The quest for natural hair dye

Indigo henna hair dye

To dye, or not to dye. Most people have to deal with this question sooner or later. Although I am quite comfortable with my greying hair, it can sometimes get awkward when everyone around you colors their hair. It probably depends on your culture, but honestly, hanging out with friends who are your age or older but who look younger than you with respect to hair color is a bit difficult -especially if you are still single. Your friends too wouldn’t like to look like they are hanging out with the uncle. Continue reading “The quest for natural hair dye”

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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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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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Drumstick leaf fried rice

drumstick moring leaves fried rice medicine

The drumstick tree, as it is known in India or the Moringa Oleifera, is a well known tree. The stick like seed pod is commonly cooked and at home is mandatory for sambar, the leaves although being highly nutritious are seldom used in our house. Even though we had a tree by our window all through our childhood years in Bombay, my mother, in spite of knowing that it was edible, seldom prepared it. They themselves ate it during their childhood, but only in its capacity as a medicine or probably as some kind of famine food during hard times. Even when I go home for Christmas every year, and we have a tree growing in our garden, she won’t prepare it unless I insist. This time I did. The flowers of the Moringa are edible as well.

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Meen kolai (Barbecued fish)

grilled fish barbecued

All the practical aspects for my blog posts take place out of my house, usually when I’m travelling to different places on official work, or on leave -especially my annual leave which I prefer to take all at once for Christmas. This is a blessing in disguise as I can focus all my energy on my list of things to do and research.  Once I switch off my phone for a month, it is utopia. The Christmas before last, I had heard that the fisher folk of Udupi  have a very easy method of grilling their fish. I did ask the fish wife Yashodha who comes selling fish to our house daily and she told me how it was done and then as usual I got involved with my other projects. It wasn’t time yet for that post.

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The Nook Adde press

Nook addae machine press rice noodles Udupi karnataka

When we were kids, we went  home to Udupi from Bombay every year to spend the summer holidays with our uncles, aunts and cousins who all came to grandma’s house for vacations. For a change, we had lots of place to run around and when we played hide and seek, Ajjamma‘s (i.e grandma in Tulu) gadang (store room in Tulu) was one of the places to hide. We normally avoided this place as it was full of weird spiders and other insects and we always wondered what else alive or dead lived there among all the old stuff of generations past.

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Making Semai Adde

Nook addae machine press rice noodles Udupi karnataka

I mostly go home only once a year, usually for Christmas. This is also when I grill the poor old things at home for posts for my blog. I hate to do this as this kind of information is passed on during casual conversation or while doing something related together, rather than through interrogation. Many times it ends up causing a mental block in the interviewee as I try to make the most of my available time. Mum and her sisters are so used to doing things without recipes and measurements as repeating them again and again over 60 years has made it part of themselves. Continue reading “Making Semai Adde”

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