Thursday, May 29, 2014

Kali Mirri | Shakti Swaroop

NEELIMA'S KITCHEN 

LIMITED ARTISAN CURRY PASTE
KALI MIRRI | SHAKTI SWAROOP


TIME & INTENTION
23rd May 10:07:45 this week's curry paste was conceptualised during the cusp of Navami  and Dashami, overshadowed by the blessings of Goddess Ambika.

Goddess Ambika is associated with the central figure of the Shakti cult. Ambika represents the placid aspects of goddess Durga.The most common iconographies of Ambika represent the goddess either with two hands or with four hands and others with more. But the most important aspect of all the images is to represent the Motherliness of the Goddess. Her head is decorated with rubies and her crown is adorned with the moon. She bears a smiling face and her bosoms are full.  Her face is benign. 

While making the paste, the nature of the energies were shifting from - conducive for acts of destruction and killing enemies- Navami to acts of virtue, religious function, spiritual practices and other pious activities - Dashami. As the further waning moon was swinging its intentions past 10 am on Friday on 33 Upper Wainui Road, during the trial and tasting of Kali Mirri | Shakti Swaroop. 


INGREDIENT OF THE WEEK


KALI MIRRI - black pepper is renowned for its medicinal properties. It aids in the destruction of small parasitic worms that enter our body through the air, food, fingers and many other daily activities, which can easily cause contamination. There are many more known benefits of this little black ball, which oust the little bugs and virus' that cause minor physical and mental imbalances. 


As the black pepper is ground with the mortar and pestle, the peppercorns crack open activating their warrior path that will start in the digestive track. Aware of the advent of Dashami the powder is carefully transferred into the onion mix to camouflage the little soldiers, who will enter the system in the disguise of spicy flavours that excite the tastebuds. The ritual of preparing this paste is performed with the intention to capture that fierce energy of Ambika, the powerful  Mother who can fight any force to defend her own. In the case of the Kali Mirri Curry Paste - it is made with the intention for the black pepper to literally take her form thus the term SHAKTI SWAROOP  - Manifesting the form of the Shakti- Primordial Cosmic Female Energy. 
It is an opportunity to give thanks to the mother for endowing nature with such antiseptics.  

How to use the Kali Mirri Curry Paste
Serves 4 - 5 People 

Ingredients


1 Spoon Canola Oil or butter
2 Cups Dal
2 Medium Onions
1 Cup Pumpkin chopped
1 Green Zucchini cut into thin slices
1 Medium Tomato
1 Bunch Coriander/Cilantro
1 Table Spoon Butter
Salt
&
1  bottle of Kali Mirri Curry Paste

Method

Medium to High Flame
Heat the oil till it melts and add onions and sauté till onions become a little transparent. 5 minutes, keep stirring. Then add tomatoes and the entire bottle of Kali Mirri  Curry Paste.

Medium Flame
 Mix and stir till all the paste is completely integrated into the onions and tomatoes for 1 minute. Then add the dal, pumpkin and zucchini, mix for 1 minute. Add 4 full cups of water and one teaspoon of salt to the entire mixture and cover the pot.

High Flame
And cook for 10 minutes

Low Flame
Open the pot and mix to make sure that the dal is getting soft. Depending on how you prefer the consistency of the dal, you can cook on low flame for another 10 minutes (which I highly recommend). Mash the entire mix to break the pumpkin pieces with a masher. 

Once the curry is ready garnish with plenty of chopped cilantro, some pepper and a little sprinkle of lemon and serve. The same can be done with fish, chickpeas, kumara and potato. 


27th May, Tuesday 



Today Kali rules the house, her energies are fierce, therefore to balance the heat of the peppers, some coconut is added to the paste, as a peace offering to Ma, Kali Ma Mother. 

