Kite Fever In Ahmedabad: A Photo Story On Uttarayan

The best time to visit Ahmedabad (anywhere in Gujarat, actually) is during Uttarayan or Makara Sankranti, in my humble opinion. That is when the citizens go all out to enjoy themselves, when the kite mania is on, when you get to see the city in a whole new avatar. This is apart from the Navratri season, when the city is decked up at its glorious best, of course.

Read my post about Uttarayan and the kite fever in Ahmedabad, just in on my photo blog!

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Ponk Vada| Hurda Vada| Tender Jowar (Sorghum) Fritters

On our recent visit to Ahmedabad, I got my first-ever taste of ponk, and absolutely loved it. I even managed to get some back to Bangalore, which I used to make vadas. Crispy, delicious, deep-fried balls of goodness are what these ponk vadas turned out to be! We thoroughly enjoyed snacking on them, alongside our evening tea.

Check out the recipe, just in on my photo blog!

Khichdi, Etc., Ahmedabad: Serving Khichdi Varieties From Around The Globe

‘There is a new restaurant in Prahladnagar that serves over 20 varieties of khichdi. You must visit!,’ one of our family acquaintances told me, when we were in Ahmedabad recently. Being the big fans of khichdi that the husband and I are, we were excited to hear this. We wanted to check this place out, for sure. And so, one evening, we geared up and headed to this eatery – called Khichdi, Etc. – to explore.

Check out my detailed post about our experience at Khichdi, Etc!

Ponk Bhel| Hurda Bhel| Tender Jowar (Sorghum) Bhel

‘Ponk’, for the uninitiated, is the Gujarati name for immature grains of jowar, available only in the months between December and February in parts of Gujarat and Maharashtra. In Gujarat, they are all over Surat, and Ahmedabad gets a few truckloads from there, which are hungrily grabbed by the locals within minutes. Known in Marathi as ‘hurda‘, these grains are packed with nutrition and highly delicious. They can be used to make a variety of delicacies, from bhel and vada to cakes.

On our recent visit to Ahmedabad, we landed right in the midst of ponk season, I managed to get my hands on some and even carried a little back home to Bangalore. I made some beautiful ponk bhel with the first batch.

Check out the recipe for the ponk bhel, just in on my photo blog!

Glimpses From The International Kite Festival 2018, Ahmedabad

Our recent visit to Ahmedabad coincided with the beginning of the International Kite Festival 2018, and we decided to drop in to get a glimpse of the fervour. I got my first-ever taste of the festival that Ahmedabad has been hosting since 1989, and which has made waves in the media especially in the last 4-5 years.

We passed by for a very short while and managed to get only a few glimpses of the festival. Even then, the atmosphere managed to fill our hearts with awe and joy.

Check out my latest post, about our experience at the International Kite Festival 2018.

Ahmedabad, after ages

So, so, so, that long-pending trip to Ahmedabad finally happened! On New Year’s day, the husband got confirmation for a work trip to Ahmedabad, and he asked if the bub and I would accompany us. We did just that, flight tickets were booked, and we were off the very next day – as simple as that. After 6 long years, I finally visited the place where I grew up, and it happened Just.Like.That!

Did I find traces of the city I loved so much or has it changed drastically?

Well, yes and no.

Ahmedabad has, indeed, changed drastically. I don’t know the routes in the city any more. I don’t have a home to stay there any more. The area where I used to live in has changed beyond description. There are loads of new shops and eateries that have come up, and some old favourites of mine (the school I studied in included) have disappeared. The few tourist attractions in the city have been given a huge facelift. I have lost touch with the language – I can’t speak it so fluently any more, though I managed to read the script pretty well. That makes a difference, for sure.

But then, some of my old haunts still exist. The heart of the city still remains the same, and I cannot be more thankful for that. I managed to check out a few of them, in the week’s time that we were in the city. I got reacquainted with some foods that I used to love gorging on, and got shocked at just how much the prices have increased since then. I met up with old friends, shared old and new stories, and built better connections. I managed to show my daughter (and husband) some of what my life before them had held. I stayed over at relatives’ places, and liked it better than I had expected to. I rekindled some very old memories, some pleasant, some others not so much. I fell in love with the broad roads and ease of transportation in the city all over again (though it is not the same as before, the traffic is still way better than it is in Bangalore). I discovered new food joints with the husband and friends. I fleetingly visited the apartment I used to call home, and felt stumped. People recognised me and talked to me, and I felt stumped all over again.

Overall, my trip to Ahmedabad after ages was a mixed bag. I was kind of nervous before I left, I admit, of what I’d find there, but it wasn’t so bad. It was wonderful, in fact. I should do this more often, I realise. Hopefully, my next visit won’t take 6 more years!

Stories from Ahmedabad – coming up soon!

Methi Gota| Gujarati Fenugreek Green Fritters

Making methi na gota or fenugreek green fritters in the winters is an absolute must in Gujarat, where I grew up. Like the Gujaratis, we made them too. Winter wouldn’t be complete for us without Appa getting home huge bunches of fenugreek greens aka methi from the market, and Amma making big batches of methi na gota, scolding him all the while for the extra work. Even today, in Bangalore, I can’t not make methi gota at least once in the long months of winter.

Check out the recipe we follow to make methi na gota, just in on my photo blog!

Vatana Ane Tuver Lilva Ni Kachori| Gujarati Pigeon Peas And Green Peas Kachori

Fresh pigeon peas – tuver lilva or tuver dana in Gujarati, tuvarai in Tamil – is one of my favourite winter veggies. I love cooking with it, and one of my favourite things to make with these peas is Gujarati-style kachori. I think tuver lilva ni kachori, made with green peas and/or potatoes – are one of the bestest-ever things to eat during winters!

Check out the detailed recipe for these kachoris, just in on my photo blog.

Saragva Ni Kadhi| Gujarati Drumstick Kadhi

Saragva ni kadhi, a Gujarati dish made using curd and drumsticks (‘saragva’ is Gujarati for ‘drumsticks’), is a hot favourite at our place. One of our Gujarati friends taught us how to make this kadhi, years ago, and I have been making it ever since. The husband loves it, the bub loves it, and so do I. This kadhi is something I prepare often at home, whenever there is sour curd left over. Hey, sometimes I even set extra curd just so I can make this! 🙂

Check out the recipe, just in on my photo blog!

Ras No Fajeto| Gujarati Ripe Mango And Curd Dish, My Way

Ras no fajeto is a beautiful, beautiful Gujarati dish made with pureed ripe mango and curd. It makes for the perfect side dish for piping hot steamed rice, with a little ghee mixed in. I love having it with rotis, though, with or without another simple curry on the side.

The sweetness of the ripe mango, the sourness of the curd, and the heat of the ginger and green chillies meld together to give this dish a gorgeous flavour. Beautiful as the fajeto is, it isn’t a dish that is really well known in states outside of Gujarat.

Here is my way of making ras no fajeto!