Kids!

The husband is away on work, and the little one seems to be missing cuddling up to him. So, the last time he called me, I broke my no-phone-for-kid rule. I told the pint-sized one her dad was on the line and put the phone to her ear. She smiled as soon as she heard his voice, then grabbed the phone from my hand, and began turning it from side to side, looking at it intently. It dawned on me that she was trying to find her dad inside the phone!

I am immensely touched and heart-broken, both at the same time.

Taking Baby Steps Towards A Healthier Lifestyle

Roughly two years ago, I was too lazy to get up and get myself a glass of water whenever I wanted one, I am sorry to admit. I would fill up a couple of huge plastic bottles with water first thing in the morning, right after I made us our morning cups of tea, and would leave the bottles here and there in the house. I would sip from this bottle or that throughout the day, and wonder why the water never refreshed and energised me the way it used to, back at my parents’ house in Ahmedabad.

Then one day, suddenly, it hit me – I was missing drinking water from an earthen pot. That was what we used to do in Ahmedabad – we have never been big fans of refrigerated water, and the high heat in Gujarat would necessitate the meticulous filling up of water in earthen pots throughout the year, most of all in the summer. I haven’t seen many earthen pots in Bangalore, I don’t know why. I was sad when the OH told me his family had never really had water from an earthen pot. I gasped at just how much of plastic dependence we had been fostering, directly or indirectly, by drinking water from plastic bottles all the time and decided to put an end to it. An earthen pot was bought from a roadside potter, and we started joyously drinking from it.

It was a huge pot, though, tough to clean and fill up, especially with a toddler around. We didn’t want to revert to plastic bottles again, however. So, on our recent trip to Madras, when we came across a potter selling an earthen surahis on the streets around Mylapore, we were quick to get our hands on one. Almost three months since we bought home our surahi, neatly packaged in a carton with newspapers stuffed in, I am happy to tell you, we are absolutely in love with it.

DSC09115

The surahi is just the right size to clean and refill, and it ensures that water doesn’t get stale by being left in it for a long, long time. The water from the earthen surahi is gorgeously fresh and revitalises us like nothing else. It carried us through this summer, when the temperatures in Bangalore peaked like never before. Occupying pride of place in our kitchen, it ensures that we do not have to resort to too many refrigerated juices or packaged fizzy drinks. The surahi has made a happy man out of the OH, too. It has reminded us that we are old-timers at heart, though we might have adopted a sort of modern stance to life.

We gave away the big plastic bottles that we owned to whoever wanted them, and the very few we still own are lost somewhere, in the trash, in the kitchen cabinets. We hardly find use for them any more. We invested in a couple of Milton stainless steel flasks, and fill them up with cool water from the surahi whenever we go out – the water stays cool and fresh for quite a few hours and we don’t have to buy packaged drinks wherever we go. We never loved the packaged drinks anyway – we would occasionally buy them out of desperation (because we would be too thirsty!) or for their novelty factor.

When I go for a walk, though, I carry water with me in a little plastic bottle in a little bag strapped over my shoulder, with a few currency notes stuffed in. I well know these bottles aren’t supposed to be reused, but I don’t know of any other way to carry water with me while on a walk. The steel flasks are quite heavy to carry when you walk, and I don’t walk well (a fitness walk in a park, I mean) when I carry anything at all in my hands. So, the little bottle stays till I find a healthier alternative to it.

Using Up Leftovers| Gujarati Snack| Khaman Chaat| Amiri Khaman| Sev Khamni For The Cheat

I am a huge lover of khaman, the pillow-soft Gujarati snack usually made out of besan, commonly known as dhokla in other parts of the country. Dhokla is something else entirely in Gujarat, though, and made out of an urad daal and rice batter, which is very similar to idli batter, though not the same. Khaman, too, can be of two different types – one an instant version, made using a mix of besan and curd, and the other version, called Vati Daal Na Khaman, made of soaked and crushed chana daal. While I love both versions, I have only ever made the besan khaman at home. I have never tried my hands at the vati daal na khaman – hopefully soon!

