Lepakshi – Arise Oh Bird!

 

 

 

 

 

On a rock, the shape of a tortoise, there stood 5 separate Lingams. Each bearing its own story of how they came into existence. A pious king decided to bring them together under the guard of one stone wall and honour each lingam with its own sanctum sanatorium. Sanctioned by the kings of the Vijayanagara empire in the 1500s the two brother Viruppanna and Veeranna began building this temple to specialy honour the god Veerbhadra. The temple in itself consists of the inner temple, a dancing hall, a marriage hall that depicts the wedding of Lord Shive to Godess Parvathy, and a court yard with pillars, no two similar to each other.

The dancing hall inside the temple is held up by 70 pillars carved from the same stone that this beautiful temple sits on. Each pillar has a different designed carved into it and the main pillars show a beautiful maiden dancing under the guidance of her guru. It is in this mantapa that you will find the famous hanging pillar. 69 pillars of this hall rest on the ground, yet this one pillar remains hanging. It is said that this pillar is the key to holding the entire roof of the hall up! But sadly curiosity got the better of the Britisher who tried to move the pillar and in turn caused a chain reaction therefore ruining all the 69 pillars of the hall. The damage can be seen in every pillar, either bent, broken or crooked.

The temple is an unfinished piece of artificial magnificence. It is said that the king Achutaray had accused Viruppana for embezzling funds from the state treasury and Virupanna was to be blinded for his wrong doing. In his rage, it is said that Virupanna blinded himself and threw his eye balls on the walls of the enclosure behind the main idol of the temple. Even today there remain two holes on the wall with what appears to be a reddish blotch around it and it said to have been tested positive for human blood.

 

 

Like many other temples made during this time, this temple is also filled with stories from hindu mythology. It is said that the temple was built by Agasthya muni and he created the magestic statues of lord Ganesha, Shiva and Parvathy.

 

It is said that during the time the temple was made, the average person measured 8 feet and goddess Sita Devi was considered short. Β It believed that the goddess left her foot print on the face of the rock when the great bird Jatayu sacrificed its life trying to save her from Ravana.

The carving on the rock is said to be the platter in which the architects of the building would have their meals.

 

 

This temple is a beautiful piece of history that is situated 100kms from the bustling city of Bangalore and is surrounded by farms and rocky landscape. The temple stand as a reminder that no matter how big we aspire to become or how much we dream to create, every step of the way, we must aim for greatness. Greatness not measured by another appreciation but a greatness that we know is different, unique and unparalleled to what we thought was the best!

 

White chocolate peach cake with rosemary pomegranate SwissMeringue Frosting

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hello everybody!! My baby turned one!! Yes!! Can you believe it?? Its been one whole year and my baby is already running around and eating cake! I love baking and as much as I love who people make such wonderful detailed sculptures and I also loved making them a few times ( with fondant) i have decided that I will never make a cake with fondant or gum paste ever! I just think there is so much more to baking and fondant just makes be forget why I started baking in the first place πŸ™‚

So when I was asked what cake I would make for my baby, I was quick to say “not a fondant cake!! for sure! and the end result was this. The last cake I made was for my husband on his birthday and that was just so much chocolate I decided I wouldn’t do the coco thing anymore. So here is my babys first birthday cake with white chocolate and peach. The frosting is a rosemary infused pomegranate meringue butter cream. And I wanted to share the recipe with you.

Ingredients :-

  1. Eggs – 4 ( separated)
  2. Pomegranate – 1 cup
  3. Powdered Sugar – 1 cup
  4. Butter – 250 gms ( room temp)
  5. RoseMary – 3 long sprigs

