Sunday, March 29, 2009

Muringakka Paalu Pizhinju Vechathu – Drumsticks stewed in mildly spiced up coconut milk

Blogger Me: (In a pensive mood)What’s happening to my blog… ‘s been few weeks since I last updated….!!
Real Me: So what? If you don’t feel like updating, don’t do it. Btw, who cares whether you post something or not??
Blogger Me: That’s true…..yet I have been getting some comments from my readers and mails from friends asking about my disappearance……some of my friends even phoned me …….so there are people who open my blog….
Real Me: (shrugs)) yeh…..may be

Blogger Me: I think  I am going through a terrible blogger’s block….just don’t know what to write…….
Real Me: If you don’t know what to write, don’t write. What bothers you so much…? You were never like this… never liked forcing yourself to do things if you can’t commit yourself fully…….
Blogger Me: yeah….true……but this is just a hobby and blogging is something I  enjoyed a lot…….I don’t want it to end up in the list of my dead hobbies….:(
Real Me: Well, then…take a break….refresh yourself and come back….
Blogger Me: yeah ..I considered that option too….but after all these weeks, I still don’t think I am recharged enough to start blogging again…..I am afraid I ‘m falling into the deep pit of laziness!!

….a conversation that I went over and over in my small head in the past several weeks. A short break that started because of a small technical challenge from my old PC, that has been huffing and puffing for quite some time due to old age, got extended due to my sheer laziness and a series of cases of plagiarism. I am aware of the root causes too , yet the thought of moving my rear end from that cozy couch on a Sunday evening and dragging myself to the computer, transferring the thoughts into words and keying them into readable sentences as an introduction for the recipe, then typing down the recipe itself  to make it sound appealing and doable  to the readers out there, watermarking the pictures, uploading , editing……..I wonder, when did it start sounding like such a herculean task!!!!!! Did I really lose interest???

Like many bloggers, I am also going through that mid-blog-life crisis…….For a change, our dining table and chairs are placed and angled right in the centre of the dining corner…..placemats are stacked neatly on top and napkin holder and the vase holding fresh money-plant strings are right in the centre……window drapes are finally resting on its rod…….the army in black - camera, battery charger, tripod etc etc has been retreated silently to the inwards of the shelf……..that yellow scribbling pad to note down the measurements has been missing from the kitchen countertop, for weeks ……in short, there is no mess in the kitchen and dining area and to be precise, all the traces of a food blogger living in the apartment has been completely vanished!!!!!!!

So, before I show the ‘Road ends here’ signboard to myself , I thought I should make a grave attempt to recharge my own battery and to jump start the old wagon, let me start with some recipes from my drafts.

Muringakka Paalu Pizhinju vechathu is a beautiful example of the simplicity of Kerala cuisine where simple ingredients provide the ground for fragrance and flavour. The natural fragrance of drumsticks and curry leaves ……creaminess of freshly squeezed coconut milk………pungent smell of crackled mustard seeds and sautéed small onions in flavourful and aromatic coconut oil make it one of our favourite from the family of vegetarian dishes.

  1. 2 big/generous handfuls of drumstick pieces, cleaned and split lengthwise into 2 “ pieces
  2. 3-4 Indian green chillies
  3. A small 1” inch piece of ginger, thinly sliced
  4. ½ to ¾ tsp red chilly powder
  5. ½ tsp coriander powder
  6. ¼- ½ tsp turmeric powder
  7. Salt to taste
  8. 1 ¼ cup thin coconut milk/Randaampaal
  9. ¼ cup thick coconut milk/Thanipaal
  10. 1 tbsp coconut oil
  11. ½ tsp mustard seeds
  12. 2-3 dry red chillies
  13. 2-3 small red pearl onions, thinly sliced
  14. 1 sprig of curry leaves
  • In a “mann-chatti”/clay pot or in a sauce pot, add all the ingredients listed from 1 to 8 and let it cook in thin coconut milk, covered with lid,  in a low-medium heat till it boils. Now remove the lid and reduce the heat to low and cook until drumsticks are soft and done. At this stage, add thick coconut milk and let it cook for 3-4 minutes in low flame, till it starts to blend well with all the spices. Keep the flame at low and do not let it boil too much. Turn off the stove.
  • In another shallow pan, heat coconut oil, splutter mustard seeds, dry red chillies and sauté thinly sliced small onions and curry leaves for a minute or two. Pour everything to the prepared curry, close the lid and let it rest for 15 minutes.  Gently mix everything, before serving with a plate of steaming rice.
My heartfelt thanks to all those who dropped a line here, mailed & phoned me………Each comment & enquiry was enough to give me the nudge to get back to blogging but there are times when you really start acknowledging the significance of the word self-motivation!!!!! 

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