Weekend This & That

Cold, computer breakdown, and couple of days in LA have kept me away from the comfort of the Mahanandi for the past few weeks. Thanks to the Pacific Ocean air and the promise of a new laptop, I feel refreshed and ready for the real and virtual life again.

Here are some photos we have taken during our trip to LA.

Balaji Temple, Malibu, CA

Pacific Coast

Santa Monica Beach

Raw Rocks from Bharath ~ Coconut Pacchadi

On New Year’s, some break champagne bottles and we break coconuts. Traditional welcome always comes in the form of coconut for us. Coconut is highly valuable in our culture. A culinary chameleon, coconut not only symbolizes life but it also sustains the jeevam.

And this is what I’ve prepared with the Pooja coconut for our meal today – A sharp pacchadi. Surely this must be the most popular of all from Southern India where it is served over steamed rice or with dosa. This pacchadi is often recommended to those whose appetite needs a flavor boost. And who doesn’t in this mind numbing cold weather?

Fresh Coconut, Red Onion and Green Chilli

Raw Rocks from Bharath ~ Coconut Pacchadi
(serves 2 or 4 for 2 or 1 meal)

Fresh coconut, grated – about 2 cups
Shallot or red onions, chopped – about 1/2 cup
Green chillies, Indian or Thai type – 6 to 8
Tamarind pulp – 2 tablespoons
Salt – 1/2 teaspoon or to taste

Take coconut, onion and chillies in a Sumeet style mixer or in a mortar. Add tamarind and salt. Blend or pulverize to coarse paste without adding any water. Remove to a cup. Serve with rice and dal or with breakfast items like dosa, idly, and pongal etc.

Coconut Pacchadi prepared in this way does not keep very well for storage more than a day because it’s a ‘Raw Rocks’ kind of Bharath recipe, and must be eaten fresh.

Coconut Pacchadi in a Coconut Shell
Coconut Pacchadi in a Coconut Shell ~ Celebrating ‘Raw Rocks’ in 2010

Weekend Kittaya

Kittaya Sleeping
Sleeping Furball ~ Adorable Kittaya in His Sofa Bed

Winter Bloom ~ Yuletide Camellia

Yuletide Camellia in Bloom From Our Backyard
Winter Blooming, Red Camellia from Our Garden ~ A Sight for Sore Eyes

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