Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Of Blogging, Breaking and Summer Bounty

I’ve been on an impromptu blogging break for quite a while now. Contrary to most others, this break has done nothing for my blog or writing/cooking skills (not that it was intended to) and further, seems to have diminished my photography skills. The ennui that has enveloped my blog life threatens to become permanent, if not for the fact that I’ve begun to miss blogging, despite not knowing what to write about. My friend V, of late a blogger herself, who misses my posts and messages me whenever she feels I've gone too long without a new one, tells me she can be my reminder service for a small fee!

I’ve always wondered what it’s like to go on a blog break, though. I’ve been obsessed with the blog ever since I set it up nearly two years ago and always looked upon those who took long breaks with a mixture of curiosity, awe and jealousy. Yes, jealous because they seemed to be able to get away from their blogs, not miss them and I couldn’t see myself doing that, which, as I knew somewhere, was somewhat unhealthy, as obsessions are. The only time I don’t miss my blog nowadays is when I’m indulging in my other obsession - travel - and that, alas, is not as frequent an occurrence as I would like it to be.

As it turns out, the only way to beat one mania is to develop yet another (or two, or three) - and that’s precisely how I came to stay away from blogging.
One of the last posts I read before I slipped away from the blogs was Jugalbandi’s Click for Bri. While my photo’s nothing to write to them about and I won’t be posting any recipes for the dishes in them (except maybe the dosakaya chutney), I did want to participate in the cause. Here’s what you can do to help Bri and here's wishing Bri a speedy recovery.

Sunday Meal is my entry for Click. It was my meal this past Sunday and features some traditional favorites in the parts I come from.

Clockwise from left: Dosakaya (melon cucumber) chutney, mudda pappu (plain, boiled toor dal with a bit of salt) and mamidikaya pulusu (mango in tamarind gravy with some jaggery). The dal and the gravy are good eaten together with rice and some ghee, if you like, or the dal can be mixed with rice, ghee and some mango pickle for yet another traditional combination.

Here is some summer bounty - pix taken on a road trip to and from home!

Palm fruit (taatikaayalu) and pot full of toddy (kallu). The mugs are probably what the toddy's served in!!!

The contents of the palm fruit are a favourite summer delight! Called taati munjalu, they are sadly missing in cities, or if they're available, they come all torn, crushed and wrapped in plastic. Supermarket-compatible, totally unappetising!

This is yet another gift of summer that I'm yet to see outside Andhra Pradesh. These are called kobbari mamidikaya (literally translates as coconut mango, probably because of the size) and are a great snack, sweet and sour even though they're green! Come to think of it, I'm yet to see one go ripe yellow, either on the outside or the inside. Each fruit cost Rs 25.


  1. that mango actually looks like a coconut!!! We do miss our blog when we take a break Sra. My breaks are usually not planned or intentional and are caused mostly by laziness more than anything else.

  2. Oohh I just love the palm fruit...it is nongu right?.
    The mango does resemble a coconut..the colour et al...

    Welcome back..I missed your posts and your comments on my posts....

  3. SO, what were u obsessed with while u were on your break? You haven't told us that, or have u? Did it have anything to do with toddy consumption?:D

  4. I simply love nongu.. The one thing I missed eating when I visited home this time.

  5. chala rojula taruvata 'taatikaya munjalu' choosa Sra..lovely pics!.. and dosa chutney is my fav of all!.

    and good to see u back buddy!..and no more breaks ok!!..


  6. Lakshmi, hmm ... I was getting worried that I didn't have a hobby beyond blogging. I did, but it had taken a backseat to blogging - I managed to read and finish a lot of TV stuff.
    Rachel, thanks. Yeah, the palm fruit is nungu.
    TBC, trust you to come up with some comment like that! :) I was finishing overdue library books and TV series on DVD
    Laavanya, oh no! But you probably went before the season began?
    Siri, thanks, and I hope no more breaks. I would gladly take a break if travel came up, though! :)

  7. yeah..i with TBC..don't tell me u took up other hobbies (toddy and nong..) and have decided to do a buh-bye ;D


  8. sra, edi goram, mari entha torture chesthara tati munjulu photo's petti. Boy I love them wish you could mail me some. glad to see your post again

  9. nungu... I think you still get them in Madras Sra... I grew up eating them every summer :-)

    I love those mango coconuts... :-)

    Welcome back!

  10. sra, welcome back...its good to read your blog again..those pictures are some lovely ones...and as you said that mango looks so much like coconut..why not send it to suganya for her AFAM ..heheh...

    and I think you are being too critical..that picture of your meal looks so yummy to me!...

  11. sra, i hate u girl... why u had to post the pics of palm fruits and mangoes :P
    and i missed ur rants.

  12. Luv nungus. yet to taste the toddy tho;) Welcome back.

  13. good to see you back, sra - was wondering where you'd gone off to! :)

  14. Sra, good to see you back. I don't feel too bad now that I hear that city dewellers don't get toddy palms as well :) You get broken ones clothed in plastic, we get them in tins :(

  15. Great to see you coming out of your hibernation!:D

    Palm fruit look yummy, I used to eat that too. Here, we get the fruits in a can, very sweet for our liking because of the light syrup, nothing like fresh ones.

