Traveling to Mattancherry and Fort kochi

A view of Fort Kochi Beach
Fort Kochi beach

Finally, I reached Fort Kochi. I don’t know, I just love this place. Maybe because of different cultures and in the curiosity to` find the old cultures that are remaining there.

Kochi has a tropical climate ranging between 30°C and 34°C during daytime and around 24°ay, so the temperatures drop between 25°C and 30°C during daytime. The best time to visit is between October and April. If you prefer to travel during monsoon season the best time is from June to September.

One of the main attraction of Mattancherry is Mattancherry Jewish synagogue and Mattancherry palace. By the time I reached there, it was already 12.30 pm. The sun was scorching hot and I already started sweating. We have to walk to the synagogue through the jew street to get the complete experience. I saw People from all around the world. They were either busy in taking photos or was bargaining in one of the shops in the jew street. All though I wanted to collect all those old, traditional kind of things, it’s very costly and they are selling it to you for a higher price. Mattancherry synagogue was closed from 1.00 pm to 3.00 pm and hence I didn’t get a chance to get inside. I have visited the Jew Synagogue a few times before, so we headed back to Mattancherry palace.The Palace was built and gifted by the Portuguese as a present to the king of Cochin around 1555. Inside the building, I was walking with my eyes pointed up because of the artwork on the roof of the palace. It just can’t be explained in words. By the time we finished seeing the palace, we were all hungry and went to have food.

I wanted to take a lot of pictures of this place but photography is strictly prohibited in protected places.

Then for the refreshment, Kashi art cafe will offer you variety of foods if you are in a mood to eat western fusion food. I like all these art cafes and all those fancy decors they have. Even if the coffee or tea is bad, I can enjoy a bad coffee if the surroundings are good(joking).

St.Francis church is one other main attraction which is located at Fort Kochi, once this was the resting place of Vasco da Gama (Vasco da Gama (1460-1524) was a Portuguese explorer who discovered an ocean route from Portugal to the East). By walking through that area we can reach the seaside where the Chinese fishing net is waiting for us. This traditional method of fishing is gone and demonstrated only for tourism purposes these days. From here we will get the incredible view of Arabian Sea. By the time we reached the seaside, it started raining and everyone started running for a cover. We found one building which was partially damaged. After half an hour of nonstop raining, it all ended and the view of the sea was so refreshing. it was 6 .30 p.m by then, I don’t want to leave this place but I have to. I hope that I will come back here one day to watch this beautiful place and it’s culture.

P.S.-If we are lucky we will get to see the Kochi-Muziris Biennale. It stated in 2012 and happen only ones after every 2 years. We can see all the artworks of different artists from all around the word. Sometimes by seeing some artworks, I will just imagine things in my way. Maybe that’s what the artists also meant too, to gave the audience the freedom to think.

If you are planning to visit Mattancherry and Fort Kochi I found this Wikipedia page very helpful. For more travel information please go through this http://wikitravel.org/en/Kochi.

Thakkali curry/Tomato coconut curry-South Indian Recipe

Tomato coconut curry in a stone pot
Tomato coconut curry

I decided to write about this recipe(Tomato coconut curry)when I saw Amma was in a hurry to go to work and asked me what you want today? I said anything easy for you to make. So finally she decided to make this recipe which is actually made with simple ingredients and it tastes delicious. I just like to eat simple food. For me my Amma is the best cook in the world. I will never get tired of her recipes even if I’m eating her moru curry for one week. At the eighth day, I will remember the thing that I was having this for the past one week and I didn’t come to know, and then I will yell at her and on the very next day she will switch the recipe to ullitheeyal. 🙂

Ingredients for tomato coconut curry

Ingredients:

1 medium sized red onion

4 medium sized tomatoes

3 or 4 long beans(optional)

half coconut grated

2 green chilly

1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder

1 teaspoon coriander powder

red chilly powder-optional

curry leaves- as required

mustard seeds- as required

salt- to taste

coconut oil- as needed

2 or 3 red chilly

water- as required

Method:

Slice the onion. cut the tomatoes into cube sized pieces.cut the long beans into 3 inch long pieces.put the tomatoes, long beans, green chilly, turmeric powder, coriander powder and salt with enough water to cover the ingredients. Cover the tumbler with lid and cook till the tomatoes are well cooked.

Grind the coconut and cumin seeds with water and pour this mix to the cooked tomatoes and boil it. Finally, when the raw taste of coconut is gone, switch off the flame.

Pour some coconut oil, when the coconut oil is heated, put some mustard seeds and when the mustard seeds splutter put the red chilies and curry leaves and pour this to the cooked tomato gravy. The curry is done. Serve this with rice, puttu or quinoa.

How to make delicious “KUTTUPAYASAM”

Kheer is a rice pudding from the cuisine of the Indian Subcontinent, made by boiling rice, broken wheat, tapioca, or vermicelli with milk and sugar; it is flavoured with cardamom, raisins, saffron, cashews, pistachios or almonds. It is typically served during a meal or as a dessert. It is also known in some regions as payasam, payasa, phirni, gil-e-firdaus and fereni”

This is a type of payasam used to save in the temples of Kerala. When there is some function like festivals, they used to serve these payasam to the people. As growing up I remember waiting for this payasam my grandmother used to take  with her from temple, she will carry  the payasam in the leaves of banana. The love and care she used to carry that all-way long from temple to home may be the reason, this is one of my favorite recipes in kheer.

This only need few ingredients which will be easily available in our home or near by Indian grocery store. I’m not using any sugar in it because it’s unhealthy. It will taste good if we are using freshly grated coconut.

