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.


FH said...

Pecans look yummy, lucky girl!:)

So, how is it going there? I just came back today after 5 weeks of blog break, cooked a LOT!:D

Kalai said...

What a beautiful package, Shaheen! :)

Rajitha said...

you can make pannacotta ..instead of gelatin..use agar agar

J said...

We used to eat China grass as a dessert itself as kids. It can be used in a number of desserts.

TBC said...

No recipe involving china grass here but I too have a pineapple pudding which makes use of condensed milk.;-)

Jans said...

Interesting details about "Arusuvai"....thanks for sharing the same & gr8 blog too. Keep up the good work!

Shah cooks said...

asha, yup, i was lucky to get them already made. u should try them. they taste sooooooooo good.


rajitha, pannacotta.. do u have any proportion.. how much milk to agar agar? is it 2 cup..to 1 tsp agar?

Anonymous said...

I realize from your blog that you are from Calicut, and in every party that you go there, there most probably will be a "elneer(tender coconut) pudding". I have seen tender coconut in Whole Foods here. It is one of my favorites to chow down while there.

Like Rajitha said, Pannacotta would also work.

Jayashree said...

That's a lovely package....Iam going to watch this space to see what you dish out....

Open Book said...

Hi Shaheen,
Regular reader of your posts, decided to now own one for myself.

I have added you in my blog and hope that's ok with you.


Srivalli said...

Shaheen....so sweet of you to drop...what have you made with those pecans???

and do hope you will send some flatbreads for the mela!

Anonymous said...

hai shaheen
your blog is exellent.very yummy dishes i make with help from your blog.we make yummy milk pudding by using china grass boil milk&sugar when it becomes lightly thick add china grass which is socked in little water 5 min before.while mixing be carefull continiusly stair.it starts thickening,when we touch it sticks to hand.then pour in round plate or small bowl let it cool in room temp. after cool we can cut desired shape as diamond.for this u can add colors&nuts at boiling stage

Shah cooks said...

Anon, thanks.. i will try that..it sounds similar to Mishmash's pudding too so i know i will like it.:)

Psycho, welcome to the blogging world ..as long u don't turn out to be a real psycho, u can add my blog to ur list.

Srivalli, those pecans were long gone.didn't make anything with them but did with agar agar which was the surprise ingredient.

My comfort food, u are right.. i am from claicut and elaneer pudding is common there. will look for one at whole foods then.

Jans said...

Can i be a part of the "Arusuvai friendship chain" too ????????