    Great Yellow Thali!:))

  16. palm fruit..oh wow..by the way what is ur current mania?

  17. Nice to see a post from you! Hey, its your blog, and you should feel free to indulge or take a break whenever you want. I was recently forced to go on a longish break because of all the activity in the house. Strangely, I didn't miss blogging as such, but I missed reading my favorite blogs.

  18. Nice post Sra. The Palm fruit brought back so many memories. We used to get it in the road side in Bombay and I think it was taadgola!

  19. Rajitha, no, not planning a buhbye, just catching up with some TV series.
    Sreelu, thanks. When I see such comments, I feel I'm really lucky to be able to enjoy these things!
    Raaga, city ones are not v good. Sometimes I find some in the store, all terrible!
    Valli, since that post, someone gave me a big crop of coconuts, and I have a lot left even though I've given some away. Now I need a shred-less, grindless recipe. :)
    Sia, ah, my rants! I'll try and rant for you soon ;)
    Vidya, I haven't tasted toddy either, and the looks of it didn't entice me.
    Arundathi, just went home a couple of times, but more busy being here. :)
    Indo, I know! I was so surprised when I first read of them being available in tins.
    Asha, ah, you answered my question - I was wondering how they'd taste in tins!
    Mallugirl, my current mania is various TV series on DVD - finishing one has me waiting anxiously for another but I'm afraid my DVD lender has reached the end of his supply :(
    ET, actually, I wanted to blog but couldn't think of anything because of the other things that kept me busy. And when I was completely ready to, I couldn't think of anything!
    Bhagyashri, hello! Yeah, I think it's called tadgola in Hindi.

  20. I've tasted kobbari maamidikaaya only once, while on a village trip.Daani taste and texture koodaa similar to coconut ani gurtu.Mee writing style koodaa achchamgaa alaane yummy gaa untundi Sra..!

  21. Hi,
    good to see you blogging again.
    I have always taken break when I really dont want to go that extra mile ..That includes a long one year break LOL..
    I also love Palm Fruit , even I have a draft saved with pic of palm fruit ,it is really sad as these are slowly becoming rare to eat ..
    good to see you back ....
    Hugs and smiles

  22. It's good to hear from you, SRA. I love the shot of with the fruit and the mugs.

  23. I can have 20 palm fruits at the same time. In summmer this and watermelon used to my lunch and dinner....I miss the palm fruit sooooooo much

  24. Wow that is indeed huge mangoes ,they r like coconuts.
    It is ages ago i had palm sugar and that was in tamilnadu.
    So what is the new mania you have found out other than blogging

  25. Never bought in a shop... those people with baskets :)

  26. Nothing like a break to refresh a tired mind!I often find myself too busy to write or check my fav blogs. Welcome back!

  27. Your photos look great to me, Sra. Glad to see you back from break :)

  28. I've never seen a palm fruit whole before! Love the seeds, that is what they call "Toddy palm seeds" here. I miss the fresh ones! And that kallu... makes me nostalgic... :)
    Glad to see you back Sra, I've never been able to take an official blogging break! Even travel doesn't keep me away from it... :)

  29. Nice to see a post here again.
    As you can see, I'm having problems keeping up with blogging!
    But better that I am late here than never!!
    Haven't eaten nongu in a long time. My SIL has a mango tree with fruit this big. Maybe it's this? This variety is pretty hard to cut but tastes very good.

  30. Nice pics....esp the one of the nongu....me been on an unplanned blog break too....and I missed my blog like crazy....didn't catch up on anything else 'coz I had LOTS of guests....

  31. The dreaded ennui...I've got it, too, and am planning a short break this summer of nothing but quiet contemplations.

    I like your on-the-fly shots, Sra. They are more intimate than the most exacting macro details.

  32. Satya, thank you. That's a lovely thing to say.
    Jaya, it's news to me that these are found in your part of the country too, but then I'm quite ignorant!
    Susan, thanks, I liked it too! Glad you noticed.
    Shankari, yes, even I can eat any amount of both. My gran would say eating a bit of the palm fruit peel would protect against indigestion but that spoilt the taste of the feast for me!
    Happy Cook, oh, nothing much, just TV, DVD ...
    Raaga, LOL!
    Mallika, thanks! This break seems to have had the opposite effect one me - I'm struggling to find things to say!
    Linda, thanks!
    Sig, I'd blog on travel if I could, but Internet connectivity being what it is, I stick to stationary times :)
    Aparna, maybe, I've never seen it outside AP. And then I've never seen the tree.
    Jayashree, yeah, I'm missing my blog, but not knowing what to write ...
    Susan, "summer of nothing but quiet contemplations" ... how poetic! And thanks.

  33. Wow nice pics...even i like palm fruit.

  34. Sra , these are one the things I miss here in the US. The ones we get in the asian store with light syrup are horrible and not at all fleshy unlike the ones we get at home.. I would love to visit hyd in summer for mangoes and taatimunjalu.. really dont care about the heat!


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