In Drinks, From the Garden, Preserves, Under 30 min!, Vegetarian on November 21, 2014 at 12:09 am
Growing up, I had no idea we could eat this fruit. There were many bushes on the big mound of the Rose Garden at IIT Delhi. While playing there in the summer evenings, we would try to avoid the gardeners’ eyes and pluck a few. They were too sour to really be enjoyed. One time I and my sister ended up with throats so sore that we never ventured near another narangi. Sometime back kumquats surfaced on Indian food blogs and I thought maybe the idea needed a rethink. But no one I knew cooked with them.
A couple of months back we were at Vijay’s cousin’s house for dinner, and his wife, Jyotsna, a fantastic cook, served us narangi pickle made much the same way I make my sweet and sour lime pickle. The fruit was from the trees her mother-in-law had planted outside their ground floor flat. Even in a mature pickle the fragrance of the fruit was remarkable. She told me the next crop would be ready soon. I reserved a portion of the harvest and early this month I got a call from her that the fruit had been plucked and I’d better collect my share as soon as possible. I went that very morning – there was no time to waste – and brought home the bounty.
In Road Trip, Travel on November 15, 2014 at 12:18 am
Day 6, September 4, 2014
Alchi to Leh (90km, 4 hrs)
Another rainy morning. The clouds and the incessant rain were getting a bit depressing. I stepped out thinking maybe I could walk around the village and the monastery before breakfast only to find Anand, the enthusiast photographer, sitting in the veranda looking a bit disappointed. His mood affected mine and I turned right back in. I did regret this later when I found out that Alchi is bidding for a spot on the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list! But, honestly, there really was not much we could have done in that rain.
We showered, dressed, and packed up, and walked over to the dining room. The morning light revealed many laden apricot trees on the plot. Inside, a nice breakfast awaited us. The fruits at the table, papaya and watermelon (!), brought joy to many, and we all had many helpings. There were eggs-to-order, toast, and paranthas. The tea was good and I had many rounds as the rest joined us, one by one, at the table.
In This and That, Travel on November 1, 2014 at 10:50 pm
On way to Rangdum
Day 4, September 2, 2014
Kargil to Rangdum (130 km, 7 hours)
I woke up around 6:15 to the gentle sounds of the Suru flowing outside the window. Another unhurried morning. There was wifi (at a price) at the Zojila Residency, our hotel, and some of us were longing to get connected on a wider bandwidth. The previous night’s instructions to be ready at 8:00am had been interpreted variously as “be ready to move,” “be ready to eat breakfast,” or “generally be around.” At breakfast eggs and toast were the most popular choices. Bhavna took out a stash of artisanal jams she had brought along. [Yes, the ones I make are sooooo much better.] Many rounds of tea later – we were the first ones there and I got to drown a good many cups of tea as people ambled in – we stepped out to line up the cars. Those who hadn’t tanked up the night before, despite Abhey’s requests, drove off to first do that.