Monday, January 7, 2008

Few pictures from my not-so-recent India trip

Here the very few pictures I have taken during my India trip late last year. Finally after 3 long months...

First and foremost, Andhra 'Junnu'. Junnu is cooked colostrum (a.k.a thick milk) from Water Buffalo. It tastes like custard. For many Andhrites, Junnu is the original custard and the one made with eggs and milk is the imitation custard, which is popular with mainly city-dwellers, for whom it is almost impossible to get the colostrum.

The colostrum is cooked with plenty of cracked black pepper, grated jaggery and powdered cardamom. It is really a treat and privilege to taste this.

Humanity Note: In villages, where the farm animals are treated like family members, colostrum is obtained ONLY when there is excess or the calf for some reason not feeding on. The farmers take the colostrum out of the animal to encourage milk production.


Next comes Gaare (a.k.a Vada) and Aavada or Perugu Gaare (Curd Vada):
Gaare frying:

Gaare soaking in spiced yogurt:


Gaare and Aavada:
The non-veg eaters in the house are served with this chicken curry to go with the Gaare.



A kind of straw mushrooms make a quick and brief appearance with the onset of monsoon season.
Washed the mud off and snipped the ends to get these edible pearls (with stems)...

Then Amma made mushroom curry and mushroom pulao that were out of this world



This is a delicious preparation by Amma: Lotus seeds and green pepper curry in coconut gravy served with coconut rice.

My childhood favorite and still is, a bread stuffed with candied coconut, dry fruits, aptly called dil-khush (translation: Happy heart). It really mellows one's heart.
A superb Chai by Amma complimented dil-khush.


One of favorite fruits, seethaphal (custard apple): The flavor and texture are to die for.



Some flora and greenery around our home:








And finally, queen of flowers, of course, sharing this title with Jasmine, Sampenga (a type of Ylang-Ylang). Like the sweet smell of sampenga, the memories still linger in my heart...

15 comments:

Nags said...

wow! thats so awesome, esp the mushrooms. never seen this kind and the curry and pulao look out of this world. i am so hungry now :( almost time for lunch!

Anonymous said...

oh my god such a beautiful food.

I am missing everything here, have to cook and eat, no amma made food, really miss it.

My all time favourite is dil-kush, i been searching for this recipe but never got.

Roopa said...

wonderfull post :)

Padmaja said...

That dil kush looks absolutely delicious, u know whenever i come back from india, one thing i don;t forget to pack is couple of these as we three of us simply adore them!!
All the other pictures are also fabulous and it reminded me of those memorable days dear!! thank u

Happy cook said...

Beautiful pictures.
It seems you had a great time.I have never seen straw mushrooms like that. The mushroom dish looks really delicious

Latha said...

Oh my Vani! These pictures are making me terribly homesick! Thanks for sharing them though... the dil kush loooks too good to be true!

Rajitha said...

thnks for adding that note about junnu...i have always been very disturbed to see a desert made with colostrum..which carries many nutrients for the calf...i feel better that it is made only when it is rejected by the calf :)..and the di khush really gave me some happy memoried...

Maya Shanbhag said...

Hey Vani, First time at ur blog and loved this post..Am so nostalgic after seeing those mushrooms, we get the same kind back home, like u said at the onset of monsoon..

Mike of Mike's Table said...

Looks great. I made my first trip to India ~2 years ago and the food was amazing. I wish they grew/sold freshjackfruit here in the U.S. ...

satya said...

Hi Vani,
That sampangi puvvu makes me home sick.I can smell it through the picture. thank you for sharing.Happy new year to you and your family.

Kalyn said...

Such wonderful photos. I wish I could go there.

Hima said...

abba!! junnu!! naaku kavali. Wonderful pictures up there vani. oh! btw, I tried your gutti vankaya with thai eggplants and the curry was excellent. Thanks for sharing.

Nicole said...

What a great post, with lovely pics. As a child in Trinidad they used to occasionally have the colostrum as a delicacy -there was an Indian word for it but I can't remember. Those mushrooms look out of this world, I had really fresh mushrooms in Asia in December so I know the taste difference.

Nicole said...

The Indian name for the colostrum just came to me-penos, pronounced pay-nos

Sneha said...

OMG!If you have the recipe for that Dilkush, pls. pls. post it! Have been looking everywhere for it!!!