Monthly Archives: October 2008

New Raman Reti Gurukula Harvest Festival



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Downtown Alachua Farmers Market

Tuesday, opportunity rang me up in the middle of my cook day. It was Steve (or was his name Scott?), the market manager for the newly opening Downtown Alachua Farmers Market.  Steve wanted to invite me to join the market as a vendor.  Why, thank you, Steve!

But of course, the thing that stands between me and the market is the fact that I am not totally legal. While my kitchen is clean and sanitary, it lacks a 3 basin sink, mop sink, hand sink, regulation lighting, a range hood (oops) and painted walls (high gloss, to be exact).  All this requires not only money, but time to figure it all out and get it all together.  
And if and once I do get ye olde kitchen inspected and start doing the farmers market thing, how will I find the time to actually do it all?  Anyway, instead of lamenting my opportunities I should spend my time getting this kitchen inspection thing together.  The goal for at least getting started on it is December.  
Remind me if I forget, okay?


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Petha to the People

Brajajana sent me the following recipe in response to a pic I posted elsewhere of an uber loki. It’s for the Indian sweet by the name of petha. I can’t say that I endorse all the ingredients in the recipe (I am so not into alum powder), or that I like petha. In fact, I really don’t like petha. Brajajana may be the only person I know who actually has willingly had more than one piece.

Nevertheless, I thought it would be interesting to post the recipe.

If you have had any experience with petha, positive or negative, please feel free to post it in the comments section.



• 1 kg White Pumpkin (firm)
• 2 tsp Calcium Hydroxide (kitchen lime)
• ½ tsp Alum Powder (Fitkari)
• 3 drops Screwpine Essence (Kewra)
• 800 gm Sugar
• 1 tsp Rose Water
• 2 cups Water

How to make Petha:

• Dissolve alum powder in water (½ cup) and keep it aside.
• Dissolve kitchen lime in 1 litre water, strain with a clean cloth twice if required, and keep it aside.
• Wash, peel and deseed the pumpkin. Cut it into 25 mm. (1″) squares and prick each piece with a fork all over.
• Soak the pieces in lime water for 30 minutes.
• Drain the lime water and wash the pieces thoroughly under clean running water for 2-3 minutes.
• Put the pumpkin pieces in a bowl. Pour alum water on the pieces and shake the bowl so that all the pieces get evenly coated.
• Drain the alum water. Take sufficient amount of water in a heavy bottomed pan and boil the pumpkin pieces till they become soft and transparent.
• In the meantime, make syrup of sugar and water of 2 thread consistency.
• Put drained pumpkin pieces in the sugar syrup and boil till syrup becomes thick again.
• Turn off the flame and take out the pieces.
• Keep covered the syrup with a mesh, overnight.
• Again boil the syrup and add the pieces.
• Cook it for 3-4 minutes and turn off the flame. Let the pieces cool.
• Now sprinkle Kewra and rose water over the pieces. Allow petha to cool completely. Refrigerate it.
• Petha is ready to serve.

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Uber Loki


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Last Day for Limerick Submissions!!!

Today is the last day for you to submit your prize winning, food inspired limerick to me at

The contest is being judged by Kurma Dasa, of Cooking with Kurma fame. Kurma Dasa is not only an accomplished cookbook author and chef, but also a serious limerick enthusiast.

In addition to winning a jar of Sabjimata Jam, the winner may also receive a congratulatory email from the judge himself (gotta run this past him still).

Okay. You definitely don’t want to miss this event, complete with jam and celebrity judge. So get limericking!

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My Venumadhava

With Gobar Krishna

Mugging it up for the camera…doing his DeNiro impersonation.

In character as Madhu-mangala.  He held that smile through the entire play.

Playing his air mrdanga.

Unable to resist the urge to climb. Thankfully Uncle Chaturatma is in India!


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Sabjimata Too Hot Bengali Chili Pickle is Here!

Attention all you achar-heads out there!  You asked for it and now I’ve got it.  Sabjimata Too Hot Bengali Chili Pickle is here!

Personally I find this stuff completely unenjoyable.  The Mild Bengali Chili Pickle is a top seller and if I didn’t need to keep an inventory, I could probably go through a jar a week.  It is absolutely perfect, adding a touch of heat to sabjis, rice, chapatis or kichari.  I even know one customer who eats it wrapped inside a flatbread with a banana.  See, it’s versatile.
But this new pickle I cannot eat.  I cannot even smell it. It is just so hot.  A teeny tiny taste burns my gut and dominates my tongue for hours.  This is not a pickle to be eaten in abundance, even if you do like it hot.
The spicing is the same as the Mild Bengali Chili Pickle and contains no onion, garlic or vinegar. It is freshly made with local chilies and is pickled in mustard oil and salt.
Want to give it a try?  Just visit the Sabjimata Pickle page and add it to your cart.  Depending on how much heat you can take, you just might be sorry.

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