Saturday, April 5, 2008

Arusuvai Friendship Chain ~ an inside story and the participants in India!

It all started when Bhags sent a packet to Nags. It was a packet of Yeast! And as expected, it grew to a much bigger one than expected. Much before this happened, there was this Amish Bread starter that was making its rounds among the US bloggers. Each one was coming up with such captivating perfections that left us breathless. Of course, the same starter wouldn't work out here. Still I was thinking how nice it might be, if it was happening in India too. Then I forgot all about it and just enjoyed reading through the adventure each blogger was having with the starter.

Then one day, it happened. I got a mail from Bharathy. I was very surprised at the content. It was even more surprising for me to note, she so nicely remembered my kids names from Lak's post, where Lak had mentioned in passing. That made quite an impression. In her mail, she mentioned about the sweet gesture of Bhags and how they thought it might be interesting to start something on that basis. We knew bread starter is out of way, but we decided that we should just go ahead. She asked how wonderful it will be, if we ask Lathamma to be the first one to start this chain. I said it will be great. That's it. I didn't get to know about it for sometime, until I got a mail from Bharathy, that they had everything in place and Lathamma is going to post about this in her blog. It all sounded so exciting.

Finally it was announced and we could see the fervor passing through all. The packet was waiting for me when I went back from office. I was all excited to guess what it was. It was custard! I have made only custard with the powder but wanted to do something different. Then I remembered a booklet that had new recipes. Finally I was ready with my post. But panic gripped me, when I realized I got to send to two other bloggers. Initially it was decided to pass on to two bloggers, but by the time it came to me, I didn't know to whom I should send. Though I had two bloggers residing in my place, we thought it will be fun if I reach out far. So mailed to Anita, the first thing in the morning to find out if she will be interested and hoped that she will check her mail that day. I was trilled to get her positive response.

After that, it was becoming tough job to get people roped into this. This was when Bharathy and I started co-coordinating this chain. It happened almost without much thought. As she mentioned, we must've exchanged many mails and chats. There were times, when I got almost gone crazy souring through profiles. It was becoming too hectic. We wanted the chain to reach all corners. I think it was quite successful.

But I think the success was more because of the enthusiasm shown by Bharathy. It was fun interacting with her and she never failed to update me on even a small bit she did. The credit for maintaining the list and leaving gentle reminders goes 100% to her. She just did a marvelous job out of it. And not only that, its fun dealing with her. There is never a dull moment with Bharathy, she can crack you up like anything. One of the many incidents that I remember from our interactions, are the times when she will send me an urgent msg saying she found a blogger, only for me to tell her that, we have already roped that person. She will say the name is different. I will then clarify that on the blog, the blogger has used a nickname. Then she will say..."ahhhh...I was so happy thinking we found a new person!...All in all this was a fun ride!

But time had come when we just couldn't find anymore interested blogger or even a blogger residing in India blogging on food. So we thought its time, we bring this chain to a stop. This doesn't mean this is the end, people interested can still pass on and continue the friendship chain. I have really enjoyed working on this and value my friendship I have personally gained, while interacting with people on this list. I would like to extend my appreciations to each of them, who so wonderfully took our pestering on stride and did a marvelous job in creating new dishes with the surprise ingredient sent to this.

The list so far:

Lathamma --> Renuka & Bharathy

Renuka received RAGI FLOUR, out of which came healthy and amazing RAGI VEGGIE PAKODA

And Bharathy got CORN FLOUR, out which she made yummy looking Gobi Manchurian

Renuka --> Arundati & Srivalli

Arundati got whole moongdal out which she made an authentic kerala Payar Mathan

Whereas I got Custard Powder, out of which came Custard Malpua

Bharathy --> Lissie & Lakshmi

Lissie got Aval, she dished Aval Vilayichathu is an all time favourite of Keralites!

And Lakshmi got a box full of dry fruits, being so true to self ate most of it except badam out of which came Badam Halwa! I know this tasted yummy because I cup full of this myself!

Srivalli --> Anita & Kamini

I sent Sambar powder which Anita found it very mysterious and finally came with 101 ways to cook with the spice powder, well actually only one, we have prod Anita for the other 100!

And I sent china grass to Kamini, out of which she made a beautiful looking Peach Pie!

Lissie --> Rachel & Lathamma (back)

Rachel got coconut milk powder and the Keralite in her wanted to go with stew and only stew..so she came with...Chicken stew

Lathamma got back a surprise ingredient, though I know she has cooked with it, I will let her spell the surpise herself

Lakshmi --> Raaga & Nags

Raaga got Horse Gram out which came the delicious Kultha Saar!

While Nags got Morde Dark Chocolate, she made a sinfull looking Triple Chocolate Fudge Brownies

Nags --> Bhags

Bhags got a bag of Ragi flour and she comes out with an innovative Ragi-crepes with fillilng...

Raaga --> Nanditha Iyer

Our dear doc is yet to post on this, but its bound to be breathtaking!

Rachel --> Shella

Shella got Sunmaid Raisins with which she made KISHMISH PINNIYAN

Bhags --> Kajal & Sukanya

Kajal gets Rajgara flour and she excels in making two dishes Rajgari sero and Rajgari Tikki.

Sukanya gets Amaranth seeds or Rajagiri out of which she made a healthy soup!

Anita --> Reeta & Deepshika

Reeta is yet to post her surprise!

I think Anita wanted to get the game back and sent a very mysterious spice powder. It turned out to be Tamatar Mangodi! So she did a Mangodi ki Sabzi & gujarati kadhi with mangodi.

Shella --> Priyadarshini & Aparna

Priyadarshini gets Saffron which she lays on a Caramel toast

Aparna gets Cocoa powder and she makes Nanaimo Bars!

