Saturday, April 28, 2012

Exotic Indian Recipe With Indigenous Vegetable

Red hot and sticky - this was how it was where I was last week.

A week ago, I was sitting at the exit of a sprawling resort in Goa, waiting for a bus to take me (and several others) back to my own hotel. By my own hotel, I mean the hotel I was staying in, about 20 minutes away, not that I own a hotel in Goa. My modest, homely, compact hotel, as opposed to the venue of the conference, where all the proceedings were held in tents, and only one of them was air-conditioned.

I trudged and trudged between tent and tent, carrying my computer, my bags and myself, cursing myself for being inhibited and formal. For all around me were delegates young, old, thin, fat, obese, interns and CEOs alike, wearing beach shirts and shorts and mini dresses, strapless or with spaghetti straps, looking cool as cucumbers in the heat. I was the only one, perhaps, in a salwar-kameez. Why oh why hadn’t I been more relaxed and taken my limp Fabindia cotton trousers? They would have afforded me better ventilation and I would still have managed to remain  formal (and inhibited).

Our bus trundled in at midnight but it only carried us as far as an isolated spot five minutes away. Ringed by coconut trees, it contained many other, bigger buses, and after scrambling down one and up into another carrying computer, bags and myself, we got to our own hotels. Once in, a shower and the air-conditioner revived me, but not quite – the memories of the heat of the last two days had seared themselves into my consciousness – and I had the same temperatures and far-away-from-each-other tents to face the next day.

What would I have given for a glass of light, chilled buttermilk (actually, we did order one on the first day, it was pretty nice) to be brought around at regular intervals during the conference? I don’t know, but today I tried making some of my own, going by a rough recipe a nutritionist told me about a few months ago.

And at this point, let me tell you that the red pepper/capsicum above is a red herring – it has not much to do with this post. My photos are going from bad to worse and rather that to draw in the eyeballs than the one I’m going to present below. It has to do with this, but as I had to leave for the airport early, I gave it away to my help S and told her to chutney-fy it. (I hope she didn’t dump it once my back was turned.) I made the linked recipe with green capsicum/peppers earlier and it turned out great – though the colour wasn’t anything to write home about.

What I do have to present today is this:

Exotic Indian drink with herbs (and spices, you read automatically – but barring salt, there are none) and indigenous vegetable. Now that sounds a bit over the top, doesn't it, exotic Indian drink with herbs and indigenous vegetable?

I took it to work and tried it on my colleagues, the first of whom looked a little alarmed at the trickle of green near the mouth of the bottle it was in, but she said it was fantastic. She couldn’t identify it, though. Another one did. Then I tried it on others, all of them loved it.

Then they asked me how I made it. So I had to tell them that I had turned some uneaten cucumber raita (cucumber being the indigenous vegetable) into this, by adding coriander and curry leaves.

It’s one of my as-you-like-it recipes, a couple of tablespoons of curds/yoghurt thinned with lots of water, some cucumber pieces, maybe a handful, and a fistful of well-washed coriander and curry leaves, all blitzed together in the mixer, and salted. Feel free to add a bit of ginger, asafoetida, cumin powder and pepper. 

Have it strained, or have it unstrained. Have it unrestrained. Then, maybe, you can dump the salwar-kameez, slip on a short, short dress, and feel as cool as a cucumber.


  1. I think i would've been like you too.. not able to let my hair down even if the others around were. Hope you had some fun in Goa and it wasn't all work.

    I haven't had buttermilk with this 'indigenous veg' before! What an indigenous idea! :)

  2. Glad to see ur post after such a long time,drink looks refreshing,

  3. after chennai you should have aced goa babe! i was there for a debilating few hours this week and wanted to kiss the soil when i reached hyd! next time, carry some fabindia shorts.... and a muslin kurti if it makes you feel better than spaghetti!

  4. What tent-acious conference is this. Even in strapless, short dresses there was sun-burns to be worried about.

    Next time ask them to sponsor your cool as cucumber drink

  5. I really did think it was going to be a fiery, hot red curry featuring capsicum. Hope you had some fun in Goa despite the heat.

  6. Wish to see you in your Fab Indian trousers in our next meet ;-) Goa..Ireland..Dubai..globe trekking ..enjoy!

  7. Gosh! Sure can appreciate the need for tall, cold glasses of your exotic cucumber was blazing hot here also last week. Glad you liked our peppery curry..yeah, the color with the green capsicum must have been a little off :)

  8. Nice trick to use up leftover will be a cool drink for office afternoons! Yep, not carrying the right clothes to switch to informal, if required - have had my share of experiences! :) Look fwd to your posts, dear!

  9. wow..wonderful post..hope you had lots of fun
    new to your space
    happy following you..:)
    do stop by mine sometime
    Tasty Appetite

  10. Catching up on my blog reading again - this really had me laughing out loud! Keep posting.


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