Sunday, December 23, 2012

Awesome aubergines: Baigan Bharta

one of the few forms of brinjals i ate as a kid...well now too, i do not love them in any form...but i do have some of my preferences now, and i do eat it in ways i can enjoy them...baigan bharta is one of the dishes i really like and make well......one of the things i like is roasting the egg plant, the slightly charred taste is something i love....this recipe is a north indian way of making it...

Ingredients:
1 medium sized egg plant 
ingredients for basic red gravy

Method:
  • Roast the eggplant over flame, turning it around as it cooks, cook it till tender. Poke knife and see it should go in easily. some juice may drip from eggplant, keep roasting it till completely tender.
  • if you have electric grill, instead of flame gas, you can roast on it too or else, bake it in oven on 375 deg F for 20 min.
  • whatever way you choose, the eggplant should be very tender and knife should be able to pass through it without slightest pressure.
  • once it is done, let it cool.
  • as it cools on other side, start making the basic red gravy.
  • once the eggplant cools, peel off its skin, then cut the egg plant lengthwise into 2 halves, check if clean, mince the eggplant with knife or with knife and fork, you need to shred it in fine pieces.
  • when the gravy is ready, mix the shredded eggplant with the gravy and let it simmer on flame for couple of minutes..
  • tasty baigan bharta is ready :)
you can eat it with whole wheat tortilla if you do not know to make chapatis/ rotis...

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Awesome Aubergines

Aubergines/ Eggplant/brinjal/ringna/vantak/vangi/baigan etc etc....tons of names associated with this one vegetable...... in India specifically gujrati we have different names for different varieties of brinjals....and while the small egg plant in curries is something i do not like, the big one the nice meaty fleshy kind, is one of my favourites...
and here are some of my favourite egg plant recipes....maybe do a series of them, if I am unable to write it today in one post....

baigan bhaja
this is a bengali recipe, my aunt used to make it, my mom learnt from here, and i learnt from them both and added a touch of my own :)....i love it, and I have had people who never eat egg plants, not realize what they are eating and loving it and complementing me for it :)
goes as a nice side dish or even appetizer.....very easy to make

Ingredients:
  1. 1 egg plant (the big one...for my indian friends the one we use in baigan bharta)
  2. 1/2 cup rice flour
  3. 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  4. 2-3 pods garlic (crushed)
  5. salt to taste
  6. red chilly powder to taste
  7. oil for frying
  8. lemon juice
Method:
  • chop the egg plants such that each slice is 1/4 inch thick approximately
  • in a bowl, mix all the spices with the rice flour.
  • coat the egg plant with the dry rice flour- spice mix, press the slice into the flour mix on both sides
  • take some oil in a pan and shallow fry the eggplant slices till they are properly cooked, you can check it by poking a fork or knife..it may appear little blackish as some of the flour falls off as we place slice in oil as it is dry and that gets burnt and sticks to the slice....do not worry about it
  • squeeze some lemon juice over it..

Note
if you feel that flour mix is not sticking to the slices, sprinkle some salt on the slices, that will make the slices give out some water which will help with the rice flour, just be careful about adding salt accordingly to the flour mix, else the entire dish will be very salty.

Also, one more word of caution, when you add turmeric and red chilly powder to the rice flour, it doesn't really take the colour, so you might get little concerned if you added enough or not...you can taste it, if you feel the spice is right do not add more red chilly, and as far as turmeric goes, it safer to have it less if you are not sure than to have it in excess (it makes the dish little bitter)

So go ahead and enjoy!!!!
in this series I already have baba ghanoush, egg plant parmesan (however i think I might revise the egg plant parmesan recipe) and egg plant lasagna

more to come...baigan bharta, thats my next post...happy experimenting!!! :)

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Thanksgiving 2012

This year thanksgiving began, with cousins coming home from school...it was good to have them around....then on thursday, i had fun cooking....made palak paneer, shahi mushroom and methi matar malai for them to take back to school....went to a family party...and then shopping at 12 am!!! I was tired and not in mood to go...but then i needed things like winter boots, sweaters etc...so i had to go and pick up the deals :)

well, once i started driving, i was excited to go shopping by myself......and once i was there, the excitement of the evening or should i say night totally rubbed off me....and as i was having a ball going around shops, and buying stuff..i realized my phone was missing.....i was cool..till i traced my steps through the stores...and then wen i didnt find it, went to check in car....but when I didnt find it in car too...i kinda lost my cool....i was totally low...and obviously my shopping mood was gone....and i was super sad....well as i went and made my last round in stores giving them my contact details in case someone turned in my phone, i found it!! one of the cashiers asked me what kind of phone it was...and i said a blackberry..and she said, "is this yours" i was like of course..cant u see picture of me n my hubby on the wallpaper??? anyways, so all wasnt lost...but i had lost precious one hour...and i say precious coz i had planned to be back home by 4.30-5 am...as i had to got to work on friday!! i resumed shoppping, and got done by 5.15, when I realized my scarf was missing...i cursed myself....i again was little low, as i loved the scarf and it was a gift from my sister...so it had sentimental value....so once again i retraced my steps...didnt find it...and then decided to be on my way, after telling the customer service people to contact me if someone turned in a scarf...