When there is leftover khaman at home, a rare occasion, we make a chaat out of it which all of us love. You get this chaat commonly on the streets of Gujarat, called Amiri Khaman, wherein crumbled khaman is mixed with pomegranate arils, an assortment of chutneys and sev. Don’t get Amiri Khaman confused with Sev Khamni, though – that is something entirely different! A lot of roadside stalls, even in Gujarat, try to pass off Amiri Khaman as Sev Khamni, because the earlier dish requires a lot less effort to make than the latter. Now, you know, though!:)

Today, I am going to tell you all about my version of Amiri Khaman or Khaman Chaat, if you like. It has a beautiful texture with the crumbled khaman adding a softness and the sev contributing to its crunchiness. The pomegranate arils, chopped onions and chutneys that one adds gives the dish a gorgeous, unbeatable flavour. You must try this out to believe how delicious it is.

Untitled.png

Here is how I make this dish.

Ingredients (serves 4):

About 10 pieces of leftover khaman (at room temperature – crumbled with the hands, garnish and all)

A handful of pomegranate arils

A small bunch of coriander leaves, finely chopped

1 medium-sized onion, finely chopped

2 fistfuls of nylon sev (store-bought, I used the Garden brand)

1 fistful of aloo bhujia (store-bought, I used the Garden brand)

4 tablespoons of sweet chutney (Click here for the recipe)

2 tablespoons of spicy green chutney (Click here for the recipe)

Method:

Mix everything together, well, in a large mixing bowl.

Serve immediately.

Do you like the sound of this chaat? I hope you’ll try it out, too!

Notes:

1. I commonly make the khaman at home, and if there’s any left over, it goes into the preparation of amiri khaman. Occasionally, though, if there’s someone coming over from Gujarat, I ask them to get packets of Talod Nylon Khaman Mix, which turn out just gorgeous. Sadly, they aren’t available anywhere in Bangalore.😦 Lately, though, I have discovered Shree Ganesh Nylon Khaman mix, available in a few shops in Bangalore, which turns out khaman that are just as beautiful as those from Talod or home-made khaman. Do ask around in the little Marwari shops in your neighbourhood – they usually stock it!

2. If you are wondering, ‘Nylon’ is not yet another type of khaman. It just refers to khaman that is super-duper spongy soft and fine in texture, like nylon.:) The nylon sev, too.

 

Chivda Bhel

This recipe comes from a foodie ex-colleague of mine, who has been posting a lot about food on Facebook recently. I simply had to ping her and ask for a couple of her recipes, this one included. And am I glad I asked her for this recipe for chivda bhel?! It turned out to be a super-duper easy-to-make snack, one that is delightfully delicious and refreshing.

This snack uses Maharashtrian chivda, which has sugar in it, thus eliminating the need to add sweet chutney to it. Moreover, the coconut chips and raisins that are added to Maharashtrian-style chivda give a nice crunch to this bhel, which doesn’t call for the use of pori or puffed rice. There can be as many versions of this snack as your imagination allows, just like in case of the ordinary bhel. This post is all about the version I made.

DSC09432

Ingredients (serves 2):

2 cups Maharashtrian chivda (store-bought, I used the Garden brand)

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 small tomato, finely chopped

A small piece of semi-ripe raw mango, peeled and finely chopped

A few stalks of fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped

A handful of nylon sev (the really, really fine variety of sev, store-bought, I used the Garden brand)

A handful of aloo bhujia (store-bought, I used the Garden brand)

Lemon juice to taste

Method:

Mix all the ingredients well. 

Consume immediately.

Variations:

Add spicy green chutney if you want.

You could even add boiled potatoes, grated beetroot and/ or carrot to this dish.

Do you like the sound of this dish? I hope you will try it out too!

*************************

Last year, I enjoyed cooking up a variety of dishes using raw mangoes. I hope to do the same this year, too.:)

Click here to see all my posts about last year’s raw mango series.

This year’s raw mango experiments:

Thai Raw Mango and Onion Salad

Tamil New Year Special Raw Mango Pachadi

This chivda bhel is my third experiment for the series.

Little Discoveries In The Parenting Journey: Babywearing

I never thought I was the babywearing kind of parent. I always thought babywearing was for uber-cool people, celebrities, and the like. Yes, I have often come across people of the working class, usually mothers, wearing their babies in a saree or a dupatta, but in my mind, this and babywearing were two very different things. How wrong I was!

