Cooking · India · Recipes · Sea Food · South India · Tamil Nadu · Tirunelvelli

Tirunelveli Simple Prawn Masala

Prawns are a family favourite .Ever since we discovered, frozen deveined prawns in our local supermarket, I always try to have some in my freezer so that I can make this recipe quickly. This recipe is so simple and and so easy to make , goes really with curd rice, sambar rice or with rasam and rice that I make it when I am lost for ideas to make for dinner.

Ingredients :

250 gms Shelled and deveined Prawns

1 cup chopped Red Onion ,( I like to use shallots or pearl onions)

1 cup chopped tomatoes

1 tsp Fennel seeds

1 tsp red chilli powder ( I use medium spicy)

1/4 tsp turmeric powder

1 tbsp ginger garlic paste

a handful of chopped coriander leaves

2 sprigs curry leaves if available

a little less than 1/4 cup water

2 tbsps sesame oil

Salt to taste

Method :

Heat oil in a skillet.

Add the fennel seeds and curry leaves if available. Let them splutter.

Add the chopped onions. Let them become nearly caramelised.

Add ginger garlic paste, sauté till the raw smell goes.

Add the chopped tomatoes, sauté until mushy.

Add in all the powders, sauté until the raw smell goes and oil separates

Pour in the water, let it cook for a minute

Add salt

Add the prawns, let the masala coat over them and the prawns turn a little pink.

Cover and let it cook for a few minutes.

Cook until the prawn are well cooked but not over cooked

Then open the cover , increase the temperature on the stove, ( or flame to medium high) let the water evaporate a little and the masala becomes semi thick.

Garnish with coriander leaves .Serve.

Cook Book Scribbles

Keep track of how much water you add by adding a little at a time as the prawns release some water too when covered.

I also used dried curry leaves because I did not have fresh ones at hand.

Edited to add the video version as well

Crafts · Embroidery · Family · Finished Objects · Handmade · Home Decor · Home Making · Home Sewn · India · Life · South India · Tamil Nadu

Easter Happenings

I  finished my Easter Egg stitchery, like I was hoping to.

EasterEgg 3

 I found the link to the stitchery by chance on Facebook .

Easter Egg 4

Being a complete green horn , I was so excited to learn  a few new stitches with this stitchery and definetly  fell in love with the double herringbone stitch!

There is a  neat tutorial here

I also added some bling with the stones and fabric glue that I had at hand.

Easter Egg 01

I wanted to finish it into a mini quilt,mini quilts have caught my fancy lately, but I have not set my rotary cutting mat and machine ready to sew. One of these days, I will get down to it.Until then it will have to stay on the hoop.

Easter Egg 2

The boys took part in their Annual School Day celebrations and had to practice really hard for it.

The Event was on Easter Sunday . My parents and I attended the early morning Church service, at 4 a.m. , had to prepare breakfast  and lunch quickly and had to take them to school for their final practice.

At the school event,Big B gave the welcome address.

Big b welcome address 

and also took part in the School play The Bishop’s Candlesticks

Bishops candlesticks

Lil B gave the Vote of Thanks

Lil b vote of thanks

It was the first public speaking event for  both Big B and Lil 

B. They both did really well.

 Not just a biased mom’s opinion, a lot of other people in the audience said the same too.

Lil B told me, he felt like his heart would jump out of his chest at any minute, it was beating so fast , as he stood there in front of all those people. I’m sure Big B felt the same way too , but just wasn’t as eloquent as Lil B.

The kids and teachers had put in so much effort and the program was very colorful  and lively.

 Annual day collage

The next day was a school holiday and we went to attend the housewarming function of my cousin’s home.Which was so lovely too! 

Meeting up with my cousins, laughing over our shared childhood memories and watching our children play and make memories now, are some of the things that really  make my heart  happy. We were so busy catching up , I forgot to take pictures :facepalm.

Budget · India · Lifestyle · Panchalamkuruchi · South India · Summer · Tamil Nadu · Travel

Panchalamkuruchi – South India

With school now out for the boys we decided to go on a little trip .

