Monthly Archives: August 2010

From the other side of a long vacation

We got back this morning after a long vacation – almost six weeks in India and one in Bangkok.

It feels like it is going to take some time to settle back in. For a while this afternoon, I found myself just wandering around the apartment, not sure about where to begin or what to do.

This is the first time after a holiday like this that I did not unpack right after getting back home. In fact, after a very nice lunch of rajma chawal – thank you, Shefali ! – the girls and I slept all afternoon, which was a first for me.

That made me wonder if this is one more sign that old age is creeping up on me…. But then, later this evening I was glad to see the upside of the passage of years – children who are older too and therefore able to help me unpack and put things away. So much so that the girls even took care of the most important job for today – removing the curry leaves from their stems – I brought back a big bunch of these – so that they could be frozen without delay.

Thank you, Indira and Noor, for all your willing, good-tempered help today.

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Filed under LE FUTTED BALLON-life with the girls

3 recipes to try

Three recipes that I definitely want to try, after eating these things during the last few weeks in India, are – Patrani Macchi, Ginger Chutney and Prawn Pulav.

To be continued…

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Filed under THINGS TO EXPLORE

Dara Shikoh, Mughal Prince

A story – about followers of Sufism – in William Dalrymple’s  “Nine Lives” refers to Dara Shikoh, younger brother of the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb and a man who was executed by the latter for writing in his book “Mingling of the Two Oceans” about the commonalities between Islam and Hinduism.

That sounds like a fascinating bit of history to explore.  To be continued…

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Filed under NOT ABOUT FOOD, THINGS TO EXPLORE

Aloo Kulchas

During our stay in Jamshedpur recently- we were there for three weeks till we got to Mumbai this last weekend – I had the most amazing aloo kulchas at Gunchu Didi’s home, which she’d bought from the canteen in her school where they make these to order. In fact I liked them so much that when she and Usha Masi and Vijay Bhaiya cam home for dinner, I asked her to buy some for that evening too.

I can’t remember the last time an Indian bread made such an impression on me; not, I think, since the delicious, wonderfully soft and thin Maharashtrian polis that Vasanti made for us when we visited her in Pune once.

So this is going to be one of the first new recipes I am going to try my hand at once I get back to my kitchen in France.

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Filed under Baked Main Meal Dishes, Breads, Breakfast Ideas

A Reading List

Aditi went book-shopping the day before we came here to Colaba to spend a couple of days with her and Vasanti. A couple of the books that she bought sound like they’d be fun to read, so those are the one’s I am starting this list with.

  • Cloud 9 minus one by Sangeeta Mall
  • Keep the Change by Nirupama Subramanian

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Filed under A READING LIST, NOT ABOUT FOOD

Holiday Reading- India, August 2010

William Dalrymple’s “City of Djinns”, a history of Delhi, was fascinating to read.

I am now reading “Nine Lives” by the same author. It narrates the stories of followers of different religious traditions in India and thus offers a wonderful insight to faiths and customs such as Jainism and the theyyam dance form of Kerala that I knew very little about.

During the last 3 weeks in Jamshedpur, I also read several books from Ma’s collection of books in Hindi, some of them for the third or fourth time. But those old classics by Sharat Chandra or Premchand still make for engaging reading and the stories of authors like Malati Joshi and Mannu Bhandari have contemporary themes – many of them are women-centric – which resonate with me.

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Filed under A READING LIST, NOT ABOUT FOOD

A little thrill…a piece of my writing in print!

“Chicken Soup for the Indian Mother’s Soul” – this series is published by Westland Books in India – is out, with this essay (a revised, edited version) about Ma in it.

Good feeling, that 🙂

Showed the book  to Indira last night, and she actually read through the piece !

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Filed under NOT ABOUT FOOD, THE STUFF OF MEMORIES