Ice cream sandwiches

Ice cream sandwiches | Fun dessert to make with kids

Not all recipes are born from inspiration. Not all of them are from grandma’s handbook. None in my family had the forethought to document any of the grandmas’ recipes. They were all too busy stuffing their faces with food and gossiping about the Athai in Chidambaram and the Mama in Vellore. These ice cream sandwiches were born out of spending too much time on Amazon.com trying to figure out the best stuff in the US that is not available on Amazon.in and that’ll fit into the 35 kg baggage allowance. This is a legitimate thing. Everyone does it. I hope. “I am making the best use of the opportunity”, I tell Jagan. I’ve saved all the import duty that I’d be spending if I bought the same stuff on Amazon.in. Jagan: “What if you didn’t buy these things at all? How much would you save then?” Jayanthi: “That’s hypothetical.” I am shopping in the US without being in the US. Without the visa interview, 18-hour flights, toilet paper, decoction coffee and suddenly being polite and well-mannered and traffic law-abiding. That’s something. Jagan is my Kuruvi. If you don’t know what Kuruvi means you can watch Vijay’s “Kuruvi” movie. Kuruvis are the wonderful people who go on these long flights and drink decoction coffee so that they can carry stuff back home without import duty – Smugglers. Jagan isn’t a full time kuruvi. He does that only for me and unwillingly. For others he may do more willingly. His actual job is much less flashy – he does panchayat in the US, I mean project management. Before I go off on a tangent let me tell you about these ice cream sandwiches. I found these ice cream sandwich molds on Amazon a few years back and I couldn’t resist. Note that I had not tasted ice cream sandwiches before. But I had to buy them because they were too cute. My kuruvi brought them for me. I admired them and then safely put them away in my cupboard. I possessed them now and it was ok. I could get on with other things. So they sat in my cupboard for a few years. This year, I happened to catch sight of these ice cream sandwich molds when I opened that cupboard. I showed them to Hasini and Yuvi. That’s all the accountability that I ever needed. They made sure to follow...
Milagai bajji

Milagai Bajji, 3 ways

You know that spring of joy when you look out the window and see rain? It’s hard to make sense of it. It’s almost visceral. Rain means happiness, that everything’s going to be alright, that this too will pass, that good things will happen. Whoever said “rainy is gloomy” watched too many Wimbledon matches. It’s like the rounded R’s that people mouth when they return from the US. It’s what we think we need to say. It’s not what we feel deep inside. Rain always, always means happy things. We’ve got it down to a well-worn formula in life and in cinema. Rain means traffic, so we can be late. Rain means cheery rain songs on radio & hot crispy snacks in the canteen. Rain means cancelled classes and school holidays. In cinema rain means heroine introduction, rain means a happy dance, rain means romance, rain means an important twist or the climax. These are the clichés that we love and cherish. For me rain means “Oho Megam” song from “Mouna Raagam” or “Vaan Megham” from “Punnagai Mannan”. Only those two and nothing else. My mind seems stuck in the late 80s. And only Ilayaraja songs will do. That’s just how it is. I am an 80’s child. Rain also means a big plate of piping hot, sinus-opening, throat-scorching Milagai bajji. I love the classic Milagai bajji – the entire chilli, seeds and all, dunked in bajji batter and fried to golden brown perfection. My nose may start running and I may appear to be weeping. But don’t take the plate away from me. It’s the kind of dare-devil things I like to do. I long wanted to try a few other variants of the milagai bajji. One was a potato stuffed bajji that I thought might be a milder, just as tasty version for less adventurous souls. In this one, I make a slit and scrape out the seeds from within the chilli and stuff with spiced potatoes. The third version is a mini milagai bajji bomb. If wolfing down an entire chilli seems forbidding, you can start with these mini milagai bajji bites. I cut up the chilli into little roundels and dunk in bajji batter and fry. These are like the bijli vedi (the little cigarette like single-shot deepavali cracker) – small and cute but still explosive. Last Saturday, I woke up to a cool, drizzly, cloudy...