There's something supremely satisfying..

..when you get to bake cocoa flavoured biscuits for the first time, and ahem... they become a super hit. Also I wasn't very happy with the ginger biscuits monopolizing the "men" shape. And since I was bored baking the same old butter biscuits time and again, I hunted the net for a simple choc recipe. Since I was spoilt for choice with the numerous recipes out there, I brought out my own version. I didn't bother with the measurements at all. I had exactly 125 gm of unsalted butter in the fridge. I cut them into tiny pieces, and giving the blender a break, used my fingers to knead the butter with caster sugar, cinnamon powder, baking pwdr and few drops of vanilla extract. Then mixed the little corn flour that I had at home, about 2 tsp of cocoa pwdr and added as much plain flour as the mixture could absorb, to reach the consistency of chapati dough. Popped the dough into the fridge and took it out after couple of hours only to find the dough to have become like one stiff, heavy rock. I regretted a second for my stupidity, and then a tiny light bulb flashed and made me sprinkle some milk onto the mixture. Voila! Out came the rolling pin, the biscuit cutter and the oven trays, and the biscuits got baked at 180 deg c, for 15 minutes. (ofcourse I had to pre-heat the oven). Since cocoa tastes bitter, and I was a bit doubtful if the sugar I've added would be enough to counter it, I sprnkled some sugar when the biscuits were still warm.

I guess this is the first time EVER, I've made something without cup measurements. That's an achievement of sorts for a person who doesn't cook a meal without levelling off rice on the measuring cup!

Tamil Rhymes for children

Here are some entries for Tulika's Blogathon. The beauty of any song/poem, lies in the rhyming words in the original language, and the same gets bit disrupted in literal translations. There, I've given a lame excuse for my inept translations!

This "sanjadamma.." is one of my favourites. There are other versions too, but I've given the one which is popular in our household. When the baby is able to sit without support and tries to swing back and forth, we say:

"sanjadamma sanjadu
sayakkiliye sanjadu
kuthu vilakkae sanjadu
koyil puravae sanjadu
kannae maniyae sanjadu
bhushanamae nee sanjadu!"

sanjadu-sway/rock back and forth.
sayakiliye-colourful parrot
koyila purave-Temple pigeon.
kannae maniye-dear, darling
bhushanam-precious, valuable thing.

"Vikkal azhagi, vilayada pona
Vikkala vittu, vekkalai sumai"

"Hiccupping beauty, while going to play
sod the hiccups and pick the haystack"

This one is for when the baby gets hiccups. A tiny thread is held near the child's face and the rhyme is narrated thrice, while circling the thread around, so the baby gets distracted, and finally the thread is placed on his/her head, so h/she looks up and the baby's back is rubbed so as to wind him.

"chinna chinna motor
periya periya motor
naan virumbum motor
Naalu chakra motor"

Tiny, Tiny car
Big Big car,
My favourite cars
4-wheeled cars"

This rhyme is used for toddlers to help them differentiate small from big cars, or some such things.

(Edited after The PrintLover's comment with full verse AND translation. Thanks a lot TPL!)

"amma ingae vaa vaa!
aasai mutham thaa thaa!
ilaiyil soru pottu,
eeyai thoora oattu!"

unnai pondra nallaar
ooril yaavar ullaar
ennaal unakku thollai
ethum inge illai

aiyam indri solluven

orumaiye balamam
oathum seyale nalamam
avvai sonna mozhiyaam
ahde enakku vazhiyaam

"Mummy, do come here!
and give me a kiss,
serve food on the banana leaf
and swat the flies away

good folks like you
who else are in town
trouble due to me
will be none

I'll tell without a doubt
unity is strength
Advising is for welfare
this was prescibed by avvaiyar (tamil poet))
and this will be our way of living

"maambazhamam maambazham
malgova maambazham
Salethu maambazham
thithikkum mambazham
azhagana mambazham
alwa pondra mambazham
ungalukku venduma?
ingu odi vaarungal
pangu poattu thinnalaam!"

"Mango, Mango!
Malgova Mango
Mango from Salem
Very sweet Mango
luscious mango
Halwa like mango
Would you like to have some?
Come running here
We'll share and eat!"

Giving an intro to summer's delightful fruit, while emphasising on the sharing habit!


"Aanai vanthathu thoppula
arupparuthathu maambazham
Kuthirai vanthathu thoppula
kotti parichathu vilampazham!"

"An Elephant came to the field
and harvested mangoes
A horse came to the (same) field
and plucked a wood apple"

The mention of Yaanai (elephant) is enough to evoke those never ending giggles from babies!


"Meow Meow saar!
Milk kudikkum saar!
Naalu kaalu saar!
Orae vaalu saar!"

"Meow Meow sir
Milk's your favourite sir!
Four legged sir!
But only one tail sir"

Used to sing for toddlers running behind cats, trying to befriend them!

"Dosai amma dosai
neyyila sutta dosai
arisi maavum, ulundhu mavum,
kalandhu sutta dosai
appavukku anju
ammavukku naalu
annanukku moonu,
akkalukku rendu
paappavukku onnu
thinna thinna aasai
innum kettal poosai!"

"Dosa dosa
Dosa made with ghee
rice flour, urid flour,
mixed to cook the dosa
5 for dad
4 for mom
3 for brother
2 for sister
1 for baby
if someone asks for more
they get a scolding"

As is obvious, this one is used to enable baby to count backwards!"

I had absolute fun doing this. I do remember few more, albeit some like "thaa kuppi thanthana kuppi" and "amma kuthu dhimma kuthu" have some words which have no meaning, but babies gurgle with delight more for the sheer sound of them!

Can anyone guess....

... which track my train of thought leapt to, when I spotted (and bought) these?

Its amazing the way our brains could think of n number of things in split seconds. Oh ofcourse! in my case, there's an exception : when I'm hungry, my mind goes numb until my tummy is happy;)