i returned home by 6 30...went to sleep by 7...got up at 10...and went to work....after putting in a days work....i felt like asking the customer service people coz the mall was right on the way back home....and so once again, i dragged myself to the mall...and remembered that there was one more store which i should check out for scarf....so i went there, asked the sales person...and she YES...she had found one!!! and she thought it was stores' scarf, put up on the rack for sale (she did wonder about it, coz there weren't other similar scarf and this one didn't have a tag)...well so alls well that ends well....lost stuff...got them back...did some awesome shopping...

besides clothes got an awesome deal on Xbox 360 with kinect (gift for hubby :) and my office bag...bought in car speaker phone (am excited about it..coz now i can talk aaramse while driving with mom dad hubby and nidhi :)  ...watched private practice late into night on saturday....totally chilled out on sunday....watched chakravyuh with family at home....ate some nice dinner...and now wrote a post after a long long time...all in all a wonderful holiday well spent (pun intended ;)

this is a movie made by my friends' husband...and i loved it, so here it is...good job srikant kekare :)

Monday, September 17, 2012

Nilla Wafer Banana Pudding


I had been itching to make this dessert since a couple of months...well finally got around making it over the weekend...I had it for the first time as a part of my HR management class diversity project. For the project, we had to pick chits which had names of our classmates and then the classmate would tell us to buy/ make a food item belonging to his/ her ethnic background...Our professor too took part in this project, and she made this for the entire class....From there I learnt that this pie is of african origin.....then next time my roomie made it coz we both loved this dessert...well so now finally I gave a shot at making it, and it was worth a try...this ones for u roomie :)

There are two versions of this recipe, Bake and No Bake...i liked the idea of no bake recipe, so I made that one (i didn't want the dish to have cooked bananas)....the method of making both of them is the same, the only difference is, in the baked version you make a meringue from egg whites and cover the pudding with the meringue and bake it..... in No Bake you top it off with whipped cream...

you can try the either one..and the recipe for meringue is here as well :)
If you wish to have a short cut for this recipe, you can just use vanilla pudding mix available in stores, and if you are in India you can use vanilla flavoured custard powder...

But if you wish to make it from scratch, you can make the pudding just as easily at home too :)
I referred this recipe from Leite's Culinaria

I did make some small changes to it, so this is how I made it...

Ingredients: (for 12- 15 people)
  1. 6 egg yolks
  2. 3/4+1/2 cup sugar
  3. 7 tbsp cornstarch
  4. 1 cup creamer*
  5. 5 cups milk 1 %
  6. 3/4 tsp salt
  7. 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  8. 2 tsp vanilla extract
  9. 6 bananas
  10. 2 tbsp lemon juice
  11. 3/4 packet nilla wafers
  12. 2 cups whipped cream (Coolwhip)
Method:
  • Basically, you need to make the pudding, and then arrange pudding, nilla wafers and bananas in layers in a glass bowl.
  • Take egg yolks in a saucepan and keep it over flame using double boiler method, add sugar, and cornstarch to it and mix them well.
  • once you feel that the mix is smooth, add creamer and milk...add salt, cook it over medium flame till it comes to boil...let it boil for 10 min or till it thickens..stir constantly during this entire time, so that the pudding doesnt stick to bottom or sides and begins to burn...also by stirring you ensure that pudding is nice and smooth and not clumpy..
  • once you feel it has thickened, turn off the flame and let it cool...add vanilla and butter and mix it well....cool it by placing in cold water tub...
  • slice bananas in 1/2" thickness, add lemon juice and toss it so that lemon juice covers the bananas.
  • once the pudding has come to room temperature, make the layers...put two cups pudding at bottom arrange a layer of nilla wafers (whole or crushed), place bananas over the wafers....pour rest of pudding over it, arrange wafers and bananas, then cover it with cream and decorate some more with wafers and banana...
  • let it set for couple of hours...ENJOY!!!!
step 2
step 1








final result :)
Notes:

I added coffee creamer because the original recipe required whole milk....and I used 1% milk...if you are using whole milk, you can just add 6 cups milk..

if you feel the pudding is not getting thickened enough, you can add some more corn starch...do NOT add corn starch powder to the pudding, dissolve it in cold water/ milk and then add the solution, else it will clump..

if you are in India, I think great substitution for nilla wafers would be parle G...you can use Marie as well, its just that it isn't sweet...if u using either of them, break them in smaller pieces...

you may divide the pudding in three 1/3rds and make more layers if you like to have more bananas and nilla wafers in your pudding

if you do not let the pudding cool or if your pudding isnt thick enough, you wont have distinct layers like in Letie's Culinaria pic...I didnt wait for it to cool, and so you can't see the layers...it tasted great, so worries on that front :)

Sunday, September 9, 2012

RIP Verghese Kurien

Yesterday, Dr Varghese Kurien died at age of 90...
What I know about this man, is that he is FATHER OF WHITE REVOLUTION (Operation FLOOD)....
man whose vision created AMUL....made india the LARGEST PRODUCER OF MILK IN WORLD...
helped farmers in India achieve economic independence..

this post is a tribute to this great man...India thanks you for what you have done....you will always be remembered for your contribution.....

