Posts Tagged ‘life’

Eggs @ Home

Note photographs are taken by different people and credited duly. None of them have been edited. The first one will be entered for Click! by Raghavan (Latha’s son, Lakshmi’s brother).

The most beautiful eggs that for us as a family are eggs like these – mini ovals laid every mating season by budgerigars who live with us in an aviary in Raghavan’s (people meet Latha’s son and Lakshmi’s brother) balcony.

Home, Sweet Home – Photo by Raghavan using an Olympus FE220 – to be entered for Click!

Perhaps not as artistic as Sharmi’s or as creative as Jai’s but for us these are far far far more beautiful than any eggs in the whole wide world.

Our budgerigars love laying eggs in pots – we have a pot for each pair in our aviary, it’s their home to sometimes sleep and most of the time to lay eggs. Over the years there has been a population explosion of sorts which we have handled by converting more people into bird enthusiasts. Contrary to popular perception of pet birds being caged creatures with no rights, our birds love being with us- we’ve had birds like Hiraman who once flew out of the aviary, said a cursory “hi” to the neighbours and flew right back into the aviary and we’ve had birds like “Kular” who refused to eat and pined away to death after we left her at a friend’s house when we moved out of Delhi. Our birds have all the space , love and attention they need and the cage becomes a means of protection rather than confinement.

It’s a delight to watch the eggs hatch, watch the babies grow….

Where is my “daana”? Photo by Latha using an Olympus FE220

Watch my brother give them a bath, play with them…
“See I have grown blue feathers”, Photo by Lakshmi using Nokia 6300

“I love taking chellam”, Photo by Lakshmi using Nokia 6300

Watch a baby cuddle up to him…
“And I love climbing up Anna”, Photo by Lakshmi using Nokia 6300

And watch them grow to……..well, lay more eggs!!!

It’s simply beautiful 🙂


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Maa Villakku

My ancestors are from the town of Nagapattinam – they were trustees of the Krishnar Kovil at Nagapattinam. About five generations ago, when Nagapattinam was beseiged by sea water ingress, and all land became barren and soaked in salt, my ancestors abandoned all property and the temple for the city of Srirangam to start a new life. In those days losing so much of property and wealth was considered a shame of great volumes and people quietly moved to another place to build a new identity.

Krishnar skipped almost four generations in popularity as “Kula Daivam” (concept similar to patron saint), often referred only in “thatha- paatti” (grandparents) stories of ancestors. For almost 130 years no one from the family visited the temple.

I am very happy to say that last week my sister in law Padma, my athai Komala and I visited Krishnar at Nagapattinam to peep in and say that we are still devoted to him. It was a wonderful journey and we were spell bound by the sculpture of Krishnar at Nagapattinam. I will do a detailed post on our journey soon.

We offered Maa Villakku to Krishnar – we used “Nattu Sakkarai” (a kind of yummy sugar) instead of Jaggery. Click here to see the recipe for Maa Villakku that I posted earlier.

I am linking to Maa Villakku recipe on the request of Gayatri who wanted it for Purattasi Sanikizhamai Balaji Puja (Puja to Lord Balaji on the saturdayof Purattasi month in Tamil Calendar).

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It has been a little over 2 months since we started this blog. It has been enriching, entertaining, fulfilling and total fun!

I just love the way some of my fans and blogger friends call me akka, mami, lathaji and lathamma! I also love being called a “girl” by a very dear blogger friend – Asha. Some assume I have some super natural powers to know that they have given an award to me, with out communicating in any way with me!

After posting for Srijayanthi, I learnt about the terrorist among our Bakshanams, creating mini blasts in the kitchen! It is our very own Uppu seedai aka cheedai! After making seedais for so many years, I suddenly got scared! I stayed one feet away from the stove while frying the seedais, 😀 , thankfully no blasts in my kitchen. I have updated the Uppu Seedai post with following tips that are sure to help you conquer this terrorist.

  • The scientific reason for bursting seedais will be water trapped in between or small rice grains.
  • To avoid Knead the dough very well. Seive the flour before roasting.

Some had problem with paal cake. I have again updated recipe with following tips.

  • For all burfis use the exact amount of sugar mentioned in the recipe.
  • The sugar should reach the crystilisation level.To check this pour a small amount of the burfi on the greased tray, while cooking the rest on low flame.If it solidifies in a minute or two then your burfi is ready.

To learn any recipe some practice is required. So always keep trying.

On a another note, this food blogging seems to have virtually caused a rather sudden but sharp rise in property prices in my neighbourhood! Some real estate agents thanked me saying it was all because of my Bhakshanams – that are making people want to shift in the neighbourhood!!! Well, I invite all my blogger friends to my place to taste the bakshanams, but please see to it that you don’t contribute to the already exorbitant property prices in Bangalore!!:))

We’ve been given more awards by our dear blogger friends.

