Mahanandi

Living in Consciousness ~ Indi(r)a’s Food and Garden Weblog

Bloggers and Beans

Bloggers do give the aura of Eveready bunnies, don’t they? The high pace they maintain and the energy they radiate, you would think their voice will be there forever. But blog death does happen. I have seen plenty of bloggers, just walking away from it all - some due to emotional drain and some for personal reasons. Last weekend for the first time, a blogger that I have been following from the beginning passed away. The loss was more palpable because it happened all of a sudden without a chance to say final goodbyes.

This has made me think, “what is our responsibility towards a favorite blogger?” There are millions of voices out there, but we have chosen to follow only few. We follow them I feel not because of great insights they offer but because they correspond to knowledge that we already have. When the things they write make sense, they become part of our lives. I start to care about the well being of that person behind the blog. I’m aware that it’s never going to be returned affection, still I contribute when they ask for money and comment when I feel they need support.

What about you? I am sure you must have a list of daily blog reads. Do you care about the blogger behind the blog?

When it comes to beans, they do matter a lot in cooking. The three beans (Indian, French and Lima) curry has become a regular at my kitchen over the past year. Whenever firm fresh green beans are available, I make this curry following the recipe below.

Green Beans, Shelled Indian Beans, Baby Lima Beans
Green Beans, Shelled Indian Beans, Baby Lima Beans

Recipe:

Fresh Green beans - cut to half-inch length pieces, about 2 cups
Shelled Indian broad beans - ½ cup
Baby lima beans - ½ cup
Onion - 1, finely chopped
Green chillies- 4 to 6 and coconut powder - a tablespoon - made into smooth paste
Turmeric - ½ teaspoon
Salt to taste
For tadka or tiragamata:
1 tsp of peanut oil
1 tsp of mustard seeds, cumin, minced garlic and few curry leaves

Heat peanut oil in a kadai or a wide pan. Add and toast the tadka ingredients. Add and stir-fry the onions for about 2 minutes. Add the green beans, Indian beans and Lima beans. Cook, covered for about 5 minutes on medium heat. Beans will soften within 5 minutes by cooking in their own moisture, sort of steam cooking. At this stage, stir in green chilli-coconut paste, salt and turmeric. Cover and cook on medium heat for another 5-10 minutes stirring in between. Serve hot with chapatis or with rice and dal.

3-bean curry with chapatis
3-bean (Indian, French and Lima) curry with chapatis

Shelled Indian Beans (Papdi Lilva or Chikkudu Vittanalu) - at frozen section, Indian grocery shops.
Baby lima beans – at frozen section, American grocery shops.

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Revisiting Old Recipes (Wednesday June 6, 2007 at 10:00 pm- permalink)

The New Home of Mahanandi: www.themahanandi.org

30 comments for Bloggers and Beans »

  1. Well questioned Indira! As for me, I visit only those blogs where the bloggers interests me…Don’t have much for blogs with anonymous writers - and once a rapport is established, its more a person to person interaction whether on email or chat, rather than one online entity reading another online entity’s stories…In fact I have made few very close friends, and we discuss our personal issues, family matters and much more…resulting into endearing relationships! More power to the blogging community!

    Comment by Nandita — June 6, 2007 @ 11:00 pm

  2. Just wanted to add, whatever I’ve said is with due respect to the anonymous bloggers, just that I find it difficult to relate to!

    Comment by Nandita — June 6, 2007 @ 11:03 pm

  3. When I was an outsider to the blogging world, I was never able to relate how somebody could acquire friendship in this world of anonymity. Boy was I wrong. Even in this brief period of my blogging, I have developed friendship with fellow bloggers, as you have said, in the same frequency and like interests. I have a picture of those bloggers in my mind and that helps me fight that anonymity. And, best of all, I don’t find that difficult.

    Comment by Suganya — June 6, 2007 @ 11:28 pm

  4. Looks delicious, Indira. What language is tiragamata in?

    Eveready bunnies is funny! I am quite the opposite. Always exhausted and always a walking disaster!

