Monsoons in Bombay

The rains are here in their full Bombay glory. The trips to the farm get more beautiful and scenic with the countryside looking well washed and green. It’s amazing the number of shades of green actually exist and I’m sure we do not have enough names for each of them. Glaze making and expanding my colour palette is my main focus this year and all these trips inspire me no end.

A variety of greens I used in my last year’s monsoon collection.

This weekend has been a very wet one but a great one for cooking. Fabulous haleem, chicken with loads of fried green chillies and achari baigan at a family dinner. Unfortunately my official photographer (younger one Uttara ) is off in Leh doing really interesting work at Secmol, and so no pictures of either the greens or the meal! But let me makeup for that with a very easy re ripe for the Achari Baingan-


1 large brinjal
2 medium onions
2 medium tomatoes
1 small carton of tomato puree
1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp nigella seeds (
1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
2 small sprigs curry leaves
2 dried kashmiri red chillies
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp chilly powder
salt to taste.

So, all those on a diet do not read further the rest of us who live on the edge, here is how you proceed..


Heat oil in a wok/kadai.

Chop brinjal into small cubes and deep-fry to a nice even golden brown.

I usually let the brinjal stand in a colander while the gravy is made. That way I can pretend that the oil drains ( some of it does )!

In a sauce pan heat 2 tsp oil. Add the fenugreek, mustard and nigella seeds. When they make that delightful spluttering sound add the chopped onions and sauté till pinkish brown.

The ginger -garlic goes in and fry for 3 to 4 minutes.It’s always a good idea to cook on medium heat while frying the masalas so they brown evenly. Add the powder masalas and continue to stir another 3 to 4 minutes.

The sour component in Indian cuisine comes from a variety of things like tomatoes, curd, tamarind, raw mango to name a few. Add the chopped tomatoes and cook till they soften. The tomato puree, curry leaves,red Kashmiri chillies go in, cover and cook on a slow flame for about 10 mins.

The fried brinjal needs little work now,so add to the gravy bring to a quick boil and that’s it.

Ketaki (the older one)needs to bribe herself from time to time with some yummy food to get on with her writing, so this one is for you beta.

More recepies next time if the rain continues.


New Beginnings

I am always amazed at the kind of objects we can collect and actually use in a ceramic studio. Clearing and packing my studio has unearthed a treasure trove of things which make the most amazing tools. Of course I also threw things out in truckloads!

The nicest part of this excercise has been the discovery of my test tiles! I buy my glazes and all my other material from fellow potter Sandeep Manchekar (thank you Sandeep for helping Earth to fire in it’s journey). Over a period of time my colour pallette grew and grew.

With every little thing packed, taped and labelled we are ready to move.

Earth to Fire takes the next step of Pop up Stores, Trunk shows and the like. Always fun to try new ideas and actually make use of the test tiles, and all the different techniques clay can adapt to.

New beginnings again.