Sunday, May 31, 2009

Bhandang To Spice Up Life

This picture is to remind myself of the chanawala at Fort who sat at a height in the shop and measured out "Sher" of the roasted chana, peanuts or puffed rice and handed out paper bags full to the customers standing on the road as they strained their neck to look up at him. Those shops have vanished from Mumbai city's landscape.

Zoom in today...The rains have started in Blr and the evenings are cold and wet. Bhadang is what puts you in a good mood.

Spicy puffed rice and tea with a warm Chimi cuddled behind me as I work on my laptop, is a recipe for a perfect evening.

I have been singing to her...

Ek Chimi chotisi,
dekho karti hai kaisi,
usko chahiye bas...
huggy huggy aur kissy kissy !!
She loves to spread out leisurely on the floor or cuddle in her bed. Intermittently rushes to me for a cuddle and some lick licks. When I am cooking she is next to me with the forepaws on the counter supervising my cooking.

Yesterday she managed to take away 2 slices of bread even after she had her dinner. I was making Dad's and mine. I am quite watchful but she sneaked them away so I broke up the slices into bits and put it in her bowl. It is better to legalize some behavior :), what say?

In general life is spiced up a bit. Besides Chimi's cutesy pampering there is pampering from another quarter so am thrilled. I am excited, can't wait for tomorrow morning, will tell you why but that is for later.

Chalo, but I can share this spicy Bhadang with you right away. Go get a steaming hot cuppa.


1/2 kg Puffed rice, thick variety
1 cup peanuts
1/4 cup roasted and split chickpeas/ dahale
5-6 green chilies chopped
1/ cup curry leaves
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
1/2 teaspoon asafoetida
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
2 tablespoon oil
salt to taste

The star ingredient
4-5 pieces of Kokum or 1 teaspoon of Aamchur

Heat oil in a big vessel big enough to hold all the ingredients put together or about 10 litre capacity. Fry the peanuts to a golden brown. In the same vessel add the mustard seeds and crackle them. Add the curry leaves and chopped green chilies and fry them to crispiness. Now let in the asafoetida, turmeric, red chili powders. Follow in with the Kokum pieces. Mix in the puffed rice. On slow heat keep mixing till the puffed rice turns crunchy.

Put off the heat, add the salt and mix well. Let is cool completely and then store in a plastic bin or steel box. This quantity lasts us about a week.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Instant Rava Appe

I made this today for breakfast and Dad loved it so am making more for our friends Shailesh, Manisha and their 2 kids, Turya and Tanmayi. They are joining us for lunch today as Shailesh is transfered to Chandigarh and the family is soon to move. We have spent some good times together and Dad especially is so fond of them. Wishing them All the best for the future!


1/2 cup fine rava
1/2 cup milk
3 elaichi bananas
3/4 cup jaggery powder
2-3 cardamoms pods, peeled and seeds separated
1/2 teaspoon salt
ghee to fry

Mix all ingredients together with hand. The batter should be like that of cake, it should fall in folds.

In an appam pan fill the slots half way with ghee. Add one spoon full batter into each slot and fry till golden on slow heat. The slow heat ensures cooking till the core. Turn over to cook the other side. Remove with a fork and collect in a box. Similarly fry all appams till batter is used up.

Let the appams cool completely before serving. The spongy appams are to die for without all the preparations and sweat spent on traditional God appe.

With the same batter you can even make pancakes in Marathi they are called Dhirda.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Navalkol Kofta Curry

Now that you know that Navalkol or Kohlrabi is not my favorite veggie you are guessing right that I tried experimenting to make it acceptable to my palate. Well is there a better way than making koftas. It looked very pretty too in a tomatoey gravy, if there is such a word.

This is also a log of me succumbing to the charms of frying in an appam pan, the phenomenon that has swept the blog world. But I used more oil. Ideally one should try to use as less as possible. I am still to work out the optimum oil utilization. It does given even frying and smaller pieces which makes it easy for serving and pragamatic indulgence.


