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Showing posts from July, 2009

Sangeet Natak Academy's treat to Delhi-vaasis Part 1

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The Sangeet Natak Academy awards for 2008 were given away last Tuesday, and over the last few days, the Akademi has strived to present the awardees' talents to the public. We enjoyed the rare treat, for treat it was! - at CCRT, one of the venues that was happily next door to us. These pictures convey only in a very small way the immense joy of watching talented performers who belie their age in the worship of their ageless art forms.
Saroja Vaidyanathan (73) Bharatanatyam Ramani Ranjan Jena (68), Odissi Ramhari Das (56) Music for dance, Odissi Narasimhachariar (67) and Vasanthalakshmi (55), Kuchipudi B Sasikumar, (60), violin and Mannargudi Easwaran (62), Mridangam Pandit Ulhas Kashalkar (54), Hindustani vocal

Nutmeg (aka jadikkai) pickles

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Meals in India's households are incomplete without dollops of pickles - those special spicy side dishes that can easily lend a 'taste good' factor to the blandest course.
At any given time, you're sure to find a few of the infinite varieties of lime, mango, gooseberry, garlic, ginger, tomato, tamarind... pickles in the larder of any home in India. (At this stage I feel it may be necessary to differentiate a pickled fruit - simple immersion in vinegar - from the spicy tropical preparations that belong to the class of chutneys and jams). The pickles are carefully prepared in bulk usually in summer or during the season of the particular fruit, and the jars stay in attendance day-in and day-out.
Non-natives may not have heard of the nutmeg fruit, much less of nutmeg pickles. The species is available aplenty in Indonesia, Kerala in south India, Malaysia and a few other tropical regions.
Thus far I was familiar with the potential use of only the inner parts of the fruit - the r…

Mangoes Gala - Man goes gaga!

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Want to see mangoes, smell mangoes, taste mangoes, feel mangoes, and hear (the slurp of) mangoes all day? Answer Mango quiz, write mango slogans, buy mangoes, pickles, and plenty of other products by the crateful? Look out for next year's Delhi Mango Festival. We were lucky to have made it in time for the Delhi Tourism's 3-day show July 3-5, at Pitampura Dilli Haat), which more than made up for our sorely missed mango season in south India. ("what a harvest this year! you just missed it" was the refrain rammed into the ear all June when we holidayed in mango-rich Kerala)
Rows and rows of the aam-yet-khaas (common, yet special) fruit in umpteen shades of green, yellow, orange & red - Chausa, Safeda / banganapalli, Neelam, Totapuri, Rumani, Sukul, Cipia, Rari, Fazli, Lalo, Malda (Bihar's best), Aish, Mithua, Ichakdhari, kachakdhari, Dinga, Haldi, Sensation, Sharda, Ramkela, Pusa Surya, Amrapalli, 'Tommy Atkins', Kesar, Maya, Ambika,Vishwanath, Shubha Pa…

Caution or Pessimism? You're welcome to decide

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