Thursday, August 21, 2014
Thursday, May 9, 2013
Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Those days were different when my grandmother had all the patience in the world to warm oil and add some herbs to it and rub it in my hair and give it a hundred strokes. But at that age I really didn't appreciate all that hard work of hers. I wanted to look like one of those girls in the television ads or glossy magazine cover who flaunted silky shiny neatly braided hair ..... not oily sticky hair !! She would soak "Reetha and Amla" overnight and apply it to my hair until one day when it ran into my eyes and created havoc !!
And that saw the end of using home made hair wash. The next era belonged to my mother. Yah she was a crowning glory in the true sense, jet black hair braided neatly ..... It won't be wrong if I call her the "Desi Rapunzel. It's true that my dad had a thing for her long beautiful hair ....Being a working woman she neither had the time nor the inclination for following my grandmother's path. She rather choose the convenient path of walking across the street to the opposite grocery store and buying a bottle of shampoo.That's how I graduated from the home made "Reetha Solution" to a "shampoo".
But this time I instead of picking one bottle of my favorite brand "Dove" I picked three , each for the three generations of beautiful hair. I thought it was time to shower some love for my mom and grand mom who have changed with the times but have become victims of split ends, hair breakage and hair fall. Sometimes it doesn't need much to show how much you love !!
This post is especially for Dove’s “Beautiful Ends to your Beautiful Braids!”contest on Indiblogger.
And Childhood tales are incomplete without those orange candies. So here is a simple recipe of homemade orange candy peels ........
Orange Peels /Naval Oranges - 4
Cane Sugar - 2 cups
Water - 1 Cup
Method of Preparation
1. Take the peel of four naval oranges and cut them into thin strips. Remove the white skin carefully.
2. In a saucepan add some water and get it to a boil. Now reduce the heat and add the orange peels to it and blanch till they turn translucent. Stir occasionally. Remove from heat and put it into an ice bath. Drain the peels and keep it on a kitchen towel.
3. In another vessel stir 1.5 cups of water and sugar and heat. Add the orange peels and cook on medium heat for 20 minutes.
4. Remove and drain excess water. Roll the peels on the remaining sugar. Leave it to dry for about half a day. When dry, store in airtight container.
Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Vinegar - 2 tsp
Chili sauce - 1 tbs
Red chili powder - 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Hot sauce - 2 tbs
Method of Preparation
Marinade the wings in the ingredients listed for at least half an hour or more. Broil in the oven on high heat until cooked and just beginning to char.
In the meantime, prepare the sauce by heating the oil. Add to it the chopped green chilies and minced garlic and stir fry for 30 seconds.
Add all the rest of the ingredients and stir fry for 2-4 minutes until cooked through. You can add up to 1/4 cup of water at this stage if you want a thinner sauce. Add the grilled chicken wings and toss to coat. Garnish with coriander.
Thursday, November 22, 2012
That morning was unusually calm. The marigolds that decked the front door had wilted away. I could still sniff the gun powder in the early morning breeze. The oil from the diyas had left a mark on my expensive floor tiles. The color of the rangoli had bled into each other. The municipality workers were back on the streets sweeping tattered papers and remnants of the crackers. Moti the neighborhood street dog was so much at peace with himself after yesterdays bombastic night. The garlands of electric lights on the opposite balcony swayed gently in the morning breeze.
Although I am not a very traditional person I still love to light up diyas instead of those electric light garlands. Yes I like those earthy rustic ones. Each Diwali when I light those oil lamps, there is a storm of emotions that stir up within me.
Some how Diwali is not quite the same ...... things have changed for the better or for the worse. I just buy enough diyas to deck up the tiny winy balconies of my apartment in this distant city that I call home...... not like hundreds of them that my grandma used to buy every Diwali to light up our ancestral home. I miss washing those diyas in buckets of water and that earthy smell.
The giggles of cousins in the courtyard has faded away with passing years. So have the clanking of the cauldrons that were usually taken out during festive season from the attic for making huge batches of 'boondi ladoos' and namkeens. Now there is no hurry to pack and distribute these goodies to the neighbors.
I simply make a trip to the neighborhood shop to pick up some dry fruit packets. Things are much more convenient than they used to be ...... but still I am not enjoying this easy life. I am missing those cumbersome afternoons when the women of the house would make batches of boondi soaked in sugar syrup and we little girls trying to shape the warm boondies into ladoos with our tiny hands.
