Wheat Halwa

While in the kitchen, I like to use traditional recipes. These typically take more time and effort, but the results are typically worth the extra trouble. Cooking is a great stress buster. The more detailed the recipe, the more the fun!

My aunt (ಚಿಕ್ಕಮ್ಮ - wife of my father's younger brother who stays near Sunticoppa, Kodagu district) is my favourite cook. She has a knack of describing difficult to make items and getting me interested in making them. I typically let the easy recipes pass in favour of the difficult to make ones. One fine day she mentioned wheat halwa. And that it would take 3-4 days to make it. Enough information to add it to my TODO list.

Office potluck lunches and difficult recipes, I have observed, go hand in hand. Everyone tries to make something special, so is worried how their dishes would turn out. We do it for fun mostly, but what's fun if there isn't a challenge in it ? That's where the wheat halwa came into the picture. An audience of 25 people or so is a fair size to cook halwa for. I've always liked feeding people, and here was another opportunity.

Yummy Wheat Halwa

Yummy Wheat Halwa

It was fun cooking the halwa - and the results were satisfactory. If you are interested in just the recipe, then skip forward to the end of this post. Those interested in learning about my travails, read on !


What’s cooking ?

Nothing in the kitchen, I promise. What else then ? First thing : MTB riders rejoice - we are planning a race for MTBs right here in our backyard ! The first round of meetings for this has happened already. Ride-a-cycle Foundation will be involved, and so will CAM. The details are still being figured out. For now, I can tell you these : we are planning for this event in September, most of the riding will be off-road, and we will have a few days of riding. Finally, there will be ample opportunities for families of the riders to get into the action. More details as we finalize them, promise !

Quick change of topic. I have not been riding for the past two weeks. I have some back pain. Nothing major, but it hasn't gone away in the past 5 months. Time enough to be concerned. It started in a very strange fashion. I woke up after a night long ride in a sleeper bus one fine day of november. Bending down to put on my shoes seemed as difficult as lifting a hundred kilo weight ! The pain eased in a few days, but never went away. So I asked around for recommendations for a doctor. Rohan(from BOTS) recommended Mr (and not Dr) Badri, a bio-mechanist. Nothing serious, he assures me. No cycling till my back heals, and no other activities. I hope to be back riding soon !

Many readers (most recently Vishwas Narendra) have been asking me questions about touring. To help them, and as a pass-time for me, I am planning the following things

  1. Write a small article about touring on bicycles in general
  2. Relive my first cycle tour by blogging about it ! This will also contain valuable information for those intending to start touring themselves

Expect to see more updates soon...

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Attempt #2 for 500 kms in a day

I had written in my last post that I hoped to ride 500 kms in a day, perhaps after training. Secretly, I believed that this was possible without specific training. As always, there was no way I could prove myself wrong without trying!

I backed myself to scale the 500 km peak. This was possible, I told myself. Maintain an average of 25km an hour over 20 hours - and that's it. Easier said than done : my regular speed is somewhere around the 20s. The temperature was rising with each passing day. So, any attempt had to be made soon. After a week of dilly-dallying, on the evening of the 19th February (that's two weeks ago), I finally made up my mind.

Mentally, I had broken the march to 500 to three parts : the first 300 in 12 hours of riding, and the rest in two batches of 100 kms consuming 6 hours each. 20 hours of moving time @ 25km/hr, 4 hours of "stoppage time" breakfast, lunch, dinner all inclusive. An aggressive plan, but 500 is no small goal either.

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