I am so very glad I discovered babywearing, the modern way to do it I mean, thanks to a lot of pushes and prods by this girl, when Bubboo was about six months old. I regret the fact that I didn’t get to do it sooner. Apparently, babies can be carried safely in a good, ergonomic baby carrier right from Day One of their lives. I found babywearing, still find it, such a beautiful thing to do, so practical and useful, that I wish I had discovered it sooner. I have now been wearing Bubboo for a year, in a Cookiie Pie Soft-Structure Carrier (SSC) that I bought from Babywearing Stuff.

Along the way, I have learnt that babywearing is not a ‘cool’ thing to do, it is a natural, practical thing to do. I have learnt that modern-day carriers allow parents to carry their babies safely, just like the dupattas and sarees that were used for the purpose in olden times but in a much easier manner. Babywearing Bubboo has been a wonderful journey so far, one that still holds a whole lot of promise. I can’t recommend it enough.

Babywearing has let me hold my daughter close to me even as I go about my daily household chores or step out of the house for a walk or for running an errand. It has kept my daughter happy on the clingy days when she hasn’t wanted to let go of Momma. It has been a boon that has kept me sane, allowing me to get out of the house with a baby in tow, without much of a hassle. It has helped me to travel and fulfill my little dreams like occasionally visiting a mall or a fair or dining out, in spite of having had to take care of a baby. It has saved our lives on many an occasion, like a pathetically bad day when Bubboo just wouldn’t sleep or on a vaccination day when she would want to be held all the time. It has helped me nurse her whenever she wanted to nurse, irrespective of place and time, ever so discreetly. It has helped me lead as much of a normal life as a parent as I could. It has helped me retain the essence of me, live as close a life to the one I lived before I became a parent as I could ever hope to. It has kept my hands free in spite of hugging my baby close to me, so I could walk around lugging bags of shopping or groceries. It has eliminated the need for me to carry the baby’s stroller along, wherever I go, and I cannot even begin to tell you what a huge relief that has been. It has helped my daughter sleep through chaos and commotion and crowded trains, safe and snug. I could go on and on and on about how babywearing has carried me through the last year of parenting, but I will stop here.:)

13077374_10153944274036620_1533117418_n
Picture Courtesy: Cookiie Pie website, reproduced with permission. The baby carrier in the picture is a Cookiie Pie SSC, similar to the one I own.

More than anything else, babywearing has helped me bond with my baby so much better. I don’t have to leave her out of anything I want to do, and can always keep her close. Mother and cub. Cub and mother. There is nothing more beautiful than feeling her heart beat against mine as I wear her in a hug in the carrier, and go about doing whatever needs doing. That never fails to bring a smile to my face.

13090117_10153944274066620_1190553475_n
Picture Courtesy: Cookiie Pie website, reproduced with permission. The baby carrier in the picture is a Cookiie Pie SSC, similar to the one I own.

I get a lot of babywearing-related doubts coming my way as I step out wearing Bubboo – What if she suffocates in this carrier? What if the carrier breaks and she falls down? What if she develops the habit of being carried all the time? Don’t you get back pain carrying her like that? Is it really worth investing in a baby carrier? Will the baby’s back not get damaged if you carry her like this? I try to answer these questions as best as I can, every time. Most of these worries are unnecessary, though, if babywearing is done right.

Like everything else, babywearing needs to be done the right way for it to be safe and comfortable. You must spend time and effort in looking for an ergonomic carrier – there are a whole lot of non-ergonomic ones available everywhere today that do more harm than good, so beware! You must find the right kind of carrier that works for you and your baby. You must follow the do’s and don’ts of babywearing faithfully. You must take good care of your baby carrier, and keep it in pristine condition. Do this, and I think you are set for a lovely joyride with your baby.

Like I said earlier, I can’t recommend babywearing highly enough. It worked for my baby, it worked for me, and it has worked for a whole lot of other mothers and fathers and babies, very well. Try it out, I would say. The experience is definitely worth it. There are scientifically proven benefits to babywearing, which not many are aware of. Body-to-body contact between a mother and a baby works wonders, something even the medical fraternity will vouch for, and babywearing is a great, easy way to go about that.

Still have doubts about babywearing? Do feel free to reach out to me, and I will try to quell your worries as best as I can! I hope that will help.

Also, I would urge you to join the Babywearing India Facebook group. It is a wonderful resource for knowledge about all things babywearing. The group helps parents babywear the right way, and periodically organizes meet-ups in different cities so you get to meet other babywearing parents and learn a whole lot of new things, try out different baby carriers.