Ingredients:

1.Broken matte rice -3/4 cup

2.Jaggery                 -As needed

3.Ghee                     – 2 tbsp or as needed

4.Cashew-nut        -2 tbsp or as needed

5.Coconut               – grated coconut from half coconut

6. Water.                – triple the amount of rice if using pressure cooker, or

                                  as needed

Method:

Cook the rice with water in a pressure cooker. Melt the jaggery and filter it because jaggery won’t be in its pure form and contain impurities. Fry the cashew nuts in the ghee and set aside. Mix the grated coconut with the cooked rice and stir it to a medium thick consistency. Switch off the flame, put the fried cashew-nut in the rice and payasam is ready to serve.

*PS-if you are vegan, it’s optional to use ghee

Reference – Wikipedia

5 New Year resolutions that everyone can make

Resolutions written in a paper
Resolutions

So let’s see what are the five simple resolution ideas that everyone can make 🙂

1.Start doing something you love

 “When you start doing what you love to do, you will never work another day”. Starting a blog was one of my biggest dreams and I was thinking it for almost 7 months. I searched a lot of websites because I’m not a pro and there is a lot to learn. I started it by the end of December and I felt it like one of my biggest accomplishment 🙂

2.Traveling

 Traveling will give you a lifetime full of memories, understanding different cultures, knowing about their cuisines and lot more. This year I wanted to Travel to India. Traveling to India is not a very hard thing for me because I’m an Indian and I can travel to my country anytime I want, but there was a lot of restrictions from both the financial point of view and all those traveling hassles.It’s almost a 24-hour journey from the USA to INDIA. But finally, I did it.

3.Accomplish one thing you fear the most

 Do one thing you fear the most like bungee jumping, paragliding or simple things like getting a tattoo. Getting a nose pin was one of the hardest decision I ever made. Because while I was growing up I always wanted to look like boys and I don’t like getting my ear’s pierced or getting my nose pierced and even my father didn’t like the idea of piercing my ear and I finally pierced my ear when I was 10. I came to that decision when everybody in my school started calling me a boy, even though I secretly want to look like a boy at that age, I partially don’t like the idea of looking like boys because I had a huge crush on earrings of other girls. And the end story I got a nose pin on Jan 6, 2017. Getting a tattoo is also one thing on my wish list.

4.Reading every day

 Reading every day. It sounds easy but it’s very hard to keep up a routine. Start from 5 pages weekly and increase the pages.

5.Writing gratitude journal daily

 Just like I said in my earlier post, giving gratitude is a simple thing we can do in an everyday life. So far so good. I’m writing the gratitude journal for the past 3 months and I want to continue it. It makes me feel really good with what I have, rather than worrying about what I don’t have 🙂

7 things we can do for a quality life

1.Gratitude

Giving gratitude is a simple thing we can do on an everyday life . We are lucky if you have a roof above our head. If we are writing some thing positive it will give us a positive attitude towards life . You don’t have to buy any expensive journal for this you can even write it in a plane sheet of paper. If you want to make it a bit more fancy you will find millions of website to take printout of gratitude journal for free.

2.Reading

Reading something inspirational everyday can give us a positive way of thinking even if we are down. THE WILLPOWER INSTINCT by Kelly McGonigal is a very good book that will give you simple explanations for lot of things and how to get will power to do something.

3.Meditation and Yoga

The benefits of yoga and meditation are endless. It will give you deep relaxation both mentally and physically. A five-minute body muscle relaxation exercise will help you to have a peaceful sleep.Do both meditation and yoga daily, make it as a routine.

My favorite book for yoga  is LIGHT ON LIFE by B.K.S Iyengar, though the book is partly written for yoga teachers ,everyone can benefit from this book .

Exercise:

Exercise daily, even if it is for five or 10 minutes it will create a positive change in our brain without our knowing.

4.Minimalism

Throw away those unwanted things which we no longer needed or using.Buy only those things which we are sure we are going to use it for a longtime. It will help our mind to declutter.

5.Avoiding Junk Foods

Eat healthy for at least  3 or 4 days in a week and make it as a routine. Healthy foods definitely includes home cooked foods.

6.Planner

Planning a day ahead has shown proven benefits to declutter our brain in many ways.

7.Love yourself

The  most important thing is loving yourself, how can someone lead a positive life if you are not taking care of yourself both mentally and physically. So start loving yourself 🙂

Traditional Indian Ginger Tea

Generally I’m not a big fan of all these complex cooking recipes. I just love simple but clean and delicious recipes which we can make in minutes. whether it’s desserts or main course, I love it.

Who doesn’t love tea? even if its cold or hot most of us love tea.I still remember the tea I once drank in Mumbai and the taste of it is still in my mouth.  The moment I reached back home I wanted to try that  tea. I experimented with a few little ingredients and it turned out pretty well, just try it and you will love it. Remember, it is not a very complex kind of recipe and it’s not a very big thing in India to  make  tea which even a five year old knows how to make it.

Ginger tea have lot of benefits.A cup of ginger tea can help improves our digestion.Drinking a cup of ginger tea can help prevent the nausea and vomiting associated with motion sickness. If you are a vegan you can try it without adding milk.

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Just imagine drinking this tea when it’s raining outside 🙂 .

Ingredients :

  1. Tea powder-2 tablespoon or according to taste
  2. Ginger-2 inch
  3. Milk-1 cup
  4. Water-1 cup
  5. Jaggery-according to your taste

Method:

Boil the water and put the crushed ginger and jaggery in to it and cover with a lid.  When it boils, put tea powder and let it boil for few seconds and switch of the flame. In another tumbler boil milk. At the end just filter the tea and mix it well with the milk. If you want to make it a bit more fun, you can try to pour the tea like the Chaiwala’s do in India :-).

serves two