Monday, May 24, 2010

Recipe - Poricha Rasam

Poricha rasam

This is a rasam I learnt from my mother-in-law. It is called poricha rasam as tamarind is not used in this rasam. We usually prepare this rasam in a  Iyachombu (ஈயசொம்பு) ( Iyam is an alloy made of tin and aluminium and rasam made in this vessel is said to taste better)

Tomato (தக்காளி) – 2
Toor dall (துவரம் பருப்பு)  – ½ cup
Turmeric powder (மஞ்சள் தூள்)  - ¼ tsp
Salt (உப்பு) – to taste
Asafoetida (பெருங்காயம்) – ½ tsp
Lots of coriander leaves (கொத்தமல்லி) for garnish
Curry leaves (கருவேப்பில்லை) – 2 sprigs
Ghee (நெய்) – 1 tsp
Mustard seeds (கடுகு) – 1 tsp
Jaggery (வெல்லம்) - 1 /2 tsp

To be ground to a paste
Coriander seeds (தனியா) – 1 tbsp
Channa dall (கடலை பருப்பு) - ½ tbsp
Pepper  (மிளகு)– 8 nos.
Jeera   (சீரகம்)- 1 tsp
Red chillies (காய்ந்த மிளகாய்)  – 2
Oil (எண்ணெய்)  – 2 tsp to roast above

Cut tomatoes into quarters, put in the vessel, add water, salt and haldi and let it boil till the tomato pieces are cooked.
Pressure cook the toor dall and keep it aside.

Add oil to a kadai. Add coriander seeds, channa dall, pepper, jeera one after the other and roast well, Finally add the red chilles and switch off the stove. Let this cool and then run it through a mixie adding little water to make a paste.
Add this paste to the boiled tomato water, let it boil once and then add the cooked toor dall. Add water to bring it to the consistency of rasam. After adding water, just let the rasam boil once.

In a kadai, pour a teaspoon on ghee and when hot, add mustard seeds. When the mustard seeds crackle, add it to the rasam. Add the jaggery.

Add a few sprigs of curry leaves and a lot of coriander leaves.

Thursday, May 20, 2010



How far are people ready to reach out in helping their kith and kin financially - Over the decades

Here are some illustrations

Scenario I – Year 1990

Ramu and Somu are brothers, sons of Seetha. Ramu is in need of money to complete the construction of his house. Though both the families are middle-class, Somu happens to have some spare money at that moment from the sale of some shares. Ramu is not aware that Somu has money to spare and he is trying other sources. Seetha is aware of Ramu’s need, but advises Somu not to give money to Ramu! When Ramu’s family gets to know of this, it creates a huge rift between the two families. Finally, Somu does give the money to Ramu but the relationship is not set right.

This could have alternatively been dealt with in three different ways:

1.      Seetha need not have interfered in her sons’ affairs
2.      Ramu need not have made an issue of the fact that Somu did not volunteer to help
3.      Somu could have voluntarily helped when he first came to know about Ramu’s need.

But people do not act the way others want them to, but in the way they wish, which is but natural!

Scenario II – Year 2000

Brothers Ramesh and Mahesh are a close knit family and stay in the same area in Coimbatore.  Ramesh had taken a fairly big amount as loan from Mahesh over a period of 2-3 years when he had had a tough time with his kids’ education expenses. Now Mahesh’s daughter is about to be married and Mahesh could definitely use the money if Ramesh returns it. Ramesh keeps quiet about it. Mahesh is confident that Ramesh will return the money, does not even question him and keeps the relationship intact.

One of the following things would have made the situation different:

1.      Mahesh could have demanded Ramesh to return his loan
2.      Ramesh could have voluntarily returned the loan

But people do not act the way others want them to, but in the way they wish, which is but natural!

Scenario III – Year 2010

Vinay and Uday are cousins. Vinay is holding a very good position in a private bank for the last two years. Uday wants to do engineering, but his parents are not able to afford it. In spite of being only a few years elder to Uday, Vinay voluntarily comes forward to sponsor his cousin’s education as he is a deserving candidate doing very well in studies.

What could have happened is this:

       Vinay could have turned a blind eye to his cousin’s needs. After all, his cousin is not Vinay’s responsibility.
But people do not act the way others want them to, but in the way they wish, which is but natural!

Over the decades, people seem to have become better in helping their blood! 
Makes us hope that humans are becoming better and better!