Hello from Bangalore, finally
Namaskara! Ten weeks after moving to my final destination, I think I am converted. The always-pleasant weather, living away from the bustle of the main city roads, the slow life- it has totally seeped into me. The way Mumbai spoils you with its sheer pace of life and the pace of getting things done, Bangalore spoils you with the weather and the slow life. I don't think I must have complained about the weather more than a couple of times in the last two months, which is a pretty neat record for the weather-cribber in me.
A couple more things have changed in the last few weeks.
All my adult life, I have been a morning tea person, unless someone made a steaming hot filter kaapi for me. Lately, tea just doesn't cut it first thing in the morning. My brain cells seem to ask for a stronger dose of caffeine than what comes in a cup of tea. No, I'm not importing 'kaapi-podi' from ChennaiMadras. The Bayar's brand (not a paid promotion) available in most supermarkets in Bangalore seems to hit the spot neatly. Many people swear by Cotha's but I find the grind quite coarse for my coffee filters.
Before you assume it, no, I haven't given up on tea, not at all. It is simply used to fill up the empty moments in the day, rather than as a morning kickstart. Ginger-ed, lemongrass-ed, cardamom-ed, simple green tea, just about every kind of tea depending on the mood, and of course the weather, leaving empty mugs around in every corner of the house, to be picked up later, of course, when I find that I have run out of clean mugs.
The next thing in matters of change is my sudden love for Rasam. Either it is to do with the fact that I am growing old, or the steaming cup of tomato-ey spicy liquid pairs well with the Bangalore weather or it is to do with the sour tomatoes that I'm growing in my terrace garden that lend themselves quite beautifully to this.
First two homegrown tomatoes
I've always maintained that I am a Sambar-person. If there is Sambar and Rasam made at home, I would rather have two helpings of rice with sambar and leave the rasam alone, without a second glance, like a Bottega Veneta lady shunning a Hidesign bag. In fact, when I am visiting my parents and my mom makes just rasam and no sambar, I squarely point it out to her on how she is favouring my sister over me. Needless to say, the sister is a rasam-person. So yes, I have started making a mean rasam, which is not in anyway to blow the trumpet (or saxophone) about my culinary genius, but simply a matter of practice. Yes, that's how often I've been making rasam. If you followed me on Twitter, you'd know. Looks like I have already hit upon the topic of my next blog post. Byebye blogger's block!
Dill growing wild
Apart from the vegetables like brinjals, tomatoes (okay, it is a fruit), okra and carrots- we're being adventurous and trying to grow strawberries on our terrace garden. The gardening experts tell us we can expect to eat some fruit by November, I'm praying the ants don't get to them before I do.
There's dwarf lemons and a dwarf chikoo too, on the terrace garden. Just yesterday, a Cherry bush has been added to the fruit family in the hope that we can eat some homegrown fruit if we are patient enough to care for the trees over the next 2-3 years. Or at least, do the birds some social service.
The first to be harvested from the garden was the most sweet smelling lush green coriander and the chutney made using those homegrown leaves tasted most amazing.
If you have the tiny bit of space, even for a couple of pots, or a tiny area of soil where you can sow some seeds, do it. The sheer joy of watching your food grow from the seed and the joy of turning it into a dish for your family is quite unparalleled. Try sprinkling a few kitchen seeds like mustard or fenugreek into good soil and watch the magic unfold :)
Mustard greens some ten days after sowing seeds
I write a monthly column for Sunday DNA called Tiny Tummies. Here is the link to my page there.
For more gardening / food updates - do follow my Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/SaffronTrail
All pics above, taken on on the iPhone (yeah, lazy me thanks to Bangalore weather), processed on the free app Instagram. If you are an iPhone user and you haven't downloaded this app, you've been missing some fine things in life. Here's my Instagram feed.
Now that I've managed to break the long silence, I shall be back soon.
Related reads :
Herb Mentality - Growing herbs and home and ways to use them