Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A Tale of Little 'Zing' - Part 1

It is a story of a little girl, say 'Zing' who was born in a small town of eastern India in late '80 s. When her mom was going to the hospital before her delivery, her elder sister told her mom that she wanted a brother to play with, not a sister. When her mom asked if you had a sister then? She blatantly told " I will flush her in our toilet". God was amazed with this statement and gifted the mom a baby girl......'Zing'. Thankfully she was not flushed and was warmly welcomed in the family.
Little Zing was an 'angel' to her mother as she did not cry much to disturb her mom's daily routine, Zing never made her mom run after her for food. Zing was happy with her little pillow and her left thumb (yes.....it was her candy...and she was so much addicted towards the thumb that even at the age of 10 she could not get rid of that habit......and how she came out of it is another story which I will tell you later). Her  elder sister who was just 6 years older than her, became a little responsible as she was learning to do her works on her own.
When Zing turned 5, she showed her love for one food called "chi chi".......it was fish. But poor Zing , her dad was out of the town for his job at that time and mom was too busy handling the house and the two daughters. She could not manage a fish every time. So her mom came up with an idea......she used to fool her with fried brinjal saying that it was "chi chi". God knows whether Zing could catch the bait or not....but after a few years she started disliking fish like hell!!
In Zing's neighborhood there was a family of 5 people... the granny, grandpa and their 3 children all were at the age of 30's. Zing was their favorite toy......whenever she used to go to their house they used to give her one chocolate in her hand. And in the name of Zing, grandpa also used to eat a few chocolates. They were the 'bestest' friends of Zing. Here are few instances of how much they loved Zing: 
When she was very young and could not walk, one day she fell from her bed and she rolled beneath the bed. Unable to come out of that place poor Zing cried loudly and started banging her head against the wooden leg of the bed. Her mom was in the bathroom, so she could not come out and was trying to soothe her from the bathroom just by singing and some consoling words. Soon Zing's cry turned into scream and her granny came running to her house to see whether every thing was alright. Granny knocked the door madly, and then Zing's mom  had to come out of bathroom and they finally saved little Zing. After that on her granny's insistence, Zing's mom used to keep Zing at the granny's house whenever she used to be busy with her work.
On another day her mom was feeding her milk and rice. Zing ,being a naughty girl , kept on running all around their yard. She was running up and down the staircase without listening to her mom...... one of her uncles was present in their house at that time. Suddenly she stumbled and missed a step. She came rolling down the staircase crying all the way. Her uncle rushed quickly to hold her but could not stop her. Here again,  came the granny and her daughter.....they put some sugar on Zing's lips as it was bleeding. Zing was crying badly but soon she calmed down as she got busy in licking her sweet lips..
One thing was for sure that Zing was mastering the art of rolling!!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Review of Mainland China @ Indiranagar, Bangalore

I had always been a fan of Main Land China when I was in Kolkata. And that is why when I came to know that in Bangalore also there is one Main Land China at Indiranagar, I could not help but indulge my taste buds into the Chinese delicacies there. So on a Sunday we went there with 6 of our friends. It was easy to find out the restaurant, as it was just next to the Indiranagar flyover on the right hand side. It would be better if you book a table on weekends, as there might be a possibility that you would have to wait. The sitting arrangement was on the first floor and it was quite cozy ambiance. They served us soft drinks, soups and starters (both veg and non veg). There were so many varieties (chicken,lamb, fish, prawn )that I was tired of taking a note of the names of the dishes. The prawn dishes were too good and also the crab one. I loved the mixed veg as it had baby corn in it.....though in the desert's corner we had a very few options, I did not mind that, as the ice cream and pastry was of my choice. While booking the table my hubby had informed them that it was a celebration for a newly wed couple. Hence they offered us a complimentary cake at the end. The buffet price was INR 525 plus tax per person. But the cuisine really worth that money. I would definitely suggest you to go and pamper your taste buds.

