Saturday, March 31, 2007

Colorful Pizza




Does anyone need a recipe for a good pizza. Most will say nah~~~. Plus I am not an Italian that people will beg me for a recipe of all the things a PIZZA.

Anyways this blog is a log of my experiments in the kitchen so here I go.

This was the first time I made a pizza from scratch. It tastes wonderful. Earlier to this I used a readymade base that I never liked. I wanted a base like the ones in Pizzerias. I made the dough exactly like the basic bread and rolled it out like a chapati and let it rise for an hour. Then before baking just scored the bread as I did not want a dome. Baked it for 10 mins in a preheated oven. Just to set it a bit so the topping don’t make the bread soggy.



Then topping went in this order

Tomato sauce
Mozzarella cheese yeah I like it below so it forms a bed for the veggies and they roast well.
Next the halved cherry tomatoes
The sliced olives
Baked for 30 mins till the veggies looked nicely baked
Removed from the oven and sprinkled oregano before serving.



Friday, March 30, 2007

Mushroom Cashew Tomato Curry



Mushrooms~~~~ I Love~~~~ them says my little nephew.

He can eat mushrooms at anytime in any form. This is the closest non-veg look alike he can get at my home. Until he was 5 yrs he ate only bland moong dal khichdi. My sis would carry a box of home cooked khichdi when visiting anyone or even restaraunts when Pranav tagged along. Poor thing she carried a huge baby bag for almost 5 years with the whole world in it. So it was a big relief for all of us when he started eating other things too. He announced it to me with a great sense of accomplishment, "Maushi now I eat everything!"

On this day he woke up fussy and was demanding a pizza for breakfast. I had made idlis his other favorite but he refused to eat. Well he did get one but of a different style. You think I can fool a 8 yr old nah they come real smart these days. I made a Tate idli/ Idli in a pan turned it upside down and spread the previous nights Mushroom Cashew Tomato Curry. He was thrilled. Immediately he cut it into bits ate one and held out one for me. Maushi its yummy. "Chew slowly and enjoy the smell, you will be stronger" said the gyani (know aller) with the halo.

Needless to say what my reaction was. I got up and gave him a tight squeeze and a peck which he wiped off immediately even though it wasn't wet.

So here you go

Ingredients

1 cup chopped mushrooms
1 cup quartered tomatoes
1/4 cashew nuts
1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste
2 teaspoons oil
2 cups water
salt to taste

For masala

1 onion
1/2 cup grated dry coconut
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/2 teaspoon chili
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1-2 green chillies
1 cup chopped cilantro

First soak the split cashew nuts in water for atleast an hour and save.

To prepare masala:

Roast the onion on a direct flame. Discard the charred peel and keep the clean roasted pink onion aside.

Heat a kadhai/ wok dry roast the dry grated coconut along with all the powders adding one at a time and frying intermittently except the garam masala. Before removing from heat mix in the green chillies and cilantro.

Grind together with the roasted onion and garam masala. Save.

Now in the same kadhai heat oil. Keep heat high. Fry the ginger garlic paste. Then add in the ground masala and fry till the oil separates. At this point add the mushroom and tomatoes and add the salt. Cook till thick gravy is formed. Then add the cashews along with the water and adjust the thickness with more water to your choice. I used 2 cups water.

This gravy is ideal with rice, any type of rotis, lacy appams and even Tate idli like I did.


Some more Pranav Uvacha:

He demands tea so we color his milk with a little. He gloats, the boy on the TV grew up drinking milk and boost, I grew drinking tea!

I order him to put away his toys, he lines them up near the wall. I am told they are in the garage and not move them.

We go to a restaurant everyone orders veg though He and my sis eat non-veg my sis opts for veg. He wonders why and still orders for Chicken lollipop. Then very maturely tells us its OK I'll give it a miss just for you. Not that it mattered to us. But he wanted to fit in with the adults! Yet he wanted his frooti and sundae. That's a must he informs us.

When Dad returned from Southeast Asia-PAC tour back in the Tsunami days he was the first one to ask if G'pa had any problems there. He said he was following the news and he was just 5 yrs then.

