Survival

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 …
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The enigma of eating healthy

Eating healthy is an enigma indeed. This of course is on account of there being as many opinions on this subject as there are people themselves. It doesn’t help that those at the forefront of publishing these “scientific reports” often have  business interests, or are in the business of selling diets to lose weight, beat cancer or peddle …
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Review: Sony ICF-F12S Radio

If you were born in the seventies or early eighties in India, the sound of a radio -which was the only source of entertainment and news  then would bring on a wave of nostalgia and rekindle old memories. For me I have additional memories passed down from a generation before and radio is an inseparable …
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The millstone

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 …
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Making your own own coffee powder

Coffee has been one of my all time favorites since childhood. I can vaguely remember begging for coffee from my grandma and pestering my cousin sisters’ back home for coffee all through the day. The only difference was while my grandmother used filter coffee, my cousin sisters’ had made the move to instant coffee. I never …
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Harvesting and processing Arrowroot

Arrowroot (Maranta arundinacea) is a familiar name. As kids it was a kind of a sister to castor oil which mum sometimes spooned into our mouths. It was bland and insipid and that was the beginning of my childhood hatred for any kind of porridge and of Arrowroot biscuits which has thankfully now passed. Arrowroot …
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Harvesting and processing Turmeric

Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is a spice which is very familiar in Asia. It is usually used powdered and is one of the easiest to identify due to its bright orange-yellow color. However it is often adulterated and then colored with artificial colors. If you have a small garden patch, it is very easy to grow …
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Cow dung and its uses

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 …
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The Thootae: Torch made out of dry coconut leaves

Back to the main post on the coconut tree I’m fortunate enough to have people in my family who lived before the advent of electricity and studied by kerosene lamp. Often the kerosene lamp was just a round wick forced through a hole made in the metal bottle cap. I vaguely knew that before kerosene …
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Drying/Dehydrating coconut

  Back to the main post on the coconut tree Coconuts when stored in their husk last for a long time, even after their water has dried out. A dried out coconut is called a gontu tarai (Tarai = coconut) in Tulu. A coconut in Kannada is called tenginakaai. However, from a bug out or …
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