I miss making those trips to the neighborhood darzi for getting that simple dress stitched ........ I feel I had rejoiced wearing that simple dress more than the designer ones I own today.
Somehow I felt more of a spectator than a participant in the festival this year.
Yes I did wear festive clothes and I was happy to meet with people but somewhere inside I don't quite get it. May be I am just a little weird !!
Preparation Time - 30 Minutes
Serves - 4
Paneer/ Cottage Cheese cubed - 2 cups
Spinach Leaves shredded - 3 cups
Garlic Minced - 4 tsp
Finely chopped onion - 1/2 cup
Finely Chopped Green Chillies - 2
Garam Masala - 1/2 tsp
Turmeric - 1 big pinch
Clarified butter - 1 tbsp
Salt to taste
Method of Preparation
1. Heat about 1tbsp of clarified butter/ ghee in a kadhai. When the oil gets warm add minced garlic to it. Reduce the flame and stir constantly to make sure that the garlic doesn't get burnt.
2. Now add the chopped onions and green chillies. Add salt and turmeric. Cook till the onions get mushy and have no raw smell.
3. Add in the shredded spinach leaves and mix well. Now add the cubed paneer cubes. Sir intermittently for about 5 minutes.
4. Lastly add garam masala.
Serve with any bread/ flat indian bread. You could also make a sandwich with this filling.
Thursday, August 9, 2012
I folded my jeans quickly and hurriedly closed the car door and ran towards the steps of this store. It was raining cats and dog that Sunday evening. I had waited the entire day for the rains to stop ....... but no ! And it was the final day of sale at one of the clothing outlets. Not sure if a sale means anything to you but for me it does ........ a lot !!. Especially if it is clothes n shoes. Yah I am like every other girl next door who has never enough clothes or shoes.
This one I met was nothing close to Meryl Streep, not even her age. May be in her early thirties. Jeans and a short kurta, kohl laden eyes, bold shade of lip color and silver toe rings is what I could capture in a glance. We women have to agree that we are equally good at scanning the same sex if not better. And I am no exception. She pushed me aside and barged into one of the rooms caring little of the ones waiting outside for their turn, including me. I wished to give her a piece of my mind but sometimes it's better to let go.
So here I was waiting with a pile of clothes at the trial room along with few others. The wait seems exceptionally long when you are on the other side of the trail room.
I was getting impatient with an equally impatient husband. And there were many more tortured faces (read husbands'/ boyfriends') a little far from the women's trial room. It seemed the perfect occasion for the ladies to take revenge. A tired looking sales girl with a fake smile stood outside counting and folding garments. My eyes were glued on the doors of these rooms ........ the bolts would turn from "Occupied" to "Vacant". And at the door would be an anxious lady waiting for a positive remark. Every remark appeared the same irrespective of the person ......... an affirmation. There were only few brave men who would still had the guts to go back n scan women clothing's and again get into the loop of an indefinite wait outside the trail room.
Suddenly the clothes picked by the women next to me started looking prettier than mine ....... happens with me many times. And I would start cursing myself for not having picked that. But would not go pick that even if it is hanging in the hanger next to me. That's called typical "women syndrome".
"Thud" ........ opened one of the doors after a long wait. The sales girl outside counted the garments and handed those over to me. I took my own sweet time checking myself out in every angle possible in all the mirrors ......... I was in no hurry. I was finally inside the trial room !
Frozen puff pastry, thawed - 2 sheets
1 egg yolk whisked with 1 tsp milk for egg wash
Mushroom - 1/2 Pound
Onions - 1 (Medium Size)
Ginger Garlic Paste - 1/2 tsp
Soy Sauce - 1 tsp
Chilli Sauce - 1/2 tsp
Vinegar- 1/2 tsp
Tomato Sauce - 1 tsp
Garam Masala Powder - 1 pinch
Salt per taste
Oil for cooking
1. Clean mushrooms and pat dry. Chop finely. Finely chop onions.
2. Cut pastry sheets into desired shapes after thawing.
3. In a wok add some oil. When hot add finely chopped onions and saute till they get caramalized. Now add the ginger garlic paste till there is now raw smell.
