Friday, May 21, 2010

Ambulance

I was travelling thru Cochin city last week in a bus, and I heard the wailing siren of an Ambulance from behind. Nobody was bothered to give way for the ambulance. The bus driver as usual was driving very fast and rash thru the middle of the road, after sometime, the ambulance managed to reach behind my bus and overtook the bus. Again the same story of not giving way was repeated in front of us.

You should think and care for the value of life in the ambulance. While you are in a critical stage, time gained is life. When you hear the sound of the ambulance siren, think that you are in the ambulance, and then surely you will give way...

You want to live... Just like that others also want to and have the right to LIVE...

Miracle

What is a miracle ??

Ok, what in this universe is NOT a miracle???

You go to sleep every night and get up in the morning. Is in't it a miracle ?? Were you assured that you will get up in the morning?
A big tree is born out of a small seed, a chick hatches out of an egg after 21 days, birth of a child from two small cells, everything happening around you is a miracle.

You live your life as if you know the future. But, the very next second in your life is the biggest miracle...

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Jackfruit Festival

This evening, I had been to Gandhi Smaraka Seva Kendram, at S.L.Puram near cherthala. They had a training program conducted by Uravu, Wayand about making variety of dishes with Jackfruit. The organizers are willing to have similar programmes anywhere. They are doing this to create awareness about Jackfruit products all over so that the nutritious, organic fruit will be utilised more in future. They are giving training to ladies to produce different jack products at home as individual or as a group and to market it under a common brand.
I was surprised to see the list. here are a few, even you will be surprised.

1 Edichakka uppery
2 Edichakka achar
3 Edichakka pulikari
4 jack pakka vada
5 Jack ediyappam
6 Jack pappad
7 Jack murukku
8 Jack kondattam,
9 Jack puffs
10 Jack puttu
11 Jack cutlet
12 Jack seed soop
13 Jack laddu
14 Jack mysore pack,
15 Jack mixture
16 Jack vada
17 Jack seed uppery
18 Jack koonji uppery
19 Jack jelly
20 Jack squash
21 Jack trophy
22 Jack seed bonda
23 Jack fruit bonda
24 Jack halwa
25 Jack seed horliks
26 jack dosa
27 Jack edly
28 Jack vatteppam
29 Jack unniyappam
30 Jack Payasm mix
31 Jack Payasam
32 Jack Jam
33 Jack bolly
34 Jack varatty
35 Jack Sreekand
36 Jack Pickel
37 Jack friedrice
38 Jack soop
39 Jack Curry
40 Jack frui chips
41 Jack burfi,
42 Jack coffee
43 jack fruit sip up
44 jack fruit nutter
45 jack fruit kozhukata
46 jackfruit sukiyan
47 jack seed masala
48 jack poori
49 jack fruit chappathi
50jack ginger tea
51 jack ginger coffee
52 jack payasam 3type
53 jack payasam mix
54 Jackfruit Ready to serve products
55 Jackfruit blending products
56 Jack fruit bakery products
57 Jackfruit bars
58 Jackfruit blended candies
59 Jackfruit seed powder
60 Raw jack powder

Toddy Tippler

Last Saturday, we had my uncles and cousin visiting us with their family. They came here to have good toddy, which I get from our farm itself. But as usual, we were short soon and had to make a trip to The toddy shop at Poochackal. As the owners are known to us, we were able to get good toddy, and we had real spicy fish curry, mussels ( Kakka), Puttu and kappa as accompaniments. Sitting there, I was thinking of the variety of foods available in toddy shops.
There is one toddy shop near Kallara in Kottayam dist., which is reachable after a short walk thru the varambu in the paddy fields. Excellent backwater fish like Karimeen, prawns, crab, natholi etc are available. To enjoy the food, you will have to fight with mosquitoes as the shop is in the middle of paddy fields.
Then there is one at Keezhambara, near Bharananganam, which is famous for Pork, fish, Nadan Kozhi curry, Unnakkirachy ( Dried beef- fried). There you will get both coconut and palm toddy. The place is set in a coconut grove, a drive in kind of place and is on the banks of river meenachil. Oh, I left out Pattanakkad toddy shop which is right on highway and the speciality is Meen Thala (fish head) curry. Really spicy.. but Umm.. Yummy...
I long to get into the one near Kulamavu dam, It has and inviting menu displayed by the road side, and overlooks the dam. It is a toddy shop with a view. Usually when I travel thru Kulamavu, it gets dark, hence no chance to get in till date.
You have few at Kumarakom, which gives you good food and variety, but a little touristic. The toddy may not be that good, but worth trying the food.
There is one near Panangad bridge which is famous for Liver fry and Thalakkary. Kalabhavan Mani is the brand ambassador.
Wherever it may be, nobody will deny the joy of having good food ( But spicy..)with a tippling of few glasses of toddy(irrespective of the quality).
More Toddy shops are being researched. Will keep on posting.

