January 29, 2007


Hi Aunties,Uncles and friends,

I am 3 years old today!I am a big girl now,although Mummy still thinks I am a small "big girl"..Anyway, Mummy made me a cake and all my friends came over.It was a party only for me and my friends and for those who could not come for the cake cutting,Mummy agreed to go and give them some cake!It was fun.My mum and dad bought me a new dress,and I got some gifts too today.I love playing with my friends.

I love strawberry juice ice cream(my version of the colour PINK:D),so Mummy made me a clifford-big-heart-cake(my way of saying HEART SHAPED CAKE).Take a look at the cake and enjoy.Mummy is going to make another big cake for the big party this weekend.

Mummy is posting some pictures here,so take a look and enjoy!I wish you were all here too for my party.Oh,I forgot to tell you,Mummy made me vanilla and strawberry cake..I loved it and so did my friends.:)

And this was all left of the cake but Mummy saved it specially for me...I love you,Mum!

Thank you all who sent me Birthday wishes,hugs and kisses.I truly enjoyed yesterday.




January 26, 2007

Hello Friends

Hello Everyone,

Today is Republic Day!I wish I could watch all those parades that are shown on TV from Delhi.They used to be such enjoyable times when we would get laddoos and the day off from school!I wonder where all my school friends are now,haven't been in touch with them since I left school.But I am so glad to have many more friends now,more than I could ever imagine.Online and offline,I never had so many friends before.Thank you all for being my friends.

I have been busy all these days.My daughter's 3rd birthday is coming up and I am busy planning a party for her.Special thanks to dear Supriya for asking where I have gone!I will be able to post and visit you all only after Feb 4th,so please do bear with me.Thank you.

Take Care.

January 17, 2007


Happy Sankranti, to you all,dear friends.This time I have to post without any pictures because the goodies got over before I could even take a picture :).I had prepared Pulihora(Tamarind rice),Bobbatlu(Puranpoli), and Poha laddoo.

We had a small function to celebrate Bhogipallu for my daughter Ananya.All the ladies(My friends here) and their kids came home in the evening.I lit the lamp in front of the Altar.Then I mixed up some soaked black chana,purple grapes,flowers,and copper coins(1 p coins here are made of copper).Then I sprinkled this mixture 3 times over each kid's head.We then put Akshintalu(Rice mixed with turmeric and used to bless younger people)on them and did the Arati .The kids really loved it and after the function,they continued playing,pouring this mixture over their heads again and again, and giggling all the while.One of my friends also celebrated this function at her house for her 1.5 yr old daughter.We all went to her house.

My daughter definitely enjoyed all the attention given to her specially.We bought a new frock for her, and she was ready to be adorned with bangles,and my pearl chain.She sat like a very good girl all the while when we were pouring the bhogipallu over her head and also when we were giving her the Arati.

This function is for young children and is done to remove the "Evil Eye" as it is said that kids attract the evil eye more than others.Traditionally,small grape sized fruits called REGIPALLU in Telugu, are used.In hindi,these are called BER and in Bengali,they are called KUL.In Orissa,these are found extensively and used to make pickle which is very tasty and can be eaten by itself.Since these are hard to find in countries outside India,we use either cherries,grapes or other berries like blueberries,etc.I had to refrain from using blueberries though,because it leaves a very ugly stain on clothes and carpets and with kids jumping up and down,this seemed a very real possibility.After the function,these fruits and flowers along with the coins are given to the domestic servants working in the household.Since they are used to remove the evil eye,it is said that these should not be consumed by the family or the child for whom they have been used.

Swapna has a very good article on her blog about this function.You can find the article HERE.

Hope you all had a nice time with your family too.

Correction:The Bengali name of BER is KUL as my friend and fellow blogger Sandeepa pointed out,so I have edited my post too.Thank you Sandeepa!

January 07, 2007


Pickles are an integral part of the average telugu diet.Lime/lemon is a perfect fruit that lends itself very well to pickles and preserves.Ever since I saw Indira's Lime pickle post,my taste buds have been tingling for a taste of lime pickle.Normally we buy ready made pickles from stores,as carrying pickles to the UK is not an option we have because of weight limitations.I have experimented with simple pickles in the past, and hence the lime pickle was just a matter of time.The credit goes to Indira, though,who provides exact measurements for this.I have heard of a variety of lime pickle that is made in North India,which has black salt and ajwain(caraway seeds).I did not have any recipe to start with though,so I borrowed Indira's and gave it my twist.Here is my version(I had to modify on the amount of salt and lemon juice too):

