Stories From The Floating Market, Pattaya

Any destination we head to, the husband and I definitely make it a point to visit the local bazaars. A stop (or two, or three!) at the local markets is a great way of getting exposed to the culture and traditions of the place, at the very root level. And, of course, it teaches you a whole lot about the food of that region – the ingredients that the locals use, the ways in which they cook, their indigenous foods, et al. Thailand was no exception.
 
That was how, one bright and sunny day during our recent holiday in Thailand, the two of us headed to Pattaya Floating Market, with the bub in tow. And, hey, this is a floating market – a market actually on water – and how do we not check out that?!
 
Read all about our experience at the Pattaya Floating Market, in my latest blog post!
 
 
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Meghalayan Ja Stem Recipe|Khasi Turmeric Rice

The recipe that I present to you today, Ja Stem, hails from the beautiful land of Meghalaya. Ja Stem is a traditional recipe of the Khasis, one of the tribes majorly inhabiting the state of Meghalaya. It refers to a very simple rice dish, flavoured with turmeric – ‘Ja‘ means ‘rice’ in the Khasi language, while ‘Stem‘ means ‘turmeric’. Typically, this dish is prepared with the very fragrant, organically grown Lakadong turmeric, which is native to Meghalaya.
 
Made in a pressure cooker, this rice takes bare minutes to put together. It is quite a healthy and wholesome dish, cooked using minimal oil. It is vegan and gluten-free too!
 
Check out the recipe for Meghalayan Ja Stem, just in on my photo blog.
 
 

Classic Falafel Recipe| Easy Home-Made Falafel

Today, I present to you the recipe for Easy Home-Made Falafel, delicious Lebanese falafel made from scratch.

Falafel‘ refers to a deep-fried fritter made using chickpeas or fava beans or a mix of both, with a few herbs and spices added in. The origin of falafel has been linked to Egypt, though today, it is quite a common street food across most Middle-East countries, and is very popular even in India. With time, several versions of the falafel have come up the world over, including a healthier, baked version. Mine, however, is a Classic Falafel Recipe, where the snack is made the traditional, deep-fried way.

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

Postcards From The 75th Ayappan Festival, Tattamangalam, Kerala

The village of Tattamangalam, near Palakkad in Kerala, is where my mother-in-law grew up. For the last 74 years, Tattamangalam has been conducting festivities to commemorate ‘Ayappan season’, the period between Diwali (October-November) till Pongal (January 14), which is when the maximum number of pilgrims visit the holy temple of Lord Ayappa at Sabarimala. These festivities in Tattamangalam, typically held towards the end of every December, are quite grand, I have always been told, including parades by elephants, performances by music artistes, large-scale community meals, frenzied beats of drums and cymbals, and the blowing of trumpets.

In December 2018, Tattamangalam celebrated the 75th edition of the Ayappan Festival Celebrations, and my extended family and I figured it was time to pay a visit. I am glad we booked our tickets at the very last minute (we were lucky to even get them, indeed!) and visited, for the festival was bigger and better than ever.

Check out some glimpses from the celebrations we were witness to, just in on my photo blog!

Butterfly Pea Lemonade| Colour-Changing Magic Lemonade

Today’s recipe is a magic one! Christmas time, the season of Santa Claus and fairies and unicorns and secret gifts and all that, eh? 🙂
 
Now, this is a simple lemonade recipe at heart, but a magical, colour-changing one! When served, this drink is a pretty, deep blue. Squeeze some lemon into it, and it changes colour to a gorgeous purple! Let me hasten to add that this happens very naturally, without the help of any artificial colouring agents. The secret ingredient here is butterfly pea, a beautiful blue flower that grows in several Asian countries, including parts of India.
 
Head to my blog to read more about this wondrous butterfly pea flower, and for the recipe for the colour-changing lemonade!
 
 

Coconut & Mango Pulav

Coconut and mango is a classic combination that is much loved. The two flavours marry well, which is why they are found together in a variety of foods. The dish that I present to you today – Coconut & Mango Pulav – uses this classic combination, in a very Indian way.

This delicious pulav makes for a lovely change from the usual. It is a pressure-cooker dish that can be put together in mere minutes, making it the perfect candidate for lunch or dinner on busy weekdays and lazy weekends. This is something kids will love too!

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

Grand Palace & Temple Of The Emerald Buddha, Bangkok

The latest post on my blog is all about our visit to the Grand Palace, the former residence of the royal family, in Bangkok, Thailand. It also talks about our visit to the Wat Phra Kraew or the temple of the Emerald Buddha that the palace premises house.
 
The Emerald Buddha temple was actually one of the reasons the husband and I finally undertook a long-pending trip to Thailand, this October. Check out my blog post to read all about our ‘secret’ connection with the Buddha, and to see some gorgeous pictures from this beautiful, beautiful place!

Agathi Poo Poriyal| Vegetable Hummingbird Stir-Fry From Tamilnadu

Have you heard of the Vegetable Hummingbird, an edible flower called so because its shape resembles the beak of little hummingbirds? These flowers – called Dok Khae in Thai, Agathi Poo in Tamil, and Bokful in Bengali – possess several health benefits. They are quite commonly used in Thai, Indonesian, Vietnamese, Lao, Maldivian, Sri Lankan and, to an extent, Indian cuisine as well.
 
The Tamilians make a lip-smackingly delicious stir-fry with these flowers, called Agathi Poo Poriyal. With grated coconut, onions or beans, and a bit of sugar added in, the poriyal makes for an awesome accompaniment to piping hot rasam or sambar rice.
 
Read all about this wondrous flower, and find the recipe for the stir-fry, just in on my photo blog!
 
 

Paneer Masala Dosa| Dosa With Cottage Cheese Stuffing

Bored of eating the same ol’ dosa with chutney/sambar, or masala dosa? Paneer Masala Dosa is another version of dosa that you could try out.

With a protein-rich, delicious cottage cheese stuffing, Paneer Masala Dosa makes for a great snack or even a lunch/dinner option. This is quite a filling dosa that doesn’t require any accompaniment to it. If you have dosa batter on hand, making these is a breeze, too!

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

Midhi Pavakkai Poriyal| Baby Bitter Gourd Stir Fry

The health benefits of bitter gourd (‘pavakkai’ in Tamil) are quite well known. They are rich in dietary fibre and Vitamin K, and low in calories. They are great for keeping one’s weight and blood sugar levels in control. Indian cuisine has a wide range of dishes that use bitter gourd, some really innovative. However, a whole lot of people shun this vegetable, thanks to its bitter taste. I used to be one of those people too, till I discovered the real beauty of the bitter gourd and made it a regular feature in my kitchen.

The last weekend, on a short holiday in Madras, I came across these lovely baby bitter gourds (‘midhi pavakkai‘ in Tamil) at a vegetable vendor’s. They looked so cute, lying there in their basket, that I absolutely had to get some back home with me to Bangalore. 😉 This delicious, delicious Baby Bitter Gourd Stir Fry aka Midhi Pavakkai Poriyal is what happened to them.

Check out the recipe, just in on my blog!