Wednesday, September 7, 2011

3 recipes

i was feeling so lost after not having posted for such a long time...it was a mixture of laziness, bad mood, being busy and just not posting as didnt know what to write...

today i am going to post 3 recipes I have tried recently and were super successes....and very simple to make....and they are stuffed mushrooms, uckdiche modak, and sambar...

so here is recipe no 1: Stuffed Mushrooms
mushrooms are one of my favourite vegetables...and I love experimenting with them and trying every new recipe I set my eyes on....this recipe I found on 28 cooks...i love her recipes, and the best part is that she has many vegetarian recipes....


ingredients
  1. 8 to 10 medium to big size mushrooms
  2. 1/2 cup grated cheese
  3. italian seasoning
  4. 4 cloves of garlic (crushed)
  5. 1 green chilly (crushed)
  6. 5-6 olives finely chopped
  7. olive oil/ regular oil
  8. salt
  9. pepper
  10. rawa (semolina) / bread crumbs for rolling the mushrooms
Method:
  • wash mushrooms thoroughly and remove the stem of mushroom, and remove the mushroom gills, i just scraped them off using back of a flat spoon...stem can be used in any other mushroom preparation....throw the gills...
  • mix cheese, italian herbs, garlic chilly paste, salt and pepper....now stuff the mix into the mushrooms..
  • roll it in rawa or just stick some of it on the mix side..
  • drizzle with olive oil and bake for 20-25 min at 375 F (till bread crumbs are golden brown and cheese is bubbly) or shallow fry in mixture of olive oil and regular oil
  • ENJOY :)
Also read the 28 Cooks Recipe if confused or for more creative stuffing ideas

2. Uckdiche Modak

well they are one of my favourite sweets, I tried making them for the first time on occasion of ganesh chaturthi this year....here is the recipe I learnt step by step from....the lady has shown really well in pictures...the only thing different I did was I halved the quantity as I wasn't sure if I was doing it right...

making the stuffing is really easy, making the dough little tricky, and the trickiest part is making the modaks...

the best part is that the rice flour dough is very pliable and forgiving, hence without tearing you can just reshape it or reseal it....the rice dough is just like the clay we played as kids....so have fun with it!!

3. Sambar:
Ingredients:
  1. 1 cup Toor Dal (or red lentils)
  2. 2 teaspoons oil
  3. Salt to taste
  4. 5 small dry red chilies (or to taste)
  5. 8 Curry Leaves 
  6. 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  7. 1/4 tsp asafoetida
  8. 1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  9. 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  10. 2 tablespoons sambar powder
  11. 1 medium chopped onion 
  12. 1 medium chopped tomato
  13. 1 cup veggies of ur choice (potato, brinjal, drumstick, carrots etc)
for sambar powder
  1. 1/2 cups coriander seeds (dhana)
  2. 1/2 cups red chillies or red chilly powder (or to taste)
  3. 1/8 cup chana dal or chana dal aata (besan aata)
  4. 1 Tbsp. cumin seeds
  5. 1 Tbsp. pepper corn
  6. 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  7. 1 pinch of cinnamon
  8. 1 pinch ground clove
  9. 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
 roast the seeds on small flame, add turmeric, chilly powder and besan last...powder everything in chutney mixture. store the powder in cool dry place

Method for sambar:
  • in a pressure cooker, cook the dal and grind it in a blender
  • take some oil in thick bottomed pan, add mustard let it sputter, add cumin and fenugreek seeds, once they are light brown, add curry leaves, chopped garlic, asofetida and chopped onion.
  • once onion is translucent, add chopped potato (optional) and drumsticks as they take maximum time to cook.
  • once they are semicooked, add dal, and rest veggies (brinjal, carrots), one cup additional water and 1 tbsp sambar powder..add salt to taste
  • let it boil till all veggies are cooked, add more water if it is too thick...
tamarind is one of important ingredients in sambar....but i didnt use it as I didnt have it....and my sambar was just as fine....so dont fret if you dont have one or two ingredients...just go ahead and make this delicious soup and relish with idli and vada or dosa :)

i have another trio ready kadai bhindi, stuffed baigan and saute mushrooms....

wow such a lot to write about....now that I know what to write maybe i ll write again soon!!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

why do we

why do we,
we listen to the same song but hear different words
look at the same painting, but see different colours
react differently, when exposed to same situation

why cant we behave similarly,
even when we know how the other would behave
we know each other so well,
that we know what the other thinks,
what the other feels,
yet we cant feel differently ourselves
and we cant agree to disagree.

yet we walk together, hands in hand
with the knowledge in our heart
that we are together
no matter what :)

this is the beauty of writing my mind...i myself dont know whats in it at times...and how i am going to end a post when i begin writing it...and at times such as this..i surprise myself, and bring a smile on my face and hopefully yours too :)

song of the day: har dil jo pyaar karega...

Friday, June 24, 2011

heart n sweetheart

today a thought struck me...it began with the word "sweetheart" commonly used while addressing your girlfriend/ boyfriend, husband/ wife...i wondered who came up with this word...and was it a medical person or non medical...and if a medical person, did he purposely choose heart because of its varied characteristics....

of course, heart has nothing to do with emotion....it is just a pump which pumps blood to rest of the body...yes it is indispensable organ, without which we would die...but so is brain, lung, liver, spleen, skin etc they are all single indispensible organs with certain very important fucntions and if those functions were not performed we would die....i know there are two lungs but here i am treating them as one organ...

also, i thought, if important people had to be given an analogy with an organ in ur body, what would your parents, siblings, husband/wife, and best friends be....

well i dont know about other important people, but i guess ur sweetheart is indeed ur heart....and you might agree with me if you consider the structure and function of heart....