Kamini --> Nirmala & Perspective

Nirmala gets Amchur powder and with that she does Oven Baked Potato fingers

While perspective gets herself some Baking Powder which she creates into Chocolate cake

Kajal --> Priya Mahesh

Priya gets Besan or Gram Flour and with that she makes Khandvi

Nirmala --> Jayashree M

Jayashree gets sent Rasam podi with which she makes Rasam and a very innovative Arbi roast

Arundati --> Deeba & Gaurav

Arundati sends Star Anise to both Deeba & Gaurav, Deeba does a STAR ANISE FLAVOURED SWISS ROLL

Deeba --> Miri

Miri gets orange extract which she bakes as Orange Date Cake

Aparna --> Bindiya Singh

Bindiya is yet to post hers

Deepshika --> Gayathri H & Nanditha

Gayathri & Nanditha, hope you will be posting yours soon!

Sukanya --> SMN

SMN gets musturd seeds and prepares a cucumber pachhadi

SMN --> Manidipa

Manidipa is yet to post hers

Gaurav --> Jayasree

Jayasree gets Charoli/Chironji/Saara Pappu and she makes Dates Banana Milkshake

Jayashree --> Kamalika

Kamalika is yet to post hers

Jayasree- Sunshinemom

Miri - Ramki (transit)

Perspective- Simran (transit)

Kamalika - DG (transit)

Priya Mahesh-Archana (transit)

Archana- Swati (plan)

Ramki- Divya (plan)

And as Bharathy said, while all of us came with one post, Gaurav came up with three posts, way to go!

And while I was doing this, I was surprised to note that no two bloggers got the same ingredient and the created dishes were unique too..Great Job!


When I received some comments from US bloggers on how they wished to have this passed on to them, I had planned to send something through my friend, who was visiting India. But unfortunately couldn't make it in the last moment. So I was very happy when Latha of Masala Magic, started this in US. We are trilled to see the success of this among them!

Thank you everybody for making this one exciting event!

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21 comments :

Nupur said...

Kudos to you and Bharathy! This list was just a lot of fun to read...all the surprises and the delicious dishes that they were turned into.

Pooja said...

it is really a hard work to keep track of all this , kudos to you Barathy ... thanks for letting us know this. And no blogger send the repeated ingredients , thats something really wonderful about Arusuai :) . Unknowingly but still a nice twist to this chain...

Pooja said...

sorry i wrote yo as Bharathy in my comment , i thought it is srivalli then saw nupur's comment and thought i must be mistaken , so wrote to you as barathy :D

bhags said...

the list looks interesting.....seems have missed a lot of action....three cheers to you and bharathy for a wonderful job

bhags said...

The list looks intersting....think have missed a lot of action.....three cheers to you and bharathy

P.S.this is the nth time i have put a comment

Vani said...

What a nice idea that was! So much work in tracking the chain, Sri. I received my (US)Arusuvai packet a few days ago. What a nice way to connect to people. Thank you all!

sunita said...

Sri, you and Bharathy have done such a wonderful job...I have been drooling over your creations and all the fun that you all are having :-)...hmmm, feeling left out a bit :-(...what about something in our part of the world too :-)

kamala said...

Great to see all the participants in the Arusuvai friendship chain and all the enthusiasm of Bharathy and you.

Cham said...

Wonderful job to u and Barathy! The tracked list is awesome...

vegeyum said...

Wow, I am really impressed. Great work, and it will be really interesting to see how the US one has gone.

Siri said...

Great Job Srii.. thats indeed a mega list for Arusuvai..:)

Siri

jayasree said...

Valli, gr8 post on the arusuvai inside story. As usual, u have taken extra efforts to quote the recipe name made by them.

Bharathy said...

I should first thank all our bloggers who have left their wonderful views up here..:)

Srivalli, how abt starting a new project after I am back ;) ;)!

INCREDIBLE post, here! :)

Kalai said...

What an amazing list!! So glad we in the US were able to get in on the fun, too! :)

renuka said...

hats off to you and Bharathy dear,it's a tremondous job well done and amazing that the ingredients were never repeated.Expecting another project after Bharathy gets back

Miri said...

What a lovely effort has gone into compiling the list of the entire chain! Thanks so much to you three and of course everyone who got to participate in making this a wonderful success and bringing us closer!

I am finally sending off my surprise ingredient!!

Rachel said...

good job valli....neat read..

Srivalli said...

Nupur, Thank you so much...it was great doing this..and I know you guys had fun too..and on your part you added so much fun too

Pooja, thank you...yeah it was nice to know in the end on that factor...thats fine

bhags, thanks..this all started bcos of you!..thats bad..not sure why that happened

Vani, thats great..yep I checked yours...

sunita, thank you..it was great..now you girls can start something on the same lines right!

Siri, vegeyum, Cham, kamala, thank you all for your lovely comments

jayasree, its my pleasure..I thought that will sum it up well

Bharathy, you are right...and I am all ready

Kalai, you girls are rocking there too

renuka, thanks for your sweet words...surely will plan

Miri, thank you and the success goes to all participants..thats good to know

Rachel, thank you!

Latha Narasimhan said...

Lovely round up of Arusuvai!! I just read the list in Bharathy's blog! :) Nice effort by both of you to publish the list of bloggers who participated dear!!
I have the address of 2 bloggers from bangalore itself who showed interest in participating. It is really wonderful that Arusuvai has become so popular among food bloggers!! Hope to get back to blogging at the earliest! :)

Spoonfuls of love, added to every recipe !!! said...

You guys are doing a wonderful job ... I juz cant wait to come back to India and join in ... 3 months more to go ...

Sanctified Spaces said...

My god you really are the HUB...i was so right.Great work.Hats off to ur sincerity.

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