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Showing posts from 2017

Aamti (A Maharashtrian toor dal preparation)

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In my mom's house, we call this aamti - "Kusum tai's aamti". Smt. Kusumtai Kshirsagar, was an elderly neighbour of ours in Kalyan when I was a little girl. She always used to give us a vaati  (bowl) of this aamti whenever she prepared it. Being South Indians, we hardly ever made this Maharashtrian aamti. However, I and my brother grew very fond of her aamti, and till date, we remember her whenever we make this type of dal. Aamti + bhaat + toop = Heaven :D My simple yet delicious lunch of aamti, bhaat, toop and karela fry Aamti bhaat with toop (ghee) In those days, it was quite common to see neighbours drop by to share their culinary preparations with us. Be it the everyday aamti, exquisite puranpolis to home made masalas; sharing food was a popular way of expressing camaraderie. Borrowing too was quite common and a neighbour  eventually turned up every now and then at our house  with an empty vaati in her hand asking for saakhar (sugar), or salt, and also

Halebidu - A Glimpse into our Magnificent Past

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What's in Halebidu : Halebidu is a small little town located in the Hassan district of Karnataka, popular for its twin temples of the Hoysala dynasty. Hale = old and bidu = abode, stands for old abode or old capital . Our guide told us it's also known as 'Dwarasamudra' - (entry by sea) and I started wondering how could a samudra (sea) come in this place! Later I was told that a huge tank was built here by King Vinayaditya of the Hoysala dynasty.  As per historical records, the Hoysalas ruled from Belur (17 kms from Halebidu) along the banks of the Yagachi river. Later, King Vinayaditya built a canal to channelize water from the Yagachi river to a newly built tank along the banks of which Halebidu flourished. Now that explains why it was also known as Dwarasamudra! The tank is long gone now and all that can be seen are lush green fields surrounding the temple complex. The Hoysala period boasts of numerous exquisitely carved temples. It is said that more than 1

Mediterranean pizza

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A good after-school snack for kids with the goodness of hummus, vegetables and cheese! Not only pretty but yummy too. My son comes home from school and smells around saying -"something nice is baking in the oven!" I am a bit apprehensive if he would like this twist in the pizza with hummus and olives in it...and he loves it! Here is the recipe from a happy mom: Hummus : Chickpeas (kabuli chana) - 1 cup. To be soaked overnight and cooked soft A dash of lemon juice - as per your liking Thick curd - 4-5 tbsp Olive oil - 1 tbsp Red chilli-garlic paste (the one used in bhel puri) - 2-3 tsp (as per your liking) Jeera powder - 1/2 tsp Salt - to taste Method : Add all the above ingredients in a mixer and grind it smooth. The hummus  should be smooth and of this consistency: Hummus Ingredients for the pizza : Hummus - to apply on the pita bread as the base sauce Pita breads  - 6 in number. I used the ready-made ones Juliennes of red, yellow

South Africa - Part II (Garden route & Kruger)

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Kruger National Park was on our bucket list of destinations for a long time now. We were waiting for our little one to grow up a bit so that he could truly understand and enjoy the wildlife sightings there. Kruger was the highlight of our South African trip but once there, one cannot afford to miss Cape Town and Garden Route. Cape Town was a beautiful beginning to a memorable vacation and from there, off we started on the 2nd leg of our journey through the panoramic Garden Route. Garden route : Nope..don't go by its name. This route is not associated with any gardens as such but it is a 300-km stretch along the south-western coast of South Africa, between Cape Town and Port Elizabeth. Along the Garden route Mossel Bay : Our first destination on this route was Mossel Bay, some 400 kms from Cape Town. Driving was a breeze on the well-maintained roads and we reached our destination in under 6 hours. This is the very place where the first European, Bartolomeu Diaz la

Lepakshi - the temple of legends and architectural marvels

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Shikhara of the main temple As the legend goes, Lepakshi - the Vijaynagar era temple, is the place where Jatayu, the vulture, fell  wounded while trying to save Sita from the clutches of the demon king, Ravana. 'Le-pakshi' in Telegu means: 'Rise - O - bird'. These were the words which Lord Rama uttered on seeing Jatayu injured in that condition. This legend is surely fascinating and so is the temple architecture and its murals. The 16th century temple is situated in the Anantapur district of Andhra Pradesh, some 120 kms north of Bangalore. Dedicated to Lord Veerabhadra, Bhadrakali, Vishnu and Lakshmi, this temple is well-known for its hanging pillar and India's largest monolithic granite-sculpted Nandi. Lepakshi is about an hour-long drive from North Bangalore on the lovely Bangalore-Hyderabad highway (NH44). Cruising at a speed of little more than 100 kmph, we reached Anantpur at about 10 in the morning. Taking cues from the signboards, we turned le

Our South African adventure in Cape Town - I

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Our 2-week visit to this southern country of the African continent, commenced with Cape town, then proceeded on to the  beautiful coasts along the Garden route, and ended with a thrilling safari in Kruger National Park. Cape Town : Cape town is a beautiful coastal city at the tip of the African continent. The sights here are incredibly beautiful - a combination of sun & sand with cliffs & beaches is a win-win combination any day!  The city mesmerises the onlooker with its abundance of natural beauty. Not only does this place offer beautiful vistas but there are also ample of things to do in and around this vibrant town. Taking a peek into its rich but turbulent cultural history, engaging in various adventure activities like shark-cage diving, to savouring its local cuisine which is a melting pot of its multicultural delicacies  - this city offers it all.No! we did not do shark-cage diving at that time of the year. The Victoria & Alfred (V&A) waterfront is