Monday, August 25, 2014

Plantain Sweet with Caramelized Coconut


I feel horrified when I see someone shake a bottle of soft drink before opening it. If it is someone I know, I scream and reach the culprit in great leaps and bounds to rescue the bottle, the way a mother would react when she sees her only child balancing himself on the wall of a 20 feet deep well. I mean, everyone knows that once the gas escapes, all that is left of a soft drink is a sugary syrup that is undrinkable. But in its effervescent state, a sip of it moistens the eyes and a glass of it zaps the fatigue away.  And inspite of every evil thing that the world says about aerated drinks, I can't stand to see it wasted.


I feel an almost similar (but not so strong) emotion when people waste the best part of a birthday cake on the each other’s face. I would have my fingers crossed for the corner piece since that has the maximum cream (or mousse or fudge icing or caramel or whatever goodness people put on their cakes) when someone decides to take it off and smear it on everyone around. What a criminal waste!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Bhindi Masala (Okra Curry)



In India, most women go to bed wondering what to cook for the next day's meals. And it is also their first thought as they wake up, long before the sun looks in through their window. Meals have to be healthy and need to satisfy everyone in the family; be it the husband who needs the food to be tasty but not get in the way of his efforts to attain that six pack goal, or the kids who demand a different thing every nano second, or the mother in law who has made it her life's ambition to find fault with everything you do. I would go as far as saying that women think about meals atleast once every six seconds unlike men who are said to think about eh, um, other stuff during this time frame.

As a woman, I can understand your pain even if I don't experience it myself (my mom experiences it for me) and I feel duty bound to give you options when it comes to cooking. And this bhindi masala is a curry that you are going to be super happy about.





For this curry, you need to fry plenty of onions till they are a crispy brown. The okra need be to fried as well till tender. Grind spices together and saute with tomatoes to make a beautiful, red curry paste that is bursting with flavour. Bring the curry to boil, and there you are! You would never have imagined it was possible to make something so good with okra.

Before you go to the recipe, check out the giveaway on my blog over here.






Saturday, July 12, 2014

Shahi Paneer


 

It's been a long time since I blogged, and I would like to thank my millions of considerate readers for not bothering me with emails and comments inquiring about my well being, though I am sure you were worried to tiny bits. 

Inspite of the long break, I have to start my post on a bitter note. All because of the receptionist at my office who refused to lend me a pen that she was idly twiddling about in her fingers. There I was, with a cheque and a deposit envelope from the nearby ATM and all I wanted was a tiny drop of her ink to write down my account number. But madam wasn't in a mood to share. She looked at me as if I had asked to borrow her husband, declared she had only one precious pen and continued twiddling it about with a smug expression that made me want to throw her across the room.

(Deep Breath)


As I walked back to my cubicle to borrow the elusive pen from my neighbor, shock and shame all over my (rather pretty) face, I couldn't help thinking about Karma, the "whatever you give the world comes back to you" thing. In my case, it's what I didn't give that is the root of all my problems. There I was, on a BMTC, laptop bag and fruits of a mindless shopping routine comfortably placed on my lap and the adjacent seat (didn't I say mindless shopping), when a woman asked if she could borrow my pen to sign her bus pass. But I was too lazy to dig it out of my purse. I looked at her with an expression of deep sorrow, declared I didn't have a pen and turned away quickly before she caught my lie. From that day onwards, I have faced a lot of difficulty in getting a pen or any other writing instrument when I needed one. 






 
I've heard people say Karma gets you for all your good and bad deeds in the next birth. This means that your fortune this birth is based on what you did the last time you were around. But she is giving me instant punishments for my bad deeds in this birth itself. (Yes, Karma is a she! If she had been a he, he would have been too busy watching the Fifa World Cup 2014 to be chasing around people). That, plus the punishments for whatever cruel deeds I may have committed in my last birth, and my shoulders are sagging slightly with whatever burden she dishes out.

But what if we have absolutely no control over what happens to us - in this birth or the next? What if everything is predetermined by a long bearded someone sitting somewhere on the clouds above us? It would mean that I was destined to be refused a pen by the receptionist and it had nothing to do with my act of refusal on the bus which was destiny as well. (It would also be the reason why I don't loose weight. What am I supposed to do if many burgers, fries and pizzas are destined to meet their ends in my mouth?)


 
Either ways, I feel a strong need to please whoever is in charge (Karma/the bearded gentleman) so that I may have better days (if Karma is charge) or the strength to bear whatever is in store (if it all comes down to fate). So I am giving away my copy of  "I Love Curry" by Anjum Anand . Yes, it is a used copy, but I didn't want to overdo things with a brand new book in case anyone got suspicious of my hidden agenda. The book is a delicious collection of 50 curries and 25 accompanying dishes from India. I have tried a few recipes from this book, such as the mutton roganjosh here, and they are a great mix of tastes to suit all kinds of palette.


That's the book one lucky person will get here. To win, 

1) You must have an Indian shipping address
2) Like my FB page here.
3) & leave a commenton this post!

The results will be announced next month!



