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Happy Holi ❤

Happy Holi ❤

Photo courtesy: GulmoharDoodles  Bura naa maano Holi hai ❤ Photo courtesy: GulmoharDoodles Bura naa maano Holi hai ❤ A few days before Holi, I asked Neythiri how much does she love me? She heard my question patiently and swayed her head probably thinking of what 

Jharkhand Food Series – 03

Jharkhand Food Series – 03

I opened my sleepy eyes one summer morning and looked outside. My bedroom window opened straight in the garden and I could see the lavish greenery, blooming flowers and chirping birds right from my cozy bed. My eyes wandered with a tiny sparrow chirping and 

Jharkhand Food Series – 02

Jharkhand Food Series – 02

Who else remember the onset of those dreamy winter mornings, when the world seemed covered in a lazy, chilly, misty blanket. Where the soothing green grass slept lazily wearing it’s beautiful dewy diamond dress, glittering merrily in the sunbeam’s tryst. The calm mornings, where the socks clad feet would be tightly wrapped around the soft, thick double blankets.The never-ending quest of warming up by blowing air out of the mouth and soaking it up quickly in those colorful gloves filled hands. When the chilly air sent shivers down the spine and the constant struggle to keep ourselves warm. Days when the hardest thing seemed to be saying goodbye to that comfy, warm blanket and start the day.

The days would start on a very hasty, lazy note. But, the eyes always glistened seeing those baskets full of fresh, colorful picks from the vegetable market. Winter brought colors to the kitchen and in our lives too. Remember those lovingly hand-woven colorful shawls and sweaters? That was love. Pure love! Those were the days when each season brought with them a totally different produce. Back then, there were no air conditioned supermarkets around selling exotic vegetables throughout the year. We had to wait and then taste the yummiest seasonal produces. Each season added their own beauty. Each day the kitchen saw the burst of colors amalgamating beautifully in the carefully, skilled cooking. Oh, how I loved those days. Winter was the time for comfort, of warmth and for good food, for the touch of a friendly hand and for the talk beside the fire. It was the time for home. It was the time for rustic recipes.

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Amidst all those different delicacies, what I looked for the most was the humble “aalu ka jhor”. This piping hot baby potato gravy generously poured over the ghee laden rice tasted nothing simple. It was pure heaven on earth. It tasted of the hard work of the farmers, it tasted of the simple joys, it tasted of togetherness, it tasted of rustiness of my village mud. It tasted of my roots. Roots which have lost in the transition of time, roots which were replaced among multi flavored and complicated ingredients. Roots which are struggling to be held and given the respect it truly deserves.

So you see, each time when I paraded to the vegetable market holding one of my parent’s hand, those baby potatoes never failed to bring a huge smile on my face. Those tiny, round, brown babies knew it can brighten any gloomy, dark, winter days. My old folks always believed in the magic of fresh harvest and fresh produce. No vegetable was tucked inside the fridge and left over to become dry and tasteless. Everything was cooked fresh either right from our home garden or from the vegetable vendors who brought the produce from their fields early morning.

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Aalu ka jhor was cooked during lunch at our home. When the chilly mornings were over and the breakfast was already sorted out, Maa and grandma would sit in the garden together laughing and chirping like sparrows cutting a big basket of these potatoes effortlessly with a sickle. Lunch was always a grand affair. But somehow, whenever aalu ka jhor was cooked, the other stuffs were kept to its minimal. Nothing fancy on those days. Just the humble potato curry and rice. Might be a stir fry on the side.

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I remember coming back from school tired and hungry. And when Maa served lunch, I couldn’t contain my happiness seeing this bowl full of sunshine. It was comfort, it was pride, it was love, it was contentment. This gravy is nothing ordinary. The baby potatoes were shimmered in a thin freshly harvested and pounded rice paste with loads of garlic. Not much spices just the humble basics.

