Living in Consciousness ~ Indi(r)a’s Food and Garden Weblog

Presents from Pooja

Arusuvai Friendship Package from Pooja

“Oh my! She shouldn’t have to” I thought while opening the parcel.

Aachari, garam and jaljeera – three types of masala powders, all homemade. Hazelnut chocolates. Stainless steel pepper mill and saltshaker. And a greeting card.

When I first started food blogging, I knew it was something I would enjoy, but I had no idea how much fun it could be. Neither a sweet talker nor a social butterfly, essentially a social hermit and a solitude seeker, I have never expected neither attention nor affection. But that’s exactly what food blogging has brought to my life. It has been an Arusuvai kind of experience. (Arusuvai means six tastes in Tamil and refer to theepu-sweet, karam-hot, kassappu-bitter, pulupu-sour, uppu-salt, tuvarpu– like umami, a special taste that one gets from raw vegetables and herbs.)

Without a doubt, one of the best aspects of this arusuvai experience has been the surprise gifts that led to special relationships. It happened again last week. Pooja of My Creative Ideas has sent me a friendship package. I’ve been following Pooja’s writings since she started her blog. Cheerful personality, creative nature with childlike innocence. It’s impossible not to be charmed by Pooja’s passionate flair and delightful exuberance.

Thank you dear Pooja, for this special arusuvai friendship package!

Here is what I have come up with Pooja’s Aachari masala (pickle masala powder). I’ve put together six tastes in an attempt to create an Arusuvai experience, and it has turned out to be a memorable success.

Cucumber-Mint Relish
Cucumber-Mint Relish with Pooja’s Aachari Masala
~ A Convergence of Arusuvai Friendship


1 palm-length cucumber (Moroccan/Indian variety), cut to thin rings
2 sprigs fresh mint – leaves plucked
¼ cup – kokum water
¼ cup – limejuice
1 tablespoon – jaggery gratings
½ teaspoon – Aachari (Pickle) masala
¼ teaspoon – salt

In a cup, take kokum water, limejuice, jaggery, aachari masala and salt. Mix with a spoon for few minutes until jaggery dissolves.

In a shallow serving bowl, place cucumber rounds and mint leaves in layers. Pour the juice. Top with mint leaves. Refrigerate or place in a cool area for about ten minutes. Serve as a light snack or as a side dish to main meal. Munch on a piece of cucumber and mint. Then sip a teaspoon of juice. Sweet, sour, bitter and spicy with some tuvarpu (umami), this cucumber relish will be truly an arusuvai experience.

Kitchen Notes:
Aachari Masala (R/C Pooja) – Dried red chilli, fennel seeds, fenugreek seeds, mustard seeds, Nigella seeds and garlic. Skillet roast in few drops of oil. Add salt and powder them together to fine.

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Cucumbers,Kokum (Amsool),Limes/Lemons,Mint,Zen (Personal) (Friday April 18, 2008 at 10:31 pm- permalink)
Comments (12)

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12 comments for Presents from Pooja »

  1. I’m just a reader but I love being part of this food blogging community. The goodwill and the friendly, positive spirit add arusuvai touch to the food you all share so lovingly. You guys are the best in all the blogosphere.

    Comment by Sudha — April 18, 2008 @ 11:29 pm

  2. Lovely and Worthy Presents to You indira…
    Cherish the moments..

    Comment by lavi — April 19, 2008 @ 1:28 am

  3. How lovely! This Arusuvai chain is a wonderful concept.

    Comment by Trupti — April 19, 2008 @ 6:57 am

  4. Sudha, Lavi, Trupti; Thanks friends for the good words. I wish you lived here, we’d have a arusuvai gettother with all the goodies. 🙂

    Comment by Indira — April 19, 2008 @ 9:11 am

  5. Cheerful personality, creative nature with childlike innocence….. all these is ME !OMG !!!. I should read these lines to hubby 😉 .

    Perhaps as usual you presented everything more beautifully here – (including me) 🙂 .

    Thank you Indira. Your words really made my day :). Looking fwd to see you another wonderful creations with those spices… You are truly creative with use of pickle masala. Hugs to you :).

    You are a special person, Pooja. Don’t change a bit.
    The curries I prepare at home are now flavored with your homemade masalas. I’ve filled the beautiful salt shaker with turmeric and pepper mill with grated coconut. New uses and loving it. 🙂
    Thank you again dear Pooja.

    Comment by Pooja — April 19, 2008 @ 10:54 am

  6. Hi Indira,

    Wow cucumber with achaar masala, must be heavenly tasting. I have heard that you can use this achaar masala in dry curries like achaari aloo. I am going to make the masala now.

    Comment by Sapna — April 19, 2008 @ 11:47 am

  7. What a beautiful package Pooja’s sent to you!! Am sure you’ll come up wit amazing creations for the other masalas as well. Looking forward to those! 🙂

    Comment by Kalai — April 20, 2008 @ 12:22 pm

  8. Lovely presents from Pooja. Like Midas touch, you also have some magic in your hands Indira. I still can’t stop wondering how the simplest things you put together can look so good!

    Comment by Madhuram — April 20, 2008 @ 7:37 pm

  9. Thats a lovely pack. And Pooja is truly so nice to send you these homemade goodies. And as usual you’ve made one more goodie with cucumber. A truly “Arusivai” dish! Looks wonderful Indira. And what does that aachari masala consists of?

    Comment by Nirmala — April 20, 2008 @ 10:30 pm

  10. Wow, Lovely gifts from Pooja !!
    mouth watering picture 🙂 !!
    waiting for my turn for Arusivai 🙂 !!

    Comment by Archy — April 23, 2008 @ 3:25 pm

  11. Very thoughtful of Pooja. And also thoughtful of you Indira to use the goodies and presented them so beautifully.


    Comment by Food for Bliss — April 28, 2008 @ 7:48 pm

  12. You probably forgot what they say for arusuvai in telugu. its called shadruchulu(six tastes of ugadi pachadi)

    Comment by anuradha — April 8, 2009 @ 5:17 pm

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