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.

167406_499692986720395_1050211263_n
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-

Ingredients:

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..

Method:

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.

Advertisements

Earth to Fire Summer Sale April 19 Onwards (12-6)

Earth to Fire will be downing its shutters at the end of May and relocating. For all of you, students and friends, who have shared in the wonderful experience here, do come by and see our exciting summer sale! And buy a piece for yourself!

Address: Earth to Fire, G-2 Mangal Mahesh, 14th Road, Khar West, Opp. Costa Coffee

At a Glance

DSC04163 DSC04162 DSC04161 DSC04160

A great 6 years

November is always an ‘iffy’ month at the studio with exams, Diwali and celebrations. I decided to celebrate the studio in the first week.

To work towards a date always gets the best out of me. Putting up a display of my work with a variety of forms and techniques at my studio was very satisfying. I also use this once a year celebration to showcase the innumerable possibilities with clay, oxides, underglazes and glazes.

Electrifying BlueIMG_8804 Bamboo inspiredIMG_8808 The fish are back! IMG_8803Monsoon leavesIMG_8812More leaves and Uttara’s jewelry box

I have always been wary of doing production work but decided to take the plunge when an order of planters came my way. What a lovely Diwali gift to receive. Surprisingly it was painless and all my fears of execution were obviously unfounded. Of course it helped to have a super client. From choosing shape, colour, size to delivery- it was seamless!

All the planters potted at Tooth Mountain Nursery

Peacock embossed pots

November was a lovely productive month after all.

I had all good intentions to post this last month but a wedding happened! Uttara, my younger one who plans to have shorts and T-shirts as the dress code for her wedding, looked gorgeous in her sarees. Her thinking being that one beach party should do it. Well I for one am not settling for just a beach party, so I guess she will have to run away after all!

iPot, iCook, iPlant

What a wonderful way for it all to come together. A journey that began at the age of 15 with cooking, added ceramics 15 years ago and planting came along last year. It’s amazing how certain things are so entwined with each other. How time flies, to use a cliche. A year has gone by and we are now 6!

On Saturday the 3rd of November we celebrate with students, friends and family of ‘ceramics’. I love the innumerable possibilities with colour, oxides, form and texture. Here are some of the works that you will see in the studio.

Ever since the world started using tea bags, haven’t we all wondered, at one point or another, what to do with that used tea bag? Isn’t the kettle shaped tea bag holder cute?

 

The big chai cup.

 

The monsoon inspired leaf collection.

 

If it’s Diwali there must be diyas- gorgeous ones with crackle glaze.

 

Dinnerware for all the feasting.

 

And more.

 

The imp and the angel in each of us! Nut bowls with a difference.

 

 

 

 

Burnished pots.

Lots more work!

See you at Earth to Fire 11-6 on Saturday, 3rd November!

monsoon

The monsoons in Bombay have a charm of their own. For me at least.

Unfortunately the city gets messier, traffic snarls are common even with a drizzle and the skies can get depressing. We are lucky in where we live, a really quiet and pretty neighbourhood with lots of very old trees which give a gorgeous freshly bathed green cover to our streets.

I have also been enjoying my weekly trips to the farm and soaking in the rain washed countryside. All this beautiful plant life has been very inspiring and has found it’s way into some of my work .

Best papayas ever.

The studio too, has been buzzing with a lot of really interesting people. Surprisingly it gets busy when it’s raining! I guess there isn’t much to do in the city and working quietly with clay with just the sound of rain outside is the ‘bestest’ thing ever (as the kids say).

Purvashi doing coil work.

Super talented Dev.

Matilda happy at the wheel.

Matilda’s mask inspired piece

Some really nice work done by some of my students has been most satisfying as a teacher, especially while I was on vacation. (Look at my daughter’s post about our trip to Goa here) So maybe now I can just leave the key to the studio under the mat and they can pot away!

Jinal and Aparna- proud potters

Anu’s Kitchen

The studio is my second favourite place. Give me an empty kitchen (no other people in it) and I’m happiest. Doing everyday cooking is a given and gets a bit monotenous,so the family gets different cuisines depending on the level of my boredom! Yesterday was one of those days.

A simple Thai menu of Sweet Corn Chicken Soup, Beef Red Curry and Steamed Rice garnished with spring onion omelette strips.

A robust flavoursome stock makes the base for any soup.I always add a strip of bacon to the stockpot.

The best meat Thai curries are cooked in the coconut milk and curry paste mixture. Also I add assorted vegetables, an old habit to get the kids to eat them. When they were little I have even made pizza sauce with pumpkin, carrots and a big spoon of ketchup at the end to cheat!

A lot of East Asian food tastes best with steamed rice but who ever refused a nice bit of egg with every mouthful?

The rains are here in full force so great weather for cooking. My daughter Uttara has started a cake business, Bowtie Cakes, so there may not be an empty kitchen but then I always have my studio, the clay and yummy cupcakes to come home to.