Winters, when time and days seem gloomy and cold, little things can bring joy and happiness to life. We just have to look around, dig deeper and listen to our heart. Imbibing the generosity of nature and trying to come a bit closer to our roots can create a huge difference in our lives. Try to teach your kids and make them believe in what touched your heart once. Show them the cultural roots. Might be they won’t feel the same emotions but we can try. Isn’t something better than nothing always? On this note, sticking to my roots and trying to create magic and memories together, I wish all my readers a Merry Christmas and a very hearty, welcoming, generous and loving year ahead. Be blessed, stay blessed! ♥️. ♡. ♥.

In case you would love to replicate the recipe, here is the method for you 🙂

Aalu ka Jhor (Baby potatoes shimmered in thin rice paste gravy)
Preparation time: 20 mins
Cooking time: 30 minsIngredients:

  • 2 kilos of happiness and love (Mandatory! Do not skip this ingredient :))
  • half kilo baby potatoes
  • 3-4 spoons of raw rice
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tbs coriander powder
  • 12-15 pods of minced garlic
  • 2 green chillies (can be increased or decreased according to your taste)
  • 2 glasses of water (can be adjusted according to consistency)
  • 2 tbs of oil (mustard oil is preferred)
  • 1 tsp of cumin seeds for tempering

Preparation:

  1. Swell up your heart with happiness since you are going to prepare a humble rustic Jharkhandi dish today 🙂
  2. Soak the raw rice in little water for half an hour.
  3. Wash and cut the baby potatoes in halves. Do not remove the skin.
  4. Now, switch on the gas stove. In a pressure cooker, add all the potatoes, one glass of water, 1 tbs of salt, 1 tsp of turmeric powder and close the lid.
  5. Let it cook for 10 minutes or till the potatoes get cooked but is not mushy.
  6. While the potatoes are getting cooked, grind the soaked rice in very little water. This mixture needs to be coarse and not fine. Take it out in a bowl and add half cup water to it and set aside.
  7. Coarsely grind the garlic pods and the green chillies in a mortar-pestle. Set aside.
  8. After the potatoes get cooked, take out the pressure and set it aside. Do not throw the water.
  9. Lit the stove and put a wok on it. Best to use an iron one since it gives a very rustic taste to the dish.
  10. Add a spoon of mustard oil into it. Once the oil gets heated up add the cumin seeds and watch it dancing in happiness.
  11. Reduce the flame and add in the chilli-garlic paste. Cook it for 30 seconds.
  12. Then add the cooked potatoes along with the water it was boiled in.
  13. Add the ground rice paste to it and let it shimmer in low flame for about five minutes.
  14. Adjust the consistency of water and salt at this time. I generally add half glass of warm water at this point of time since I like my curry to be on the thinner side. Also mash couple of the potatoes for a better consistency.
  15. Add in the coriander powder and let it cook happily for about ten minutes.
  16. Keep stirring the curry in intervals since it has the tendency to stick to the bottom of the cooking vessel.
  17. Once the curry comes to a boil, give it extra five minutes to soak in the flavors.
  18. Switch of the gas and cover the curry with a lid. Let it sit for ten minutes so that the potatoes imbibe the rice flavor.
  19. After ten minutes, pour the curry generously over a heap-full ghee laden rice. Smell, eat, smile and enjoy 🙂
Jharkhand Food Series – 01

Jharkhand Food Series – 01

Photo courtesy: Balakrishnan K | www.utopianhere.com It was a blazing hot summer afternoon. I was fumblingly wrapping up the clothes put outside for drying in the morning while tiny sweat drops lazily rolled down my forehead. I turned my head and saw the happily dancing newly 

Jharkhand Food Series

Jharkhand Food Series

Photo courtesy: Balakrishnan K | www.utopianhere.com Jharkhand I never thought that one day I will be sitting and writing down my journey of nostalgic, rustic and might be forgotten food/ recipes of my state. The state which has given me a lot. It has given me 

The Language of Love

The Language of Love

Listening to the radio today, I got to know that the world is observing International Mother Language Day today. Till date I was unaware of any such day of celebration. Isn’t it fascinating to know that such a day exists? A day to cherish and know the simple pleasure of the comfort of speaking in one’s own mother’s tongue/language? The language which gives you an identity. The language which would always be closest to your heart. The language in which you will think and dream. The language in which you would love!

