Green Mango Rice

I said I was going to do it before the season was over... so here I am, bearing the gift of my mother's Green Mango Rice recipe. The mango carts are now covered with Neelams (pretty and sweet, yet harbouring those black beetles) that mark the end, so I just about made it.
Amma's Green Mango Rice
Look, this entire thing depends on how many are eating, how sour you like your food, how much you have and so on. So don't take any of it seriously, just play - it's a forgiving recipe.

1. Approximately 2 cups of cooked rice
2. Perhaps 1 large green mango - grated
3. A little bit of finely chopped coriander leaves

Grind together till fine the following: About 1/2 coconut, a tablespoon of raw mustard seeds, 4 green chillies (or 8, depending on who's eating), 1 teaspoon of jeera seeds, salt to taste.

Mix the whole shebang (i.e. Items 1, 2 and 3 as well as the ground mixture) together, check for salt. Then season with the following:

- Hot oil, into which goes
- A teaspoon of mustard seeds
- A teensy pinch of hing
- A handful of curry leaves (I love them and therefore add plenty, you can add less if you like)
- 2-4 red chillies
- 2 tablespoons of ground nuts
Easy-peasy and it's yummy - so try it before the last mango vanishes!

While on the subject of the much-beloved and seriously good-for-you curry leaves, here is something I make when I am cooking ridge gourd (which, my Ayurvedic doctor assures me, is exactly what one should be cooking in Aashada. "Cook and eat all the gourds - haagalkai, sorekai, heerekai. But NO badhnekai!")
Ridge Gourd Peel & Curry Leaf Chutney

This is fantastic with hot rice and clearly what the doctor orders in this windy season of no dals, channa or rajma. I'm not kidding! Vayu, apparently, is on the rise in Aashada, so one must desist from legumes which cause seasonal aches, pains and lumbago.

1. Scrape the peel off your ridge gourds (I dunno...maybe 2 - 4 ridge gourds)
2. 1 tablespoon urad dhal
3. 8 red chillies
4. 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
5. 1 small pinch of hing
6. 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
7. Salt to taste
8. Wash about 1 cup of curry leaves
9. A lime sized ball of tamarind

Roast all ingredients except the salt, tamarind and curry leaves. When the urad dhal is golden brown, take off the heat. Grind together with salt, tamarind and curry leaves - till fine. Transfer into a dish. I sometimes add a little more oil to the chutney, you can decide if you want to. Mush into piping hot rice and, well, wallop it!

Zui was down with a cold and fever and I felt so sorry for the poor mite, all a-sniffing and a-groaning, that I thought I might bake something to cheer her up. What inspiration do my shelves offer? A well scraped (empty) jar of Nutella and some Peanut Butter. Alles klaar! Chocolate-peanut butter brownies it shall be!
Chocolate-Peanut Butter Brownies (or, Nutella-Peanut Butter Brownies) aka There's No Losing Brownies

1 cup salted butter, melted
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 eggs, beaten
1 cup flour
3/4 cup cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
I cup peanut butter (or, 1/2 PB and 1/2 Nutella)

Combine the dry ingredients well. Then combine melted butter, sugar, peanut butter (or PB & Nutella) over a low heat. Take off heat. Mix in the beaten eggs and vanilla extract. Fold in the dry mixture. Pour batter into a greased and floured dish (mine was an 8 inch square dish) and bake in a hot oven for approximately 20-30 mins or till the top starts to feel firm to the touch. Leave for about 10 minutes before cutting. The moistest brownies imaginable with minimal effort. Zui's cold was somewhat appeased :)


Other Folks' Blogs

There are so many fantastic blogs out there by young Indian women I'm grinning widely for the sheer spunk of it. It's a whole new art form, this blogospere, and Indian women have taken to it like, well, like folks who have been offered up a chance to mess with our heads, expand our horizons and challenge any remaining Luddite views we might have on New Media. Expression, opinion, photographs, video, widgets and if one so chooses, anonymity via avatars. Hmmm...diarists never had it so good before. Besides, ain't no nitpicking sub-editor gonna aim at homogenization and complain about punctuation. 

I discovered Third World Ghetto Vampire by Kuzhali Manickavel and it's really bloody fantastic. 
If you come today, you're too early, if you come tomorrow, you're to la-a-ate!

