Fashion illustrations

SilverRidgeStudio on etsy is one of my favourite shops. Love the way Cate has dabbled with water colours to depict fashion and I too tried my hand at some of them and it is definitely going to be hung on my wall at home.
Indian Bride

Ellen Von Unwerth is Cate Parr's favourite photographer and when I saw some of the photographs and  I too was enthused to make some quick sketches. 

More watercolour

Even after having cribbed a lot about Belgium and its language problems I still can't get enough. Our friend's daughter is a year old and they wanted to start teaching English alphabets to her. After carefully searching the english book store here found a chart of alphabets but all the 'is for' were weird unknown reference and definitely not the ones what we studied in India.  It was not  B is for Beer and C is for chocolate, since Belgium is famous for it, but surely not something that was easy for Indians. 
So I decided to make one for the little one, myself.  I had some A4 sheets and painted them with watercolour and coloured pencils.All I have to do now is to  stitch and hand bind it to make a handmade alphabet learning book. 
water colour on A4 plain sheet was a baaaaad idea and the paper crumpled. Let's see how long this lasts in her hands..:)

our garden backyard  


Puranpoli / Holige / Stuffed sweet bread

VR recently mentioned that I would be returning to India as a better cook. And to think of it, yes, I have tried so many new recipes and I know what I'm good at and definitely know what VR likes. I recently got the craving to have some hot puran polis and immediately called up mom for recipe. Initially when I started to cook whenever I asked her for recipe I specifically ask for the detailed step as I would find a very simple seasoning very complicated. So even till date she explains me the same way but I hurry her up by completing her sentences and she gets angry ..."I will not tell you, you go search on your internet" ... ! And so I listen to her as she tells me the exact measurement, temperature,  colour changes, textures etc. And all I do is listen attentively. You can do multitasking and mom can do multitasking but when mom is telling  you something then you cannot to do multitasking. 

So here is the recipe: 

For the outer dough
all purpose flour /Maida :  1/2 cup
Wheat flour : 1/4 cup
Cream of wheat : 1/4 cup 
Oil: 3/4 cup
turmeric - 1 tea spoon
salt - 1/2 tea spoon
Sugar - 1 table spoon
water - 2/3 cup+

For the filling  
Chana dal / split chickpeas  -2/3 Cup
Toor dal   / Split yellow lentils -1/3 cup 
Sugar - 1.5 cups  
cardamom powder - 1/2 tea spoon

Procedure :
Cook the pulses together in a pressure cooker.

Dissolve salt, sugar and turmeric in water . 
Wheat flour is optional and the quantity can be replaced by more of all purpose flour. Knead into a soft ball same like  that of chapathi. Add 1/4 oil and again knead again for another 5 minutes. add the rest of oil on top and let it sit for half an hour.

Drain the water from the pulses and save the stock for making tomato rasam. Add sugar to the dry mixture in a heavy bottomed pan and heat it on low flame until all the moisture evaporates and the whole thing comes together like a sticky mass. The stuff actually loosens itself from the sides  and this is the indication to take it off heat. Add cardamom powder and mix well.

At this stage mom generally grinds the stuffing(without adding water) to get an even mixture. These days she uses the murukku press mold rather than the mixer to blend the stuffing. 

Make medium sized round balls of the stuffing and keep aside. apply oil on your palms and pinch out the outer dough, half the size of  the stuffing. Flatten it lightly and then place the stuffing inside and pull the sides all around it towards the centre. Press down slightly and then roll it flat with a rolling pin. Apply wheat flour/ maida while flattening. 

Transfer the rolled poli on to a hot griddle. once it gets golden brown spots then flip it. each side will not take more than 3 minutes. This should be dry roasted. 
A dollop of ghee on hot poli.!!! ahaaaa

Work area 

Roasting the poli

Serve Ubatti with ghee / sweet milk
1. You could add fresh grated coconut to the stuffing for a softer texture. add it while heating the cooked pulses. 
2. Toor dal is optional and can be replaced by chana dal. but toor dal makes the poli softer. 
3. The insides of the chana dal should be cooked well.  Mine did not cook very well and so the inner most part of the chana dal was still a bit hard. and since I do not have a mold or a mixer,  after heating the stuffing, I tried to mash it with a spoon. So I pressed it anyway and it cracked out of the outer covering in some places. 
4. The griddle should be medium hot. 

Run, mom.. Run!

Tools studied today,
1. Pen tool
2. Creating fractals
3. Paths  
4. Text around the path

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