    It’s nice to know who you are reading but it’s not always possible to have a relationship with the blogger behind the blog. Like Nandita, I have made some really endearing friendships through blogs. One of which blossomed quickly into a family friendship and we never fail to exclaim over just what brought us together - my lemon pickle! We meet frequently and there is always a hotline via email, chat or phone!

    Comment by Manisha — June 6, 2007 @ 11:30 pm

  5. Have checked out your blog 10 times since I got to work this morning!(and yet Nandita is first to comment :) )No seriously,I am addicted to certain blogs and my day just doesn’t start without visiting them-just like my morning cuppa.
    To tell you the truth I am so addicted to Mahanandi that the day you don’t post a new recipe, I go to the archives and read some of your older posts!

    Comment by madhuli — June 6, 2007 @ 11:34 pm

  6. There are certain blogs I have to read at day start. Feel a sense of bonding with some. Have got reunited with some friends virtually. I have spoken to some over the phone. Unknowingly I use the phrase so and so said this when narrating about happenings on the blog. Non-blogger give me that look, when did you meet/ speak?

    Comment by Anjali — June 7, 2007 @ 1:13 am

  7. wow indira… thats so true…like everybody said i have made pretty good number of friends in this blogging world and boy!! some of them have become integral part of my life. although i have not met them personally, face to face its strange as how some stranger in virtual world can become a part of ur life in no time. what i share with them is beyond any explaination and i treasure this bond of friendship a lot. there are some blogs, like mahanandi, which i have to visit once in a day. this is mainly because i feel connected to them through their writings or i can almost relate to what they r feeling.
    LOL @eveready bunnies…

    Comment by sia — June 7, 2007 @ 2:36 am

  8. I love this post! The pics looks so tempting

    Comment by Saj — June 7, 2007 @ 3:14 am

  9. Indira,

    That’s a beautiful thought about fellow bloggers. Even if we all had felt it sometime or the other, you have done a great job at putting it in words. Yes, I do feel the attachment to some blogs, especially the ones that have touched me some way or the other. Personally, sometimes I do connect a lot with people’s writings more than that can happen in real life.
    On a different note, I am trying to send an email to join the ‘Dinning Hall’ and am unable to send an email to ‘mailmahanandi@gmail.com’ . Some issue ? Please let me know.

    Regards,
    Nav

    Comment by Nav — June 7, 2007 @ 4:37 am

  10. You’ve expressed my sentiments here…I have grown to care a lot for our blogging community, and yes, for certain bloggers too. I have become very fond of some bloggers….and wouldn’t have ever had the chance to meet such wonderful people if it hadn’t been for blogging. This blogging community is my “virtual Pillar”. :)

    Coming to the recipe…I love this combination of the beans….I usually use Ajwain in the tadka,and it imparts such a nice flavor to them-especially for the Papdi Lilva… but this, I have to try with the onions and mustard seeds. thanks.

    Comment by trupti — June 7, 2007 @ 6:18 am

  11. Hi Indira
    very thought provoking. I would really be depressed if a Blogger whom I read and got to know through the blog would walk away from it all.
    Though I am not able to mail or chat with my blogger friends, The assurance that they are there mean a lot to me. I look out for their posts every day and like sharing tid-bits of my life with them too

    Comment by sandeepa — June 7, 2007 @ 6:49 am

  12. You are right Indira, I have been a regular visitor to your blog, and it’s only because of the kind of person I think you are. Your dedication to cooking and presenting it in your blog is palpable. Even more important is how you keep Indian traditions alive in this land thousands of miles away from our homeland, when it’s all too easy to give in to the hedonistic comforts this land has to offer. I see too many people become pseudo-White (if you pardon my use of that expression) within a short time of landing here. They distance themselves from our traditions, our values, and all things Indian. And then again, most people seem to have this misconception that preserving Indian values is to be a subservient woman who only bows down to male authority, which is so untrue! You however have a mind and voice of your own which is so refreshing. You are an inspiration to those of us who are here and trying to find that balance. So I will keep coming back, not only for the content your blog has to offer, but for the person behind that blog.

