Sunday, March 23, 2008

Speckled pink!

Played Holi yesterday....five families (the usual suspects)
landed at Vikram and Indrani's for an afternoon of Holi
revelry. Out in the lawn, the collective kids had a ball
playing with all hues and upstairs, we downed our
cocktails in vivid shades of green, blue, and crimson,
respectively, in keeping with the spirit of the occasion!
Vikram spares NO ONE, and has an array of wicked-
looking mixtures for us, his definitely not unsuspecting
friends, on the Holi-est of days! Suspicious because
he does not deign to use ordinary coloured powder!
Although he did promise to behave himself, we still
ended up in varying shades of silver, gold, black and
pink! My face is still speckled pink and I suppose it'll
 remain that way for another day or so.. 
 
Whatever the occasion, getting together is the best part...
catching up with each other, sharing a meal together
...such a relationship transcends the term 'friendship' .........
and may this last for ever!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Very Kylie!



This simple dish will pep up any table. Colourful capsicums stir-fried with hoisin sauce and garnished with white sesame seeds. Rather felt  like a  Kylie Kwong presentation!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Pure onionhood


                      The Onion

The onion, now that's something else.
Its innards don't exist.
Nothing but pure onionhood
fills this devout onionist.
Oniony on the inside,
onionesque it appears.
It follows its own daimonion
without our human tears.

Our skin is just a cover-up
for the land where none dare go,
an internal inferno,
the anathema of anatomy.
In an onion there's only onion
from its top to its toe.
Onionymous monomania,
unanimous omninudity.

                                           By  Wislawa Zymborska

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


... as letting the grass grow W.I.L.D!!!!

Sometimes "trimmed" doesn't look as good as...

Monday, March 10, 2008

Yellow hibiscus

The hibiscus is a very common garden feature around these parts. I planted this double  variety some years ago and the blooms look spectacular!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Herb patch in my mother's garden

Serenity is the word which comes to mind when I look at the picture of my mother's garden. This is the bottom of the hill where the house stands and the pond is beyond the boundary wall. There's a little lane where cows amble at a pace that can only come in solitary places---where you hear the rustle of the wind and the crackle of long-dried leaves that turn into brown crumbliness when you step on them. Then there's the gentle rush of a hill spring as it gurgles down towards the lake.But all these are beyond the wall....Being in the garden brings back so many memories. It isn't half of what it used to be and yet when I'm there, the joys of summer are rekindled. How can one forget the air laden with the scent of ripe guavas, yellow on the outside and creamy on the inside? Or the variety that was green on the outside with melony pink innards? Purple grapes hung in clusters on the vine that my mother had so lovingly nurtured. The green ones were sour but we were young. And sour was just another word that needed salt. When the summer heat intensified we would have fresh tender cucumber that hung like myriad green lanterns from the climbing plant. Pomegranates would ripen and split revealing the redness within. Even the roof of garden- shed was draped with a flourishing vine of passion fruit. But most of all, the mangoes, both sour and sweet, hold a special place in my heart. After all what's a summer afternoon without them? The green ones were made into raw chutney and relished. And the ripe ones were for longer mango-eating sessions with a whole lot of laughter and conversation. Ah, nostalgia....!

My mother's garden

Unfurl, darling bud of March

Dimasa designs---magic from the loom

Recipe for No-fuss Cookies

These no-fuss cookies make a good tea-time snack. And they even remain as good as newly-made for as long as a month. To make these you need; 2 cups of semolina, 1 cup of flour, 1/2 cup ghee, 1/2 cup chopped nuts ( I used almonds), a pinch of salt, water to bind the dough and oil for frying. In a large bowl mix the semolina and the flour, add the salt, sugar and the ghee. Keep on mixing till it becomes crumbly. Add the chopped nuts, mix, then add the water gradually. The mixture should not be too wet. Form into round or ovate shapes then fry in batches over a slow fire. Makes about 25 or so. While removing the cookies from the hot oil do not drain on paper as the sugar will stick and you'll end up with the unpleasant and near-impossible task of removing gooey bits of paper!

No-fuss cookies


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Back in the early 80s, when my nascent green thumb had not yet developed, I heard a song on the radio about home grown tomatoes. At that time I wondered about how someone, or anyone for that matter, could feel so passionately about a common vegetable. Little did I know that years later, I would feel exactly the same, if not more!
Lack of space does not deter me from growing the basics; I tend to utilise every inch of good Mother Earth. For instance the tomatoes are  planted every year all along the space  below  the bedroom veranda. The place is very narrow so the plants are  in  a long line and  in single file. This tomato zone  yields enough for the kitchen as well as for extended family and friends. Until the summer rains come, my supply will remain steady.

...ripening

Home grown tomatoes....

Friday, March 7, 2008

Chocolate cake and strawberries. And the cream runneth over....

Nasturtiums in a wine glass

Nasturtiums in a terracotta bowl

What the hail stones did to my nasturtium leaves recently


"Spring came./He rooted up the nettles with his hands./He burnt them all, stamped on the clotted ash,/Tamping new seeds in, fingering stones aside./This work he wanted, his hands came alive./ They wanted flowers to touch./ But from his care/ Only the tough nasturtiums came./They crawled/ In sullen fire by the wall a week./ But the soil was sour, the roots went unfed./ Even they ceased to clutch, their heads fell forward."  From "Gardener" by Dom Moraes                                                                                                                                                                                                   

Floating candles


Got a little creative with candles recently. Filled two glasses with water, added some blue powder,placed the candles, lit them and voila, the result was dramatic!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Mango-bloom-time

Winter's come and gone and although I had earlier complained about the season not being cold enough, I wasn't disappointed. The cold came in taking its own sweet shivery time and out came our woollens and heavy blankets, the heaters, hot water and the rest of the seasonal impedimenta.
On February 15 my sister delivered a baby, her third child and a darling li'l brother to her daughters, Sunaina and Sanjana. I did my bit of hospital duty and that's partly why I was out of blogosphere..............I've always been fascinated by the change of seasons especially when the blooms in the garden remind you that it'll soon get warmer. But before that happens, the wind will blow bringing in more dust and you're most likely to catch a cold! The worst thing about the wind at this time is that so many mango blooms and little mangoes have to bear its brunt and they land where they don't belong--on the ground beneath the tree! It's a heart-rending sight, then. But when the fruit grows and ripens and we gorge on it, the cruelty of the wind is temporarily forgotten!
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I love....

  • Dew on the bamboo, yellow flowers and orange sunsets, the sound of rain...the whistle of the wind, the rush of flowing water, the smell of woodsmoke, the crackle of a wood fire,the moon in all its phases.......

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