I grew up at IITD and and the campus Kendriya Vidyalaya (Central School) was my high school. KVIIT was also the campus-school for the two other neighbouring educational campuses – the NCERT and JNU. That was a time when the middle class still sent their children to public schools. My mother was a teacher in the Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan but by the time she managed a transfer to KVIIT, I had already graduated. Mr Bhujangarao, from Andhra Pradesh, was our Principal in my last two years at school. He and his family lived on-campus, close to our house, and over the years our families became close friends. As with all good neighbours, there was much exchange of food and recipes. We would visit each other often for dinners; Mrs Bhujanga Rao feeding our need for dosai, idly, and upma, and my mom trying to satisfy her two boys with chhole and rajma. I still remember how I loved the spicy upma, with lots of tomatoes, that she brought for me when I was recovering from some minor illness. Nothing like Guntur chillies to awaken taste buds flatened by sickness.
Our visits continued even after Mr B was promoted and moved a little further in South Delhi, then to Chennai, and even after he retired and moved to Hyderabad. His older son, also a friend, moved to Delhi a few years ago and we call on him when his parents come visiting. Krishna auntie still insists we leave after a meal, lunch or dinner – as the case may be, and it is very hard for me to turn down her cooking. When she was getting ready to leave Delhi many decades back, I requested her mango pickle recipe. We knew we would miss her gentle ways and her cooking, but, at least, we didn’t have to live the rest of our lives without her mango pickle! Continue reading “Green Mango Pickle, Andhra-style”
Most of us get addicted to reading blogs before we get one of our own. I wandered into the food blog world one fine day looking for some variety in my daily cooking. Nothing fancy, just everyday cooking that would show new ways with the same old ingredients.
Here are a few that have been added to our list of family favourites, and have been cooked more than once in my kitchen. Tried and tested…
- Get your morning off to a good start with these scrumptious Pumpkin Cheddar Muffins from Manisha – (Indian Food Rocks)
- Pel’s (Elaichi et Cetera) scintillating Thai soup Kaeng Thom Yam, and Nam Prik Pao, the secret paste behind it.
- Bee and Jai’s (Jugalbandi) Kootu podi (spice mix for vegetables cooked with dal) from Southern India.
- Bhinda ni Kadhi – Gujarati okra kadhi (Spice Cafe).
- Bisi bele hulianna, a rice dish that was the essence of Karnataka cuisine to me (still is!) from Saakshi (Healthy Home Cooking), a serving of which can give you upwards of 20 varieties of food in one dish (including spices, of course)!
Check them out, if you haven’t already! Happy eating, and repeating! 😀
Before Srivalli completely gives up on me, here I am with my experiments with the mystery powder I received through our very own Arusuvai Friendship chain last month. For all my professed past-life claims, the podi Srivalli sent me had me at a complete loss. I have already admitted I am not good at de-constructing spice blends; I totally relied on Manisha’s intuition for kanda-lassun masala.
After staring at the yellow-orange-powder sitting in a packet on my kitchen counter for two days, I gingerly wrote to Srivalli about my predicament… The yellow powder was going to test my self-professed Southie-ness. I could taste turmeric… dhaniya… and… the rest was a mystery. Now, I have made a few South Indian podis: kootu podi, bisibele hulianna podi, milagai podi; this was definitely not one of those. Well, that left only one other podi I knew: sambar masala! So, I prayed and sent an apologetic note to Srivalli asking if that was Sambar podi I had in my possession. It amused her that I was so unsure… but of course, it was! Whew! I heaved a sigh of relief. My reputation (rather, claim) was intact; at least, for now. Continue reading “101 uses for Mystery Powder”