Do check out the review of Main Land China at Church Street.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Methi ( Fenugreek) Chicken

Ingredients :

1. Chicken pieces (medium in size)- 400 gms
2. Onion (paste)-1 small
3. Onion (finely chopped)-1 large
4. Tomato (paste)- 2 medium
5. Green chilly (paste)-2 large
6. Green cardamom- 4 to 5
7. Cinnamon- 3 sticks
8. Garlic (chopped)- 7 to 8 cloves
9. Garam masala- 1/2 tsp
10. Jeera powder- 1 tsp
11. Black pepper powder- 1 tsp
12. Methi (Fenugreek)  powder- 1/2 tsp
13. Mutton masala powder- 1 tsp
14. Salt to taste
15. Sugar- 1 tsp
16. Turmeric powder- 1/2 tsp
17. Coriander powder- 1 tsp
18. Hing (Asafoetida) powder- 1/2 tsp
19. Amul cream- 1/2 cup
20. Curd- 2 tbs
21. Oil
22. Methi leaves (chopped)

Procedure :

First fry the chicken pieces in 1 tbs oil and when oil will separate out from chicken pieces, transfer the whole thing to a pressure cooker and add 2 cups of water to it. Cover the cooker and keep it on flame till one whistle blows. Remove it and let it cool down. Next fry cardamom,cinnamon, garlic, methi leaves and chopped onion until the onion turns translucent. Next add all the masala powder to it and mix well. Cook for 2 minutes. Pour the tomato and green chilly paste and cook till the mixture turns brown in color. Now add curd and stir continuously so that no lump is formed. Next add the chicken pieces and the water from the cooker. Lastly add the cream and stir well. Cook until the oil separates out.

A Girl's Diary..: Fusion Paneer

A Girl's Diary..: Fusion Paneer: "Ingredients : 1. Fresh Paneer (cut into 1 inch pieces)- 200 gms 2. Onion (chopped finely)- 1 small 3. Green chilly ( roughly ground)- 2 4...."

Fusion Paneer

Ingredients :

1. Fresh Paneer (cut into 1 inch pieces)- 200 gms
2. Onion (chopped finely)- 1 small
3. Green chilly ( roughly ground)- 2
4. Tomato (finely paste)- 2 small
5. Garlic (chopped)- 5 to 6 cloves
6. Cinnamon- 2 sticks
7. Black Cardamom- 2 small
8. Salt to taste
9. Sugar- 1/2 tsp
10. Turmeric powder- 1/2 tsp
11. Red chilly powder- 1/2 tsp
12. Amul Cream- 1/2 cup
13. Coriander powder- 1 tsp
14. Mutton masala powder- 1/2 tsp
15. Vinegar- 1 tbs
16. Grated Paneer- 1 tbs
17. Oil
18. Tomato ketchup sauce- 2 tsp
19. Black pepper powder- 1/2 tsp

Procedure :

First heat oil in a deep bottom pan and add cardamom, cinnamon, chopped garlic, onion and fry till the onion turns translucent. Next add tomato paste and the green chilly to it. Cook it for 5 to 7 minutes till the color of the mixture turns brownish red. Now add grated paneer and all the above mentioned masala powder , vinegar and sauce to the mixture except the cream. Add salt also. Cook it for few minutes. Now mix the cream to it and mix it thoroughly. Also add a little water and cover it. After cooking for 10 minutes on a medium flame, add the pieces of Paneer and mix well. Cook for another 4 minutes and remove it.


Friday, November 26, 2010

DTDC courier service

Few years back it was the postal service which people used for sending letters, gifts or any other articles, but now as the time has become dearer to us, we are ready to bear extra expenses to get our work done in time. Hence people like me, who stay away from their families, must know how much we depend on courier services nowadays to send/receive gifts or important articles. 
I have been using DTDC courier service for the past one year though they charge a little extra and the reason behind that is the location I send the couriers to, has only DTDC as service provider.I have no problem with that extra charge only if the couriers reach in time!! Yes I am saying that from my past experiences......First time (on August 3rd,2010)  when I sent a courier I was surprised that the status of my consignment was not getting updated in the DTDC website ( www.dtdc.in)  even after 5 days of sending it. I immediately called up the customer care at Bangalore who told me that they have lost the track record of my consignment and asked me to wait for 24 hours so that they could resolve the matter. Though I was annoyed I had no other option but to keep mum. And after few hours I received a call from DTDC that they have asked the courier boy to deliver the consignment to the address and they did.
Next time (i.e. on October 8th) I did not want to take any chance, so sent the courier well before the date it must reach the place. It showed in the website that the consignment had reached there on 9th,so I was a bit relaxed that time. But it did not get delivered even on 10th. Again  I followed the same procedure......this time the customer care assured me that the courier would be delivered on 10 th only. I even managed to get the number of the branch which had the consignment with it and called them on that day. They apologized for the delay and said it would be done the next morning. This time I thought of registering an official complaint against that particular branch of DTDC. And I did that through filling up the complaint form of DTDC provided in their website. But nothing happened.....after one month I received a mail from some other branch of DTDC giving me a detailed status of my consignment i.e. its date of delivery, address of recipient which I already knew!! That was the only reply I got for the complaint I made!!

