Ragi cerelac Recipe

April 1, 2011

Hi Everyone, am back after a long break.
Several people have been asking me the recipe for Ragi custard or ragi cerelac for infants. Pasted below is the instant method. Two more to follow soon.
(Source: Friends and relatives)
Instant ragi custard:
Wash very thoroughly and soak one fistful of ragi overnight. In the morning, put the soaked ragi in the chutney jar of the mixer and grind to a smooth paste.
Add water intermittently.
Transfer contents to a soft cloth-lined sieve (a muslin cloth or a white cotton towel).
Sieve really well as babies can’t digest ragi husk. DO NOT USE TEA STRAINER FOR THIS – ONLY CLOTH WILL DO.
Take the white filtrate and mix 2 or 3 ladles of water.
Keep on slow flame in a heavy bottomed pan and stir non-stop till the ‘ragi milk’ becomes like custard and attains a glazed/shiny look.
Cook slowly adding lots of water. Avoid lumps.
Feel free to add more water if needed. — Adding more water really depends on the comfort level of the baby – the more thin it is, easier it is to feed initially. Gradually make it thicker and at the ‘thick’ custard stage it will look like nicely set pudding.
The trick is that it should cook very slowly and thoroughly. After a few days, you could add boiled and cooled dairy milk (packet milk) instead of water.

Initially feed bland ragi custard – babies don’t know how it would taste with salt or sweet. So DO NOT garnish it with any spice or sugar.
When you do introduce sweet/salt, try adding jaggery, a table spoon of milk (to adjust its feedability…) and a little home made ghee before feeding. Feed when it is lukewarm.

Try tiny amounts in the first week. Begin 5-month old and gradually increase quantity to about 12-15 spoons of feed. Motions next day may be watery/grey… Don’t worry.

After a week or so, add pulps of infant-approved vegetables or mashed banana or mashed apple.
Suitable for infants who are 5-6 months old.

Disclaimer: This above method is a time tested home-made recipe and has been used for infants in our family from generations together. In any case, check with the paediatrician while introducing solids and semi solids.


Gaadegalu: Proverbs (in Kan) not donkeys!

February 18, 2010

Several instances in our lives are always accompanied by a few crazy one-liners. For instance, during any forthcoming exams or tests in school, our folks would always encourage us to study hard and use this one-liner: “kai kesaradare bai mosaru” – meaning good efforts follow good results. Proverbs or ‘gaadegalu’  as we know them have several histories and etymologies. Instead of exploring their real essence, I thought let me add some humour and provide a few literal translations. Enjoy…
And feel free to add more…  🙂

Pustakada badnekai
The Brinjal of Books

Kelage Biddroo Meese Mannagalilla
Despite falling down, moustache not soiled

Kumbalakai Kalla hegulu muttikonda
The pumpkin thief touched his shoulder

Thanna kala kelage kumalakayi kolathiruvaga bereyavara sasive hekkuvudu
When a pumpkin is rotting in your yard, you point to mustard seeds in your neighbour’s yard

Nanu chaape kelage hodare neenu rangoli kelage hode
I crawled under the mattress, but you have gone under the rangoli

Kallana nambidaru kullana nambabeda
You can trust a thief, but not a dwarf

Alpanige aishwarya bandaga madyarathreyalli kode hidida
When a poor man struck fortune, he opened an umbrella in the middle of the night

Kai kesaradare bai mosaru
If your hand is soiled, your mouth will get curd


Childhood memories

February 4, 2010

Nostalgia time:
1) Playing badminton with pappa.
2) Sitting pillion on Bhava’s yezdi.
3) Going to chickpet in hordes to buy smallest of items.
4) Tonnes and tonnes of groceries from Yestwantpur wholesale market.
5) Shanti Sagar in Bhashyam circle, having bread chola! Parties in one of the sagars for every occasion – and having three course meal – phew!
6) Exhausting, yet fun, Udupi/Sode trips and arriving back in Bangalore at 3 am. Sleep deprived, hungry and tired. Dreading to wake up and go to school/college. 
7) Filter coffee on stove – forever. Staple breakfast: concrete (Do I need to elaborate?).
8 ) Neem leaves kashaya every amavasya, never figured out the reason. Bhimana amavasye, omada kashaya. All of us drinking it with various ‘supplements’ like water, sugar etc. – and one of us invariably bringing all that back!
9) Enne snana with homemade sheegekai powder. Shampoo was almost a taboo!
10) Bambai bonda and goli baje.
11) Watching Yakshagana till 4 in the morning in a nearby school and facing the ‘music’ for coming home late. I was 8 🙂


