Sunday, August 31, 2008

Young Brinjals and Peas Gravy

After a long time I was at a grocery chain in the center of the city and I just freaked out on the stock up. I picked up so many vegetables, grains, beans that are many times not stocked by my neighborhood store nor does the one at work stock them much.

I found some lovely looking young green brinjals that are ideal for stuffing, I just had to pick them up though Dad had told me that he had already bought other variety of brinjals.

I think my Dad too had spent a good time at the nearby street market as he too had bought so many cauliflower, cabbage, juicy tomatoes etc. The Peas looked to fresh. As I was planning our lunch today I remembered having eaten this gravy at Aruna Kaki's mother's place. I had loved it a lot except that it had a 1/4 inch layer of oil over it. There was no way I was going to use that much oil but then Kaki's mother is a 70 yrs old who cooks the old way and once in a while I enjoy that kind of food.

So here is the original recipe and my low fat changes.

Ingredients

10 young brinjals
1 cup fresh peas
2 big onion pureed
1 teaspoon garam masala
2 green chilies slit
1 inch marble of tamarind, soaked in hot water and extracted
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon mustard
4 tablespoon oil (I used half)


First wash the brinjal and slit them as you would do for stuffing. The slit going 3/4 the way upto the calyx. Keep the stems on.

Next heat half the oil in a wok or handi. Then fry the brinjals in it to coat with oil and soften a bit by cooking for 10mins covered. Remove and keep them on a plate.

In the same vessel make the tadka with mustard and cumin, then add the green chilies. To this add the onion puree fry til almost dry. Add all the masala powders one by one with intermittent stiring. Then add the softened brinjals and the fresh peas to the masala. and give it a stir. Add water to cover the brinjals so they cook to real soft state. Keep the heat on sim and let it cook slowly. I cooked almost for 30 mins, check in between if it needs more water. Keep the gravy thickness to your liking just about to hold the brinjals and the peas in it. It should not be too thin. To check if brinjals are done press near the stems. It should be nice and soft. At this point only after we confirm that the veggies are cooked add the tamarind extract and salt. Adjust a bit of water if required and boil on high for 3-4 mins.


Serve hot with phulkas or millet rotis. This one is absolutely lipsmacking.




Wednesday, August 27, 2008

" I AM AN OPTIMIST ! "



I read Nimmy's Blogiloquy and just thought of the need to set it on a roll.

I am not going to rant but enough to say that some situation is draining my energies. Everyone who knows me knows that I am one hell of an optimist!

So I am joining Nimmy, screaming my lungs out :


" I AM AN OPTIMIST ! "


If you too are an optimist say it on your blog and link back.

Here we come....
THE PESSIMIST BUSTERS~~~~~

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Onion and Beans Bhaaji




This bhaaji is yummy on its own with any type of roti. As a filling it is absolutely easy to handle and versatile. Why you ask? As it has the dryness ideal for stuffing.

The oven fresh Bhaaji stuffed Danish Braid Pastry I made on Sunday tasted awesome and so this independent post of the Onion and Beans Bhaaji ~~~

Ingredients

2 big onions chopped fine
2 cups fine chopped beans
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1 teaspoon red chili powder
2 cloves garlic chopped fine
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1 tablespoon oil
salt to taste

Heat oil in a wok. Add the onions fry till pink. Then add the beans stir, follow in with garlic. Stir for two mins. Then add the red chili powder, coriander powder and turmeric. Keep stirring add the salt and cook for another 15 mins till completely dry. This bhaaji tastes best when cooled completely.

Just struck me! It would make a great Panini too!

Or roll it up in chapati.


Monday, August 25, 2008

Fast Forward Danish Braid

and a savory version with Onion and beans bhaaji.


I saw Danish braid pastry here and was surprised at the inhibitions she has shed about baking. Kudos to you Shilpa!

I made two, one with the standard apple filling and the other with onion and beans bhaaji.

This is a Fast Forward version of the original recipe with some changes I made. Since this baking was done on a Sunday evening for dinner I did not want it to be too buttery an neither did I want it to be kept for proofing for 5 hrs and the refrigeration eliminated all together. I don't see the need for it as this is not phyllo dough that needs to be flaky after baking. This is just laminated yeasted dough.