This time he came home with a huge packet of munchies telling me he picked it up for me and that his mom had got sweets too. At dinner I saw the half finished packet and wondered aloud I thought that packet was for me. Sheepishly he said yeah it was for you but I could not stop its really good. I made a deal with a messy pout planted on my cheek.

I mentioned to his G'ma that he is a fibber after which she started teasing him that his Maushi called him names. This half ticket called me up to sort out things and asked me if I called him a fibber and told me that he just wanted me too have a laugh so the doings.

Like all parents snooping on their adult kids Dad asks Pranav do your parents fight. He retorts back Mom and Dad said not to tell anyone but since you asked I am telling you. Mom is katti with Dad right now.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Masala Pav




I spent almost 10 days in Mumbai very recently but when I am here in Blr for long and I just about start becoming homesick I inadvertently navigate to recipes typical of Mumbai. Masala Pav is made mostly at home. Some eateries do sell it but is presented in a different way. This snack is also called Pava-chi bhaaji ie. bhaaji made from pav. Not to mix it with Pav bhaaji. Well what kind of Indian would have not heard of Pav Bhaaji or am I over estimating the the Mumbai pop culture that pervades all India.

Ingredients

1 cup Bread cubes
1 onion chopped lengthwise
2 large tomatoes quartered
1 handful cilantro
1/2 teaspoon pav bhaaji masala (optional)
1/4 teaspoon red chilli powder
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/4 teaspoon coriander powder
1/4 teaspoon jeera powder
2 green chillies chopped fine.
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon oil
1 pinch asofoetida

Heat oil in a wok and fry the onions till pink. In go the chopped chillies and cilantro at this point. Then add all the powders one by one asofoetida, chilli, turmeric, coriander, jeera and stir for a min. The pav bhaaji masala is optional just for the extra taste. When the masala looks nice red due to the frying add the tomatoes. The tomatoes should be cooked on high heat till they melt away into the concoction.

Now this snack is normally made with any type of stale bread, like sliced, brun, mumbai pao. Yet nothing should stop you from using a fresh one. At this point add the cubed bread and mix. To allow masala to coat evenly sprinkle 1/2 cup water on the mix and stir. Do not add the water all at once else the bread will turn soggy. Water is to be used only if bread is hard. Soft fresh bread does not require water to be sprinkled over is.

Enjoy this Mumbai snack. Did you note it is tomatolicious!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Sun Dried Tomatoes


The lovely Sun Dried Tomatoes done on my very own terrace.

With this post I am starting a tomato fest here my inspiration is ofcourse the Jivha for tomatoes hosted by RP. There is so much to do with the healthy tomato. It is indispensible in my cooking and no one will believe this vegetable is not of Indian origin. In the old days tomato was considered taboo. It was called Masal Phal which literally means flesh fruit and was not offered to the Gods as naivedya.

When I am visiting family I like to carry some stuff that I just learnt to make just to surprise them. This time round I dried tomatoes. We depended on one or the other person to get back sundried tomatoes from trips to Europe and used them only for pizza made at home. These bought out ones are black in color. As I was planning to dry my own I decided I wanted the tomatoes to well look like tomatoes. Which meant to retain the color as much as possible. So it meant eliminating salt.

Here is how I went about my first stint with drying tomatoes which was hugely successful.

First read up a lot about drying tomatoes. Only to realize that it was a very simple but prolonged process. Ignorance washed off realized I have been paying a bomb for it at times.

Day 1:

Bought 2 kgs of fresh round tomatoes almost all of the same size. Yes the size has to be same so the drying is even.

Cut each tomato into four pieces. Experience taught me I could have quartered. I was fearing that tomatoes would not hold themselves if the pieces were smaller and that proved baseless.

Arranged the tomatoes in 2 huge aluminium trays.
Put them on the terrace for sun bathing right from 10 am to 6 pm.

Updated on 2nd April 07
After Nandita's response I can say that the tomatoes should not be piled up at any point of time. They have to be arranged in a single layer like in my pictures.

Also never leave out the trays in the open at night as dew or condenstaion may cause fungal growth over the tomatoes.

