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Sputtering back....

I seriously feel like thisscene from the movie 3 idiots.. remember this one?

The way I kept racking up drafts and eventually stopped doing that as well.
Lulled into complacence by the quick high from Instagram posts.
Recipe measurements hastily scribbled into a Moleskine notebook faithfully depending upon my moods.

The truth is that I keep over thinking the backstories needed to make the post more interesting while in reality the truth is that ideas and inspirations just occur spontaneously (like little itches , sneezes or twitches) whenever the opportunity happens to strike. Some really cool ideas that scare the beejeezus out of me and yet prove to be utterly delightful and simple in the end. Others, that seem so trivial that I feel it wouldn't be worth crowing about -- even if there are enough other recipes in that genre that get so much publicity simply because the author happens to have the right marketing knack.

So in the past 4 years that I've been neglecting  my writin…
Recent posts

Resolutions, part deux.

Some of us get to make resolutions not once, but twice every year. The first of course, on January 1st along with the rest of the world and the second time around, the last day of  the Indian festival of Navaratri, The 10th day that marks the end of the festival is known as Vijaya Dashami - the day when scores of kids , willing or not,  are marched off to commence music, dance classes or start learning to play an instrument.

Navratri, once you strip it of its patriarchal trappings, is an empowering festival celebrating the Mother Goddess. Each day, her various attributes (a daughter, a mother, a wife, a warrior, an intellectual,  as an unfettered free spirit etc.) are explored and worshiped. and thefood offering invariably is a protein rich Sundal made with various lentils - a meat substitute, a nod to a pre-Buddhist era when meat was an accepted part of Hinduism.



Back to the resolutions.. you'd have to have been living in a cave this past year not to have been made aware of how …

A matter of 'Spice Thyme' - to cover a million grains of rice!

The first time I made this recipe, my Iphone 6 was still halfway through its 2 year contract, and the only container available to stash it away was nowhere near photogenic. And perhaps, there was a sliver of uncertainty whether I wanted to post the recipe without giving it a second shot (which wasn't going to happen until I finished off the first batch). Nevertheless I faithfully recorded the proportions on my laptop, and let the whole recipe slip back to the recesses of my memory centers.

The first batch got polished off soon enough, mainly by my other half  'G', who seemed to absolutely love it with fresh hot plain rice drizzled with sesame oil. Chutney powders by definition, tend to be 'reserves' in a 'Tambrahm' home (as opposed to Telugu households where they are a mainstay), and needless to say, the relatively extended storage period gave me an idea about how long I could store the powdered blend at room temperature - and yes, I'm a scientist by tr…

Kerala meets Korea - Mustard & Chile flavored Kimchi

I'm not sure how a food related 'Jiminy Cricket' conscience would look like in real life but imagination tells me it would be brandishing a wooden ladle for sure and would probably speak to me in my mother's voice. Admonishing me for not keeping up on my writing for my blog posts (I realize that is my weak link) I seem to be quite happy creating recipes and Instagramming them daily.

A sudden shuffling of photographs & backing up (for fear of the new worm virus crossing the net) suddenly put me into a shocked gasp mode.. (I have about 1/2 a terabytes of just photographs, of creative ideas that never made it past the hard drive, leave alone minor editing to tweak the images), ideas that were forgotten half way and never revisited again, only to flood my brain with taste and olfactory memories - which are superbly forceful when they come gushing back - and I realized that  I'm in need of serious organization in terms of my laptop. It will be a work in progress, s…

Aug 11 - Grilled corn, Paneer, black beans and blueberry salad

Grill baby grill is my motto during summer. (of course I can cheekily say so given that its in the comfort of my kitchen with the stove vent on at full blast.)
Uber simple to assemble, Grilled paneer slabs cut into cubes, Black beans from the can, corn off the cobs grilled on the stove top, and fresh blueberries. spiced with smoky ancho chile powder, and lime.
mmm... mmmm... Good!

Aug 10 - South Indian style Kimchi

This was an experiment done on a wing and a prayer, tried to satiate my deep craving for 'kadugu mangai' (baby mangoes in a mustard brine), a classic South Indian pickle that is a staple in my kitchen. Up until this year, these baby mangoes were simply unavailable.

Sooo, instead of the mangoes, I decided to look outside the crisper drawer and before I knew it, I was stuffing an entire head of Napa cabbage liberally sprinkled with kosher salt and turmeric into a large glass jar. A month later, poured out the brine, combined it with raw mustard seeds, asafetida and arbol chiles, and gave it a whirl in the smoothie blender. The net result, a delicious kimchi (a tad salty though), that paired well with the tambrahm favorite - Yogurt rice!

Aug 9 - Cauliflower Kolhapuri

I have a dear friend from school who lives in the City of Kolhapur in Maharashtra. When I visited her  at the gorgeous heritage resort she owns there en route to a holiday in Goa, she gifted me with a spice blend that I treasured to the last speck. It sat  at the bottom of my freezer and was doled out for special dishes just like Saffron is rationed out in many Indian homes. Its a lip smacking flaming  hot blend of onions, garlic and the famed Kolhapuri Mirch (red chili).

I marinaded cauliflower florets in a paste of this spice blend , salt and oil, and roasted it in a 450 F oven. Finished with a handful of green coriander berries, this was a fabulous treat paired with roomali roti.