Friday, June 29, 2012
For next few months you will see a host of low calorie cuisines in my space. With some serious efforts being made from my side to reduce weight, I conceive my sharing recipes conducive to weight loss would help a lot many like me struggling to keep in shape. However, that does not mean that I will refrain from posting the savory treats that are regular in my blog.
Chopsuey is a traditional Chinese dish concocted with an assortment of vegetables and a choice of meats including beef, chicken, pork, prawns and fish. Usually served with boiled rice, chopsuey can be enjoyed in restaurants typically with the hallmark Chinese stir-fried noodles. However, in my preparation I had chopsuey with boiled rice noodles simply because I wanted to curb my intake of oil. Getting really health conscious, you see :o
Thursday, June 28, 2012
Do you like friends imitating you blindly? I had a childhood buddy who was into this noisome habit of emulating whatever I would try to do and mind you, it's not at all interesting when friends try to copy your dressing or emulate things you are involved in. It just makes you feel that your friend is trying to get into a competition with you. It's irritating. It does not end in one thing, it just goes on from one thing to another. It spoils the spontaneity of the friendship. My friendship with my childhood friend did fall apart because of her constant nagging ways to compete me.
These friends will never waste a word in praise of you, but you can feel that whenever the next good thing you engage yourself with, they do the same. If you get into baking class, they will do the same. If you go for painting, you will find them waving at you from the last row of the painting class. If you buy a set of goggles, you will find another pair in their bags the next day. If you start writing poems or making any literary composition, next day you will find them attempting the same. But never will you see them passing any compliment to you.
I wonder why ideas don't pop into their nutty heads on their own. Why do they have to derive passion out of watching their friends do something? Passion is never developed by copying someone. It is there in your heart. Just because your friend, you might look up to or feel slightly jealous of, engages himself/herself with something, you don't necessarily be toeing the same line. Hobbies are not a place for competition. Hobbies are something followed out of passion. Finding the right passion is more important than doing the one your friend is doing.
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
I love peanuts. Peanuts are enriched with many beneficial nutrients, anti-oxidants, vitamins and minerals. Peanuts are essentially helpful in lowering LDL (bad cholesterol) and increasing HDL (good cholesterol). Research studies have shown that a kind of anti-oxidant present in peanuts prevents stomach cancer. For more to know about peanuts and related health benefits, please view the following website:
However, people allergic to peanuts must avoid them at all costs.
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
My hubby few days back bought frozen scallops from the market. I have eaten scallop a number of times in restaurants, but never cooked it at home. Not having any continental scallop recipe handy, I relied on my instinct to conjure up a spicy flavorsome scallop curry that perfectly conformed to our Indian taste bud.
Recently, we had been to Cedar Point which is one of the popular theme parks in US boasting of a record number of 74 rides including 16 roller coasters 4 out of which are taller than 200 ft (61m). Frankly, I don't enjoy rides, at least, consciously. I don't like the very idea of sending my adrenaline glands into sudden rush by some electrical giants. Yet, at the insistence of my hubby and his peers, I got into some rides one of which was from category 5 thrill ride. I must say, 'Wicked Twister' was really wicked in giving me palpitations. Whenever the ride took a coil at the top at a speed seemingly faster than winds, I literally had my heart in my mouth. I was scared to death praying for the whole whirlwind to come to an end. I took an oath sitting there screaming my lungs out to relieve stress that from then onwards I would not step inside a category 5 thrill ride.
After that tumultuous ride, I had to satisfy my hunger pinch with these beautiful sour cream muffins which seemed as true blue delights in the face of danger. It is nothing short of a danger to have a ride enthusiastic husband who likes to try each and every ride and roller coaster available in a theme park expecting me to accompany him. Ki jala !
Monday, June 25, 2012
Friday, June 22, 2012
Malabar, a southern coastline nestled between Arabian Sea and Western Ghats, is lined with a string of coconut trees. Hence, the flavour of coconut predominates over the Malabar cuisines. Originally, any authentic Malabari dish is cooked with coconut oil. I have learned this recipe of Malabari Prawn curry from a cookery show hosted by Aditya Bal. Bal hewed to the authenticity of Malabar cuisine by cooking it in coconut oil. You may do the same if you like. But since I don't like the over pervasive smell of coconut oil, I have replicated the dish using white oil.