Dr Kurien, you can smile from heavens above every time someone relishes amul butter, cheese and ghee (my favourite amul products) knowing you are responsible for that smile, that familiar taste, of AMUL The Taste of India :) :)

Related articles:
Death of India's milkman: When Bharat never saw its 'ratna'
A visionary who fathered the AMUL baby
Amul brand builder Verghese Kurien: The man who turned India into largest milk producer
Amul ad:


found this video...loved it..shows amul butter ads over 50 yrs :)


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

dear Wagon R

Dear Wagon R
As I say goodbye to you, my heart is filled with memories...
my first car....the car with which I was identified with...
I still remember pappu (the parking ticket guy) ask mom dad,
"yeh toh madam ki car hai na??"
He even asked ravi that question :)
How I enjoyed fleeing from him without paying the money...
it was like the contest we had...
then there were some moments you witnessed,
when I would go on long drives with you, and
talk with you about what was going on with me,
my fears, worries, confusions...
we had some beautiful moments together..
just before I left for USA..
How we loved to drive on vasai roads
alone by ourselves..just us...
I didnt know how much I would miss you..
but you were there when I returned...
welcoming me in a big hug..
you saw me through the guy meeting spree..
how I would confide in you about who I liked and who I didnt..
and then finally you saw me off as a bride..
then we had some fun, driving in ahmedabad...
a twist here, a turn there, we wouldn't let anyone
come in our way ....
today my heart is filled with all these wonderful memories..
my first car, you ll always be very special to me :)
I ll always love you...

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Olympic Games 2012

vijay kumar, sushil kumar, saina nehwal, gagan narang, yogeshwar dutt, mary kom
First of all, I wish to congratulate and thank the 6 medal winners for bringing home the medals, you all did the nation proud!!

sushil kumar and yogeshwar dutt winning silver and bronze respectively in wrestling and vijay kumar winning silver in 25 m rapid fire pistol shooting, saina nehwal winning bronze in badminton, mary kom and gagan narang winning bronze in boxing and 10 m air rifle respectively....

there is a reason, why I am writing these names and the events...coz prior to the medal, I didnt even know that such an event existed and india was participating in it...i only knew about wrestling and badminton...i didnt know women's boxing was making a debut....i thought it was there all these years at olympics....and I am not proud of it...we should at least know, about the events in which India participates...

Before asking the questions such as "why no gold?? why only 6 medals??? etc. let us acknowledge the hard work put in by each and every participant and of course the winners....


the participants irrespective of the fact that they win or lose have reached this point alone, without any support from others except their close friends and family....the winners have taken things a step ahead, and proved that they are one of the best in their sport by winning the medal....yes, so we are one of the best in 6 events....we are not as good as other countries who have won tons of medals....dont we all already know that....so why are we asking this stupid question to our atheletes, who have reached the place they are through sheer determination and hard work....

its up to us to support the ones who are training themselves to excel in these sporting events....let us look beyond cricket, let us encourage our children to try a hand in atleast one sport...let us support the organizations which train and support atheletes....Mary kom has her boxing academy....i dont get it, is she supposed to make boxers herself for India.....let us support her....she hasn't earned 1 crore despite being 5 time world champion...I do not in detail about other atheletes struggles...but i do know that sushil kumar, mary kom and yogeshwar dutt come from very humble backgrounds....I am sure there would be many such gems hidden, which may never get polished unless WE citizens of India take a stand to do so in any way we can...

this Independance day, let us decide, that each one of us will do our bit supporting sports in our country, only then, will we be able to see gold some day....today, let us celebrate with the winners...let us make their bittersweet victory sweeter :)

I totally agree with the following article posted in TOI, and so am sharing it..."Our medallists/achievers are worth more than mere gold"

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Chocolate raspberry mousse cake

yesterday was my sister's birthday....since a long time I was deciding what dessert I should make....I wanted to make something really special, something that I had never tried before...as I am a big chocolate fan, I wanted to make some type of chocolate cake....but I didnt want to make a regular cake, and mousse cake seemed too challenging as I had twice attempted to make chocolate mousse but was unsuccessful....during my research I came across David Lebovitz's recipe "chocolate idiot cake" which looked indeed very easy, and was not a traditional chocolate cake, as it was flourless chocolate cake, and which as per the author "an idiot" could make it, if they followed the instructions....and after reading the description of the cake, I was tempted to make it.

