Clay utensils in Coastal Karnataka

Clay is probably one of the oldest materials used by mankind. I find it quite exciting that just a generation ago my maternal grandparents used clay utensils for their daily needs. My grandfather even had his favorite clay plate. I am not sure whether they had clay glasses for drinking beverages at that time in Udupi, however in North India I still find shops selling tea or lassi (a sweet or salted Yogurt or buttermilk summer drink, often served with a glob of white butter) in earthen utensils was kulhads. Continue reading “Clay utensils in Coastal Karnataka”

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The millstone

Mill stone south Karnataka

The millstone, even though we were born into a generation that never had to use it, is familiar to most Indians. The reason behind this is that it was a symbol of punishment in most of the Hindi movies of yesteryear (where inmates had to grind wheat). Even today “jail ka chakki pisna” is a common phrase to refer to being imprisoned. In large households, some of the larger millstones were operated by two people (usually women) sitting in front of each other to share the load. Imagine my delight when I came to become a proud owner of my own millstone! Continue reading “The millstone”

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Cow dung and its uses

Making cow dung pats

Never thought I’d be doing a post on cow dung! I’m guessing this post would also apply to dung of other herbivorous animals which put out dung of the same consistency. My earliest encounter with dung was on my way to school when I sometimes trod on it. In school we used to call it cutting the cake. It was the worst thing that could happen to one of us -if you overlook instances when we accidentally trod on dog or human dung in which case, “kill me now” would be the most appropriate thing to say. Continue reading “Cow dung and its uses”

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Himachal’s water powered flour mills

gharaat water powered flour mill

Renewable energy is something I’m passionate about and an opportunity to live off the grid would be a dream come true. Among known renewable energy sources, solar photovoltaic cell technology is  way down on my list of favorites, as it is dependent on industrial manufacture. In addition to that, broken/disposed solar cells are not something that can be easily digested by the earth. I do love other solar technologies such as solar heating, solar ice making, solar water purification etc… Besides solar, you can of course use wind energy, capture energy expended in motion (such as the motion of tidal waves) and of course the most familiar, water energy -familiar in India,  because of the electricity we use here, generated by hydro electric turbines.

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Cooking in coastal South Karnataka

Udupi fish curry

Search for the words food and Udupi together in a search engine and you will quite likely come across the term “Udupi hotels” (read that as Udupi restaurants).  Even though this post uses these words numerous times, I won’t be writing about the vegetarian fare that is served in Udupi restaurants which has evolved to become such a delicious mix and match of popular south Indian snacks.  However, most people still think that these restaurants serve food exclusive or native to the Udupi region.  Well, read on…

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Fellowship with my camp cook gear ;-P

Clickstand Trangia Titanium Vargo SNowpeak

This is a first impression post on cooking with the cooking gear I purchased for my backpacking and camping trips. This test was done in controlled conditions. The items that I carried with me on my trip were the Bushbuddy wood burning stove, my Trangia spirit burner, the Clikstand for the Trangia, the Snowpeak Trek 900 Titanium cookset with its fry pan lid, my BHK Bushcrafter knife, a knife-fork-spoon-cork screw-can opener combi in an Olive drab pouch which is called the “foreign legion 5 in 1 chow set” online which I’ll call FLC for short and the  Snowpeak titanium plate. Continue reading “Fellowship with my camp cook gear ;-P”

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Experiments with meths

Trangia Clikstand

Do a quick search of the appropriate forums and you find that the general opinion is that finding meths in India is hard. Well this may partly be true, because medical spirit or Isopropyl alcohol (they are not the same thing) is pretty expensive if you plan to use it for cooking. Ideally of course it would be wonderful to have your own reflux/moonshine still ;-) and burn pure ethanol in its virgin state, but that might probably also land you behind bars in this age of patriotic slavery. So we are stuck with burning methanol [ CH3OH ], if you are in India, read that as adulterated methanol with additives such as acetone which gives off a foul black smoke which coats cooking utensils.

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