Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Look who came calling- 2

Stumble Upon Toolbar  

And they are back! Also, don't miss this related post about peacock chicks. (For all you know, one of these might be from the same batch!)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


All closures come with bittersweet nostaligia. #SixWordStory

Friday, July 20, 2012

Notes to myself

In no specific order GG must remember the following:
1) Be comfortable with your parents in public. Everyone has a weird lot. And as much as Maral may want to innovate, there are no 'parent gardens' yet.
2) Baba loves you.
3) Don't think who called last. Call. Write. Email.
4) Please remember to swallow your ego in friendships, love and generally when dealing with everything else.
5) Eat before you go shopping.
6) Do not hog to celebrate a good shopping spree.
7) Eat with your hands, you were born Indian.
8) Don't let anyone, ANYOnE, laugh at your dreams.
9) On the same note, that people laugh at your dreams is not a reason to stop dreaming aloud.
10) Play with puppies.
11) Look long and good at a handsome guy. If men can stare to "appreciate" beauty, women can do so too.
12) Do not let elder sis laugh at your fashion choice.
13) Listen to elder sis once in a while.
14) Accept that elder bro gives good advice even if he sounds downright cocky and insane when he does so.
15) Do not give up on people, the past.
16) There's a very thin line between being naive and being hopeful, but it's worth being naive 8/10 times if hope materialises two times of those ten.
17) Call friends you haven't talk with in a while when you are stuck in a traffic jam.
18) Call family and write quick emails.
19) Do not boycott relatives who love to gossip, they love you in their own way.
20) Buy good shoes.
21) Make time for reading.
22) Spend less time on the net.
23) Try to sleep like a normal homo sapien.
24) Do not smile so much that people stop taking you seriously.
25) Try to ration your talkativeness and in other situations, speak up even if you are too bored to yawn.
26) Know when it's time to stop blogging and take a nap.

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Alu wadi / Patra / Colocasia rolls

Patra (made from colocasia leaves) is a very common Gujarati snack that is available for sale at all the "farsan" shops alongside dhokla, khandvi, fafda and jalebi. My maternal grandmother used to make patras at home and I learnt how to make these sometime back. Sharing the recipe:

Two bunches of colocasia leaves (about 25 nos.)
About 150 gm. chickpea flour
50 gm. tamarind
50 gm. jaggery
Ginger, garlic and green chilli paste- 1 tablespoon in all
Salt and red chilli powder to taste
A tablespoon of sesame seeds, teaspoon of black mustard, a pinch each of asafoetida and turmeric, 3-4 dry red chillies and 3 tablespoons of oil for tadka / tempering.

 Pictorial (clockwise) 


Take the tamarind and jaggery in a small bowl and microwave for 30-40 seconds with a cup of water. Keep aside and let it cool and then extract the pulp (add water as required to do so) by discarding the tamarind seeds and veins.

Take the chickpea flour in a mixing bowl. Add tamarind-jaggery water, ginger-garlic-green chilli paste, salt, pinch of asafoetida, red chilli powder. Mix well to a thick batter consistency by adding very litter water at a time (and chickpea flour to adjust the consistency if required).

Soak the colocasia (patra or alu) leaves in a large container filled with water and some salt, then wash well in running water. De-vein the leaves from the pale-green / back side. The bright-green surface of the leaves shown in photo 1 is the front side and the batter is applied to the other side. To de-vein, scrap the thick mid-vein and the first two-three thickish lateral veins with a knife. Apply the batter to this de-veined side.

Clean the kitchen platform well and then spread the biggest leaf, the de-veined, posterior face up. Evenly apply the batter on the surface. Then place the next leaf, also posterior face up but with the pointed edge of the leaf facing the opposite side of the previous leaf. I have made a diagram to make things simpler.

Apply batter on the second leaf, and go on arranging about 10-15 leaves in the same manner. Then begin to roll. Press very rightly and firmly as you roll up. You may tied the roll with a thread, but that's optional.

Next, steam the rolls in an idli-container or the vessel used to steam momos and dumplings. You can also steam the rolls by arraning them on a large seive (cover it with a lid) that is placed above a vessel of boiling water. Once the rolls are well-steamed (will take about 25 minutes), they will change colour distinctly and look a dull dark green and will appear somewhat shrunk and sorry (see photo 3 above). Do not worry.

Immediately remove the rolls on a dish and let them cool well, leave aside for at least 30 minutes or more for the excess moisture to evaporate. Once cooled properly, you can also put rolls in the fridge and resume the next part of the recipe just before serving. The boiled patras can also last overnight in fridge.

Next, cut the cooled patra rolls as shown in photo 3 with a good knife and swift, sharp cuts.

We usually saute the patras cuts in some oil tempered with mustard seeds, dry red chillies, garlic and sesame seeds (shown in photo 4). However, in Maharastra many prefer these deep-fried (photo 6). I deep-fried the stuff after I got to know of this preference. :)

Serve with raw mango chutney (as shown in photo 5) or ketchup. Tastes best with a glass of piping-hot chai.

Coming up next: Methi na Dhebra (Fenugreek and millet flour pancakes) :-)

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Sunday, July 01, 2012

Bel Sharbat- Aegle marmelos cooler

Last week, everyone in the family was sick turn by turn. First Aaji was down with fever, then it was Indiraben with sudden and severe stomach upset. We are not used to seeing Indiraben go silent (she talks non-stop and has an opinion on every word that reaches her ears) and sit still. Our gardener, Bhaiyyaji, happens to be her special friend - they gossip a lot over many cups of tea - and as soon as he heard that Indiraben is unwell, he ran to a neighbour's garden and got me a ripe Bel fruit for her complete with instructions on how to make the cooler: "Make it NOW and give it to her."
Pictorial: Making bel (or bael) sharbat The bael fruit is said to have medicinal properties and can bring relief for a number of small disorders from stomach upset, acidity, cold, etc. The fruit Bhaiyyaji (he had a headache today :-() got was the size of a biggish cricket ball, with a hard yellow shell which had a crack or two. I had to knock it on the kitchen platform a number of times before I could maneuver the knife and break open the Bel into two unequal pieces. The core is a fibrous, orangish mass interspersed with soft beige seeds. Once cracked open, the fruit gives an extremely delicate, soft and sweet fragrance that more than makes up for the slightly sticky fibrous core. The photo explains itself, that's how I made the bel sharbat. Add water very slowly to mash the fruit pulp. I took a glass (about 200 ml) of chilled water in all and used a little more than half of it while mashing the pulp in the strainer. Add sugar, salt and lime to taste. Best if served chilled.

Stumble Upon Toolbar