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Living with Multiple Myeloma in Hyderabad , India . Random musings .


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Random Musings Feb 2018

A long drive:

Time for another loong drive a little away from the city.

This time we chose to drive towards Vikarabad.

So glad that our Driver agreed to come on a Sunday. A cool guy who almost always  agrees to come even on a Sunday, whenever I am in the mood to go out. Went with Mom and dragged my brother too.

We drove via chevella , reached Vikarabad … continued to drive towards kotpally reservoir/dam. We didn’t go close to the dam but got a glimpse of the reservoir. Very beautiful serene place. It is unbelievable that such a beautiful lake exists on the outskirts of the city. A few folks from the city seem to get away from the hustle bustle of the city to spend a day here. Do take a lot of food and water when you plan to visit this place. Don’t expect to find any food or water anywhere near the reservoir. Came across groups of bikers who seemed to enjoy an early morning ride to the reservoir.

All through the route we noticed that it was mostly forest like area with hardly any cultivation. Came across very few villages and hardly saw people in these villages except for a few shepherds with their flock.

Not much greenery during this time of the year.

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I liked the way the houses were built in some of the villages around this area. They were built in the shape of an L or U or a square with a central courtyard. All the houses were creamy/white in colour as they use the famous Tandur stones to build the walls and roofs of the houses. This place named Tandur is very close from Kotpally. Tandur tiles are very popular in constrcution of houses in Urban area s too. These stones are mined around this town.

Was tempted to go and knock on one of these houses but didn’t 🙂 . There is always another time.

We decided to drive back home via Mominpet and Sadashivpet.

One doesn’t have to go very far out of the city for taking a break once in a while , to breathe in some fresh air and to soothe the soul.

My Garden :

I was lucky this time with growing ‘Chukka koora’.

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A green leafy veggie which is also called ‘khatta palak’ in Hindi. I harvested the leaves three times so far. This leaf is used for preparing dals , chutneys and other recipes.

I also got a few Petunias, Pansies and Dianthus for my Sunny balcony. Love these flowers . They bid farewell in the morning and welcome me back home in the evening.

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I lost a few of the Petunia plants due to over watering. The roots of these plants  rot due to water logging . Learnt my lesson 🙂

Fell sick :

Was down with  runny nose , Sore throat, Bronchitis again. Had to take Antibiotics  😦 . I have been avoiding supermarkets,Malls etc. This time the reason for the attack is a visit to one of the manufacturing shops in our factory. The meeting was in the Conference room inside the shop floor but there was no escape from the dust.  

 

 


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My first Avocado recipe : Guacamole 

I had been watching recipes made with Avocados on YouTube , but did not dare to buy them. Wanted to prepare Guacamole one day.

They are not a commercial crop in India. However they are being grown in a limited way in a few parts of South India and North East India.

Few days ago I spotted Avocados in the Supermarket and bought one for the first time.
I had read about picking a perfect Avocado , letting them ripen at home and the procedure to determine if they are ready to be eaten.

The one I bought was dark green but not the almost blackish colour that I saw in the YouTube videos. I left it outside to darken. This morning I noticed it was soft when I pressed it gently and saw a few blackish spots.

I was excited and decided to prepare Guacamole. I had also bought a packet of Nachos on the same day 🙂

I had all the ingredients at home except Jalapenos. I used a green chilli instead.

So here are the ingredients for one serving

Avocado : 1

Tomatoes : 1 medium size (I had cherry tomatoes that I used)

Green chilli : 1

Salt to taste

One small 🍋 lemon

One small onion

Coriander leaves (optional)

 

Method:

Scoop out the pulp of the Avocado and mash it up using a fork.

Chop up the onion and 🍅 tomatoes.

Chop the green chilli into fine pieces.

Mix all of them in a bowl and add salt ,lemon juice and coriander leaves.

Stir well.

Guacamole dip is ready. Enjoy with Nachos.

It was yummy 🙂


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Drive to Shadnagar and a Tomato farm

This time we drove South towards Shadnagar .The town is on the right side of NH7 while going towards Bangalore from Hyderabad. We took a left turn as soon as we reached the town.  After driving straight for a couple of kilometers we took a detour just after a village named Buchigudem.

Very soon we came across a tomato farm. Several men and women were busy harvesting ripe tomatoes in the farm.

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As usual I was excited and hoped to get hold of some tomatoes.

Despite the hot summer there were a few fields here and there.

We moved closer to the labourers and asked if they would sell the produce to us. They told us to ask the owner who was sitting close by.

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The owner agreed and we managed to dump 10kilos in the rear of our car.

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He agreed to give 10kilos for just Rs 100. Whereas these were being sold for three times the price in the city.

I spotted goru chikkudu kaayalu or Cluster beans stored in plastic bags near the heap of tomatoes and we picked a few kilos .

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Felt good that we got some farm fresh veggies :))

The fresh air and gentle breeze was invigorating.

