Covid, Kerala Retains Quarantine and Test Requirements for Entry.

Kerala started very well with virus control, but now leads the country in number of infections per thousand or million.

Indian Government has lifted controls on interstate movements of people and goods so that the virus pandemic will not create an economic pandemic simultaneously. It’s also a recognition of the right of citizens.

Perhaps, there’s also a recognition of the advantage of herd immunity.

We can understand that ‘herd immunity’ is not something that can be advertised as people may tend to relax precautions to acquire it. But it looks like a fact.

Keralites, with known enthusiasm on hygiene, self preservation (if not selfishness) are less likely to be willingly relaxing any virus precautions.

An educated guess could be that the infection chances are more in places like Covid testing centres.

Then if the health minister insists on pre tests for the virus before travelling to the state and then test again after a week’s quarantine, then the visitors are exposed to the risks of Covid testing centres twice.

This is in addition to the damage it can cause further to the state’s tourism industry. Remember tourism along with non resident remittances are (were) the silver linings in the state’s economy.

Panic warrants sensible actions.

Covid, Kerala Retains Quarantine and Test Requirements for Entry.

Dress Sense and Maid Pressure

A lockdown environment and a private terrace encouraged me to enjoy a dress sense without the need for much clothes. Underwear stayed mostly in wardrobe.

Adoption of Intermittent Fasting along with extended workouts using the mostly idle lockdown times, started showing on the body, resulting in narcissistic love for the bathroom mirror.

And all the clothes in store suddenly turned old fashioned or non essentials. Fasting and workout took some 5 inches off the waistline. Amazon deals made the delivery man ringing doorbell practically everyday with new, thinner, tighter, body clinging outerwear, with or without sleeves.

Laziness and lack of much outside exposure made clothes barely used and repeating the same dress for many days was the easier norm.

Till the new part time maid arrived. She comes with fashionable clothes and by the time she repeats a dress, I would have forgotten that she wore it before.

Some pressure indeed, and a maid induced dress sense, at least during the time of her visit.

Dress Sense and Maid Pressure

Kulfi Like Fig Icecream

I got some fresh figs (20 smaller sized) and an idea to make icecream with them came up. More so after the delicious seethaphalam (custard apple) Icecream from neighbor’s daughter.

Scooped the inside of the fruits and added some granola cereals for any crunchy bite that it can bring.

I am not following any recipe here and I can pick and choose what ingredients should go in. Perhaps for the first time I added white sugar. But instead of milk, I added thick coconut milk. And for a creamy mix, added a tablespoon and half of condensed milk.

I thought about some food colour, but decided against it as the fig provided a slight pink tint and kulfi look.

Mixed all the ingredients in a mixer. The contents came up very creamy, which is not bad. But I was thinking of kulfi.

Took a teaspoon and half of Agar Agar, added some water and boiled it. Mixed it well in creamy mix with an egg beater.

Poured the contents into a rectangular container and put it in the freezer, covered with thin foil.

The fig kulfi Icecream block looked attractive. Unfortunately I forgot to take a photo before enjoying some and sharing a good portion with the neighbors.

The photo is of what’s left behind.

Next time, I will be equipped with some kulfi essence.

Kulfi Like Fig Icecream

Intermittent Fasting, and still three meals a day!

Imagine having breakfast, lunch and dinner and still do intermittent fasting and gain the benefits. That should be acceptable to all.

16.8 is the normal so far, and one needs to skip a meal which is not okay to some, especially when it’s breakfast on the block.

It’s possible to win going slow and steady. Remember the tortoise who won the race against the hare. He has been winning ever since in every motivational story.

Consider this, have the breakfast at 9 am, lunch at 1 pm and dinner at 7pm. That looks normal, isn’t it? Just that, don’t have anything other than water from 7 pm to next day 9 am. Well there’s sleeping time of 7 to 8 hours in it.

14 fasting hours have at least 2 hours of burning of stored fat. Weight loss and the numerous other IF benefits follow.

What about autophagy, the dream benefit of IF! High intensity workout would induce that. But HIIT is not for all. Remember the tortoise is the hero and he needs to win.

I am on a 20.4 schedule and I used to workout real hard burning some 1400 calories in such moves. Lost 14 kgs and waist size shrank 4 to 5 inches.

Initially the energy was good. Then some anxiety with all the talk about losing skeletal muscles in longer fasts and strenuous workout. Oh no, and hence workout calories reduced to 800. Hopefully autophagy is happening.

I also started with 16.8 and two meals. But how about 14.10 and three meals! Now the question is why everyone is not doing it. Let’s do it, for the benefits are many.

Slow and steady, and win.

Intermittent Fasting, and still three meals a day!

No Cook Delicacies. Coffee and Granola Tart.

I found this easy and wonderful recipe on blog ‘Simple_YetDelicious’ on WordPress and I promised the blogger friend that I will try and make it and give the feedback.

I made it and It’s simply delicious!

The detailed recipe and how to make it are available in the link to the blog given below.

As usual, there is a modification that I made depending on the ingredients I have. Instead of almond milk, I used coconut milk. And I went a step further, I got the tart frozen than just chilled in refrigerator.

The presentation is not as good as it should be, but I think I know how to make it look better.

I didn’t have the tart mould or cupcake cups in Bangalore and I got Bulfyss Reusable Silicone 12 Pieces Round Moulds for Muffins/Cupcake/Jelly/Cake (Made in India) from Amazon.

Please note the made in India tag. It’s even microwave friendly.

Recipe is in the blog link here:

No Cook Delicacies. Coffee and Granola Tart.

The Trial of the Chicago 7. A must see movie on Netflix.

