The morning breeze is heavy these days ... not as light and crisp as in winters.
Blows more languidly.
I still sit out in the swing in my little balcony in the early mornings .... after I have filled the bird bath and watered my plants.
The sun turns bright way too soon ... and the breeze touches me in a more lazy way. The plants feel the heat approaching and are already still.
The birds come hurrying ... the small ones have a quick drink and a dip, shake the water off themselves vigorously and are off ... all in a matter of a minute.
The bigger ones are more confident .... my sitting there do not bother them ever.
The swallows even scold me once or twice for shamelessly watching them have a bath.
A couple of crows have made a habit of demanding biscuit from me ... will actually sit on the railing and stare at me till I give up and go inside to get a biscuit.
I don't remember when did this ritual actually start ... but now they are so assertive that I hate to disappoint them.
Summer also means a lack of variety in vegetables.
We have to make do with the limited Lau / lauki, Bhindi / okra, sheem / broad beans and a few brinjals here and there.
I am talking of Pune, mind you. You might be the luckier ones who live in places that have beautiful, moisture laden vegetables and fruits and leafy greens.
We really have to go to different places to get different ... read good .... vegetables.
We try to eat local ... that is one thing that ensures fresh vegetables.
Which also limits our access to varied produce.
We were at the Mandai a couple of weeks ago. After finishing our errands, we decided to explore the market a little ... me hoping against hope to get some fresh vegetables.
The sun was ruthless yet I walked around looking at stuff.
Nothing looked different from the once we get at our nearest supermarket.
So I just picked up a couple of fresh coconuts at the exorbitant price of Rs.45/- each and started our walk back to the parking lot.
And then I noticed these real small and good Tindas at a lady's stall.
Now, I have absolutely no regard for this vegetable. But B loves it.
The ones we get at the supermarket are usually huge in size and absolutely sham.
But these were good ... small, fresh with a light peel.
When bruised, they oozed water so promptly that I just had to pick them up.
Got them home and cooked them immediately ... fresh.
Since they were so tender, I did not have the heart to chop them.
Instead, decided to make them bharwan / stuffed.
Ma in law makes them this way ... I followed her recipe since I don't have much expertise with Tindas.
Tinda - 6 pieces, small and tender
Onion - 1 medium, chopped
Tomato - 1 big, chopped
Grated ginger - 1 tsp
Whole jeera / cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Dhaniya / coriander powder - 2 tbsp
Jeera / Cumin powder - 1 tsp
Punjabi garam masala powder - 1 tsp
Amchur / dry mango powder - 1 tsp
Mirchi / Red chilli powder - 1 tsp
Haldi / Turmeric powder - 1 tsp
Cooking oil - 3 tbsp
Salt - to taste
Fresh coriander leaves - chopped
How to :
Wash the tindas , peel and make a cross half way across them.
Do not cut them into pieces ... they should be whole.
Make a mix of all the dry masalas with a little oil and salt.
Stuff the tindas with the masala paste.
Heat the rest of the oil in a flat, heavy bottomed pan.
Add the onions and cook on low heat till soft.
Add the grated ginger and the tomato.
Fry well till the tomato is cooked and mushy ... you may need to cover it to cook.
Do add a pinch of salt to hasten cooking.
Remove cover and arrange the tinda in the pan, add the residual masala paste.
Cover and cook till the tindas are soft and well done.
They should not break open ... so take care when turning them.
You may add a little water if you see the need.
Remove cover, sprinkle chopped coriander leaves.