Changes

1. Oil instead of butter
2. Eliminated Egg wash. Infact no wash required at all.
3. Proofed for 1 hr for first rise. Then filled the pastry with apple stuffing and bhaaji. Braided both and then allowed it to puff up for another 1 hr.
4. Substituted orange zest with Instant orange drink powder, I used new Rasna which is like Tang.
5. Used Rasna orange juice.
6. Omitted cinnamon in the apple filling and allowed the natural flavors of apple to dominate.
7. Used Onion and beans bhaaji for a savory version. This is the one we loved more than the sweet one. This bhaaji recipe will be posted separately as it is truly tasty and versatile on its own with chapati or as stuffing for veg pies, savory tartlets or puff pastries besides Danish Braid.



Sunday, August 24, 2008

Fluffy Dosa Set

Set dosa with chutney pudi, coconut chutney and Tomato Tamarind Relish

In 2001, I was in Blr to attend Sapient College when I discovered the Fluffy Set Dosa. These are designed for a Sunday brunch as they are too much for a work day breakfast plus who will make three dips/ accompaniments to go with it during a hectic week. Actually today too I made just one chutney and the other 2 are stocked. Lazy me.

Here Set dosa as it is know is a dosa made of fermented rice flour and udid dal batter or with soaked rice like Sailu made. Set dosa gets its name from the fact that it is served as a set of three small plump n fluffy dosas actually it should be called dosa set but this is again Indian English rather South Indian English. So Set Dosa it is.

In Bangalore Set Dosa is served with sagu and chutney like Sailu does. In Mumbai I found it served with coconut chutney, red chutney and coconut jaggery sweet (Chauri used here). In Chennai it was set dosas made like cocktail pizzas with every kind of topping you can imagine of various colored chutneys along with masala potato bhaaji and even the far fetched cheese and onion. The Chennai platter was a visual treat for sure and should be a hit at any party.

Yet inspite of the colorful arrays what you remember most is the fluffiness and the spongy texture of the dosas.

Here is my recipe for Set Dosas the base of the dish.

Ingredients

1/4 cup split and deskined black lentils/ udid dal
1 cup rice flour
salt

Wash and soak the udid dal for two hours. Grind to smooth paste. Mix in the rice flour and water and make batter slightly thicker than regular dosa batter. This is because the overnight fermenting will release CO2 and water that will further liquefy the batter.

In the morning before making dosas thin it further if required. Add salt and mix well.

Heat a non stick dosa griddle and pour one laddle of batter at a time and make small thick dosas. These dosas are thick and so need to be cooked on both the sides unlike the thin crispy ones.

Serve in sets of three or if you make cocktail ones sets of ten to twelve in a single platter should look good.



Saturday, August 23, 2008

Vada Sambar not Medu


Growing up in Mumbai and being exposed to a multitude of food influence one forgets the traditional stuff and the origins of some. My family woke up to an English or Irani breakfast. The lunch was Koli or Gujarati influenced. The evening tea was a true colors of Mumbai anything ranging from bhel to sandwiches to South Indian. Weekend breakfast most times was South Indian to be exact idli or uttampams, the art of medu vada making or for that matter crispy dosa was not yet mastered by my mother. So for our occasional indulgences it would be medu vada with chutney wrapped in a banana leaf or what we call harachi pane (leaves used to wrap garlands, don't know what they are called) from the nearby Lalit in Fort that most times Uncle M would get for us.

I think Lalit was the first truly South Indian restaurant that I visited. I love the Medu Vada sambar there. I still remember it because that was my initiation to the taste of South Indian food. Hey but isn't this post supposed to be about the ubiquitous Batata Vada that is brand Mumbai and Maharashtra?

Well I had to give you the background as we explore the origins of a different type of Vada Sambar not the Medu vada kind. Humm so for me Vada sambar meant nothing but Medu Vada Sambar. As I grew a little older and my parents started allowing me to eat at hotels when we travelled on our yearly pilgrimages I discovered that Vada sambar in the remote villages of Maharashtra and border regions of Karnataka was not Medu Vada Sambar at all.

