We have beautiful art both natural flora and fauna on our roof terrace and peeking through are images from the painted sides of bullock carts.
we’re setting out on a new journey…. after the wonderful experience last year (Note English sarcasm) ..to firstly ensure that Manjula’s various IDs were accurate and consistent with name, gender, address, date of birth ( it took, four months), then the ‘reality game’ of applying for a passport (two more months) and being knocked back a couple of times (the board game of these tangles with bureaucracy will be in shops soon) then to top it all we applied for a TOURIST (yes just for a holiday) visa from the UK Government just at the time of some insignificant Vote or other (Brexit aka Biscuit idiotic referendum) only to be summarily rejected (Brit Govt is fast on its rejections, three weeks total) and applying again with an avalanche of papers (two weeks)… for you dear reader, what feels like lifetime’s experience compressed into six months has already been documented on these pages. Some of you may remember it .. well this new journey is…. wait for it…. an application to register as a Homestay with the Karnataka Government.
in my English wistful sort of way I think it will be very straightforward and probably a damn sight easier than a similar process in the UK.
background is we’ve been operating on the same basis as an AirBnB property but this year the Karnataka Govt has introduced a new rule and that means everyone has to register with them.
As I say let’s see, first step following the ‘critical path’ , let’s find out what’s required 🙂
Manjula provides lovely Indian vegetarian meals at Mysore Bed and Breakfast for our guests from India and countries throughout the world. Our international guests, in particular, are interested in learning more about Indian cuisine.
She can often be seen with the kitchen full of guests while she demonstrates and provides lessons on how to cook various dishes. It does get a bit cramped!
Our meals together are an important part of sharing our home.
After many requests we’ve decided to post recipes, even demonstrations here on our journal/bloglet. We’ve started with a couple of simple examples, first: Ragi Soup (Ragi is fast becoming a smart-ish food) check here for the recipe and on this page follow the link to our first home made (and it shows!) video featuring how to make Dhal. The recipe is below. check the video
If you wish to see a really good video of Manjula cooking. It’s not a recipe but a great video of Manj at work, created by our lovely friends Tom and Amy. This is a serious professionally made video, not to be missed! 🙂 Its here.
The recipe for Dhal
Ingredients for the first stage
11/2 tsp Turmeric powder
11/2 tsp Cumin seeds
4 green Chilli
1 small Garlic
Small bunch Coriander
2 cups water1 cup Dhal
1 cup Dhal
Chop veg in small pieces
Add all ingredients together in pressure cooker.
With lid on and gas lit, leave cooking for twenty minutes or 4-5 whistles of the cooker.
Switch off and leave to cool for twenty minutes.
Check and if necessary add a little more water and boil for a few moments
Ingredients for the second stage
1tsp cumin seeds
1tsp mustard seed
2-3 red chilli
add oil to a saucepan, then mustard seed, fry for a moment, then add cumin seeds, fry for a moment then add red chilli, fry then add Dahl. Fry for ten minutes. Then it’s ready.
Manjula’s meals have become a great success at Mysore Bed and Breakfast. She doesn’t, however, cook every night (so please note its availability is not guaranteed). Guests usually do however get at least one dinner. We are a vegetarian household. I’m the vegetarian, not Manjula who eats out with me or other friends to get her regular meat input!
A staple of the diet here in south India. A form of millet grown with limited water. Traditionally made into Ragi Balls and eaten as a highly nutritious breakfast before heading out into the fields. Here’s a very simple Soup recipe.
As simple nutritious Ragi Soup
Maybe spring onion. Whatever veggies you would like to add!
First finely chop the veg and boil a little to leave the veg a little crunchy.
Mix a small (steel glass) of Ragi flour with 2-3 cups of water to create a paste.
Add to the veg and boiling water and gently mix.
Add salt, black pepper.
Switch off gas and add lemon (maybe half) to taste, .
Some people use cornflour but I don’t use any other flour.
Farrell Factoid on Ragi Balls
They are highly nutritious and low cost. People in the villages would have a large one in the morning before heading out in the fields which would keep them going for hours.
I asked Manjula a couple of years back why we hadn’t had Ragi Balls, so she made some, and now I know, why.
It’s a large ball similar to a dumpling. To eat it, wet the fingers with the gravy (curry) pull a piece off and roll it into a small ball. Then throw it to the back of the mouth and swallow it straight away. Why?
I now know the answer to that too.
It tastes like earth and sticks to the roof of your mouth! Simple really.
Ragi is becoming quite trendy and you can get Ragi Dosa among other inventive things. It’s a good thing for our health and the health of the environment as it uses much much less water than the other main crops, namely rice and sugar cane.
As I almost reach sixty and a half it’s time to reflect, review and introduce a view changes.
Already I’m feeling results, my stiff back is beginning to ease up a tad. I am however beginning to think I’m the class clown. Yes they laugh at (not with me) my grunting (kindly teacher calls it music), or my silly walks, try walking on the inside edge of your feet (or IS IT just me?) and to top it all. .., This morning after the final lie down relaxation session, the mat (these are plasticky gym mats) had a perfect image of my body in sweat. Uncanny no one else has any sweat!
Next step cardio. Bring out the buckets. (For the gallons of sweat)
Life goes on in the odd tapestry of India!
Manjula’s tailor friend may have found a prospective husband. For her daughter. Current view is 90% likely. Check.
Mangala, our main cleaner (Narianappa her father and our gardener has recently died. Check previous outings) No longer has her father to represent her interests with her useless husband. He doesn’t work, lazes about and demands money for drink. Well she got to the end of her tether so beat him up. The girls are now laughing as he hobbles around with the help of a stick and moans about his bruises.
As Kamlama is now somewhere in Coorg, check Manjula has found a new cleaner. We need to have absolutely trustworthy staff, not least because I leave things around the house but of course we have many guests who must feel comfortable sharing our home. Well Manjula decided to test her and left some money out which promptly disappeared. Next day Manj asked her if she’d seen it and Mangla (yes same name as other cleaner) professed no knowledge about it. So ‘soft cop’ Manjula informs poor young girl that there are CCTV camera in the house that the boss aka ‘hard cop’ (yes that’s me, unlikely as it might seem) will check the computer when he gets back from abroad. Miraculously, as you might expect, poor girl finds it under the fridge! I’m just an observer in these things and don’t condone any particular methodology but we have to work out the best we can in the circumstances.
A friend of M’s mother has died so she’ll get over to pay her last respects who will be laid out outside the house and take to the Chamundi Hill bottom where there’s a field for the funeral pyres.
We have Indian guests from Delhi and Chennai this weekend and will all gather for dinner at Hotel Roopa this evening.
Good friend Vinay reckons I’m a closet BJP supporter. I don’t eat beef, love India and now have a lotus tattoo.
Hang on…. she must have got the vibe and
Manjula is just back with more info about Kamalama’s situation. The first story was most accurate. The one about family illness was a cover story.
Kamalama has effectively run away to Coorg, where she’s from, the area of the western Ghats a few hours away.
It seems that there was an argument and some sort of fracas with her son’s ‘wife’. The upshot is that the ‘wife’ threatened to come round with her main husband and kill Kamalama later that day. So she’s done a runner. Can’t blame her but what a terrible situation for an elderly lady.
the wife has a range of ‘husbands’ that she flits between.
I’m not saying this sort of violence is usual or the complex inter-relationships is common but I’ve heard of similar situations.
Kamalama’s son re-appeared a few years ago and she was happy they had re-established contact. She lives a simple life, has a small house and works as cleaner, washing clothes etc at various houses. We think she’s is in her 60’s. It’s difficult to know what if anything we can do.