However, I thought it was too simple,so the idea struck me to make a raspberry mousse over the chocolate. after some research I zeroed in on this recipe for "raspberry mousse", again this is a super easy recipe....but while I was looking for raspberry mousse recipe, I came across the recipe for "chocolate raspberry mousse cake". I was tempted to make the chocolate mousse at the last moment...I was skeptical about it, as I had failed twice, but this recipe was different from the recipes I had tried earlier, this one didnt include beating and folding egg whites. I guess, I realized something about myself as I pushed myself to give this recipe a try, that I dont give up easily. I am super proud of myself. I am indeed my Mommy's girl :)


So here I present to all of you the chocolate raspberry mousse cake...and since I wanted to stick to the raspberry-chocolate theme, I used the ghirardelli dark chocolate with raspberry filling for the chocolate cake. you can use any chocolate you like, just use a good quality chocolate that you enjoy eating, as you are going to taste the chocolate in both the cake and the mousse.

Day 1: Chocolate Idiot Cake
Ingredients:
  1. 290 g semisweet chocolate chopped (i used 1 cup ie approx 150 g semisweet chocolate chips and 150 g ghirardelli raspberry squares )
  2. 200g unsalted butter
  3. 5 eggs
  4. 1 cup sugar
Method:
  • Melt the chocolate and butter using double boiler method ie in a large saucepan heat water, and place the chocolate and butter in smaller vessel and stir it till it melts and forms uniform consistency.
  • beat the eggs and add sugar and beat it some more.
  • Pour in the molten chocolate and butter mixture and beat it to form a uniform batter.
  • Prepare the pan by greasing it with butter and dusting it with cocoa powder tapping away the excess. I used a spring form pan, but I think that you can use regular pan too to make this cake. If the springform pan is not 100% water tight then you need to wrap it with foil.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 deg
  • Pour the batter in the prepared pan cover it with a foil
  • In a larger tray pour water and place the baking tray in the larger tray and the water should come till half the inner tray height.
  • bake for 1 hr 15 min, the cake should be springy to touch, your finger should come clean after lightly touching the center of the cake. the knife test doesn't work with this one, as this is a flourless cake. so do not over bake. 
  • the cake will be done if you follow these steps, let it cool, it will shrink some bit and separate from the sides.
  • I made the entire cake in 3 steps. so once the cake is cooled you can keep it in the refrigerator.
chocolate and butter in double boiler
melted chocolate and butter mixture

beating eggs and sugar
after adding chocolate

Prepared pan
batter in pan
chocolate cake ready :)



(I used this recipe as I think this one was easier than the recipe of cake on hunger happenings as this did not include beating egg whites and folding egg whites)




Day 2: Morning, Chocolate mousse
  1. 3 1/2 cups regular whipped cream
  2. 12 ounces (2 cups) semi sweet chocolate chips
  3. 3 tbsp water
  4. 3 tbsp sugar
  5. 3 egg yolks
Method:
  • Melt chocolate using the double boiler method.
  • Keep it aside to cool
  • In a small vessel pour water and add sugar and heat it till water boils, to make syrup
  • Beat the egg yolks, add the syrup to the egg yolk and mix it well.
  • Pour in the melted chocolate, and mix it using beater. the mixture will turn little dry and crumbly, so heat it again using double boiler method just so that it loosens little, or if your bowl is microwavable, heat in microwave for 15 sec. Do not heat too much, else the cream will melt.
  • add 1/3 of whipped cream and whisk well 
  • now add the remaining whipped cream and fold it with the chocolate mixture. The mixture should be fluffy Pour/ spoon the batter over the cake. allow it to set for half an hour minimum
    chocolate in double boiler
    melted chocolate
    egg yolk and sugar syrup mixture
after adding chocolate to egg yolk
after reheating the chocolate mix
after folding in the whipped cream
ready to set :)
     (My cake had shrunk quite away from sides, so I just scooped the mousse and placed it over the cake and spread as much as possible without it flowing over the cake , mine was sloping towards the edges and thicker in the center, but that doesn't make any difference. the look and taste is awesome nevertheless. So if you are using a regular cake pan, you can just invert the pan the next day, place cake on a plate and set the mousse on it.)




Day 2: evening, Raspberry mousse
  1. 3 tbsp seedless raspberry jam
  2. 3 cups regular whipped cream
  3. 1/4 cup sugar
Method:
  • in a bowl smoothen the jam with a spoon till it is loose consistency.
  • mix the sugar with the whipped cream.
  • add the loosened jam and fold it with the cream, till you see an even colour, no streaks.
  • spread the raspberry mousse over the chocolate mousse and allow it to set for couple of hours. 
(I used 3 tbsp jam, but I think if you add 4 tbsp jam, it would give better colour to the mousse and it wouldn't harm the taste much. if you feel it might make it too sweet, you can avoid using sugar. I thought my mousse was little too light pink. I am sorry for not having pics of the mousse in making)

Your cake is ready to be served!!!! You can decorate it with chocolate powder, or chocolate shavings or fresh fruits, anything that strikes your imagination.

it is super easy recipe, and the best chocolate mousse recipe, I loved the chocolate mousse....if you do not know how to fold, here is the video link to fold the cream in the mousse. I would suggest you do it in parts like I did, coz together it might seem little overwhelming and you dont want to add the layers unless the previous one is set well. Also, if you break it in 3 parts, its feels like its no work at all...

slice of heaven indeed..
I loved this cake, and I hope you ll try it and love it too :) 
Happy experimenting :)

Monday, August 6, 2012

cream of asparagus

one of my favourite soups since i was a kid.....i used to wait for my aunt from UK to get the packets of cream of asparagus.....so while I am in US, anytime I see a bundle of tender asparagus, I just buy them and give myself a special treat....and everyone I am with loves this soup too...so you should definitely give it a try if you can get your hands on tender asparagus sticks..

