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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Husking coconuts at home

  Back to the main post on the coconut tree Husking  a coconut can be done in several ways. The simplest, also seen in a popular wilderness survival show is to use a flattened stake embedded in the ground to tear into the husk and then twist out the husk in sections till the whole […]

How to open up a green (tender) coconut

Back to the main post on the coconut tree I had clicked these pictures a couple of years ago. After procrastinating for quite some time, I’ve finally posted them. Green or tender coconuts as they are known make for a very refreshing drink -particularly in the summers. They are known to have a cooling effect […]