Thursday, March 8, 2012

Which one do you celebrate today?

Today, it is International women's Day, Holi Festival and Maasi Magam/Makam. The first one is known Internationally, the second one is welcoming the Spring season with full of colors in India. The last one is Maasi Magam not much known beyond Tamil Nadu people, it is one of the important Hindu Festival celebrated by Tamilian, especially in my hometown: Pondicherry.
On the Tamil month of Maasi (Feb-March), the star Maham/Makam falls on the full moon day, it is celebarted as Maasi Makam.
On this auspicious day, all the surrounding towns, villages deities (Gods) are traveled to my small town. Early in the morning, the idols are bathed in the beach (holy bath called -Theerthavari) people gather to watch the ritual and even they plunge in the beach to take bath. After the immersion of deities, the idols are stayed locally for three days before returning to their places.The evening, the gods are decorated and brought in procession. We get a glimpse of all surrounding temples deities in procession in my street. As my home is situated in heart of the town surrounded by main temples, we were blessed for those occasions.
Here goes one of the myth of Maasi Magam which is related to Lord Shiva.
Lord Shiva appeared as a child to the Maharaja Vallala of Tiruvannamalai. The king was an ardent devotee of Shiva and had no issues. The lord granted one wish to him. The king wanted his last rituals to be performed by him. The king breathed last on Maasi Magam Day, Lord Shiva performed his last rituals and took bath in sea.
But, as kid I looked forward each year not the procession of Gods but those small shops mushrooming just for 3 days. They sell some clay idols, earthen kitchen play sets hand painted in bright colors, small drum set made with paper which attracts most boys, wooden toys and earthen piggy bank.... Aah, I don't know if still this generation kids love those inexpensive fun toys....But in my last trip, I was lucky to get few of the musical toys (hand made) for my son, he loves it because it is dam noisy.


Here it is the picture of musical toys- one may find annoying with the loud noise.
The green one is like rattle, a small plastic trumpet and the drum hand made with wood.

I don't remember eating anything special but the fish market is closed. It is an important festival for Fishermen community because all Gods is taken to sea shore for the ritual ceremony and celebrated with much pomp in their area. Only vegetarian meal is cooked in most of the houses. So, I bring you a protein rich lentils pancake.

Adai mix

Adai is a protein rich pancake which needs no fermentation. It keeps fuller for long time and nutritious meal. There is plenty of versions, you don't even need any exact measurement, just a handful of lentils will work also. This Adai works well without rice too if you want to cut the calories. Use any beans or lentils that you store. Just give an ample time to soak and you are ready to go with a complete meal. This recipe is very basic- you can add any spice, vegetables, herbs....

Adai mix



  • Brown rice or raw rice (white): 1 cup
  • Toor dhal: 1/4 cup
  • Chana dhal/Bengal gram: 1/4 cup
  • Split Moong Dhal: 2 tbsp
  • Urad dhal: 2 tbsp
  • Masoor dhal:2 tbsp
  • Horse gram: 2 tbsp
  • Dry red chillies: 4 to 6
  • Fennel seeds: 1 1/2 tsp (optional- I haven't use it)
  • Hing /asafoetida: a small piece (use powder if not but
  • Gingelly oil: to cook the adai/pancake
  • Salt: to taste

Note: Horse gram/ brown rice needs at least 4 hours soaking time- you can even omit but it is very nutritious the horse gram.
Rinse all the ingredients except hing and chillies, soaked  with enough water with chillies overnight.
Grind into a coarse paste, mix the hing and salt.
You can make the adai quiet thick but takes a longer time to cook and need to drizzle lots of oil. So mine is little thinner the batter and less oily.
  1. Heat a griddle -I use cast iron, smear little oil with paper
    towel, pour one laddle of batter and spread in circular motion not too
    thin  like (dosa) and not thick also.
    keep in medium low heat, drizzle some gingelly oil around and in middle.
  2. Once it is start to brown at the edge, just flip it and cook
    the other side.
Enjoy with coconut, cilantro chutney and ginger pickle.
I don't prefer Adai and Avial though it is considered as an eternal combination! Have you ever heard of Maasi Makam/Maham in your life?


Cilantro said...

I don`t celebrate any of the three but heard about them.
We make Adai a little thicker, I am not a big fan of the Adai avial combinatrion too.

notyet100 said...

Hi there,happy festival ,no I didnt had any idea about this festival,,those toys look so cool,,,remind me of the makeshift stalls at the melas,,,:) and the pancake looks yum,,happy weekend.

Home Cooked Oriya Food said...

loved the stories and traditions...
I love how you presented the grains and pulses - cool idea....
lovely clicks!
Happy Maasi Makam!

Sumi said...

Oh..we celebrate Masi maham in my family and we have visited the festivals in cuddlaore a couple of times in my childhood, but it stays in my memory for ever. There is a river in the cuddalore OT area where all the boats are decorated and a procession is held at nights.The festivities continues all through night. I forget all about the festival until my mom told me over phone that its today :)..Nice to know the legend behind the magam..
BTW, love the new look of your blog and the Adai looks delicious, my favorite breakfast :)

Only Fish Recipes said...

a lovely post n a wonderful pancake recipe :-)

Bong Mom said...

I love how you make us aware of these regional festivals. We do celebrate Holi but I am not ,much into playing colors and would actually be afraid of the whole things as a kid :)

Sukanya Ramkumar said...

Adai looks perfectly nutritious. Adding brown rice and horse gram sounds to be a wise idea.

I have the name masi magam, but not sure what exactly it is.

Laavanya said...

I don't remember celebrating maasi maham... very nice to read about it Cham.
I love using brown rice in adai too.. looks great.

maha said...

Oh my god..such a mouthwatering looks just awesome...vl try 4 sure....

Rahin said...

I hadnt heard of Maasi Makam in my life until now, it was nice reading about your culture and tradition, love the musical toys and the adai , esp the chutney ...looks yummy

rekhas kitchen said...

For sure I celebrated womens day Very protein rich adai and taht plater looks so inviting cham .

Maayeka said...

very healthy and crisp adai...loved your presentation..very beautiful clicks..

ruchikacooks said...

Yes chamka, I have heard about Masimagam..and one important person born on that day in tamilnadu too :) can you guess who??

Adai avial is not my fav combo but hubby likes it.
I like it with pickle, esp the one that is cripsy like how you have made it!

ruchikacooks said...

aiyooo akka, athu naan illai..namma CM :)
athu pallankuzhi thanne?

Athisaya Divya said...

Hi Cham, How are you doing? Adai looks healthy and delicious made with brown rice :)

G.Pavani said...

healthy n yummy pancakes..

ruchikacooks said...

Yes akka, sweet one too, will make it and upload pic tomm..