Earthcare

1. Financial Contributions to community
Earthcare contributes financially to the local community through implementing a formal donation program and/or by making its own direct corporate contributions.
2. Support Community-Based Tourism:
Earthcare partners with local communities to provide services to clients and create benefits that address local communities’ needs. At destinations, Earthcare employs mostly local residents living in or near the areas being visited and purchases most of its supplies from local businesses.
3. Promote and Implement Environmental Best Practices:
Earthcare implements best practices to minimize its environmental footprint and suppliers are mostly locally owned and operated suppliers where possible.
4. Promote Responsible Visitor Behavior:
Earthcare educates travelers before and during the trip on low-impact travel and conservation practices.

Nature

Knowing that Nature never did betray
The heart that loved her. - William wordsworth.
I read in the newspaper last week that Govt.of Kerala is joining hands with Malayala Manorama to supply tree saplings to all households in Kerala. I think it is high time that such a socially responsible action to be taken.
As I am a regular traveller for the past 21 years , I have seen and felt the effects of deforestation. And learning from all these, in my farm which lies in the plains, I have started planting trees since 2004. Now we are able to feel the difference in temperature/ fertility of the farm. I am getting lot of small birds and animals as visitors in my farm daily.
We should encourage friends/ relatives to plant trees around their house, instead of laying pavement tiles/ concreting all around.
Few months earlier, I read about a person in the high ranges who gives tree saplings as gift when he goes for any housewarming function. What a wonderful idea!! The person will be remembered as long as the trees are there in the yard. How many gifts have you recieved in your life ? Can you identify the person who gave it to you ??

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Loneliness

My wife and kids are out on parol. You realise how lonely are you without somebody, when they are not with you only.
My friend's cousin's one year old child died of an accident which involved the parents too. How lonely will the parents be today when they get back to their house after the funeral. They will no more hear the laughing and crying and no more will they be able to play with the child. How lonely will they feel when they see the child's toys, dress etc. I dont know wether they will be able to get into their car anymore, which took their little daughter's life.
I dedicate this post to all those who are lonely, all those who have lost either, husband, wife, son, daughter or friend
But mind you, loneliness is a catalyst for creativity.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Kerala Naadan recipes

I will be posting naadan recipes. I have a good collection with me, all of which are collected, overheard, or seen in cookery shows.
Let us start with Puzhukku and Chammanthy
Ingredients
Van payar (red cow pea)
Kappa ( Cassava)
Kachil (yam)
Chena ( Elephant foot yam)
Chembu ( Taro, Colacasia)
Coconut 1 grated
Jeera 1/2 tsp
Green Chillie 8
Small onions (shallots) 15
turmeric powder 1/4 tsp
Salt to taste
Prepration
Boil Vanpayar. When it is almost done, add Kappa, add chena after 5 minutes, add kachil and chembu after 5 minutes. Once all are cooked well, add salt, drain and then add the rest of the ingredients ground to a coarse paste and mix well preferebly with a strong stick. Add Curry leaves and two tbsp of coconut oil , mix well and keep covered until chammanthy is ready.
Chammanthy
Red chillie powder 1 tbsp
black pepper powder 1 tsp
shallots- small onion crushed 10
garlic 2 pods crushed
ginger 1 small piece crushed
Cococnut oil 1 - 2 tbsp
Salt to taste
those who like sour taste may add a little vinegar also.
Mix together all the above and enjoy with puzhukku. MIND IT it is spicy.....

Home outdoors

I was outdoors at home today. I am experimenting on co- existent farming. This week, we planted around 80 banana rhizomes and along with that i have started planting, beans, ladies finger, cucumber, bitter gourd, chickpeas and what not. Last year also, I did the same thing with just 5 bananas and it was more or less success. This year I am going to try it out in whole of my farm.
Nowadays, it is fun to work in the farm as it is shaded with trees, you have all those turkeys, rabbits and chicken walking along. It is fun to listen to all the birds sound all around as it is the season of birds berry, jackfruit and mango. they come to eat these. Not to forget Squirrels who come to drink nectar from Banana Blossom.
I have two uninvited friends now. One is an antelop who lives inside the bush of pineapples and the other is blackie, a dog from the neigbouring house. Balckie takes away any footwear which is in front.

Wayanad,

Last week, I was in Wayanad. I stayed in Beuna vista homestay. It was one of the best homestay experiences I ever had. Anil and his family were the best hosts. Even their children, a relative who was staying with them, Anils dad & Mom who lives next door all shared the same attitude and nature.
Oh I cant resist going back to them. Excellent food they served, for us it was typical keralite food complete with Raw Jackfruit puzhukku, Natholi fry, Appam etc.
Anil has two cottages and one room attached to his house and is in the middle of an organic farm.
He directed us to Uravu, where we saw bamboo being used for construction. they use it to reinforce concrete in place of steel. I boughts some bamboo handicrafts, pen made with bamboo etc. Forgot to mention Chakka varattiyathu and dehydrated fruits ( jack fruit and banana)

Kattappana

Oh, I have been travelling to kattappana for quite sometime. But i keep on discovering some small, but interesting things everytime. Last week, I discovered a quite, nice, little eating place at Idukki. You get Cassava, fish, Rabbit meat, Dry meat fry etc over there which are prepared perfectly in kerala taste.