Thursday, October 30, 2008

A trip to Mussoorie

Am back after a trip from Mussoorie, a lovely hill-station. The views, both man-made, and what nature has endowed are so breath-taking, it is really difficult to get enough...

The nicest thing about the holiday was the slow pace..we explored each part of the tiny place by ourself... no guides, no organised trips..just the three of us, asking our way around, and making sure we did not tire ourselves.. the end-result, we enjoyed each moment and came back, a bit reluctant to leave, yet happy to be back...
Just that perfect break..
I will let the pictures speak for themselves ..

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Brinja masala

Brinjals/ baingans/ aubergines,are my husband's second favourite vegetable. I like it coz it is easy to cut and the cooking can be over in a matter of minutes, depending on the kind of dish. This is a slightly elaborate preparation and is amazing with rotis, chappatis or rice and curd for company.

Please assemble all ingredients before-hand to avoid mishaps.

Medium sized brinjals - 500 gms (slit lenghtwise, thickness 1/2 inch)

Soak in turmeric water, drain and add salt to taste. Shallow fry with as little oil as possible, till half cooked. Keep aside.

In the same pan that u fried the brinjal, add

Oil - 2 tbsp

When hot, add

Cumin/ jeera - 1/2 tsp
once jeera is fried, add

Onion - 1 ( sliced fine lengthwise)
green chillies - 2 (slit)
Curry leaves - 1 stalk

fry till onions are golden brown.

Make a thick paste with water and

red chilli powder - 1 tsp
turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
coriander powder - 1 tbsp
garam masala powder - 1 tsp

Fry well till the oil is seen.

Now, blanch, peel and grind

Tomatoes - 3 medium sized (or about 1/2 cup of ready made tomato puree)

add the tomato puree till it is thickened and the oil is seen. Now add the fried brinjals, coat well with the masala, put on a lid and cook well till done.

Garnish with chopped coriander leaves (cilantro) and serve.

Friday, October 24, 2008

View from my kitchen window - # 3

The advent of Diwali, or Deepavali which means (deepa - light, vali - array) the array of lights. This is symbolic of Rama, the epitom of Goodness vanquishing the darkness spread by the evil Ravana....

The buildings all around have been festooned with beautiful lights . It certainly does make cooking in my kitchen a great experience..

My baby girl just loves to watch the winking lights and keeps clapping her hands when they light up and then go out. The lights do gladden hearts and makes us feel considerably 'light'er in spirits.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Experimenting with 3D - murals(mixed media)

Finally!!! I got a piece done...

Beginning with getting all the things together, the wood, the glue, the powder that goes into the mold, it was a search that stretched over three weekends in harware shops, art shops etc etc. Then with our baby's start at the playschool, things got delayed further.

So armed with my scribbled notes from an unforgettable meeting with a great artist, and a prayer, I set to work... As I am wont to do, I started with a Ganesha since His form can be made as simple or as complicated as one wants.

I did use the mold for drawing in the Ganesha too, just to find out how versatile it can be. As is clear, I need more practise mixing up the mold since there are a few unnecessary lumps and a few places where the mix has sagged...And the paint is acrylic.

But for a first effort , am not too sorry... :)

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Muringakka , parippu thoran (Drumstick n dal)

Our mom used to make a lot of dishes with drumstick fairly often since we had a drumstick tree in our home. This was a favourite with all of us. Mom also used to make a exquisitely tasty things with the flowers from drumstick tree as well as the leaves.

Drumsticks - 2 (choose fleshy ones)
Thur dal - 1 cup
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Chilli powder - 1 tsp
Cook the thur dal with water over 1/2 an inch over it's level. when the dal is half-cooked, add the drum sticks till everything is cooked through , add salt to taste and make sure the water is nearly gone.
Coarsely grind
Grated coconut - 1/2 cup
Garlic cloves - 2 nos
green chillies - 2 nos
Add the ground coconut to the cooked drumstick and dal.
In a deep pan, heat 2 tsp oil , temper with
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp (I prefer a bit less)
Raw rice grains - 1 tsp
Dried red chillies - 2
Curry leaves - 2 stems
mix well and serve hot.

Featured in the Blogging Women's directory

Just wanted to let everyone know that my blog has been added to the Blogging Women's directory. Check it out..there are a lot of interesting blogs out there.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Vidyarambham - Another milestone for my baby

It is Vidyaarambham today... Vidya means knowledge and arambham is the start. Ideally, it is done at our family temple. A lot of learned persons in the community accept Dakshina - a small fee, given in pan leaf with betel nut, facing the east. Then the child who is starting her/his learning is taken on the teacher's lap and first they write with a gold ring on the child's tongue . After that the same thing is written in raw rice in a plate or in the sand.

The mantra that is written is
Aum, Hari Sree Ganapathaye Namaha,
Later all people gathered in the temple are given prasadom, mostle payasam, panchaamritham and the nivedyam made of cocnut, jaggery, aval and malar (beaten rice, puffed rice)...
The rest of the children who already go to school would have kept their books for Saraswathy puja the evening two days earlier and would get them back. Then all would sit down facing the east and again refresh their alphabets by writing on rice or in the sand.

Being away from home, we had to do the deed ourselves... both my husband and I took turns and helped write our daughter's first letters....with prayers that she finds process of learning a joyful experience...