Ingredients:

  1. 1 bunch chopped asparagus 
  2. 1 medium sized chopped onion 
  3. 3 pods crushed garlic
  4. 1 tsp butter
  5. 2 tbsp cream
  6. salt to taste
  7. pepper to taste
  8. any herbs for seasoning (i used parsley and fresh basil, i am proud owner of a basil plant)
Method:
  • chop off the blunt thick one inch of the asparagus....chop the rest of it in one inch lengths...keep some of the tender tips aside for seasoning...
  • in a saucepan, melt some butter, add garlic, asparagus and salt....after a couple of minutes add the onions....once the onions r tender, add the herbs, pepper and then water...let everything cook together and then once the asparagus are completely cooked, blend it in a blender...then pour the soup in saucepan again, add cream...taste, if necessary add more salt, pepper and herbs...bring it to boil and then turn off the flame.
  • in  a separate pan, saute asparagus tips in butter,salt and some herbs..
  • add these tips to the soup or in bowls as you serve...
happy cooking :)

Friday, August 3, 2012

sevya

 SEVYA literally means caring through service....this project was founded by my aunt and her friend....the project is to revive and preserve dying forms of art like weaving, making handicrafts etc. my aunt and her friend support roughly 2000 weavers all over India....they are members of FAIR TRADE FEDERATION...the aim of these federation is similar...to ensure that the poor weavers are not exploited and that they get good income so that the art form doesnt die out....basically making sure that the art form is carried from one generation to other...
rings/ scarf rings

beautiful, isn't it??
every once in a while I get to visit my aunt at one of her trade shows.....and it never ceases to amaze me how these western, sophisticated looking items are hand made by the poor artisans in India...I am extremely proud of my aunt, she sees what the weavers do, what is natural to them and them westernizes the items...as to what will sell in USA...i get tears in my eyes, when people exclaim "this is so beautiful"....and ask where is it made...and when they hear India, they say "of course it is made in India...I shouldn't have even asked, where else in the world would you find such colours"......and this has been consistent with every visit over years....and I am so proud, when they start picking up stuff to order....and they like give me this and this and this....there is always such a long list...and when they say, "I am so confused, I want everything" i feel so happy....

love these scarfs
I am putting some pics here.....this ones for you masi....I am super proud of you, your talent, and the fact that you represent India so beautifully in USA...


Sunday, July 29, 2012

veronica vs meera

i read chetan bhagat's article on TOI about depictions shown in movie COCKTAIL...the link to the article is here. so i am writing this post..my two bit sense and opinions on women working, having fun, getting married etc.

what i feel is in every person lies these two personalities...Veronica and Meera...fun loving, exuberant, careless vs responsible mature family oriented.....and it would be very judgemental to think one cannot be with the other..... yes, facts wont change, guys when they want to have a girl friend they want veronica...nobody thinks that meera might also enjoy a night out....it is assumed that meera isn't the type....and when it comes to marriage, guys find it hard to believe that a girl like veronica can be responsible...


as far as guys selecting girls go (going back to my take on chetan bhagat's article)...well, i believe to each his own...some guys want a woman who works while some want a house wife....and same is true with girls...some girls want to work and some are comfortable being housewives....in India, arranged marriages are still very much functional...and successfully so....the good part about it is, these days women too have a say....so they can very well refuse to marry a guy who blatantly tells her that she is not allowed to work post marriage.....women are not just meant for kitchen....so for a guy to expect that his woman leaves everything and sticks to kitchen is completely unreasonable.....but these things get cleared up right at first meet....so girls and guys know if they are interested in the opposite person or not.......

also i believe that girls should work....not just to earn money...but to grow...to keep themselves updated...to learn new things....to break the monotony of day to day routine....you go out....you meet new people....you make decisions....be a part of something big happening in the world.....and trust me your children and husband will be so proud of you when they see the respect you command.....when people appreciate you...for your work, knowledge etc...


wrapping this post up i feel that each of us (girls and guys) have to grow up and become Meera someday....veronica has a mind of a kid...she is still in the pleasure seeking mode...she thinks of nothing besides what will please her.....and one day veronica has to undergo the metamorphosis to become like Meera....that doesnt mean u cant have fun....of course u can...just that u know that there is much more in life than just having fun.... we have to strike a balance between Meera and Veronica....

