April 30, 2008
Arusuvai Friendship Chain
This is a post that was gathering dust in the draft for over a month in anticipation of a good photo. After my last post, things just unraveled in my house with the onset of spring and flu..so while I am still catching my breath from that, decided to post this instead.
Latha N from "The YUM blog" started the "Arusuvai Friendship Chain" in India and Latha from "Masala Magic" continued the Arusuvai friendship chain in USA where bloggers send "mystery" ingredients to each other.
Arusuvai means six tastes (aru=six, suvai=taste) in Tamizh and is used to refer for Tasty preparation with six tastes - inippu/ thithippu (sweet), orappu/ karam (hot), kassappu (bitter) , pulippu (sour), uppu(salt), tuvarpu (tastes that one gets in raw leaves)".
It's been going around US now and I am a little late entrant into it. So it was exciting when my friend Shn of Mishmash fame wrote to me about being a part of the Arusuvai Friendship Chain. What's to refuse about getting gifts, I thought and I wasn't disappointed. When the postlady dropped off the package my little one and I jumped on it. The surprise ingredient came with other goodies such as the yummilicious pecans and delicious chocolates. One of the chocolates was coconut flavored and I was floored.:)Anything with coconut in it is always welcome!!
The pecans were made by Mishmash and you can try them from the recipe here. Those are nutty treats that you just can't stop eating once you start tasting. You have to wait till you get eventually sick of them to stop. Thanks a lot, Mishmash.
So onto the real purpose of the friendship chain: The surprise ingredient turned out to be Agar agar..china grass as it is commonly known. Now I know you can make delicious puddings and stuff with it but I have never used it. Its a good thing that I got some extra packets of it to get comfortable with it. So I started with the dessert in Mishmash 's blog first and liked it. Didn't take a picture of it though!
Then I made jello out of it but that got voted out by my little jello connoisseur for having an aftertaste. I played with modifying a pineapple pudding recipe that I normally make with gelatine and that came nice. So I will post that as soon as I make it again. The only other recipe I know is with (karikku)tender coconut which I don't have here to experiment with. So if any of you, my readers, have yummy recipes using china grass, please mail them to me and I will surely try them out.
On my part I sent the Arusuvai package to Mona at Zaiqa and Linda at Out of the Garden.
Posted by Shah cooks at 9:30 AM