For Kofta
1 bulb of Navalkol/ Kohrabi, grated
1/2 cup Chickpea flour/besan
1/4 cup or more wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
oil to fry

Put all the ingredients in a bowl and knead together. Shape into small balls the size of a gulabjamun and deep fry using the appam pan. Turn over to get even color. Fry till golden brown on slow heat.

For the gravy

2 tomatoes chopped
2 onions chopped
2 green chilies
1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste
1 teaspoon any special curry masala ( I used Catch's Shahi paneer masala)
2 teaspoon oil

Heat the oil. Fry the onions till trasluscent. Add the ginger garlic paste and green chilies and stir well. Add the tomatoes and cook till soft. Puree this masala in a blender.

Heat the ground masala and thin it a bit to make it into gravy as thick or thin as you like. Add the curry masala and salt. Boil for 10 mins. Till masala blends well into the curry.

To serve put the kofta in a bowl and ladle the gravy over it. You cannot even make out what the kofta was made with. Yet it is fragrant with the unmaskable Navalkol smell.

We quite enjoyed it with hot phulkas. The Navalkol Koftas surprised my Dad no end and his eyes said good job! Even though he was not vocal that was enough for me. I am still a Daddy's girl trying to please him once in a while so that at other times I can do my own thing ;)


Our tea time snack came from Vidya Shenoy aunty. Wonderful cripsy, light and perfectly tan colored Chakli. I rarely make chaklis as I find them a daunting task so these were a treat.Thank you so much!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Pups for adoption in Mumbai

Hi friends

These three little pups are so cuddly. They need a home.

Believe me Chimi has made me a more cheerful person. Experience the joy a pet can give you.

If you have love in your heart and you want to shower on them then leave your email address or cell # here in the comments. I will not publish the comments in the interest of your safety, so go ahead and let me know if you want to take them home.

Will send out the details to you through mail or sms.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Lunch at Bugle Rock Kamat

and strolling around Basavangudi

Starting of with Holige, spring onion, Zunka (Pithale vadi) , papad and Majige(Butter milk)

Having grown up in the heart of Mumbai walking around was something I enjoyed. While in Colaba every evening going for a walk to Gateway or Cuffe Parade meant having the salt laden sea breeze in your face. I loved to see the bobbing boats on the water front and the twinkling lights.

In Fort the walk was mostly from home to Bombay gymkhana and the back lanes. If walking on the main road it meant peering at all those beautifully decorated shop windows, my favorites Satguru's, Khadi gram udyog, HMV etc.

In Bangalore I love to stroll around Basavangudi. Yes Basavangudi or Bull temple that is almost the trademark of Bangalore. It is a charming South Bangalore locality dominated by Kanada speaking people. The green canopy of trees lets you take a walk even in the hottest of seasons and still enjoy a cool breeze caressing your skin. Most times my strolls here start of with the darshan of Dodda Ganesha or the big Ganapati but more famous than that is the adjacent temple of the 15ft tall and 20 ft long monolithic Bull. This temple was built 500 yrs ago and there is even a legend associated with it.

Bull Temple

In the evenings this place is home to thousands of birds and bats. It used to be a pleasure to watch the flocks fly over the terrace of my old place while I sipped on tea. I have seen so many parrots, kites, mynas, doves etc.

We were out for some work in the area, after wrapping it up we wanted to have an early lunch at the Bugle rock Kamat. I love this place as it gives a nice view of those huge trees lining the road from the second floor dinning hall. We were early and eating at Kamat for us is always the Yele Oota or meal served on banana leaf. This is not a place where we would like to eat idli or dosa for lunch. So we decided to take a stroll and come back in time.

Humm... even after the darshans and loitering around watching the tourists that visit the place we still were the first ones to reach Kamat.

This place has a North Karnataka theme. They serve food on young banana leaves. We ordered the special meal. It would include Holige they said. We were early so the service was really slow. That gave us time to enjoy the view by the full glass panelled window. We had requested the captain to have the blinds pulled up near our table so we got an unobtrusive view of the street below and the greenery.

