Saturday, July 26, 2008
Raita is made of curd and a vegetable of choice. Seasoned with
salt, sugar , chilli powder and roasted and ground cumin seeds
it is a refreshing accompaniment to a summer meal!
Here I've used grated bottle-gourd, and let it stew in its own
juice. I whipped the curd with rock-salt ( I used sweetened
curd) then added the cooked gourd. Then I created the pattern
with roasted and roughly ground cumin and chilli powder.
Saturday, July 19, 2008
In Assam, a favourite tea-time snack is, pitha. The taste
is sweet and melts into your mouth. The ingredients are--
rice powder or flour, sugar or jaggery, depending on the
type you're making. For the ones in the picture, I used--
One small coconut, grated
Two cups rice flour
One cup sugar
One third of a tsp baking powder
A pinch of salt
Water to mix
Oil to fry
In a bowl, add all the ingredients but not the water. Mix
with hands thoroughly. Now add very little water.The con-
sistency should be such, that the dough can be shaped into
Heat oil. When it becomes really hot, reduce the flame and
start frying in batches. They need to be turned just once,
when the colour turns golden brown. Drain on kitchen paper.
Your tea-time snack is ready!
The same mixture can be used for steamed pithas. For this,
more water should be added but the mixture must not be
runny.The mixture can be put into idli moulds and steamed
Friday, July 18, 2008
A Bowl of Bamboo Pickle
The shoots waiting to be cut into thin slices
I come from a region whose terrain and climate nurtures
an ocean of bamboo. When you drive through the great,
wide plains of the north east, you see them in different
shades of green. And yellow too. With such abundance
the plant has myriad uses. Huts, furniture, bridges,
baskets--decorative and functional, the list is endless.
Without bamboo scaffolding, building highrises would be
difficult! In the hilly areas too, it's a sea of bamboo,
The shoot is either plain food or a delicacy, depending
on how it is prepared. The first shoots of the year appear
in late May and continue to sprout till late October. It's
fried with meat, mainly pork, mixed in curry, dried or fer-
mented. The fermented bamboo is made into pickle or used to
enhance the taste and flavour of meat and fish dishes.
To the uninitiated, the pungency of fermented bamboo is
something that whacks your sense of smell. Or to sound
euphemistic, the taste needs to be acquired.
The shoot has a pretty tough exterior. I use my sharpest
blade to hack away, taking care not to touch the fine
hairs. For that would be asking for itchiness, with a
capital "I"! But once that is done away with, the lovely
white vegetable is ready for the wok!
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Monday, July 14, 2008
night coloured wine,
wine with purple feet
or wine with topaz blood,
as a golden sword,
as lascivious velvet,
and full of wonder,
never has one goblet contained you,
one song, one man,
you are choral, gregarious,
at the least, you must be shared.
you feed on mortal
your wave carries us
from tomb to tomb,
stonecutter of icy sepulchers,
and we weep
let the simple man remember
to think of the soil and of his duty,
to propagate the canticle of the wine.
Saturday, July 12, 2008
...brood together. Silhouetted against an overcast sky,
one on a tree, and a wood pigeon on the wire, my feathered
friends seem to wonder, "Will the skies be clear by tomorrow?"
Ever since I started my blogs, I've started noticing the
different kinds of birds who come to my compound everyday.
I still do not know them by name but I'm taking a lot of
photos and I hope, through these, I'll be able to learn
much more about them. I've just learnt to identify the
calls. The bird on the tree has the sweetest and the
gentlest of chirps......
Friday, July 11, 2008
I recently had the girls over to lunch and the theme
was 'Going Bananas!' It helped that my backyard
bananas had ripened ( LOL) so there were three dishes
that had the flavour of the day!
The photo is of one of the three banana cakes that I
baked with coffee and chocolate swirls. The trifle
pudding also had generous pieces of banana cake topped
with home-made banana liqueur!
Since it's always good to get together ( after all, it
doesn't happen often), 'going bananas' is an apt theme.
It reflects the mood of the moment, looking forward to
'catching up' and enjoying the dishes that'd certainly
taken time to be planned and prepared. And if not the
fruit-based recipes, don't we go bananas about other
things/interests in our day to day lives?
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