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 unpardonable...you 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!!!

33 comments:

sheba said...

Thank you dear! its a wonderful post!!!Im humbled and thankful for ur kind words!Yes !! Chai it is!

indugetscooking said...

Enjoyed the write up :) . And always do enjoy a good cup of tea. and lovely lovely paintings...

MiniBinoy said...

Hi Ginzzzz, yesss sure "lovely chai and paintings"!!:)..so wn is ur next trip to our li'l hometown..? will definitely catch u for a gud cup of tea as soon as i rch thr.be prepared ok?:)

Medeja said...

Your friend is really talented :)
and chai is something we are having at least once in a day :)

Cardamom Hills said...

The chai photo is terrific =) rocking!!!!

Umm Mymoonah said...

Oh! My ,very talented... The paintings looks amazing. Your chai looks perfect.

Mrs K said...

So true Thoma,the first thing I look forward to before I start my day is tea,and it better be the best.I have more as the day proceeds and even more as the day ends and it kills me to have a tea made half heartedely:( Sheba's dexterity at Tanjore painting makes these paintings come alive and you can tell it is meditation for her. Enjoyed the post :)!!!

Jill Colonna said...

Lol! Looks like a really good chai: didn't realise you drink so much of it. Great photos, too!

Dimah said...

your chai looks perfect and delicious!
The paintings look beautiful!

SS said...

Hello Thoma J,

Hey i like that sharkkara take on your name.
And you have a hear blog riot of food colours and likings...
It is especially impressive when you choose to dedicate a blog post to express your admiration for a dear friend or someone whose work you passed by and got hooked.

Among the 50 spread you did in 2010, i have zeroed in on plantain beef(since i have some kerala beef and plantain in my fridge right now) and the various bakes esp d'nuts and presto reminds me that i havent baked for a while..and tempts to do one soonest...

Great coming in here and looking you up..happiness doubles when i chance upon a kerala blogger cook or viceversa...

kitchenmorph said...

sheba: thank you. pleasure to rant on you diva!

indu: thank you. still a cricket widow?

mini chechi: yea, in kerala end of the month. when you coming? i'm waiting to feast on your needle work!

med: thanks much. enjoy your once a day chai :)

mj: oh yea, you like it? tht's nice. thank you. sth called fluke photography :P

umm: thanks much. baklavas over?

K: thank you for your sweet words.

jill: yes we do. generally malayalee women don't like their men staying at home ;P

dimah: thanks dimah. glad you back.

SS: wow, finally a keralite excited about another! thank you. saw your pickle. will eat it in the night :P

G Mathew George said...

Great write up. I guess I don't fit the typical malayalee bill cos I don't drink chai! Lovely pic sis! I guess the old camera is working well now.

Hopie said...

Oh yay! Thank you for the recipe. You're so sweet. I wonder if I could find that brand of tea here. I'll have to look around.

Elisabeth said...

Hi Thoma-Such a talented friend you have. Lovely work of art. Beautiful paintings.
Love chai tea, but I drink tea, just plain...although I would love to try your delicious recipe of the "perfect chai"!

Plateful said...

Hey Thoma, you are such a warm, sweet soul and I'm so happy to have connected with you! It's very selfless of you support your friends or even consequential strangers and dedicate a post to them. Your positive attitude and energy is truly infectious (Oh yea!) Proud of you, my friend!

I have to say that Sheeba is a truly talented artist as evident from her beautiful paintings. Looking at those pics, I'm inspired to take my pencil and start sketching again (you see, I have a passion for painting and I used to indulge in this activity a lot before marriage)

Now, to the chai part. Tell me about it! I have to admit that I'm addicted to tea as opposed to my hubby who usually likes just one cup and that too in the morning - how could he?!! ;)

Suchi said...

gosh, what do I comment about the paintings? I can't even find the right words- and I wonder if my words will even justify the true talent of the artist! All I can say is they are truly amazing! espeically the ganesha painting is WOW.. BTW chai, I can drink it anytime!

Cakewhiz said...