We started off to  a historical little village called Panchalamkuruchi about 20kms from Tuticorin, to see the Memorial Fort of Veerapandiya Kattabomman.A warrior who first  opposed the British rule.We didn’t know the way to any of the places we went and reached our destination with the age old method of navigation; asking bystanders for the route. All along the people were remarkably helpful.

Road block

We reached the fort , got our tickets and as we walked towards the memorial hall constructed by the state government, I got goosebumps thinking that we were standing on a place where people fought valiantly for their freedom

DSC 3699

Panchankurichi copy

The guide walked us through the the paintings on the wall ,narrating the tale of Valor .It was hard to hold back the tears,if not for treachery and betrayal, these mighty men would have stood their ground, proud and tall.  Kattabomman was later hung from a tamarind tree  . what a sad way for the brave to die! 

The man and the boys

We drove through stretches of barren dry land, quarries and tiny indescript villages. I marveled at how people contently went about their business there, I try to imagine me living there , I don’t think I can do it for long.

As we passed through one after  another , dad and mom told us tidbits about these villages, one unassuming little village was the back bone of many readymade garment factories they told us. Another was the birth place of  a famous freedom fighter V O Chidambaranam. While Mom and I knew about him , the boys didn’t, so my dad narrated the story of this freedom fighter, his struggles and hardships during the freedom struggle to the boys as he drove our omnivan.Though very interested in history, they couldn’t comprehend things….like being yoked in place of bulls to the oil press ….…. first they didn’t know the oil press , then haven’t seen one in action….we managed to show them an abandoned one….still somehow I felt ,in translating to them , we failed to convey  the depth of  emotions ….the pain and agony  associated with it .


As we crossed from one side of the highway  to the other, we were surprised by the stark contrast that greeted us! Coconut groves and farms lined with cheerful  bougainvillas in full bloom, doubling up as fences  were a treat to the eyes and mind.The much cooler air helped to keep the general mood in the van happy.

Next stop was Holy Trinity Church Sawyerpuram


DSC 3746

We walked around admiring the beautiful stain glass and other details in the church. It was so calm and serene in there.

Sawyerpuram church details

After we all prayed  there, we set out again onto our next stop…mostly lost in our thoughts as we gazed out through the window, enjoying the greenery and the contrasting red soil. 

Some one piped up with  “I’m hungry “and we decided to stop for lunch…. in the next shaded area.Luckily for us, we found our perfect picnic spot under the welcoming shade of a large tamarind tree. 


As an added bonus, there was a drinking water pump on the other side of the road . The boys were quite fascinated by it and took turns pumping water for everyone to freshen up a bit.Waterpump 

We  then dug into the scrumptious picnic meal of Tamarind rice, coconut chutney and fried chicken, mom had lovingly prepared for us all.So delicious ! I think we all ate  a lot more than we usually do! 

 Served with love

With full bellies , happy hearts, a smooth ride, and the gentle breeze lulling us to sleep, the boys and I went off to zzzz land only to be awoken at the Church.  Nazareth stjohns1

Nazareth stjohns2

We walked around this church too, sat on a bench there taking in the peaceful , calm ambience and praying.

We sat outside  in the car and watched  life going on as usual ; children going to home after school hours, parents coming to pick up children,some children waiting for their parents to come pick up , playing with their friends, for while, as we gobbled up the egg sandwiches .


It was time to go ,as  dad always found it difficult driving at night, with full beam headlights nearly blinding everyone on the road.We did stop for coffee at another little village. People watched some more  and came back home before the sun went down.

Coffee break

We enjoyed this trip more than we expected, perhaps because  we went on this trip after a really long gap or maybe it was  the novelty of visiting  places we have never been to.Surprisingly the teen who started out in a rather grumpy mood, having to leave behind his gadgets, admitted to having had a great time. He requested  we  do more of these road trips,  before we go to , whichever place God has destined us to be as a family.