structurally, cardiac muscle fiber, is different from skeletal muscle and smooth muscle in a way that it has properties of both the fibers...so your sweetheart is indeed a unique person in ur life, who is different from rest of ur relations...as he/ she is one who wud understand you like your best friend and love u selflessly like ur family......he/ she is both the one you choose for yourself but at the same time bonded by destiny

unlike brain, which controls ur body...heart doesnt...and ideally that should be the case with ur sweetheart too...maybe thats the reason brain isnt likened to ur better half....

liver, pancreas, kidneys very important, but can be shared with someone....a part can be donated and in case of kidney whole can be donated....heart sure cant be shared...

skin, the single, largest organ of our body, serves important function of protection...but i guess its a little bit too fragile, of course it braves the harm and protect...but it does bruise a bit too easily...the relation with ur special one has to be definitely tougher than that

heart is the last organ to stop and when it stops you declare a person dead......so basically, its the heart that sticks it out till the end....and the one that doesnt give up...the one that can be stimulated to function when it stops....maybe thats the reason that person is likened to your heart...

the body is perfect example how all different organs though indispensable work together smoothly for a healthy body...similarly, there are numerous relations in our life, they all are indispensable and important....you have build them and maintain them through out our life for a healthy life....and yes, whoever coined the word "sweetheart" made a right choice :)

song of the day: ajnabi......miss u hubby..

garlic rolls

ever since my friend gauri posted this recipe on her blog i was dying to making it....the only thing that kept me from making was i thought it was a super complex thing....i mean how could a person make such professional looking bread rolls at home...i thought this rolls were beyond my scope...anyways, this monday i told myself to give it a shot...after all the recipe was right there...i just had to follow it...and LO BEHOLD, i managed to make it...i cudnt believe it, i made those rolls....i think my fairy godmother dusted some of her magical fairy dust on them.....well, here is the recipe, and if u follow them am sure my fairy godmother would be generous with you too and your rolls will be super as well

Ingredients:
for the dough:
  1. 3 cups whole wheat flour
  2. 3 and 3/4 tbsp melted butter (45 gm)
  3. 1 egg (1/2 for dough, 1/2 for glaze)
  4. 2 and 3/4 tsp sugar
  5. 1 n 1/2 cup warm milk  
  6. 1/2 tsp yeast
  7. 1 tsp oil
  8. salt to taste
for the garlic spread
  1. 1 tbsp garlic paste
  2. 2 tbsp olive oil
  3. 1 tbsp parmesan cheese (any shredded cheese)
  4. 1/2 tbsp italian seasoning
  5. salt to taste
Method:
  • mix yeast in one cup warm milk and keep it aside for 10 min. 
  • in a bowl, take flour, sugar, salt, butter and 1/2 egg and mix it together, once ten minutes are up add in the milk and yeast, now knead the dough as you knead to make chapatis, the dough should be kneaded soft, so if it isnt soft add half cup milk and knead it till the dough is soft and pliant and non sticky...
  • grease the vessel with some oil punch some so that there is oil coating all over the dough.
  • cover the vessel with a lid and let the dough rise till its twice its size or around 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
  • Meanwhile mix the ingredients of the spread together.
  • punch the dough so that all the air escapes, divide the dough into half and roll the dough into a huge chapati (try to make it rectangular) till it is 1/4 of inch thick...if the dough is sticking too much to the base then sprinkle some dry flour and roll
  •  once rolled out spread the garlic mix all over the chapati.
  • now cut it in strips and knot it up...anyway u want to.
  • arrange them in baking tray and keep the knots aside for 30 min.
  • brush some beaten egg (the other half) on the knots before putting them in oven for an amazing glaze.
  • preheat the oven at 400 F and place the baking tray in oven.



  • bake for 20 min or little longer till u see the knots brown nicely and you get some amazing aroma of freshly baked garlic rolls.




it takes some time, so just plan it ahead of time....its very easy to make with great results...you ll be so proud of yourself....

song of the day: dhadak dhadak from BNB :) dreams unlimited

Monday, June 20, 2011

chocolate crepe

i had chocolate crepe at a french restaurant...and i am totally hooked to it...one of my favorite desserts...and its really simple to make too...and i like to call it the chocolate dosa :)

i made them following this chocolate crepe recipe.




my tips: use non stick pan to make it...put batter on pan and spread it like u wud spread a dosa, and then once it is semi cooked apply butter to sides and spread little all over the crepe too...if its spread thin enough then u dont need to flip it and cook...if its thick u might need to do it

when the crepe is cooked, it will automatically separate from the pan, so u just have to lift from edges...

do not lose hope if u spoil initial 2 or 3 crepes....it might take a while till u get the hang of making them...be patient and make the next crepe...

its super delicious when u spread in nutella or chocolate sauce, and add chopped strawberries or banana....and garnish it with some cream.....serve them hot for best taste....so serve as u make...

i just had some, and my mouth is watering again!!!!

u have to try this french dessert...


song of the day: jaane nahi denge tujhe...dedicated to all my friends...love the emotion in this song...three cheers to friendship


Saturday, June 11, 2011

good bye

loved this take on the fairy tale

A fairy tale always have a happy ending but does it have a perfect start? And what about the parts unseen and undiscovered.

This is the story of a simple girl. She lived with her sweet parents. One day she went to the woods playing around and made a new friend. They became best of the friends and started hanging out together everyday. Soon they grew up and their silly games started turning into realities. From friends they became lovers but they still loved playing games with each other. At the end that was the thing that always connected them... They were great lovers but they always brought out the darker side of each other. One day while playing the game of their life they both lost and that was it... they parted ways... The story does not end here...

This is the time her mother died and her father got her a step mother and two step sisters. They used to treat her like maid... This girl was Cinderella...whose story we all know... who met her Prince and then lived happily ever after. But who was the Prince? Her childhood sweetheart? Lets find out...

After the ball and his successful search with her glass shoe,Prince finds Cinderella and proposes her. She now had Prince in her life who would love her, understands her and wants her as no1 else would ever want ...yet she could not forget her love. Yes... He was not the Prince...