It happened on one such visits to the pilgrim centers I don't quite remember which one it could be Pandharpur, GaNagapur or may be Akkalkot. I ordered for Vada Sambar and I started crying when I saw Batata Vadas sitting in a green peas curry (Hirvya VataNyachi usal). My parents consoled me that here in the villages people do not know how to make medu vada so they make Batata Vada and serve with the really spicy usal or toor dal sambar. Later I got used to it. Now though it is not my favorite combo for nostalgia sake I made it today.

It makes me wonder how food evolves. Is that how the Batata Vada Sambar was created? Or was it an original dish. If you see the history of food Sambar is a South Indian curry made with dal and coconut masala variations all over the four states of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu but never in Maharashtra.

The Batata Vada Sambar must have been created to give it a single complete meal tag for a farmer. But did farmers eat at the local eateries? or was it created for the travellers?

Was it a South Indian immigrant in Maharashtra who created it or was it the Marathi entrepreneur. It still is good business to have Batata Vada Sambar on the menu for these tin roofed eateries in the villages of Maharashtra the Vadas get washed down with special kadak (over boiled strong tea).

The Batata Vada Sambar is eaten from a bowl placed in a plate the way soup is served and eaten with two spoons to divide the vada into bites. Here in India forks are not used much except in some slightly upmarket places but two spoons do a good job in smaller eateries.

This post is flying across to Dear Anita, Delhi for the celebration of A Mad Tea Party's second blogversary.

Wishing her happy blogging for the future!



Batata Vada served with Toor Dal Sambar

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Beetroot Akki Roti




We have become lazy people after being on diet for a while now. No one likes to go shopping for vegetables and we end up eating variety of dishes with just tomato and onion. You won't even find cilantro in our fresh herbs corner. So after much whining I saw two beetroots find way to our home.

Then there was the rice flour that has stayed good for 4 months without seeking attention. Now I need to use it I thought. So it was Beetroot Akki Roti for lunch today.

Ingredients


1 beetroot grated
1 cup heaped rice flour
2 green chilies
20 curry leaves
1 teasppoon sambhar powder
water to knead

Knead together all the ingredients with water enough to make a pliable dough.

Take a quarter plate and grease the backside. Divide the dough into six balls. Pat one ball on the quarter plate. Put the non stick pan on high heat. Invert the plate into the non stick pan. After 5 mins the flattened dough will peel off easily. Remove the plate. Roast the Akki roti on both side with minimum oil till you see dark spots on the roti.

Make it extra crisp if you like it that way by reducing the heat and roasting for longer.

The beetroot Akki roti tasted absolutely delicious with sambhar powder giving a spicy dimension to the sweet beetroot. Traditionally sambhar powder is not added to Akki roti and did I say Beetroot Akki roti is traditional? Just enjoy madi!

Also find here Avare Kaalu Akki Roti.

Just enjoyed Beetroot Akki Roti with Avre kaalu Saru and creamy Tomato Rice

Right now listening to and off for my sunday afternoon siesta before I leave for an engagement.


Saturday, August 16, 2008

Chauri chi Karanji

Today is NaraLi Pournima. In Thal most households must have offered coconuts to the sea. My elder uncle and aunt must have prayed for the entire family though our family's livelihood does not depend on the sea anymore. The pooja is to calm down the ferocious sea of the rainy season. They say Agasti Muni's anger causes the sea to be wild in the rains and hence the coconut offering is to appease him. It is said Agasti MavaL la meaning Agasti is now calmed down after this day.

NaraLi Pournima marks the beginning of a new year of fishing. It is the day when after 4 months of rest the dolkar (fisherman) gets back to work on the boat. Today is when families are taken for a ride on the decorated boats and singing and dancing is part of the festivities.

In the morning the sisters go to the brother's home for Raksha Bandhan. This is the day when the married girls are treated to a delicious meal by their mothers. The sisters give the brothers coconuts and money to buy more coconuts for a game of coconut cracking. The boys go near the Howli (platform where the Holika pooja is performed) to play with coconuts. The game goes like this the coconuts are held in the palm by two boys and banged on each other. It is a great achievement to be able to break a coconut in one shot. The boy who cracks the other person's nut is the winner and gets to keep both the coconuts. Most boys collect the coconuts they won and then hand them over at home to make Chauri chi Karanji. In the evening most mothers boast that they made lot of Karanjis with the coconuts the sons brought home. Coconut cracking was a game I enjoyed a lot. My cousin Digambar was an expert at it and I would accompany him with a big shoppers bag to collect his wins as a kid in Colaba. I would cheer the loudest for him. I would also show to everyone the rakhi I tied on his hand.