The Dr.Rajkumar byline coupled with her lippy style and  bang-on observations make it eminently readable. http://thirdworldghettovampire.blogspot.com/ 
Here's a sample for those of you who can't be bothered to click on the link above: 
"And now I am going to talk about SlutWalks because this just wouldn’t be a chickblog if I didn’t talk about SlutWalks yougaiz. The SlutWalk in Delhi had interesting and completely predictable effects on certain sections of our illustrious society. Some people who had hitherto been trying to wrap their heads around the novel idea that one should not call women sluts suddenly became superconfused and excited because the word ‘slut’ is very exciting. Other sections of society made the exceedingly clever observation that if women themselves are parading themselves as sluts, then why won’t they be treated as sluts? The aforementioned superconfused contingency took a great deal of comfort from this observation and now these two sections of society are like bee eff effs yougaiz.  The ‘SlutWalk joke’ was born and quickly distinguished itself as a very unique breed of humor where peeps got extremely emo and upset if you did not laugh at these jokes, even if they were mind-blowingly unfunny." 

This is not an isolated case. There are also blogs by...
- Meena Kandaswamy - "blog by a 26-year-old tamil woman obsessed with dr.ambedkar's dream of caste annihilation" - with her poetry, prose and opinion. meenu.wordpress.com

- Shilo Shiv Subramaniam - A stunningly beautiful blog, named for the Beatles song - Across the Universe.
For loveliness alone, this should win every blog award hands down. I dunno where this changeling popped out from with her dreamy vision, pastiche/collage story telling but she is the original "butterflies and rainbows and fairy tales" girl. Don't be lazy, click on this link now, you'll be so glad you did!  http://bonifisheii.blogspot.com/ Oh, and yeah, she's a Bangalore girl :))))

- Anindita Sengupta - She has her own blog dedicated to her poetry and also edits the Indian feminsit blog - Ultra Violet. 
Click here http://aninditasengupta.com/tag/blog-award/ and you'll see that she was awarded a prestigious Orange Jammy! I would give you the link to Ultra Violet except it's been compromised. 

- Toto Funds the Arts - This blog, in a strange way, could be the mother of many other blogs as it supports young Indian writers, photographers and musicians thus paving the way for more funky blogs. http://totofundsthearts.blogspot.com/

- Then there is http://madnessmandali.blogspot.com/. Not saying anything, you check it out :)

- Itisha Peerbhoy - While I'm plugging Bangalore Girls, here's one who is a relative of sorts. She is the Muggle-grandmother of Mushroom, being the Muggle-mother of Paris and so on. Ok, if that is too obtuse, her blog is not. It's awesomely honest and funny. Except that you now have to be an invited reader to access it, but try your luck: http://itishapeerbhoy.blogspot.com/

- Aliyeh Rizvi - And another... If you want to read about a Bangalore that only a Bangalorean could reveal, click on Aliyeh's affectionate homage to a Bangalore that is fragile and on the verge of extinction. http://aturquoisecloud.wordpress.com/about/ I love reading the cantonment names (Cash Bazaar, Madras Bank Road, )and looking at pictures of places that I grew up with and that may not see the light of tomorrow thanks to that anachronism that is development. When she writes about Koshy's that one can "Sit there with a good book, count raindrops trickling down the window and  discover how easy it is to make time stand still." I know the feeling.

- Sharanya Manivanam - Another super articulate blog by a Madras girl. I claim her as sister, being myself the sum of infinite Brindavan journeys from Parent's Home in Bangalore to Grandmother's Home in Madras. I also had a, hitherto undisclosed, summer addiction to the softies at Aavin Milk Bar and an altar boy in the Theosophical Society chapel.
Click here for her take on the Slut Walk: 

- Er... this is not strictly by a woman. And it's not strictly a blog...But the author is Indian, young and it's a veritable treasure trove. If you love music and are intrigued by what went down with western music in India in the early part of the 20th century, your search can rest here a while. Naresh Fernandes is coming out with a book about the jazz age in Bombay in October. The website is full of little gems about the then-scene (who was Louise Pacheco?) and archival recordings. Even an homage to Mina Kava, the composer of Bombay Meri Hai. http://www.tajmahalfoxtrot.com/

I could go on. It's a brave new world and young women are doing plenty to hold up the cyber-sky. And, it has to be said, unlike the print media with its images of yawningly boring celebrities and vacuousness à la mode, these girls are all so damned gorgeous. Original, multi-coloured and non-conforming. 
Go for it. Click. Click. And click. Get into it already!