Monday, July 16, 2012

cocktail


this ones a fun film....there is nothing really exceptional about the movie...good or bad....so you can watch it, once....with your friends if you are in mood to chill out...the actors are easy on eyes...and you get to see london and cape town....

story is simple....a flirt, Gautam (saif ali khan) gets into a time pass relationship with sexy girl Veronica (deepika padukone)...starts living together with her and her roommate, the traditional girl Meera (diana penty)....when it comes to falling in love, what does he choose traditional beautiful or sexy and beautiful....

i liked one song, daaru desi....rest songs are ok...saif is good...but u dont reach for the loverboy here, like you do for sameer in dil chahta hai....similarly, you dont feel very bad for affection starved, rich bitch Veronica....and as for traditional meera, the way she slips in comfortable happy zone so easily, you dont get touched either....

this is a fun film...just chill the way characters chill......watch it for some fun and some romance...

Sunday, July 8, 2012

ferrari ki sawaari

"jo dekhega wahi sikhega" one of the most important messages conveyed by any movie.....very simple father- son story that will not fail to touch your heart....father Rustom Deboo (sharman joshi) is RTO head clerk who wants to fulfill his sons dream of going to a cricket coaching camp at lords, london....and the twists and turns that lead us to lords....

Kayo (ritwik shore) is a gifted boy extremely talented when it comes to cricket....and dreams of playing for indian cricket team like his idol..none other than Sachin Tendulkar....and his father trying to do everything he can including borrowing ferrari from Tendulkar....

acting is good by all the actors....boman irani plays Rustom Deboo's father....i wont write too much about the storyline and the twists...all i ll say its fun watch...a simple story told very well...story is well paced...you dont feel bored or confused about where the story is leading....ritwik is too good...he actually looks like young tendulkar and all his shots and mannerisms are exactly like tendulkar...so thats a bonus for all tendulkar fans....you feel like you are watching younger sachin playing.....and i simply loved sharman joshi in this movie...he plays the simple.....working hard to meet ends while doing his best to fulfill his son's dreams and teaching him good values.....he indeed is a super dad...

direction by rajesh mapuskar is good...hopefully he makes many more such enjoyable movies with simple but profound messages....dialogue bu raju hirani are fun...i loved the parsi lingo in this movie...music is good too..

i loved this movie...its an enjoyable ride!!!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

agar hum dentist na hote...


crown sirf raja ka taj hota
bridge toh nadiyon ke upar hota
aur canals toh samundar ka hissa hoti
probe toh sirf investigators ka hakk hota
smile dekhne par midline shift nahi nazar aati
cement toh building banane ke kaam aati
aur veneer hum furniture pe lagate
agar agar koh hum khane me use karte
plaster toh fracture me use hota
impression sirf ladkiyon ko patane me kaam aati
curing ka matlab theek karna hota
aur spatula hum kitchen me use karte
casting sirf movies me hoti
aur chair itni mehengi na hoti
ubalte paani me hum sirf soup banate
Agar hum dentists na hote :)

i loved this one so much that I had to add some of my own :)

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

at the park

some days back, i went to the park to volunteer at a picnic for under privileged children with my cousin parina......me and couple of girls were fillling up water balloons for the kids to play with...right now being summer, a lot of kids were playing in fountain or with water guns....but as they lined up at the tap to fill their guns...they noticed the balloons....and then started my fun journey...seeing how differently each kid reacted to the balloons...a couple of them were obedient and asked politely if they could have one or two balloons...which of course we gave....then came one girl...she just grabbed a fistful of unfilled balloons and ran away...i was super annoyed with her...and then later she had the audacity to come up to us and ask us to fill them for her!!!!!! but the kid who had us in splits of laughter was one who took some unfilled balloons...came upto us after some time and asked us if she could have balloons, which we politely told her no coz we wouldn't have balloons for the under privileged kids..we just told her that we were sorry and that the balloons were for the kids....then she innocently looked at us, and said, i dont mean to have your balloons...could you please fill up my balloons....and I just stared at her...did she actually think i was going to buy that...i knew she took balloons from my packet, and now here she is behaving so innocent....but this girl made me laugh when i overcame the initial surprise....I wondered, who taught these kids to speak like this...to lie like this....was it all innate...and every kid had a different way of getting some of our balloons....and how could I say no to these kids...did they know the difference between them and the under privileged ones??? the excitement in their eyes was just the same as the under privileged ones...kids are just kids...no matter where they live...what playing gadgets they have...their lives are simple..and their eyes light up when they see water balloons :)


Thursday, June 7, 2012

Banana Chocolate Chip Loaf

Do you have some overripe banana's sitting in your refrigerator?? Are you wondering what to do with it coz you prefer not to throw it?? well you have come at the right place...here is a supereasy and tasty recipe that everyone will love :)
I have picked the recipe from rachel ray, but made some changes to it to make it my own :)