NaraLi Pournima also reminds me of a rakhis sent by my only aunt for her brothers that we would keep in front of the God and then we girls tied it on our Dad's and uncles wrists muttering Brahma, Vishnu, Mahesh as we tied the three knots.

I don't remember anytime my aunt came to visit us on Raksha Bandhan day but she would send the Chauri chya Karanjya (plural) for us after a few days with a message that all the coconuts used for them were my uncle's wins.

Chauri = coconut and jaggery mix
Karanji = Crescents

I made these today for Dad as that is the only thing I could do to celebrate NaraLi Pournima here in Blr.

Ingredients

For Chauri
1 coconut grated (not shredded)
1 cup jaggery
Mixed nuts/ raisins/ sesame seeds/ pumpkin seeds
1/2 teaspoon cardamom/ nutmeg

Put the jaggery and coconut together on heat in a thick bottom vessel. Keep stirring till it leaves the sides of the vessel. Put off the heat and add the nuts and spice and mix well. Let it cool completely while we get the dough ready for the cover.

The pastry

1 heaped cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup semolina
1/4 cup milk
water to knead

Oil to knead
Oil to fry

Measure out all the items on a counter and make separate heaps. Soak the semolina in the milk for 10 mins. Then mix it along with flour and salt. Knead all the items together then add some oil and knead again. Let it rest for 10 mins.

Roll out small rounds and place a spoonful of the chauri on half side fold over the other half to shape it like a crescent. Press the edges to seal. Seal properly as one does not want the stuffing to to come out in oil while frying.

Fry the crescents in hot oil on medium heat till nice and golden. Yes we like ours golden!




This coconut grater is called Khauni in Koli.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Hey Annites !

Just today I discovered this link to our school site! http://annesmumbai.tripod.com

I read every bit of it. There are some changes that have happened over the years and you bet they sound good. I saw the Jesus &Mary symbol and it got me looking for my school badge. Yes I have my treasures the white uniform of skirt, blouse, T-shirt and shorts. I don't have the red checks :( though. The school report cards et al with one of it that says, "She looks like an angel when she prays" written by Mrs. Duarte' (secondary school headmistress) !!! The bookmark with "More things are brought to you by prayers than you can imagine" written by Mrs. Radhakrishnan (my Std VIII class teacher). She taught English and Geography and I loved both the subjects beacuse she made them such a pleasure to learn with all the projects.

The website is developed and maintained by Sonia Dhamija, a student of 2004-2005 batch of Std. X. Thanks Sonia its a wonderful gesture :). How about having an Alumni Corner?

Lately I have been catching up online with many of my classmates and it has been such a pleasure to see their pictures with husbands and kids. I feel sheepish for not being in touch with them all these years. Some of the girls travel together with families and spend time together. It must be so much of fun! How I miss all this.

I especially miss my own group, Fatima Nunes, Clotilda Lobo & Rekha Karkera with whom I would walk back home after school everyday! Where are you girls~~~?

I miss all the girls with whom I spent all those years as a child right from montesory to Std. X and the others who were there for lesser no.of years but we passed out together.

  • Christine (Pinky) Fernandes
  • Bhairavi Radhakrishnan
  • Sapna Lala
  • Tasneem Baldiwala
  • Ambareen Poonawala
  • Munira
  • Priya Mathur
  • Tasneem Shikari
  • Nupur Kumar
  • Radha Rangarajan
  • Seema Balani
  • Parina Samra
  • Monica Melwani
  • Aarti Bhatia
  • Ayesha Dhuna
  • Sunila John
  • Lincy Louis

