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Showing posts from January, 2016

Unusual Ingredients and what to do with them - Buddha's Hand Chutney powder

There's a certain condiment I always make sure I stock up on when visiting India. Its almost practically unheard of outside the Southern states and in cities like Mumbai, you get it at the South Indian provision stores. Four little ping-pong shaped spheres wrapped in cellophane and bound with two mismatched rubber-bands. Vepillakatti - an oxymoron of a term akin to pineapple (neither pine nor apple & yet its called a pineapple ?) 
Vepillakatti when translated from its native Tamil / Malayalam basically consists of two terms -'Vepillai', a.k.a Neem leaf, and 'Katti' - lump. This condiment thankfully does not involve anything remotely related to Neem. As for the lumpy part, yes its initially measured and shaped out into little spheres, which is then crumbled at the first morsel you add to your food.
The key, and I mean absolutely critical ingredient in this condiment is fresh lime leaves, preferably fresh picked off the tree so that it retains all its wonderful …

Here comes the Sun. Celebrating Sankranti the Maharashtrian way.

The New Year's here and that of course means that the festive finale of the previous year comes to a grinding halt. The Christmas tree is cleared of its ornaments, the ornaments are wrapped up, and stashed back into the big storage boxes, and said storage boxes are then dragged back down to the basement to hibernate until next December.

In most households this definitely means a lull in the happy mood that prevails, the sinking feeling of nothing to celebrate until the weather warms up, and of course, the snowstorms and  bitter cold weather that inevitably marks February. And no, a corporate invented festival like Valentine's day does not count.

In Indian homes, we just get ready to celebrate the next celestial event that makes its turn, In this case, the return of the sun to the northern Hemisphere, known as 'Uttarayan' in Sanskrit. every state and community has its own way of celebrating the impending arrival of spring / hot weather (for all practical purposes, the …