Thursday, April 17, 2014

Getting ready for the garden tour

I know some of you might be thinking that I am hibernating in my hole. The reason for my absence of blogging is that my garden has been chosen for this year's garden tour on May 4th. Whatever the funds that we raise will benefit local hospice care. Needless to say, I have been very busy weeding, planting, cleaning, and more weeding, in preparation for the show.

Here are few snapshots of the garden getting ready for the big event.


Tulips are done blooming. Freesias are blooming right now.  I was hoping all the bulbs would bloom at the same time for my garden tour. Well, we can't control the nature. I am worried that I may not have that much color in the garden by May 4th.





This is the raised bed in the kitchen garden with all salad greens, which I call my salad bowl. I will give you a detailed tour of the kitchen garden very soon


For more memorable centerpieces, tablescapes, and recipes (including vegetarian, gluten free and vegan recipes), please check out my books, Entertaining From an Ethnic Indian Kitchen and Trader Joe's Simply Indian at my website komalinunna.com.

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Thursday, March 20, 2014

Spring flowers from the garden

Happy first day of spring, everyone! Have a great weekend!





For more memorable centerpieces, tablescapes, and recipes (including vegetarian, gluten free and vegan recipes), please check out my books, Entertaining From an Ethnic Indian Kitchen and Trader Joe's Simply Indian at my website komalinunna.com.


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Thursday, March 6, 2014

Spring flowers

I know spring is here when my pin cushion proteas bloom in the garden.


These two bushes are like Old Faithful; they never fail to put on a spectacular display every spring.





For more memorable centerpieces, tablescapes, and recipes (including vegetarian, gluten free and vegan recipes), please check out my books, Entertaining From an Ethnic Indian Kitchen and Trader Joe's Simply Indian at my website komalinunna.com.


Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Indian wedding 3: The wedding ceremony

This is the continuation of my niece's wedding in India.

Indian wedding ceremonies last at least three days. After the sangeeth and bride making ceremonies, here is a glimpse of the actual wedding ceremony.

A typical Indian wedding is a very colorful affair.

The bride is all dressed up with exquisite saree with matching jewelry for the biggest day of her life, her wedding day.


Though the bride and groom steal the show, the friends and relatives of the bride and the groom all dressed in their best clothes for the wedding.



Fresh coconut is decorated with jasmine flowers and used in the ceremony


Bride and the groom were separated by a thin screen in part of the ceremony


Friends of the bride and groom in traditional attire


A traditional Hindu wedding ceremony takes longer than three hours. In most South Indian weddings, it is customary for both the bride and groom to wear a black spot on their cheeks to ward off the evil eye.




Couple seeking blessings from the grandmother


The bride and groom changed clothes many times during the ceremony.




Exquisite collection of bangles. Don't you think?




The priest had them play some fun games during the ceremony.


Conclusion of the wedding



Us four sisters at the wedding


For more memorable centerpieces, tablescapes, and recipes (including vegetarian, gluten free and vegan recipes), please check out my books, Entertaining From an Ethnic Indian Kitchen and Trader Joe's Simply Indian at my website komalinunna.com.



Thursday, February 27, 2014

Indian Wedding 2: Bride making ceremony

This is the continuation of my nieces wedding in India. Traditions, rituals, and customs symbolyze Indian weddings. On the day of the wedding, the house is decorated with gardlands of marigolds and the ritual of making the bride begins.





Making the bride involves women applying the turmeric, sandal wood powder and sunnipindi (a lentil based powder equivalent to our modern day scrub) along with oil to the bride. It is something similar to the bride getting a facial and scrub before the wedding. Only women are invited to this ceremony.

The stage is ready for the bride to arrive


Turmeric is to cleanse, sandal wood powder is for the aroma, and turmeric tinted rice symbolyzes prosperity.



All the young girls are watching the process so intensely


Even though rituals have evolved since traditional times, some rituals, like bride making, still continue.



 Meanwhile, the guests receive a gift from the family


After the ceremonial bath, the bride is all ready for the evening wedding


Stay tuned for more of the wedding in future posts.

For more memorable centerpieces, tablescapes, and recipes (including vegetarian, gluten free and vegan recipes), please check out my books, Entertaining From an Ethnic Indian Kitchen and Trader Joe's Simply Indian at my website komalinunna.com.








Thursday, February 20, 2014

Indian Wedding 1: Sangeeth


I apologize for my long absence from blogging. In case you are wondering where have I been, I was on vacation in India attending my niece's wedding. I thought I would share my family wedding with you all. Indian weddings are truly a festival in itself with vibrant colors, food, people, rituals, traditions, music and fun.

This wedding was a three day grand affair.
Day 1:  Sangeet (music) and mahindi (henna) party
Day 2: Bride making and wedding
Day 3: Reception

One of the pre-wedding ceremonies is the Sangeet and henna party, Sangeet meaning music.  As the name suggests, the Sangeet is an evening of fun and dance usually hosted by bride's parents. As the musical festivities are going on, the guests get henna done on their hands for the wedding. The main significance of this ceremony is that the bride is being introduced to all the members of her new family.
Though the Sangeet was originally a North Indian tradition, it slowly caught on to the southern states. This wedding took place in the southern state of India, Andhra Pradesh. Remember, India is very diverse in food, culture, and traditions with regard to weddings. Each and every state has its wedding's own customs and traditions.

Bride entering into the Sangeet hall with her aunt, Raji.



Bride all glammed up for the event





The real stars of the wedding.  Haha! 

 Bride and groom watching the dance and music


Girls are performing the Dhandia (stick dance)


































Of course, no Indian dance party is complete without Bhangra dance



Bride entering the dance floor






As the groom enters, confetti showers the couple



Soo in love...






Family and friends rejoicing the moment





Dancing away



Stay tuned for more of the wedding in future posts.

For more memorable centerpieces, tablescapes, and recipes (including vegetarian, gluten free and vegan recipes), please check out my books, Entertaining From an Ethnic Indian Kitchen and Trader Joe's Simply Indian at my website komalinunna.com.