and the twins

  • Ritu & Varsha Damani
  • Razia & Mazia
  • Soumya & Shriya Iyer

I'm connected to

  • Maria D'souza
  • Monisha Bhansali (Gupta)
  • Swati Parekh (Desai)
  • Sunhaila Lalwani (Duggal)
  • Smita Premkumar
  • Manisha Chavan (Krishna)
  • Alpana Kale (Punjwani)
  • Nikita (Phulwani)
  • Rajni Vasawani (Jashnani)
  • Kavita Jaisingh (Jhaveri)
  • Shalaka Jadhav (Gangolli)
  • Alefya Abbasi (Sabir)
  • Ruhi Sivani (Daswani)
  • Rasika Mehra (Jaywant)
  • Priti Nazare
  • Naheed Jaffari
  • Nisreen Karachiwala (Tapia)
  • Tasneem Nalwala (Now Baldiwala, no confusion)
  • Reshma Sabir (Saquib)
  • Pallavi Makhija (Deshpande)
  • Ravina Adnani (Panjabi)

The younger ones

  • Asavari (Rani) Govekar
  • Ashlesha Bapat
  • Smriti Shinde
(The list will grow as I recollect more names)

Say your hellos here and get connected with other Annites.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Aloo Tikki


Right now in my team we have 4 soon to be Mommies. They were past the nausea stage and were craving for yummy food so sometime ago we ladies shared our food. We are a total of 14 ladies, one is in Pune so she was not able to join us.

We decide that each one should bring in food enough for the entire group. The menu was declared and the planning was done well in advance.

Pasting here parts of the thank you notes that came from the Mommies-to-be to give you an idea of how much we freaked out on the food!

Mommie #1 says
"Thanks a ton gals for everything.
It was especially special since this would not have been done at my place this time (not usually done for 2nd child). Plus timing was perfect – my 7th month!"

AND

Mommie #2 says
Just now back from scan…I saw my baby swimming and dancing.. I think it is happy with the food I had yesterday.
Thanks a lot to all sweet ladies for making it most memorable day in my life. I have never experienced such good, tasty, yummy.., fabulous, terrific, fantastic…….. food ever before. I think its all because of love, care, warmth and excitement you all had put in.
Thanks a lot once again.
With lots lots lots of love"
AND
"Special mention for Nazia’s Masala Baingan. It really awakened our taste buds.
Thanks for initiating such an event. And yes the aloo tikki, poori & cutlet
Mamatha & Anitha, thank you for the Pooja arrangements. Krithika…the silent worker…silently did her part in closing the Pooja ceremony.
For those who missed……Okay here goes the menu:
Masala Baingan: Nazia (truly tasty)
Chole & Chapatis: Sapna (Special mention Mr. Who took the pain to drop his Mrs. to the venue just in time)
Masala/ Khara Poori
Pinapple float & Chatni powder
Aloo tikki
Bisi Bele bhat: Mamatha Mohan (not to forget Mohan Who has helped in cutting Vegetables )
Veg Pulav with Raita: Rashmi (the new cook in the team)
Mysore Pak & Dharwad Peda
Gulab Jamun: Sapna
Kaju Pakoda: Mamatha Srirama (last entrant but managed not to miss out on the fun)
Yummy Curdrice: Anitha (wondering whats special with this?? This was topped with All sorts of dry fruits & Pomengranate)
And the grand Finale…Trifle Pudding: Nazia (Just the right amount of sweet and heavenly taste)
Thanks once again. This event will never be forgotten."
Lots of love,
Mommie #3

A day of sharing our food and it has done us a lot of good. We are closer to each other now all 14 of us. I hear 14 voices echo in Blr and 1 from Pune though she missed all the fun.
Post this event they started asking for the recipe of Aloo Tikki so here it is gals.
Ingredients
4 boiled potatoes
1/2 cup bread crumbs
salt to taste
oil to fry

Coconut chutney for filling

1/2 coconut
2 handfuls cilantro
4-5 green chilies
salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 inch piece of tamarind

Grind all items together with just enough water to be able to run the grinder. Save. You will not use all the chutney for stuffing and the remaining can be served on the side.


Knead together the boiled potatoes and bread crumbs along with salt. Make balls and shape into cups. Stuff them with a spoonful of coconut chutney. Close the cups and shape into a ball again. Flatten it between the palms. The flattening makes it easy to fry the tikki on the griddle with less oil. Fry till reddish on both sides.
Serve with any chatpata chutney like date-tamarind or even ketchup is ok. The ladies ate just like that without any dip.