One day She goes back and tells her lover

"lets get back together. Happiness is not everything... The great loves are the crazy ones"

He replies,"There's a difference between a great love and the right love. I left you last year after two minutes when you didn't show. Prince waited for you all night. He searched for you and found you. This is your chance at happiness. You think you shouldn't want it 'cause you've never had it and it scares you. But you deserve your fairytale."

Cinderella: We make our own fairytales.

He says, "Only when we have to."

SILENCE

He holds her " I bring out your darker side and you shine with your Prince, you deserve him. " and kisses her forehead and says I will always love you.

She turns around and goes away... And it was happily NEVER after for them...

Transitions in life are usually marked by major events, birthdays, graduations, weddings; but the greater transition often come out of smaller moments, when we stop and look at who we are, because each time we see how far we have come, we also see how far we still have to go. Like her lover did...he transformed and did what is right. He made Cinderella do what is right for her and yet again proved that his love is indeed great!


Cinderella realizes that in order to fully transform, we might need to free ourselves of everything we’ve been holding on to, to send us on our new path, the right one.

CINDERELLA MARRIES THE PRINCE AND THEY LIVED HAPPILY EVERY AFTER

Rushika Maniar
(inspired by a tv show)


song of the day: when you say nothing at all from notting hill sung by ronan keating






Thursday, June 2, 2011

mix veg paratha

parathas are one of the most widely loved north indian food preparation....the best part is once u learn to make one type of paratha u can make all kinds :) :)
the most difficult part of paratha is rolling it out...but let me assure u that with some very simple tips, u can make them easily (provided u know how to knead the dough and make regular chapatis or rotis or tortillas ;)

Ingredients
  1. for the dough:
  2. 2 cups whole wheat flour
  3. 2 tsp oil
  4. water (as needed to make a soft dough)
  5. salt as per taste
for the stuffing
  1. finely chopped mix vegetables (cauliflower, peas, beans, carrot, corn)
  2. finely chopped onion
  3. finely chopped cilantro
  4. green chilly paste
  5. ginger paste
  6. garlic paste
  7. red chilly powder
  8. turmeric powder (haldi)
  9. cumin and coriander powder (dhaniya jeera)
  10. pinch of garam masala
  11. salt
  12. sugar (just for sweet touch)
  13. lemon juice
Method:
for the dough
in a bowl mix flour salt and oil....add water in small quantities and knead the dough till the flour doesnt stick to sides is soft to touch....coat the bowl with little oil and then again knead the dough for a min or two...cover the bowl and let the dough sit for 15 to 20 minutes.

one of the tricks of making a good paratha is having perfectly kneaded dough....the consistency of the dough should match the consistency of the filling, so that the filling spreads evenly in the dough when you roll it and doesnt collect to one end...

in this case, of course the filling is little coarse as no potatoes were added...you may add a potato to the filling so that the filling has a consistency comparable to the dough.

for the filling:

chop or grate the veggies, believe it or not i chopped the mixed vegetables in the mixture to form a coarse powder. add the rest of the ingredients as per taste...there is no fixed protocol...mix it well.....

just one pointer, add salt last, and just before you are actually going to roll the parathas, because once u add the salt, the vegetables start to sweat and so your filling becomes wet making it diffcult to roll...

making the paratha:

  • take a portion of the dough (it should be at least 2 times what u normally take to make one roti or chapati)
  • make the chapati from the dough....
  • roll it such a way that the central portion is thicker than the sides...make a big chapati
  • take 2 table spoonful (heapful) of the filling and place it in the center of the chapati...take the edges upward so that it looks like the purse string bag....stick the edges of the dough together by pressing them together....
  • cut the excess of the dough....the dough ball should not be too tight...it should be loose enough for the filling to spread....now gently with very little pressure roll the dough into a paratha..
  • cook it on a pan with very little oil till brown spots are seen..

enjoy with yogurt pickle and butter :)

my apologies for not clicking pics of every step....if my post seems confusing, please also refer my friend gauri's post on peas paratha, i think she has explained the method lot better than i have...

Monday, May 30, 2011

pineapple upside down cake

my mom made this cake for my birthday when i was a little girl...and this weekend as i was debating what to make for the dessert my friend suggested i make this cake...and just the name brought back tons of wonderful memories, and so i decided to make it without thinking twice...and it was indeed delicious
this is the recipe i followed : pineapple upside down (betty crocker recipe)

Ingredients
  1. 6 pineapple slices (if canned, drain them)
  2. cherries optional
  3. 2/3 cup brown sugar
  4. 1 egg
  5. 3/4 cup milk
  6. 3/4 cup sugar
  7. 1 tsp baking soda
  8. 1tsp vanilla essence
  9. 1/2 tsp salt
  10. 3/4 cup butter (i used more butter as i didnt have shortening)
  11. 1 1/3 cup flour (i used whole wheat all purpose flour)
Method:
start with ingredient no 4 egg and beat it....then all rest ingredients one by one, constantly mixing the batter, to get a smooth batter....use melted butter for ease of mixing..and add flour last in small portions to prevent lumps..scrape the bottom and sides of vessel while mixing so to ensure that none of the flour has stuck to bottom....once the batter is all smooth and mixed well keep it at the side

preheat the oven to 350 deg F

butter the baking tray, sprinkle brown sugar on the buttered tray...arrange pineapple slices on the tray over the sugar..if you dont have brown sugar u can use white sugar instead....brown sugar basically gives a nice caramelized look....if you wish to use cherries, place them in the center of the pineapple







pour the batter on the pineapples...








place in the oven for 50 to 55 min or till the surface is nice golden brown and the knife comes out clean at the center too...







               remove the tray from the oven...cover it with a serving plate...and turn the plate and tray upside down...ur cake will come out nice and clean in the plate..let it be covered with the tray for a min or two so that the melted sugar drizzles down on cake...remove the baking tray and ENJOY THE CAKE!!!

trust me the cake was awesome!!!!!


song of the day: ladka yeh kehta hai ladki se from mein prem ki diwani hoon..