Third time it happened just 2 days back, on 24th November. My dad sent me an urgent courier which weighed at around 700 grams. The DTDC branch told him to do it through their Metro Plus category as it was super fast service and the courier would reach the next day or they would return the money. Dad paid INR 450 /- for that service. But again it did not reach on 25th. When my dad inquired about it in the DTDC branch they told him that the consignment was with Bangalore branch but they did not deliver it...but they assured it would get delivered on 26th morning. It did!! But my point is if you are charging for a better service then please provide that or do not cheat public. Lets see now whether they would really keep their promise to return the money or not. But to me DTDC courier service is not worthy enough for the price they charge.

P.S. DTDC has not returned the money as they claim the train got delayed after the flight as if we are responsible for that!!!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Taste of Rampur, Bangalore

It was certainly a windfall for me as my hubby got a leave on Monday, 22nd of November. We searched on Google for a suitable lunch buffet on weekdays and we came across Taste of Rampur @ Koramangala, Bangalore. We had already been there few months back for a dinner and we liked the ambiance at  that time. So we decided to go for it for the weekdays lunch buffet that they were offering at INR 199 plus tax. We booked our table over the phone (080-41467000 given in the website). The restaurant is situated near Forum mall and close to Standard Chartered building. 

We were there 10 to 15 minutes before our time. But as it was a weekday there was no crowd waiting for their turn. We chilled out with a large whiskey and a gin as the buffet took a little more time to get served. The place was cozy, dim lighted and the waiters were very polite and helpful. They served hot kebabs, chaat and variety of salads. there were two types of non-veg (both chicken) kebab and two veg (fried masala cauliflower and corn-potato tikki ) kebabs. Among the salads I liked the boiled potato one but my hubby liked the sweetcorn one. The chaat was awesome and I guess it was a nice surprise for all the spicy-food lovers like my hubby. The main course included jeera rice, chicken biriyani, naan/roti, one chicken dish and one mutton dish. In veg menu there were palak paneer, daal tadka and some sukhi sabzi. And as always I was after green salad (specially cucumber) and plain curd as they are good for their digestive property. In sweet corner we had two options : gajar ka halwa (which according to my hubby was not as good as the one I usually prepare at home) and shahi kheer. Also we had a scoop of Vanilla ice cream. We enjoyed every item of the buffet and the ambiance. The Monday lunch ended on a happy note.

And the most important part of the story is that please carry cash with you as they do not accept any cards!! :(

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Experience @ Vodafone Store,Koramangala

Recently due to some government rules all the mobile phone customers are being asked (by SMS or call) to resubmit their identity documents. The same happened with me also. I got an SMS to do the same for my two Vodafone connections on 11/11/2010. I did not delay it because I did not want any disruption in my connection. So I reached my nearest Vodafone store that is at Koramangala, Bangalore, on 13/11/2010. It was around 12:30 p.m. As I told one Vodafone store representative about my purpose to visit the store, he gave me a token number and asked me to wait for my turn to talk to one of the customer care representatives. My token number was 103 and at that time the token which was been called, was 69!! As it was going to be a long waiting period for me so I went out to do some other work and returned there at around 2 p.m. After half an hour wait, my token was called. As soon as I explained my purpose, the representative asked me to stand in a queue where I would have to submit all the documents. It was the same Vodafone person (who gave me the token) who was giving forms to everyone standing in the queue. He did the same mistake with 2 other people who were asked to wait with their token and then sent directly to that line. I was getting annoyed for that wastage of my time. Then I collected two forms fro him saying that I need forms for my post paid connection. He gave me two of them. In a hurry I filled up them as the queue was getting longer and there was rush. When I submitted the forms and gave my address and ID proof, they took my originals to get them xeroxed. It was another wait of 15 minutes......phew!!