The difference between women and man is women appreciate it when they are treated like a million bucks!!!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Silver Metro

Subash and Anitha

Last Tuesday on a whim as it always happens when we meet we decided to go out for lunch to Silver Metro. Though we had eaten many times at Ohri's court we never ate at the neighboring one. Anitha recommended this one.

Say cheese Preeti !

Silver Metro is a theme restaurant. It recreates the feel of a Metro Station. There are two Silver trains with a central platform for dinning. The coaches of the trains have sofas and can seat four at a table. While on the central platform there are table with chairs. The entire area is brightly lit in white light, quite flashy but then we are in a Metro station. There is a bar at the far end for those interested.

Mark and Ramesh can comment on the Non Veg food

I liked the cutlery and the ambiance. It was just right for some noisy conversation with a bubbly group. The table mats and coasters all had the Metro route designed on it. The cutlery showed railway network on it too but not like a map but more like an abstract design with just lines. It definitely indicated a balance by the designer who knew where not to go over the top. The finger bowls were square shaped and like the steel basins in a railway compartment.


Deepa showed her practical attitude by suggesting that we occupy the tables on the platform reason being that this is a buffet restaraunt and we would need to move a lot, so thats what we did. Deepa your suggestion to use the chairs was right, we made so many trips to refill

The food is a whole range of Italian, Chinese, Indian both South Indian and North. The food tasted fantastic! It went something like :

3 veg salads and 1 NV salad
1 Chinese soup and 1 tomato soup
Dimsums both veg and NV
Til vali aloo tikki
Papdi chat
Chilli Aloo
Pasta
2 types of noodles
Spiced veg rice
Biryani
Fried fish
2 curries
1 Dal makhani
sambhar
Steam rice
Assorted rotis
2 types of Papads
raita
6 varieties of yummy pickles

Deserts
Rice kheer
Rasmalai
Cut Fruits
3 types of icecreams
Blackforest and Pineapple pastries

5-6 types Suparis/ Mouth freshners

I might have missed listing a couple of things especially the Non veg as it does not interest me but it could be a deciding factor for many to eat out. The variety was amazing. We were a starved lot and binged with carefree abandon. You have to go real slow to enjoy the food, every dish was well flavored and had a distinct character.

The service though you don't need much in a buffet place was friendly. Here in Bangalore it is customary to ask regular water or hot water and they did ask. The used plates were cleared between courses and refill trips.

This place gets a lot of corporate crowd so becomes a little rushed at peak hours. A railway station is not my idea of a romantic time so would never go there with that in mind but it is good for the kids, family and a chatty group. Its located on the top floor of Total Mall at Madivala.

On the scale of 5 our group rates Silver Metro at an all overall 4.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Where Vanity Rules

I am not a follower of TV programs but do catch up with some as my Dad likes to watch them. Saptak was a contestant in the TV program Lux Junoon Kuchh Kar Dikhaane Ka. An amazing singer. He got eliminated last week due least no. of votes in the public ranking.

Saptak cried and I cried with him! He has been singing consistently and scoring well with the judges. Inspite of that lack of public votes got him out. His last outburst wrenched my heart. He cried out, " I give 500% of my singing to this stage yet that is not enough! You have to look good, be in good shape........"

In the world of TV and other media looks and glamour over rules talent. That is the truth!

This is percolating in our personal life too. Corporates now look for fit and dashing leads besides having a talent. Less talked about the marriage scenario the better.

Saptak said a goodbye to this show with Main Shayar Badnam and promised he will keep improving on his singing skills.

For some one who has struggled with weight and medical problems I understand his pain yet in this world of survival of the fittest here is message for Saptak:

"You must fit into the requirements of the glamour world, we want you to be a winner. Wish you luck for it and hope to see more of you!"

