Apr 24, 2015

Farmers' Market came to town!

Its not that often for a Farmers' Market to come to a Suburban locality like mine. And when it does, we don't miss!

Last Sunday was exactly one of those beautiful summer mornings. My Son's school closed for the long summer break and there was no better way than to begin the holidays with the Farmers' Market. Though a hot and humid day, we spent a lot of time enjoying the open air under thatched roofs that saved us from the direct sun and the sweet flavorful fresh sugarcane juice.

The market was flooded with fresh farm produce and household products. There were fashion products woven from natural material and a whole lot of activities with potters, eco-planting kits and fanfare to add to the fun elements of the fair.

Not to mention, the neighborhood added to the festive feel. Lots of chit-chat on cane beds placed under the shade of large Gulmohor trees and make-shift swings added to the rustic festivities.

Here are some captures of this fun day with the family at the Farmers' Market.

We were perfectly timed for breakfast and what better than feast on freshly made sumptuous Indian grub!

Coconut water was available in abundance. The natural thirst quenchers.

Fresh juicy fruits that one just couldn't have missed!

The mouth watering farm fresh vegetables. They always have such a distinct flavor and taste.

The farmers ensured they stock up lentils at the sale...

So the next stop was obvious. It was time for condiment shopping. Fresh tamarind, onion, ginger and garlic all stacked up around the corner.

Farmers market without honey is not a market at all! :)

The grapes were worth its weight!

Beautiful terracotta art being taught by a fine artist.

Some more cooler terracotta indulgences- mishti doi (sweet curd) in a bhadh (clay pot). Unique to the fair and made me want to run back to Kolkatta!

Some greens to encourage the crowd to begin planting a home garden...

The sweetest stall at the fair! The juice was simply the best I have had in years...

The art n craft under the thatched roof!

The little patient hands!

Some home decor ideas...

With so much of action packed in one half of the day we were exhausted and yearning to crash land at home. :)

So we bid adieu to the Farmers' market and its fluttering buntings and wish that there are many more such beautiful experiences packed through our summer break.

Signing off on that fluttering note... :)


Apr 13, 2015

Aam, kola ar chire makha- a delicious summer day snack in the Bengali Household

Early memories of Summer Holidays and visit to Kolkatta (my home-town by birth) are so finely etched in the mind. Time with cousins, lots of pampering and the delicious treat of chire makha every evening before we set out to play.

The mangoes we ate were the little ones from the local market and they were the sweetest smelling ones. The tasty treat was paired with the small yellow bananas and chire (also known as poha OR flattened rice) along with a lavish dash of milk. Frankly, the Mom's were happy and sorted with one such portion going down the kids...the calories were enough to keep one going on like they were loaded with the 'Everyday' battery!!!

I have a 6 year old now and summer is when we follow the same old tradition. Thankfully, this kid has taken to the taste as well! :) The only difference for this one is that he also gobbles slices of mangoes while he has his bowl full of delightful chire makha! :)

Here is a step by step guide to make your portion of chire makha:

Mango: 1 medium alphonso OR 2 small sweet deshi variety
Banana: 2 elaichi (small ones) bananas
Chire (flattened rice/poha): 1 bowl, rinsed well in drinking water and kept aside for a few minutes.
Milk: 1 cup

1. Squeeze the mango pulp on the soaked chire (poha/flattened rice).
2. Now mash the bananas and add it to the mango and chire.
3. Pour the milk. Mix all the ingredients together.
4. Serve with cubes of mangoes.

If you wish to, you can substitute milk with curd. This is for the lactose intolerant few. :)

Happy summer holidays!

Apr 1, 2015

Pumpkin in a bush. Oh! so often on a village walk...

Strolling along the mud path of the villages of India, encountering numerous pumpkin wines effortlessly climbing various types of supports is more than often; a blind spot.

To me they make exciting subjects for a shoot. Also, I have a vested interest. Almost in all my walks I get lucky, I get to carry the tasty fruit back home! :D

Sharing a few shots from some of my recent escapades with you lovely people.

Did you know: 
Pumpkin flowers make very tasty fritter! A Bengali household delicacy, here is the recipe just for you:

Pumpkin Blossom (Kumro Phool) 8 nos.
Besan (Bengal Gram) 1/2 cup
Maida (All purpose flour) 2 tbsp.
Green chillies, 2 nos., finely chopped
Poppy seeds (Posto) 1 tsp.
Turmeric Powder 1/2 tsp.
Asafoetida (Hing), a pinch (optional)
Baking soda, a pinch
Salt as per taste
Water to make the batter
Oil for deep frying

Make a smooth thick batter with besan, maida, green chillies, posto, turmeric powder, asafoetida, baking soda and salt.
Heat oil in a wok. Dip each blossom in the batter and put into the hot oil. Fry each side for about 2 minutes or until they are crisp and golden brown in colour.
With a slotted spoon, remove the fritters from the oil and place on a paper towel so that the excess oil gets soaked.
Serve hot with a good brew of tea.