    Comment by Soniya Gadgil-Sharma — June 7, 2007 @ 6:51 am

  13. your post struck a chord, indira. i have been following the battles of some brave people with cancer through their blogs. they talk intimately about their lives, and i feel like i know them well.

    their strength amazes me, and it breaks my heart when they leave. there are many with cancer who abruptly stop blogging. their blogs are suspended in time. i wonder about them all the time. may they find peace and comfort.

    Comment by bee — June 7, 2007 @ 8:14 am

  14. Oh yes.. You are right. Right now I am wondering what happend to Saffron Hut, Archana and wishing they are ok. I heard from Karthi of Kitchenmate so I know she is fine. I dont mind that much when people are around I dont bother to comment. But when they go missing I worry.

    Sudden demise of a favourite blogger is really tough to handle.

    Comment by Revathi — June 7, 2007 @ 10:18 am

  15. This post is so true . I was devastated and my world was shattered when I moved continents and took time to understand the norms. I even had bitter experiences before I understood anything. I was also torn between holding on to my traditions and embracing America. Quite a fight to pick out best practices. When I started my blog, I felt that these bloggers whom I havent ever met and will never meet probably embraced me. I felt a sense of belongingness here.That one comment makes a lot of difference to me. My heart is filled with joy and happiness and that one comment makes my day. I feel these are my friends and definitely I care for them and talk abt their sites and attitudes to a lot of people I meet. Most of the sites I visit are for the blogger and not the blog!

    Comment by Dee — June 7, 2007 @ 10:24 am

  16. Hi Indra

    I am an regular reader of your blog.The starting para made me to post you the first comment.Really appreciate the way you write which touches the heart.Coming to ur recipes they are eye and soul appealing balancing the tradition & present trend.Keep your flow of words like this & effort.

    Comment by Hima — June 7, 2007 @ 10:35 am

  17. Yes..I too agree with all other comments..when i read the posts, I relate to the person ..its like carbon extension of the self talking thru these blogs..

    Comment by Kavitha — June 7, 2007 @ 2:06 pm

  18. I’m not a blogger, but I am a reader. I read several blogs - many semi-regularly, and a few every day. The ones I read every day (like yours!) are ones to which I feel a huge connection. I feel like these people are my friends, whom I invite into my home. I feel personally insulted when people post rude posts to their blogs. I feel happy when they have victories or exciting things happen in their lives, and sad/troubled when they go through rough times. I think it’s a tribute to the power of the written word and the amazing human spirit that this is possible without ever meeting the person.

    I herd an interview recently with a blind man, who was asked if he would want to see again - at least so he could see his wife and children. His response was that he knew them on such a deep level that vision couldn’t possible add to that. That’s how I feel about the blogs I have taken to heart. I know it’s illusory, as I “see” only a tiny bit of your wonderfully full lives. But your personality shines through.

    As for Mahanandi, you have made a huge difference in my life. Although I am not Indian, I have always cooked Indian cuisine. But through your wonderful words, I have developed a much fuller depth of understanding of the ingredients, a good instinct as to how to play with things to balance flavors, and a deep love of the food and culture. So thanks for everything and keep up the good work! You have a whole community of us out here in the virtual world who send good thoughts your way and wish you nothing but the best!

    Comment by Diane — June 7, 2007 @ 2:07 pm

  19. I’m not a blogger, nor can i comment on its ettiquet. I check blogs to keep in touch with food. But its quiet heartening to know the extent of topics discussed online one can jump into it and participate fully or observe it. Like a stage some are actors and some observers. at times its easier to log online and be with like minded people than deal with people who are family and friends but not have the same intrests.
    When one has a bad day, its good to fall back on things that comforts one…familiar blogs are one such thing

    Comment by freshma — June 7, 2007 @ 3:45 pm

  20. Hi Indira,

    Your post is thought-provoking. I read only 1 blog. That is Mahanandi. I wish I knew more about you. For instance, I would like to know why you went from experimenting with lots of American ingredients to posting about traditional AP and other Indian food. Your blog has helped me to re-connect to my roots, and I think it’s had a very valuable affect on my life as a whole. So, please continue blogging. Take a break if you have to. Just tell us when you will be back.