4. Add mushrooms and saute till all the moisture evaporates and mushrooms get cooked.
5. Add salt and garam masala.
6. Add all the sauces and vinegar one by one starting with soy sauce. Stir in. Remove from flame and let it cool.
7.Roll out the pastry to one inch wider on each side. Cut 3 inch circles of the puff pastry. Place a bit of filling in the center. Brush the edges with egg wash and cover with another circle of pastry. Crimp the edges with a fork.
Bake at 400 F for 15-20 minutes until puffed and golden brown. Cool for a few minutes but serve warm. Store in an airtight container. They are yummy cold too :D
Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
I prefer the road side Chaiwala to CCD or Starbucks any day. First because the Chai tastes much better here …… plus it is hassle free. There is no need to add milk and sugar and stir it. Convenient enough for me. Tea to me has to be Chai, Masala Chai or Adrak wali Chai. I still don’t understand the lingo of Green Tea, Decaf Tea and all that. As soon as Chotu handed me my masala chai I dunked a biscuit into it and slurped it noisily without the fear of being judged. Irrespective of the city or the tea stall, there is always a lanky looking Chotu in every stall. Much said about Chai and Chotu ……. I was there at one of the oldest Chai stalls waiting to catch up with a friend of mine…. It was the same small noisy place where the common man pays five rupees for a chai …….. a place where you can shout out to Chotu for another cup or for fetching u a packet of biscuit ……… nothing fancy !
This used to be my favorite hangout spot during college days. A place to unwind and talk about the day and muse about useless things. Now there is a mall across the street. The place looks busier than before. I leaned against my scooter sipping chai while I waited for a friend of mine. I was distracted by an old woman and a kid at the other side of the road. They were like two playful kittens playing with a bundle of clothes, totally ignorant of the crowd around them.
But then this black Audi that vroomed in was good enough to distract me from the playful duo. I checked out the car. Driving an Audi in this part of the country is a big deal I tell ya. Also you dare ignore the lady who stepped out from it ……… she was flawless. Designer Clothes, handbag and six inches stilettos! I smelled Dolce n Gabana too. I believe the other girl who stepped out with her was her domestic help, Maya.
Memshaab would have uttered her name a thousand times in the last five minutes. Maya this …… Maya that , without giving that poor girl a chance to breathe. Certainly she is the most indispensable part of her life ……. which is pretty much understandable. Memsaab will not be able to bear the loads of her shopping and walk in the six inches had Maya not been there. All hells would break loose without her. Not to forget the cranky toddler in the stroller she had brought along who was constantly licking a piece of chocolate and poor Maya wiping his face every time with a fresh piece of paper towel. Well this fiasco went on for a while till Memsaab handed a thousand rupees note to Maya signaling her to take the kid to the play area.
My attention shifted back to the playful duo on the footpath. They were bubbly and playful. My phone beeped. This friend of mine had to drop out in the last moment for some urgent work. I saw the kid running after a Gubbarewala wanting for a balloon …….. like every other kid she longed for one. The Gubbarewala shooed the little girl away. She was scared and disappointed …… tears rolled down her cheeks. I saw her hide behind one of the parked cars staring at the balloons from a distance. I handed the Gubbarewala a five rupee note and asked him to handover a balloon to the kid as I watched from a distance. The duo again burst out into laughter as the balloon fluttered and danced in the air.
I started my scooter, heading homewards and with a lurking thought ……… Can happiness be bought ??
Preparation Time - 15 minutes
Brushetta (can be replaced with any other bread) - Cut into 8 medium slices
Ripe Avocado - 1
Cucumber Sliced - 1 Cup
Red Onions Sliced - 1/2 Cup
Red Cherry Tomatoes cut into halves - A handful
Cilantro - for garnishing
Red Pepper flakes - 1/2 tsp
Olive Oil - 2 tsp
Lime Juice - 1 tsp
Fresh Cracked Pepper
Salt per taste
Method of Preparation
1. Drizzle a generous amount of Olive oil on the sliced bruschetta and sprinkle some pepper on it. Put it inside the over at 350 degrees F for about 10 minutes.
2. In the mean time drizzle 1 tsp of oil on a pan and pan roast the cherry tomatoes till they turn soft and mushy.
3. Scoop out the flesh of Avocado. Give it a rough mash. Add salt, pepper, chili flakes and lime juice and mix well.
4. Once the bruschetta is out of the oven, top it with mashed avocado, slices of cucumber, onion and tomatoes.
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