Ingredients:
  1. 2 ripe bananas (1 cup mashed)
  2. 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  3. 2 eggs
  4. 3/4 cup sugar
  5. 1/2 tsp salt
  6. 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  7. 1 tsp baking soda
  8. 1 tsp vanilla
  9. 3/4 cup chocolate chips (semi sweet or bitter as per preference)
Method:
  • in a large bowl, whisk together eggs, vegetable oil and mashed bananas.
  • add vanilla, baking soda, salt and sugar mix well
  • add flour mix well to form an even consistency batter, do not overmix. 
  • lastly add chocolate chips
  • Preheat the oven for 350 deg F
  • grease the baking dish/ loaf dish with butter and flour it. (sprinkle some flour on the baking dish and rotate it so that a thin layer of flour sticks to the butter all around the baking dish, do this keeping the baking tray over the sink so that excess flour falls in the sink.)
  • Pour the batter in the baking dish and bake it for 45 min or till the knife comes out clean.
  • Let it cool for ten minutes, then you can invert it on a plate.
step 1
                                                       
step 2
step 3



ENJOY :)
Enjoy this bread as dessert or over breakfast!!                                          
Tip:
If you like it sweeter or more chocolaty add 1 cup sugar and 1 cup chocolate chips instead of 3/4.
This bread stays good for 4 days without refrigerator....i doubt it would last that long though ;)   

Saturday, June 2, 2012

apple crumble

Mitu was after me since a while to make this....first time i had eaten this was at my mama's home, made by Ba...it was supertasty and I was hooked on to this tasty and super easy dish...can be made in microwave too..
so noella this one is for you too...coz u asked me the recipe and I am sorry I didnt have it written down...now u can try to make it..and trust me it tastes awesome!!

Ingredients: (makes 10 servings)
  1. 5 medium sized sweet apples (peeled and cored and chopped)
  2. 9 tbsp sugar
  3. 1 cup all purpose flour
  4. 3/4 cup oats
  5. 10 tbsp butter (semi- soft) / margarine
  6. 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  7. 1 tbsp lemon juice
  8. 1/2 tbsp cinnamon
  9. 1/3 cup brown sugar
Method:
  • Preheat oven for 350 F
  • take chopped apples in a bowl, add 3 tbsp sugar, lime and half cinnamon.
  • In a baking pan spread the apples and cook them for 5 min (till the turn semi soft)
  • In another bowl take all purpose flour, oats, 6 tbsp sugar, walnuts, remaining cinnamon and butter and mix it till it forms a crumbly mixture. I like the crunchy texture oats add to the crumble.
  • spread this mixture on semi cooked apples
  • spread brown sugar over the mixture, it gives a nice caramelized look.
  • bake it for 30 min or till the crumble looks nice golden brown and apples are soft and bubbly.
  • serve warm with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream...

Step 1

Step 3
Enjoy this delicious treat!!!

Step 2
Tip:
  • If you feel that the crumble is getting too dry or burnt then drizzle some melted butter over it.
  • If you like your apples less cooked then do not cook them alone, spread the mix over the uncooked apples and bake for 30 min...let it remain in oven for 10- 15 min after you turn it off...that softens the apples some bit without over cooking it...
  • try both the ways and find out for yourself which one you like better ;)

Monday, May 28, 2012

Healthcare needs healing???

I am writing this post after viewing the episode of Satyamev Jayate about healthcare, in which aamir wrongly just focuses on doctors....maybe just to sensationalize things coz doctors are bunch of people who common man is gonna interact with and they are just easy targets....common man isnt going to interact with pharma companies or medical school owners...there are numerous flaws and points overlooked in this episode which are done intentionally or unintentionally...and yes i am eligible to comment on this coz I am from medical fraternity....

some things said on show were true....and must not be done like cut practices/commissions,scaring patients into procedures,and blatant over investigating....and some bad apples do that....and i agree shouldnt be done....but it is wrong to generalize it to most of medical community...

these days more number of investigations are done than before for various reasons....1) they are available, lot of currently done investigations werent available some years back....2 )doctors are afraid of getting sued and hence prescribe more investigations than they would have ten years before just to be on safe side....3) patients insist on them..
there is a fine line between more investigations and blatant over investigations..

also the stories about transplants....i dont know if they are true or fake... in reality there is a long list of people on the transplant list...you wont get a liver or kidney even if you need it immediately....and so no one would do a pancreas transplant just coz it was available....i really dont know...were the doctors quacks...or maybe aamir could do a show if there are organ transplant scams!!!!!

coming to next topic which he simply touched upon the fringes...which is an episode worth of story in itself...is about medical college scams..donation seats....and admission scams...OMG i have personally gone through the hell of medical school admissions...and something needs to be done about it...there are scams in medical admissions...seats are not shown to merit students when vacated and then after the admission deadline is past, the seat is shown vacant and then converted to donation category and sold for lakhs of rupees....and yes, its sad but true that colleges in order to get MCI certification brings in false patients and doctors and not only that, false lawns and trees too!!! colleges do a lot of false things to get more seats, and certifications....and so this underhanded deals of colleges and MCI should be exposed....and btw who are the owners of these colleges...who can it be except our POLITICIANS...

why is government not opening more colleges...why is medical college education becoming so expensive even to merit students....yes the private colleges demand loads more money from merit students....so where do intelligent students who want to become selfless doctors go???? why are there not enough PG seats in our country??? why do people have to spend lakhs of money in donation seats...why are such seats available???? who is benefitting from that money??? whose coffers are getting filled??? why isnt anyone asking this question and searching for answers to this??? 