    Comment by Padmaja — June 8, 2007 @ 7:14 am

  21. Am not much of blog reader until I saw yours and have related to it exactly as you described - attachment to familiar recipes. At least it started that way, then I started admiring how beautifully you present everything, whether it is the written word that you pour your heart into or the photographs that are incredible or the description. I do form the attachment to the blogger behind the scenes, since we form an unseen image in the mind. We do care about the blogger - wondering what made her post that particular recipe etc.

    Comment by Sandhya — June 8, 2007 @ 8:56 pm

  22. Indira, I MUST get to ‘know’ the bloggers! How could I look into their personal worlds without befriending them? This is my first visit to your blog, and I just LOVE it! I saw the link on someone else’s blog. (Heera’s? Shashi’s? I can’t remember.) And because I was eager for some authentic Indian recipes (most especially my favorite, bhaji!) I had to click on. I’m SO glad I did! Great blog, great recipes, and you seem like a sweetheart! Glad to ‘meet’ you, Indira!

    Comment by Kai — June 9, 2007 @ 12:39 pm

  23. Sorry for suddenly disappearing from the blog. Our car got totalled. We are ok but our ten year old car got totally smashed up in a hit and run. Dealing with it all took some time.

    I loved reading your kind and generous responses. The affection in your words means a lot to me and I will always cherish that. Thanks very much for taking time to share!

    Comment by Indira — June 10, 2007 @ 9:58 pm

  24. that’s terrible Indira.I was wondering where you have disappeared.take care you two.Hope things will be alright soon.


    It was terrible seeing our beautiful car in such smashed up shape. It was a jarring experience, but we’ve decided to keep the spirits up and take things in stride.
    Thanks for your well wishes, Madhuli.
    - Indira

    Comment by madhuli — June 10, 2007 @ 10:20 pm

  25. I hope you guys are doing good and not physically hurt. I’ve had a similar experience in India :(

    Comment by Deepika Saripalli — June 11, 2007 @ 9:01 am

  26. Oh my! I hope none of you were hurt.. It’s very sad to hear a well loved car get smashed up.. But I’m very very glad that you guys are okay.

    Our car, a 6 yo, was badly rear-ended this Feb and thankfully, my DH was okay. But it shook us up very badly and I’d say, I’m still recovering from that shock.. But one good thing, it bought a big change in our perspective… what’s important and what’s not.

    I’m glad you are okay. :hug:

    Comment by Kay — June 11, 2007 @ 2:44 pm

  27. Hi Indira,

    Sorry to hear about car accident. I hope u both didn’t hurt physically and doing well.

    What u said is correct Indira, we care about blogg and blogger behind it. When an awafull things happen to them my heart goes out for them.I fell that they are my friends eventhough I never got to see them.

    Be god give u and your family the stenght whichever needed for u to overcome this problem.

    Comment by laxmi — June 11, 2007 @ 2:46 pm

  28. Hi Indira,
    How r u doing now? hope you and Vijay garu are doing fine. Well it is awful to be in that situation. Anyway, do not worry for the car, you are all safe and sound. Take care.

    cheers
    rajani

    Comment by Rajani — June 11, 2007 @ 8:41 pm

  29. Dear Indira,

    Like you said, it must have been a jarring experience, but am really glad that you both are fine and are trying to keep the spirits up.

    Blogging does allow a lot of friendly interaction and you really develop a nice rapport with many of the fellow bloggers. Whether one knows them personally or not, sharing thoughts about a common passion is good. You can relate to their stories and experiences. As you once said, blogs are like children’s faces- each expression tells you about them, each story brings out something new to learn.

    Comment by musical — June 13, 2007 @ 10:29 am

  30. Hi Indira. I’ve been following you and I love your writing.
    Your taste for desserts and sweets really responded mine. Palm sugar and coconut? Ooh I love them. I’m an Indonesian -we use much much palm sugar and coconut in our desserts. Now I learn to enjoy putting more fragrant spices into my simple palm sugar-coconut-pandanus leaves way of Javanese desserts. It’s challenging!.

    Comment by Ira — June 29, 2007 @ 6:53 am

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