Now after signing the documents I realized that the forms were for prepaid connections!!! I immediately told that to the representative. He asked me to fill up two fresh forms for post paid connections.....to this I got agitated and said it was their fault as they provided me the wrong forms though I mentioned that I need forms for post paid connection. As he could realize their fault, he hurriedly gave me two fresh forms and asked me just to fill up the present address and sign it. He said rest will be done. But I did not want to take any risk and filled all the required boxes in both the forms and attached two photos and signed all the documents. Then while checking my forms another representative asked me to add two lines in the present address as its mentioned in the address proof. To which I showed him that the address he was referring was my bank's address!! It took time for him to get what I was talking about!! After everything was done one person asked me whether I have my mobile with me or not.....to which I said yes. And he promptly asked me to check the SIM card number and write it down in a specific box. Though it was their duty to check their system and find out the SIM number, just due to lethargy they did not. So it is my personal opinion to avoid any hassle please carry your SIM card with you. 

The whole process got over at around 3:30 p.m!! So whenever you go to Vodafone store keep enough time in your hand to go through n number of hurdles. Also it would be better if you carry more than one document as they rejected a few ID proofs saying that they were invalid. For ID they prefer Government issued ID cards ( such as Voter ID , PAN, Passport,  Driving license, Government employee ID card etc etc.) and for address proof  ( bank pass book, letter from the HR of your company, Electricity or telephone bill etc etc.). Also carry 2 passport sized colored photographs with you.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Besan ke Laddoo

Ingredients :

1. Besan (gram flour)- 2 cups
2. Ghee- 3/4 cup
3. Sugar- 1 1/2 cup
4. Cashew- 15
5. Green cardamom- 5 to 6

Procedure :

First grind the sugar, cashew and cardamom in mixer grinder. Next add besan and ghee in a non stick pan and cook it on low flame. Keep on stirring the mixture so that no lump is formed. After 20 to 30 minutes a nice aroma will come out and the mixture will turn a little brown in color. Mix it well and remove it. Now add the sugar and mix it thoroughly. The mixture will turn thick and a little roughness will be there. Cool it for sometime and when you can touch it (remember the mixture should be a little warm otherwise  it will  not take a shape of laddoo), make small round balls like laddoos. And your besan ke laddo is prepared. If you want to decorate it, you can add a little kesar and some ground cashews on top of it.

Prawn stuffed Parval (Chingri-Potoler Dolma)


1. Parval- 5 to 6
2. Prawn (small and peeled)- 100 gm
3. Onion (paste)- 1 large
4. Tomato (paste)-1 1/2
5. Sugar- 2 1/2 tsp
6. Green chill (chopped thinly)-1
7. Salt to taste
8. Turmeric powder- 1/2 tsp
9. Jeera seed- 1 tsp
10. Cinnamon- 2 sticks
11. Clove-2 to 3 
12. Jeera powder-1 tsp
13. Garlic (chopped thinly)- 4 cloves
14. Ginger paste-1 tsp
15. Chilly powde-1/2 tsp
16. Mutton masala powder-1/2 tsp
17. Lemon juice- 2 tsp
18. Coriander powder-1 tsp
19. Oil
20. String
21. Bay leaf- 1

Procedure :

Peel the skin of the Parval and make a vertical slit along the length of it. Now slowly scoop out the seeded portion of the parval and keep them aside. Marinate the scooped parval with little turmeric powder and salt. Next wash the prawns and marinate them in turmeric and salt. Heat oil and fry the parvals. Remove them as soon as they turn a little brown. Fry the prawns also for 3 to 4 minutes and remove. Now add garlic, chilly, cinnamon and cloves and fry for 2 minutes. Add the prawns and 1 tsp sugar and salt to taste and cook for few minutes. Cool the mixture for half an hour. Now stuff the parvals with this mixture and tie them with string. Heat oil and add bay leaf, ginger, onion and tomato paste, sugar, salt and all the other powder masala to it and mix well. Add a little water and cook it till the gravy dries  up. Add the tied parvals to it and cook for 4 minutes. While serving remove the strings slowly.