Photo courtesy: Balakrishnan K | www.utopianhere.com

My mother’s tongue/language is Magahi (a dialect of Hindi). But, she always taught us to speak in Hindi. That was a language I grew up listening, talking, feeling and believing in. Somewhere in this process, I believe we forgot our roots. The language which was there long before we were born. The language which was a lever to all the community connections. I struggle to speak in my mother’s dialect today. Because, I somehow can not relate to it. This makes me sad. The reality today is that I can not fathom to teach the same to my daughter. And thus I know, that the chain is gonna break and the language will die a very slow death. It is heartbreaking.

Language of love, International Mother Language Day, mother's tongue, mother's language, Hindi, Tamil, English, Kannada, childhood, inculcating values, love, languages, language, Indian, India, Indian food, comfort food, food love, treat, food, love, memories, Gulmohar Doodles, Puneeta Prakash BlogPhoto courtesy: Balakrishnan K | www.utopianhere.com

Hindi is my mother language and my husband’s is Tamil and we live in a place where Kannada is spoken. We are raising a daughter who seeing and listening to her parents conversation unknowingly has considered English as her mother tongue. It’s not her fault neither is ours. I am raising a confident kid. A kid who I know would learn a mosaic of languages soon. We as parents, want to inculcate in her that no culture or language is superior than other. Embracing the diversity of our country and living in harmony choosing whichever language she wants and living a happy life is all we wish for her. Among all these, what we wish the most for is that she listens with the ears of tolerance, see through the eyes of compassion and chooses to speak in the language of love. How beautiful that would be!

Language of love, International Mother Language Day, mother's tongue, mother's language, Hindi, Tamil, English, Kannada, childhood, inculcating values, love, languages, language, Indian, India, Indian food, comfort food, food love, treat, food, love, memories, Gulmohar Doodles, Puneeta Prakash BlogPhoto courtesy: Balakrishnan K | www.utopianhere.com

Amen

The Golden Era Of The Marigold

The Golden Era Of The Marigold

Aren’t some flowers a real messenger of good times ahead? Their occurrence solely can fill the mind with numerous memories and hearts with immense joy. The robust yellowish-orange color marigold flowers are like tiny beams of the sun rays in the dark, foggy, gloomy days. 

The Gift Of Each Other

The Gift Of Each Other

Photo courtesy: Balakrishnan K | www.utopianhere.com It was a warm, cosy, golden evening. The thousand golden beams of the sun was making our dusky skin glow in its presence. In that trance, soaking myself in that magical moment, I heard a faint voice of my mom 

Bloom Where You Are Planted

Bloom Where You Are Planted

Bloom, bloom where you are planted, school prayer, bible prayer, bloom, life, joy, happiness, blessings, spirit, free, love, belief, Happiness, Life, Motivation, Friday Quotes, Life, Inner Peace, Heart, Art, Thoughts, Doodles, Love, Inspiration, Quotes, Happiness, Recipes, Sowing Happiness, Spreading Love, Positive Thoughts, Gulmohar Doodles, Puneeta Prakash Blog, Puneeta Prakash, Personal Blog, Blogger

Photo courtesy: Gulmohar Doodles

Bloom, bloom, bloom, where you’re planted,
You will find your way.
Bloom, bloom, bloom. You will have your day.

Look at the flowers, look at them growing
They never worry, they never work.
Yet look at the way our Father clothes them,
Each with a beauty all of its own…

Some plant the seeds that others will water,
But in all things God gives the growth.
Come, let Him garden the flowers with in you,
come and Discover some you’ve never known.

Look at the love that lies deep within you.
Let yourself be! Let yourself be!
Look at the gifts you have been given,
Let them go free! Let them go free!

My Little Sunflower

My Little Sunflower

Photo courtesy: Gulmohar Doodles My little sunflower has started to bloom and I fear my greatest fear has loomed Those tiny fingers which held me tightly most of the time, has left and started to tinkle like a chime I wonder and can not fathom