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Hello, 2017!

2017 January 31
by Shalini

Well, would you look at the time?! It’s already the end of January…Looks like I’ve been dragging my feet into the New Year!

Okay, here as promised, are “catch up posts” for the last three months of 2016 which were filled with lots of travel, celebrations, nasty bouts of the flu, and of course some of the foods that took us through all that.

Happy new year 2017

Thank you all for reading, and Happy 2017! 🙂

Preserved in gold

2016 December 31
by Shalini

Growing up in India, I’ve been aware from an early age of how highly regarded turmeric is for its antimicrobial properties, in culinary as well as medicinal usage. Now, it’s the latest golden oldie, a trendy superfood on top of the pop charts!

Steal some sunshine

Turmeric in fresh and dried form, has been lighting up foodscapes, (most notably in the “golden milk” craze) and pharmacy shelves alike. I use turmeric in my daily cooking as a matter of routine, so I haven’t really been pushed to seek out novel ways to incorporate it into my diet. I was, however, delighted to discover a delicious new take on it in the form of “candied turmeric”.

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Cold comforts

2016 November 30
by Shalini

One food trend of the past couple of years shows little signs of simmering down. I’m talking here of “bone broth”, which gained a higher profile thanks in part to its popularity among folks following the Paleo diet, which advocates eating some version of a stone age diet.

Bone broth is still everywhere, and you know a trend has hit a funny bone when family pets can find matching versions of people foods. That’s right, you can even buy “bone broth” specially made for Fido! Hmm…give a dog a bone, and you feed him for a day. Give a dog bone broth, and you nourish him for a lifetime? Whatever the idea behind it, there is a lot of bone broth going around!

Tender on the bone

November was unusually cold, and three weeks of hectic travel to, within, and back from India, saw us arrive home in Vancouver in just the perfect stage of exhaustion to fall prey to the first passing flu virus. And that’s precisely what we did. So, November, creaked by, all aching bones, bleary eyes, and boxes of tissue.

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Festive fun: a light delight

2016 October 31
by Shalini

For the first time in many years, our visit to India coincided with the festival of Deepavali (Diwali), and we enjoyed a lovely celebration with a small group of my husband’s aunts and uncles, along with their children and grandchildren.

Simply sweet

When it comes to indulging your sweet tooth, Deepavali can be the poster child for “too much of a good thing”. When you find yourself wondering if you can burn off the calories from a bowlful of payasam, by chewing slowly and deliberately through a couple of karjikai, or ladoos, you know you’re definitely sinking on the wrong side of indulgence.

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Autumn’s here! Bring on the pork and beans …

2016 September 30
by Shalini

It’s the start of Autumn, temperatures are heading south, and we’ve all but retired the salad spinner. I’m looking at hearty, warming recipes, and it seems like a good time to bring on the pork and beans!

In Coorg, pork dishes that combined pork (dried and smoked) with vegetables, bamboo shoot, or beans were typically prepared during the monsoon, This was when the stored and preserved abundance of Summer was put to good use.

Braised avaré with pork

My maternal grandmother may just have been a bit of a pork purist. As a rule, she didn’t care too much for pork commingling with vegetables in one pot! The only exception she made was when she cooked a particular dried pork dish into which she’d toss a few potatoes. I, on the other hand, love it cooked in combination with crisp greens, delicate squashes, starchy potatoes, and of course, with beans.

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Monsoon fare: well!

2016 August 31
by Shalini

Living in Vancouver, you’d think the prospect of rainy weather wouldn’t be the biggest attraction when heading out on a vacation. Ah, but this wasn’t just any rain – it’s the monsoon in India!

Plant, transplant

So I jumped at a recent opportunity to spend a short time at home with family and friends, soaking in the sights and sounds of my favourite season.

Naturally, much of my time was devoted to revisiting some of the wonderful foods that are such a part of my monsoon memories of Coorg. There was plenty of baimbale and akki otti, kulaeputtu and maddu puttu of course, because it’s good for you (and I just happen to adore it!).

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