Instructions :-

  1. Firstly take the pomegranate and cut it into four and slowly pop out all the seeds within
  2. once you are done with the whole fruit, put the seeds into a mixer and grind for 5 mins
  3. Then strain the juice into a pot. You don want any seeds in the juice
  4. Now heat the juice on a low flame. Add the rosemary to the juice and let it simmer
  5. Let the juice reduce to 90%. You will see that the colour is almost purplish. (Don’t worry)
  6. Now let the reduction cool down
  7. In another pot, on a double boiler, add the egg white and sugar and mix well
  8. Mix till the sugar and eggs have combined well and the vessel is just warm ( don over do it, you will have scrambled egg white)
  9. Now take it off the heat and whisk for 5 mins
  10. You will see how the egg whites turn nice and glossy and slowly form peaks ( 10mins)
  11. Now slowly add the butter a little at a time ( do not pop it all in at once)
  12. You will see the mixture curdle. But trust me do not stop whisking!! it will go back to the nice firm peaks. Just give it time. Now turn your whisk on high and whisk for another 10 mins
  13. I know there is a lot of whisking but trust me it tastes so muchΒ better that just butter cream
  14. When you see the mixture come to the required Β consistency add the pomegranate reduction
  15. Finally pop the frosting into your piping bag and you are all set to pipe out your design
  16. You can store the frosting for one week in an air tight box

 

Street Style Boiled Peanuts – (Bangalore food)

 

 

 

 

 

This post is not much of a recipe post but I did want to include it cause it brings back wonderful memories of cold rainy days after college and this old selling steaming hot boiled peanuts, right outside the gates. Even today when its raining and cloudy, I can smell that salty peanuty air. I would get a handful for 10 Rps but it was so good! I could hear my moms voice asking me to think twice before popping one into my mouth. But I would quickly dismiss the thought as I would convince myself that the water was boiling and therefore did not really matter. But soon I realised that you could make the same thing at home. So this is my version of the boiled peanut πŸ™‚

Ingredients :-

  1. Peanuts – 1/2 kg ( in the shell)
  2. Water – 2 cups
  3. Salt – 1 tbsp

Instructions :-

  1. In a cooker add water and salt. Mix well.
  2. Then add the peanuts
  3. Turn on the flame and let the whistle blow 3 – 4 times
  4. Then turn off the flame and let the cooker let out all the steam on its own
  5. Finally open the cooker and serve right away!!

*Variations – You could add a little chilli powder or lime juice

Baked tomato stuffed with eggs

 

 

 

We all love a simple egg recipe to bring a little change to our daily breakfast menu right? So this is my version of a simple breakfast. Both healthy and easy to make. It is packed with proteins and the goodness of vegetables. So with the big glass of juice and some bread, you have a wholesome breakfast. My mom has a zillion recipes with eggs specifically for breakfast They start with the ordinary scrambled eggs and include the Kerala version of Mutta roast ( egg roast). I don remember a single day that I left home without a good balanced breakfast.

Ingredients:-

  1. Tomato – 4 ( cleaned and the insides scooped out with a spoon)
  2. Eggs – 4
  3. Onions – 2 (chopped)
  4. Ginger – garlic paste – 1/2 tbsp
  5. Salt – 1/2 tbsp
  6. Dry parsley – 1/2 tbsp
  7. Oil – Β 1 tsp + just to brush the tomato before putting them into the oven
  8. Cheese – 1 cup ( optional)

Instructions :-

  1. Firstly wash and clean the tomatoes
  2. Cut the top and bottom of each of the tomatoes so as to allow them to sit up straight and then with a spoon or a melon baller scoop out the fleshy part inside the tomato, leaving the shell intact ( it should look like a small bowl )
  3. Now in a pan heat 1 tsp oil and then fry onion and ginger garlic paste. Once they are done, switch off the flame and add the dry parsley. Finally add salt and mix well. Set aside to cool
  4. Line your baking tray with foil to bake the tomato. Pre heat the oven to 180
  5. Now take the cooled onion Β mixture and fill all the tomatoes half way.The crack open the eggs and add onto the tomato bowl over the onion mixture
  6. Once done with all the tomatoes, line them on the foil and top it off with cheese
  7. Bake for 10 – 15 mins or until the skin of the tomato begins to wrinkle
  8. Serve hot with toasted bread

Tips

  • If you feel like the tomatoes are too small, crack the eggs open over another bowl and use only half an egg. ( egg yolk included)
  • Try to brush the tomato with oil before you bake to give it a little crackle. The inside will still be nice and soft
  • If you do not like parsley, go ahead and add your favourite type of spice mix (cajun, italian, indian, zatar etc)