Palm date trees are laden with golden fruits. The ripen not at once but successively so that fruit is available for longer periods. These sugary treats are a great attraction for birds like crows, Asian Koels and Grey Hornbills. The fruits bunches are surrounded by big thorny fronds. So smaller birds can easily approach them.
But even peafowls find them irresistible. I was surprised to find two peahens which had climbed the tree despite their very large sizes and were plucking and eating the fruits. Here is the video.
Every living things requires energy to be alive. Our bodies continuously spend energy to do work. Food which consists of carbohydrates, Oils and Fats, Proteins are primarily food classes. There are other categories of food like fruits and vegetables which provide micronutrients like vitamins and minerals. All of these are required for a normal body to be healthy.
When these items are available, human beings evolved recipes to make the food more tastier and delicious. Different regions of the world have produced different kinds of categories depending on the ingredients available there.
Those recipes are even better which contains maximum nutrients. These are wholesome foods. One such recipe is Ashure or Noah’s Pudding. It has its origin in Turkey. Noah’s name has a story related to it. It is said when Noah’s ship landed with survivors they didn’t have much left. They had some grains like whole wheat, chickpeas, and the like.
The recipe consists of boiling the whole wheat and keep it submerged in the boiled water. Wheat is rich in carbohydrate, minerals and vitamins, Legumes which are rich in proteins are soaked and then boiled. These are then mixed with the boiled wheat in water. A thick pudding results, sweetener like sugar or jaggery is added and then dry fruits and nuts are added. The finishing is also done by topping with dry nuts, coconut powder etc.
The ingredients like legumes and dry fruits and nuts can very depending upon the availability.
This dish is a specialty during Muharram and totally vegan. This pudding is distributed in the community and is considered auspicious.
Many videos are available on the YouTube for preparing this recipe. It is very nutritious.
It is also a very beautiful bird with dark green feathers. Barbets are native to Indian subcontinent widely spread across India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. The name barbet alludes to the bristles on the sides of eyes. It’s green color makes it difficult sometimes to locate it in the green foliage. It eats fruits and insects. It is a plump bird. I chanced upon this bird some few months back and since then it has been seen and photographed by me quite a number of times. All the photos were shot using Canon powershot sx60 hs camera. Hope you will like them.
Coconut grow in the coastal areas. In India, whole of the coast is dotted with coconut trees. Kerala tops the list in coconut plantations. Known as Coconut in English, Narikela in Sanskrit & Nariyal in Hindi, coconuts can grow to between 15 and 30 m tall in plantations. Their trunks are ringed with scars where old leaves have fallen. The top of the trunk is crowned with a rosette of leaves.
Fruits are called coconuts. They are oval and covered with a smooth skin which can be bright green, brilliant orange or ivory coloured. Below the skin is a thick fibrous layer which is used for coir. The next layer is the shell of the seed with the three characteristic ‘eyes’.
The coconut finds so many uses. The shell may be used to make charcoal which is used in the water filters for absorbing the coloring contaminants. The inside of the shell is lined with a white, edible layer called the meat. This is used to make chemicals, and medicinal products. The fluid inside the seed cavity is known as coconut water. This fluid contains many minerals and is taken as such to rejuvenate the body. It is recommended in case of dehydration caused by diarrhea. It has a cooling effect and removes the body heat in summers. When seeds germinate, the new shoot sprouts from one of the eyes. Due to so many uses, in India it has been called the ‘tree of heaven‘ or ‘kalpavriksha’.
In India, it has great spiritual value. The three ‘eyes’ of the coconut represent the three eyes of the great god Shiva. An earthen pot or pitcher, called a purnakumbha is filled with water and mango leaves and a coconut is placed on top. This purnakumbha is used in the ritual of worship and adoration of the gods, called puja. It is placed as a substitute for the deity or by the side of the deity. The purnakumbha literally means a ‘full pot’ in Sanskrit. It represents Mother Earth, the water the giver of life, the leaves life itself, and the coconut divine consciousness.
In South Asia, coconuts are named Sriphala or fruit of the Gods and symbolise complete usefulness, selfless service, prosperity and generosity. The palms are believed to be the embodiment of the ancient Indian concept of kalpavriksha, or the tree which grants all wishes. It plays an essential role in many religious and social functions in South Asia.
Coconut is an integral ingredient of South Indian cuisine. It is used in one form or another in the food. It is used to make chutneys, thickened with milk and sugar to make delicious sweets. It is milk is used in many fish preparations. Its oil is used for cooking and hair dressing.