Pictures from my India trip

Hello lovely people! It feels good to be back….

I know I have been missing in action for an entire season now. You know why? I was holidaying almost the whole of summer back home in India.

And I seldom cooked. Never missed on eating though. I got to feast on the bounty of the season – golden ripe mangoes and saffron hued jackfruits and all the home made foods that I craved for, the last couple of years.

I did have all the intentions to blog while I was there, about the traditional foods mom, aunt and mom-in-law made. That did not happen as I just let myself be in the moment. Then, I intended to bring back some pictures of the places I visited like a diligent blogger. That did not happen much as well, as for a change I felt good enjoying the simple pleasures without lugging my camera around. Luckily, after scrambling through my hard drive, I found some that I could share with you..

So take a look at these from my trip back home.. I’ll forewarn you, they may not be what you expect to see.. I hope you them enjoy nonetheless..

 On the way to Kukke Subrahmanya, when we stopped at a tea shop in Sakaleshpur (near Hassan), this winding road and the lone tree added to the serenity of the place

A distant view of the Mysore Palace minarets from the terrace at my grand-dad’s house. can u spot them?. Yes, it is at a walking distance, say 10 mins of brisk walk..

Inside view of the narrow corridor (aka “woni in kannada) and the tiled roof at my Grand dad’s house.

A tulsi sapling and some traditional water containers on the well inside the house.

My all time favorite flower – “Jaaji” as dainty as it looks and smells just divine..

It is hard to find these even outside of Mysore

One of the hundred plants from the terrace garden at my grand dad’s house, Mangaravalli (kannada) and Perandai (Tamil) is supposed to have digestive qualities. My grand dad’s sister whom we fondly called Attapaati would make and out of the world tasting chutney out of this. Most modern families are losing touch eating or cooking this now-a-days rare to be seen plant.

It is notorious to be highly itch inducing when it comes in contact with the skin. So knowing how to properly cook it is very important.

A darker variety of Tulasi and I love these. They have a stronger taste and scent.

 The next few plants are from my mom’s garden.

This one is called “Insulin plant” as it is supposed to have a positive effect on blood sugar levels. Very popular among the diabetes patients.

What you see are just the leaves. Turmeric roots are underground.

Amruthaballi (Guduchi)

Remember the saying on “Apple a day”? Something very similar goes for this one as well. An Amruthaballi leaf a day chewed first thing in the morning on empty stomach is supposed to keep all illness away.

If you remember, I had enquired about this plant some weeks back on my facebook page.

Last but not the least, some green mangoes from the season gone by. 

What did you’ll do this summer?

Treat yourself to more :


Balcony Garden

“Gardening is an active participation in the deepest mysteries of the universe.” ~ Thomas Berry

While I’m busy with other things needing priority, thought I’ll show you around my little balcony garden. So come on.. enter my little green space..

Gardening – My way to connect with nature, an everyday proof of life

“Where you have a plot of land, however small, plant a garden. Staying close to the soil is good for the soul.” ~ Spencer W. Kimball

A friend gave this tomato plant when she moved to another state in winter

My little girl planted these. She makes sure to water them everyday and checks on them to see if she can find peas yet.

I read somewhere, it seems, if we let mint, it would take over the garden. I’d say, if you want to be sure about your green thumb, try planting mint.

I’d buy organic herbs for a steep price just to use once or twice and before I knew the whole thing rotted sitting in the refrigerator. Growing my own “lesser used” herbs such as rosemary, parsley and thyme lets me use a sprig as two as needed.

“The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed not just on the body, but the soul” ~ Alfred Austin

After an episode of mealy bugs, a home remedy solution of baking soda, salt and soap didn’t seem to help my dying curry leaf plant. I had lost all hopes when she started showing new signs of life.

Fingers crossed, she’ll make it..

If you have special tips for any of these or any plant for that matter, I’d love to hear from you..

Treat yourself to more:

Versatile Blogging and time for some Link Love

{Luscious red raspberries we enjoyed snacking on, these organic ones were especially delicious..}

“There is no surprise more magical than the surprise of being loved.” ― Charles Morgan

It came as a pleasant surprise a couple of days back when Shira of In Pursuit of More, a blogger, writer and founder of a new non-profit organization called Not So Fast, nominated Just Homemade for the Versatile Blogger Award!

Just goes to prove that Love can come from anywhere.. Thank you sweet Shira!

The award rules for those about to be nominated are:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you and link back to them in your post.
  2. Share 7 things about yourself.
  3. Pass the award on to 15 more bloggers that you enjoy.
  4. Contact the bloggers that you have chosen to let them know that they have been nominated!

And now, It’s time to show some link love:

15 bloggers who inspire me , those I adore or fantastic new (to me) blogs are:

 YOU’RE IT! Ladies..

Pure Vegetarian by Lakshmi – Pure, Pristine vegetarian food coupled with ethereal photography transporting you to another world

India Simmer by Prerna – Indian food made approachable for everyone with eye candy photography She has an Indian food event IndianFoodPalooza going on from 1 Mar – 31 Mar 2012. Join the fun!

Tongue Ticklers by Harini – Delcious and satiating Vegetarian and Vegan food with vivid photography

Love Food Eat by Chinmayie – Simple yet yummy home style local vegetarian food from South India

6 Bittersweets by Xialou – Baking and food DIY, especially macaroons

Passionate about Baking by Deeba Rajpal – As the name suggests, a blog dedicated for baking, drool worthy!

Divine Taste by Anushruti – as she says “to feed the mind body and soul”

Veggie Belly by Sala Kannan – Vegetarian and vegan food with bright natural light photos

Spice Foodie by Nancy – Fresh and delicious food from an Mexican expat

Foodiecrush by Heidi – online magazine that loves food bloggers, their recipes and more..

eCurry by Soma Rathore – Indian food, more than just a curry, soulful writing and rustic photography

Journey Kitchen by Kulsum – Lovely food (includes Bohra Cuisine) and even better photography

Sips and Spoonfuls by Sukaina RajbaliGorgeous food and photography all the way from Dubai

Gourmande in the Kitchen by Sylvie Shirazi – Picture perfect healthful food

Peppercorns in my Pocket by Pia Ghosh – Fresh poetic writing

That wasn’t easy to just put down 15, there are many many more wonderful blogs out there that I check out if not frequently…

Be sure to also check out Sunshine and Smile as well as Vegetable Platter by my good blogger friends Kankana and Deesha

Of course, it isn’t mandatory, but it it sure FUN! And, I’d LOVE to see your selections and learn about your 7 things!
Now for the difficult part,

And for my 7 random things:

  • I was born and raised in Mysore, the royal city of Mysore palace and the renowned Dasara Festival
  • I can speak 5 languages which includes four Indian (three South Indian)
  • I can read and write in Sanskrit and speak a little too (forgotten mostly). I studied Sanskrit for 5 years in school and college.
  • I have a special affinity for bitter foods like bitter gourd, fenugreek etc
  • I never knew swimming until last summer
  • I don’t like to mix sweet and hot foods. In general, I try to avoid any two food items touching on my plate when served (Weird! Hmm.. now I know where my little girl gets the picky palate after all!)
  • I absolutely love “FRIENDS” television show. In fact, I own their whole series in DVD and even quote scenes sometimes in conversations (god help those who didn’t watch!). And most often, my OCD for cleanliness and orderliness comes close to Monica’s!
That was about me, What are you up to today?

Treat yourself to more:


In just a bit…