Cooking Prawns. A Successful Journey Into The Unknown.

I did it, and it’s the most yummy!

We got some fresh prawns straight out of the net of fisherman. Circumstances made me the only cook available to see that the freshness is not lost in the freezer.

Googled a traditional recipe and found something which could be my favourite, ‘prawns with thengakoth (coconut slices).

Marinated the cleaned and about half kilo prawns with salt and kudampuli (cambogia) washed again and drained.

Put in a hard bottom Cooking vessel and added the following ingredients- one sliced onion, 6 shallots, half coconut flesh sliced, 6 garlic pods, one inch ginger finely cut, one tablespoon chilli powder, 3/4 tablespoon coriander powder, 1/4 tablespoon turmeric, one pinch of fenugreek powder.

All mixed well and cooked with water enough to be just below the prawns.

In a separate pan diced some curry leaves and a teaspoon of mustard in coconut oil. Added to the almost cooked prawns with more coconut oil and salt to taste. Covered and cooked till dry.

And it turned out Yum yummy yummiest. Believe me.

(Published in my broadcast group titled ‘Cooking Exotica & Fitness’ where I have my experiments with traditional food and delicacies. Prawns is bold and happily successful).

Cooking Prawns. A Successful Journey Into The Unknown.

Kerala, It Could Still Be The God’s Own Country.

This is apparently an index prepared in a UNDP and Oxford University study showing Kerala topping the list.

Nicknamed God’s Own Country, the state has been under the scanner of late, even among us residents. For one the infrastructure is poor and the latest ‘highest crime rate in the country’.

But then the lack of organised development of infrastructure could have preserved the natural beauty making it a fabulous tourist destination.

But crime rate! Something is wrong somewhere. And I did try to give an answer to one of social media ridicule suggesting that most crimes are reported.

I also mentioned a news, quite sometime back that Chengannur railway station in Kerala returned highest revenue for railways adjusted to size. Amazing for a state where railway infrastructure is poor and is not the preferred mode of transport. Then someone told me, ‘everyone here buys a ticket’.

Same could be the case for crimes. First in reporting and registering crime. Otherwise it’s difficult to fathom something like it, the notorious first rank.

This then proves. The conviction rate is highest, way above the rest.

Kerala, It Could Still Be The God’s Own Country.

A Pineapple Revolution In The Offing. Wine and Jam!

As posted in the broadcast group ‘Cooking Exotica & Fitness:

Pineapple Jam.

There’s a pineapple revolution taking place in Kerala. Rubber plantations are on the decline and pineapple cultivation is happening in earnest. Kerala government has decided to grant licence for wine production and I can see pineapple wine in a big way. Perhaps it may rival grapes and we even may have wines of the best pineapple region Vazhakkulam, branded as “VAZHAKULOGNE”. Here I made pineapple jam from memory with a big ripe pineapple. A little bit of Chef’s innovation has been there. I crushed half the skinned pineapple in Nutribullet and cut the other half into small slices. Added water, sugar (preservative) and placed on the stove for boiling. When it was half done added Kerala spices of cloves, cardamom and cinnamon. One table spoon of gelatine and lime squeezed are also added. Continued on small fire for the right constituency and taste. Delicious 😋

A Pineapple Revolution In The Offing. Wine and Jam!

Water Metro. It Could Change Kochi.

India’s first Water Metro is coming to Kochi. It is expected to be plying by November 2020, an year from now.

It connects 10 islands in Kochi through 15 routes, spanning a distance of 78 km.

“Once completed, water metro will be the best water transport project in the entire Asia,” said the Managing Director of Kochi Metro Rail Limited which will manage the water Metro also.

The KMRL project proposal says that the project is expected to reduce pollution and traffic congestion in the city and also ease access to business areas on the mainland for urban households along the Kochi lakeshore. Water transport is also inherently more energy efficient than rail and road transport. The project plans to inroduce modern energy efficient environment friendly and safe boats.

There will be a fleet of 78 electrically propelled hybrid ferries plying to 38 jetties. The number of stations identified is 38. It is envisaged to be a ‘socially inclusive transport system than being just a transport service’, says the proposal.

I hope this will be the precursor to linking rivers and a state wide water transport in Kerala. In fact preliminary steps are being taken and this could change the way people travel in God’s Own Country.

