Pipe Dreams


When you are young, you have big dreams. Dreams that place you on a pedestal where you are the center of the universe. Then you grow up and you realize that little by little they are shredded from your essence. You watch your friends reach places, but no matter what you try, your life is filled with obstacles and stumbling blocks. You try to fast track and take shortcuts only to realize that you went back three times over.

Middle age forces you to reconcile and take stock of your life. You realize by now that dreams are not for everyone and you push forward bravely, not knowing what lies ahead. You are angry, mostly at yourself for all the foolish things you allowed yourself to do. You would think that you would have learned from those mistakes by now, but you haven’t.

You are frustrated; you don’t understand how most people have picture perfect lives. They always do the right things, say the right things and they always make the right decisions. You realize that you are special. You are so special!!! The bad seed that needs to be cast away. You are everywhere, but no one remembers you. You were a wallflower at the party. No one misses you!!!

But it’s OK. You don’t have to be the life of the party. You don’t have to be remembered either. Your lessness teaches you humility. You see through the vanity. Your failure teaches you to re-prioritize, to truly understand the things that really matter in life. You don’t need the latest and greatest to adorn your ego. You may be fragile in the eyes of the world, but you learn to depend. You learn to trust in the things that the eye cant see. Even with your fragmented and perilous character, you still have infinite hope; but it’s not the same hope as before.

You learn to appreciate the lesser things in life. Your eyes become open. It sees the sadness of strangers, the madness in people, whimpers of little children, the loneliness of widows.

A little goes a long way. You want to do a little to ease their lives.

“There is hope”, you say to yourself. You rinse and repeat that mantra.

No one needs to know who you are or what you did. The small relief that you ushered into the least of humanity is your legacy.

“Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me” (Matthew 25:40, 45, NIV).

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Kerala Banana Fritters


First off a word of caution: This is a Kerala style preparation of Banana fritters.  That means we use plantains instead of bananas. You say what’s the difference?…Its all about the consistency and flavor. Plantains are generally more, sturdy and thicker than bananas. Plantains are generally found in Asian countries where as bananas are more popular in the west. Ripe plantains can be steamed or fried. You could do the same with bananas, but it will get very mushy.

For more info see this link why-we-eat-and-health-benefits-of-plantains

Now for the recipe

Pazham pori aka Ethakka appam or banana fritters is a traditional evening snack item in Kerala. Its available through out Kerala and all most all Keralites prepares it the same way. Its simply ripe banana’s coated with flour and deep fried in oil.

Pazham pori Preparation

  1. Mix the “All purpose flour”, sugar, baking powder, salt and water in a dish and blend it thoroughly to form a semi thick batter.
  2. Add a pinch of turmeric powder to the batter to color a bit.
  3. Peel the bananas and slice them length wise into half and then slice each halfway into 3 or more to get the thin slices.
  4. Dip the slices in batter and evenly coat them.
  5. In a deep bottom frying pan heat some oil.
  6. When the oil becomes hot, dip the batter coated banana pieces and fry them until they become golden brown. Flip them in between.
  7. Remove from oil and drain the excess oil with paper napkins /  kitchen towel.
  8. Serve it hot.

Tips

  • Its better to use the Kerala plantains (nendra pazham) for the preparation.
  • Some people add a little of crushed cumin seeds (ജീരകം) to the batter. You can add it if you want.
  • Its better to serve it when the snack is still hot.
  • You can skip the turmeric powder, Baking  powder or cumin seeds if you don’t have it. Doesn’t really make a huge difference in taste.