I hope you will babywear now, if you aren’t doing it already. Happy journey!

Disclaimer: This is not a promotional post for Babywearing Stuff, Babywearing India, or Cookiie Pie. This post is purely about my own experiences with babywearing, without any ulterior motive in mind.

******************************

Read about my other interesting little discoveries in the course of the parenting journey:

Wooden rattle with sleigh bells

Barefoot sandals

Simple Carrot Salad

So, here is one more salad recipe from my kitchen – this time one that has been in our family for generations. I don’t think there is anything new about this recipe. I am sure many of you make carrot salad at home, but the dressing styles might be different. Here is our way of making a simple carrot salad.

DSC08129.JPG

Ingredients (serves 2):

2 cups grated carrot (you can grate it fine or thick, depending upon your preference)

Salt, to taste

2 green chillies, very, very finely chopped

A small bunch of coriander leaves, finely chopped

1 tablespoon oil

A pinch of asafoetida

1 teaspoon mustard seeds

Lemon juice, to taste

Method:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, mix the grated carrot, salt and lemon juice to taste, chopped green chillies and coriander. Mix well.
  2. Heat the oil in a pan. Add the mustard seeds, and allow them to splutter. Switch off the gas and add the asafoetida. Let it sizzle for a second.
  3. Add the mustard seeds-asafoetida garnish to the mixing bowl. Mix well.
  4. Let the salad sit for about 10 minutes before serving.

How do you make carrot salad? Tell me all about it!

******************

Here are some other salads that we have been making, this summer:

Thai green mango and moong sprouts salad

Thai raw mango and onion salad

Thai green papaya salad

Maharashtrian beetroot-onion raita

Moong sprouts and pomegranate salad

Kappa kizhangu/ tapioca salad

Thai-style moong sprouts and pineapple salad

Mexican nacho salad

 

Coffee Flan| Easy Dessert Idea| My First Tryst With OPOS Cooking

If you are wondering what OPOS is, let me tell you that it stands for ‘One Pot One Shot’. It is a very simple and specific technique of cooking, in a 2- or 3-litre pressure cooker, using just the right amount of water, so that the dish you are preparing doesn’t turn into a slushy goop and all the flavours and nutrients stay intact. OPOS is the brainchild of foodie Mr. Rama Krishna, who says it is different from ‘dumping ingredients into the pressure cooker, adding a whole lot of water, and cooking them to a slurry’. Apparently, there are hundreds of recipes that can be OPOSed, from the usual suspects like biryanis and kurmas to mysorepak and paneer makhani. (Want to read more about OPOS? Join the United By Food FB group, or check out this and this!)

I have been reading up a lot about OPOS lately, but the technique is still very new to me. I still have a lot to learn, a long way to go. I am still experimenting, trying to learn the basics so that I get just the right results. One of the first OPOS dishes that I tried out was a dessert, apparently from the Caribbean islands (who’d have thunk?!), called Coffee Flan. I followed the recipe to the T, as most OPOS recipes are supposed to be followed, and was richly rewarded with a beautiful dessert that I am sure I am going to make time and time again.

The beauty of this recipe is that you need just three ingredients. All you need to do is mix up the three ingredients, pour them into a greased vessel, and then let the pressure cooker work its magic. Sit back and relax while the cooker whistles, and get ready to win compliments for this unique but very simple dessert.

Ta da… here’s presenting to you OPOS Coffee Flan!

IMG-20160515-WA0010

DSC09353

Without further ado, I will tell you how to make the flan.

Ingredients (for about 6 small servings):

1 cup sweetened condensed milk, about 240 ml (I used Amul)

3 teaspoons instant coffee powder

2 tablespoons of very hot milk (optional)

1 egg

Butter, to grease the vessel you will make the flan in

Method:

  1. Beat the egg in a large mixing bowl. Keep aside.
  2. Grease the vessel you will be using with butter, thoroughly. Keep aside.
  3. Dissolve the coffee powder in the very hot milk, ensuring that no lumps remain. Keep aside.
  4. Add the condensed milk and the coffee decoction to the beaten egg in the mixing bowl.
  5. Whisk well, until everything is combined nicely together.
  6. Pour this mixture into the greased vessel.
  7. Take 1 cup of water in a 3-litre pressure cooker bottom and place a stand within (to ensure that water doesn’t get into the vessel as the flan is cooking). Put the greased vessel with the batter over the stand, in the pressure cooker. There is no need to cover the vessel.
  8. Put the whistle on, and allow 15 whistles, keeping the flame on high. (Yes, 15 whistles. No compromising on that, please! Those many whistles are absolutely required for the flan to set properly.)
  9. Let the pressure release naturally and the vessel come to room temperature.
  10. At this stage, chill for a few minutes and invert the vessel over a serving plate. You should be able to slide the flan out on the plate, entirely. Cut the flan into pieces, and serve chilled.