Mum’s The Word

August 21, 2009

Zara haske, Zara Bachke. Yes I am in Mumbai. And I love it already. The crowd, the struggle, the travel, earphones as extensions of everyone around you, the food, and of course Matunga where I stay. My office is two stations away from my place. Matunga to Parel, cross the bridge and exit via Western Line, take a share cab and there is a huge line for it everyday. But it moves fast since one cab takes in 4 people. Get off the cab, buy breakfast — I still haven’t set up the kitchen. Lunch is either from Alankar or Kutumb Sakhi (a group of Marathi women who cook and sell food at affordable rates). 
Going on road is painful, now that all the ‘mandals’ and ‘societies’ are trolleying up life size Ganpati idols, and then there are special buses that travel to hinterlands of Maharashtra for all those who go ‘home’ for the festival. So train’s a safe bet.

It’s the same routine in the evening — I take an office shuttle or a cab to the station. I go over to the Parel side take a train and walk around the market and reach home. Dinner’s either in the ‘world famous’ Cafe Madras or the multi-cusine Garnish.

So that’s my life in Mumbai. So far so good. All said and done I miss the Delhi office and my colleagues 😦 (More on that later) I suppose one can’t have the cake and eat it too…


Bourne Sanction and Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society

July 21, 2009

I just love the sight of an upturned book next to my pillow. There is always at least 2 books next to my pillow that I am simultaneously reading. And just before I crash, I decide to flip through the pages of the book I want to finish reading first. One of my recent reads includes Bourne Sanction by Eric Van Lustbader. As always Jason Bourne is trying to find and fight his identities. Parts of it keep coming back to him. And when he thinks he has almost found the Webb in him, the Bourne bit takes over and reiterates the fact that he will always be a Bourne and not a Webb. Interesting read. I don’t want to get into comparing Ludlum and Lustbader as I read Ludlum eons ago. But if you are a fan of the Bourne series (both books and movies) you will like this book. And you just can’t help imagining Matt Demon as Bourne all along the book. And as I was reading it, I realised just how technology blends in easily with mysteries and thrillers and how books were written when these technologies – chips, flash drives, internet, bluetooth — did not exist at all.

And that brings me to the other book I read recently. The paperback version of Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. This was Shaffer’s first novel. When Shaffer passed away in February 2008, her niece Barrows took up the task of completing the novel. Juliet Ashton is a war correspondent and is tired of covering the events around World War. She receives a letter from a farmer Dawson from an island saying he has a book that once belonged to Ashton thus starting a series of correspondence between Dawson and his fellow islanders and Juliet about the literary club they have on the island. And then there is a parallel set of letters being addressed to Juliet’s mentor, friend and publisher about what she has discovered about the island and her relationship with Dawson. A little bit of history, some good hearted humour, tonnes of generosity makes this a good read. And of course the unusual nature of the title makes you want to pick up that book and get it over with! If you are an observant reader, you will even learn how to make a potato peel pie.


Kitchen King is Back

June 19, 2009

 The cook is back. Mr A was supposedly on a 15 day-leave which got dragged to 25+ days (this was to be expected). Well, the good thing is he is back. And I feel like celebrating!! Imagine cooking in the June heat. Phew. It’s not like I don’t like to cook or I don’t know how to. I do. But on a daily basis, nah! Not my cuppa.

The thing is we depend on him for everything – shop for vegetables and groceries (once a while), wash clothes and of course cook. He even knows a bit of plumbing. Essentially Mr A is our lifeline. And we just can’t do without him.

Mr A is quite a number among our friends and relatives. Those who visit us from outside Delhi is completey besotted with his cooking. And whenever they call us, there is always a nostalgic reference to what they ate when they were at our place, obviously cooked by Mr A. Whether Mr A’s coming to work regularly is the among the first three questions that my mum and Ma ask in a phone conversation. This question could mean several things. More on that later. But yes, what he has prepared, or about to prepare is always a mandatory question during a conversation with friends and folks who have known him.

And so, this morning I called several people (who knew how tough it would be to manage without Mr A) to say that the cook is back. And there was a chorus of sighs!


Reviving My Blog

June 18, 2009

It’s been ages since I wrote here. But I plan to get back to blogging. At least one a week is my resolution. I am not sure whether to begin from where I left off or to start afresh. The latter is easier I suppose. I just got back from Mumbai and I simply liked it for what it is. Will finally wrap up things and move there around August. And  yes it’s Mumbai that has sort of inspired me to revive this blog.

Hoping to be a regular!