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4 September 2011

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. 


Strawberry patch


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.


Sapota


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. 


Coriander Flowers








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 :


Veggies at home
Herb Mentality - Growing herbs and home and ways to use them

11 comments:

sriks7 said...

Welcome back, hope to read more from you.

The last photo seems more like mint than mustard :-)

Anjali said...

Welcome to Blr Nandita! You sure have a green thumb and the bounty shows. Enjoy the weather and Blr peace.

? said...

Looks to be a promising start!:-)

Nandita said...

@sriks7 - yes, it does indeed look like mint, but it is mustard

@anjali - thanks, yes the weather is indeed kind to plants

@?- Yes, i hope i keep my patience with this hobby

Srivalli said...

Nice to read your post Nandita..though I have been kind of following your adventure on twitter, good to get an acct here..:)

Divya Shankar said...

Hi, so that's the reason for a minor hibernation period :)
Good to know u r in namma bengaluru - I stay here at Tippasandra. Nice to see pics of your lush garden. Good to read that tea is making up for fillers all through the day - am sure adding ginger, lemon grass on our own adds lots of taste to tea .. but just in case you are running short of time someday, buy a small pack of SOCIETY brand tea - one with lemon grass, ginger and mint combination - I feel this one is really good during rainy/cold weather - their masala tea (society brand) and normal tea as well are very good. Thanks for sharing information on Bayar's .. I was using Cothas only until now, will sure look for this one in the supermarket. Good day !!

Chaitra said...

Try the fresh and ground Ultra rich.. much better that Bayars and is less prone to cause acidity.

Vegetarian Zest said...

Loved reading your post. Bangalore looks a great place to be in.

Jwala said...

Hi Nandita,

Very happy to read your post after a long long time!You've really got a green thumb!but i'll miss the posts regarding HYD shopping and hopping!

Anyway have a good time in BLR and hope to hear about your own li'l home-style restaurant there.

Wish you good luck and health.

Love,
Jwala.

Sumanjit Kaur Tripathy-Obsession said...

Wow !! Nandita,
Great ! And congrats for the wonderful things you are growing. All the best for your Strawberries too !
Will make it a point to visit you on our next trip to Bangalore and hope to sample some home grown stuff.
All the best.

Raaga said...

Now is the time to spot all the differences between us... I am a die hard coffee person. I drink tea about 4 times a year maybe... the only exception was when you sent me all those fruit teas :)

Sambar and rasam... if they're both served and I have a choice... I'll eat rasam saadam 3 times and consider it a complete meal :) Rasam saadam with potato roast... heaven. Rasam saadam, potato roast and an appalam... seventh heaven!

Enjoy Bangalore!

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