Day 2, 3, 4 :

Put the trays out in the sun for the same time. Finally I got lovely red colored sundried tomatoes on the fourth day. It could take a couple more days if you don't get too much sun unlike us down south in India.

Incase you like the salted ones just sprinkle generous amounts of salt on the diced tomatoes.





How to use them:

Soak them in minimum amounts of water to soften and then use in breads, savory muffins, pizza or even your regular dal when you are in a mood to give it a twist.

The unsalted ones are better as the water can be used for kneading the doughs. This imparts a slightly red tinge. Whereas if salted the water is usually discarded.

I would be sharing some recipes with sundried tomatoes in the upcoming posts.

Thank you RP and Indira for this event.

Other Recipes where Tomatoes rule:

Monday, March 26, 2007

Mumbai Bangalore Musings

Hi Friends

My colleague played a prank on me on the day I left for Mumbai. I took a screen shot of it and played it on you guys. Some smarties got it, the sweet ones showed concern.Thank you all who enquired about me.


Well I was away with family and though I was reading your comments I was just not able to reply. But I did as soon as I reached Blr. It was a busy and fun filled week.

Here I am sharing some pictures of the two cities I keep shuttling between Amchi Mumbai and Namma Bengaluru. I love them both for different reasons. Blr is my current Karmabhoomi it has helped me be a little more chilled out. The weather is beautiful except for 2 hot months and ofcourse I appreciate it more after returning from the sweltering hot Mumbai. Yet wherever I wander wherever I roam Mumbai will remain my sweet home.


My kitchen in Mumbai is like any other modern Indian kitchen yet I love this utensil stand the most. It is so tacky yet. You also see my faithful Sumeet mixer and Philips OTG. I'm using it for dog's years now.





This is where we have enjoyed our conversations with many interesting people who visit us. Hrushi having his cuppa. The table is a six seater and if fully occupied when I am serving the guest I like to sit and listen to the conversation on the swing near the window in the same room.


This is my neighborhood in blr quite different from the Mumbai one. Its greener and less of vanity. Thats what I like about it.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Scared the hell out of me!


Zoooommmmmm~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Don't think I'll be back soon.

Matar Batate with Kala Masala



Poli bhaaji for lunch is every Mumbaiites choice. Poli is chapati in Marathi and any curry or stir fry ofcourse is bhaaji. Easy mess free and healthy. Even though I'm in Blr now the habit stays. Every morning I make my lunch and carry it with me inspite of the hundreds of options we have on our campus that prides itself in the global feel. I heat up my food in the microwave just before eating at lunch time and enjoy it with a glass of juice of the seasonal fruit. I know it is better to have juice atleast 20 mins before lunch but I have a time crunch so the compromise.

I work across multiple projects and there have been married women working with me who would wake up in the morning and come straight to work. Their day would begin with eating in any of the numerous cafeterias here and through the day they would eat all three or sometimes four meals at work! Though there is a health menu available it is mostly ignored. I consider it an achievement to have converted these women to home cooked food. Some of them have started loving to cook now for the family instead of considering it a chore. There are lesser health complaints from them. Team productivity has shown a marginal rise. They are saving close to Rs.50 per day though a small amount for the well paid women after all it is saving even if one prides to be from the software industry! I smile when they show me their new possessions colorful heat containers they now sport. On the whole I'm happy for them. Now they complain about having to wake up early to cook to which I suggest to catch a nap during the average 1 hr bus ride on the way to work.

Way to go Bhagya, Shilpa, Beula, Madhavi !!!


Priya its good to know you are enjoying new life in SL and the recipes on this blog along with your hubby.

One request girls I'd love to see you comment here. This recipe is for you my friends.

Here is a simple stir fry of the regular aloo mutter (potato n peas) made different with Kala masala made at home last weekend.

Ingredients
1 cup fresh green peas
1 cup potatoes peeled and diced
2 teaspoons oil
few curry leaves
1/2 teaspoon Kala masala
salt to taste

Heat oil in a wok. Add the curry leaves, potatoes and cook covered till soft. Feel the potatoes if done add peas and stir. Then mix the Kala masala, salt and cook covered for 5 mins.