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Tomato Tamarind Relish

and the Richness of Life


Recently two quotes that I really appreciated all over again am sharing here:

You are rich or poor in life by
Smiles around you,
Friends you make,
People you are with,
Ideas you have,
Dreams you chase,
and the love you spread.
- by Anon

नितिधार्माचे आचरण ठेवता यावे
मुलाबालांचे रक्षण करता यावे,
अब्रुने जगता यावे, इतका पैसा
जवळ असला की तो मनुष्य श्रीमंत समजावा

It means:

To be able to live life with consciousness,
To be able to take care of children
To be able to live with respect
If one has that much money
then consider that person rich

- by Shree Gondavlekar Maharaj


The second one is what I live by. I think I have done better in life materialistically than my parents did. Yes they did equip me well for it and I am indebted to them. Plus GOD has blessed me with fewer responsibilities. So by those standards I have enough for my needs and a little more for others too.

Yet life has made me a Fakir by nature. I don't care much for possessions. I give off easily what little I have. I appreciate the Fakiriyat in another person. I propagate it to my close circle of influence. I have a lot of rich friends, par unka crore unke paas.

I have my own definition of Fakiriyat:

  • Own only the necessary.
  • Give to others what you wanted but never did get.
  • Spread love yet never let anyone take advantage.
  • If I possess something I enjoy it, tomorrow if I loose it I don't allow it to affect me.
  • I am lucky I don't have to worry about anyone's future.
  • If anyone visits my home I treat them equally.
  • I share whatever food I make with the same love and respect with all.
Probably my name has a lot to do with it

Anjali = Hands joint in divine offering.

I am Giver, will remain that till I die perhaps. I have rarely got back how much or whatever I gave but still that has not changed anything for me. Infact it has inspired me to give more. Now I don't even fear losses.

Yet

I do my duties and do not give reasons like 'I am detached.'

As per the quotes this Fakir is Richie Rich !!!

There is always a balancing act that one has to do in life. To make a mundane life interesting there are always small pleasures that one enjoys and so do I.

On that note the recipe I'm sharing here a recent creation that happened by accident in My Kitchen Lab

I set out to create a tomato pachadi and ended up with a relish! The accident is recreated here for a deliberation that will recur all the time in my home.

Ingredients

5 big ripe but firm tomatoes chopped
1/2 cup of tamarind extract
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 heaped teaspoons red chili powder
1/2 teaspoon asafoetida
3 tablespoons oil

In a large vessel heat oil. Add the tomatoes. Cover and cook till mush. Add the tamarind extract salt and sugar. Cook till it leaves the sides of the vessel. Keep stirring to avoid burning. Once it looks thick and jammy put off the heat. Add the red chili powder and asafoetida, mix well. Cool completely and pack in bottle. It should stay good for couple of week without refrigeration and more in the Frigidaire.

Your Tomato Tamarind Relish is ready to go with any fries, hot rice, as spreads for breads etc.

It is to be enjoyed in small portions to spice up a mundane meal and relish every morsel.

My dear friend Deepa loved it for its Chat pata taste :).

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Bread Crumb Upma


When someone is trying to get to know you they start putting you through some kind of judgmental conversation. Me being the sensitive type I keep thinking about this conversation for long after it is over. I am not going to change any preconceived notions. If they feel the judgments about a person one has known only for short while are right. Then so be it. Whose loss is it?

The discussion was about beggars. W feels people don't help beggars on the street instead they question, "Why the beggar does not work when endowed with functional limbs?" I don't do this anyways.

I can't speak for other people but for someone who has seen the life of street children very closely in Mumbai. I have decided never to give a penny to any beggar on the street. If some one is hungry, give food or clothes etc. as per their needs.

I do not believe in encouraging drug addicts. I don't support beggar's syndicates. Has no one heard of this?

Judgments are not to be passed instantly but here is an instant recipe that you will enjoy.


Ingredients

8 slices bread
2 green chilies
1 big onion chopped
1/4 teaspoon mustard
1 big pinch asafoetida
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1 tablespoon oil
salt to taste
1/2 teaspoon sugar


First prepare the bread crumbs by grinding the slices in a dry grinder. Make small pieces of the bread slices so the grinding is even. Save.

Heat oil in a wok. Splutter the mustard seeds and then fry the onions till translucent. Add the turmeric and mix well. add the bread crumbs, salt and sugar and mix thoroughly to coat well with all the seasonings.

Serve hot or cold with a squeeze of lime (optional). This is one upma that tastes good even when cold.

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