How To

How to install Kannada fonts in Ubuntu

Since this blog has several posts about the Udupi and Mangalore region, I thought it would be good to do a short post on how to install the Kannada font in Ubuntu. I stumbled across this issue when I was trying to read a website in Kannada for an aunt of mine.

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Health How To Kitchen Recipes Survival

Making grape wine at home

I’ve read enough resources on making wine at home over the years to make my head spin. Wine making can be extremely confusing as on the one hand we find Westerners making wine in a laboratory/industrial kind of setting with grape crushers, de-stemmers, presses, hydrometers, racking canes, clarifiers, carboys, sanitizing chemicals like sodium metabisulphide and fancy equipment designed for wine making all of which amounts to a tidy sum in the form of investment.

On the other hand you have those elderly French and Italian gentlemen who have learned these skills from their fathers when they were around and who have been making wine regularly for as long as they can remember. In spite of not using any of the above (except for the grape crushers and pressers which are required due to the large volume of grapes they process).

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Botany Folk Medicine How To Outdoors

The Chir Pine: Pinus roxburghii

I’ve been fascinated by the chir pine Pinus roxburghii (Pinus longifolia) for quite some time and realised that I haven’t yet put down a post on it. I’ve marvelled at its beauty both at Sattal and also Mussoorie in Uttarakhand, India.  Unfortunately it is sad to see villagers set whole slopes of the forest on fire which is taken up by the layer of dry pine needles covering the mountain slopes. The villagers do it so that grass would grow again on the ground between the trees for them to take home back to their cattle. It is also suspected that the land mafia does this to deliberately deforest areas in connivance with the authorities which they can then encroach upon and sell. This is easy to do as the pine is rich in resin and catches fire easily even when wet.

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How To Kitchen Recipes

Extracting coconut milk


Back to the main post on the coconut tree

Whenever I think of coconut milk, my mouth waters. Although she is no more, three dishes prepared by mum come vividly to my mind and I can almost taste it in my mouth as I write. The first is a common breakfast dish of steamed/boiled sweet potato served with salted coconut milk sweetened with a bit of  jaggery. The other dish is peppered (black pepper) mutton stew with green pumpkin and coconut milk and of course the payasa or kheer made from padengi (green gram), coconut milk, clarified butter and dry fruit.

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Health How To Kitchen Recipes Survival

Using a banneton to bake bread

In my previous post on How to bake your own wholewheat bread, I have not told you the whole story of my my bread experiments. The goal was to get the loaf done right, and the only way to figure out where I was going wrong with sourdough was to go back to the basics and use easier instant yeast. Once the output confirmed that my techniques and timings were right, I went back to my struggle with sourdough.

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Health How To Kitchen Recipes Survival

Home made whole wheat bread

This has to be one of my longest experiments ever, partly due to me getting the baking bug only in the winters. The first two were disastrous failures and the end product could have been the choice of weapon used by Cain to kill Abel. The first one, used -wait for it… Champagne yeast and placed in a pressure cooker which doubled as an oven. It was pretty cold too -around 2 deg C in Delhi and the bread never rose. If I had saved the baked bread it could have replaced a brick in my garden wall back home.

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Health How To Kitchen Survival

Seasoning a clay pot

The pot you see in the featured image above is a “factory pot”. Yes that is what it is called in Tulu to distinguish it from the locally available thin pots. The thick pot is manufactured in factories probably in Kerala and needs no seasoning and is at least two times as thick as locally available pots turned on a potters wheel. The pores in the pot do need to be sealed before using it to cook though. Since it was the only pot I had, I decided to use it for this tutorial on seasoning pots. The local pots are a pale muddy brown while the factory manufactured pots are brick red… probably added color.

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