Saturday, May 21, 2011

just for this weekend

just for this weekend..
i want to lay my tensions aside...

i promise to enjoy the days to the fullest
without worrying about tasks to be completed

i promise to let my hair down
and laugh without care

i wont worry about
what could have been.....and what actually is..

i dont want to feel helpless today
and think whether it was my fault or it was fate

i want to dance..till i drop down
i dont want to think about what and who i miss...

i want to be free from myself....
just for this weekend

song of the week: teri mehfil kismat aazamakar.....qawali from Mughal E Azam....love the words


Friday, April 29, 2011

dear mom,

dear mom,
i am still your little princess mom
there are times i still wanna hold ur hand
i still need you to tell me to eat
and force one more morsel down my mouth
i miss u mom
when i dont know what to eat
i miss u when i go to sleep
and i want to feel u patting me
i have grown, but my needs are the same,
i want to hug u tight and lay in ur lap
through the night
i miss u, when i open the door
and i am greeted by a dark, cold flat
i miss u in all my victories
when i try out new recipes
i want u to be by my side and
pat my back with great pride
i need u here when i celebrate
to cheer for me when i graduate
i need u here, with me, forever and always...
in all my highs plateaus and low,
coz highs are not high enough without u
and lows seem lower than they are...
i miss u mom...i love u..
life just isn't the same without u here..

song of the day: one of my mom's favourite song...and mine too...hum aapki aankhon me...love the banter! :)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

strawberry meringue pie

so this weekends delight was strawberry meringue pie.....more than the pie i was challenged to do the meringue....and i wanted to know if i got it right....well i did get it right for the most part....and yes as usual i did make some changes in the recipe and method....so i am giving u the original links too...i need more practice setting meringue on the pie.....so it can be more decorative! other than that the pie taste fabulous :)
Ingredients
for the pie crust

  1. one cup wheat flour
  2. 1/2 cup solid butter (cut it into cubes)
  3. 2 tablespoons sugar
for the filling
  1. 1 1/2 cup strawberries
  2. 1 cup sugar
  3. 3 egg yolks
  4. 1/2 tsp salt
  5. 1/2 cup cream (i used whipped, but heavy is better)
  6. 2tbsp + 2 tsp wheat flour
for the meringue
  1. 2 tbsp sugar
  2. 2 tbsp corn flour
  3. 3 egg whites
  4. 5 tbsp sugar
  5. 1/2 tsp vanilla
  6. 1/4 tsp salt
  7. little more than 1/2 cup water
first of all i wanna tell u....dont get intimidated by the name of the dish or number of ingredients!!! is a very simple dish to make.....almost all the ingredients are going to be there in ur kitchen year round

Method

for the crust: Mix all the ingredients in a bowl with a spatula or spoon till its all combined well and has a texture similar to bread crumbs.....press it down on the baking dish...preheat the oven at 350 deg F (175 deg C) and bake it for 20 min or till you feel that the crust is baked well..this is post baking pic...so yes my crust looked white only..




for the filling: while the crust is getting baked....whisk together the cream, egg yolk, flour, sugar, salt.....once its well mixed...add chopped strawberries...once the crust is done...pour in the filling on the crust and put it in oven again...




bake at 350 deg F for 35 to 40 min...till the top is golden brown....mine is little bit darker brown than it should be...i think...taste wise its good..i dont know exactly how much to bake the pie...coz it does remain little soft and knife doesnt really come out clean...u might want to do some research...or just bake it for this much time...one thing i can tell u is mine is not under baked at the center or anything like that..




for the meringue: while the pie is getting baked....put together the egg whites, vanilla essence, and salt in a large bowl and beat the eggs till soft peaks are formed.....if u use a electric appliance it will be easier for u...else u have to beat it for at least 20 min till u see the soft peaks rise in the eggs....add sugar one table spoon at a time and mix it well...


in a saucepan, take take water, add 2 tbsp sugar and 2 tbsp corn flour...and stir it continuously...till the mix gets thick and transparent....ask some to add the mix to the eggs while you beat them....I wasnt able to pour it....i had to take in spoon and add to the eggs...so thats how thick it was....


continue beating the eggs till stiff shiny peaks are formed....this will take 10 to 15 more min...
so if you are doing it by hand its 30 min of beating....yes your muscles might ache but the results are worth it...




by now the pie is done....so get it out of oven and top it off with the meringue...you can make nice design with the spatula or the beater...i did it with the beater...and mine wasn't as good as the pic i saw on web....but it was a good result considering it was my first time :)

bake it in oven for 10 min....once u see the meringue turning golden brown, take it off from the oven....







it can be served warm or at room temperature....dont refrigerate it if possible as the crust gets too hard to break...yes i am saying this from experience and search on the internet....and this pie should be consumed immediately or in 2 days time...so dont keep it for many days...and i am sure it wont last that long...coz it is indeed very very tasty!!!

it takes an hour to be made....but trust me, its so yummy...and u ll be so proud of yourself at the end of it...the result is way better than the effort put in...coz only the meringue takes some work...rest of stuff is super easy....go ahead and give it  a shot!

song of the day: hum hai rahi pyaar ke phir milenge chalte chalte....love this medley :)

Friday, April 15, 2011

lessons learned

today i had a fantastic day....i attended couple of lectures....and there were so many take home messages that were spoken in context of career or work but could be applied to personal life (relationships, family interactions) too....
i wont waster time writing prologue to it.....here we are...capsules of knowledge :)

