A 50 year old red-oxide floored kitchen; a huge bubbling baandli (kadai) sits on a gas stove next to a south facing window in the brightly lit corner of that kitchen. The white wall behind the stove turned somewhat brown is spattered with black-brown blotches. A middle aged saree clad lady stands facing the window vigorously stirring the contents of the kadai, her eyebrows cringing, her arms covered in a towel to avoid all the vicious spattering.
I was in India for most of this year’s summer. While there are many things I miss about being back home, in the context of food and cooking, the one thing I miss incredibly like no other is the joy of shopping in open vegetable markets. The old world charm of walking from one street vendor to another, picking the freshest produce in Malleswaram market, or the Mysore K R Market, Basavangudi market or any local market for that matter is quite an experience for the senses.
Where should I start about Yogurt?
If I get carried away which I almost always do, I might start on a poetic note. Such as, if yogurt was a flower, I’d imagine it would be magnolia or white rose.
But I am glad it isn’t. Because, hypothetically speaking, if there’s one good reason I can’t be a full time vegan, it has got to be yogurt other than ghee of course.
Really. You know what is indispensable in my kitchen?
Crunchy seasoned flattened rice speckled with fried peanuts
Spring and Fall. My favorite seasons of the year.
There is something magical in the change of seasons. And, a zillion ways to soak in the beauty of it. I find it particularly enchanting to experience spring in small ways. Like say, seated in a reclining chair with feet up in careless abandon, in a balcony facing a thick patch of blooming trees, chirping birds in the background, a golden sunset punctuated by gentle breeze, chatting my heart away with my soul mate and kids giggling by our side, sipping piping-hot ginger chai with a side of something crunchy.
Like this Avalakki chooda.