Friday, February 25, 2011

Try these quick recipes...

I tried out some quick pointers I got from cookery shows last week. Some of them turned out to be good. You could try these too...

a) Add some finely chopped orange peel along with the tomatoes when you make rasam. The flavour and aroma are awesome. (I think I've also caught the 'awesome' bug from playback singer Sujatha, who keeps using this adjective when judging Airtel Super Singer 3.)

b) Take some curry leaves and make it into a thick paste. Add this paste along with some finely chopped ginger, finely chopped and roasted cashews, chopped curry leaves, and a dash of grated or finely chopped coconut (optional) to dosa flour, and make 'Karuveppilai Dosai'. I believe it's a Chettinad delicacy. Tasted very good, and is also nutritious because curry leaves are iron-rich.

c) Grind half a cup of green chillies and half a cup of coriander into a fine paste. Take a kadai, heat til oil, season mustard seeds and gram dal, add the paste and saute till the raw smell goes. Add a few tablespoons of thick tamarind paste, a little bit of salt and a good dose of jaggery. Boil the mixture till it thickens. Bottle and refrigerate. This chutney can last for more than a month. You can use it as a side-dish for curd rice, dosa and roti, or even as a sauce for bhel puri.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Back to blogging

Found a little extra time today, and I thought I'll write a post about a few new recipes I tried this week. "It's been a few months since I last blogged," I thought, and opened Blogger! I was shocked to realise it has been over a year. But, I would have neither realised nor believed it if anybody had told me that it has been a year. Time has flown that fast.

With a home and a toddler to take care of, somehow the blog got relegated to the lower rungs of my priority chart. I could say Teju took up all my time, but I do not blame him for it. It's a choice I made--to give him the highest priority. Because, that is the greatest pleasure a mom can have anyway... to take care of her child hands-on.

The elders at home used to keep telling me to enjoy every minute spent with my child in the first few years, however hectic life might be. And, they were absolutely right. Well, the parent-child bonding will remain the same even later, so why are the initial few years so important? For many reasons.

First of all, in the initial few years, the child needs you most--for safety, reassurance, learning, and reasons aplenty. So, it is good to be around. Secondly, in the first few years the home is the child's primary society and we are his closest friends. As he grows up, the child's time gets shared with other societies--school, friends, extra-curricular activity groups, and so on. So, the initial few years give you an opportunity to be with your child almost all the time... something you might yearn for in later years, when he is away at university! More than anything else, it is fun to observe every stage in the transformation from baby to toddler. It is enjoyable and enlightening too. As the child grows, so do we. There is so much to learn--unconditional love, the power to forgive and forget, the ability to learn from the environment, so much more. Every hour brings a lesson in science, philosophy, psychology, nutrition... and these days, even technology too!

When Hurricane Teju is around, time no longer follows international standards or physical rules. When he drags the chair into the kitchen, threatening to climb on the kitchen top, a minute seems like a second; when he lies on my lap sleepy but unwilling to doze, the same minute seems like an hour--once again, it is relativity at work.

When Teju wants to, he hangs on to every word I say and repeats like a parrot, in the same inaccurate but cute way. When I want him to, he behaves as if his ears are out of order!

He loves to mock all that we do. When I clean and mop, he follows me with another broom and cloth. When we try to photograph him, he wants to grab the camera and do the same. He wants to work on the same laptop that I use (so now you know why I get so much less time to work than before). He wants to read the same books that we do, and eat the same foods that we eat. But, when we play with his toys, he doesn't want to follow suit!

His favourite haunt is the kitchen, and his favourite playthings are the utensils in the kitchen. At times, it is so much fun to watch him cook like a pro. At other times, it gets a bit tough, especially when he catches hold of tomatoes and purees them!

He loves to recall the day's happenings to Vikram when he returns from office. Teju can still not speak in sentences, but it is amazing how he does manage to tell Vikram about everything we did throughout the day using his limited vocabulary, actions and sound effects!

Sigh! There are innumerable such instances, every day, when I think of how lucky I am to be able to be by the child's side and observe all his doings. Although all these experiences are indelibly written in my mind, I wish to record/jot these down so I can recall them later in life, whether to pep myself up in more boring times (Daffodils?) or to show to Teju when he is older. But, well, we come back to the same problem... with Teju around, there is barely any time for anything but the routine tasks and urgent work!