Monday, November 15, 2010

Fish in Banana Leaf (Bhetki Paturi)

Ingredients :

1. Slices of fish (Bhetki/Hilsa/Seer)- 4 to 5
2. Mustard powder- 6 to 7 tbs
3. Sugar- 2 1/2 tsp
4. Salt to taste
5. Black pepper powder- 1 1/2 tsp
6. Jeera powder- 1 tbs
7. Red chilly powder-1/2 tsp
8. Turmeric powder-1/4 tsp
9. Coriander powder-1 tsp
10. Ajwain- 1/2 tsp
11. Hing powder-1/2 tsp
12. Onion- 1 large
13. Green chilly- 2
14. Mustard oil
15. Banana leaf
16. String

Procedure :

Grind the onion and green chillies roughly. Next mix all the above mentioned masala powder  in a bowl and add a little water and keep it aside for 15 minutes so that the mustard paste does not taste bitter. Now cover one side of the fish piece with the onion- chilly paste and on top of it the mustard paste and place it on a banana leaf (cut according to the size of the fish pieces). Cover the top side of the fish piece with onion and mustard paste and add a little mustard oil to it. Pack the fish with the banana leaf from all side and tie it with the string. Do it with all the other pieces and keep the fish like this for 30 minutes. Next heat 3 to 4 tbs of oil in a flat surface pan and when it is smoking hot, add the fish (covered with a banana leaf) pieces. Fry each side until it turns out to be brown. You can also keep these banana covered fishes in a cooker to get a steamed fish paturi.



Sweet Curd (Mishti Doi)

Ingredients :

1. Skimmed milk- 500 ml
2. Sugar- 5 tbs
3. Water
4. Earthen pot
5. Curd- 1 tbs

Procedure :

Heat the milk and 2 tbs of sugar in a deep bottom pan in a low flame. Keep on stirring it. Heat it till the milk reduces to half and turn a little brown. Next add a little water to the rest of the sugar and heat it until the mixture turns light brown in color. Now add this sugar syrup to the milk and boil it for 10 to 15 minutes more. Remove it from the pan and let it cool down. When the milk becomes lukewarm pour it  through a  sieve  (to remove the malai from the milk) into the earthen pot and add curd to it. Set aside the mixture in a casserole so that it will remain in a constant temperature and do not shake it  for a day and your sweet curd is ready.

P.S one can also use condensed milk (milkmaid) for this recipe.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Soya-Subz Pulao

Ingredients :

1. Long grain rice (soaked in water for 30 minutes)- 1 1/2 cup
2. Jeera- 1 tsp
3. Mustard seeds- 1/2 tsp
4. Curry leaf- 10
5. Cashew (broken)- 10
6. Capsicum (long and thinly sliced)- 1/2 cup
7. Onion (finely chopped)- 1 small
8. Tomato (finely chopped)- 1 small
9. Peas- 1/2 cup
10. Soya or Nutrela ( soaked in warm water for 30 minutes)- 1 cup
11. Vinegar- 2 tsp
12. Jeera powder-1 tsp
13. Black pepper powder- 1 tsp
14. Mutton masala powder- 1 tsp
15. Ghee- 1 tsp
16. Oil
17. Salt to taste
18. Lemon juice- 1 tsp

Procedure :

First fry cashew and curry leaves in oil for 2 to 3 minutes, when cashews turn a little brown remove them. Next add onion and fry it until it turns translucent. Now remove onions and fry capsicum, peas for 6 to 7 minutes and remove them. Squeeze the soaked soya and add to the pan. Also add the tomatoes, all the masala powder,salt and vinegar to it. Now cook it for 10 minutes until it gets dry. Next drain the water from the rice and add 3 cups of water and lemon juice to it and cook it. Add 1/2 teaspoon of oil to it. Mean while Heat a little oil and add jeera and mustard seeds to it. Let it splutter and  keep them aside. When the rice will be almost done ( a little hardness will be there) remove it from the gas. Drain the water from the rice and keep it under running cold water in a sieve. Next in a deep bottom pan add one layer of rice and one layer of the fried vegetables, soya. Then again a layer of rice and the vegetables. Now heat the pan in a low flame and mix the rice and vegetables softly. After 4 to 5 minutes remove the pan from the gas and add ghee to it, mix well. Decorate the pulao with fried cashew, jeera, mustard seeds and curry leaves.