Meanwhile, I have a delicious Shahi Paneer recipe for you. As the name suggests, this is a royal dish. But for those of you watching your waistline, I have included a few low fat options.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Beautiful Me

IndiBlogger Event: “They say that a picture is worth a thousand words. Can you use words to describe a great picture? Using words alone, write a blog post that describes a mouth-watering, perfect meal and how you can make it more beautiful with Borosil Glassware from myborosil.com.”
 
I don't know when my life began but my first memories are of waking up in a warm, dark and moist place and wondering where I was and more importantly what I was. I was cuddled under a soft cloth and it would have been quite peaceful had it not been for the churning feeling within me which was what seemed to have awakened me. I could feel little bits of air and liquid break into me consistently and before I could decide conclusively whether this was a good thing or bad thing, I realized I was growing. It went on slowly and steadily till I was quite large, perhaps double of what I was to begin with! And that was when it happened, the sound of something opening, a sudden flash of light as the cloth surrounding me was removed and a soft voice asking me if I was ready. Ready for what? The voice pressed a finger into me, informed me I was, slapped me onto a hard and cold surface and started working me up. Surprisingly, I enjoyed how she kept pressing me this way and that for it seemed to make me stronger and stronger. Finally she left me to the uncomfortable gurgling feeling in the dark place and again I felt I was blowing up. I waited for her to be back and for the feel of her fingers on me. I was rewarded for my patience and soon she was dividing me into little balls, brushing a gooey liquid over my smooth surface, sprinkling tiny seeds over me and arranging me neatly on an iron tray. I savored all the attention she gave me but what came next was a total shocker. The voice popped me right into a hot and fuming hell. Yes, that was what it was! I could see red hot pokers beneath me and the heat was literally cooking me inside out. I looked around and realized I was browning all over.  When I could bear it no more, the voice took me out of the hell. I was fuming all over at the way I was treated, ofcourse, but she remarked I looked perfect and I couldn't help but feel a little pleased. 

I looked at myself; yes, I did look nice and golden brown with a lovely sheen all over and I loved the  effect the seeds had on me; classy, not a teeny weeny bit over the top. I felt soft and light and boy, did I smell good! The warmest and coziest smell there could ever be; no wonder the voice seemed to like me (inspite of the hell episode, mind you!). By the time she came back, I had completely cooled down. She picked me up and inhaled my warmth deeply. (What did I tell you?) She seemed satisfied and took me into another room and put me down on a lovely tray, placed a knife beside me with a bit of butter on it. She kept shifting the knife around till she seemed satisfied and started taking pictures of me. Yes, as soon as she clicked her machine, a pic of me appeared on another one! I thought the dark, moody pic of me was the best because it lent me a look of mystery. Though, I must say I was in the brightest of spirits. I felt like a super star! This was just the beginning, I was sure I was going places! Millions were going to see me and shots of me in various angles! Wooho!

Then she sliced me open. Yes, I was a bit disappointed about that, but atleast the cut was neat. She spread some butter and mayonnaise on my insides and that felt soothing. Then, she carefully arranged plump slices of the reddest tomato (only the best for moi, eh?) followed by thin onion slices. She topped that off with a brown, juicy and moist patty and was that a look of desire, maybe lust that I saw in her eyes as looked at the patty? No, it couldn't be. She surely would have realized that I was the strong one here. Did I become mushy or crumble up as she piled on one thing after the other over me. And if she didn't believe in my strength, she wouldn't have dropped a cheese slice, arranged pickles and plopped ketchup all over! She neatly arranged my top half by the side of my bottom half and I was ready. My bottom half, the creamy mayonnaise over that, the tomato and onion slices, the juicy burger, pickles and sauce arranged nicely on the, what was it,  B-O-R-O-S-I-L tray (Not sure what that was, but I am sure that's the best available). She complemented my looks with a batch of hot fries and tall glass (Borosil again) of soft drink by my side, and this time, true desire sparkled in her eyes as she surveyed me. She captured my looks once again in various styles, shifting things around me every now and then, removing a napkin here, adding a fork there, top half on, top half off... It was one hell of a photoshoot and by the end of it, both of us were exhausted. She kept everything away, and finally it was just me and her (and the coke and the fries). She carried me away into another room, switched on a screen that kept flashing pictures and made a lot of noise and settled down with me on her lap. She looked at me and the soft desire I saw earlier was replaced by a look of hunger, pure longing. She pressed me down gently, took me in her soft hands and brought me close to her lips. I quivered slightly with excitement. Closer, closer, her lips were gently parting and..............BLEEEEEP..................................

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Mini Pavlova

This was obviously a recipe meant for Valentine's Day. But then I decided that love should be celebrated all through the year and I should post this a few days late just to remind everyone of the promises made on V Day. I assure you, my being late had nothing to do with being inexplicably lazy.
 

Whether you are in love or not, this is one dessert that you'll enjoy. Mini heart shaped pavlova drizzled with melted dark chocolate and filled with whipped cream, cherry pie filling and chocolate sauce; what's not to like?


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