5 important things to take care of so u DONT mess your CAREER
  1. Quality of service you provide: of course superior quality will result in better profits and prevent loss of customers.
  2. Know your customers: its wise to know who you are actually serving...take time out..get to know them....ultimately they are the reason why you have your bread butter jam cheese etc etc :)
  3. Love your work: take interest in whatever you are doing, and do it at the best of your ability.
  4. Dont talk ill about your BOSS: yes...this ones a biggie...after all he is the one with more say than u !
  5. dont belittle your employees: they should love working for you, only then will they put in their 100%
now are some more bullet points that are worth thinking about:
  • No one got hurt coz they didnt say something (esp wen that something is bad or hurtful) avoid saying things wen you are angry....
  • you are never secure; just know about your insecurities!
  • "It depends" everything has reference to context and your views change once you know an extra bit of information......never judge....most situations/ actions can be looked at objectively....and always the answer to the question is "IT DEPENDS on.......................or.................."
  • layers of protection and back up plans: how many layers are enough??? sometimes its better to keep the shield aside and face the situation.......similarly how many back ups are enough??? who decides this??? YOU....accept situation as it comes....soemtimes you can never have enough back ups.
  • Transform yourself as per situation/ people, rather than trying vice versa....
  • Little problems turn into big problems if you dont face them, they dont go away......
  • know your weak spots
  • biggest security concern : identity....who are you...know yourself...
these are some interesting things i learnt today and all this had to do with IT SECURITY...and how people mess their careers......got lots of material to think and learn from..
felt good writing something after a long long time......ciao guys.....

song of the day: janam dekhlo mit gayi dooriyaan......miss u ravi..

Saturday, April 2, 2011

World Cup 2011...the nation celebrates!!!

India has won the world cup....We are the world champs...the feeling is not yet sinking in....i didnt know how much this meant to me till i finished watching the highlights....till i heaved the sigh of relief....i didnt know there was so much pent up tension within me.....

as far as i remember, it was 1996 world cup, when i understood the importance of it...i remember going to see the match in a new york theater with family...it was india-australia match....and we lost the game....thats all i remember about it...

next was 1999 world cup..it was being played in england, and there was so much hype about it....media hyping india as the defending champions as per the venue.....but i dont really remember any of the tournament...i was in 10th then...i think the tournament happened during my board exams....whatever......

i followed 2003 world cup quite religiously....i remember being super excited about india- australia finals....seeing it and watching india lose.....

2007, i followed it....but india's performance was dismal.....

so well in 2011, i didnt  really know what to expect...and yes, i did believe by then that i was jinxed for india...that if i saw the match india wouldnt win....the only match i saw was against south africa....and we lost...so I didnt want to take any further chances.....i vowed not to see a single match from then on....thats why i saw the highlights now and not the match even though i was up till 5 am....

i was definitely concerned about the quarterfinals, coz as you can see, we didnt have a great track record against the aussies....but with that hurdle down...i was very much confident of a win against Pakistan...coz even though they are a formidable team, most matches of india and pakistan that i remember, india has won....but yes, sri lanka was a difficult team to beat...so again in finals i was a nervous wreak.....

anyways, so here we are seeing our favourite cricketers or as we like to call them MEN IN BLUE lifting the coveted trophy.....and i had tears in my eyes.....i didnt know sub consciously i was waiting for this moment...yes i had seen the hysteria with a 20-20 world cup win....but this was different....this time it was for the players i wanted us to win....

the T 20 world cup win was about celebrating the youth....it was about boys who had never played before to go out there and to prove themselves....and showing that yes there could be a team without the cricketing greats....all of them have a long way to go yet....they are going to be around for sometime

the world cup 2011 was about seniors.....it was about they guiding the youth to the win....they being there for the team.....and i always thought about wanting this for SACHIN TENDULKAR more than anything else....coz i thought 6 world cups is long enough a wait....if he was to be a part of world cup winning team it was NOW....

only after the match i realized though that this cup meant a lot more for almost all players....coz they have been around for a while...some of them have been a part of losing side of 2003...as Harbhajan Singh said that he had waited 3 world cups for this dream to come true....and if he waited for 3 i am sure there are others like Yuvraj Singh, Nehra, Sehwag, Zaheer Khan who have been part of 3 world cups...this being their third world cup.....no wonder they got so emotional, and had tears in their eyes....

I loved them all for dedicating this victory to sachin....loved virat kohli's words about sachin "he has carried the burden of the nation for 21 years, its high time we carried him on our shoulders now"...Yuvi choked as he was getting his man of the series award...I am happy that Dhoni played a captain's knock, that too in the finals....that when the stalwarts faltered, Gambhir and Dhoni showed their mettle......loved the team carrying sachin around the ground....then the lifting Gary Kirsten too....sachin acknowledging the efforts of support staff...Yuvi and Harbhajan paying respects to their respective Gurus......loved the way the entire team hugged each other........Dhoni's calmness and sturdiness showed as he spoke....his explanation for not performing well enough in the tournament...(makes us realize they are normal human beings too)....loved everything about the game....

loved that there was no clear cut winner at the start...that there was no under dog...this was a game of two equals...and the game was to go in the favour of  those who showed the nerves of steel....who played excellent in all three aspects...that there was a fight from the first ball to the last ball bowled....that it was a team effort and not one man show....

sri lanka was gracious in their defeat...they played well, and showed great sportsman spirit....i didnt feel any kind of animosity or bad vibes on the ground even as we inched towards victory....loved the way the entire team shook hands with Dhoni and Yuvi.,....i loved what kumar sangakara said at the end of the game....