Ingredients: 8 small thin skinned lemons

8 teaspoons sea salt

2 teaspoons turmeric

Juice of 6 lemons

4 tablespoons chilli powder

1 teaspoon Dhaniya/coriander seeds

1 teaspoon Methi/Fenugreek seeds

1 teaspoon ajwain powder(Roast the ajwain and powder it)

1 teaspoon Saunf(Fennel)seeds

2 teaspoons black salt

1/2 tsp Asafoetida/Hing

75 ml oil(preferably gingelly/sesame oil,peanut/sunflower will do)

Method: Cut the lemons into quarters,mix with the salt,turmeric and the lemon juice and keep aside for 5 days.Keep mixing it about once in 2 days so that the salt is dissolved well.

On 5th day,Roast the Fenugreek/Methi,Dhaniya/Coriander,Ajwain(also known as Bishop's weed/Thymol) and Fennel/Saunf and grind to a fine powder.Roast the Fenugreek separately until the seeds start popping and become brown.Don't let them get too dark.Powder and add to the lemon pieces along with the coriander ,fennel and thymol powders.

Let these marinate for 3 days.

On the 4th day of marination,heat 75 ml of oil in a pan, and add the asafoetida/Hing to the hot oil.Let the oil cool until warm,then add the chilli powder to it.Pour over the lemon pieces and mix well.

Put the pickle into the jar again and let it sit for atleast 10 days.The longer it sits,the better.In India,generally pickles are given a time of atleast 2-3 months before they are opened for consumption.My grandmother says pickles(these are generally made in India in the summers,in April and May when the sun is at its hottest) should sit until the rains start(which is about 3 months later in August/September),to soften up.And how true that is!Pickles taste really heavenly after the 3 month resting period.

My Notes:Pickle cannot be made out of the thick skinned big lemons that are commonly available in US and UK(Been there,done that).You could use limes instead.I was lucky enough to get the Indian type small yellow thin skinned lemons to make my pickle with.

January 04, 2007


As always, a new beginning is always sweet.So here is how I started my new year:With fresh chandrakanthalu.Chandrakanthalu are a traditional sweet made with yellow moong dal,mostly in Coastal Andhra ,and usually for Sankranti which is the Harvest Festival for people in Andhra,falling in mid-January every year."Chandrakanthalu" literally means "rays of the moon", and rightly so:Inside the crispy brown shell,
,you will see a nice,off-white colour to it.So without much ado,here is the recipe:

Ingredients:2 Cups yellow split moong dal(Pesarapappu)

2 Cups sugar

1 Cup fresh(preferable) or dry coconut,shredded/grated

5-6 pods of green cardamom(Elaichi)

Oil,to deep-fry

Method: Soak the dal for 30 mins in water.Drain and grind coarsely,without using much water.

Smear a plate with ghee and keep it aside.

Now put the sugar into a thick bottomed pan and add 1/2 cup water and put on heat.Let the sugar ,melt and form a one string syrup.Add the ground dal into this sugar syrup.Make a powder of the cardamom and keep aside.

Once you add the dal to the sugar syrup,you have to keep stirring so it does not stick to the bottom and burn.Anything in sugar syrup tends to burn quickly.Once the mass thickens and forms a mass around the mixing spoon,add the elaichi powder and coconut along with 2 teaspoons of ghee.Mix well and immediately pour into the prepared tray or plate.Smoothen with a flat spoon and let it cool for 2 mins.Mark into squares with a knife ,wiping the knife every so often.

Let the pieces cool completely.Now Heat oil in a deep pan and deep fry these pieces till golden brown.Care has to be taken while frying because they tend to stick to the bottom of the pan,so keep stirring all the while when frying.Once they start to brown,keep a close eye and take out as soon as they turn a nice golden brown.As they already have sugar,they will tend to burn easily.Drain on paper towels and serve immediately or at least on the same day.They do keep well for at least 4 days but are best eaten immediately.

Yield:About 64 pieces,1 cm thick and 1 inch square.

My Notes:I used dry coconut in this.I have made these numerous times now, and find that even of the soaked dal is ground fine,these turn out fine.So don;t worry if you have ground the dal too fine.Only thing to keep in mind is that the texture should be like a halwa when you take it into the prepared plate.While frying,some pieces may develop cracks over the surface but that does not affect the taste in the least.So,enjoy!These would go perfectly well with a cup of authentic andhra filter coffee, or even Asha's Masala Chai.

January 01, 2007


My Dear friends,





All the best of wishes from me and my family to you and yours.

Have a nice day,dear friends.