Family · housewarming · India · Life · South India · Tamil Nadu · Tirunelvelli · Travel

India Trip (part-1)

Wonderfully nice flight pursers,no fussy kids, (thanks to some colouring books for M and some twinkle digest books A that I saved just for the trip)no hand baggage … the flight to India was just perfect.

For us parched souls, squinting at the glare of the scorching desert sun, it was a shock ,a climatic one; when the skies opened up , and started raining cats and dogs.As we scurried around to find cover, the porter who helped me take the baggage out, demanded I pay in Dinars although I had made it very clear to him intially that I would not pay him in Dinars. simply coz I didn’t take any Dinars with me.But why would he believe me , probably he had heard  millions of people say the same thing to him all the time.

Anyways,after much pouting and sulking he finally agreed,to be paid in Indian Rupees .They did get their lessons right , how to fleece people ( with  two extremely sleepy on the verge of getting cranky children and tired inlaws,and baggage to take care of , it wasn’t easy). The officials also seem to be hand in hand with these people,  as there was this one person who appeared from nowhere , and was trying to make me “see” reason.I was  more in the mood to just pay and get over with it all than stand there arguing with them.Although next time I know better .

In retrospect I don’t even know why I asked them to help me coz I was travelling light and could have easily taken care of my baggages………..but these dramas are essential I guess , after all we need something to talk about later on! 😉

And to think ,all this for a supposedly free service !

Luckily ,before  I was ready to lose it , I spotted my dad in the ocean of eager relatives awaiting their loved ones arrival at the airport. After that I didn’t have to worry about a thing not the baggage or the children as dad and mom took charge of one respectively.

Anyways,our India trip didn’t go like we planned it.Little M got sick as soon as we got to our home town. All the precautions  I had made sure he didn’t get any infection were in vain.The cause of his gastroentitis was just the change of climate.

We had to miss both the weddings I was so looking forward to attend and also that Trip to Ooty. we just forgot   road blocks and land slides enroute Ooty curtesy the Monsoon .

However M barely got better for our Housewarming ceremony which was the main reason for this year’s visit.

We had a small one with just the first round of  close relatives.We fixed the time for the function around midday so it would be easy for everyone to come at leisure and enjoy the function and time together.

the outside view of the house…………….the  credit for the design of our house  goes to my archietect  Uncle .I am surprised  he didn’t disown me with the number of plans I made him draw !!!!.

front entrance decorated with Jasmine and Marigold flower strings.

Little M with all the auspicous things like turmeric,sugar, betel leaves and sandlewoodpaste………….all signs of happiness and good times to come

the pastor prayered , blessed , drew the Cross with sandelwood paste in every room


then it was time to light the stove and boil the Milk 

The Milk is a symbol of prosperity and the boiling over is the auspicious sign that signifies that prosperity and bountifulness will abound in the House.And the part I was panicking about,serve  the  sweetened milk to our guests.I breezed through it  though!

I figured out that much of my reluctance to invite all of the  family to celebrate was coz I was nervous and shy about being able to play hostess……..but when I got down to it, it wasn’t hard like I imagined!!Even though at one point prior to the function ,I thought I was going to collapse on the floor out of panic, I eventually enjoyed the function and had fun entertaining my family in my new home.

We didn’t want the cooks come over and cook the Feast,so we just had a caterer come in and serve everything.The food was delish and everyone appreciated it.All we had to do was talk to the guests and see that each one enjoyed themselves.No hassle of running around buying stuff to cook , staying around the cooks to see that they did a good job and find people to serve etc .They even did the clean up so it was just perfect .

Now that the house warming is all over,we are debating (still!!) whether to rent it out or or let it gather dust,leave it as it is ,until we make it next year.It wouldn’t be a new house then, would it  now?

We’ve always lived in newly built houses ever since we were married,yup even the flat we live in now was newly built( specially with us in mind is another story)and  we won’t be able to live in our house for a while………..sigh

Whether we rent it or not,one thing that  will always make me sigh, is the fact ,no matter how many new built homes I have lived in, I could never live in my newly built home. How  Ironic !