Goes well with roti, chapati or as an accompaniment with Dal n rice.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Cheese Toast with Oregano



One whole loaf of homemade bread some friends and no time to cook. Here is how it goes.

Pull out the bottle of ginger ale. Pour into small glasses so there is equal distribution for all.

Cut up the watermelon that you were wondering about how to finish off. Large chunks drizzled with honey and chat masala.

Slice up the homemade bread sprinkle grated cheese top up with oregano. Lay it out on the grill. Toast them and serve. Done in 15 mins and gone in 5. Don't ask where.

Zip Zap Zoom. A moment ago there was a storm and now its just a strange silence.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Hrushichi Bhaaji

This is a simple stew made on the Hrushi Panchami day thus the name Hrushichi bhaaji.

In Thal on the Hrushi Panchami day women folk confluenced at our home. They would begin by collecting the contributions from each lady. Then they would go to the bazaar to buy the greens and coconut.

On this day they ate grains and greens cultivated by man only these pure foods are called Painu. They do not accept food if a bull was used during cultivation. If you read the story linked here you will know why they also did not see the face of a dog especially a black one. These were the traditions in the old days, the modern day Indian does not follow it anymore.

The women then go to the sea take a dip and do a pooja on the shore while still wet. Then they return to our home for more pooja and feasting on food. On the way they almost close their eyes and tell kids to watch out for a dog so that they do not spot it. Some naughty kids would purposely get a dog in their path. If the women did lay their eyes on the swine then they have to go back to the sea for cleansing and repeat the ritual.

The most memorable Hrushi Panchami was when my cuz Hrushikesh was one year old. In our joint family we the first five are daughters so as was the tradition in those days everyone except my family was worried about not having an heir. In my family we were quite thrilled the way we were. Yet these women folk prayed that my family be blessed with a son since we were the Patils(head) of the village. What coincedence along came the son the next year. So it was celebration time. With lot of Dhols / drums resounding in the sky. My petrified little cousin was seated on a dhol and was paraded in the village. Then the women did aarti for the baby boy. Ladoos were distributed to all. We still tease him about the day. Come to think of it now I do feel the two boys added to our family later kind of balanced it in a lovely way.

Once at our home they would sing songs and cook this simple stew.

Ingredients
2 cups All types of green leafy vegetables more variety the better boiled along with its juices.
handful Fresh Grated coconut
1 tablespoon tamarind juice
2 teaspoon molasses
Combine all the greens and chop. Put them in a huge vessel and heat. You will see the juices releasing from the greens. This stew is to be cooked in just the juices no additional water needed. If you get about 2 cups of the cooked greens add grated coconut, 1 tablespoon tamarind juice and 2 teaspoon molasses. No salt is used for it is a fasting day food. However on any other day you can use salt to taste.
As you see in the picture version I used tomatoes and onions too and skipped coconut.
Due to its no oil simplicity, healthy contents and since it is eaten singly this one goes to my fave Slim N Trim section and as an entry to Nupur's One hot stove for the ABC..event

Friday, March 09, 2007

Bajarichi Bhakari

When there is a craving for good food take a bite of stale bhakari with a consciousness-

Shree Brahmachaitanya Gondavlekar Maharaj

The Bhakari Tutorial
(updated : 12th Mar 06)

Step 1

Boil 1 cup water. Add 1 heaped cup flour to the boiling water, mix well to get the ukad ie boiled flour. This would give you 3 bhakaris of 8 inch each.

I have used Bajara flour here. You could use any other flour like sorghum (Jowar), Finger millet (Ragi or Nanchni), Rice too. It is even good to mix two different flours or even a multigrain bhakari is a good idea.

Anita :) see no cheating done you just need a good ukad. The boiling water brings out the gluten in the flour as this flour is essentially a low gluten one and you cannot get the same effect with cold water. See the ukad in the vessel below.

Step 2

Turn out the dough on the counter and knead for a while to get a nice smooth pliable ball. Divide it into 3 equal parts. Lightly flour the counter and pat the ball with circular motion as you spin it around. The ukad making makes this very easy. If you use cold water the bhakari cracks while shaping and crumbles into pieces while roasting.

