Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Wordless on Jewellery!!

 by stephanietramontozzi
 by stephanietramontozzi by stephanietramontozzi by stephanietramontozzi

 by stephanietramontozzi
 by stephanietramontozzi

For the original size and more reach Stephanie Tramontozzi in Flickr!!
Do shop at her etsy domain!
     (photo courtesy of Stephanie Tramontozzi © All Rights Reserved)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Windows and Me

My life seems to be mostly shut windows...

As i'm about to open them for a whiff of fresh air i'm asked to close them and leave...for another place and a repeat pattern.

I'm taking a ten-day break to console my tired bones, body and mind.

Till i meet you all again...happy blogging and a life rich in flavours and unwashed vessels :P

This photograph belongs to Subhasini.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Bachelor Boy Series #1

Slow-Cooked Buttermilk/Kachiya Moru

Without much ado lemme put this down. two bachelors requested me for some quick and easy recipes and i'm starting a Bachelor Boy Series :) here we have cooked buttermilk which is a regular unavoidable splash on the kerala rice platters. now if you ask me isn't it easier to have it as curd or buttermilk i would say not necessarily. this tastes really good and doesn't bore you like buttermilk may after some days. plus it has a longer shelf life than buttermilk as it's cooked. i generally make it for a week and put in the refrigerator. and take out a lil each day and warm it slightly.

beaten curd-4 cups
oil-2 tsp
mustard seeds-1/2 tsp
shallots-10 nos
garlic flakes-10 nos
ginger-1/4" piece (optional)
fresh or dried chillies-2-3 cut in two
fenugreek powder-1/2 tsp
cumin powder-1/4 tsp
chilli powder-1/4 tsp
turmeric powder-1/4 tsp
sugar-2 pinch
salt-2 tsp

Add the cumin, turmeric powder and the salt and beat the curd slightly either in a grinder or with a beater OR with a spoon/fork in your hand! slice shallots, garlic and ginger (if you use) thin and break the chillies into two three pieces. wash the curry leaves and let them dry so that they wont sizzle unreasonably in the oil. get your tadka ready (mustard, shallots, garlic, ginger, chillies, curry leaves) in a plate. get the vessel to pour the cooked buttermilk also ready with a lil sugar in it. my mum says the sugar is to balance the flavours.

Add the oil. heat it up nicely and without lowering the flame splutter the mustard seeds and curry leaves. lower the flame and put the shallots, garlic, green chillies and ginger (if you're using). saute them for two mins. add the powders after turning off the gas to avoid them getting burnt. saute for a few secs. turn on the gas. ensure the flame is low and pour the beaten curd slowly and keep stirring. the trickiest part is here. this has to be slow-cooked. it takes around twenty mins. the important thing is to keep stirring; hey you cant multi task here. you fuss and turn on the flame high and the beaten curd curdles and then you call it by your wont be kachiya moru :P once you see the shallots and garlic and chillies surfacing and the curd gets really hot (twenty mins max for 4 cups curd) turn it off, pour into the vessel kept ready without delay.

Stir the moru in the vessel once in a way till it cools. store in the refrigerator or out if the weather is cool enough and have it with steamed rice and pickle (urukai)...mebbe some chicken too hehe.

You can happily do away with the ginger, shallots, chilli powder, cumin powder...these are added more for their medicinal properties than taste. but the indispensable ingredients are mustard seeds, curry leaves, fenugreek powder (it adds the distinct taste and is a health-forte; you can dry roast some fenugreek seeds and splutter these along with the mustard seeds if you cant powder them), garlic (i cant do without these darlings).

I'm linking this to Any One Can Cook Event from Ayeesha's Taste of the Pearl City.

Monday, March 14, 2011


The Sisterhood award has been given to me by Ami. thank you so much! Her blog is an excellent repertoire of vegetarian cuisine, especially mixed rice!!

Rules for taking up this award.
(1) Thank the person who sent you the award and link the blogger.
(2) Copy and paste the logo in your blog.
(3) Share seven things about yourself.
(4) Nominate 15 bloggers.
(5) Comment and let them know of the award.

It's not so easy to know about me :P you've to head here.

Bloggers of my choice to whom i pass this fraternity award:

Thank you!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Chai and Paintings

Sheba is a stay-at-home mom (for the time being) who's forever in a scramble to slot her multifarious activities because her talents are a smidge too many to be cast in one human form. she's a tanjore painter. an OC baker. a classical singer. she resides in the book she reads till she's done with it. my friend she is and a great one too.

Tanjore painting is like meditation for her. when there was a short term course on hear it seemed to be a slam dunk option for her and she dived straight in. she held her first exhibition in nariman point, mumbai in october 2010. she paints to order for choice customers. here are her coveted specimens. 

However, she hates regular cooking and i actually caught her with these words: "I throw up my hands at making a decent cuppa tea." now that's can continue making faces at those run-of-the-mill dishes but not our tea...our kerala tea. me being your friend cannot let you survive like this!!

We in kerala don't scrimp on, at least, tea. in fact men have it in spades if they happen to be at home....sigh. my friends have cracked up at the sight of those drawling incessant slugs we take from our dear mugs of tea. it is elixir for the quintessential malayalee, especially the older generation. the only thing thomas fusses is his cup of tea. give him a slopshod one and his eyes fill...haha

Lemme put down my tea recipe for sheba and hopie (whom i'd promised the kerala way of brewing this magic potion). this is for two cups.

tea (granules/dust)-2 to 21/2 tsp
sugar-3 tsp
milk-1 cup
water-11/4 cups

Mix the water and milk and put on heat. add sugar and let it boil. as it froths up add the tea powder and simmer for two mins. (i realise that if you're impatient with your tea then you end up adding more tea powder; so to economise slow down honey and brew it for a steady two to three mins.) turn on high heat and as the brew froths up turn off heat and quickly cover it with a lid. wait for a couple of secs. take off the lid and strain out the tea. pour into your cups and enjoy the mast chai. we use tata tea premium which is really strong (ek dam kadak). if it's a lighter tea you may have to add three tsps. again, we use skimmed milk here (i mean, it's thin by default, blah). if your milk is creamy/high fat use 11/2 cups water for a cup of milk.

Given this much next time sheba, you've a soiree, i should catch your guests saying not "lovely paintings" but "lovely chai and paintings" rrreeeeeeee!!!