It was indeed a great game.....And the Celebrations have Begun!!! 28 years is surely a long wait for the country...Thank you Men in Blue....

song of the day: chak de india......perfect song

lebanese dinner

well my blog is turning out to be a food blog more than anything...but then, this is about my interests and i love cooking....so there sure is gonna be lots of recipes on it..and these days as i have time on my hand, trying new cuizines is something i am doing at the moment...and well, i am finding out that its turning really good...thats the process i am enjoying right now....making exotic sounding dishes at home....and i hope to incorporate it on a day to day basis....there is nothing exotic about the ingredients!!! trust me, most of the stuff will be in your home daily...and the taste is out of this world...having satisfaction of being able to cook some awesome dishes in the same time is something you have to do to feel......

and imagine the variety u get sitting in ur home!! all u people out there....have to try making these dishes at home and enjoy the feeling it gives :) :)

so today for dinner i had: hummus, baba ghanoush, pita bread and salad

hummus:
ingredients:
  1. 2 cups boiled kabuli chana (garbanzo beans)
  2. 3 cloves garlic
  3. 2 tbsp olive oil
  4. 2 tbsp tahini sauce
  5. 4 tbsp lemon juice
  6. salt and black pepper to taste
Method:
blend everything in a mixture/ blender to form a smooth creamy paste...
enjoy!!!! 

baba ghanoush:
ingredients:
  1. 1 pound eggplant (bharte vala baigan)
  2. 3 tbsp tahini sauce
  3. 2 cloves garlic (chopped)
  4. 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  5. 3 tbsp lemon juice (or to taste)
  6. salt and pepper to taste
Method:
  • Roast the egg plant on flame till the skin is charred.
  • let it cool....then peel the skin...chop into big pieces
  • add all the ingredients to the eggplant and blend it in a blender (if u like it in paste) or else finely chop the eggplant like in bharta and then add everything and mix well.
Pita bread
I made the bread exactly following this recipe...PITA BREAD RECIPE....so please check that out...i just added 1 tbsp vegetable oil to it...and the other difference was in cooking...i didnt bake it in oven but cooked it on iron pan (tava) which we use for chapatis...also, please roll the pita bread as we would roll the chapati...dont keep it too thick...if its too thick it tends to become rubbery...

Steps in pita bread making

stage 1


Stage 2: after fermentating (1 and half hour)
Step 3: Cut into small pieces with a knife and then rolled into balls- allow to sit for ten minutes before rolling out the dough
Step 4: roll into a chapati, sorry dont have a pic for it

Step 5: nicely puffed up pita bread....cook it till brown spots seen

Salad
I just chopped some cabbage, one tomato, half onion, some coriander (cilantro)....added some salt, pepper a dash of lime, some cheese, one tbsp olive oil and mixed them all well together....and trust me it was yummy!!

with this your meal is ready!!!! and trust me, this wrap is so tasty...just spread hummus on ur pita bread, put on some baba ghanoush, top it off with salad....and bite into this delicious wrap.....its simply awesome :)

song of the day: tum mile..


Thursday, March 24, 2011

cheese cake

well i do like to challenge my culinary skills every now and again....and a couple of weeks back, i decided to make the seemingly impossible cheese cake....little bit of research on google and i realized that the task wasnt as difficult as i had anticipated...even then i was nervous if i would get the consistency and texture right..well i did get it right..and so here is the recipe :)

for the base:
  1. 1 1/2 cup honeymaid cracker crumbs (u can grind Parle G or marie...be sure to add more sugar if u are using marie biscuit)
  2. 3 tbsp sugar
  3. 1/3 cup butter
  4. cinnamon powder (for flavor)
Method:
  • mix the crumbs, sugar, cinnamon powder and melted butter till is form an even consistency mix....then using a spoon press the mixture in the baking dish..it should be 1/2 " thickness...pre heat the oven at 325 degree F....bake the crust for ten min........
for the filling:
  1. 16 ounces (2 packet) cream cheese
  2. 1 cup sugar
  3. 1 tsp lemon juice
  4. 4 eggs
  5. 1 pinch salt
  6. 1 tsp vanilla
Method
  • Beat eggs, add sugar, vanilla, salt, lemon juice, mix well....add cheese and blend everything well...if u not using an electric beater u can use ur mixture as well (i used it)
  • Pour it over the crust and Bake for 55 min at 325 deg F or until the knife comes clean at the sides
  • you notice that the middle is still loose but that will set when cooled.
  • After 55 switch the oven off...but keep the cake in the oven till it cools down..if u remove it out immediately it might crack....(mine did..) once it is room temperature, refrigerate it for 4 hours or overnight...
  • decorate with strawberries or fresh fruits while serving...you can add strawberry topping

Its really easy to make this...and very very tasty....trust me...everyone loved it :)

Song of the day: ainvayi ainvayi from band baaja baraat...love the music, words and dance...

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Leaf, Wind, Tree

Leaf departure is because of Wind pursuit. Or because Tree didn't ask her to stay Leaf departure is because of Wind pursuit. Or because Tree didn't ask her  to stay Let us see what they have to say...


Tree People call me "Tree".I had dated 5 girls when I was in Pre-U. There is one girl who I love a lot but never dared to go after. She didn't have a pretty face, good figure or an outstanding charm. She was just a very ordinary girl. I liked her. I really liked her. I liked her innocence, her frankness, her intelligence and her fragility. Reason for not going after her was that I felt somebody so ordinary like her was not a good match for me. I was also afraid that after we were together all the feelings would vanish. I was also afraid other's gossip would hurt her. I felt that if she were my girl, she'd be mine ultimately & I didn't have to give up everything just for her. The last reason, made her accompanying me for 3 years. She watched me chase other girls, and I have made her heart cry for 3 years.She was a good actor, and me a demanding director. When I kissed my second girlfriend, she bumped into us. She was embarrassed but smiled & said, "Go on!" before running off. The next day, her eyes were swollen like a walnut. I did not want to know what caused her to cry. Later that day, I returned from soccer training to get something &; watched her cry in the classroom for an hour or so. My fourth girlfriend did not like her. There was once when both of them quarreled. I know that based on her character she is not the type that will start the quarrel. However, I still sided my girlfriend. I shouted at her & ignored her feelings and walked off with my
girlfriend. The next day, she was laughing & joking with me like nothing happened. I know she was hurt but she did not know deep down inside I was hurt too.When I broke up with my fifth girlfriend, I asked her out. Later that day, I told her I had something to tell her. I told her about my break up. Coincidentally, she has something
to tell me too, about her getting together. I knew who the person was. His pursuit for her had been the talk of the School. I did not show her my heartache, just smiles & best wishes. Once I reached home, I could not breathe. Tears rolled & I broke down. How many >times have I seen her cry for the man who did not acknowledge her
presence? During graduation, I read a SMS in my hp. It said, "Leaf's departure is because of Wind's pursuit. Or because Tree didn't ask her to stay" 