If you learn to love the Devi- Mother Goddess unconditionally, however harsh her fury is, or ugly her persona may be in these destructive phases of the waning moon. Life will flow smoothly, as the Mother will be pleased with your unwavering faith and devotion, even though her force is what makes this universe and continue in form. She is fragile, she wants love and only love and will reciprocate it by showering you with a good life. Since it is from and through Her that all sources of life are born, journey and die, including the curry leave, onions, garlic, peppers, coconut, ghee, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, salt and water. Which are the essential ingredients that will take a cleansing sojourn in your body. 




Tomorrow night the 28th of May 2014 is New Moon or Amavasya, be sure to remember your ancestors and pay homage to their souls no matter where they are in this time of rejuvenation. As the channels are opening to be more kind to us and our bodies. Let us remember those wombs that have gone through much strife and pain to birth us and all that we enjoy in this world. 


NEELIMA’S KITCHEN LIMITED ARTISAN CURRY PASTE IS NOT A PRODUCT.
IT IS THE SHARING OF SPIRITUAL INFORMATION BETWEEN 3 WOMEN

Available on Tuesdays at John Wok (Whaingaroa Organic Kai) Downtown Raglan, New Zealand

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Neelima’s Kitchen : The Journey Begins

Kala Masala  | Daughters of the Solstice

Limited Artisan Curry Pastes

“Ayana” – Belonging to the Solstice


According to the Drik Panchang - Hindu Vedic Calender - today is Uttarayana, meaning the position of the tropical sun is in the midway point between the Spring Equinox and Winter equinox. This celestial point in the Drikpanchang for Waikato region and timing is specifically in relation to the activity of the Sun north of the equator today, it is  Shashthi TithiIn vedic timekeeping, a Tithi is a lunar day, or the time it takes for the longitudinal angle between the moon and the sun to increase by 12°. Tithis begin at varying times of day and vary in duration from approximately 19 to approximately 26 hours.



For us today in the Waikato region, the influence of the tropical Sun from the North brings fragrances from the motherland of India, that is where my ancestors have written stories in the soil. And through my blood and soul they speak everyday, carrying information forward. That is the specific legacies, rituals of our tribe Mali. Their origins are unknown.  It is a relatively undocumented small and ancient community of farmers, who have been last recorded in Western region of Rajasthan in the late 1800’s.


Women would carry the typical marking for this tribe - a line of red vermillion across the forehead. Since they would be in the fields all day, the line is strategically placed on the third eye, blocking it from the harsh rays of the sun.


Alas, those days are long gone where young women of such rich heritage proudly adorn these marks. Modernization has slowly but surely been erasing reminisces of such antiquity, as the female has progressed. It is in light of these kinds of great losses of identity and information that the curry pastes have emerged. An artist’s attempt at studying, calling, experiencing and sharing information through time immaterial of a small slice of history, carried forward through culinary sleight of hand in Raglan, New Zealand. 


 Neelima’s Kitchen is a three channel matriarchal exchange between my grandmother Pramila Madhukar Girme (19th Apri 1933 – 23rd March 2013) and her daughter Neelima Borawake and me – the Artist via the medium of one time created curry pastes, which infuse ingredients of lunar/cultural/personal/spiritual significances passed down from 3 generations in Maharashtra, India. 

NEELIMA’S KITCHEN LIMITED ARTISAN CURRY PASTE IS NOT A PRODUCT.
IT IS THE SHARING OF SPIRITUAL INFORMATION BETWEEN 3 WOMEN



 My grandmother, Pramila was a lean, intelligent passionate woman, she was married to my grandfather when she was 16 and gave birth to my mother when she was 18 years old. And this bond continued as I saw the world through my mother’s arms when she was 32 years old. Ofcourse Kala Masala would be the first masala I used as Pramila's method was famous and many people in the community would order from her regurlarly. 

