Caption This!

I visited a Farmers' Market last Saturday on my short trip. I managed to capture this in pixels. While I gather my thoughts and my pictures, and catch up on a new backlog at work (why do they need me most when I am away?), take a shot at captioning the picture below. It is best viewed in large size.

I can hear some people crying for prizes in the hope that I might share some more of the Kashmiri saffron that I may have won. To them I say: to have prizes, there must be a correct or best answer and a panel. I have none. What I am offering is a spot of fun and some sharing of the wonderful time I had when I was away. So join in and have a go at it.

Happy Mother's Day!

A very Happy Mother's Day to all the wonderful mothers who make this world special!

This is Medha's gift to me this year. She made it in her pottery class. It is a pinch-pot made just like how the ancient ones, the Anasazi, made a wide range of pots and containers. The plant is a little wilted because she brought it home and hid it in the backyard in a very conspicuous bright blue plastic bag. I would have missed it if she hadn't led me to it by not allowing me in a particular corner of the yard that I had no intentions of going to! The next day we had high winds and it looked like it might storm, so I asked her to bring it in. It was a good thing she did because the poor plant was already suffering. We repotted it and we are hoping that it will survive. If not, we'll just plant some zinnias in it.

I love my gift - it even has a hole in the bottom for the water to drain out from!

It's going to be an extra-special Mother's Day for all of us. My gift to her is breakfast: I am making her favorite food, idlis! The batter has already risen and is threatening to overflow. I couldn't be happier!

I hope all of you have a wonderful day!

Very Berry Shrikhand

It's well known that I don't have much of a sweet tooth. Chocolate does not send me into ecstasy. I don't care much for Indian sweets or desserts, especially the ghee that oozes from them. An Indian sweet that I do relish, besides a delectable paal paayasam, is the rasgulla. And not just any rasgulla. The only one that will do is the one made by Banarasi Sweets, Khar (W), right next to the Western Railway Train Station. It was the only dessert offered at the small dinner party we had for family and friends to celebrate my wedding. There may be other halwais who make a better rasgulla but the one from Banarasi Sweets was the best I have ever had.

Shrikhand was never my favorite either. Till I had the adulterated version: the one with fruit in it. I became an instant convert! And that's what I made the other day. To rejoice in the fresh flavors that spring brings to the land. The 5+ feet of snow, several spring snow storms and a rainy May have turned everything a lush green. Last spring was dry and brown in comparison. We had to look for patches of green and rejoice in the small mercies sent our way. None of that this year!

Mama goose has had four goslings she is very protective about. The finches laid eggs, their babies hatched, grew wings and flew away. If it weren't for the allergies, spring would be my favorite season!

And, there are berries [from Mexico] everywhere...

Blackberry Shrikhand

  • 4 cups yogurt
  • 3/8 cup sugar or more
  • pinch cardamom powder **optional
  • 9 blackberries, sliced in half
  • blackberries for garnish**optional

  1. Tie the yogurt in a muslin cloth and hang for at least 6 hours to drain away the whey. You are left with thick hung yogurt that is known as chakka. Four cups of fat-free homemade yogurt gave me 1 cup of chakka.
  2. Combine the hung yogurt with sugar in a bowl and beat it until it is light, fluffy and smooth. You can use the hand-blender with the whisk attachment to do this or you could convert this into yet another opportunity to introspect, relax and rejuvenate - yes! Do it by hand. That's what I did! I started off with 1/4 cup of sugar and slowly increased it to 3/8 cup to suit our tastes. Traditionally, shrikhand is much sweeter. But remember that you don't want this berry shrikhand to be overly sweet such that the flavor of the berries is masked.
  3. Add the cardamom powder, if you are using it. I chose not to use it.
  4. Add the chopped berries and fold the berries into the fluffy shrikhand. Every once in a while, press down lightly so that some of the blackberry juice is mixed into the shrikhand.

  5. Chill for at least a couple of hours, garnish with whole blackberries and serve as a dessert.

Medha loved this berry shrikhand. Not so much my husband who found the berries 'overwhelming.' He likes his shrikhand made the traditional Gujarati way. Me? I love fruit shrikhand of all kinds!

Shrikhand recipes from other bloggers:
Gini's Shrikhand with Honey
Shrikhand from Becks and Posh
Lulu loves...Shrikhand

It's still May 9th here and I'm hoping to make it for Meeta's Monthly Mingle where Spring Is In The Air!

Does it have Chocolate Chips?

Ooooh! A cookie! With chocolate chips? Can I eat it?

A closer look revealed that the matter at hand was very complex. Those were not chocolate chips and it did not smell like one either.

It has a hole in the bottom! That's scary!

I stuck my nose into the depression. Mmmm! It smells di...iv...achoo...vine! My mind was spinning at the possibilities...

Chocolate chips? Cookie? Forget it! This is the Amritsari wadi.

What should I do with it?

There is Musical's Mooli wadi sabzi.
There is Anita's Wadi Aloo.
And a couple more.

I think I could make both Anita's and Musical's recipes, since this Amritsari wadi seems very potent! Yay! I can't wait for the weekend!!