‘The Whole World is Watching’, I am not saying about watching the movie, but it’s the chant of the sprightly young demonstrators in the movie.

It’s a court scene with flashbacks on the demonstration which apparently is based on true events.

And I remember getting goosebumps, many a times, during the 2 hours plus movie.

Hero/ heroine, there are plenty. Some bordering role models.

And brilliant all the way.

Why am I worried then! Yes I am, as perhaps we can relate.

‘The Whole World is Watching’.

The Trial of the Chicago 7. A must see movie on Netflix.

Delicious Red Chutney. Rekindling Childhood.

I have been searching for this chutney, closely resembling the one my mother used to make which I thought was extinct as none of us remembered how she made it.

That’s when I saw ‘Thattukada Red Chutney’ recipe by blog friend Chitra in her

Her recipe is like this:

“Preparation time approx 10 to 12 minutes.


3/4 cup grated fresh coconut

1 small piece of ginger

1 very small garlic pod optional.

3 to 4 red chillies.

small piece of tamarind.( if you dont like tamarind taste omit this)

3 piece of shallots.

2 tbsp coconut oil.

1 tsp mustard seeds.

2 red chillies.

few curry leaves.

1/4 tsp asafoetida or hing


In a mixer jar put coconut, red chillies, ginger, few curry leaves, garlic , tamarind and salt. Grind this adding little water.

Heat a pan add oil . Add mustard seeds. When it start spluttering add curry leaves, red chillies and asafoetida. Add finely chopped shallots. Fry till it turns brown. Now add 11/4 cup of water and the coconut paste. Mix well. If your gravy is very thick add little more water. Keep the stove on sim and boil the gravy stirring it continuously. Take care it should not split. No need to boil for longer time. Remove this from stove and serve”.

I made it using Chitra’s recipe and yes, there’s a resemblance.

I don’t usually like hot and spicy food. But this case is different. That’s because of the childhood memory of eating idly and red chutney. So add a few more red chillies for a firey hot taste. Another tip is to partially burn the red chillies kept after the ones used for grinding.

Idlies are put in liberal quantity of hot red chutney and mixed well with hand into almost a thick pulp. And add quite a good quantity of sugar and mix again.

Idly will never taste better. And for me the memory of my mother’s red chutney and idlies.

(Picture also from Chitra’s blog)

Delicious Red Chutney. Rekindling Childhood.

Avacado Dark Chocolate Pudding

Avacado is healthy fruit and good fat. There are plenty of them in Bangalore and I have done many delicious smoothies and guacamoles.

Change makes it interesting. There are salads and those on toast with eggs are all options done. That’s when I chanced upon this idea, pudding.

Scoop out the ripe avacado and run it in a mixer. This is my wife’s method. The recipe talks about mixing everything together. But this method makes the contents smoothier.

Add honey and chocolate powder into the mashed avocado in the mixer and mix the contents into a very smooth consistency.

Transfer the contents into cups, chill for a while and the pudding is ready.

Put a sprinkle of sea salt on top to get that differentiated taste.

It’s really good and healthy.

I may try variations like adding coconut milk and freezing the pudding, to be softened in the mixer again before serving.

And you know what, the recipe is from the YouTube video by none other than Martha Stewart!

Avacado Dark Chocolate Pudding

ഉള്ളി പഴയ ഉള്ളിയല്ല! (Onion is not the old Onion)

കോച്ചി പഴയ കോച്ചിയല്ല (Kochi is not the old Kochi) is a Malayalam movie dialogue made famous for it’s probably notorious, threat tinted tone. And it’s used liberally when someone wants to assert with mafia sounding words.

But ഉള്ളി പഴയ ഉള്ളിയല്ല is actually a statement of fact. Interestingly it has no mafia tone, but at worst an admission of the loss of it.

I was just about to think that I have mastered the art of peeling and cutting Onion without the accompaniment of much tears.

But I am a little disappointed to read that onion has lost it’s virility with changes in pesticides and genetically modified farm techniques.

The macho feeling in cutting and eating the virulent root is gone.

Perhaps the only blessing in disguise is the likely absence of the unpleasant breath after eating raw onion.

ഉള്ളി പഴയ ഉള്ളിയല്ല! (Onion is not the old Onion)

Amla (Indian Gooseberry) Drink and Halva!

Panaka is the gooseberry drink included in the traditional recipe published by the ministry of AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy) .

Boil half a Kg of Amla and remove the seeds from the boiled berries. Mash the softened amla into a pulp in a mixer. Add some water if required and squeeze the juice out in a cloth.

This is actually a slightly difficult process and an idea struck me. Why not make a halva with the residue which retains some of the juice.

Add liberal quality of palm jaggery (sugar if required) half teaspoon each of ginger and cardamom powder to the juice. I added a few mashed dates and brought the contents to boil in a vessel.

Added honey when cold and mix well before pouring into a bottle.

According to AYUSH, the health benefits are:

It can be used as a healthy soft drink as it acts as immediate energy supplement. It is rich source of calcium, potassium, vitamin C, B complex and antioxidants. It is good for osteoarthritis, athero-scelrosis, anemia, peptic ulcer, urinary tract infection, dysentery and high blood pressure.

Amla Halva. My own recipe.

Heat ghee in a hard bottom vessel and add the amla residue. Mix well. Add palm jaggery according to the sweetness required. Add half teaspoon each of ginger and cardamom powder. Add some mashed dates and mix the contents over medium heat into a Halva consistency.

Spread on a plate or similar surface and allow to cool down. Cut into small pieces and enjoy this uniquely tasty Halva.

Amla (Indian Gooseberry) Drink and Halva!