandal paste and is adorned with bangles made of Neem twigs, silver, terracotta,Iympon-a combo of 5 metals, gold and loads of glass bangles.[The number and type of bangles that is worn varies from culture to culture.Though the neem bangles fall off when they dry, the other bangles are worn till baby is born]. These rituals are believed to protect the mother and the child from harm and 'evil eyes'. Delicious food is then served for the mother and the guests.
The pregnant women is then sent to her maternal home so that she is given the tender loving care that only her mother is capable of giving her.During this time, a rich treasury of traditional practices such as dietary restriction, do's and don't,child care practices are also handed down from the mother to the daughter.
Right from the conception till the baby is born, the would-be mom is pampered by her near and dear ones and is treated with love and care.The happier the pregnant women , the healthier is the mother and the child.Isn't this period a golden phase in a women's life!
Are you wondering why I am writing this post now? Well,I am in the last trimester of pregnancy and my Blogging Marathon buddies have showered their love and affection by hosting a potluck party for my baby shower a few weeks ago.This is a very,very sweet gesture on their part!!I am overwhelmed.
Blogging Marathon was started by dear Srivalli of Spicing Your Life and Cooking 4 All Seasons fame,and the number of members taking part in this event have grown since its inception.We are now a group of close friends who discuss everything from food and recipes to how to make our blogs and life's better..In a nutshell, we are more like a family now :)
So when they announced that they are having baby shower in my honor,I was so thrilled and happy to see them churning out dishes from my blog.It was a total surprise for me! I am still wondering how they chose my favorites!Yes,we tend to post favorites in our blog, but these ladies have specifically chosen the ones that are my personal favorites.I did not have a clue to what they were up to until they invited me to the virtual pot luck party.Each and every dish that they prepared showed the amount of care and the love which went into each dish.
Thank you dear friends for this sweet gesture that made me immensely happy and I shall cherish this baby shower potluck party forever...
Here is glimpse of the delicious platter that they had set for me for the Baby shower....
Vaishali made these delicious Fruit and Nut pops that are chokeful of nutrients
Srivalli prepared this yummy and famous Chole for Bhatura.A protein filled treat for the tastebuds.
Pavani churned out my favorite Oriental Curd Rice.
Gayathri's South Western Tofu Scramble makes me drool.
Vardhini's - Pani Puri is sure to make the chaatwala jealous
Kalyani's - Peas Pulao and Tomato raita combo is a filling treat for the eyes and palette
I don't mind a second helping of Veena's - Peas pulao and raita.Yum...
Priya Vaasu prepared 6 delicious dish that really stunned me.They can be found here and here
As a lover of chaat,Kaveri tempted me with this delicious Aloo Channa Chaat
Aarthi's - Methi Matar Pulao makes use of my favorite herb- Kasuri Methi.
Chef Mireille who has just joined our BM group was so sweet to join in and she made this yummy -Purple cabbage rice
Cool Lassi(e)'s Coconut rice with toasted peanuts seduced my taste buds with some delicious side dish options that made me crave for more...
Suma baked this Eggless custard powder cake which looks more appealing in her space than in my blog!
Priya baked Eggless yellow sponge cake that is one of my latest trials and has turned out so beautiful...
Pradnya's Bread Pizza, a delicious and quick snack that I love to indulge in..
When love is poured like this, all I can think is that I am truly blessed to have a loving group of friends like you gals.....
And as a Thank you , I have invited them for a small 'snack session' at home.Initially I wanted to serve them with a whole meal cooked for this occasion but then due to certain constraints,decided on this 'sweet,kaaram and kaapi' ...
I wanted to indulge in my favorite stuffs along with my BM buddies...
Rasgulla or Roshogolla as they are fondly called in Bengal, is considered to be the 'King Of Indian Sweets'. Rasgulla is prepared from cottage cheese and is cooked in sugar syrup. These spongy balls are so delicious that they will have you craving for more...
There is a debate pertaining to the origin of these spongy,white beauties. It is said that it originated in Orrisa and later when the Oriyan and Bengali cuisine amalgamated, it found its way into the list of 'Bengali dishes'.....
The preparation is fairly simple and here it is for you...
Fresh Homemade paneer prepared from 2litres milk
Sugar- 1 1/2 cups
Water - 4 cups
- Take the paneer in a plate and knead softly for around 10 minutes. The texture should be smooth to touch. Also the paneer must not have a trace of water.
- Heat a pressure cooker with the water and sugar and wait till the sugar melts.
- Meanwhile make small balls of the paneer.Roll the balls smoothly else they will break up when cooked in the syrup.Keep aside.
- When the sugar syrup comes to a rolling boil, gently drop in the paneer balls and simmer .Close the pressure cooker and cook for a whistle.
- After the pressure releases, carefully open the lid and check if the balls have doubled in size and are spongy to touch .Else cook them in low flame for a few more minutes, covered but without the 'weight' for the nozzle.
- Once done, remove from heat and serve with / without the sugar syrup.
- Use fresh paneer. If you have stored it in the fridge, let it come back to room temperature before you proceed.
- Drain the whey completely before kneading.
- The sugar used depends on your taste.The syrup prepared with the about quantity of sugar was just right.Adjust according to your taste.
- Cardamom powder can be added to the sugar syrup. I am not a huge fan of cardamom so I have omitted it in this recipe.
Hope you liked this simple snack treat from my place...
As per the customs, guests are offered Glass bangles and kumkum after the baby shower... These are for you my dear BM buddies.....
Labels: Bengali Cuisine, Diwali Sweets, Let's celebrate, Paneer, Sweet temptations