Batch 1


Kala Masala | Daughters of the Solstice
Limited Artisan Curry Paste



How to use the Kala Masala Curry Paste

Ingredients

2 Cups Chickpeas : Soaked overnight
2 Medium Onions
1 Medium Tomato
1 Bunch Coriander/Cilantro
1 Table Spoon Butter
Salt
Pepper
&
1 Baby bottle of Kala Masala Curry Paste

Method

Medium to High Flame
Heat the butter till it melts and add onions, 3 pinches of salt and sauté till onions become a little transparent. 5 minutes, keep stirring. Then add tomatoes and the entire baby bottle of Kala Masala Curry Paste.
Medium Flame
 Mix and stir till all the paste is completely integrated into the onions and tomatoes. Then add the chickpeas, mix for 1 minute. Add 4 full cups of water and one teaspoon of salt to the entire mixture and cover the pot.
High Flame
And cook for 10 minutes
Low Flame
Open the pot and mix to make sure that the chickpeas are getting soft. Depending on how you prefer the consistency of the chickpea curry, you can cook on low flame for another 10 minutes (which I highly recommend)

Once the curry is ready garnish with plenty of chopped cilantro, some pepper and a little sprinkle of lemon and serve.


Concept and Preparation of the Artisan Curry Paste

 Nityas and Tithis



This project explores the primordial female cosmic energy -Shakti through autonomy of the spirit via the channel of progeny during which the daily study and meditation of the Drikpanchang is a part of the ritual.   



Through the preparation of the curry pastes I am exploring this matriarchal string, as I consult the calendar everyday. It allows me to finely tune into the shifting energies and tap into transcendental philosophies, while gathering materials for my pastes. As I pull information from my cells and my soul in the kitchen, a talent that my mother has gifted me and one, which we have acquired from my grandmother, I follow the moon to lead the path. The 3 of us are in disparate spheres of existence, yet we are bound through our spices, our special talent for cooking, our individual orbits (including those of giving birth, life, death, past lives and karmas), and through the large volumes of people that we are famously known to feed for generations.

Pramila's Kitchen - Malinagar, Sholapur District, Maharashtra

Raglan, Waikato, New Zealand
***May 19th  | The Preparation Environment

The kitchen was being prepared on Upper Wainui road by Jasper - a kind Dutch who spontaneously decided to scrub down every surface with great vigor,
                                                                                at 
19:01:54 hrs the Titihi was changing 
  from
Panchami-(Ruled by the Serepent, a good day for purging of poisons
And thus auspicious for cleaning.
                                                                                to
Shasthi  (Favourable for coronations, meeting new friends, festivities, and enjoyment) 
Upon this auspicious change of lunar tide the onions were chopped in a cleansed environment and the first batch of artisan curry paste was made with a unique Kala masala powder indigenous to the Maharashtra cuisine eaten in the Mid-Western part of India. The bottles of paste were ready. We cooked it some of it for trial, and had a huge feast in the silver light of the waning moon.

May 20th  3:40pm to 5:00pm | At John Wok’s Organic Retail
For Sale 4 Portions of Kala Masala  | Daughter's of Solstice Paste
@ 8 NZD per bottle

Today the period of Shasthi will end at 16:27:41 hrs in Ralgan leading us into Saptami – The 7th Lunar day ruled by the Sun in the tropics, the calendar says, a good time to begin a journey. And I reckon a culinary one.

*** When To Cook
Kala Masala | Daughters of Solstice was prepared at an auspicious time. It was the beginning of Shashthi tithi after the cleansing of the kitchen during Panchami. Therefore this week’s paste ; created with spices brought from India will bring coronations, meeting of new friends, festivities, and enjoyment.  So be sure to call a good friend over for that meal. As well, be aware of the sun’s strong influence from the Northern hemisphere coming through your window, and how it is delicately balancing the darkness of the waning moon, as the spices sizzle in your home during this period of Uttarayana

Shashthi or Shashti (Sanskritषष्ठीaṣṭhī, literally "sixth") is also a Hindu folk goddess, venerated as the benefactor and protector of children. She is also the deity of vegetation and reproduction and is believed to bestow children and assist during childbirth. She is often pictured as a motherly figure, riding a cat and nursing one or more infants.  The worship of Shashthi is proscribed to occur on the sixth day of each lunar month of the Hindu calendar 



Until next week and next batch of stories and explorations.