 

Love spending time away from the city once in a while. I have this wish and always dream of having a small house at the edge of a village adjacent to a farm  🙂

It was teatime . On our way back we stopped at a roadside restaurant named ‘Aashiana’ , adjacent to the highway , in Shadnagar. We ordered Mirchi bajjis. They were some of the best Mirchi bajjis I ever had . A waiter served the items while we waited in the car.

NH7 is a busy highway which connects Hyderabad and Bangalore. 

Wish to go there again just to eat those Mirchi bajjis 🙂 and also pick up fresh veggies.

 


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Amla Rice , Usirikaya Pulihora , Vanabhojanaalu and Health !!

Amla is Indian Gooseberry. This fruit is one of the richest sources of Vitamin C. This Vitamin increases immunity in the body, thereby protecting the body from infections. There are several medicinal properties of Amla.

I always knew this fact but didn’t know how to incorporate fresh/raw Amla in my diet.

The only knew that people usually ate Amla is in the form of Amla pickle and Amla candy. These two recipes ensure that Amla can be preserved and hence can be relished throughout the year. Amla is a major ingredient in Chyawanprash.

The trees bear fruits during  October, November and December months in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh in India. Most vegetable stores would be selling them during these three months. I always came across these but never gave them a second look.

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Amla pickle is usually made at home or can also be bought at Indian grocery stores . I don’t prefer eating Amla pickle as it has a lot of oil and salt . I like Amla Candy and always keep a stock . But I was bored of eating the candy .

One day at the Organic grocery store , that I visit regularly, I saw these fresh , round , light green Amla’s.  I was tempted to  buy . I wanted to make my own candy but was not confident about the recipe. I thought lemme try eating them raw. But a raw berry has a typical taste and not very appealing. It  is soury – astringent with a sweet aftertaste .

I picked a few in my hand and asked the store keeper ‘what can I do with these ?’ and she immediately answered ‘Usirikaya pulihora ‘ (Amla rice ) . I asked her for the recipe and she immediately recited the recipe.

I was like wowww and felt so happy :)) . I usually make lemon, tamarind and mango rice but this was news to me… I was so excited that I tried it the next morning and it was yummilicious.

Since then I have made this dish  several times. I now buy these whenever I see them. I have seen these recently and learnt that they are brought from Tamil Nadu where they yield fruit during February/March.

The Gooseberry tree is revered by Hindus. There was a time , long ago, when I found it silly that my mom was worshipping  a branch of this tree during ‘vanabhojanaalu’ in the park adjacent to Gandipet lake.

‘Vanabhojanalu’ is a get together/community lunch held under the trees/park/forest along with some fun activities.

It was much later that I learnt about the potency of this fruit and then realised why the tree is worshipped.

During the month of Karthika (Telugu calendar) , people meet for Vanabhojanaalu. This is a popular event in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. ‘Vana’ is forest and ‘Bhojanalu’ is lunch.  Karthika usually occurs in the months of Oct-Nov . This tree begins to bear fruit during these months. Vanabhojanalu is associated with this tree , when people form groups , cook and have lunch in a farm/nursery/forest where a Gooseberry tree is usually found. If there is no Gooseberry tree in the vicinity , a small branch of this tree is placed nearby and worshipped , followed by lunch.This is an event for get togethers along with some fun. The branches of this tree are sold in markets during Kaarthika month .

Most of the customs and traditions of Hindus are in some way connected to health , hygiene , discipline and also have a philosophical touch . They are not superstitions as they are made out to be.

The ignorant may not be able to appreciate the benefits of this fruit and hence these customs were incorporated.

Here is the recipe for Amla Rice !!

Ingredients (for 3 servings) –

Mustard seeds – half tsp

Jeera – half tsp

Urad Dal – 1 tbsp

Chana dal – 1tbsp

Cashews – 3tbsp

Asafoetida – one pinch



Curry leaves -2 sprigs

Coriander leaves – 2 sprigs

One cup raw rice . Boil the rice and keep it aside. Make sure it is not mushy. Spead the cooked rice in a wide pan so it cools and it would be easier to mix all the ingredients.

 

Ground nut oil – 3tbsp

turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp

salt – as per your taste


Amla – 5

Green chillies -3

Juice of one Lemon

 

Prepare Amla for the recipe by cutting them into pieces (throw away the seed) and grind it coarsely.

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For Tadka :

 

Add oil in a pan . Add mustard, jeera and wait till they splutter. Add urad dal, chana dal , groundnuts and cashew nuts . 


Stir till they turn golden brown and then add turmeric 

Add  the slit green chillies, curry leaves and Amla paste and stir for a minute.

 

Add the above mixture to the boiled rice and mix all the ingredients slowly and thoroughly..Add the salt too.

Add lemon juice at the end and stir well.

Amla Rice is ready to be served !!

 

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I started googling for other Amla recipes and found recipes for chutneys , sweet , rasam and juices.

Everyone should incorporate Amla in their diet , in whatever form they prefer , for a healthier body.

Thank you Mother Nature !!