The men serving were dressed in dhoti and kurta in keeping with the theme. The meal started of with a glass of Majige, then the Holige and copius amounts of ghee served generously. There was the whole range of typical North Karnataka fare right from Zunka which was like Pithale vadi, spring onion, fresh sprig of methi, roasted papad, Moog dal kosumbari, raita, green vatana bhaaji, methi dal and Chili bhajji. Curd is served in a separate small bowl and in the begining itself. This is confusing when you are in for a traditional lunch. Serving curd signifies the conclusion of the thali meal. All through you keep wondering what's next in line and how much to eat what! They don't serve all the items at one time, they keep serving and you keep eating :). The trick is to eat a little of everything and wait for the next thing.

Then followed the special soft Jolad roti and Vangi rassa. Some how I always find they under do the brinjals or may be the the tamarind juice they use keeps them half done, especially near the stem. I am wondering, did they serve us from the pot that was still cooking ;)! Don't know, we were the first ones in there!!

On the table are about 3 varieties of chutney pudis and a pickle. You never really touch them because your banana leaf is so laden with goodies.

Then the rasam and sambar follow with the rice. Even the rice is more like the thick village quality. Is this deliberate? They could easily serve better quality rice.

The meal ends with fruit salad with a mini scoop of icecream of local Bangalore standard. The fruits are mashed, what a put off :( and it even had mango pieces with the skin on! I would like to skip the fruit salad with icecream business in any thali restaraunt in Bangalore. I have never liked what they serve, whether it was MTR, Maiya's or this Kamat.

Yeah but I liked the sweet paan and the banana they serve at the end. Very traditional.

You pay a 140 Rs. for a special Thali on a weekend here. On the whole a good experience. I like to sit there and spend time on an unhurried lunch but as a regular I must learn to weed out what I don't like about the food.

Jolad roti and Vangi Rassa, Moog dal Kosumbari, raita, Green Vatana bhaaji and Methi dal in the back

Another thing I have noticed a schedule for inhouse musical performances pasted in the lift but whenever I have gone there I have never seen or heard any. My friends the Chorghades have been luckier, they were able to catch on some of those.

Kamat is dependable when I have to ensure that Dad will enjoy eating out. He is a thali person these days, age changes people you see and plus just a day before he gave me company at Domino's for lunch so this lunch out was for him.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Cauliflower Dum Biryani

for lunch after a visit to Rajarajeshwari Temple

Rajarajeshwari Temple

On the outskirts of Bangalore is a beautiful suburb called Rajarajeshwari Nagar. It is home to a more beautiful temple. We were planning to visit it since almost a year. This 4 day break finally made it possible. Here in the south the Alankar seva (decoration) is really wonderful. The Goddess looked resplendent in all her finery. The darshan was calming and I was absolutely still for a moment and felt a glow inside and that traveled to my face instantly.

The construction work of the smaller temples in the complex is still going on. It is a pleasure to see sculptors work with modern tools while they retain designs and the ancient art.

sculptors at work

The walls are used to make designs for sculpting. It is evident a lot of geometry is the base for it.

Designs for sculpting and the sculpted pillars on the Garbha gruha of Chakreshwar temple in the same complex

We took Chimi along and no one objected to her presence in the entire temple complex. I did not take her in the Mantapa though. She is very quite during drives I had noted when I had taken her to the vet so she deserved this visit too. She loves to sit on the floor of the auto and rest her head on my feet as she watches the vehicles go by but just to be extra careful I prop her between Dad and me.

We returned home just in time to make lunch. I had a cauliflower that was looking good so Dum Biryani it was.


2 cups large cauliflower florets
2 onions sliced thin
2 tomatoes chopped fine
2 tablespoons oil
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
1/2 cup curd
1/2 cup chopped cilantro

1 green chili
small piece ginger
4-5 cloves of garlic

1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 cup raw rice

1 cup raw rice

salt as required

Make a paste of the green chili, garlic and ginger. Keep aside.

