Sunday, May 15, 2011

sun, wind, dust and rain....

First off, thank you to all those people who write and comment, I appreciate it. It feels friendly and links up our worlds.
Yesterday we were busy tinkering- now we have closed hotels Praveen is home most of the time, which is really lovely- well there is the odd moment where if he gives me advice on how to cook something again I might brain him!! Generally though I sit back and let him help or just slide into sharing the job and life is fun.
 Yesterday was the day to harvest Gunda, from our 1 tree. Gunda is a berry type thing native to Rajasthan and will fruit in the driest conditions, in a landscape which is so dry it is hard to find fresh anything most of the these are awaited with relish.
Praveen was keen on them as a vegetable and to be used to make pickle. I cut on in half and it is full of a very sticky gelatinous  gooo....not the most appealing.
We made about 10kg [22lb] of Gunda and Green Mango Aarchar or Pickle. It is now sitting on the windowsill to develop for the next 3 weeks before we can dig in.....I know the Gunda part will come up well and can't wait for the green mango - even the smell of it makes my mouth water.
I have accumulated about 6 or 7 different Green Mango pickle recipes and think this year I will try them all out....I can make as much as I like because we can send it up to his family in Delhi and someof his mates are even willing to buy my pickles. Good to cover costs of making them.....yesterday's recipe called for 9 cups of fresh firey red chilli powder- you just know something is going to be tasty!

 Around lunchtime I took this photo of Matilda the cow and Baba in their new shade house....they both like it although I think secretly Baba wonders why he is sharing with a cow??? Notice how blistering the sun was yesterday- so bright nocolour was left...
 Then about 2 o'clock I noticed some clouds coming over the ridge to the south.....from that direction they can often bring a change. I say often not because this happenes on many occasions but on the few occaasions it does things happen.
 Well boy did it happen.....6 drops of rain, and that gloriuos perfume of rain ....I went to take a shwoer having just finished pickle making....and 5 minutes later came out to see a wall of dust....look at Matilda now- same view as before
 and can you see how much blew into the house? in no time flat, here I picked up the mat and moved a chair....would you believe it a few hours before I had been appreciating how shiny clean our home looked and this!! Just goes to prove "appreciate every moment with relish, you don't know when things will change"
 30 minutes later as the wind started to ease you could smell rain again and sure enough along it came. The winds swirl here quite often so sitting watching the first fat drops fall I saw some were cooming in angled from the right and the next from the left....makes lovely dust dancers most of the time and wonderful rain yesterday. I can't remeber the last time any fell out the sky perhaps a drop in January? last really big shower was 26 November.....
and guess what we discovered, our whole roof leaks like a sieve! we were running around every where putting bowls and moving things and checking to see where to worry.
Glad it happened now, we have the money to finish off 2 rooms for guests, one just needs paint we already have a guest bathroom for it but the other needs an en-suite constructed...we will need to take the money from that and re-cement the roof....always a new job, still Praveen enjoys it all so it won't be a difficulty for me to worry about.
And something extra yummy- I know the picture is less than was what was left in the pot after we had feasted.
Burnt Egglant or Baigan Bhata
 take 3 or 4 small egglpant and burn them over a flame, probably do this on an electric hotplate as well or throw them in the oven until all black on the outside and soft inside.

Separtely make a marsala
  • 2onions diced fine
  • 1 t ghee
saute slowly until soft and caramelised
  •  6 or 8 cloves garlic pounded
  • 2 or 3 green chilli pounded
  • few t to T of red chilli powder [to taste- we use a lot!]
  • 2 or 3 t coconut
add these into onions, stir through and keep stirring to cook them in
add some water and let cook a few minutes until thick again
roughly dice eggplant
  • finely chop 3 tomatoes
mix all together, heat through
  • add salt to taste
Have a great day....I am off to sweep and clean and chase out dust. :)


Evelyn said...

I love your recipes! The pickle especially sounds interesting and I am hoping to be able to come and taste it one day!

Chris Lines said...

Interesting as always. Thanks for taking the time to write about it all, I enjoy reading about everyday life in Rajasthan. Will try the aubergine thing - they are coming regularly here now and sometimes quite cheap.