Skip to main content

When Wisdom dawns, you bow to it! - The Last of the Nine nights.


I'm an ignoramus when it comes to the philosophical complexities of mythology, but the fact is that all these parables are completely applicable to social life as well as the laws of nature, provided you have the fortune of having it interpreted from various frames of reference. If not, all they will remain as, are tales to be amused by for an hour or two before dissipating from the cerebral cortex without ever having the fortune of getting registered as a memory. Even worse, if interpreted by someone with their own personal egoistic agenda, you're finished, what could have been a learning experience turns into a roiling puddle of fear that has the potential to turn into a cesspool of ignorance and hate.

And so it is with these nine days of 'Navratri'. To me it represents the spirit and valor of the feminine aspect of nature, the same force that drives a girl to defend herself tooth and nail against those who seek to strip her of her dignity, a mother who would go to any lengths to protect and nurture her offspring, a wife who willingly takes a back seat supporting her spouses career ambitions as well as those women who give it their all to 'lean in'.

As with every mission that ends in success (whether its a victory over demons, or simply a difficult Anatomy test ,  -- which was my Achilles heel, I just couldn't remember which muscle originated from / inserted into which bone, leave alone where it got its blood & nerve supply from! ), there needs to be a 'cooling off' to rest and recharge and the last day of Navratri represent just that. It is observed in Southern India as 'Saraswathy puja' where books and other 'tools of the trade' are worshiped and given a day of rest. As the saying goes.. 'Tomorrows another day', a day for new beginnings and endeavors that hopefully brings us success in whatever we're seeking.

Badam Kheer (Almond dessert soup with Saffron)

You need:

1 cup raw almonds
4 -5 cups reduced fat milk
3/4 -1 cup sugar
3 - 4 pods cardamom, seeds crushed
18 - 20 strands saffron
2 tablespoons pistachios crushed  (optional)

Blanch the almonds by dropping them in boiling water for about 5 minutes. Shock them by immersing in cold water and then proceed to squeeze out the loosened skin. Add 1/2 a cup of milk (or more, if you prefer)  to the almonds and blend them to a smooth puree. Warm up another 1/2 a cup of milk (until its acceptably warm to the finger tip) and soak the strands of saffron to release their color and flavor.


Whisk in the almond puree, the remaining milk, 3/4 cup sugar and the crushed cardamom together. In a large saucepan, heat the mixture on low heat until it begins to simmer, Add the saffron infused milk and taste it at this point to check if its sweet enough. If not add in as per your preference. If you prefer having s bit of crunchy texture, add in the crushed pistachios. They add a pleasant color contrast. Continue to simmer for another 10 minutes until the pistachios have softened slightly. Ladle into glasses, or bowls or goblets or mugs and sip away!

Not sure if I should repeat the recipe for my 10th consecutive Stir fry, but here goes

Peanut Stir Fry

You need:

1 cup skinned raw peanuts
1 tablespoon oil
1 teaspoon cumin
1 arbol chile, broken into 2 pieces
1 sprig curry leaves
Salt to taste,
1/4 teaspoon turmeric,
Lime juice for drizzling over


Boil the peanuts with the turmeric and salt until they soften and and have a yielding 'bite'. Drain and set aside. If you've added too much salt, rinse the peanuts and drain off the water thoroughly.
In a cast iron skillet, heat the oil (remember the peanut is oily, so cut down on the added stuff) and add the cumin, curry leaf and arbol chili pieces. Once the cumin pops and the arbol chile turns a deep reddish brown, add the peanuts and give it a good stir. Lower the heat and cover the skillet and allow the flavors to combine. Taste and adjust for seasoning. Transfer to a serving dish and add the lime juice just prior to serving. Serve warm.


Tomorrow is the day for new beginings, - Vijaya Dashami or the day of victory. Planning to serve up some Semolina pudding (Rava Kesari) and a Navy bean stir fry.







Bon Appetit!






Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Product Review: Ninja Mega Kitchen system and a recipe for Masala Dosa

One of the biggest reasons for attending conferences is the priceless experience of meeting fellow bloggers and get an invaluable exposure to all things  culinary. This includes vendors with new products to savor and get inspiration from.

I had no complaints about whatever appliances I had for making traditional Dosa (Traditional South Indian rice & lentil crepes) batter, a sturdy tabletop stone grinder that you could add the Urad dal, turn the timer on , and 30  minutes later, come back to a container full of fluffy, batter with the consistency of whipped egg whites. The
The cons of this is the cleaning up, of the various parts, the roller, the grinding bin, the multiple trays on which the rollers need to be placed while transferring the rice & lentil batter, the invariable drips of thick batter on the counter.... you get the point, It takes quite a bit of time.

I was pleasantly surprised when the appliance company, Ninja asked me if I'd like to try any of their appli…

Khandvi deconstructed.. Chickpea flour Spaghetti & Pappardelle Pasta

Khandvi may well be my all time favorite noshing 'tiffin' tea time snack & quite possibly  because it can be pretty intimidating at first sight. a beautiful, almost impossible vision to behold, gossamer thin, jellied strips of chickpea flour & sour yogurt, tiny miniature savory Swiss rolls that delightfully wobble in your mouth before delicately disintegrating & gliding  down your throat, making way for... the next little morsel!


Unusual Ingredients - Unripe Blueberry Achar

T'was just another Summer afternoon, The kids were home for the summer holidays, getting bored, there's only so much summer reading you can force them to do, and the Indian mommy in me could no longer caution them against going out in the afternoon  (I've solemnly refused to use that horrid excuse of 'You'll get a dark tan if you stay out in the mid day sun'), and so we decided to head out to Terhune orchards for the blueberry picking. The kids never say no to outings to the orchard, they LOVE the trip there, the cute yellow dogs and the cats,  the chocolate crinkle and Snickerdoodle cookies, and they positively trip over grabbing buckets and heading joyfully towards the berry bushes...



... And there it ends, the younger one loses herself in her delightful imaginary worlds where she probably thinks she's hacking her way through virgin Amazon jungle, sighing at every branch that brushes against her legs, picks 2 or 3 berries as if they were a new as yet und…