Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Woman Fetching Water

I found this drawing of a "woman carrying a bucket of water" in my sketch book. This was done way back in 2003. In the background of drought prevailing now, this drawing depicts the plight of common (wo)man...


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Split Green Gram or Moong Dhal Sambar (பாசிப் பருப்பு சாம்பார்)

Moong dhal or split green gram can be used to make sambar, which goes well with idly/dosa or steamed rice. Here’s an easy method of making this simple sambar. On a routine day, this sambar would be an ideal accompaniment for breakfast! 

Ingredients:
Tamarind paste – 1 teaspoon
Vegetable/s – ½ teacup, cut into large pieces (tomato, carrot, pumpkin, ladies finger etc..)
Onion – small, 1 no, chopped finely
Moong dhal – ½ teacup
Water – 2 teacups
Salt – to taste
Sambar powder – 1 teaspoon
Oil – 1 tablespoon
Mustard seeds – ½ teaspoon
Cumin seeds – ½ teaspoon
Curry leaves – a few
Cilantro/coriander leaves – chopped, 1 teaspoon

Method: Heat 2 teaspoons of oil in the pressure cooker; add chopped onion and sauté till the pieces become transparent. Add washed moong dhal and top it with cut vegetables. Add 1 teacup of water and pressure cook for 5 whistles. Switch off the stove. Once the pressure subsides, open the lid and mix the contents well. Keep aside.

In a separate vessel, dissolve the tamarind paste in 1 teacup of water; add sambar powder and salt; mix well. Bring this mixture to boil and then, simmer for 2 minutes. Now add this mixture to the contents of pressure cooker. Mix well and bring it to boil. Switch off the stove.

Heat 1 teaspoon of oil in a wok/kadai, add mustard and cumin seeds, and when they start to sputter remove from fire. Add this seasoning to the sambar. Garnish with coriander and curry leaves. Your moong dhal sambar is ready!    
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Thursday, 27 April 2017

Yam Fry (சேனைக்கிழங்கு வதக்கல்)

In Tamil Brahmin traditional cooking, recipies involving yam or ‘elephant foot’ (சேனைக்கிழங்கு) are rather limited. Hence, I have always been on the look out for new yam recipes. Today, I wish to share one such recipe with you. Here we go!

Ingredients:
Yam – 250 gms 
Tamarind – a small piece
Salt – to taste
Coriander powder – 2 teaspoons
Red chili powder – 1 teaspoon
Turmeric powder – ½ teaspoon
Asafoetida – a generous pinch
Oil – 4 tablespoons
Curry leaves – a few

Method: Soak tamarind in ¼ teacup (50 ml) of warm water. Peel the skin of yam and wash very well in running water. Cut it into slices of ¼” thickness, preferably squares of approximately 2” size. Squeeze the tamarind and extract the juice. Boil yam pieces in tamarind water. Reduce the flame and add required salt. Cover and cook on low flame till the vegetable is almost cooked, and is firm to touch (Figure 1). Do not overcook the vegetable. Drain excess water, if any.

Figure 1: Cook yam pieces in tamarind water
Mix coriander powder, red chili powder, turmeric powder and asafoetida in a plate. Take a piece of yam and coat it with the masala as shown in Figure 2. Repeat the process with all the yam pieces and keep aside.

Figure 2: Coat the yam pieces with masala powder
Heat oil in a sauce pan or tawa; place the yam pieces side by side as shown in Figure 3. 


Figure 3: Shallow fry masala coated yam in oil
Cook on medium flame, turning the pieces over as needed till they turn crispy and golden brown on all sides. Garnish with curry leaves. Serve hot with rice and sambar, rasam or dhal.
Yam Fry (சேனைக்கிழங்கு வதக்கல்)
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Star Gooseberry Pachadi (அரிநெல்லிக்காய் பச்சடி)

Star gooseberries (அரிநெல்லிக்காய்) are a rich source of vitamin C and minerals. During our childhood, we used to eat them raw. Traditionally, star gooseberries are pickled and preserved during summer months. Pachadi made with these tangy berries are tasty and healthy. Check out this traditional recipe.

Ingredients:
Star gooseberries – 6-7 no, preferably ripe fruits
Fresh curds – 1 teacup
Green chili – 1 no, medium size
Salt – to taste
Oil – 1 teaspoon
Mustard seeds – 1 teaspoon 
Curry leaves – a few

Star Gooseberry Pachadi (அரிநெல்லிக்காய் பச்சடி)
Method: Wash the gooseberries well and boil them in ¼ teacup (50 ml) of water for 3 minutes on medium flame. Switch off the stove and allow them to cool. Later, remove the seeds and grind the flesh of the berries with green chili into a fine paste. Transfer the paste to a bowl and add in fresh curds and salt. Mix well and keep aside. Heat oil in spice pan and add mustard seeds. Once they start to sputter, remove from fire. Add the seasoning and curry leaves to the pachadi. Serve with rice and sambar or rasam.

Note: Use only fresh curds as the berries lend sour taste to the pachadi.


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Mother and sons

Tribal outfits and jewellery are colourful and fascinating. I enjoy depicting these elements in my works whenever possible. This painting of a tribal woman with her two sons is executed using dry pastels on textured paper. There are places where I have used the support to depict the skin tone of children; and in some places I have blended the colours to get the soft effect, while in the background I have let the pastel stokes to remain as such.

Mother and sons - 26" x 20" - Dry pastel on paper
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