Tuesday, March 24, 2009

My place in the universe

I've always believed in the idea that each of us has a particular place in the universe where we belong, and that if we find it everything will fall into place and we will flourish.

—Patrick O'Connell, chef

I know this too..........but what I want to know is how to find that 'place' that is meant for you and you alone.
I am still trying to figure out 'my place' in this universe, and I think the journey is more enjoyable than the would-be destination.

Monday, March 16, 2009

woman of today !!

This incident happened last Friday, I received a call from a friend (debatable) and since we had not had a conversation for a long time we got talking. Over the course of the conversation I invited her family (including her father who is visiting her) for lunch/dinner.
Shock of shocks...when she laughed and said to me 'you and I can only talk these things, but really our husbands will have to decide' !!!!!!!!!!
I was zonked out of seat for a while and was utterly shocked that a woman of today is talking like this to me....and telling me that the husbands are the only people in our life who can decide who we invite or accept an invitation!!

Once I was a bit out of the shock, I managed to mumble something of this to her 'I don't have to ask my husband who we can invite, or when should we invite them, I decide and tell him'...then to tell her what to do I said 'you go ahead and ask your husband when you can come over....decide a date and just inform me'

Why do some ladies behave like slaves to their master/husband? Don't they have some self-value, some respect for being ...just being....

I am really very shocked !!!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Stop being a glass. Become a lake

The old Master instructed the unhappy young man to put a handful of salt in a glass of water and then to drink it.

"How does it taste?" the Master asked.

"Awful," spat the apprentice.

The Master chuckled and then asked the young man to take another handful of salt and put it in the lake.

The two walked in silence to the nearby lake and when the apprentice swirled his handful of salt into the lake, the old man said, "Now drink from the lake."

As the water dripped down the young man's chin, the Master asked, "How does it taste?"

"Good!" remarked the apprentice. "Do you taste the salt?" asked the Master. "No," said the young man.

The Master sat beside this troubled young man, took his hands, and said, "The pain of life is pure salt; no more, no less.

The amount of pain in life remains the same, exactly the same. But the amount we taste the 'pain' depends on the container we put it into.

So when you are in pain, the only thing you can do is to enlarge your sense of things.....

Stop being a glass. Become a lake!"

Friday, December 19, 2008

Friday shopping

Last evening we went off to the wet-market (a phrase used for fresh-market) in Briekfields. It was much more spacious than the one near Palm Court. It was also much better lighted. We bought some vegetables from a man speaking in 'Bangla' with me....thanks to Malina I follow a bit so I didn't make a complete fool of myself !! We explored some more, found a stall where they were making some hot vadai, curry puffs. One man there was doling out 'shev' made of steamed rice flour. I don't know what it is called :( but it is eaten with coconut milk and curry. They also had stuffed rice dumpling shaped like a 'karanji'. It had ingredients of 'ukdi che modak'. I just bought some vadai from him and moved on.
At the fish stall, Aadu was very fascinated to see small sharks, and insisted that we buy some for him !!! We did not buy any coz the guy din't have 'tingiri' which Amol likes the most.
As we ventured further, we found a fruit stall, and bought lots of goodies from her. While returning to the start point, we bumped into Senthil, his mom and Anand. Senthil's mom is just like him, smiley and friendly. Aadu was talking to her within seconds; although they did not have a common language to converse!!
My brat then went off with Senthil as we were left standing with Anand, they returned after a good 10 minutes.....till then frankly I was a worried mom. Of course I have no issues that he was with Senthil, I trust him completely. It's just that my son WENT with some one...and more so he went willingly and even had the innocent guts to say bye to me !!!
We still needed some stuff so we went off to Bangsar Village, where Amol told us that he wants to look around, we saw some amazing bargains...a lovely dinner set for 169 !!! one amazing snow-globe..it even had music !!
Clicked some snaps of Aadu with Mickey & Minnie. Amol then tried some stainless-steel finger rings and we even liked one with a yellow gold band in between the two steel rings. It cost 149.
I pulled Amol from there and dragged him to the Village grocer to get what we had initially come for. I bought the puff pastry that I wanted to make the much awaited Khari. The link to the making can be found here.
I could not contain my excitement and made the Khari as soon as I came home.
I shared by amazing Khari with my neighbours and they were very happy to have something so simple and something that reminded them of home (India).