Step 3

Lift gently the bhakari and turn it onto the tava heated on high heat and then reduced to medium. The direction of the bhakari should be the same as when you patted it. The side with finger marks face upside and the smooth side down. Sprinkle water and coat it evenly on the surface with circular motion. Now this step is important. Before the wet surface dries up completely lift the bhakari from the tava with a flat ladel and change the sides. In the picture below the surface has gone dry a bit by the time I took the it. The sides have to be changed just before this.

Step 4

Now you see one side roasted here.

Step 5

Once both the sides are roasted change sides. This time to puff up the bhakari. Use a twice folded napkin or oven glove to apply a bit of pressure to puff it up.

Here is the fully puffed up bhakari.

Remove it on a grill for the slightly crunchy type if you like it that way. Else fold it twice and tuck it into a box lined with a napkin if you like it soft. Both taste great depending on ones mood on the day.



It is so frustrating this IE is corrupt it threw me out and all the typed matter is gone. I'll come back to this later but for now I have had enough!

So finally I have updated the post and here I am replying to all your queries:


Yes Archana, Bee stale bhakari taste good too upto 2 days.

Anita in my struggle with the tyre I have switched to bhakari as a choice and eat it regularly with all vegetables. Yes for special menus it could be dry zunka, thecha, pithale, lasanachi chutney, vangyachi rasa bhaaji or greens stir fry like Asha mentioned. Yet as you suggested its a good idea to mix atta with bajari for the novices.

Asha yes Belgaum is famous for the Jolad roti aka bhakari. They even roast it to extra crispness and dry it in the sun for a day and stock up for a month. Their art of roti making is par excelence. They make paper thin ones just like khakara. At the time of serving these rotis are just roasted once like papads on direct flame and served.

Bee Besides the above techniques to for good shelf life what one can do is if the bhakari becomes hard for consumption say after 2 days and one needs a really soft bhakari. All you got to do is pack it in a box and put the box in a pressure cooker and allow one whistle. You have really soft and warm bhakaris again. Though they might not hold shape. Remember bhakari in a dry box and water on the outside in the pressure cooker.

Vee welcome here! Bhakari is now rustic chic. Growing up as a mumbai kid I hated bhakari but now I love it. Its almost a staple at my home. We use Ragi/ Nanchni, Jowar, Rice etc besides this Bajari. Sure go ahead! I will watch out on MBP.

Ushi its myth that its tough try it.

Trupti Urad daal is something I will have to train myself on. It turns me off due to the slime.

HKJ Ho Lonyacha Gola aani mag barech divas upvas! Ha ha ha. After removing from tava further roasting on low flame for few seconds does help puffing it up more. But if not fimiliar with bhakari roasting one needs to watch ones hand else might end up with a nasty burn from the steam that get released due to any tears. I too need to try making ladoos with Stale Bhakari.

Shilpa try with the ukad trust me they puff real good. Make smaller ones first then you can try with a larger size.

Dilipbhai mara ghere jamava aavjo virtual thi pet no bhare :) ;)!

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Bows to my Alma Mater

and the Food Memories of school and the days.

St. Anne's High School
Fort, Mumbai-400001

The temple where I was moulded between the age of 3 to 16 yrs of age. It was a school which gave me more by way of sanskar than both my parents could have given. It was the best decision my parents made for me. It was an expensive school in those days. Most of the students there were from the bureaucratic and rich families only few were from the middle class like me. Girls only.

The school was different because it was led by Mother Colombiere. She inculcated the habit of regular prayers in us. Though it was Our father in Heaven that was said aloud. She encouraged us Non-christian girls to say our own prayer silently. Completely unlike the missionaries on a converting spree. That made us tolerant to all religions.

