Setback Saturdays!

Kot Samāba 7 card stud strategy If Julius Caesar had to ‘Beware of the Ides of March’, I’m sure that somewhere in my horoscope it says ‘Watch out for Saturdays’. The most horrendous of calamities befall me on this particular day of the week for reasons hard to fathom. My younger daughter, Zoë, has, on two different occasions, both Saturdays, frightened the living daylights out of us, events that have contributed to my premature greyness, and early morning calls that inevitably only deliver sad tidings (for no one wakes us up at an ungodly hour to announce a birth or an engagement!)  have often been received on this particular day of the week. I have begun to notice a pattern, and so this morning I should have been better composed when the glass top of my four burner stove suddenly fragmented into a thousand pieces – the suddenness and the shock of it reducing me to tears. The breakfast of puttu and kadalai curry that I had planned on had to be put, temporarily, on hold, till nerves were calmed and a certain amount of clearing up, done. The breakfast menu was then dished out for lunch as I was still in a foul mood and had no intention of doing more than what was absolutely necessary in the food department. So puttu and kadalai curry it was! Now the puttu that I’m talking about is not the traditional rice puttu of Kerala but rava (Semolina) puttu that is the only kind of puttu that is made and relished at home (despite having a full-blown Malayalee among us). As it quite often happens when it comes to certain dishes, I wonder. Is Rava Puttu Anglo-Indian fare or has the family imbibed it from the dominant food culture in Pondicherry? Do homes outside the Territory make it too? The taste is very different from the rice variety, it is made very differently, the inclusion of raisins and cashewnuts fried in ghee and tossed in towards the end is unique to it, but rava puttu is consumed either with bananas and sugar or with kadalai curry (not forgetting grated coconut) in the same manner the latter is. The unfortunate incident, not withstanding, we did enjoy the breakfast-served-for-lunch fare while we waited for the service centre to pick up the stove to have the glass top replaced. However, the fact remains that Saturdays are just not my days!

Thakali Thithipu

more video poker mobile If you are from Pondicherry, you’d guess right away what Thakali Thithipu (Tomato Sweet) is and what it is served with! And if you are not, then I’m compelled to extol the virtues of this simple but delectable accompaniment to the universally loved Biryani. Having tasted Biryani from different states across India, I am yet to find Thakali Thithipu set out along side the usual accessories such as, Curd Raitha and Yennai Kathirika (Spicy masala brinjals loaded with oil) anywhere else, except in my hometown. Tomato sweet is not the tomato jam that some homes make as it differs in texture. It serves as a delicious digestive to the heavy biryani, especially when you don’t know when to stop eating, urged on by succulent mutton falling tenderly off the bone and melting in one’s mouth. No other biryani works for me like Mutton Biryani! Yum, yum, yum. Thakali Thithipu is easy to make, so here comes the recipe for anyone who’d like to give it a chance with biryani. One kilo of tomatoes would need 800 grams of sugar. Dice the tomatoes small (don’t puree them as the taste changes) and put the diced tomatoes and the sugar together into a vessel. The vessel needs to be a lot bigger than the contents as the mixture will rise as it boils. To the tomatoes and the sugar add two cinnamon sticks (one and a half inches each) and about 5 cloves. Put it on the stove and let it cook, slowly. Do not add water at all. As the mixture boils, it will also slowly thicken and reduce in quantity. There are two ways to know when to take the tomato mixture off the stove. 1. The frothy texture on the surface will reduce considerably and, 2. The mixture takes approximately an hour to cook to completion. Combining your knowledge of one and two above will help you know when to turn off the flame. The end result should be a semi-solid mixture and on cooling will thicken further. And before I forget, before taking it off the fire, fry cashewnuts and raisins in a little ghee and add to the tomato. So do try this out, and it will be bye-bye to Gelucil or Alcool de Mente after a heavy biryani lunch. Feedback on your experiment with Thakali Thithipu would be much appreciated. Bon appetit!

Food for Thought and Some Soup Helps too!

can you get ivermectin in canada Chichibu I fell in love with the written word from the moment I learnt to read, and that combined with the family’s zeal for perusing everything that is printed, nurtured the relationship. My father bore the brunt of having a reading daughter. He enrolled me in the children’s section of the Romain Rolland Library and made the effort to take me there, riding on the carrier of his cycle (How many times I got the poor man into trouble with Mum, by carelessly dangling my legs into the rotating spokes – but Da’s escapades with me is for another telling). While I scanned the rows for books that interested me, he would patiently seat himself on one of the little chairs and read the newspaper that the librarian obligingly let him have. The library only permitted its members to borrow two books at a time and vacations, especially, saw me getting through a book a day and then Da had to pedal me back (despite my propensity for mischief ) for a return and borrow. That was when I got my first bicycle. It served three purposes – I would now be able to go to the library by myself, Daddy could depart on his transfer happy that his daughter would not be without her books and most importantly he would not be blamed, any further, for my bruises and scars. Every once in a while, the cycle would be replaced, most usually at Christmas, as I regularly outgrew them. My cycle gave me the much needed mobility to reach other libraries as well. The Little Lending Library on Mission Street was a big favourite, and often, squating between the rows of racks I would finish a couple of Archie Digests before setting off with a few novels for home consumption. When I try telling youngsters these days, who turn up their noses when it comes to reading books, that they are missing out on an entire universe of wonder, adventure magic and what not, their indulgent grins at this tok-tok Aunty’s passionate advocacy makes me want to give them one solid kottu. Their curiosity seeks fulfillment from sources other than the printed form and while our imaginations ploughed through descriptions, the media versions have robbed them of that mental exercise. The feel of a book, the intoxicating odour of one fresh from the press, the pleasure of turning the pages, the sadness when you realise that you are at the end of a wonderful tale…nothing surpasses the pleasure. And doing that on a rainy evening with a bowl of piping hot pumpkin soup and a few slices of garlic buttered bread – just perfect. I know all’s well in my world!