Sunday, August 02, 2020

Friday, July 31, 2020

Sunset, Devgad Fort




It was long back in May 2009.

It was our second bike trip. We reached the Devgad Fort by late afternoon. There was a sudden thunderstorm approaching from the east. There was great running about as we hastily put all our equipment into waterproof bags and huddled near the temple. The storm was low and it was moving fast. It passed over the fort, spewing its contents, and out into the sea. Within half an hour the rain had gone. I clicked this photo in the beautiful light as the sun went down towards the horizon. It is Unmesh on the wall; reaching out to the clouds — the remnants of the fiesty storm.

Photo shot on the Panasonic LX3

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Egg dum biryani (अंडा दम बिर्यानी)


This will feed 6 Adults.

Ingredients.
  1. Eggs 12
  2. Basmati rice 3 cups
  3. Onions 5 large
  4. Tomatoes 3 large
  5. Curds 3/4 cup
  6. Garlic 10 cloves
  7. Ginger 1 inch piece
  8. Coriander stems
  9. Coriander fresh-cut copious
  10. Mint leaves copious
  11. Bay leaf 2
  12. Cloves 6
  13. Black Cardimon 2
  14. Star anise 1
  15. Jayatri 1
  16. Cinamon 1 inch pieces 2
  17. Black peppercorns 10
  18. Salt to taste
  19. Cooking oil of choice and quantity
  20. Cumin seeds
  21. Red chilli powder
  22. Tumeric powder
  23. Garam Masala or Biryani Masala
  24. Cashews 20-30
  25. Manuka / Sultana / Rasins 20-30
  26. Saffron about 10 threads
  27. Milk 1/4 cup
Collect all the ingredients. 
Make a paste of the garlic, ginger and the coriander stems.
Fry the cashews and keep aside.
Warm the milk and soak the saffron in it.
Wash the rice in water; drain the water and keep on side.

Start cooking in an open cooker pot which can be sealed later.


Hard boil the eggs.


Cut all onion longitudinally. Fry 50% of the onions is sufficient oil on high heat till they become brown (caramelized).


Like this.


In the same oil put 1/2 the spices, cumin and the onions to cook on low heat.


Add the ginger garlic paste to the onions and cook for some time till onions are translucent.


Add the diced tomatoes and cook further. Add turmeric powder, chilli powder and the garam masala/biryani powder.


Put a pot of water to boil with the rest of the spices. Add the washed rice and let it come to a boil.



Cook till the tomatoes pieces disappear. Reduce flame completely and let the mixture cool a bit. Then add the curds and stir well.  Add salt to taste. Adjust with more chilli powder and masala powder if needed.
Once the rice is 80% cooked, drain the water. Add all the de-shelled eggs on top of the masala. Add 25% of the fried onions, 25% of the coriander and 25% of the mint leaves on top of the eggs. Add the rice on top evenly. Sprinkle the saffron milk on top of the rice. Sprinkle the cashews and raisins. Evenly spread the remaining mint leaves, coriander and fried onions on top.

Now put the cooker top with the whistle and turn the heat to very low. Let it have the 'dum' for 15 minutes.

Eat.


Saturday, May 23, 2020

A sunset, only in the mind's eye



“In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous.”
— Aristotle



A glorious sunset ... in the mind's eye. The lockdown is making me yearn for the open spaces. Sketch on the iPad in Procreate.

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Deep Konkan, the lucky trip


The glorious Palash tree

Back in Feb Me and Jo (and our little parcel) were planning to go to Ooty in the first week of March. We had planned a nice 4 day trip via Bangalore, were we would meetup with Aniket and Priyanka and drive down to Ooty. But the dark clouds of Covid-19 were hanging on the head and when the time came to book these flights I was really worried. The airports would be the distribution centres of the infected for an imported virus. So we cancelled it.

Rima and Animesh (and their parcel), in the meanwhile had visited a farm in the deep Konkan and highly recommended it. We had to get out and so we decided to book it. On those days Amey and family would also be in Devrukh and we would visit them too, that was the plan. We would drive non-stop and avoid any interaction with people. First week of March was getting to be a risky time.

So finally the three of us left one early morning in the trusty Hexa and headed for the Konkan. The highway is good and we made good time. Soon we took the right past Karad and headed towards Malkapur. The first few kilo meters were good as the road was newly laid. We took a short halt at a hotel for loo and headed on. The road then got very bad and it was tough going.

In the ghat just before Malkapur we came across a fabulous 'palash' tree were we took some photos. Then on to Malkapur and Amba. At Sakharpa we took the right for Devrukh. For once we headed on towards Sangameshwar without halting here. From Sangameshwar it took some finding, a missed turn, but we finally managed to get to our destination. The last kilo meter or so was a dirt track...




The 'sada'


Early morning Fog!


Looking at the west valley


12000 year old art — Petroglyphs


a traditional kitchen


Testing the PD36R in the night


Chafa near the temple


Early morning!


Malkapur hinterlands


...

Monday, April 13, 2020

Deep Konkan


The “sada” — the costal high laterite plateaus of the Konkan.

Home to the hare, fox, jackal, civet, barking deer, wild boar, malabar hornbill and numerous other animals and birds these plateaus are enchanting. Traditionally these are rocky and less fertile so they have been left alone.








In the summers, bushfires lay black large tracts of these wonderful grassland.





Monday, December 23, 2019

Monsoon magic



The rolling Sahyadri foothills are heavenly in the monsoons. The lush green, the low dark heavy clouds and the cool drops of water falling on your face...


Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Pataleshwar Deepotsav



The Pataleshwar Temple (पाताळेश्वर मंदिर) which is located on the Junglee Maharaj Road in Pune is an ancient rock cut cave temple from the Rashtrakuta period. This magnificent Shiva temple is about 1300 years old.

Every year on the Tripurari Pournima (first full moon day after Diwali) a deepotsav (festival of lights) is celebrated at this temple.