If you keep really quiet, you can almost here a pin drop…if only the crickets shut up.
I know I know, I’ve been away for God knows how many days. Weeks, rather.
But, in my defense; I WAS BUSY. No, really.
The festive season in Bengal is infectious and a hectic one. It affects everybody and somehow, work and hobby takes a back seat. I don’t know exactly what is it about Durga Puja, that makes every red-blooded Bengali jump up and go in a frenzy. Maybe its the faith, the aarti, the idols, the fumes of dhunuchi, the red of vermilion, the sound of dhak, or maybe its just the idea of wearing a new outfit everyday, dancing carefree to the beats of the dhaaki, gorgeous aloo bhaja and biting into the occasional naarkel naaru, the pandal-hopping, and everything else that follows. Whatever is it, I know this is one occasion everyone comes home for.
Well, honestly, I seriously didn’t have time to breathe, what with the proshad bitoron, and running around trying to gather the kids together for the evening performances. But I did get a few chances to click away happily at everything around me.
Mum and the ladies lined up for sindoor khela
Buli (the one in yellow) and me…yes yes, I know I look drunk….I’m not though…
Posted by Amrita on October 22, 2008
Late September and its already impossible to walk down the pedestrian pathway without ending up with leaves on your shoulders. I can literally smell the fumes emanating from the dhunuchi and the air is filled with sound of a dhak playing…radio stations trying to get everyone into the Durga Puja mood.
Fall is one of my favorite times of the year. Neither is it sweltering hot, nor unreasonably chilly. I feel lazy and excited at the same time, now that the Indian festive season is upon us. I can’t wait for October!
Meanwhile, here’s an almost “funky” pear fruit recipe, to make mid-morning a little fizzier.
The pears in our refrigerator have been ripening since last Tuesday. I know.
So I pulled a couple of them out. Poached ‘em in a lime-vanilla-cinnamon bath and added some fizz (which I honestly didn’t think would work)…but amazingly, it turned out yummy and fun!
Fizzy Pear fruit Drink (or soup, if you may) – Serves 2
- 2 medium sized pears
- 3 cloves
- 1 medium-sized cinnamon stick
- Half a pod of vanilla, bruised slightly (you could also use vanilla essence)
- Juice of 1 lime
- 2 cardamoms, flattened with your knife
- 2 tablespoons of honey or maple syrup
- 1 cup of water
- 7Up or Sprite to serve
Halve the pears and remove the seeds. I did not peel the skin off, but you can, of course, if you want. Set the water to simmer on low heat. Add the cloves, cinnamon, vanilla, lime juice, cardamoms and honey. Drop the pear halves in the simmering water, cut side down. Cover and cook on low heat for 10-15 minutes, or until the pears have softened considerably. Turn them over (skin-side down) and poach for another 10 minutes. Remove from heat and cool for a few minutes. Chill the fruit in the refrigerator. Cut the halves into thirds. Put them in a shot glass and fill it up with 7up or Sprite. Top with crushed ice (optional) and serve.
Posted by Amrita on September 20, 2008