Category Archives: Plants

An Amaltas Day

My walk to the Metro station on my way to work on 23 May 2017 had something new and exciting in store for me; an Amaltas tree; a tree that Mayank Austen Soofi, my favorite writer and blogger, often writes about. I considered it my great fortune that day to have discovered one right inside my neighborhood!

It looked so gorgeous with its abundant golden yellow flowers in full bloom! A mere sight of it lifted me from the pall of gloom that had been over me for the past so many days. I could not help stopping by for a few moments to feast my eyes on this ravishing sight. Just below the tree, there was a yellow carpet formed by the fallen Amaltas flowers. I had a strong temptation to cross the fence and sit on it…

Just in case you are wondering if I reached office on time that day, well, yes, I did, quite miraculously indeed, in spite of so many obstacles, a stuck metro,  a traffic jam, and aafreshly water logged road right outside the office building.

Here are some pics I clicked during those guilty moments near the Amaltas tree…

Flowering Trees – Delhi

In Delhi, most flowering trees bear flowers cyclically.  The ones you see producing flowers in February to March stop doing so by May when the summer heat reaches its peak. That’s when new ones which can withstand this heat take over.

Here are some pics of flowering trees I clicked this month (May 17).

Amaltas tree

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Gulmohur tree

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Jarul trees

 

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I don’t know the name of this one.

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Arbi Leaves – A Miracle Of Nature

Last year, I planted a small piece of arbi (Colocassia) into a somewhat cracked flower pot that had been idle for several months. It was on an experimental basis and I didn’t expect anything to come out of it. 

A few days later, however, to my utter surprise, my labor bore its fruit.  A huge green leaf appeared. It was followed by a few more green leaves and my bare flower pot soon turned into a happy home occupied by a lovely family of arbi plants. I never thought planting arbi was so easy!

When the leaves began turning yellow, our gardener, who had been on long leave earlier, suggested that I keep plucking the leaves regularly and use them in my cooking.  I have been following his advice quite seriously ever since then because for a city dweller like me, being able to produce a food item sounds very exciting and gives a heady feeling of having a farm house without owning one.

Here is a simple recipe of arbi leaves (pakoras). You may not find arbi leaves in the market, so it’s best to grow your own. 

Arbi Leaves Pakora

Method: Wash the arbi leaves and chop them finely. Peel and cut two onions. Grate one potato. Mix these 3 items and add besan along with salt, ajwain, a pich of hing, and  spices as per your taste. No need to add water. Let this mixture stand for 5-10 minutes and you will see it getting wet. Mix this well and deep fry small portions of the mixture in hot refined oil. Keep turning them around till each piece turns brown all over. Take them out of oil when they are done and place them on tisssue paper to drain out excess oil. The pakoras are ready. Enjoy!

Here are the step-by-step pics.. 

The final product. Serve it with a chutney or dip of your choice.