Lindsay from The Chickenless Kitchen threw us a Renaissance Cook Challenge, where we are supposed to cook a dish inspired by our hobby. Though I just returned from a family wedding, I made this dish in a hurry to meet the deadline. I loved the idea and am eager to participate.
Ornithology -the study of birds or Bird watching(no pun intended) in a lay man's terms has been an interest right from my school days. Later I met a few environmentalist friends through whom I was introduced to the finer aspects of bird watching. The Book Of Indian Birds- by Dr Salim Ali has been my guide ever since. My mom's place is located close to a National Park. This gave me the privilege of watching a lot of species from the luxury of our living room, even without a pair of binoculars. Some of the species I have enjoyed watching from home were - Oriental Magpie Robin, Drongo, White-throated Kingfisher, Golden Oriole, Greater Coucal/Crow Pheasant, Egret, Coppersmith Barbet and varieties of Sunbird to name a few. (click on the links for picture).
Sadly urban development has brought about a drastic reduction in the numbers of birds. When I was there last week, I only saw a magpie robin and heard the call of a kingfisher and a coppersmith barbet, other than that I spotted none.
Bird-watching for kids- Bird watching is a great way to teach kids to respect nature and in turn protect nature. Children learn very quickly, my 4 year old can already recognise a few species.
For more fantastic pictures on Indian Birds- Indian Myna [मैना], Forest Warbler, Peacocks and Long-tailed Shrike.
Bird's Nest is probably one of the first recipes that I learnt to prepare. I used to go to summer camps in school and this was a favourite for cooking competitions. Kid's love the concept. (Since I was in a mighty hurry to prepare this dish one of my eggs almost threatened to hatch as I fried them!)
For the shell-
4 large potatoes
salt to taste
For the filling-
3 button mushrooms
1/4 cup green peas
4 cloves of garlic
salt to taste
freshly ground pepper
- Boil the potatoes and peel when cool enough to handle. Mash add salt and keep aside.
- Chop the onion, garlic and mushroom.
- Heat oil and saute the onion and garlic. Add mushroom and peas, cover and cook.
- When done take of the heat and add salt and pepper.
- Make egg sized balls of the mashed potatoes and stuff with the filling mixture.
- Roll in bread crumbs and fry.
- Roast the vermicilli till brown and cook in water. Use to decorate.