Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Rainy Rishikesh and some Bengali Tomato Chutney

I have been conspicuous by my absence, haven’t I? But the reality is that every now and then, I had this inexplicable itch to come to this virtual world of mine and share these teeny meeny details of life…of what’s making me uber happy…or something that making me cringe”. But then, I kept fighting my feelings and waited.  (Perhaps I’m not alone in this, ask any blogger and they’d tell you how overwhelming this desire to blog about everything around us is)

I waited for a glorious noon like today, for my daughter to take a slightly longer nap so that I could give you a tip toed visit.

And tell you that over the last few weeks I have been:-

Out and about camping with little S and lots of lovely crazy family in the rainy Rishikesh.

Id-eating my little S’s 2nd B’day party

Spending a few lush weeks with my best bud. My mom

Looking for a new play school for little S

Almost forgetting that I have an office to go to,

Reluctantly getting work ready.

Let’s start with my camping trip. So we went to Rishikesh to a secluded beach camp.  Our rafting and other adventurous sport plans were marred as it kept raining throughout. Still it was kind of relaxing to be huddled with close family, away from all electronics and modern trappings which sidetrack us away from the business of being a family.

The toddlers in the group got all the adult attention they could dream of …they did act goofy , got into silly fights , but they gotta be themselves. We gossiped and guffawed, visited the regular touristy spots, rested well and ate even better and came back halfheartedly to the usual humdrum of regular lives.

Disbelievingly I’m already on a countdown for the next smallish trip. I don’t know where I might be heading to next, but I’m impatient for it to be planned. Sometimes I think my life’s so much like these bright firm red ripe tomatoes. Bittersweet, but you want to do away with the odds and hold onto all that's bright red and beautiful, and that’s when I turn to the kitchen to cook and seal the happiness in a jar. If you are anything like the, you too would perhaps head to your kitchen right away and make a pot of Tomato chutney. Once done,be patient enough to cool it and then have a large dollop of it with your rice and lentil curry, or anything else you might want to care to add it to… Making it is easy. You’ll be happy you did!

And I didn't tell any of it any sooner than today as I didn't want my family with all the extended versions of it… tell me one day that “oh – she forgot to talk to us, as she was so busy chronicling about how happy she was in our presence!!”

Tomato Chutney or Tomator Chaatni 

 Ingredients for Tomato Chutney

3-4, ripe tomatoes
1 Tbsp ginger julienne
2 green chilies, deseeded
2 tbsp raisins
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 bay leaves
1 tsp fenugreek/methi seeds
2-3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3-4 tablespoons sugar or palm jaggery

Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan. once it smokes, temper the oil with de-seeded green chillies,fenugreek seeds, cumin seeds, bay leaves and lastly add the raisins. Let them all cook together for around 30 seconds, and now add the coarsely chopped pieces of tomatoes and the grated ginger. Mix all of till till mushy.

Add the sugar and salt once its all in a juicy mush. lick -check the spices, as its predominantly sweet.Cook well till most juices are soaked up and consistency is chutney like. Remove from heat. Cool and enjoy with whatever you please.I love mine with rice and dal.

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