Super easy, right? Super delicious, too! Do try this out, and let me know what you think of it, will you?

I hope to do a lot more experimenting with OPOS cooking in the times to come. I will keep you posted about them!

Notes:

  1. The term OPOS and One Pot One Shot are registered trademarks owned by Mr.Rama Krishna. This recipe has been obtained from the United By Food FB page, and has been reproduced here with prior permission.
  2. The original recipe suggests adding the coffee powder as is to the beaten egg, along with the condensed milk, whisking everything together and then placing the batter in a pressure cooker. I chose to dissolve the coffee powder in hot milk and then adding it to the rest of the ingredients, so that there are absolutely no lumps.
  3. You could even make a chocolate flan, by substituting the 3 teaspoons of coffee powder with that of unsweetened cocoa powder. Or, if you so choose, you could use 2 teaspoons of cocoa powder and 1 teaspoon of coffee powder. Play around – the options are endless!

 

Product Review: Karappuram Neera

If you have been reading this blog regularly, you would know what a big, big, big fan of neera I am. In what seems like a lifetime ago, when I was residing at Ahmedabad, Appa and I would sneak out of the house on cold, cold winter mornings, bundled up in layers of warm clothes, in search of neera – the sap obtained from a variety of palm trees, including coconut palms and toddy palms. We would gulp down mouthfuls of the sweet nectar in ecstasy, in spite of the neera being utterly chilled. Back then, we would get it only in the winter months, only chilled, only sold for immediate consumption there and then in glass tumblers, and only early in the mornings. Apparently, any exposure to sunlight causes neera to ferment and turn into alcohol, a big no-no in Gujarat. Sigh, do I miss those days or what?!

Not even a single winter has passed, in the six years I have been in Bangalore, wondering why neera cannot be available here, in this city. The OH loves the drink too, and we would have loved the chance to sip at it every once in a while. On our visits to Pune and the rest of Maharashtra, we have taken the opportunity to gulp down copious amounts of the beautiful, cool drink.

Having said that, you must understand when I say I was thrilled to bits to learn, recently, that neera is now available in Bangalore, in packaged form, from Karappuram. I got in touch with the person in charge of marketing it, immediately, and was even more thrilled when he said he could deliver samples to my place. He was sweet enough to turn up the next day with a couple of bottles of the neera, as good as his word. We were advised to have it chilled, for it to taste its best, and that is just what we did.

DSC09207

Verdict: I thought Karappuram neera had a beautiful palm flavour to it, and was wonderfully sweet and refreshing. It did have a slightly more acrid taste to it, as compared to the fresh neera I am used to, but it is definitely the closest thing. It was wonderfully fresh, there are no doubts on that count. The husband found it just as good as fresh neera, no difference at all. We are definitely rooting for this product!

A bit about Karappuram neera:

Karappuram neera, made from sap tapped from the Karpagam island in Kerala (where coconut water and the said sap are the sweetest, apparently, as sweet as sugar water) is presently available at Cash Pharmacy, St. Marks’ Road. It will soon be available at Namdhari’s too. The firm is currently in talks with a number of stores across Bangalore, in attempts to make it available even more readily.

This neera is pasteurized after extraction, to stop it from fermenting into alcohol and to give it a longer shelf life. It comes packaged in little bottles of 200 ml, priced at INR 40 each. Yes, the price is slightly high as compared to that of the same quantity of other packaged drinks available today but, I am told, the health benefits of the neera far outweigh those of any other commercially available drink. Also, there is a huge amount of effort involved in extracting the sap from the palm trees and, I am assured, the price barely covers the cost of extraction, pasteurization and packaging.

I am told that the packaged neera has gotten the approval of the Coconut Development Board, and all other food- and government-related approvals are in place. Apart from the pasteurization, there is no other processing done on the neera – meaning that you get it as good as freshly tapped from the palm trees of Karpagam. There is no added sugar, either.

