coorg

The secret of a healthy mane | Homemade organic shampoo

But something not everyone knows is that shampoo was in fact originated in India, and is derived from the word, ‘ champo’ in Hindi, meaning to massage. Traditionally, a shampoo is made by boiling saponin-rich soapberries or soapnuts with various herbs and fruits to get a lathery liquid that is used to rinse the hair along with various health benefits. This has been exploited by the industries and alternated with harmful chemicals to counter the high cost of using natural ingredients. Therefore, rinsing your already brittle hair with a fragrant mixture of Diethanolamine (DEA), Sodium Lauryl Sulfate(SLS), DMDM hydantoin, Diazolidinyl urea and whatnot, can be less appealing indeed. Not to forget the number of dolphins and whales they are killing in the name of lustrous hair.

Now, the cosmetic industry cannot be closed overnight. But something we can do is to substitute the chemical-based Shampoo with the traditional plant-based ones, with actual health benefits and of course, happy dolphins. So, here are a set of homemade shampoos my grandmother had been using during her prime days.

Maddhu or aati payasam | A medicinal desert made once every year

Maddhu or aati payasam is made from the leaves of maddhu soppu or Justicia wynaadensis leaves, a medicinal plant, endemic to the Western Ghats. This plant grows in the shades of the Kodagu belt and has many medicinal properties. Traditionally, it is believed that this plant, if cooked on the 18th day after the onset of Aati thinga, has 18 types of medicines. It can be cooked any other time though. Let’s get on to the recipe, shall we?

Colocasia curry | ಕೆಸುವಿನ ಗೊಜ್ಜು | Coorg style

Colocasia. This miracle vegetable is a zero-waste, edible from head to toe prodigy. It has various delicacies revolving around it by utilizing its leaves, stems, roots, and also its tuber. It is of many types, black colocasia ( black stem elephant ears), pathrode leaves, white colocasia ( Taro ) etc,.

This recipe specifically calls for the black colocasia. This is a purple stemmed Colocasia found near marshy areas and is a perennial plant. As a cuisine, the young leaves and the stems of this taro is used. The vegetable alone can be very itchy during preparation. If the itchiness is intolerable, some tamarind juice or black vinegar ( something mildly acidic) can be applied. It’s an excellent source of fibre and has many health benefits. Let’s get onto the recipe, shall we?

Kaadu mavina saaru / wild mango curry

Along with the chilling weather of Coorg, tags along the spicy, sweet, and sour wild mango curry with a finger-licking taste. Not only in Coorg but this recipe is passed from generations in all parts of the western ghats. Here’s the recipe on what you’re missing out in Coorg or something you can whip up at home with simple ingredients.

Huttari- A festival of reunion

Huttari, (meaning ಹೊಸ ತೆನೆ -New paddy stalk) along with being a promise of a reunion of scattered relatives is also a season of the rustling of dry, golden, and proud paddy stalks. A time when parrots soar the sky with a determination to taste the golden cereals of delight. A time when wild boars and elephants are head over heals to munch down the fibrous goodies. And thus, the season of sleepless nights for framers on stakeouts with battery torches, lighters ( Both to drag a beedi to keep them warm and also to light the sutli bombs) and two well trained dogs.

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The Paper boat series #1

We’ve all sipped on the mango flavored Paper boat brand of juices which claims to remind us of our childhood. I am not sure about the feeling of nostalgia but I find the marketing strategy very clever. So, here I am. Writing the Paper boat series of stories of my childhood away from the harsh pixel world. Let us all have our doses of Paper boat and actually indulge in nostalgia, shall we?