Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Doorways are decorated with torans of mango leaves and marigolds to welcome guests on Sankranthi day

We wish you all very happy Sankranthi. 
Many of you are wondering, what is Sankranthi? Sankranthi is India's farmer's harvest festival, a holiday similar to the American Thanksgiving. It is celebrated on January 14th. Being from a farming family from a village in Southern India, Sankranthi is very important to me. Growing up in India, I have the most cherished memories of Sankranthi.
This is a three day festival called Bhogi, Pongal and Kanuma. 
Bhogi: On this day, homes are cleaned and decorated and everyone gets ready for the festival.
Pongal : This is the most important day of the entire festival. Pongal means "boiled over". Freshly harvested rice is boiled with milk and sugar in new terra-cotta pots and is symbolically offered to the Sun God.
Kanuma: This is the festival of cattle. On this day cattle are washed, their face and horns are painted with an array of colors and farmers adorn multi-colored bead chains around the neck of their cattle and take them to the parade.
I know I cannot do all of this in America. Every year, I celebrate Sankranthi with my friends. My table setting on this day reflects my ethnicity. Eating on  banana leaves is a common practice in India. In keeping with the tradition, I like to use banana leaves on charger plates to serve food. I won't be using knives and forks. I set the table with only one spoon. I do encourage my guests to eat with their fingers (in a very traditional way).
 Here are some of the photos from my book, Entertaining from an Ethnic Indian Kitchen.

 Praying to Sun God

Overall view of the Sankranthi table. 

Table is set with banana leaves, marigolds Indian artifacts.

My centrepiece -  marigolds are arranged in my grand mother's prayer dishes.


For more memorable tablescapes, recipes, and entertaining ideas, please check out my cookbook, Entertaining From an Ethnic Indian Kitchen, at my website

Please check out Susan's, Between Naps on the Porch, for tablescape thursday.


  1. Very pretty. I love the deep colors of the different leaves.

  2. Love the greens/golds/oranges...are they the traditional colors for Sankranthi?

  3. Such a pretty tablescape for Sankranthi. I wanted to say that I peaked into your pantry and I wish I had a well organized space like you have. It is amazing and don't you agree being organized making cooking so much easier? Your blog is wonderful and I will peak in again:)

  4. Beautiful color combination. The deep colors set against the gorgeous background of your yard. Lovely.

  5. Hi Komali,
    A very happy Sankranti to you too ...I am really loving your blog ... especially the enviable pantry ... :)

  6. Beautiful setting. YOur table is lovely and your dishes are stunning. Gorgeous. Hugs, Marty

  7. That is such a beautiful tablesetting. The garden outside is gorgeous. Can't wait to check out your blog.....

  8. Love how you set the table. Just beautiful.

  9. Beautiful colors. I love the plates and the center piece.

  10. Thank you for the glimpse into your rich culture. Cherry Kay