then comes drug cost....firstly i want to make it clear, that pharma companies recover their research and development cost from selling their medicines...so crores of rupees are spent before they get one drug which is effective and can be sold in market...and then loads of money is spent on getting approvals from FDA and such agencies before it can be sold in market....here i am not siding with them, just making it clear that unlike said on the show, marketing cost (money spent on doctors) is not what raises the cost....what raises the cost is this R & D cost...and secondly, i am not really sure if generic drugs have same quality as these branded drugs...one of the reasons listed for inability to eradicate TB from india is poor quality of drugs....so my advice to my friends and family who can afford medicines is so buy branded ones....yes i know indian brands are less expensive than multinational brand...buy indian medicine...but buy medicines of a drug company you can trust...

next thing i want to add is....every company has a given marketing budget...they advertise, pay celebrities and get your attention...same thing is done by these drug companies..they dont bribe the doctors...nor doctors ask commission for prescribing drugs...at least most dont...again there are bad apples who maybe doing it..

there are loads of issues with indian healthcare system of which doctors too are victims....they are victims when they try to take admissions in MBBS and PG...then coz the colleges are corrupt and MCI is too, which leads to colleges having much more medical seats than they have patients....so the medical students do not get enough practice as much as it is needed....the living conditions of post graduate medical residents is simply HELL etc etc....

the problem with this episode was aamir kept of targeting doctors instead of problems within healthcare system and after watching the episode a common man will go home thinking that all the problems with the healthcare system are because of doctors and he is going to look at any doctor he knows with suspicion...

Sunday, May 27, 2012

garlic mushrooms

this is one of my favourite recipes and this has been well loved all over even by those people who don't like mushroom....i had it for the first time in pizza hut....figured out how to make them while eating it...and yes this is one of the best mushroom dishes i have learnt till date...so this one is for all you mushroom lovers....and ones who want to give mushroom another shot!!
ingredients:
  1. 250 gram mushrooms
  2. 3 cloves chopped/crushed garlic
  3. 1 tbsp ginger chilly paste
  4. chopped cilantro (coriander)
  5. pinch of aji na moto (chinese salt)
  6. salt as per taste
  7. 1 tsp garam masala
  8. 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil/ vegetable oil
Method:
  • wash and clean mushrooms thoroughly.
  • chop them into half...do not chop them too small as they shrink a lot when cooked.
  • in a bowl take mushrooms and all ingredients and let it marinate for 30 min.
  • saute the mushrooms after half n hour for 10-15 min or till tender...
Pointers
  • always add little less of spices or salt than u think is required for the given quantity of mushrooms as they shrink a lot when cooked and so the quantity reduces...
  • you may add more garlic if you are a garlic fan or more ginger chilly paste if you like your food spicy

enjoy them as appetizers or side dish!!

chocolate tiramisu

kaki gave me this super easy recipe of tiramisu....no egg beating!!! no tension of getting stiff peaks and then worrying about technicalities about adding cheese to it etc etc....and it just tastes equally good and its a great recipe for people who dont eat eggs!!! so without much ado i ll begin with the recipe

ingredients: (6 pieces)
  1. 24 ladyfingers
  2. 18 ounces mascarpone cheese (generally available in 8 ounce box, then just buy 2 boxes) 
  3. 2 cups whipped cream or 1 cup whipping cream
  4. 1/4 cup sugar
  5. 1/4 cup strong coffee or coffee liqueur
  6. 1 tbsp cocoa powder (optional)
  7. 1 ounce bittersweet chocolate grated
  8. 1 tsp vanilla
  9. 1/3 cup chocolate liqueur (optional) 
Method:
  1. arrange 12 ladyfingers in a tray, drizzle them with half of coffee or coffee liqueur 
  2. in a mixing bowl whip cream cheese, then add cream, sugar and vanilla, and whip the mix till stiff peaks are formed.
  3. if you using chocolate liqueur add it to the mix while you whipping it.....(i just added some coco powder to coffee and added it to the mix)
  4. with a spoon, layer this mix on ladyfingers, sprinkle some grated chocolate over the mix.
  5. arrange another layer of ladyfingers...drizzle them with coffee
  6. repeat the steps...

let it set for at least 2 hours minimum :)
enjoy this delicious treat!!

Monday, March 12, 2012

lost words

tears flow down my eyes, i dont know why
neither do i know , how to stop them
they seem to have, a life of their own..
forming, welling and flowing, without my control...
something is wrong somewhere, but no one sees it...
its obvious i feel, but maybe it isnt
i should understand,  make words of my feelings..
but that seems too tough,
how will words make a difference
when we dont feel the same....
words dont form, neither they are spoken..
never have felt so helpless before...
i dont know what tomorrow brings...
i dont know what today is....
words are lost somewhere in this helplessness
acceptance is the key, is what everyone says...
acceptance doesnt stop tears, or does it??