M La Colombiere

The teaching methods were different more hands on. No one taught us maths on the blackboard yet we had a Maths teacher with a Doctrate ofcourse in maths guiding us. Its a different story that I did not become PhD too like her and the fault it entirely mine ;). Geography meant making models, preparing skits on different cultures, exhibitions, sharing scrap books of our vacations to various places. We loved Mrs. Radhakrishnan for all her ideas. She taught English too. Her class was always fun. History period was synonymous with Ms. Liz Joseph and the mock battles and wars we acted out with wooden rulers for swords. Sometimes we took a chance to hit the girl we hated in those wars and together smashed her later only to include her in our gang. Guffaw. If it was study visits we just crossed the road and went over to the Prince of Wales Museum, Bombay Natural History Society or Lion Gate during the Navy week.



The first things we learnt in school were cleanliness and human values. I remember the entire school going for a deko when the new potty palace was built for us. Our Aiyah and the other helpers took really good care of us. Simon our watchman knew each kid by the name and even their parents. He was one watchdog. His grand daughter studied in our school too.




All right after all that what are my food memories associated with school you will ask. The list is here:




1. Samosa

2. Goldspot

3. Idli chutney

4. Puff pastries

5. Sometimes cakes

6. Simba wafers




This from our canteen:
Samosa and Idli chutney made by an NGO in our backgarden. The Samosa had a nice crisp frill that I would keep for the last bite. Idlis nice and fluffy and the chutney tasted amazing it was always a red one. Tam influences me think.



Puff pastries and cakes came from Yankee Doodles I think. Don't remember.



Golspot because it gave an orange tongue and the inside of the cap had my favorite junglebook cartoons. I was some collector. I had the album, flip cards, mini bottles, free tickets for the movie and everything.



Simba is history now. Their wafers were cruchy tomato flavored.



From outside the school



Campion's icecream:
My school shared the municipal garden with our neighboring ' Campion' a boys school ;). Some of the girls would flirt so we had luch breaks at separate times. Yet if we met during PT periods we would bribe the boys to get us icecream from their canteen as ours didn't sell any. We would sometimes get formal invitations from them for some exhibitions that said "Dear sisters" we knew that addressed the Nuns in our school! and we would happily join them.



Bhaiya's spiced Raw mango slices, berries/ Bore :
This bhaiya amazingly looks the same even now as he looked when we were tiny tots. If we now grown adults pass by his stand and smile at him he knows it has to be an Annite. He slices the Totapuris thinnest I've ever seen outside a biology lab. The bore he gets is the stickiest they are divine pleasure. Bhaiya when was chased by Simon from the front wall found the safest place in the backgarden. We knew all his locations. He would tell us girls don't pick from basket he liked it always well lined up and we liked to mess it.



Imported sweets and chewing gum from the smuggler:
Yes he would sell fruitella, toblers, juicy fruit and what not when in India all that was available was Parle and Cadburys hard sweets and chocolates. He was well watched by Simon so he never managed selling drugs to girls. But we knew his activities. The school would many times hand him over to police but we would find him there on the next day again.



The ocassional pizza, mango lassi, creamfilled doughnut from Dad's office:
When my ever busy and enterprising Dad stole time with his daughter during lunch hours. His office was on the same road so I was lucky. I loved the doughnuts Monginis supplied to their office cafeteria.

St. Annes my Alma Mater bows to you for making me that ordinary woman with the right values and the ability to accept the mistakes that I make.

Happy Women's Day To All You Ladies!


P.S:
Many years ago this ad was aired with a song "She's special women she's my wife!". Hope the married hear it today! The single hear a similar version. I used to love it.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Tikhat Moog Dal

Tikhat Moog Dal and a bit of the sky in the bowl

Moog Dal or the deskinned green lentil has a very subdued taste unless it is spiced up it really tastes like a kid's special. This is a Koli recipe for the spicy dal hence the name Tikhat Moog Dal.


As you know by now that Kolis like their fish a lot. When they don't get that then the vegetable or pulses made are to mock the taste of fish. Here is how they would prepare it.



Ingredients

1 cup moog dal
1 onion
2 potatoes cubed
handful cilantro chopped
1-2 tablespoon oil
2 teaspoon Koli masala
(OR 1 teaspoon garam masala + 1 teaspoon red chili powder)
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder.
2-3 green chillies
3-4 garlic pods
water as required


What they would do is put a the moog dal into a bowl wash it and cover it with just enough water and allow it to soak while the other preparation is on or for 1/2 hr minimum.