Crispy Chicken Cutlet

Ingredients :

1. Chicken ( boiled and shredded)- 400 gms
2. Bread (wet in water and crushed) - 3 slices
3. Onion(chopped finely)- 2 medium size
4. Garlic (chopped)- 6 to 7 cloves
5. Ginger (finely chopped)- 1 inch size
6. Green chilly (chopped)- 2
7. Coriander powder- 1 1/2  tsp
8. Chilly powder- 1/2 tsp
9. Jeera powder- 1 tsp
10. Mutton masala powder- 1/2 tsp
11. Vinegar- 1 1/2 tsp
12. Salt to taste
13. Turmeric powder- 1/2 tsp
14. Black pepper powder- 2 tsp
15. Garam masala- 1/2 tsp
16. Bread crumbs
17. Egg (beaten)-3
18. Maida flour- 1 cup
19. Oil

Procedure :

Heat 2 tbs of oil in a kadhai and add onions, ginger, garlic and chilly. Fry until the onion becomes translucent in color. Next add the chicken and all the masala powder, salt and vinegar and mix well. Now squeeze the excess water from the crushed bread and mix it well with the chicken mixture. Cook it for 5 minutes and remove the kadhai when the mixture will turn sticky. Now keep it in refrigerator for 1 hour. Mean while keep maida, beaten egg and bread crumbs in three separate bowls in the respective order. Heat oil in a deep bottom kadhai for frying the cutlets. After an hour take the mixture out and make medium or small size balls and press them between your palms. Dip them into maida first then egg and lastly in the bread crumbs. Make sure the cutlets are fully covered with bread crumbs from all side. When the oil is smoking hot, add the cutlets one by one to it and fry. Remove them when the cutlets turn golden brown. Keep them on a paper napkin to soak excess oil. Serve hot with Tomato ketchup. 

Masala Paratha

Ingredients :

1. Wheat flour- 3 cups
2. Water
3. Oil
4. Ajwain- 3 tbs
5. Jeera- 2 to 3 tbs
6. Kasuri methi leaf
7. Salt to taste
8. Jeera powder- 2 tbs
9. Chat masala- 2 tbs
10. Black pepper powder- 1/2 tbs

Procedure :

First of all heat a frying pan and add jeera, ajwain to it. When they will start crackling and a nice aroma will come out, remove it from the gas. Now with the flour add salt and 3 to 4 tbs oil and mix it well. Next add the jeera, ajwain, all the masala powders and kasuri methi leaves and keep on adding water slowly to make a soft dough. Now divide the dough into small ping pong size balls and make parathas from them and fry it on tawa with rest of the oil. For a better result fry parathas in low flame and keep pressing the paratha so that it becomes crispy. You can serve hot masaledar paratha with normal curd and pickle.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Butter paneer masala (yellow curry)

Ingredients :

1. Paneer (cut into cubes of 1 inch size) - 200 gms
2. Onion (paste)- 2 medium size
3. Tomato (paste) - 1 large
4. Cashew nuts (paste) - 10 to 15
5. Green chilly(paste)- 2
6. Grated paneer- 1 cup
7. Turmeric powder- 1/2 tsp
8. Salt to taste
9. Coriander powder- 1 tsp
10. Ginger-1 inch stick cut into small pieces
11. Garlic- 5 large cloves cut into small pieces
12. Cinnamon (green)- 2 to 3
13. Clove- 3
14. Curd- 3 tsp
15. Jeera-1 tsp
16. Garam masala- 1 tsp
17. Sugar- 1 tsp
18. Oil- 3 tsp
19. Butter- 1 tsp
20. Coriander leaf

Procedure :

First heat the oil in a deep bottom pan and fry the paneer cubes until they turn golden brown in color. Remove them and add jeera to the oil. When the jeera will start spluttering add the ginger, garlic, cinnamon and clove pieces and fry for 2 mins. Now add all the pastes and cover it for few minutes so that the paste becomes thick. Add all the masala powder (except garam masala) and stir it. Add curd and grated paneer and a little water and cook it for 4 to 5 minutes. Now add the fried paneer pieces to it and mix it well, let the gravy becomes thick then add butter and garam masala and remove it from the gas. Decorate the dish with chopped coriander leaf.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Chatpati Tamarind chutney