Leaf People call me Leaf. During the years of Pre-U, I was on very close terms with a guy as buddy kind. However, when he had his first girlfriend, I learnt a feeling I never should have learnt - Jealousy. Sourness to the extreme limit. They were only together for 2 months. When they broke up, I hid my happiness. But after a month, he got together with another girl. I liked him & I know he liked me. But why won't he pursue me? Since he loves me why he didn't he make the first move? Whenever he had a new girlfriend, my heart would hurt. After some time, I began to suspect that this was one-sided love. If he didn't like me, why did he treat me so well? It's beyond what you will normally do for a friend. I know his likes, his habits. But his feelings towards me I can never figure out. You can't expect me a girl, to ask him. Despite that, I still wanted to be by his side. Care for him, accompany him, and love him. Hoping that one day, he will come to love me. Because of this, I waited for him. Sometimes, I wondered if I should continue waiting. The pain, the dilemma accompanied me for 3 years. At the end of my
3rd year, a junior pursues me. Everyday he pursues me. He's like the cool & gentle wind, trying to blow off a leaf from a tree. In the end, I realized that I wanted to give this wind a small footing in my heart. I know the wind will bring the leaf to a better land. Finally, leaf left the tree, but the tree only smiled & didn't ask me to stay. Leaf's departure is because of Wind's pursuit. Or cause Tree didn't ask her to stay. 



Wind Because I like a girl called leaf. Because she's so dependent on tree, so I have to be a gust wind. A wind that will blow her away. When I first met her, it was 1 month after I was transferred to this new school. I saw a petite person looking at my seniors & me playing soccer. During ECA time, she will always be sitting there. Be it alone or with her friends, looking at him. When he talks with girls, there's jealousy in her eyes. When he looked at her, there's a smile in her eyes. Looking at her became my habit. Just like, she likes to look at him. One day, she didn't appear. I felt something missing. I can't explain the feeling except it's a kind of uneasiness. The senior was also not there as well. I went to their classroom, hid outside and saw my senior scolding her. Tears were in her eyes while he left. The next day, I saw her at her usual place, looking at him. I walked over and smiled to her. Took out a note & gave to her. She was surprised. She looked at me, smiled & accepts the note. The next day, she appeared & passes me a note and left.It read, "Leaf's heart is too heavy and wind couldn't blow her away." "It's not that leaf heart is too heavy. It because leaf never want to leave tree." I replied her note with this statement and slowly she started to talk to me & accept my presents & phone calls. I know that the person she loves is not me. But I have this perseverance that one day I will make her like me. Within 4 months, I have declared my love for her no less than 20 times. Every time, she will divert away from the topic. But I never give up. If I decide I
want her to be mine, I will definitely use all means to >win her over. I can't remember how many times I have declared my love to her. Although I know, she will try to divert but I still bear a small ray of hope.Hoping that she will agree to be my girlfriend. I didn't hear any reply from her over the phone. I asked, "What are you doing? How come you didn't want to reply?" She said, "I'm nodding my head". "Ah?" I could n't believe my ears. "I'm nodding my head" She replied loudly. I hang up the phone, quickly changed and took a taxi and rush to her place & press her doorbell. During the moment when she opens the door, I hugged her tightly. Leaf departure is because of Wind pursuit. Or because Tree didn't ask her to stay... 




First of all...let me clarify i did not write this...but thought it was very meaningful...as most things/ situations in life happen due to multiple etiology (causes)...and we must always try to see what part have we played in whats happening to ourselves or to our loved ones...how there are so many perspectives to one situation...this also tells us how we must not take anything/ anybody for granted...more dissection of this post later :)

song of the day: will put it up later!

Friday, March 11, 2011

pad thai and stir fry tofu

almost every weekend I try to make something interesting I have never made before. and since I am especially partial to thai cuisine I felt like going beyond the thai curries and tried to take up a seemingly tough task to making pad thai noodles (restaurant style) and of course I decided to try making stir fry tofu as there was some tofu in the house....