Thursday, December 18, 2008

stiff neck....not anymore

Yesterday I woke up with a horrid pain in my neck and shoulders, the day was equally bad, tried some hot water, some ointment rub, but nothing worked..
Today also the pain was there, but it ceased towards the evening ...well it just didn't get well on it's own. I wasted some seriously hot water from the shower, trying to sooth the pain.
I am busy reading the Mandela autobiography and I'm getting engrossed in it. The afternoon time went by in reading it.
Oh yes, we enjoyed some yummy cheese cake, which my neighbour gave me last night. With the cake in, I was lucky to get an excuse from one of my snack-making time!!
Evening Amol was in a mood to do some cooking (lucky am I not?) and thankfully I had Kabuli Chana (chickpeas) soaked and boiled...all ready to be cooked. See I always say that one must have some ready to cook stuff in the fridge, this way we can cook something anytime we want. (did that make sense?) Like today when I boiled daal (lentils) for the 'varan', I boiled some extra for the 'sambar' I intend to make on Saturday morning. Oh that reminds me I have to soak the rice and the urad dal for the 'dosa' and 'idlis'.
OK, back to the 'Chole', I stood by his side giving him instructions, and bringing out the stuff from the fridge, the spice cupboard, so that my chef did not sweat too much under the heat.
Well then they were finally made (I usually follow the recipe from the carton of Chole Masala, the Everest brand), the chef went to the toy room to spend time with Aadu.
I made some gorgeous 'fulkaas' to accompany the 'Chole'.
With dinner done, we were all ready to watch 'Commander In Chief'; but sadly it was not on, and instead 'Army Wives' was playing....so we were channel surfing and yippieeeeeeeee we found 'Jhankar Beats' on 122 i.e. Astro Kirana.
It is one of Amol's favourite movies and I too love some songs sung by Shaan (love the way his voice sounds ..I can actually hear his smile in his songs) Love you Shaan for smiling through all your songs !! Did you know............. his real name is Shantanu Mukherjee!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Hair issues

Last wednesday, I called Amol at work and told him that we "have to" go to the doctor in the evening.....reason ----> I am losing hair as fast as the rain falls !!!
I am experiencing hair loss for a few months now, but I thought it would eventually stop, but no...they refuse to stay put on my head !!
I know that we shed around 100 hair daily, but mine seems to be a different case, they don't seem to be growing back :(
So off we went to see Dr. Mallika (oh I love her) in Bangsar, and I told her what I was there for...she told me a few home remedies to try (wait I will pen them down..a bit later) and also prescribed me some Iron & multivitamin tablets along with Vitamin E capsules.
Now I have been taking them regularly, and I feel (and hope) that the hair fall has reduced.

OK ..now for the home remedies that she gave me.
Warm oil head massage. She told me to try the Himalaya brand and it's oil to prevent hair loss.
Oh yes...she did ask me which shampoo I am using...I'm using the Himalaya Protein shampoo.

Another remedy she gave me was: add one egg white to oil and massage it in the scalp. Leave for 30 minutes and then wash off.
Now this one I have not tried yet, but will definitely do it ...maybe over the weekend, when hubby is around to take care of Aadi, coz the little one does not let me near him when I have something on my hair...henna for example.

Please wish me luck in this crusade and I promise to update you on my hair fall.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Paav-bhaji: yummmmmmmmm

The day was last Thursday, Amol had a holiday, and it happened to be my MIL's birthday...so we decided on making a special meal for us, and we decided on Paav-bhaji.
Now for the non-Indians here, paav-bhaji is simply bread and vegetables.
Making the bhaji was pretty easy (recipe to follow) but the challenge was in finding the right bread to replace the paav. We found none, so I scoured the net for a recipe and found a good one on The Spice Cafe, bought all ingredients and baked some gorgeous paav/bread.
Although I must tell you right here that the recipe was not fool-proof and needed tweaking here and there. I'll tell you all about it - below.

OK well here first is the recipe for the Paav/bread:
  • 1 cup bread flour+ 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3 tsp. active dry yeast
  • 1 tbs maple syrup (or sugar)
  • 1.5 tbs. butter (melted)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tbs. melted butter to brush
1. Mix the dry ingredients together, better to sift them together. Then add in the maple syrup, butter and salt. Warm the milk a little before adding to this dough.
2. Knead this into a dough, you could need a bit of butter on your hands to knead it soft.
3. Leave it to rise for 1.5 hours.

This is the kneaded dough.
And after the 1.5 hours this is how it looks. It rises quite well.

Now you have to beat the dough, idea is to take out all the air in it!! Once you do this roll it out into 'baguette' like shapes and cut into about 12 pieces. You can choose to make less, meaning that you could have larger rolls but few numbers. I chose to do more number and small size b'coz we are using whole wheat flour, and it is not the easiest thing to bake...so just to be on the safe side.
So that's how the rolls look like, put them on a greased oven tray. (Notice the small cute one...that was a special one for my son). You have to let these sit for 15 minutes before you chuck them in the oven, this way the rise and merge at the joints...forming the 'laadi-paav' effect.

Pre-heat the oven and bake at 375 F or 190 C. for 15 minutes. I baked them for 15 minutes, and then brushed them with butter and set the oven to 200 C and baked for further 10 minutes. This way I got wonderful, golden, soft, and had a nice 'net' like look once you cut them.

Here are the beauties, hot out of the oven.

And here is my pot of yummy, mouth watering "bhaaji"

The recipe for the bhaaji is from here
I did tweak it a bit, I did add onion to the bhaaji, but before I added the onion, I added garlic followed by capsicum (finely chopped). After the onion and capsicum were nice and soft, I added 1/2 can of tomato puree, and 2 medium sized tomatoes chopped. This was followed by the 'paav-bhaji' masala (I used Everest) and red chili powder. The hint here is that 'less is more'.
Then came in the boiled veggies that were boiled in a pressure cooker.
Salt was added, some butter was thrown in for effect!!
Another great hint would be to chop the vegetables as fine as you can, that way later you don't have to stick your hand into the boiling pot to crush any huge chunks.

This finally is how our plates looked. The white thing in the small bowl is kheer. Again it is my version and it's super simple to make. But kheer recipe some other time.

oops...this picture was taken before I added the coriander leaves on top as garnish!!