Blog Archives

Welcome to Era of Easy Communication and Misleading Information

The title says it all, we are living in an exalted era of communication and being fed with information sometimes authentic but many unverified and unproven. To add to this, we have the power to pass it on and it goes undeterred and unquestioned to gullible people who never question the authenticity of the information given to them. The reach is even more when it touches the life of a common man. One such case doing the rounds is “Plastic Rice”.

We also got a video in WhatsApp about Chinese plastic rice entering the market and how it is manufactured. Smartly, there was no audio to it. We could see raw material (glue) kind made into plastic sheets and then being shaped like rice and collected in bags. My first thought process was shock but then a bit prudence set in as I remembered the process of making thermocol where sago like bubbles are manufactured and made into blocks. It may be the “plastic rice” is a raw material for some industrial product. Where is the proof that it is being sold as rice? Sadly, Basmati rice, nature’s gift to India with its aroma and flavor has come under question putting so many farmer lives and produce under threat. Being an ardent Basmati rice fan, I set about checking various trustworthy news about it.

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Amudham outlets across Tamilnadu to sell Super Fine Rice

Two varieties of Puzhungal (boiled) rice, equivalent to IR 36 category will be now sold through “Amudham,” retail outlet of the Tamil Nadu Civil Supplies Corporation, and cooperative societies.

R. Kamaraj, Minister for Food inaugurated this on Sept.15 at the outlet in C. P. Ramaswamy Road, Alwarpet.

This super fine variety rice is priced at Rs.31 for 1 kilo and Rs.155 for 5 kilo, another category IR36 is priced at Rs.25 for 1 kilo and Rs.125 for 5 kilo.

A new brand of tea, Indco’s Tea (Ooty) has also been introduced here. This is priced at Rs.13 for 100 grams.

These will be available at all the “Amudham” outlets across the State. The government has bought out this scheme to beat the increasing price rise in the market.

Food for Thought – Are We Losing Out On Our indigenous varieties of Grains and Vegetables?

Unmilled to milled rice, from right to left, b...

A casual chat with an octogenarian grand mother about the local cuisine revealed many surprising facts. Names of rice, vegetables, herbs kept popping out and I have not heard of many. I understood it was a part of the staple food they had in the olden days. Her knowledge about greens were amazing. She walked around the backyard and could pick up leaves and name them also. In addition there were some quick recipes on it. It kept me pondering if we ever thought about some of our lost ingredients? It is time to hit the indigenous route and rediscover the specialty of maapilai samba, Kudhiraivaali, varagu and more. Did you know there’s a rice variety in Tamilnadu called ‘Maapilai samba’ that was fed to bridegrooms before the wedding? Thooyamalli, another traditional rice variety, gets its name from its striking resemblance to jasmine buds, while seeraga samba — which looks like the spice it’s named after — is as fragrant as its distant cousin the Basmati, grown in the foothills of the Himalayas. Out of the ones listed, I could find Seeraga samba with few rice vendors in Chennai. Read on and do share your opinion …

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Exhibition – Learn about the Different Varieties of Rice and Grains Consumed by us


Rice Diversity. Part of the image collection o...


Have you ever wondered about the subtle differences in almost every grain of rice you consume? Over the years, both farmers and scientists have managed to create hundreds of varieties of grains that we now relish in various forms. Some of those varieties of food grains were on display at the Government Museum as part of special exhibition inaugurated on Wednesday.


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Learn to Make Sweet Pongal, the Traditional Way

For the ones curious to know how to make the traditional sweet pongal,  here is the recipe.   Comments and suggestions are most welcome.

Read on to Learn to make Sweet Pongal.

1 cup – Short grain rice (new rice is preferred)
½ cup – yellow moong dal (paasi parupu / payatham Pappu)
1 – 1½ cups – jaggery, crushed to fine powder, soaked in half cup water. (prefer the brown one not the yellow one)
¼ cup each – cashews and  raisins
¼ cup – ghee, melted
4 cardamom pods – skins removed and seeds powdered finely
3 cups each – milk and water (or 2 cups each, if you like a halwa like pongal)

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