That’s Nine Months In Bangalore. Now Back To Kochi.

We came to Bangalore on March 5, to make a modification to the Bangalore home and the initial plan was to go back in about two weeks.

That’s when the pandemic started and we decided to stay put.

Bangalore is not new to us. I came here in 1992 to set up a new card business infrastructure for Standard Chartered Bank. And that move gave the opportunity to move internationally to be what I call myself a ‘global citizen’.

I even voted in the British elections.

This second Bangalore stint is also eventful. I got the time and inclination to practice some good wellness programs.

Now back to Kochi for a couple of months, to be back in Bangalore again, and that perhaps would be the plan going forward.

A couple of months in Kochi with the water view and then couple of months in Bangalore for the green view.

And some activities around them.

That’s Nine Months In Bangalore. Now Back To Kochi.

സീതാപഴം പഴേ സീതാപഴമല്ല. (Custard Apple is not the old Custard Apple).

I like the custard apple. But it was difficult to enjoy it because of the numerous seeds clinging inside the tasty flesh.

Not anymore, the new arrivals which are significantly bigger and practically seedless (less and easily removable seeds) are quite easy to enjoy and delactably sweeter.

Ever since I got hold of them, I am having one every day. That’s not a small quantity. They are bigger and I even got one weighing over 700 grams. It’s full of indulgence, heavenly pleasure in finishing it off all by myself.

True to my controversial stand that all pleasurable things are sinful.

I read somewhere that the glycemic index of custard apple is 54. And it has fibre. Then it can’t be too bad. But I am not too sure as it’s very very sweet. When I am given a choice of the finest of Malgoa mango and this golden custard apple, I may go for this Seethaphal.

Someone commented that it’s genetically modified! Well, what’s wrong there? Perhaps that’s required for the seedless outcome, taste and size. Also GM could engineer a pest resistant variety. In which case, there could be less pesticides.

One thing is for sure, if and when I succeed to be a farmer, there will be a few golden custard apple trees.

സീതാപഴം പഴേ സീതാപഴമല്ല. (Custard Apple is not the old Custard Apple).

Isn’t it Discrimination! Vaccine Not For Old. Not Yet.

I am shocked by a news item that the vaccine is now only for those in the age group of 15 to 65. Isn’t it a shame! The age group outside it are the ones vulnerable and who were prevented from coming out of the houses.

One would expect then that they would be preferred to be the first ones to get the protection.

Remember, during the initial virus days, there were horrific stories of the old infected left to die as the priority was for the young! Perhaps this is a continuation of the horror story.

The excuse is that testing was not done for them. Then it’s dereliction of responsibility. Vaccine developers, testers, sponsors, WHO and governments are to answer for it.

A tragedy!

Isn’t it Discrimination! Vaccine Not For Old. Not Yet.

An Easy & Healthy Snack.

Ragi powder (Finger Millet) is healthier than wheat, rice, maida etc that we usually use to make adas, chappathy and other snacks.

Ripe Kerala banana enhances it’s taste when boiled or cooked. And banana fritters is a famous evening snack.

But the batter is refined flour (maida) and rice powder. What if we bring in ragi here.

I used a simple, easy to make technique and the output is a wonderful snack option which is healthy too.

Roast two cups of ragi flour. Steam two Kerala bananas with skin till it’s soft (4 to 5 minutes)

When cooled down sufficiently, mix and mash both together. Add one cup of fresh grated coconut and half a teaspoon of cardamom seed powder. Add salt to taste.

Make the dough into small sized balls, fitting in the palm. No water is required. Spread them into round ada shape by hand on a chappathy rolling wood.

Shallow fry them on both sides in a tawa with coconut oil.

Delicious and healthy ragi ada is ready.

An Easy & Healthy Snack.

Best Things In Life Have A Sin Tag. But Can’t Let Go Most!

Succumbing to the weakness for pleasurable things has some drawbacks like bad health, law enforcement scrutiny and being at the wrong side of those moral guardians.

We have the option to say no to that icecream or the unique Kunju’s Jamroll. Once walked away, the opportunity to relish the pleasure is lost, at least for that time.

And if we stay and enjoy the sin, we’re called ‘the weak’, lacking self discipline and a carefree vagabond.

What if we can have the cake and eat it too. There are some defence mechanisms. I am going to talk about one of them. The Intermittent Fasting.

Research and studies have shown that intermittent fasting is probably the best wellness program.

The good thing about the program is that it talks about a certain period without food, with a window of certain hours during the day for eating.

An array of health benefits, including a fashionable weight loss are the attractions. And if these can be achieved while enjoying the favourite things, then why not!

We have a small group sharing information and support on intermittent fasting. If interested let me know with a message to my whatsapp number +91 9400056031.

Note: if healthy eating is adopted during eating window, the benefits multiply.

Best Things In Life Have A Sin Tag. But Can’t Let Go Most!

Planks And My Modest Milestone!

I was doing just about 2 minutes on planks when I started intermittent fasting in January 2019. And I was not regular at it.

I looked at planks again, just a few days back when I stopped my practice to do 30 push-ups in one go, due to a slight niggle with the shoulder.

