Colors give me great joy. The allure of a painting, bliss of a garden, warmth of yarn, softness of fabric, and amongst all of these the absolute cosmic dance of colors. I end up shopping for things just because the colors attract me. I want to own them, these colors, embrace their vigor, imbibe their depths, and savor their texture. I want to be one with colors.

I find colors alluring in food, too, the best derived from natural ingredients. The gold of turmeric, the dust of cocoa, the verdant leaves, the mauve – tender in a turnip, mature in an onion, the royal purple of a brinjal, the rust of cinnamon, pristine coconut, orange hues – the list is infinite. Nature offers us a platter enhanced by a burst of colors. While most colors dissolve and merge into each other, releasing nutrients and flavor, I feel the one color the grows richer and more vibrant when cooked, is the luscious red of beetroot. I think cocoa comes second in this list of colors that become richer when cooked.

I love cooking with beetroot, not because I like the vegetable but because it teases me with colors more intense than passion. Cooking beetroot gives me pleasure. It makes me swoon. It makes me experiment.

Beetroot Puris
Beetroot Puris

While savory dishes of beetroot come out great, it’s true colors, deep and sensuous are revealed in sweet dishes. This Saturday, I made too heavenly dishes with beetroot, for the sweet tooth. Sharing the joy of Red!

Beetroot coconut ladoos
Beetroot Coconut Ladoos
Beetroot halwa
Rich Beetroot Halwa

What you sow…

Like many urban dwellers across India, living in gated communities, with small balconies as their only windows to a locked down world, even I took to container gardening this summer. I experimented with sowing various seeds and mostly faced disappointment. When young shoots would die or not appear at all, I would eventually use the container or flower pot to plant another round of seeds.

Tomato flowers

When the time is ripe, plants find their roots and the stems sparkle with joy. My tomato plant is finally flowering. But I found it to be strange, even funny, because I had sown Daisy seeds in this pot. I was eagerly waiting for bright white blooms but here I have tiny bell-shaped flowers. Still beautiful, still loved, wondering now if flowers will turn to fruits!

So, sometimes, you may not end up reaping what you think you have sown, because there is buried past karma, too, lingering in the depths! Such, is the life lesson from a little bloom in my container garden.

“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.” – Robert Louis Stevenson

The 13th Wedding Anniversary


Today, my husband and I completed 13 years of wedded life. The world changed drastically within a quarter of our last anniversary. We didn’t know it would. That is how sneaky change can be and this one had the power to remold lives, to test relationships, and to create upheavals in all households. It was a true test for a lot of things – how workable your family relationships are, how supportive your workplace is, how good your immunity is, how patient and perseverant you are, and how your children can behave in the face of adversaries.

Inspiration: TinyBuddha

I am proud to share that our relationship has emerged stronger and better in the past 8 months of a global pandemic as we navigated the uncertainties, until we realized this was the new normal. From developing a brand new routine and sharing the housework, to marking our own little work nooks while figuring out online education novelty for our 10 year old, to refraining from snapping and hollering at each other and giving space even when our world was confined, to sharing the common goal of keeping the spirits flying high, our weld-lock is the cliched Fevical ka mazboot jorh.

To 13 years and more, and to the year of the pandemic that we will reminisce when we are gray and old and be glad that we didn’t get to each other’s throat in 2020. We passed the unique test of the year.

How did we celebrate? This anniversary was on a weekend and in any other year we would be celebrating by eating out, may be travelling, or meeting friends but we had to keep it low not only because of the pandemic but also because I have an allergic cold, courtesy the smog and the sudden dip in temperature.

The 13th Wedding Anniversary – Homemade Piping Hot Breakfast

The morning started the way it usually does in our household with me concocting a breakfast, literally, magically out of nowhere. So, here is what my foggy mind laid out as an impromptu breakfast – My signature orange chutney (sweet), cooked tomato chutney (my own recipe), kala channa-aloo gravy, and bedmi puri.

The 13th Wedding Anniversary – Barbeque Nation Lunch Buffet Spread at Home

Lunch, we supported a local restautarant by ordering a Buffet in a Box – the entire vegetarian buffet and non-vegetarian starters from Barbeque Nation. We spread it out and called it fit for a king and queen.

The husband says this is the anni-virus-ary that we will remember for years to come!

The Story of a Spadix

Flower of the Sweet Flag

Got a surprise this morning to see a spadix on my lemon grass. I posted the photograph on a Facebook gardening group. When somebody asked me on the group how did this happen, I realized something was amiss. I did a Google Lens search and learnt that this compound flower is characteristic of the Sweet Flag plant. Fascinated, I immediately resorted to Google Search and dived into the world of Wikipedia. Lots of information later – – and curiosity piqued, I roamed around the Internet a bit and found more engrossing stuff, straight from the ancient times. Almost like a time capsule, the emergence of a spadix on a beautiful North Indian winter morning, transported me to Biblical times.

According to the, calmus is mentioned in the Holy Bible and is one of the ingredients of the Holy Anointing Oil (Exodus 30:23), one of the sweet scents (Song of Songs 4:14), and among the articles sold in the markets of Tyre (Ezek. 27:19)

The word designates an Oriental plant called the “sweet flag” and called “sweet cane” (Isaiah 43:24; Jeremiah 6:20). It’s used to make perfume.

It was not a native of Israel, but was imported from Arabia Felix or from India. It was probably what is now known in India by the name of “lemon grass” or “ginger grass,” the Andropogon schoenanthus.

The wonderful things we learn every day. Container gardening is so rewarding. But, now, I worry whether this to be consumed like lemon grass, brewed into tea, the way I do. A question that demands an extensive Google research and maybe some experts to respond on the gardening group, where I posted this photo that led to an amazing discovery.

%d bloggers like this: