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 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 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 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 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 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!!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Finally someone agrees with me !!

In one of my previous posts, I had mentioned about making military training compulsory for all Indian nationals once they reach 18 years of age. A refresher course every year after that....and so on and so forth.
Well I am very happy to tell all of you that someone finally agrees with me...and it is no ordinary visit
and you will know who it is and what more the person has to say.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Christmas shopping...but the recession is here....

Today we went to MidValley and did some grocery shopping at Carrefour. Yet again A was bugged with the service and quality of some stuff there. While we were there I saw this gorgeous slow cooker from Faber. It was a steel and black beauty, the best feature was that the cooking pot was porcelain. After much deliberation we decided not to buy it :(
Aadi got a bit cranky mid-way to the food section so I found myself a crate to sit on, and then I gave him some biscuits, one dosa that I had packed from home, and ...what was it??? Oh that's all actually.
Continuing to shop I found a new brand of mini hash browns, and picked up one pack. Made some when we got home and they were yummm.
Aah yes, before heading off to Carrefour we went and saw the Christmas decorations, clicked some snaps, and then Aadi saw some kids with balloons, that sent Amol in search of the source of the balloons, it turned out to be one fresh-fruit drink stall, and the trick was that you had to buy a drink in order to get the balloon "free". We had to get we did.
Tomorrow i'll post some snaps of the decorations.
After seeing the crowd at Megamall, Amol said to me 'does this look like there is a recession?'
People were busy shopping, crowding the outlets that had a 'SALE' signboard. Buying gifts for their friends and family, and some for themselves too.

When we got home, Amol asked me something that I had been waiting to be asked....'what do you want for your birthday?'
Well here is the answer: I liked the slow cooker we saw, I need a new pair of walking shoes (that should be the impetus to push me to the treadmill in the gym downstairs!!), I would love to get a silk/satin cover for my quilt, and a matching pillowcase too..please...
I would also want to get my hands on the Oprah Magazines for November and December...I have not got those in the mail yet, despite renewing my subscription :(

I badly want a nice 'Doctors' Set' for Aadi, that has to go first, even before my birthday gifts.
So Amol, if and when you read this, you know what I want!!

During this weekend I want to visit some more malls just to see their Christmas decorations and also to watch people shop-hop.
As long as people are happy and are shopping, it will be a good Christmas...come recession or what...

Friday, December 5, 2008

Nothing much

Amol was sleep deprived, so he slept till about 10!! The maid was in by 9 and I told her not to make any noise near the bedroom, as sleeping beauty was making up for her sleepless nights in India !!
Since he slept, I had to cancel Aadi's Gymboree class, as the husband's breakfast time would have clashed with our leaving for class.
Rest of the day was un-eventful. Oh yes...I did make a call to my mom and told her how nice the stuff she sent me was, and ofcourse there were the usual mom-daughter stuff to talk about ;)
Dinner time was fun as I made some pizzas, ok...I brought the base and the tomoto-base sause from the market. But I did take the efforts to cut some onion, and mushrooms to add as toppings, and yes then there was the generous sprinkling of cheese........yummmmmmmmmm
Dinner was getting eaten while watching a Marathi movie 'De Dhakka'; it was fun to watch and there were many a funny moments in it.
All in all a nice day in which I did nothing much...

Thursday, December 4, 2008

The wait is finally over

I was very excited from wednesday evening, as the next morning A was to get home.....
I somehow managed to sleep early and woke up early too, I sms-ed him so that he knows I am awake !! actually I sms-ed him just to say Good Morning and that I am waiting to see him..
So off I went to the kitchen to make tea for us and some breakfast. I knew he would be home in an hours time since landing. I wait and wait and wait...and's now 2 hours since he landed and I can't understand what is holding him up. He finally turns up and then tells me that instead of taking the faster route i.e. the KLIA express, he took a taxi and then dropped off his co-worker and terminated the taxi there and waited to get another taxi from there !!!!!!!
I was soooooooo angry, I told him that he has to consider that someone is waiting for him at home and that he should not try options the next time...First get home by the fastest means available...
woooshhhhhhhhhh ...

The rest of the day was spent in catching up on all the 'khabar' from back home, and we did have loads to talk since he was there when the attacks took place. A said he was appalled at the way the media was using it more as an opportunity to increase it's viewer-ship, some journalists doing a sloppy job and many many more things.

He also told me about his time with our families, although he was quite tied up.
He told me about my little cousin sister (one month old), how she laughed when he made funny noises...and about my cousin brother (the baby's brother) how he is now overtly possessive about his mom (my aunt)!! Gosh I miss them a lot.

My mom sent along some ladoos and sev, which I attacked immediately, and they were yummy!! Miss you mom :-(

At the end of the day I was happy that the wait was finally over.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Still waiting

I am waiting eagerly for A to get home tomorrow. Today was a no-tv day for Aadi, but in the evening I let him watch Shrek on the 'new tv'. 'New TV' is a name that my son gave to the portable DVD player that Amol's colleagues gave him on his birthday. Now we all call it by that name.
Evening time my neighbor and her kids came over to play. I made Dosas for them and initially Aadi was reluctant to come out and play with them, but eventually came out.
I decided to watch the remaining part of a Marathi play, it is a funny one (supposed to) but somehow I can't laugh at the jokes as there is no one to laugh and share the jokes with....
I have saved some cake that I had baked for Amol, also I have kept some 'Kadhi' for him. He loves it and I am sure he'll love it.
I still keep going back to the news paper websites to know what is new regarding the Mumbai attacks. The other day I was talking (chatting) with a friend of mine, and we spoke about what we can do to make a difference. I said that to start with we need a healthy and fit nation, and it's citizens will be trained to tackle such situations. I suggested we have National Service for all kids once they are 18 years old. They spend 2 years in training. After that every year for 15-20 days they go back for training and during this training their fitness is checked. This service program should be linked with a stunning reward system.
Singapore has a similar program, and I have seen the people there really making an effort to stay fit, they look so 'ready' for anything.
I would want my son to attend such National Service camps.
Think about it.....while I still wait for Amol....

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Roller coaster

Amol sends an SMS saying that I should go on g-talk urgently. I go online and he tell me that he can travel back tonight only if I can get an e-ticket issued from KL sentral. I can't go because it is Aadi's dinner time and plus taxi is a huge problem in my area. So we decide to tell Senthil to do it. As I pick up the phone to call him, the phone rings and guess what?? it is Senthil calling to find out how we are doing. I quickly tell him what needs to be done and soon he is off to issue the tickets.
Meanwhile I update Amol, and we are happy and excited that we'll be together after a week of tension and waiting.
Just so that you know: Amol had traveled to Mumbai last tuesday and then the terror attacks happened, and Mumbai was in chaos and was spell bound by terror. The clients canceled the meetings, rightfully so, and Amol then took off to Pune to meet his family. He is back in Mumbai on monday and is done with the meetings.
Back to today: Senthil calls 45 minutes later and tells me that the tickets cannot be issued simply because the system is shut and that flight time is just 3 hours away !!
So again I updated Amol with a heavy heart that he can not board the flight today.

So that's what the roller coaster ride was..

And finally I am happy again coz he'll be home on thursday morning!!
Miss you A!!

Monday, December 1, 2008

My own blog

Last year when I started The Seasoning with two of my best girl friends, I never thought I could carry on a blog for more than a couple of months, let alone that I can handle a blog on my own.
But here I am today, starting my own blog, and promising myself that I will be regular, faithful and honest to this space.
So here's wishing myself all the very best and wishes and hopes to enjoy every rise and fall in the ride of the massive roller coaster that we call LIFE.