Monday, June 27, 2011

Long time, no see!!

Hi, All!!! Its been a long time since my last post, almost three weeks!!! Never have I been away so long from blogging since my first post in July 2010.  When I first started blogging last year, I requested my immediate family to kindly follow me.  Even as the number of my followers grew, I was wondering if they even read my posts. Then over time, I got more followers and more comments on my posts and currently I have 41 followers following my blogs. But, I always saw the same few people commenting regularly on my posts. These people have been my motivators and critics. But I never realized how much my followers love me. Over the last few days, I have received several emails and messages from some of them, including our dear friend, Stranger, who have been beseeching me to actively blog again!! Thank you, Guys, for showering your love on me!! It feels great to be wanted and be appreciated!

Now, the reason why I have been away for such a long time...I have started giving tuition to school kids, I have rejoined the gym again, and I have been busy on the personal front too. Teaching has always been a passion for me. I have always loved to teach. In school and college, I used to help the weaker students with their studies, especially the girls from vernacular regions who found it difficult to follow lectures in English. It was not a favour I was doing for  them, but it was my way of studying. I learnt more when I taught someone. It was a proud moment for me when almost 99% of those girls went ahead to do their post-graduation. I am always game to teach anyone as I believe imparting education and knowledge to someone is a way to enrich one's own thinking. You only learn more when you teach.

After many years, I got back to  teaching and this is the very first time I was teaching someone as young as 6 years old and mind you, she is teaching me too...teaching me to be patient, teaching me to be prepared for all her innocent questions, and teaching me to control my temper.

   But her innocent smile brightens up our days and my husband and I look forward to seeing her each day. I have a few other students too from higher classes, and they all help me become a kid again! I enjoy every session with them, although I must admit they can get on my nerves too especially when I see them spending more time than needed on  simple arithmetic problems, the ones that should be done in an instant!!!!

What is more perplexing is the attitude of parents these days! Recently I came across a lady who wanted me to tutor her child. When I asked how much her child scores, I was stunned to know that the child scores a 95+ in her papers. In spite of such great scores, the parent wanted me to tutor her child. I fail to understand why!!! She was offering to send her child to me late evening and I had to remind her that her child would probably be so very tired after a tiring day at school and that it would be preposterous to expect her to  stay awake with her studies so late at night.  I can't understand why parents push their children so much! When we were growing up, the only times I went to private coaching classes was for my board exams. But private tuition seems to be the trend these days in spite of the high quality of education in schools these days. My parents never had to sit with me even  for a single day regarding my studies.  I was left on my own and I fared very well.  I understand that weaker students would need some extra coaching, but when the toppers are also expected to take private tuition, isn't it too much?? Among the various reasons parents give to justify the need for private coaching the most common ones are:
1.  I don't have time to supervise my child's studies.
2.  I don't know the subject.

Regarding time, I cannot say much, to each his own. But regarding knowing the subject, this is what I have to say. If you find that the subject is tough, in spite of the detailed explanations given in the textbooks these days, how can you then pressurize your child to learn it and score a perfect score in all exams? We should help our children learn and understand their subjects. We should make learning an enriching experience, something that will help them for the rest of their lives, not only for scoring in their final exams. A person can also memorize everything by heart and replicate it in the papers and top the papers, but will that help him in later life?  The real method of learning is to understand what we are learning. Only when we understand and picturize it in our minds, will that knowledge remain with us for a very long long time. This is what I feel. But since I do not have a child of my own, I am curious to know what you all think about the same. Please let me know your opinions regarding our education system.


Sunday, June 05, 2011

Haldi paan patholi / sweet dumpling on turmeric leaf

Haldi paan patholi or sweet dumpling on turmeric leaf is a Konkani delicacy. The turmeric leaves used to make these dumplings infuse its aroma into the dish. Though this dish can be made using banana leaves in stead of the turmeric leaves, the end product is not as flavoursome.

Patholi has an outer covering of rice and coconut ground together. Inside it lies the sweet coconut stuffing made with jaggery and richly laced with cardamom.

Ingredients: This makes 21 patholis.

Outer covering:
Rice - 250 g (soaked for an hour)
Coconut - 2-3 tbsp freshly grated
Salt to taste.

Grind the rice and coconut together to make a fine paste, slightly thick, dosa-batter consistency. Mine turned out to be a little thinner and flowing.

For the filling:
Jaggery - two lemon-sized.
Coconut - 1 cup
Cardamom - 10 finely powdered.

      Firstly, melt the jaggery on a medium flame. Take care not to burn the jaggery. You may sprinkle a few drops of water to avoid burning. Cook it until a string  forms when you press the melted jaggery between your thumb and your finger.

 Then add the coconut. Mix well and cook until the coconut and the jaggery form a gooey mass together. Then add the cardamom powder.

                                                    Turn off the flame and cool.

Wash the turmeric leaves and wipe them dry.

Trim both ends of the leaves and lay them on a flat surface.

Now streak the leaf with a ladleful of the batter.

Next, add a thin line of stuffing along the middle of the leaf.

Fold the leaf  into half along the length and place them into a steamer and steam for 10-15 minutes (until the leaves change colour).

Peel away the leaves and serve hot with ghee.


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