Posts Tagged kerala

Mango Unniappams

Mango unniappams is what we call ’em. Unniappam is a snack down south in the state of Kerala in India. The regular unniappams or ennappams are a popular snack in rural kerala. And they are given as ‘prasadam’ in Ayyapa Temple in Sabarimala. They are quite tasty, if a bit bland, but take care not to drop them or u’ll crack the floor!!!

Its always a special occasion when my family (Dad, Mum, my 4-legged bro n I). More often than not, my Gran’s sisters come for a visit on Sundays. No one comes without at least one packet of Homemade-something-spicy marinated fish to be fried, banana fritters, vellaiappam, savory vadas or soft unniappams. But there is one strict rule! No snacks till tea time.

Tea Time is always fun… everything is set out on plates on the dining table or if the weather is especially mild, in the veranda,. There would be laughter, chatter, Did-you-knows, cooking tips, beauty tips, plans made for the next weekend and the ceaseless gossip.

Now-a-days, we don’t get together so much…but traditional snacks will always bring to our minds the fun we had before…

Mango unniappam is a variation of that…

Ingredients:

  • 2 ripe mangoes-cut into pieces after removing the skin.
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup wheat flour (u can use rice flour also)
  • 1 tbsp clarified butter or ghee (optional)
  • 1 tsp black sesame seeds
  • 1/2 tsp elaichi or cardamom powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder (optional)
  • Oil-for frying

Method:

  • Blend the mango pieces and sugar into a pulp.
  • Mix the pulp with flour, baking powder, sesame seeds, ghee and cardamom powder.
  • If the mixture is too thick, thin it with a little water till it’s a smooth paste.
  • Scoop a spoonful of mixture into hot oil and fry till brown.
  • Serve hot with a large appetite and a sweet tooth

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Off to see the Wizard!

Hello everyone,

I’m off to Kerala for the onam season and to visit my grandparents…No internet, no computer for 10 whole days…except wen i visit the internet cafe!!!

Yes i’m an addict…n i’m not ashamed of it 🙂

how am i going to survive! dramatic Sigh…fortunately, i’m taking my diary along so i can doodle n put down some verses to brainstorm wen i get back…

for some reason whenever i think of going to my gran’s home, i sing “i’m off to see the wizard” in my mind…

Happy Onam to everyone…for those wondering what the heck onam is…i promise i’ll put up pics and a poem to explain what onam is about…

till then…I’m off to see the wizard, the wonderful wizard of  er…not Oz…. Byeeeeee…Take care everyone…hope to see you all soon… 🙂

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The yagna

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

Hamlet Act 1, scene 5

The heat was oppressing even as I got out of the car to step on the soil of my ancestors. My birthplace-a little village in the State of Kerala in Southern India.

My grandmother, a tiny woman with nerves of steel, gave me a hug and a broad smile as she enquired about my journey and told the maid behind her to place my bags in my old room.

After chit-chat and general gossip for sometime, she sent me to the ‘kolam’ (a large bathing pool). Dressed in the traditional settu-mundu(a two piece sari), I toweled my hair dry. It was wonderful being back in this house, back to my roots.

My grandmother set out my lunch for me and we settled down to feast on traditional keralite sadya or feast. I commented on how hot it was this year when compared to the last timed I visited. She explained that it had been a year since it had rained. The crops were suffering and drinking water was running out. Even the kulams had less water now, a fact that I had noted as I had my bath. The village panchayat had called a eminent brahmana to perform the rain invoking yagna. Today was the last day and it was supposed to rain at the close of the yagna.

I had my doubts about such things working, being of the general that believed in science and not in tradition as my grandmother put it. I explained that it was not tradition that I was against but superstitions like this yagna which seemed more like money making schemes to me.

I spent the rest of my afternoon meeting my cousins and the myriad aunts and uncles and neighbors in the village.

Apparently the whole village had gathered in the huge temple grounds where the yagna was being performed. I had to appreciate the brahmanas performing the yagna in this blistering heat even if I did not set much store by what they were doing.

Nevertheless, there was something to be said for watching a yagna being performed. Te chants and the smells and sounds added to the flickering flames were hypnotic and created an atmosphere that had to be seen to be believed. I could see the hope on the villager’s faces. Women in traditional sttu mundu with multi-colored blouses, a deep red bindi and sacred chandanam on their foreheads and the men elegant in their dhotis. The little girls played at a distance decked in brightly colored pattu-pavadas.

Splot…I blinked as a drop of water fell on my head…The crowd was murmuring in delight as drop after drop fell on the parched earth…

The rain came down in torrents and the people were dancing with joy as I looked on in disbelief as the yagna fire was completely put out by the rain it summoned.

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