Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Portugese nuts !!

Following is just putting some two's lying around in my head together - no claim that these facts are in fact facts!!

The Portuguese call a "bun" a "pao", just like the goans. I know I have to say it the other way round, but I learnt the word in goa. Used to see the pao vendors every morning, out the same time as newspaper guys, going house to house and delivering pao. And of course the pao bhaji is definitely not Portuguese :)

That got me thinking about all the things Portuguese we grew up with, without even thinking about it (at least till now). Don't know why, but they were (and still are) referred to as "parangi" in malayalam - the old Portuguese are - u won't call ronaldo a parangi now. And vasco da gama or someone after that brought the cashew tree to kerala and goa and its pretty much everywhere now. The goans called it caju like Portuguese and made awesome fenny out of it...the mallus called the tree parangimaavu and called the nut a parangaandi - literally translated, that is a Portuguese nut that grows on a Portuguese mango tree !!

The tree itself did not come from portugal though, it came from brazil - another Portuguese colony.

And historical mallu movies (not super duper hit historical, but those that have some history in their story) that feature the Portuguese usually have some ligher-than-normal-dark-skinned-mallu actors wearing a blond wig and trying to speak malayalam with a british accent. Am yet to meet a blond Portuguese (even after looking for one in Portugal) and they seem to have a strong Portuguese accent !!

My resident consultant on these matters - my mother - says "they have to look and sound different - so isn't it easier to put a wig on a guy than try to change his color?"

Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T

Monday, October 11, 2010

what the kids pee...

long long back...early '80s, when we did not know the word "diaper" - good morning stores in trivandrum used to sell them...and since no one knew the word and there was no equivalent in mallu, they just had a board advertising "കുട്ടികള്‍ ഒഴിക്കുന്ന മൂത്രം കുടിക്കുന്ന ജെട്ടി" - or roughly translated "the undie that drinks what the kids pee" - its not as funny in english though..


Thursday, October 7, 2010

small embassy ...

had to get a visa for a small european country...called their embassy consular section in washington...

a lady (lets just call her X) picked up the phone, asked me for my e-mail address, and said they will e-mail me visa requirements.

Got a mail later from lady X, with details for the visa application. Got all the documentation together and mailed my Passport over to the address provided. The UPS delivery confirmation says my package was signed for by Lady X.

Just got back my passport with visa. The visa is signed for by the same Lady X....

and I took the visa receipt to submit for reimbursement to my company and noticed
that the cashier field in the receipt is also signed for by Lady X....

looks like Lady X is the consular section :)

Monday, October 4, 2010

Breaded !!

Read about this beer bread recipe, and it was too simple to give up - beer + flour + sugar, set aside, bake, and its ready :)

So that got me reading up on making just plain bread - it ended up being just like the bread aisle at kroger - too many options and choices.

So here is what I wound up with for my first attempt - i am not putting any quantity here coz we are not trying to make a bread to "specifications", make it your own :

flour - whole wheat atta or whatever you want (i read you can add some chopped wheat to get that grains found in market breads) this was about 3 cups for a full loaf
sweet - honey (i would use sugar for my next attempt - i dont like honey anyway :) )
salt - as desired (i used very little - half a teaspoon i think)
warm water (for the yeast)
milk - (a little again 2%)
oil - about a tablespoon (am gonna try butter next time)
also for next attempt will try one egg also in the mix - so it will be sugar, butter and one egg :))
and any other flavors you want to add !!

mix up everything other than the flour - this will be ur liquid for mixing the flour in and it has to be warm for the yeast to work.

i used a processer to mix coz they said knead for 8 minutes !!

so mix up the flour till it is one piece, but not as thick as chapati mix, it should stick together, but still stick to your fingers if you poke it...so somewhere in between a cake mix and chapati mix.

now take the end result and shape it into a loaf (as best as you can), pat the outside with oil (basically create a barrier so it does not stick to anything).

grease a bake plate, put this in, leave for an hour in a warm place - should double in size (if not check your yeast or temperature)

once it rises, bake at 375 F for 40 minutes. check and add more time if required. basically outside will get a good crust like the European breads (dont expect market bread consistency without additives) and you should be able to tap it and hear a hollow sound inside. Maybe stick a fork and find out the inside :)

cool and cut..