Hometown Heroine: Kingdom of Chitradurga

How this Fast Diet Lifestyle works: Eat these meals tomorrow, for a calorie total of less than 600. On another day this week, eat the meals from a different post, another day of eating 600 calories or less. Eat sensibly the other days of the week. That’s it: a simple way to lose weight and be healthier. Welcome to Melanie O’Brien who is now Following.

Obavva’s husband had come home for lunch. His was an important job: he was a watchman on the walls of the Fort of Chitradurga and the kingdom was under threat of attack from Hyder Ali‘s forces. But for now, her husband, Kalanayak deserved a good lunch. Part-way through eating, he asked for some water, so of course she scurried out to the well to get some. The well was near a spot on the wall that had been scouted by Hyder Ali’s men. They had found a hole in the wall — just large enough for a man to crawl through on his belly. So a plan was made: during the lunch hour, when Kalanayak would be at home eating, a select group of fighters would worm their way through a ‘kindi,’ the twisting passage under the wall. Once all were through, they would open the gates for the attacking army. Easy-Peasey! But just as the first man was coming through the hole, he was heard and seen by Obavva. She quickly grasped the situation and also grasped the only thing at hand — a heavy wooden pestle called an ‘onake.’ Obavva smashed the onake onto the invader’s head, killing him. She dragged him a few feet away and went back to the hole to wait for the next man. Thus, one by one, she dispatched each member of the elite squad. Her husband came out, wondering what was taking her so long with his water, and found his wife splattered with blood and surrounded by a pile of dead men. Obavva had saved the Kingdom! In a sad twist of fate, that very day, she died. Was it the exertion? Was it horror over her deeds? Had she been wounded? No one will ever know, but today she is revered as “Onake Obavva,” a warrior against oppression. In Chitradurga today, there is an all-female squad of police called the Obavva Pade charged with reducing crimes against women in their area. Her spirit lives on.

Our flavors today are typical of foods in Western India.

Mumbai Morning:  134 calories 8 g fat 1 g fiber 8 g protein 9.5 g carbs 73 mg Calcium PB GF Nik Sharma remembers an omelette from his childhood which was described in the New York Times. He called it a Bombay Fritatta, but since Bombay is now Mumbai, I changed the name and some porportions. It is yummy.

1 two-oz egg ½ Tbsp red onion, minced ½ clove garlic, minced ¼ tsp canola oil 1/8 tsp garam masala 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes pinch salt 1/8 tsp turmeric ¼ oz feta cheese or paneer 3 oz melon   Optional:  5 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie [88 caloriesOptional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water

Cook onion and garlic in oil until transluscent. Whisk egg and add all ingredients except feta. Spritz a ramekin [for 2 people, Dear Husband prefers to use a 4×6” oval casserole] with oil or non-stick spray and set the toaster oven at 350F. Pour egg mixture into oiled dish and sprinkle with feta. Bake 12-15 minutes. Plate with melon and enjoy your beverage of choice.

Fish Curry:  220 calories 1.6 g fat 8 g fiber 18.5 g protein 31 g carbs 71 mg Calcium   PB GF Based on Craig Claibourne’s “Anything Curry,” this is a meal that our family has enjoyed for years. 

¾ cup Curry Sauce   1½ oz carrot rounds  ¼ c cooked brown rice OR  ¼ cup boiled yellow lentils or one Naan Bread ½ cup cauliflower florets  2½ oz cooked fish   3 Tbsp peas ¼ cup diced tomatoes ¼ cup diced cucumbers

First, boil the brown rice or lentils. HINT: Check the package for cooking time and plan ahead. Boil extra and freeze the remainder for next time you have this meal. Steam or boil the carrots and cauliflower. Dice tomatoes and cucumbers. Warm the sauce, add the fish, peas, cooked carrots and cauliflower. Plate with the rice/lentils/naan and top with tomatoes and cucumber

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