Meanwhile they would chop the onions, cilantro, green chillies, potatoes. Then take a aluminium tapela and coat it with wet mud. So that it does not get burn marks when placed on a chool also it cooks food without burning and makes it fluffy.



Then they would pour the oil. The proportion given here is theirs not mine. I would use only 2 teaspoons and compromise on taste. Then smash the garlic and fry it in the hot oil. After that fry one by one onions, potatoes, cilantro, green chillies for a min each. Add the powders, turmeric, koli masala or the substitutes of garam masala and red chili powder. Fry again a bit. Then they'd add the Dal and pour water immediately so it can cook faster. If Dal gets coated with oil it will not cook quickly. Water should be just above the Dal. Keep adding water till dal and potato is nice and fluffy. Adjust more water to get a consistency of your choice. Kolis like it 'Lup - Lupit' meaning just thick so that it can be mixed and creamed with rice when eating and should make a slurpy sound.


Keep a napkin handy you will be sweating and leaking when you are enjoying it.


Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Koli Vesh (Thal Part V)

Koli Vesh or What the Kolis wear.


Here you see my Aaji wearing the navari saree. It is a nine yard long cloth that is draped in this special style called Kashti and the blouse called choli. The piping on the Choli tells the status of the woman whether single or married. That is how the women dress.
The men wear a Rumal or Nangota. It is a huge scarf tied like a G forming a triangle in the front with a shirt on top.

Monday, March 05, 2007

BOO To Yahoo

We have been Yahoo users for more than a decade. It has helped us to build relationships with loved ones across the oceans. We Indians have travelled the world and and settled down all over the globe. Yahoo facilitated close communication for all.


We really feel let down that our loved Yahoo has choosen to lift content and tried to pass if off as their own.


See and Read what Suryagayathri has to say and Inji Penu gal you are the real girl to first voice it!


Yahoo there was a time when we supported you when a bigger giant copied your messenger to the hilt. Yet we knew you were the original then! It is really sad that you are following the same path.


As always we will support only the Original.


BOO Yahoo BOO~~


Go do something really great to show you are better than just being Content lifters!


_________________________________

updated: 6th Mar 07


They came to watch us protest!


Appologise Yahoo thats the least we expect.


Suryagayathri we support you.


Friday, March 02, 2007

Krishnachi Bai

She woke up in the morning to find the bed empty. Her husband might have gone to buy milk and pao she wondered. In her 10 X 10 tiny room in the dingy lanes of Sudam Nagari she had come as new bride some 12 years ago with her husband. This was her sansar that she had nutured lovingly and with dedication like most Indian semi literate women. No aspiration for the self. To be a good wife to her provider was what she was inculcated with all through her chilhood. That is exactly what she was doing.

Parvati began her chores today by cleaning the kitchen table that held her gas stove. She made tea with the previous day's leftover milk. Filled her cup and sat on her bed hugging her knees waiting for him to return while pondering over the conversations with him last night.

She sat there for a hour. It was 8 am and was shaken out of her deep thought by the clanging of the bell from a nearby municipal nursery. He did not return.

She tried to look for him around the gateway of India, at Backbay nowhere to be found. She returned quitely to her home. Neighbors enquired about him. She had no answers.

After a week the money in her possession was exhausted. He earned a paltry salary yet gave most of it to her. It was the end of the month and with no more money left in hand she decided to go to Thal. Her village where she was born and knew she could do small things to support herself there.

She packed her 2 sarees in a cloth bag and went to the Sasoon dock. One of the villagers called out to her, “Come Parvati get on to the boat we are starting for Thal, How come you are alone?” She did not respond for she had no answer.

On the way she pondered. May be he will come looking for her in the village. Nothing unusual had happened the previous night when he had left home. Where could he have gone? She brushed away the sad thought and looked at the horizon as the boat pulled away from the shore.

She saw a dolphin fly into the air and do a somersault. After many days she smiled to herself. Then took out the chivda she had kept deep down in her bag and started feeding the fish happily.