This best blogger award is from Sobila is very dear to me! A week back I just clicked on her name from Bharathy’s blog and was surprised to find an award lying there for me! I came to know that Sobila has been visiting my blog and never commented as she is a soft and shy girl. Thanks Sobila for this lovely award!


Lakshmi (my daughter who writes here occasionally) received a A rocking girl blogger award from Saju, who not just cooks up delicious dishes at Chachi’s kitchen but also fills us in with cute photos of her nephews!

Then there is one more rocking girl award from SeeC. Thanks SeeC!


Let me end this with a dosa treat for all my virtual friends.

Tricolour Pancakes which take less than 5 minutes to cook – recipe has been posted earlier here.
Delicious Tricolour Pancakes

I have substituted coloured capsicums instead of Carrots.

Cone Dosa
Cone Dosa

The same old dosa folded differently as served in hotels – children and adults will love it when it is served this way. Make a regular circular dosa. Make a slit the middle from the edge to the center. Roll into a cone when still hot by folding in one end of the slit portion into the other.Place some masala on a serving plate and keep the cone over it.

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Whatever you do, do it with love and respect is the advice given to us by our elders.

The Iyengars respected their cuisine. Read on to know more.

1. The Kitchen is Madapalli in Tamil. The Iyengars add a Thiru to it and say Thirumadapalli.

2. All the dishes are followed by an Amudu (Amrit or Nectar)

Saathamudu for rasam, Kariamudu for curry, Thirukkannamudu for payasams , and so on.

Making noise with the vessels was to be avoided, as it meant less food for the others in the household who are yet to have their meals.

Until six months ago I never had a maid to wash the vessels as I was averse to the noise made while handling the vessels.

I usually work silently in the kitchen, unless I want to show my anger of course!

In tamizh culture a well balanced diet is served. The menu has all the nutrients required for good health.

There was also a day of fruit diet once in a fortnight. On Ekadasi many tamilians fast or have only fruits.

There was also restriction on the diet served for dinner. Heavy and spicy food is generally avoided. The dinner usually consisted of podis and some medicinal herb. Curd rice is a must to culminate the meal.

Some of the delicious preparations for dinner are as follows:-

Veepampoo sathamudu.

Kandathippili sathamudu.

Milagu sathamudu.

jeeraga sathamudu.

milagu kuzhambu.

Paruppu thogayal.

Angaya podi

And so many more. The recipes will be posted in the coming days.

Also included in the menu are

Manathakkali vethal and Veepampoo Fried in a teaspoon of ghee.

Manathakkali is also called black night shade or sun berry or wonder cherry.The dried fruit is called vethal.

We can get the manathakkali vethal in tamizh stores all over India. It is available as salted and plain variety.

Fry 1 table spoon of the manathakkali vethal in 1 teaspoon of ghee, in low flame till the berrys bulge. Crush and mix the fried vethal with 1/2 cup cooked rice (Hot)and a little salt.This manathakkali vethal saadam is really yummy, and a good relief from the regular heavy food.

You can also have the fried vethal as a side dish for thayir saadam(curd rice).

This berry has some medicinal values. I am not an expert to provide the details on this subject. So please refer to ayurvedam.com

Click here to reply.

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My lovely daughter married for over a year came home for just 2 days. She had a big list of her favorite dishes to be prepared during her stay. We had to attend a marriage reception, do some shopping also. But I wanted to prepare every thing she wanted. Main items in the menu were:


kadalai khuzhambu

Stuffed cutlet



Fried rice baked with cheese, cream and exotic vegetables.

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“As good as Grandma”

One of my best memories is of the day I became “as good as patti (grandma in tamil)” at cooking.

My daughter is the first grandchild on both sides of the family – my husband’s and mine. Naturally she’s pampered to no end by her grandparents.

My amma whose cooking skills are legendary would go great lengths to fulfill her chella pethi’s (granddaughter) demands. From mouth watering savories to tangy pickles to rich sweets – my daughter had it all, at any time she wanted. Obviously she grew up accustomed to the idea that as far as food was concerned, anything she wanted was at her beck and call.

When my daughter was around 4 years she asked me to prepare Jangiri – a sweet made usually only by professional chefs. Even my amma, the great Iyengar Mami famous around select circles for her sweets and savouries, had never prepared this at home.

I tried to explain to my daughter that Jangiris are very complex to make and that I don’t feel like trying. But would the Princess listen? She made a long face and said, ” If I had asked Patti, she would have made it immediately”. Aha, now that was enough to set forth the dormant chef in Latha roaring. I said, ” Patti has never made this sweet. But I am making it just for you today. I am as good as your Patti at cooking”. And yes, I made Jangiris and I’m proud to say that my daughter found them super delicious.

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