Ingredients :

1. Tamarind pulp- 100 gms
2. Jeera- 1 tsp
3. Salt to taste
4. Sugar- 2 to 3 tsp
5. Fennel seeds (Saunf)- 1 pinch
6. Oil- 1 tsp
7. Water
8. Chat masala- 1 pinch

Procedure :

Heat oil in a pan and add jeera. When jeera will start crackling add salt to it. Now add the tamarind pulp and some water and mix well. Add water whenever the mixture gets dry. Add sugar to it and mix thoroughly. You have to stir the mixture constantly so that it does not stick to the pan and at the end add the saunf and chat masala into it. After certain time when the mixture will become thick and dark brown in color, remove it and keep it in refrigerator.

Microwave your Samosa !!

Ingredients :

For dough :

1. Wheat flour - 2 cup
2. Water
3. Ajwain - 1 tbs
4. Salt to taste

Procedure :

Mix all the above ingredients except water and mix it thoroughly. Now add little amount of water gradually and make a stiff dough. Keep it covered with a wet cloth for 10 minutes.

Ingredients :

For stuffing :

1. Potato (cut into small 1/2 inches pieces) - 2 medium size
2. Peas - 1/2 cup
3. Salt to taste
4. Oil - 1 tbs
5. Jeera - 1 tbs
6. Jeera powder- 2 tbs
7. Dry mango powder- 2 tbs
8. Green chilly cut into small pieces
9. Coriander (Dhania) powder- 1 tbs
10. Hing powder- 1/2 tsp

Procedure : 

First heat the oil in a pan and add jeera into it. When there would be a crackling sound of the jeeras, add green chilly, peas and potato and fry it for 2 -3 minutes.Now add all the masala powders and mix it well. Next add a little water so that the potatoes get cooked ( if you do not want to spend more time to cook the potatoes, you can boil them in a cooker with one whistle and then add to the mixture).When done remove it from the gas and let it cool down.Next take the dough and make elongated size rotis and cut the roti into two equal halves. Take one half and fold it like a cone and press the side of the cone so that it sticks (you  can also use few drops of  water to stick it). Now stuff the cone with the mixture and stick its ends in a samosa shape. Keep the samosas in a baking tray and bake in preheated oven (180 degree C)for 20 to 25 minutes turning them every 5 minutes. It will gradually turn out brown in color. Now serve them with Sauce and tamarind chutney.

Diwali...My way

Hello everyone, I hope you all had a blast today. Wish you all a very happy and prosperous Diwali. Before I go ahead with how I celebrated my Diwali this year, I would like to tell you more about the festival, Diwali.
In Sanskrit Diwali means a row of lamps. The traditional way of celebrating Diwali is to light diyas in rows in your house everywhere. It is told that by lighting each corner of the house we actually get rid of the bad power of darkness and welcome the positive side in us. Goddess Laxmi is being worshiped on this day in most of the places. But in Bengal people worship goddess Kali on this occasion.

On this day we make rangoli at the entrance  of our house with lots of colors and some people draw laxmi footprints with the help of rice flour to welcome Laxmiji. We celebrate this occasion with sweets, foods, crackers and lots of love and wishes for our near ones. Also buying gold and silver is also an important part of this puja.

Today I tried to follow the tradition of Diwali as much as possible and made a rangoli with the help of color and flower as you can see in the pictures. Also I lighted lamps (diyas or deepaks) inside and outside my house.
There's my house at the third floor lightened with diyas. Apart from these we had performed a small puja for Laxmiji. And we celebrated this auspicious day in a vegetarian way. The menu included soya-subz pulao, butter paneer, chilly babycorn, mixed raita and besan ke laddoo. All these recipes you will find in my blog posts.

In the evening, at around 7:30 p.m. we went down to our apartment premises, where all the families of other flats had gathered with their collection of crackers. We had a great fun bursting those crackers. Though I was always afraid of them, this year I gathered courage and burst few of them like charki, pencil, fuljhari and anaar. There were people bursting rockets also. The whole premise was full of smoke, noise and colorful lights. As the time passed by, it  started getting cold outside so we came back to our flat.