I was seeing better stamina and endurance with several kilos down on weight and was recording minutes 2.30, 2.45, 3, 3.30, 4.

And today I was on plank position for over 5 minutes. That’s a milestone.

Planks And My Modest Milestone!

The Queen’s Gambit. Completely Watchable.

I liked this Netflix series very much. It’s not only that I am a sports enthusiast. There’s much to the story.

The competitive spirit, will to win and the passion are all there.

There are somethings more to it. Resilience, free will, comradery, addiction, sex are all portrayed brilliantly.

The friendship and support from those players who were defeated hollow, are amazing.

And finally the fantastic gesture of the world champion who surrendered to the young female champion.

Everyone played their roles well. It’s interesting how the nine year old orphan, Beth Harmon, learning chess from the Janitor Mr. Shaibel who is a solid character in the drama.

I am most attracted to the way Beth playing the game in her mind, visualising the game board and the moves on the ceiling.

There’s something for me to take away here. I am going to picture the Kansai world Master Games swimming pool and practice my strokes for a gold medal.

Queen’s Gambit, by the way is a chess opening with the white attacking, forcing the black to defend correctly.

Highly recommended to watch.

The Queen’s Gambit. Completely Watchable.

Early Morning Skyline

The sky looked interesting from the kitchen window of our Bangalore Jayanagar place. This is at 5.46 AM and the building with blue light is the Accenture building in Koramangala.

Quite early for the sunrise which makes me wonder if it’s the handiwork of the departing moon.

I know, it’s imagination going wild.

Early Morning Skyline

Many Things in Common in Maths, Music & Cooking.

A friend of mine quoted his professor as saying this. Mix different ingredients and you get different products.

There’s immense happiness in mastering any or all of them. And the variations by mixing different ingredients add to the thrill.

That’s why I am so happy to read his message. It encourages me to try different things.

Actually it’s not exactly the way I wanted though here, as I am following my favourite youtuber Zaikastreet for this peanut barfi.

I am talking about the sugar that I really wanted to avoid. True, most pleasures come through a sin.

Perhaps one can do penance by burning the glucose and fructose with some heavy workout.

The recipe is in the link. Since it’s in Hindi, I am briefly describing it here.

Heat one and half cup of raw peanuts in a tawa till it’s mildly roasted and ready to remove the husk.

Not an easy job, and a moram would have been handy.

I just imagined how it was done in the childhood days and managed to get the thin husk fly away without the moram.

Allow the toasted peanuts to return to room temperature. Then grind them in a mixer. One has to be careful here. Grinding too fine will make it into peanut butter (I almost did it with the result it had an oily tinge)

Heat 3/4 cup of water and add 3/4 cups of sugar. Stir the mix to a consistency when it becomes sticky.

Add the powdered peanuts and continue mixing till it reaches the thick consistency. I added 1/2 teaspoon of cardamom powder for the flavour.

Take two tablespoon of the mix and add some crushed nuts and kismiss. I had cashew, almonds, pumpkin seeds and kismiss in it and mix well.

Roll the mix into a long shape on a greased tin foil as shown in the video. Roll it up and keep in the freezer.

Add food colour (ideally yellow) to the remaining mix and knead it well for the colour to mix well. Spread on two greased tin foils. Place the frozen pieces on top and carefully roll as shown in the video.

Keep in the freezer for sometime and cut into desired sizes.

Many Things in Common in Maths, Music & Cooking.

Alternate Healthy Gourmet Cuisine. Ragi Ada.

Ragi (finger millet) is better than wheat or rice for someone looking for lower glycemic, calorie efficient food.

That’s why I took ragi powder to make some snacks as the last meal of the day for my 20.4 (20 hours fasting and 4 hours eating window) intermittent fasting.

There are recipes for ragi ada, and here’s my modified version.

Pour a tbsp of coconut oil into a tawa and add half a sliced onion. When it starts to turn brown add two cut green chilies and some crushed coriander leaves. Allow it to cool down.

Boil sweet potatoes. I have the orange colour variety. Peel the skin when it cooled down.

Take one and half cups of Ragi powder. Mix with the sliced (ideally mashed) sweet potatoes. And salt as required. Add the onion mix and mix well with hand.

It was mixing well, but some water was needed. That’s when another innovative idea struck. I had ripe and cut papaya. Added a few pieces and the mix became soft enough to make into balls.

Grease a foil or banana leaf and press the balls into ada shape carefully with hand.

Pour one tbsp of oil into a tawa. Place the flattened ada on hot oil and fry on both sides. Repeat for all the balls. The healthy ragi ada is ready.

Note: I didn’t boil the sweet potato well enough to mash properly. Mashed potato will help in making neater and evenly rolled adas.

Carrots or beetroot or even a combination can replace sweet potato. Ideally they are to be boiled thoroughly for perfect mashing which will help in making shapely adas and for better presentation.

One combination that I am looking forward to is using boiled Kerala bananas to ragi. And I will fry it well for a unique snack.

Alternate Healthy Gourmet Cuisine. Ragi Ada.