But there is too much happening all around me right now to focus well. All the travels, the change of places, seasons, people, room and even the beds are getting to me. No, not in a negative way.
I think I am soaking in all of these happenings way too much; so much that right now I am hardly in my 'being myself' mode anymore.
While Hampi was an explosion of gorgeous ruins of the glorious history, all lying around, waiting with open arms for anyone who wants to delve deep and really wants to seek the long gone era, Bangalore was a haven ... with the luxury of basking in friends' company and love. This time I did not venture out much ... had friends over and spent time with them in the luxury of my suite and ordered food in. It was a calming time for me, as the drive back through new landscapes and places was.
And right now, it is Rajasthan that has taken over my senses completely. My sense of taste, smell, hearing, seeing .... everything. The vast and sudden change in food, the way people talk and relate to, the way they dress ... everything assaulted me even before I could get over with the ill mannered 'gentleman'(?) in the train who refused to give me my alloted berth just because he did not like his upper berth. (!!!!)
But visiting the family in Rajasthan always takes me into a different world so quickly that I hardly have the time to sit back and revel in past happenings .... good or bad.
One step into the house and you are swept off your feet in the mad rush of what is daily routine for them.
Everything is happening at once.
People coming, going, talking, going about their jobs .... and all in clockwork precision.
The day starts early, but leisurely, with cups of tea being doled out. I always try to get up as early as possible to be with them ... only to be pushed back into my room with a stern advice that I should rest as I am on on a break.
That I am a bahu of the house and am expected to get up and get going has never been thrusted on me.
Instead I would always be greeted with a sweet smile and "Chai piyegi? Bann rahi hai."
The house helps would have long arrived by then and half the housework and cleaning would have been done. A couple of the old ones would banter with me, their "Bhabhi", trying to make me feel guilty as to why I was not there for Diwali.
Then the cook comes and everyone points towards me to decide the menu of the day. Papa would come my rescue by deciding finally what would be cooked ... but not before adding one particular dish that should be cooked by me. And of course, the menu would have at least one of B's favourite dishes.
And then, there would be a thousand and one relatives coming over ... just to be able to meet with us.
And since this time we were celebrating a milestone birthday, everything doubled four times over.
And, in all this humdrum, if you want to sit back , detach yourself and just watch ... you are welcome to. Nobody will disturb you.
But there lies the challenge. You just can't.
The energy all over propels you to get up and get going ... be a part of the housework; the people. I stay my quiet self by not speaking too much but listening and soaking in each moment to the full.
Which I am doing.
For a quiet person who lives in a quiet neighborhood in a quiet flat that does not hear much except for some Jagjit singh or some Rabindra sangeet in the mornings and evenings, this whirlwind is a wee little overwhelming.
So I turn to my only sane place, my blog.
And some recipes that are very close to my heart.
Like this Kanchkolar bora or Kacche kele ki tikki or patties made from the raw banana.
Plaintain or raw banana is an excellent source of fibre and iron and I try to incorporate it in my daily lunch plate at least thrice a week.
Boiled and mashed, plain stir fried or made into these tikkies, I love raw banana in all forms. While I prefer the mashed way to the others, I have to resort to making the tikkies or fry with spices for B, once in a while.
Since it is winter and we have some very good vegetables these days, I could not resist grating in a good amount of cauliflower into it this. If you do not have cauliflower, no need to worry. Make it plain or add whatever vegetables you have at hand .... just make sure they cook quickly as the raw banana is already cooked.
Boiled Plaintains / Raw bananas - 3
Fresh Cauliflower - grated, 1 cup
Onion - 1 medium, chopped
Fresh Coriander leaves - chopped
Fresh green chillies - 3, chopped
Carrom / Ajwain seeds - 1 tsp
Sugar - a pinch
Red chilli powder - 1 tsp
Bhaja mosla / Roasted garam masala - 1 tsp
Salt - to taste
Oil - to shallow fry
How to :
Mash everything together.
Shape into tikkis.
Heat a seasoned tawa or a flat pan.
Fry the tikkis with very little oil till the yturn golden brown and crisp on both sides.
Here is a closer look.
These can be enjoyed as a snack with your evening cup of tea too.
Here is a look of our lunch plate that day.
Along with rice, it has Tele kopi, Mah ki dal, Besanwali gobi and matar (cabbage with green peas and chickpea flour), Kecche kele ki tikki , some spring onions. a slice of lemon and green chillies.