Since, Diwali is meant for celebrating with your close ones, we called our relatives and parents to take their blessings and wish them happiness and prosperity. Thus our Diwali ended on a happy note.

It was a nice Diwali for us. Hope you all had a safe and cheerful Diwali.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Fried Masala Fish

Ingredients :

1. Full size fish (pomphret/ pink fish) with 2 to 3 slits at both the sides
2. Ajwain powder- 1 tsp
3. Black pepper- 1 tsp 
4. Jeera powder- 1 and 1/2 tsp
5. Salt to taste              
6. Lemon juice- 2 to 3 tsp
7. Vinegar- 2 tsp
8. Garlic and ginger paste- 2 tsp
9. Oil to fry the fish  

Procedure :

First mix all the ingredients in a large bowl and make a thick mixture.
Next add the fish to the mixture and spread it all over the fish, 
specially spread the mixture inside the slits made at both sides of the fish.
Marinate the fish for an hour and keep it in refrigerator.Then heat oil in a 
flat surface fry pan.When the oil is smoking hot, add the fish 
slowly.Now cook it on low flame. Add oil as required and turn the fish 
after 10 to 15 minutes. Keep on doing this until the fish turns brown 
in color. Now cool it and serve with french fries or salad.

Valentine's Day in Houseboat : at Alleppey

This year's Valentines day was a quite different day for me. This time I and my hubby spent the entire day together at a houseboat in Alleppey's back water. As it was the month of February and Alleppey was at sea level, so we could feel the heat ( be careful about the heat waves of Alleppey, it is better to carry lots of sun protective cream with you and keep yourself hydrated). Till the time we reached our pre-booked houseboat ( try to book the houseboat at least a fortnight ago so that you can get a better one), I felt as if I had been grilled in a microwave!! But Kerala being God's own country, saved us miraculously from the heat as soon as we entered our houseboat, Kingfisher II. It was a thatched boat with two private rooms, one common dinning space with TV set and music system ( you can bring your own CDs/DVDs) . Though it was a non-ac boat, it was cool enough inside. We were happy with the cleanliness of it.
The houseboat
After getting refreshed we were served our lunch as it was almost afternoon time. The menu had a nice combination of vegetarian and non-vegetarian foods, which included rice, sambar, few vegetable side dishes and fried fish. The food was tasty and specially the fish, as it was a fresh one. After finishing our lunch our boat started its journey. As it sailed trough the narrow canal we could see at least 20 houseboats, some were much bigger than ours, floating all around. Our boat moved along the banks of the back water first and then in deep water. People in the passer by boats were  waving at us and we reciprocated to them in the same manner and it felt like a big family was sailing in different boats.
After an hour we stopped at a local market where our caretaker bought few things for the dinner and mineral water bottles. We also got down from the boat and roamed around the market which hardly consisted of 10 shops. After half an hour we left the place and moved towards a small island where we halted for the rest of the night. There were 4 more boats which halted along the same island. Few local villagers were calling the passengers for a ride in their small boats which could accommodate only two people.
In the evening there were only sounds of water and the TV. The only thing I hated about the boat was the mosquitoes :( .There was no mosquito repellent !! While listening to the music we kept on talking about the whole day's experience. And when dinner was served on the table we realized how much hungry we were feeling. The menu was more or less same, only fish was replaced by chicken. After dinner we had a night walk and then we went to sleep. The next day we woke up early at 5:00 a.m. as we wanted to capture the sunrise moment and what we saw was a delight to watch...the golden rays of the sun were mingling with the water. After 7:00 a.m we sailed again towards our destination. We crossed several houses, small boats carrying school-going children, markets, some beautiful resorts etc etc. I saw many small kids learning how to swim with a rubber tube. As we came close to the bank from where we started our voyage, we had our breakfast with Idly, sambar and banana. Then we packed our bags and bid adieu to our houseboat. When we were walking towards our car we could see that new passengers were getting into the houseboat just like we did a day before. We felt sad....as something which was very close to our heart and which was ours few hours ago was going into someone else's hand (yes we got so attached with the houseboat). But this is the truth of  life---the show must go on.

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