My stop in the Water Metro is Thevara, the fifth from bottom in the map.

Water Metro. It Could Change Kochi.

The Power Of Habits. It’s Healthy When Positive.

To think about it, I have a number of things as routine or habit. Some of them are based on examples from others, many of them are wellness related and some are financial in nature.

If a habit is positive, it’s okay to be obsessed with it. For example, wellness related programs are a habit which I would like it to be a hobby. And I am sort of obsessed with it.

It’s not easy to be on a fitness regimen, but then ‘no pain, no gain’. And it’s perhaps okay to be open with it and publish personal pictures showing trimmed shapes. Frankly I want also to share success and hence the wellness group on Intermittent Fasting, where I am trying to get a group to achieve the positive results.

A habit based on other people’s example is my practice of moving the car forward, first time I take it in the morning. And then only reverse if I have to reverse.

A financial habit is frequently checking the stock market movements and seeing how my portfolio is behaving. I am not a player in the stock market. But I applied and got a few shares in the FERA dilution process of 100% owned foreign companies long time back. And the values now are attractive for me to monitor the index on Economic Times and portfolio on Equitymaster.

Interestingly blogging here what comes to mind is also a habit. The good thing is that no draft or review is required, just type and post.

Love it.

The Power Of Habits. It’s Healthy When Positive.

A Beginning To An Ambition

I was back again in my hometown in connection with a function and one of the visiting relations quipped “it’s so green and calm”.

Yes it is. And we jumped into the river where the water was fresh with recent rains. We could relive the childhood days.

And my dream is to make my small piece of land along the river, a green forest.

The Avacado plant perhaps is the beginning. The sapling is a present from a friend whose daughter grew it in water using a technique of half immersing the seed.

There are plenty of fully grown trees in the land, which include a mango tree estimated to be 100 years old.

The river has a number of winged visitors. There were white storks, water birds and I saw two kingfishers flying across shrieking at top voice.

They were different, they were big in size, like the ones we had in the childhood days. They are back.

Two disappointments, one the river has good water only when it rains well, creating a swift flow to wash the muck dumped by insensitive humans.

The second is a thriving vehicle body repair shop with a dump of abandoned vehicles and polluting the river with waste water.

Nature has demonstrated umpteen times that it can bounce back like the kingfisher birds.

And we need to cooperate.

A Beginning To An Ambition

Kochi In Lonely Planet’s Top Ten For 2020 Travel. The 7th.

My home town is seventh best travel destination in the world, says Lonely Planet with an authority to adjudge.

I would agree wholeheartedly, but then interior Kerala would have a higher ranking in beauty and calmness. Of course, we can’t expect a worldwide organization to have the wherewithal to analyse something interior.

Actually such places are not to be in the list, some people who are not in the know would say! Accommodation is also a big factor.

That’s when I want to speak about the rural accommodation of home stays. You can find one in most of interior Kerala. And they are good. Pricy too. And surprise, the roads are better.

And then why Kochi! Here’s what I picked up.

‘It’s not just physical beauty that gives the city its charm. Kerala is one of the most religiously-diverse states in the country, and Kochi reflects that in its culture and cuisine’.

‘In its description, Lonely Planet called Kochi a “nicely chilled city.” ‘

‘Lonely Planet also touted Kochi’s adherence to renewable energy practices after the city launched the world’s first fully solar-powered airport’.

“With boho cafes, intimate homestays hidden away in lazy, colonial-era backstreets, and a raft of forward-thinking galleries, this city keeps a tight grip on its heritage while wholeheartedly embracing its newfound cool.”

‘Next year, the Kochi-Muziris Biennale is returning to take over Fort Kochi. It is India’s largest art exhibition and the biggest contemporary art festival in Asia.’

One of the success stories of Kerala is tourism. Interestingly it is not government sponsored as people would confirm to you. It is the effort of common people. The serene beauty, greenery and the demographic parameters of an inherently friendly population helped.

Tourists come back to enjoy the hospitality and the calmness. That’s a difference.

I am not taking anything away from Kochi. The city truly stands tall to be the only city from India in the list.

I am sure the accolade will keep the authorities, the municipal corporation and the people on tenter hooks to keep city clean, roads repaired for the tourist to enjoy heaven in a Lonely Planet.

Kochi In Lonely Planet’s Top Ten For 2020 Travel. The 7th.