I am also told, in detail, of the several health benefits that neera possesses – a low Glycemic Index, no cholesterol or fat, an abundance of iron and calcium, a high amount of Vitamins A, B and C, and several curative properties, all of this backed by meticulous research by various institutions of repute.

I understand that neera is, slowly and gradually, gaining foothold as a health drink and as a major ingredient in cocktails and mocktails. The ready availability of packaged neera will go a long way towards further strengthening this foothold.

Other products:

Apparently, Karappuram is also engaged in the production of neera vinegar and neera honey, healthier alternatives to the chemical-loaded vinegar and not-so-natural honey available in the market these days. These products are not readily available in Bangalore yet, but hopefully, they will soon be. I am told they have received rave reviews from the few who have used them, as has the neera. I can’t wait to try out the neera vinegar and honey now!

Disclaimer: I was given sample bottles of Karappuram neera free of cost, in exchange for an honest review. The opinions expressed here are my own.

Using Up Leftovers| Chithra Vishwanathan’s Bread Uttappam

I am so glad to have come across greatness like Chithra Vishwanathan, in my quest to learn more about food! This elderly lady is renowned for her unique twists to routinely cooked food, and cooking with a variety of ingredients. She is also renowned for her smartphone app ‘AskChitVish’, a storehouse of beautiful, beautiful recipes. If you don’t know about her yet, I would urge you to read up!

I haven’t downloaded the app yet, but I am super duper keen on doing so. Considering that I am so technologically challenged, I have to wait for the OH to install it on my phone for me. Sigh! That said, I do find a lot of Chitra Ma’am’s recipes on the Internet or the foodie Facebook groups that I am part of. The Bread Uttappam recipe that I am going to tell you about today is her recipe, one that I found on one of my groups.

This uttappam recipe is a life-saver. It needs no fermentation, and can be cooked in a jiffy. It tastes wonderfully delicious and is highly simple to make. It is a great, great way to use up the few slices of bread that almost always go to waste whenever we buy a packet. It is wonderful for breakfast, and tastes great with thokku/ pickle/ chutney, though it doesn’t really need any accompaniment.

DSC09341.JPG

With permission from Chithra Ma’am, here’s presenting the recipe for the uttappam.

Ingredients (yields 5 medium-sized uttappams):

5 slices of bread (I used brown bread)

3/4 cup curd (slightly sour is better)

2 green chillies, chopped very finely

A few stalks of fresh coriander, chopped finely

2 pinches of asafoetida

2 tablespoons rice flour

1/2 cup rava (no need to roast it – I used the fine variety that you use to make upma)

Salt, to taste (Be careful while adding salt, as the bread will have salt in it anyways)

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 tablespoon oil for tadka + oil for making the uttappam

2 teaspoons mustard seeds

Method:

  1. Dip the bread slices in the curd one by one, squeezing out the excess curd and pressing the bread to a mush. Add the squeezed and pressed bread to a large mixing bowl.
  2. To the bowl, add any remaining curd, salt to taste, rava, chopped onion, chopped green chillies, chopped coriander, rice flour and asafoetida.
  3. Heat the oil in a small pan and add the mustard seeds. Allow the mustard to splutter. Add the mustard tadka to the mixing bowl.
  4. Mix evrerything well together. You should get a batter that is not too runny, but not very, very thick either. If you find the batter too runny, add a bit more rava and/or rice flour to balance it. Conversely, if you find the batter too thick, add a bit of water or curd to loosen it.
  5. Let the batter stand for 10-15 minutes, covered, so that everything gets well incorporated.
  6. Heat a non-stick dosa pan on high flame. When it is nice and hot, lower the flame a little and pour one ladle of the batter on it. Spread it out as much as you can – you might not be able to spread it out very thin, but that is okay. Spread about one teaspoon of oil around the uttappam, and cook on both sides till brown. Make uttappams from all the batter similarly.
  7. Serve hot as is or with your choice of chutney or pickle.

Note:

  1. The uttappam needs to be consumed immediately after making it, hot. It is not meant to be stored. Similarly, all the batter needs to be used up immediately after mixing it – it is not meant to be stored.
  2. I used a non-stick dosa pan for making the uttappam. I am not sure if I would have been able to get very good results on an ordinary dosa pan.

You like? I hope you will try this out, and that you will love it just as much as I did!

