Recipe | Ginger preserve aka Inji Thokku – When nature reminds us that she is supreme
The sky went from dark to almost black, followed by delicate drops of rain. Soon, the rain drops grew bigger & heavier and turned into furious storm.
It rained and rained and rained…till the city of Chennai and its suburbs were submerged under water. The devastation all across the city is far beyond the words to describe.
The evening on 1st of December was when the nightmare started for everyone who were out for work. Torrential rains, power cut and neck deep water in most of the areas made the city traffic cripple and brought the entire city to standstill.
My husband who got struck in traffic caused by heavy water logging & road caving and reached home only at 2.30 am. My son got stranded at his tuition center till midnight. With no drinking water and food for 9 hours, he was left alone in pitch dark place with the watchman in the building .
I was slightly panicked and started calling him every ten minutes giving him confidence that I will come and bring him home. But I could not reach him as the place was heavily water-logged. I finally called a friend living nearby who reached him wading through hip-deep water and took him to his house around 2 am.
With no electricity, drinking water, short supply of food and heavy water-logging, we were completely cut-off from outside world and were marooned in our locality for 5 days.
Children were upset for the first few days without television, cell phones and books, but soon became accustomed to it. Our good old battery operated radio was out to connect with the world and the family ate together, played games and interacted with each other for all five days.
We got to know about the devastation only after the power resumed on 5th day. It was heart-wrenching to see people struggling for food, water and shelter.
The city still wears an eerie look with haunted streets and people struggling to get back to their daily routine. My heart aches for my Chennai and for those families who have lost homes, their possessions and everything that is dear to them.
My house-help who now stays in a relief camp, came home the other day. “We have nothing left in home, akka (sister), our newly purchased fridge and tv are submerged in water, no clothes to wear and bed to sleep…even the school books & birth certificate of my daughter and our ration card are lost” she narrated the horrifying incidence that swept away all her belongings.
I pulled out my unused vessels from the loft, some clothes, new bed-sheets and gave it to her with a small envelope filled with money and asked her to share with others in need of the same.
I saw my children getting uneasy and leaving the place quietly after listening to her.
“Such natural disasters reveal the power of Mother Nature and remind us that she is supreme.”
“Tough challenges like the one we are facing now make us stronger. When you face such adverse conditions, you should always remember to smile and look up at what you got in life and keep moving.” I offered them a plate of sliced fruits, trying to make them feel at ease with the current situation.
It really is a proud moment to watch and read about the voluntary humanitarian act that is happening in the city. People from all walks of life are coming together to help the city get up and walk again.
It is a difficult phase for many and will take long-long time to come to terms with life again…
But through all this, there’s a glimpse of hope that Chennai has a heart and that you’re in good hands!
This small calamity should not dampen the spirit of the Chennai people with never-give-up attitude …we will build this city back.
I offer my silent prayers through this blogpost to all those who are suffering and pray for the strength to endure this difficult phase.
“Mom, this looks like your styling?” Son woke me up the other day, smiling and showing the News paper to me.
Hmm..good feeling indeed, it was the food styling assignment I did recently with Kunal for The Park Hyatt.
I had some work to do even when there was no net connectivity and cell phones ringing at home. The 5th batch of products of my latest photo-shoot arrived which kept me busy for all those days.
As for the cooking at home, I had stock of almost all essential things in my pantry. That’s the advantage of being a food blogger 🙂
I prepared a few preserves and refrigerated, which came out to be quite handy when we had no power at home for 5 days. This Ginger preserve or Inji Thokku as we call it in South India is one such recipe.
Ginger Preserve aka Inji Thokku
- 1/2 cup chopped ginger
- 6-7 garlic pearls
- 8-10 dried red chilly
- 4 tbsp oil
- 1 tbsp tamarind paste
- 1/2 tsp. jaggery
- 2 tsp Bengal gram
- 1 tsp black gram
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 1 tsp. fenugreek seeds
- A pinch of asafoetida powder
- Salt to taste
Method; Wash and finely chop ginger.
Heat 2 tbsp. oil in a pan and add chopped ginger, garlic pearls, dried red chillies in it and sauté for 4-5 minutes on medium heat.
Let it cool for a few minutes and grind into coarse paste.
Heat rest of the oil in the same pan and crackle mustard seeds in it.
Add fenugreek seeds, asafoetida powder, black gram (urad dal), Bengal gram (channa dal) in it and sauté for 1-2 minutes.
Add ginger paste, tamarind paste and cook for another 4-5 minutes till oil starts separating from the sides of the pan.