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Juggling roles and recipes

Praveena talks about the two loves in her life, acting and cooking

SHE IS every bit the modern woman. Juggling roles as an actress, a daughter, homemaker and mother, Praveena, nevertheless, is living life to the full. She is doing what she loves best - acting. Her role in the serial, `Swapnam', on Asianet channel, is nearing the end. But her fans need not despair. Praveena will soon be seen in another serial `Megham'.

With a two-year-old daughter, Gauri, things could have become a bit too hot to handle for her. So, did she ever think of giving up her career? "There are a number of women who give up everything they have achieved to look after their spouse and children. Their world becomes limited to the household. But that's difficult for me. I got fame and money from my art - acting and music. My creativity is not something I can stifle. It has to find expression somehow."

Her husband, Pramod, and in-laws have supported her wholeheartedly. "It was Pramod who urged me to work with Asianet Radio when I was in Dubai," she says.

A stint in films is something Praveena is not actively considering. "I am not what you call a free bird. I have a family and responsibilities that come with it. A few offers have come my way, but I haven't accepted them. But if a role has a lot of potential, I may just give it a try."

Career apart, her hobbies include cooking and music. Praveena says she loves cooking but rarely gets time for it these days. "Moreover, I live with my parents here, and mother takes care of the kitchen," she says, an apologetic look on her face.

But when she joins her husband in Dubai, it's a different story altogether. "I like to see the contented look on Pramod's face after a good meal. He likes north Indian food a lot, but I don't cook it very often. Kerala and Chinese cuisine is what I make for him."

Here are two recipes that Praveena finds delicious:

Drumsticks-onion thoran


Snake gourd
Jackfruit seeds
Coconut (grated)


Cut drumsticks into pieces. Each piece should be cut lengthwise. Snake gourd should be cut into one-inch pieces. These should be quartered. Jackfruit seeds should be cut into four. Take equal quantities of the vegetables and cook these adding a bit of salt. To the grated coconut, add chilli powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder, some curry leaves, small onions and mash the mixture (do not grind in a mixer). Add this mixture to the vegetables being cooked. Stir occasionally. When cooked, take some oil in a pan, and add some mustard seeds. When the seeds splutter, add some curry leaves. Add the tempering to the cooked vegetables. Serve.

Prawn theeyal


Small onions
Coriander seeds
Red chillies
Coconut (grated)
Curry leaves


Dip the small onions in water to remove the skin. Cut the onions into four. Grate the coconut and fry it. To this, add the coriander seeds, dried red chillies and curry leaves. Continue to stir. When the grated coconut turns dark brown, remove from fire and let it cool. Grind this mixture. In a pan, take some small onions and three or four green chillies and lightly sauté them. Clean the prawns. Make sure that they are de-veined. Let it boil for 10-15 minutes. Add the sautéed onions and green chillies and fried coconut paste to the prawns. Add salt and some coconut oil. Take oil in a pan and add mustard seeds. When they start to splutter, add the curry leaves. Add the tempering to the prawns. Serve.


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