This week we celebrated Ugadi, the New Year day celebrated in Karnataka and some other parts of India. Yugadi or Ugadi means New Beginnings. It is the first day after the first new moon. It is the day after the March equinox. The festival, like many other festivals in India, is celebrated with wearing new clothes. They also start the day by eating a mixture of neem leaves (which is very bitter) and jaggery (unrefined cane sugar). This signifies that in life we have both sweet and bitter experiences. As a kid, I always ate more jaggery than neem, saying that I would life to be sweet always. J All festivals in India are always celebrated with good food. Each festival has its own special food. On Ugadi, you eat holige or obbattu (my kids call it a sweet chapati, usually filled with dal or coconut) and Maavinkai Chitranna (Raw Mango rice). This is also the time when we find a lot of raw mangoes in the market.
3 cups cooked rice
1 raw mango, grated
2 tbsp grated coconut (optional)
¼ cup peanuts
1-2 green chillies chopped
1 tsp mustard
½ tsp turmeric
1 tsp urad dal
a pinch of asafoetida
salt to taste
6 curry leaves
2 tbsp chopped cilantro
Cook rice and keep aside to cool. Leftover rice works well too.
In a pan, heat oil. Add asafoetida, mustard and urad dal.
When mustards splutter, add curry leaves, turmeric and peanuts and fry till peanuts for a minute. Keep mixing to avoid the peanuts to burn.
Add chillies, coconut and the mango and fry for a few minutes. Add rice and salt. Mix well and cook till rice is heated through. Garnish with cilantro and serve with raita, coconut chutney, papad or potato chips.
Note: A more common chitranna is made with lemon. Replace mango with the juice of one lemon. For lemon chitranna or lemon rice, add one chopped onion and a tsp of chopped ginger when you add the chillies to fry. Add lemon juice just before you add the rice and mix. This is a great dish for Easter with its vibrant yellow colour.
In school, we have been talking about Karnataka and the cuisine of Karnataka. In honour of my state, I am posting a recipe for akki (rice) roti. This is usually eaten for breakfast but I made it for dinner. It is quite simple to make and makes for a quick dinner. Most of the ingredients are usually in the pantry.
Makes six rotis. This can be made in 30 minutes.
rice flour 1 1/2 cups
chopped onions (1 cup)
chopped green chillies (1 tbsp) – increase or decrease depending on how spicy you would like
chopped cilantro (coriander leaves) – 2 tbsp
grated carrot – 2 tbsp
2 tbsp grated coconut (optional)
salt to taste
water (around 1 cup)
parchment paper or plastic sheet
Place all ingredients except water in a bowl.
Add water, little by little and knead to form a soft dough. Make balls.
On a parchment paper, add a tsp of oil, press gently with moist fingers to form a round roti
To a skillet, add a tsp of oil and gently place the roti on the skillet. (Be careful so that oil does not splatter on you). Make sure skillet in on medium.
After a minute, carefully flip the roti and cook on the other side. (Sometimes it may break up, but it still tastes good)
Serve with coconut chutney or tomato chutney. Goes well with a bowl of yoghurt too.
Newton’s first law of motion states that an object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force. The definition of inertia is that inertia is the resistance of any physical object to any change in its state of motion.
If you apply it to life, most often, people are very happy to stay within their comfort zone, doing what they usually do. I am one of them. I am very happy doing the things I do, staying in the same city, doing the things I like. I am not lazy and work very hard in whatever I am doing. So in terms of Newton’s law, I continue in the same direction unless acted upon by an external force.
Thankfully, I have had many external forces in my life which have made me do things I usually would not. One of them is moving across continents. I was never happy with the move at first but eventually have enjoyed my life there. I have four continents to go! I would not change anything if I had a chance to.
This year, I have a new external force, the MA course which expects me to learn again; blogging, writing essays, doing online courses, learning about philosophy of thinking. I suppose once you get out of your comfort zone, you start trying out new things which is good!!
In my next blog, I will write about what I started a couple of months ago.
“A cup of tea would restore my normality.” [Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy]
― Douglas Adams
Every evening, I sit with a cup of tea. It is my time of solitude. It is my time…
My kids, even when they were very little, knew that when mom was sitting with her tea, they should give her space. I even have a cup which says ‘I need my space’. Different people relax differently. I have friends who run or swim. I need my tea and space. I work as a teacher and love my job. But after a long day…
I suppose, this is the time I also think. I reflect on the day that went by, on what I have to do for the rest of the day. So here I am writing this, drinking my cup of tea.
So yes, a cup of tea does restore my normality and lets me function the rest of the day. This time is like a timeout, a time to recharge.
“We make the road by walking”- Myles Horton and Paulo Freire
I have been meaning to start a blog for a long time. But, there was always the apprehensions of what to write. I always wondered that there may be too many blogs anyway. So, why would people read mine.
As part of a course I am doing, and as part of an assignment I have to write a blog. “We make the road by walking”- so this is my attempt at walking the (blog) road. This will be a blog of many things, ‘Conversations’- my love for food and baking, my teaching practices, my assignments and my thoughts.