Category Archives: South India

An evening of slow food

It was a party at Samantha’s house on Thursday evening when members of Slow Food Yolo gathered to listen to stories from My Mother’s Kitchen and watch a cooking demonstration.

They watched me prepare feathery light rice dumplings called idlis and Ishtu stew made of ginger, coconut milk and potatoes. There was also spicy tomato chutney and sweet milk pudding with vermicelli and cardamom. What a tasty and fun evening!

http://www.slowfoodyolo.com/

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Filed under garden, harvest, Indian food, mindfulness, Sacramento Slow Food, Slow Food USA, Slow Food Yolo, South India, Uncategorized

A Pearl of Wisdom

June 2016

My maternal grandmother had the coolest name: Pearl.

Granny Pearl died in her mid-40s from an untreated benign tumor and her older sister whom we called “Muthi or granny” kept her memory alive with vivid stories about her. Pearl was an accomplished pastry chef and her skill at twirling chickpea pastry dough into perfect circles was in high demand. Her nimble fingers were able to twirl the chickpea dough into a huge circle, in some cases 101 times around, without a single breakage.

The pastry circle was made of chickpea flour flavored with cumin seeds, red chili pepper powder and sea salt. The completed pastry or muruku was air dried and then deep fried for a melt-in-your mouth treat.

As a youngster, Muthi was always reminding me to be more like Granny Pearl. According to Muthi, Granny Pearl was so gentle, compassionate and kind-hearted that even her footprints didn’t leave a mark on the earth.

Apparently fiction writing and story-telling is an inherited family trait!

When I was a child I had no idea what Muthi meant. But now, decades later, I can see the hidden truth in her words.  Granny Pearl left no negative footprints. She was so full of warmth, love and kindness that being in her presence was soothing to the spirit.

I’m thinking a lot about Granny Pearl these days. The world needs more of her empathy and tenderness. Whenever I am dismayed about the state of the world, I try to conjure up Granny Pearl’s humanity. More than a century after her death, she is still remembered for her tolerance.

So when violence and hatred swirls around you, try to be more like my Granny Pearl. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be remembered, decades from now, as a loving and kind person, just like Granny Pearl?

Granny Pearl was wise and aptly named.

An additional note:  My book is so close to having 50 reviews on Amazon and apparently after 50 reviews Amazon will throw a big party and you are all invited! Seriously, that number 50 is the Holy Grail for many authors. Can you please help me in my quest? A huge thank you to everyone who has already written a review!

 

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Filed under amazon review, Book Club recommendations, grandmother's wisdom, mother's kitchen, my mother's kitche, South India, Uncategorized

Book Club Review

Book blogger Kristen Galles of Bookclubclassics says  “book clubs that appreciates beautiful prose, rich culture and tempting treats will love My Mother’s Kitchen!”

Check it out: http://bookclubclassics.com/Blog/2016/04/25/mothers-kitchen-review/

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Filed under Book Club recommendations, Book clubs, book review, Indian food, media, mother's kitchen, South India, Uncategorized

Radio Interview

Hello All,

I was interviewed by Radio 12 host Anita Ahuja on Thursday, April 21. Here’s a link to the in-depth interview.

http://12radio.com/archive.cfm?archive=3CD0C2F8-26B9-4187-866E6AB5E0E0E084

 

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Filed under media, mindfulness, mother's kitchen, Radio interview, South India, Uncategorized

Another review!

Hello friends,

Things are warming up in My Mother’s Kitchen! Freda’s Voice, a Canadian book blogger, just posted a wonderful review of the book. You can read it right here: http://www.fredasvoice.com/2016/03/my-mothers-kitchen-by-meera-ekkanath.html

 

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Filed under book review, Canadian book blogger, Indian food, my mother's kitche, South India, Uncategorized

Mindfulness and slowing down

February 2016

I was reminded of the importance of “mindful eating and cooking” at a recent event. Both Slow Food Sacramento and Sacramento Food Co-op Chef Adam advocate this philosophy.

Slow Food Sacramento has a worthy mission of wanting to provide good, clean and fair food for all.  At the same event Chef Adam advised guests to use their hands, put away electronic devices and be mindful while cooking.

Being mindful of not only eating but paying attention to every aspect of life is something we should all try to do. We let our electronic devices control us and so we end up doing more than one thing at a time. This multi-tasking can lead to an unfocused life which in turn leads to stress.

I was fortunate to have someone very wise in my life who always urged me to “slow down and take my time.” This meant doing one thing at a time, being mindful of every action. It was not easy to follow this great advice. When I was a reporter in a busy newsroom, I was expected to do more than one thing. Later on motherhood meant multi-tasking in another way. It was hard to do just one thing at a time when there was so much to be done. However I did learn that teens responded better to undivided attention and one-pointed listening. Life on an elementary campus was not conducive to doing just one thing at a time either.

But now that I stay home I have the time to be more mindful. I begin my day early so that I can enjoy a quiet cup of hot tea and not feel rushed.  My dog, Duke, is a great at doing just one thing at a time. When he eats, all his concentration is on his food. When he goes for a walk and stops to sniff a blade of grass, he takes his time and doesn’t move until he is done.

Most afternoons he quietly (and persistently) insists on me joining him outside. Instead of being annoyed by his loving request, I put aside my work and go out into the fresh air. My hound and I sit together in silence, listening to the birds and buzzing bees. During this time I let my mind slow down and soon my breathing and my body quieten down. I look forward to these moments of mindfulness now. I find all my senses are alert after my afternoon session with therapist Duke. A cool glass of lemon water is refreshing and enjoyable. Cooking our evening meal is a pleasurable task that I take my time doing.  I am more focused at an evening exercise class. Being in the moment helps me relax and get ready for bed.

I urge you to try a moment of mindfulness every day and reap the benefits and if you have a four-footed therapist to enjoy the moment with, so much the better.

A programming note:  Please tune (or set your DVR) to Channel 31 on Friday, March 18. At 9 a.m. I will join Good Morning Sacramento host Tina Macuha to demonstrate how to make Aviyal stew and to promote my book.

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Filed under Indian food, media, mindfulness, pet therapy, Sacramento Food Co-op, Sacramento Slow Food, South India, television, Uncategorized

New Book Review

I think of positive book reviews as fine pearls and I love collecting them! Here is one that will be a fine addition to my pearl necklace!

http://guiltlessreading.blogspot.ca/2016/02/i-need-some-curry-right-now-my-mothers.html

 

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Filed under book review, Indian food, mother's kitchen, South India, Uncategorized