Tag Archives: I love trees

Microwaved Jack fruit Jam

Vacation brings along with it the sweet smell of all those ripe fruits in the back yard . Even though now there is no back yard and no friends to roam around the smell of all those preserved foods are enough to carry us back to that time .

I remember the taste of mangoes , coconut slices (kopra ) , tamarind , lemon ( vaduka puli ) drying in long sheets under the sun . We used to steal them in the afternoon when every body would be busy taking naps 🙂  And all those smells are invariably associated with the word ‘ Vacation ‘ !

One of my other favourite smell is that of Jack fruit jam or in other words ‘Chakka Varattiyathu ‘ . And I made some a few days before . I followed the guidelines given by my Aunt . She is well known for her short cuts . My mother and my Aunt are my Gurus when it comes to culinary skills . They are as different as they can be . Yet , I always try to combine both their skills in my kitchen . My mother’s dedication , passion and overflowing love when she cooks and my Aunt’s efficiency , time management , short cuts and orderliness .

Here is an absolutely easy recipe for making ‘Chakka varatti ‘ . An alltime favourite of Mallus.

Things you would need

Ripe Jack fruit flesh ( as much as you can get )

Scraped jaggery


eliachi ( cardomom )


Grind the jack fruit in a mixer . Microwave it with lid on in High for 3-4 minutes . Mix the scraped jaggery . Microwave for another 2-3 minutes ( with out lid ) . Add ghee and powdered eliachi and mix well . Microwave in Medium for 5-6 minutes or even more according to the consistency you need . Take out and mix it with a spoon in between .

Enjoy as such or as bread spread . Store in refrigerator for further use .

Thursday Challenge : trees

Have been tracking this Banyan tree for a while .





Wordless Weekends

This is my weekend corner . The place where I wait  every weekend – Saturday and Sunday while Ruby and Pearl take their key board and music  classes respectively .

To my left in level with the balcony is a mango tree which is always bustling with chirping sparrows , sun birds ( adakka kuruvi ), bulbuls,  mag pies, and wag tails .

In front of the balcony are two banyan trees which are frolicked by flocks of parrots and magpies . And when they bear fruits the number is just increased by double . It is almost one year now since I started to watch them .

I enjoy the silence here . I use the time to catch up with my Sis and Bro , to pester my friends with phone calls and messages , to read books , to plan my week ahead and to make silly notes like these .

Pearl comes in between during the break to check on me . Most of the parents ( ie. real people who are concerned about their child’s education )prefer to sit inside the classroom in a corner, like prisoners to see if their wards are learning the lessons properly or more possibly to check if the teacher is taking thee classes properly . And love it that I get this place to myself I don’t care to enlighten them 😛

image courtesy - google search

Right now a green bird just flew away from my side 😀 ( from google I found out its name is ‘blue winged leaf bird’ , but in my mother tongue we call it ‘pachapanamthatha’ the sweetest of birds ). And a sparrow is chirping sweetly from the branches of the mango tree  🙂

I am not risking a snap of the birds as they keep on hoping from branches to branches . I am afraid I may lose my guard and end up on the ground trying to chase them . Now only my pen fell down through the rails .

Right down is a soda filling station and two small girls are enjoying some bottles they sneaked out from there . They are staring upwards to see who threw the pen at them .

Oooh!! Finally I got a sparrow in focus . But , I have got company here . A boy has come to the terrace of the adjacent building with a funky looking mobile in his hand . By the looks of it he has come to check who this mad woman is , busily taking down notes and clicking photos of their house .

He is clad completely in black and I wonder if he is Mafia king or just another Swami . He is trying hard not to give out that he is looking what I am doing .      Ah !!!May be they don’t have a license for the soda unit or are doing some other dark business there . I wonder if they would set some body to ‘sketch’ me 😛

By this time Pearl is back from her classes and I move on . My only worry is that classes are only for one hour 🙂

Ponnin Vishu !

Konna flowers are my favourite.We had a ‘Konna’ in front of our house at Haripad . Whenever I think of vishu this tree comes to my mind as a background.  Even though now we get enough flowers here for vishu I always long for those flowers picked from our house.

I would love to wake up again on a vishu morning, as a young girl with amma blind folding me with her soft hands. I would always peep through as I believe mom and dad is the best ‘kani’ you can have. Now  Hubby and kids have taken that place and life has changed so much that it is impossible to be that small girl again .

Vishu mornings always bring the prospects of a bright year with yellow konna flowers, lighted lamps and all those fruits with bright yellow colour and fragrance typical of the festive season and holidays  .

I always wonder why all these festivals are so nostalgic?

that smell of ‘sambar’ from the kitchen

the sweet mischevious smile on Appa’s face, which would always be there once he reaches Haripad!

avial made of cashew nut and drum stick … yum yum

the endless counting and planning for vishukaineettom

walking barefooted from temple to temple under the hot sun and praying earnestly to reach home soon so that we can have our breakfast!

ripe anjili fruits , chakka varathathu , aathakka.

bunches of kudamulla , I think every mango tree in Haripad has jasmine vines on them! You just have to shake those vines  and there would be a shower of sweet smelling flowers  .

Kilichundan manga, Speciality of Haripad . Even now when I take a bite of a kilichundan manga I feel like a small girl standing under that huge tree !

All these are the sweet memories that rush to my mind one after another like from a movie when I think of Vishu .

‘varshangal poyathariyathe

veendum oru vishu koodi kadannupokumbol

nigalkku tharan kayyil oru pidi konnapookkalum

manassil orayiram aasamsakalum mathram.’

My favourite Tree !

All trees are beautiful but some are special.

If you ask me which is me favourite tree , it is always the same . ‘ Ilanji ‘

It has the most sweet smelling flowers and it is a great tree to sit under and chat with your lover!

The tree brings to my mind memories of our engagement time when we used to spent a lot of time under the ‘ilanji’ orchard they have at Subash park and when the guard would come and throw us out of the park when it gets dark !

I have one at my home which I have kept in a pot. Waiting for it to bloom!

Gulmohar and Me !

The first Gulmohar treeI ever saw stood near a bridge.There was also a Manchadi and for many years I thought both flowers and seeds came from the same tree.

As kids my sister and I would wait for someone to take us there.We would make big yellow nails with the flowers and play with the manchadi seeds!

The beauty of this flower is unexplainable.

By the time school reopens all those trees on the road side would be in full bloom and it would look like a long bright velvety red carpet rolled out on the top of the trees . I love the green and red combination .

There was a Gulmohar tree at our school also. I can only laugh remembering how we were caught running in the rain collecting those flowers.

The Gulmohar flowers give me the feeling of coming back home after the long holidays, to embrace everything I had left behind.

Those flame-bright flowers always bring with them the sweet smell of soil after the monsoon rain, the smell of new books, school bag and uniform.

For me Gulmohar has been a symbol of all the resolutions I made for the new year . The resolutions were however soon forgotten; long before the flowers wilted.