 

 

3 – 3- 1, A Time And Space Experiment

I will start out by explaining what 3 – 3 – 1 is. ‘3 – 3 – 1’ stands for ‘Three people, three places, one time’. It is a time and space experiment of sorts. It goes like this – three people living in three different places click a picture at the same time of the day, agreed upon beforehand. These pictures (along with a short introduction to them) would show just how different the lives of people can be, in spite of existing in the same world at the same time.

The idea of this experiment was born some time ago, when two bloggers known to me were discussing about a picture one of them posted. The two bloggers got fascinated by the idea that two people can be leading such completely different lives, at exactly the same time. Out of their discussion was born the idea of doing such an experiment. Both of them agreed to click a picture at the same time of day (one lives in Bangkok, Thailand, and the other in Lafayette, Indiana).

The first installment of this experiment was successfully posted here, a while ago. There were two people doing the experiment, so it was called 2 – 2- 1 (two people, two places, one time). Recently, a 3 – 3 – 1 was concluded here, the second installment of the experiment. And, now, here I am, with the third installment, a 3 – 3 – 1 this time around. The time agreed upon was last Saturday, 5.30 PM India time, and I am a contestant too.

I hope you enjoy reading all about it! Here you go. The time agreed upon

************************

The first photo is by Norm, who blogs at Classical Gasbag, and lives in Lafayette, Indiana, USA.

index

I went downtown to take my picture for this edition of 3-3-1. From the time I left the house to the time I parked my car, the day turned from a bright sunny morning to an overcast morning. I hope that it isn’t a portent.

I had a wide variety of subject matter for the picture. I could have chosen a number of wall art subjects, or a sculpture on the courthouse square, or a busy farmer’s market a block away from this site. In fact, I was heading to the farmer’s market (the first of the year) when the clock in the courthouse tower started chiming 8 a.m. So I quickly took a picture of Marie-Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette. Commonly known in the U.S. as Lafayette. Lafayette, Indiana was named for him.

He was a French nobleman who came to the U.S. and became a Revolutionary War hero in our battle for independence from the British crown. He also was an important figure in the French Revolution. But I’ll let you Google him if you want more information.

I once attended a wedding that was held when the fountain was running. It was a small event. The happy groom was a probationer in the court system, his inamorata was a bubbly lass, and the ceremony was officiated by the judge who had originally sentenced the fellow. A good time was had by all.

The next photo is by the author of This Labyrinth I Roam, who lives in Bangkok, Thailand.

index

Being in Bangkok, unfortunately, means getting caught in the inevitable clutches of an extremely fast-paced city life. No matter how much you say you will walk your own pace, you will end up being caught in the undertow. It’s for that reason that the concrete jungle sometimes rubs me the wrong way. I miss the chilled pace of life in Bangalore, and the giant trees under which unsuspecting chai-drinking aunties rest.
But then, there are moments, in this city, when you can open your window and watch the full glory of a passing sunset. Transforming from divine golden hues to rose gold in a matter of seconds, the whole process of settling down for the night seems otherworldly. I love those moments because they allow you a rare chance to catch your breath and actually watch time in motion – you can see the slow change, you can taste its inevitability, and you can feel how much a part of this planet you are, however insignificant. It is in these moments that you can finally look at the big picture outside of corporate stress and everyday human struggles and see that life, it’s good!
And then, there’s me with my picture!
3-3-1.JPG
At 5.30 PM last Saturday, which was the time chosen for this experiment, I found myself in the bylanes surrounding the posh HSR Layout in Bangalore. The hustle and bustle of the evening hadn’t started yet, but the sky was getting cloudy and darkness had already started to settle in. I was walking around with my camera aimlessly, because I hadn’t planned on what I would click – I wanted this to be spontaneous. I spotted this chaat cart, and knew immediately that this was what I wanted to snap.
This cart is one of the many ‘Mumbai Chaat‘ outlets that have set up shop in Bangalore. They have a distinct style of making chaat, that is different from the usual South Indian-style chaats found in the city commonly. This particular guy was just getting read for the evening ahead when I passed by, laying out plates and chopping vegetables. Maybe he was anticipating a huge crowd later in the evening, considering it was a Saturday? I wonder how he fared that day.
************************
Did you like reading through this post? Do let me know in your comments!
If you’d like to be a part of the experiment the next time we do this, do feel free to get in touch.