Heat oil in a wok. Fry the sliced onions in it till crisp and golden. Save them.

In the same oil splutter the mustard seeds. Then add the cauliflower florets. Stir to coat them with oil. Add the tomatoes and chili, ginger garlic paste then cover and cook till the florets are softened and the tomatoes have disintegrated into a paste. Add the spices at this point and the curd and salt. Cover and let it simmer for a while. Put off the heat and add the chopped cilantro. The cauliflower masala is ready.

Meanwhile in two boxes steam the rice in a pressure cooker. Wash the raw rice. Put 1 cup of rice in one box, mix in salt as per taste and 3/4 cup water. In the second box put 1/2 cup of the washed rice with 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric and 1/2 cup water. Steam for just one whistle. Let it cool completely before opening.

Remove the 2 rice separately on 2 plates. Fluff it up with a fork.

Now in a flat pan layer the biryani. First a layer of half of the white rice then half of the fried onions. Now a layer of half of the cauliflower masala. Then a layer of half of the yellow rice. The second layer of cauliflower masala. Now mix the remaining half of the white rice and remaining half of the yellow rice. Spread it at the top and then sprinkle the remaining fried onions on the top. Now keep the pan on heat and cover it. Let it sit for about 10 mins. Slide off the rice off the pan carefully into a serving bowl taking care not to disturb the layers.

While serving scoop up from the bottom to get all the layers.

This Biryani is a complete meal in it self. I served fried papad along with it and slices of mango for desert. The Cauliflower Dum Biryani is tasty, not so spicy and moist.

More of the temple....

The Gopuram and the Swarn Khamb in front of the sanctorium

The watch tower that gives a view of the entire complex. This is where I took the long shot of the temple (1st pic.) and the garlands for sale.

The dome just before the gopuram is where all the preparations for pooja are done. It is also a place for homa-havan (fire sacrifice and worship)

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Chimi's First Vaccine Shots


We went to the Vet on 7th May 09 to get Chimi her first vaccine shots.
  • Nobivac Rabies
The injections were painful and she cried out and turned defensive, baring her teeth on the helper.

The Vet gave 3 tablets for deworming. The dose prescribed was 1/2 tablet crumbled in milk twice a day.

Also two syrups
  • Elcoplex: 1/2 teaspoon with milk twice a day.
  • Calciwel-12: 1/2 teaspoon with milk twice a day.
We have to visit again at the end of this month for Booster vaccines.

She is eating well but has become fussy about walking. She cries out if I try to hold her. I have to get the skin treatment done too but will wait till she is better.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Navalkol Moog Dal

I had taken a break from work for 4 days to let my injured elbow and shoulder heal. It is an occupational hazard to be sitting at a laptop all day and night. Work was hectic last couple of months and my online pursuits add to the trouble so finally I needed rest. Just the rest has relieved the pain.

While I was at home expected some respite from cooking and cleaning but no matter what till I have steam I got to keep going thinks the Dad. He has also been sulking a bit after Chimi has come home. His share of attention is now distributed. So I was cooking twice a day which is one time less than when I am home on normal days.

Dad knows I don't like smelly stuff. Navalkol or knol khol is not one of my favorite vegetables. I find it Ugra or having sharp odor. It is also called Kohlrabi is what I learnt through blogs. It is a swollen stem that forms the vegetable.

Dad instructing me, "make it with chana dal." Chana dal won't cook fast, so I used Moog dal instead. While it was cooking I tasted it for salt and actually liked it. I did not want to eat the bhaaji with chapati however I made stuff parathas with the leftovers and they tasted delicious.


1 Navalkol/ Kohlrabi grated thick
1/2 cup moog dal
1/2 teaspoon mustard
1/4 teaspoon asafoetida
1 teaspoon red chili powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1 teaspoon cumin powder
2 teaspoons oil

Heat oil in a wok. Do the seasoning with mustard and asafoetida. After crackling it add the grated Navalkol stir it to coat with oil. Follow in with moog dal. Mix and add water, about 2 glasses. Add the spice powders. Let is cook on medium for 10 mins. Stir well to avoid the moog dal from sticking to the bottom. Add more water if the bhaaji is drying out.