well well, what can I say....the result (at least the pic) is for all to see...and I assure u and I am sure rushika will vouch for it too, that it was indeed super tasty, restaurant style pad thai noodles...and of course, let me tell you, it was surprisingly easy and quick....so now here is the recipe for all you thai food fans (even chinese food fans) to give it a shot....
Pad Thai noodles
Ingredients:
  1. Pad thai Rice Noodles 
  2. 2 spring onions
  3. 1 medium onion chopped
  4. 3 cloves of garlic
  5. ginger
  6. 1/4th cabbage
  7. 2 eggs (optional)
  8. 2 tbsp soysauce
  9. 1 tbsp stirfry sauce
  10. 1 tbsp chilly sauce
  11. 2 tbsp vegetable broth (optional)
  12. 1 tbsp vinegar
  13. 1 tsp sugar
  14. salt to taste
  15. 2 tbsp oil
  16. chopped coriander/ cilantro for garnishing
  17. 1 tbsp roasted powdered peanuts (optional)
Method
  • saute onion, garlic, ginger in oil. Once onions are tender, add spring onions (if you like it raw, you can save some for garnishing, else add all of them). let it cook for a min, then add chopped cabbage. To the cabbage add chilly sauce, stir fry sauce, soy sauce, vinegar and sugar. add the vegetable broth and let everything cook
  • simultaneously, keep water for boiling on other stove, once water comes to boil, shut the stove and add noodles to it and cover. Noodles will cook in 10 min. (see instructions on packet for exact quantity of water)
  • If you are adding eggs, in a pan scramble the eggs. and then add the scrambled eggs to the veggies and add noodles too once they are cooked and mix well.
  • Add salt last, as all the sauces have some bit of salt to them, so if u add it before, u ll make it too salty.
  • garnish with coriander and/or spring onions and powdered peanuts.
  • ENJOY!
Stir fry tofu
Ingredients:
  1. 1 packet tofu
  2. 2 cloves of garlic
  3. 1 tbsp chilly sauce
  4. 1tbsp soy sauce
  5. 1 tbsp stir fry sauce
  6. 1 cup vegetable broth/water
  7. 1 tsp corn starch (optional)
  8. 1 tsp sugar
  9. 2 tbsp cooking oil
  10. salt to taste
Method:
  • saute chopped garlic in cooking oil, once they turn golden, add chilly sauce, to this add tofu, soy sauce, stir fry sauce, sugar and 1cup vegetable broth.
  • if you wish to add corn starch, dissolve 1 tsp corn starch in minimum water and add to the mixture.
  • let the entire gravy simmer on low flame, till desired consistency is achieved. taste and then add salt as needed.
the best part is that both these recipes are really quick...the pad thai takes around 15 min and tofu less than 10 min.and can be made with everyday ingredients, as usual i substituted some ingredients with what I had at home.you can use tamarind paste instead of vinegar for pad thai, and I substituted chinese cabbage (baby bok choy) with regular cabbage. tofu with broccoli, so in the same gravy you can add instead of tofu, mushrooms, baby corn, broccoli and a make very tasty side dish along with pad thai.

you can google and have multiple sites give you the recipe (thats what I do) but if you just decide to stick by this recipe I guarantee you are going to have a very tasty authentic thai food :)

song of the day: dheere jalna from paheli...one of my all time favourites..love the lyrics...and the music

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

tortellini

today I tried my hand at making tortellini....n yes it was indeed delicious...at least I loved it, and lots of my friends loved it too....one of them being Italian, so I conclude that it was a successful experiment :)

Ingredients:
  1. 1 packet cheese tortellini (19 ounces)
  2. 3 tablespoon Parmesan cheese (or any cheese u have)
  3. 1 large onion
  4. 1 tomato
  5. 3 to 4 mushrooms
  6. some olives with pimentos (depending on your taste for olives, you may increase or decrease the number)
  7. 1 tablespoon olive oil / cooking oil
  8. 1 green chilly
  9. 3 cloves of garlic
  10. salt to taste.
  11. dried herbs and italian seasoning
Method:
  1. chop all the veggies and saute onion, chilly, garlic, mushroom in oil till onions are golden brown.
  2. add salt and herbs and seasoning powder to the veggies, let the herbs blend with the veggies for 1 min add chopped tomatoes and olives, saute for 1 to 2 min...
  3. simultaneously, boil the tortellini as per instructions on the packet.....I just boiled one packet (19 ounces) in 3 quartz (12 cups) water as per the cooking instructions for 4 min then drained it and sprinkled some oil on it so they didn't stick to each other.
  4. Once the veggies are cooked nicely, toss the tortellinis with the veggies and mix it well.
  5. Sprinkle the parmesan cheese and mix it....sprinkle some more on the top...
  6. serve hot... :)
this is a very nice dish....cooks quickly and tasty...and I made it little different (i didnt add any sauce to it )coz i didnt want the same taste as the pasta and ravioli....u can add marinara sauce or white sauce or pesto sauce with the veggies for a totally different taste and feel.....

song of the day: mujhse juda hokar...from hum aapke hai kaun...love madhuri..love the words..

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Love Story

i love this book...and the movie...
what more can i say about this beautiful book, that has not been said already...
for those who have not read it, all i can say is, read this book and you ll be happy that you did....

this is a story about a boy and a girl, oliver and jenny...who come from diverse backgrounds, and who fall in love, get married against all odds and strive to make a life together......sounds very routine and run of the mill story right.....well this is where the book gets to you as there is nothing run of the mill about it....

it is a simple story told in a simple way...yet it tugs at ur heart, and makes u laugh and cry at the same time....when u read the book, u wish u had conversations like oliver and jenny with your better half....again some being very witty and some full of understanding......the beauty of the book is, neither of them are ideal people, they are very normal people like u and me.....they have fights with each other just like everyone...and then how they deal with it is inspiring without being idealistic......

and its such a small book...even non readers can venture into this book and get done with it before they realize.

movie is just as good as the book i must say....though the end in the book is better than the movie....movie is just as u imagined when u read the book...maybe because erich segal wrote the book when he was working on the screenplay of the movie.......

I love both this book and movie and wud urge one and all to read it/ see it....

song of the day: tere bina from guru......love the dance!!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

journey

life has come to a full circle now..
with lots of ups n downs and twists and turns
life has brought me where I always wanted to be.....

this is just a milestone achieved.....
i know but its a milestone nevertheless...
one which was never in sight.....

it was just a matter of a twist 
and lo behold, what a sight to see
all the pain forgotten and legs stop hurting
coz this is where i always wanted to be...

as i take in the beauty and catch my breath..
speechless i wonder, whats further next
smiles and laughter i hear all around
and i know this is how its always gonna be...

i pack my bag and start again
energized to reach the next milestone...
who knows where the next turn lies
and its just a matter of time
till life gives me a new surprise

enthused i start the climb
coz i know now there is someone behind
to catch me if i fall, to hold me if i slip
this journey is ours now.. 
and this is how it was meant to be..


well well well....didnt know i had this within me!!!!!!!!!! i was just gonna write a nice n sweet valentine day post and look what i got instead!!!! anyways guess i ll write one more post in a short time........guess have lots buried within me....

song of the day: kabhi phool dena from rules pyar ka superhit formula...love the words!!!!!!!