Home made ginger and lemon candy…good for sore throats..

This recipe is easy to make and especially useful in winter…so my friends from the North Hemisphere, this is for you right now !

You will need

1 cup fresh root ginger peeled and sliced

juice and grated rind of 1 lemon

3 cups sugar

Blend the above ingredients to a smooth paste without using water. Place the paste in a thick bottom pan on low to medium heat with constant stirring. When the sugar bubbles and starts to crystallize at the sides of the pan, remove from heat and keep stirring till slightly viscous. Pour onto a greased plate and allow to cool. Cut the candy into small bite sized squares. Stores well in an air tight container.

P.S I use these squares to sweeten my cup of tea at times !

December 25, 2012Permalink 1 Comment

Tuberous begonias….the summer season beauties….






There are more than a thousand species of Begonia found growing wild all over the world especially in the tropics and subtropics. One of the largest genus in the plant kingdom, begonias come in various forms and sizes. Some popular varieties are the smaller begonias used as bedding plants. They promise a continuous supply of flowers throughout summer. Some varieties of begonias are in demand for their  variegated and colored foliage. Tuberous begonias are larger, more voluptuous and glamorous than their other cousins, used mainly as potted plants or in floral displays. These plants are meant to catch the onlooker’s eye…and they certainly do ! 

Tuberous begonias are available in mostly all shades of red, orange, pink, yellow and white : in combinations, as picotees from dark crimson to the palest pinks, from bright orange to the palest peach and from bright yellow to the palest cream to pure white. A shade of blue in these plants has not yet been developed, but the day is not far away when we may see blue begonias.

The  plant forms a fat ugly tuber at its base when it goes into dormancy in winter. This acts as a storage organ for food necessary to kick start growth on the onset of the next summer. Surprisingly, the plants do not catch unnecessary attention from pests or fungi as much as other summer flowers. This makes them relatively easy maintenance plants. Tubers grow in size every year and are viable over several years. Many of the begonias with me are over five years old and they are still giving me the same display of color and beauty every summer.

Growing tuberous begonias is very easy. Tubers are available at relatively low prices from garden centers. Once these are sown in a suitable potting mix, the plant springs into action. One to many shoots spring from the growing points on a tuber and continue tirelessly till the end of the season. As long as these plants are sheltered from frost, they do not complain much. Plants are happy in the sun or in shade. Flowering usually takes in about four to five weeks since planting. An occasional feed and regular watering is recommended.

The most popular displays of these beauty queens are in containers. The cascading varieties planted in hanging baskets or the ascending plants in individual pots guarantee a riot of color throughout summer.

From a big fat tuber to a picture of color and beauty…truly, ugly ducklings growing into swans..!!



December 16, 2012Permalink 1 Comment

Zucchini chilas..

The zucchini or courgette is a wonderful and versatile summer vegetable belonging to the cucurbit family. It makes a pleasant accompaniment in a barbecue with meat, in stir fries, and steamed dishes. Here, I am sharing a simple recipe using grated zucchini to make savory chilas or pancakes. This can be a good breakfast or brunch dish. Preparation and cooking time: 30 min.


1 medium sized zucchini grated

1 1/2 cups rice flour

1 tablespoon fine semolina

1 tablespoon roasted and crushed peanuts

3 cloves garlic crushed and chopped fine

1-2  green chilies chopped fine (as per taste)

1/2 cup plain yoghurt

salt to taste

a little oil to drizzle while cooking the chilas.

Mix all the above ingredients upto salt and make a batter of chila or pancake consistency. Heat a non stick fry pan and make the chilas by spreading the batter evenly . Drizzle a little oil while cooking to make the chilas slightly crisp. Flip and cook on both sides till done. Serve with tomato sauce or a relish.

Happy eating !!





A little about this blog…

This is the garden’s magic,
That through the sunny hours
The gardener who tends it, Himself outgrows his flowers.

He grows by gift of patience,
Since he who sows must know
That only in the Lord’s good time
Does any seedling grow.

He learns from buds unfolding,
From each tight leaf unfurled,
That his own heart, expanding,
Is one with all the world.

He bares his head to sunshine,
His bending back a sign
Of grace, and ev’ry shower becomes
His sacramental wine.

And when at last his labors
Bring forth the very stuff
And substance of all beauty
This is reward enough.