Stir and let it simmer with lid on for a while till the moog dal is cooked all thru and looks fluffy. Add the salt and cover and cook for 5 mins.

I served it with phulka for just Dad. as I skipped lunch. Break a piece of phulka and scoop up the bhaaji or put it on the roti and roll it up. It is non messy and satisfying. It turned out rather fragrant and that surprised me.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Chimi is here ~~

Chimi Anjali, my baby.

The story goes like this...

I was looking for a pup to bring home and chanced on Amy. I smsed Karan to ask if Amy had found a home yet? He called up to tell that I had missed her. She had found a home just last week. Then he mentioned that there is one pup at Anand Chhaaya. It was really sweet of Karan to get me connected with Jayshree. She sent me the picture below.

The black coat reminded me of my Pom, Ebony. I was looking for a baby she looked big. I was concerned a bit if she would be comfortable in my small house. I however needed her. There was something pulling inside me the moment I saw her pic. All this happened yesterday.

This morning I was eagerly waiting to talk to Jayshree. She briefed me about her story. She was born near a bakery and the bakery owner and his wife cared for her. Then one day Jayshree heard that a car had run over the pups foot. She rushed her to the vet put her foot in a cast. After that incident she kept her in her home and she has been with her since then. She is about 3-4 months old.

I fixed up with Jayshree and her family decided to come over to my place with her. I decided to go meet them on the main road so it would be easy for them to find my home. As soon as I met her in the car itself she was all over me. I loved her instantly!!

She is a beauty with a shiny coat. Jayshree had already put a collar on her and she shashayed around my house as soon as she entered. She took to my Dad easily too.

She was not as big as she looked in the picture that made me more happy because I want to build a bond right from the young age. She will grow with me now.

Though she reminded me of Ebony I did not want to give her the same name. She is an Indian mix breed showing traces of a lab is what Jayshree says. So I named her Chimi, after the beautiful Katkari girl who came to my village to sell Karvanda when we were kids.

Chimi is short for Chimney (Marathi) or sparrow I think. It has so much love in its sound.

So here is Chimi dear friends!! Chimi Anjali like Anjali Narayan as is the South Indian tradition.

Thanks Karan. A ton of thanks for Jayshree and family!!!

Green Chili Pickle

I can be really pungent in my remarks. Tell me what would you have done in this situation.

He: I want to return the pay check. I have not given output this month.
(Fact is he has been slogging but results may show a little later. Thank God he has a sensible boss, who stopped him from doing it.)
Me: Slap my forehead. Takes me a min to say something. Why do you have to make things complex always? There is a kid to be taken care of and still in school.
He: There is no end to the aspirations and providing feed for that.
Me: There are the social responsibilities you are committed to.
He: Shrugs and yada yada...
Me: Misfit, I muttered under the breath!

Even if I am a green chili so be it. If only He realize that life cannot be romanticized and reality bites harder when decisions are impulsive. Don't I know, I have done things differently in life but I din't have any binding responsibilities then. I have learnt the hard way that there has to be a balance in our objective and subjective career and I myself have not been able to achieve it yet.

No metaphor here, come lets make a Green chili pickle out of real fresh ones atleast they will enhance a meal in the near future and the now pungent green chilies would taste good later.


250 gms Green chilies
3 tablespoons mustard seeds
1 tablespoon turmeric
1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
1 teaspoon asafoetida
1/2 cup salt
1/2 cup oil
4 tablespoons of lemon juice

Lets get the powders done first. To start, dry roast the fenugreek seeds. Grind them in a dry grinder to powder. Add the mustard seeds to the same grinder and powder coarsely. Though most pickles ask for mustard dal or split yellow mustard, ground whole mustard too does no harm. I keep the skin of the mustard seeds too.

Then cut the green chilies into tiny pieces and transfer to a large bowl. Sprinkle on it the ground mix of fenugreek seeds and mustard. Add the turmeric, salt and asafoetida. Mix well. Keep aside.

Heat the oil in a kadhai/ wok to smoking point. Put off the heat. Let it cool completely.

Now mix the chilies and spices in the oil. Follow in with the lemon juice. Mix well. Store in clean container. This pickle is ready to eat in a weeks time.

Since the raw mangoes didn't arrive from Mumbai. I have not made any other pickles this year. I like pickles and chunda made only with Rajapuri raw mangoes and we don't get those here. If I do run out of pickle later this year, I plan to make my mother's sweet lemon pickle. If I make it will post it here for sure.

I've planned to make this green chili pickle last for 6 months but let see what will be the actuals.

Before I sign off let me say "I am proud of you Misfit" :) even though I don't agree.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

I am floored by Onnondonnu Chernnadi ~~

I come home everyday from office and want to watch some TV while having dinner. Easy eh...naah. I get to watch the news on my favorite AajTak and then Dad compulsively switches over to Asianet, Idea Star Singer. He has been following it since the last 2 years. I used to get bugged earlier as none of us understand Malayalam. He argued you don't need to understand the language to understand and appreciate music. Right so the remote is all yours Baba!

Yesterday I was floored completely by this song I heard on that same program.

The song gets over at 4.20/6.44

I loved it because it is this unusual combo of the female bass & male high pitch singing. I loved it for Sharath's singing, he is a talented composer and not many composers can sing like him. I actually did not mind that little strain in his voice. I don't understand Malayalam but it kinda made me visualize a man pouring his heart out to his lover and the yearning in it.

This night I listened to it countless times. I have to dedicate it to the scorpio, born in the intellect. He does not like to own up that he visits here :)

Found the lyrics so I could understand atleast a bit I mean actually just a few words. I also found the one from the film. Now I am struggling to mark the one in the film as original because Sharath must have sung it even before Shankar as he was composing it.

While I was passive to Idea Star Singer and its host Ranjini Haridas in the last 2yrs, wondering what she was doing on a singing reality show, I was pleasantly surprised by this rendition.

Song: Onnondonnu Chernnadi
Film: Thirakkadha (2008)
Music: Sharath
Lyrics: Rafeeq Ahmed
Singer: Shankar Mahadevan,Ranjini Haridas

onnodonnu chernnaadi vaanin neelamaelaappu thedum thoomani thumbikal
doore pon mukil thoni neenthum neela neerazhi pole saandhya mounaambaram
mazhathornna paathayil nanavaarnna moodalil
athidoorayaay koodu athileraan poraamo ?
onnodonnu chernnaadi vaanin neelamaelaappu thedum thoomani thumbikal

man tharikal ponnaay...
[ranjini:] sandhyae sandhyae ee dinam maayunna naeram
poaroo nenchil chaayumee nadiyil neenthaam
[ranjini:] ponnum meenaay nee nadiyaekaantha vaasam
etho raavin vaathil chaari
doora nilpoo oru kaavalmaadamo ?
onnodonnu chernnaadi vaanin neelamaelaappu thedum thoomani thumbikal
doore pon mukil thoni neenthum neela neerazhi pole saandhya mounaambaram

nin puzhayil mungaam
[ranjini:] pande pande ee mannil puthanja kinaakkaal
dooram thorum maamara nizhalaay neelaam
[ranjini:] chellakkaatil ini thookaam ee pookkal
vaadaamalli kaadin chaare
aaro neetti oru deepanaaLamo? (onnodonnu...)
[ranjini:] (onnodonnu...)
onnodonnu chernnaadi vaanin neelamaelaappu thedum thoomani thumbikal


Now listen to the Film version & download

This song is also for my friends S and D to make peace for one amongst them was only teasing them for beings Mallus. Anyways with their blessings that one will be born Mallu for the next 3 births ;) !

Now will one of you translate the song for me?

Vinaya hope you too like this song...

On Trail