Friday 17 April 2020

Cat's Whiskers


Is not a colour

I associate with a crow’s egg.

But there it is

A porcelain blue shell

Cracked just so

It wasn’t me that did it

But the nasty ‘other’ crows

The yolk is bright yellow

And clings to my whiskers

As I leap off the window sill

My whiskers stiffen

And the crow smell lingers

Long after I have licked them clean.

Wednesday 15 April 2020

Perks of Farm Life!

Life on the farm-  work and more work as far as the eye can see.  The calves are having a merry time though!

COBOL - Sometimes you just need to sit down and stare!

Along with the hardships of a farm life come the perks – the perks of having a meal that is almost completely grown on the farm.  

Meet the players on our lunch plate today:

Red Rice – Starting its journey in the first week of June in a protected Rice nursery, then being transplanted in the first week of July under lashing rains out in the open fields, and then growing for three whole months. 

Protected Rice Nursery.
Rice tillers

The Rice grains

And here it is today cooked to perfection, ready to be accompanied by the Palak –dal.

Palak – This is a fast growing variety of local spinach which the locals call  ‘Bombay Basle’  where as the  Malabar Spinach is called just Basle. 

Local Spinach

I  can harvest  a reasonably sized bunch every other week.  Today it finds its way into a simple dal with a jeera tadka.

Raw Jackfruit.  The tall jackfruit trees are laden with green prickly bunches.  There are way more than we can deal with if we allow all to ripen.  So tender jackfruit is one of our favourite accompaniments at lunch. 

Would you like to carry some home ?

Today it is steamed and then stir fried with a dash of white pepper powder.  White pepper is the inner kernel of our normal black pepper.  So it is much spicier than it looks.

Ripened berries of Pepper from which  we get  the white pepper.

Ghee – Is any Indian meal complete without a dollop of ghee?  We have a choice of two varieties of ghee here – Golden yellow Cow ghee and the white Buffalo ghee.  Starring on our plate today is Buffalo ghee – made laboriously by collecting the cream from Madhubala’s milk, fermenting it, churning it to get the butter and then melting  and clarifying it with fragrant leaves – Betel leaf, Curry leaf and Tulsi.  All these make the ghee most fragrant and delicious. 

Madhubala -  Is this angle right - Don't I look prettier this way?

So here it is- our meal for today   

Red Rice, Palak-dal, Tender Jackfruit stir-fry  and a dollop of ghee.

Simple yet  delicious!


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