Those paintings are awesome!
And i am pretty bad at making tea ...so this recipe really helps. I am literally scared of making tea when we have guests over and usually end up asking them for coffee instead..lol.

A little bit of everything said...

Hi Thoma, your friend is so talented. the paintings are so beautiful.
i'd love to enjoy a chai tea with you and hear more about Indian traditions.

Ami's Vegetarian Delicacies said...

hi, I found your name, so sorry I've made a correction in Recognition post.

http://amisvegetariandelicacies.blogspot.com/p/recognition.html

kitchenmorph said...

bro: thank you. well, you don. old is stowed away. new's come.

hopie: thank you. nope. tata has subs in the UK and US. not France :(

elizabeth and roxana: thanks much. and i cracked up reading your comment!! lol. chai is hindi for tea!! my bad. i shd've put in a neat parenthesis there mentioning the translation :)

nashie: thanks much. oh you do pencil sketches. i love them. one of my goood frens used to do but now she moved on to become a leading industrial designer of the country! so you never know....

suchi: thanks a lot. and i'll tell you how things will pan out for you on moving down here!!!!

cakewhiz: i had a good laugh over it lol. yea i do tht too at times coz it's faster to make coffee ;P

ami: thank you. no hassles...

Anna's Table said...

Your friend Sheba is such a talented artist. There is nothing more soothing than a good cup of tea.

Chitra said...

Photos are awesome. Pass that chai here. i really need it now :)

schmetterlingwords said...

Hello Thoma, thank you so much for your lovely comments. You too have a great blog going here... Glad to follow you.. This is an interesting and wonderful write up!! Am yet to explore your other posts.. :-)

Torviewtoronto said...

thank you for the sweet comment hope to see you often
Yes i live in canada and a muslim :)
whipping cream is found in the milk section it is a carton of milk i think it is available in india as i see other bloggers using it
Once you get it you will love it :)
cheers

judyscakesandtreats said...

I have seen your comments on Nash's blogspot so was tempted to peek into your space. It is lovely.. and you have some interesting recipes and the narrative along with it is very personal and superb.

I generally make dip tea but sometimes indulge in the boiled leaves tea. Read your blog about the chai and went home and made lovely chai with ginger and cardamom.

Joyce

Sonia said...

lovely painting and I too enjoyed it over cup of tea... !

judyscakesandtreats said...

Hey Thoma... thanks so much for taking the time to see our blog. If you see the About tag you will note that the blog is Judy's creation but she wanted Syl and me to be a part of the blog with her. I dont know how we can add the follow me feature but we are on facebook. You can check out "Bring on the Chef in You" group. Let me know if you can find us. Both Judy and I are toastmasters. :)

shabs said...

Wowowo , beautiful painting by your friend and your chai pic looks amazing .The chai like you said is indeed a magic potion .Great post :).

kitchenmorph said...

thank you chitra, butterfly, torview, jjs, sonia and shabs...

Smitha said...

I am sorry dear for answering so late...I wanted to do it before and lost track!....I am so sorry...I hope I am not too late in answering!....
I used 1 3/4 lbs of lamb, The recipe asks for 2 lbs.
the recipe asks for a 14oz can of tomatoes...I substitued this with the fresh tomatoes and the 1 tbsp of tomato paste with nearly 4 tbsp of canned tomato puree....use it with caution, add only as much u require, if you think its going to be tangy, use less, u can always add tomato puree in the end if required.
I hope this answers your question!!..I am so sorry again :)) in answering late!
Smitha
Smitha's Spicy Flavors

Smitha said...

BTW...lovely post dear...love all the beautiful paintings...there was one UNcle I knew who used to make these....
The last pic of tea is soo tempting, making me want to go and make some now....its almost evening here :))

kitchenmorph said...

hey sprinter (smitha!)

you're right in time. i'm making it afternoon. but i need to look up my queries as i've forgotten them ;P

thanx for the kind words....Joga? wht's your home town?

Priya's Feast said...

Nice chai with round up with paintings....