In Thal she opened the door of their hut, they had no relatives so it was left locked when they were in Mumbai. She cleaned the house and kept the dhaan for cooking on the chool, the wood fired stove and went to the neighbors to ask for some curry with a bowl in hand. The neighbors just as poor as her family happily shared it with her and enquired about her husband. There was silence again.

She returned to her hut and found it difficult to swallow the dhaan and curry that she kept mixing endlessly. She picked up the plate and threw it to the dogs who eagerly lapped it up.

She cuddled on the blanket spread on a tattered mat and wept. Never again she decide to climb anyone’s doorstep till her husband came to take her back to their sansar in Mumbai. Days, months, years passed by yet he never came.

Parvati had been married for 12 years but her dream was still unfulfilled of bearing a child. As she lay there she started a fantasy. She remembered being told by a guru, “Bai, (pronounced as Ba-I) you do not have a child in your life. Why don’t you consider Lord Krishna as your child?”

So she did, then on Lord Krishna became her child.

She would begin the day by singing a song to wake her child up from the slumber. She bathed him and patted him dry. Told him to behave and went off to work at the fish drying fields at the other end of the village.

She returned at lunch to play with him and fed him with whatever she cooked for the day. Sometimes it was fish curry and dhaan. Sometimes roti and talela bau (fried fish). Only on thursdays Krishna got a big bowlful of curd that she bought from the curd seller for 2 rupees a cup.

The idol was always near her pillow. It was her Krishna. She talked only to him. She did not respond to neighbors queries about her husband but narrated to people stories of Krishna’s naughtiness.

Parvati then on became Krishna’s Bai in Thal. Yes she was Krishna’s mother.

Folklores and Tales from the Land of Thal

Some true some fictitious. Just enjoy!

Malpua

Soaking in the sugar syrup.


Badam milk soaked divinity

&

This is the fake one


updated : 28th Mar 07


See the difference for yourselves. I made Malpuas for holi and served with badam milk instead of the usual rabdi for a less guilt. Dad approved too! This one is a must try. Here is the recipe.

History:

Untill the whole world became weight watchers Malpua was still the most loved breakfast in large parts of India especially the north.

In Colaba there was a eatery run by a Kamat but no it was not the Udipi type. It served every thing a true Mumbaiite loved in the old days every thing from puri bhaaji, samosa, lassi, malpua, usal pao, khaja, shira, sweet boondi and papadi. The menu must have been really good though I don't remember the tastes. Yet I vividly remember it used to be flocked by Koli men every morning when they returned from the sea. You would find the eatery bustling with the waiter and men fresh after the bath with well oiled hair styled with a puff that sat on the forehead just like their favorite Dev Anand. It was fashionable among them to be at the Kamat to have the morning's breakfast and boasting about their catch of the fishing kind at the sea on the previous night.

As a kid I loved to go there with our staff. They would order, "A chote Malpua for the baby and kadak chai with shira for us." It was fascinating to see the pot bellied cook dipping a lota in the huge kadhai of milk and pouring it from a height as the milk foamed. Nearby he would fry the Malpuas.

One Sunday morning as I woke up and as I was pondering on what to make for breakfast I decided why not Malpua. This blogging things is bringing back so many memories that I almost feel like an old haggard woman narrating to her grandkids about her hay days. We would tease Mom, Dad, Uncles, their friends when they would begin as in our days etc. all kids looking at each other and winking to say there they go. I don't want it to be like that but yet I'm going the same way.

Well I did make them. Did not like what I made. I did not follow any recipe at the time just made from the faint memory of the taste and they tasted like sweet pancakes instead of Malpua. But I did find the real thing when I googled here. Will try it soon.

Meanwhile see my fake Malpuas. I promise to post the pictures of the real thing after I try them out. If they don't taste good will look for another recipe to try. Kamat does not exsist anymore as the dinosaurs age has gone by so can't even go to ask them for the authentic yummy Malpuas they made.

Well Gopi Atya atleast buy me a pudi of shev boondi from Kailash. I'm visiting Mumbai soon and coming to meet you too! Lots of Kisses.

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