Thursday, December 25, 2014

Spicy Thursday: Kerela Fish Curry (Meen Mulakittathu)

I had been craving good fish for quite sometime,  and my prayers got answered yesterday...
An Officer had just come back from an Army exercise laden with BIG yummy fish- for everyone!
and we had a paaarteeyyy!
Everyone made thier own versions...fried or curried or baked...
I tried my hand at delicious Tangy and Spicy Kerela Fish Curry!
Or in its own words: Meen Mulakittathu   (Meen meaning "fish")

Meen Mulakittathu (Kerela Fish Curry)

Fish 500 gms (rubbed with a bit of salt and pepper and lemon and left for half an hour)
Fenugreek seeds (methi)- 1/4 tsp
Mustard seeds- 1/4 tsp
Curry leaves- a handful (2 sprig of leaves)
Ginger-(grated) 1.5 tsp
garlic (crushed) 1.5 tsp
chilli powder- (if using kashmiri chilli powder-2 tbsp, it gives a good color) 
(if using normal chilli powder use less or more than- 1 tsp as per your taste.)
coriander powder- 1 tbsp
turmeric powder- 1/2 tsp
Fenugreek powder1/4 tsp
salt to taste
Shallots or small onions-sliced- 4 to 5 / 
or if using normal onions-1.5 (cubed)
tamarind soaked and then use its paste- 3 tsbsp
water 1 cup, use more if you need more gravy

1- Deep fry all the fish pieces till golden brown, drain on tissue paper and keep aside
2- Heat oil, add mustard seeds and let it sputter, then add fenugreek seeds-Saute.
3- Add curry leaves, shallots/onions and ginger and garlic...
saute till the shallots change color and turn golden.
4- Reduce heat and add the masalas: chilli powder, turmeric, coriander and fenugreek powder.
Saute for a few minutes, stirring constantly (taking care NOT to burn) till the masalas turn dark maroon.
5- Add 1 cup water and the tamarind paste, bring to boil.
6- Add the fish pieces and salt to taste
7- Simmer for another five minutes.
8- Cover and leave the dish for another half an hour to really let the flavors seep in.
9- Serve with Kerela Parotta or Rice.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

RIP little angels...

I cant even begin to imagine the anguish of the parents and the loved ones left behind….

and what must've gone thru their little minds in the last few moments of their little lives…

Rest In Peace little ones- you are in a much better, safer place now-

And may the scum of the earth who did this be brought to Justice in this world and the 



Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Tuesday Tutorial: Watercolor Eyes...

Some time back I had painted an eye in watercolor and added a beautiful quote to it...
And also promised my readers that I would be putting up a step by step tutorial on how to paint it...
well here it is- 
P.S- if you'd rather learn how to sketch with a pencil first, before trying your hand at watercolor eyes- here is tutorial on how to sketch a pair of eyes along with some shading. (click here)  

A Step by Step Tutorial on how how to make pretty water color "eyes"...
So, take out your watercolor sketchbook, brushes and paint box...
grab a cup of coffee, tea, or whatever your poison is, crank up the music loud and pumping...
and get going!

Ok, before I begin, these days I am using Koi Watercolors (of Sakura brand) Field box set of pans.

I find these pan watercolors more long lasting than the tubes, because they dont tend to dry up, which is what happens to most of my tube watercolors, if I dont use them for sometime.
And I am moody, sometimes I am in a frenzy of oils- and I dont touch watercolors for like months, or sometimes I get too much of digital free-lance work load, and my watercolor tubes lie forgotten and dry up!
So for temperamental people like me- I think these pan sets work well.
and for YOU guys, I did my homework- its available on  Flipkart here in India!
But you can please go ahead and use whatever watercolors are available in your neck of woods!

please sketch in the eyes in simple lines- like shown here, with a very light pencil.

put in a slight wash of wet diluted color of (mix of vermilion and burnt sienna with a hint of blue) on the shadows of the eye.

Apply the same kind of wash on the other eye as well.
Add a darker shade of the color on the eyebrow.

Darken the eyebrows with a little more of the burnt sienna in the skin color mix- blend a little.
-Add deeper shadows in the eye socket.

Add a soft wash of blue in the eyeballs- leaving a little round dots in the centre blank- like shown.

While the blue wash is still wet- blend in the darker shade of blue leaving areas where its light like shown below.

Add a darker blackish-blue circle around the little dots left blank.

Here we go in a little closer and we work on one eye.
Mix a little black with burnt sienna and carefully draw a smooth line across the eyelid- much like an eyeliner. 

Taek a watery wash of the above color- (dark shade of brown) and give a wash under the eye, as well some soft lashes.

Dilute a bit of blue, mix it with very little brown and add a watery wash above and below the eyes to give some depth.

Add a soft wash of raw sienna mixed with some blue around the eye like shown.

Blend it right up to the eyebrows while still wet.

Now darken the eyebrows with a more concentrated (not so watery) brush of the burnt sienna and blue mix, as well the the shadow above the eyelids.
Take a thin brush- mix a concoction of brown and black and very carefully but with a loose hand, draw the eyeliner as well as the eyelashes.

use the same method and steps to make the other eye as well.
and voila!!  the lovely dreamy eyes are done!
Use them like I did with a lovely quote, :-)

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Wednesday Watercolors with December 2014 Desktop Calendar

I have been gallivanting around the countryside attending weddings, and meeting relatives, lots of hectic travelling-hence the absence from the internet...
but as many people have reminded me- I am as usual late in putting up my December Desktop Calendar...
Apologies my dear friends, but my New Year resolution is definitely to keep track of the days- esp my promised monthly Desktop Calendars...
So this time I tried a little harder...
made a cute little watercolor from a photograph off the internet, of a red vintage car with a christmas wreath...covered in snow..
Doesnt it give just the right christmassy-wintery vibe??
and goes perfectly with my December theme!!  :-)
I do hope you all like it and accept my apologies for the delay!
and of course Happy Holidays!

please right click, save and then set as desktop image...
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