A Taste of India: Makhane ka Parantha

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I have always loved foodūüėÄ . I have always loved eating. I have always enjoyed exploring and knowing about food. Now I love experimenting more with living foods / real food and our traditional food and the traditional way of cooking.

I came across this nice book “First Food – A Taste of India’s Biodiversity” which is trying to celebrate¬†the knowledge and culture of our local cuisine which is now being forgotten. The first food that the book talks about is Makhana. And it just connected me back to my childhood. I come from Bihar where it has been widely grown in the wetlands. We used to roast it and have as evening snacks. I remember Makhana was eaten during fasts also in form of kheer.

Makhana (foxnut) is the seed of a member of water -lily family. The plant grows in the lakes and ponds that once made up the floodplains of north India. These water bodies were crucial for survival in this region. The ecosystem was built by channelling the water of swollen rivers into ponds. This took away the pain of the flood. It provided for storage of water and , in turn, recharged groundwater, giving economic life to agriculture. And most importantly, the wetland gave alternative sources of food and one of which is protein rich makhana. Once the wetlands are gone, the plant will not survive. Our source of food will be lost. One more taste will be forgotten.

Its wonderful to see the connection between what we used to eat and why we ate it. We did make nature part of our lives and we need to make nature part of our lives again.

Makhana is easy to digest and nutritious food.

My mother had brought 2-3 packets of Makhana when she had last visited us and I had forgotten about it. So I took it out and experimented by making Makhane ka Parantha which went well with a coriander chutney. Its simple to make and has a very mild taste.

Recipe:

Roast Makhana. It should roast properly. Do not burn it. Once it is roasted, powder it. Boil one potato for a cup of makhana powder. Mash potato and knead with makhana powder. Mix salt and chopped chillies. Add chopped coriander leaves. Make balls from the dough. Roll out as chapatis and cook on tawa till sufficiently brown.

 

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Life is a Tree: Acceptance makes Life Simple

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Being alone at home for whole day with the news of the demise of my Guru was a little depressing. When Sushil came back from office we went out in the open air. We sat outside Rangashankara theatre and just talked for 2 hours. We just talked remembering her and opened up our hearts what we felt about her. We relived those moments which we had spent with Dr Venkat.

For last two days there was a deep silence between us on her demise and I think we were running away from it. We did not want to accept the truth. After sharing and talking it felt light. Acceptance of the truth, Acceptance of the situation makes life simple and easy and this is what Dr Venkat always taught us.

~ Acceptance make Life simple

 

Life is a Tree: Death ends Life, not Relationships

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I was happily spending the day, living each moment not expecting the message of my beloved Guru’s departure. That moment I could not accept her death. I was just staring at the message with no thoughts for a moment. Here I was planning to be with her¬†at the end of this month and she is¬†gone. She was just a phone call away till now.

Death is an eternal truth but its so difficult to accept the death of close ones. It is difficult to accept that I won’t be able to hear her voice now. It is difficult to accept that I would not get that loving hug from her now. In between the moment of tears, there were moments of those memories of her, there were moments of deep silence in the air. ¬†She taught me to live each and every moment of our life and her death became a part of this living moment.

We all die. The goal isn’t to live forever. The goal is to create something that will. And she will always be in memory for what she has created in our lives. And our relationship will go on.

~ Death ends life, not relationships

Life is a Tree: Sowing the seeds of Happiness

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Happiness is plucking fresh vegetables from your own kitchen garden. I do not have much in my terrace garden right now as I have just sowed seeds of most of the greens and vegetables few days back. But still there are few things growing from the last cycle of sowing.

Today morning I was cooking and immediately felt like using spring onions. I just ran to the terrace and plucked few of them. It was a joy to pluck the greens which we had sowed , seen it sprout and then grow. The basale greens (Malabar Spinach) saplings which we had planted a few weeks back also have flourished into a healthy climber.

Few of the seeds which we sowed few days backs have grown into small saplings. Methi and red amaranth have started coming up. It was a joyful feeling to see the growing saplings and waiting patiently for the other saplings too.

Happiness is seeing the saplings grow from the seeds sowed in the soil. Happiness is tending to the plants everyday. Happiness is seeing the flowers turning into fruits. Happiness is seeing the green tomatoes turning red. Happiness is seeing the bottle gourd increasing in size everyday.

When you have a garden the morning starts with going to the terrace and be with the plants tending them and observing their growth. Its a blissful moment everyday looking at the changing colour of the leaves of bottle gourd from green to yellow and then old leaves falling down. Watching the activities happening in the small garden are the moments to live Рevery morning two black bees hovering in the air for last two months, new bees on the plants, beautiful lady bugs on the leaves. Its a wonder from where do they all came:).

~ Sowing the seeds of Happiness

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