Saturday, February 20, 2010

Vegetable Carving-Monkey

Friends it has been a long time since I posted on this blog. I have lots and lots to share but no time at all. And witting out recipes I find is not easy.  Well here I am with vegetable carving again.
This time its a monkey.

As you can see, the body is made of Pine apple with top cut off and used as a cap. Its hands are brinjals of long variety. The face has been made out of round and yellow cucumber. Its eyes are black grapes secured with tooth picks. Its mouth and ears have been made out of Sweet Lime or Mausambi in Hindi and Battayee in Telugu. All are secured using tooth picks. It has wilted a bit. I could not photograph immediately.

These can be arranged on dining tables or side tables with flowers, foliage or fruit bowls to add beauty.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Fruit Forks Set

I recently bought a fruit fork set. I just could not resist it.


The holder is designed like a brinjal and all the forks have tiny brinjals as handles. Arent they cute? So now you know why I could not resist buying them.....

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Eco Friendly...

I think that India is a country which was and still is near to nature. We Indians have always been treating Nature as our mother and revere all; whether be it rocks, mountains, rivers, trees, animals....We call our rivers too as mothers and worship them. Trees and plants are worshiped-like Tulasi (Indian Basil), Neem and so on... So its no wonder that we used to be environmental friendly in our day to day lives. There are so many instances when we used to be echo friendly. Coating our dwellings with mud and cow dung, using palm leafs for thatching, using clay pots for cooking...list goes on.

But alas with the development we have lost our traditions and also our traditional way of living. In this super fast world today no one has time to follow those good old ways. The major reason for this I feel is ignorance about how eco friendly, scientific or beneficial our traditional ways were for leading a healthy environmentally friendly life, with out polluting our surroundings. But somewhere down the line we have left all our good olden way of living. But I think all is not lost yet.

Here is why I have said that....

In India, especially for South Indians it is quite common to have Plantain, Almond and Coconut trees in their back or front yards. So also it is a  tradition at weddings and other religious or ceremonies  or gatherings to  serve food on large leaves like Plantain or on plates made from leaves (Almond and  Sal ) woven together or made into cups or bowls with the dried veins of the coconut leaf. 

These leaves or plates made from Sal leaves have been in use  for many years for serving  food or snacks  at roadside food stalls or small restaurants in rural and urban areas. They are biodegradable, ech friendly, natural, disposable, hygienic, inexpensive. Many village women earn their living by manufacturing these plates. The ones made from Sal leaf are sold by most of the grocers in urban and rural areas. 

OK now here are the ones which are made from the leaves of Arica Palm (Poka chettu in Telugu ). his is a new development. At least these are being marketed for the first time in our area. I bought some just to test. The sellers said that they can be washed and reused for 15 to 20 times. I haven't used them, but want to share them with you.








They can hold hot or cold, solids or liquids, easy to carry and dispose off. They can be used for picnics and parties. So why don't you try them and save our Earth? What do you say?

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Carrot Peas Stir Fried Rice

Rice is the staple food of South Indians. Its boiled and eaten with various accompaniments. There are many varieties of rice. But its boring to eat plain rice all the time So here is one. I will keep posting in the coming days more of them....

Carrot Peas Stir Fried Rice

Here its served with Hot Rasam.....
Rice                  500 gms
Carrots             250gms
Onions              200 gms
Peas                  150gms
Green Chillies    4-5 
Ginger Garlic paste   2-3 tsps
Coriander greens chopped fine   2 Tbsp
Cardamoms       4-5
Cloves               5-7
Cinnamon           2 pieces  
Bay leaf              1-2
Garam Masala    1tsp  (powder)
Salt                    To taste
Oil                      3 Tbsp

  1. Wash rice in water, two or three times. Add water one and half times  the quantity of rice and pressure cook till two whistles. You can add one tsp oil and one tsp of lemon juice so that the rice is not over cooked and each grain remains separate. Lemon juice makes it whiter.
  2. When the cooker cools down, remove the rice and spread it on a platter. Fluff it with a fork and leave it to cool.
  3. Clean carrots, peel and grate. Chop the onions finely. Slit the chillies length wise. Those who dont like it too spicy can use one or two chillies. Alternately pepper powder can be used. White pepper powder is less spicy.
  4. Now heat oil in a pan. Ghee gives a better taste. Add cardamom, cloves, cinnamon and bay leaf. After a minute add chopped onions, mix and fry till they turn pink. Adding a tsp sugar gives a good taste and also adds shine to the onions.
  5. Add ginger garlic paste and fry well.
  6. Add carrots, peas, green chillies. Fry for two  to three minutes. Add salt and garam masala powder. Mix well. Now add the rice. Mix well
  7. Fry till it starts crackling.
  8. Serve hot garnished with finely chopped coriander greens.
 Let me know how you like it.....