I am feeling really restless. I wish I could know a way to parry people I cannot stand for a moment. I wish I could defuse a bomb in their car or poison their food to make them disappear forever from my sight. But alas! My heart is soft and mushy and tender and I cannot think of spilling blood to get rid of enemies just as Henry VIII did. I covered the full 4 seasons of Tudors recently on Netflix and am still under its hangover. I was just wondering how mighty and reckless one is likely to become in the face of absolute power bestowed on him. Despite being one of the highly learned kings of his time, all Henry VIII is remembered today is for his brutality and ruthlessness in executing any potential threat coming his way. Whenever he found anyone rebuffing his diktats or brewing a plot against him, he sought to remove their heads.
Good that we are over with monarchy when power rested in the hands of few and others were at the mercy of their whims. But as I was saying, sometimes a little bit of magical power becomes a need of the hour when you find yourselves in an uncomfortable position with people you don't gel well. At least, if you cannot vanish them, you can go and disappear yourself into thin air.
I owe the below recipe to SpicyTasty which features some authentic South Indian as well as an array of interesting cuisines from all over the world. Except the measurements of some of the ingredients used and the addition of butter and ghee, I have stuck to the original recipe as showcased in their blog.
Thursday, June 21, 2012
Bhindi in Bengali is called "Dharosh". Dharosh is also an expression addressed to mean stupid or imbecile. It was my mother's favourite word to describe me when I was growing up. I am sure in Bengal, sometime or the other; every parent might have used this epithet on their wards in reference to a silly mistake. But how the connection between Dharosh and this allusive adjective came into effect is still unknown to me because I don't find bhindi anyway near to stupid looking.
Anyway, this spicy bhindi is my all-time favourite accompaniment with roti or chapati. Besides tasting delectable, it is also a healthy dish full of nutrition.
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Over the last one week, me and my hubby have been spending a considerable amount of time covering the seasons of The Tudors on Netflix. Must I say, it's an amazing watch and quite addictive too. The story about Henry VIII and his realm are so rife with atrocities, decapitation and adulteries that you never have a moment of dullness. Though my husband says that the actual Henry VIII was more forbidding in disposition than the one portrayed in the serial, I find the portrayal no short of brutalities. Imagine what the actual Henry would have been!! It's interesting to know that during his reign some 72,000 people were sentenced to death.
As regards the recipe, the credit of it goes to my new Marathi friend who painstakingly makes effort to pamper me with Maharashtrian delicacies and I keep noting them down to share them here.
I am a great Balika Vadhu fan. My husband often teases me about my fondness of watching Balika Vadhu the craze of which didn't diminish an iota even after coming here. I am not hooked on to any other daily soap except this one. I remember once I used to watch Uttaran which came on air about at the same time as Balika Vadhu, but after one or 2 years of watching Uttaran, I just felt I have had enough entertained myself with illusory fabled stuff that the serial was showcasing with one character murdered in broad daylight and then reappearing the next day in his spitting image ('hamshakal').
But Balika Vadhu is different. The story though based on a regressive custom of child marriage has shown progress in the lead characters moving on with their lives without any futile attempt being made to establish illogical or irrelevant connection of events. The story has matured over time showing the protagonist picking up the pieces of her life and move on. After all, a failed marriage should not end a woman's life pushing her into an eternal darkness. Hailing from a literature background, I have known that any piece of art is a reproduction of life. Hence any story represented in action on big or small screen should not stretch to the extent of incredulity that the audience fails to connect after some time. The good thing about Balika Vadhu is every character seems alive in flesh and blood without getting overboard with the positive and negatives shades of their essence. They resemble so much the people we interact with daily or have come across in our lives. That is the beauty of this serial which glues me on to it.
Coming back to the recipe, I have cooked chana masala many a time with tamarind pulp, but first time with kokum. The idea of cooking it with kokum came along the day I cooked Toor Dal with Kokum. Kokum has a mild flavour of tanginess that never feels sharp on your tongue. For people who don't like the taste of tamarind may find kokum a good substitute.
Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Finally, I have updated my travel blog with the story of Mackinac trip. Anybody interested in travelling there may find the information shared useful.
Coming to the recipe now, Red Velvet Cake not only looks gorgeous and beautiful, it is equally charming and pleasing in taste. If anybody has any misgiving towards adding synthetic color to the cake, beetroot juice can be a good substitute.
Saturday, June 16, 2012
Egg Pulusu is an archetypal Andhra cuisine with tamarind pulp and an assortment of exquisite Indian spices cooked together. I adapted the recipe from Sanjeev Kapoor. Though I have kept the ingredients more or less similar to what he has used, but I slightly twisted the preparation according to my taste bud.
Friday, June 15, 2012
The other day when I was baking Vanilla Apple Pear Cake, my hubby brought home a carton full of apples while I needed only two for baking the cake. So there are a bunch of apples still in the refrigerator waiting for their turn to be used. With intent to put the apples to some good use, I thought of incorporating them in my soup. Besides, as some serious endeavors to shed weight are underway, this carrot apple soup is exactly what I need to feel my tummy filled without any guilt afterwards.
Addition of butter into this soup is absolutely discretional. It will taste yummy regardless of butter or any other taste boosting agent.
This is another variation of Prawn Malai Curry I recently had at one of my friends' house. If you have tried and enjoyed Prawn Malai Curry, you must check out this variation with poppy paste. It is equally delightful and savory.
Thursday, June 14, 2012
Borar Jhal is a very flexible recipe not to mention a tasty one indeed. "Bora" means deep fried patties. I have used moong lentils to prepare the boras which can be made using other sorts of lentils like masoor or red lentil, chana dal or split Bengal gram and even with a random mix of two or three types of lentils. The process of making the lentil paste also follows the same procedure as described below, irrespective of the type of lentil used - soaking overnight and then grinding them until smooth.
You can fry the boras and then serve them as it is with chutney or sauce; or you may choose to cook a curry with them just like me.
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
We all love tomato soup, but do we know that tomato is actually a fruit and not a vegetable as the popular belief is. Tomatoes attribute to a slew of health benefits fighting cancer being one of them. It is rich with a vital anti-oxidant called Lycopene that prevents harmful formation of cancerous cells within the body. Tomatoes are full with fibers which help regulate the blood sugar and cholesterol levels. Another interesting fact about tomato is that it is available in every color possible save blue. Indeed, inclusion of tomato in your daily diet solves many of your health concerns.
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
The temperature is soaring high in Kolkata with scorching hot waves testing the strength of endurance in people. While in some parts of India, the dry heat drains people of their stamina, in Kolkata, it is extreme humidity coupled with the scorching heat that makes life a living hell.
My summer experience in Kolkata was pretty dreadful especially while I was serving in a school. Many a time the power cut would last through the entire day forcing us, the teachers, to work in the furnace of school building for hours on end. The compulsory dressing code of wearing saree only added to the agony of suffering. Now in summer months, to help the body from giving in to dehydration, drinking gallons of water is a must. Nothing seems more blissful then than a glass of cold drinks topped with ice cubes gurgling down the throat quenching your thirst. It feels like an elixir amid the scathing summer heat. Hope this Pudina magic does its magic giving you some respite from the painful summer.
Monday, June 11, 2012
Cake decoration is an art which I am still struggling with to come to a decent level. After viewing few of my blogger friends outdoing in this art of decoration, I have developed a little inferiority complex about myself. Frankly, prima facie what appears by the variegated display of colorful cakes around the blogging world is that cake decoration entails a lot of patience. Of course one needs to be imaginative too to be able to conjure up various ideas for adorning the cakes. But at the end, to put ideas into execution, you need to show patience and dedication which I believe I lack in myself.
Hopefully, someday with trial and error I would be able to achieve some decency in my cake embellishments.
There is a very famous traditional Muslim restaurant in one corner of Old Esplanade in Kolkata where I first tasted Chicken Chaap as a side dish to the most authentic flavoursome Biriyani. One of my friends threw a treat in celebration of her b'day in Aaminia giving me an opportunity to enjoy the most luscious plate of Mughlai cuisines ever. Aaminia, though famous for its food, is very simple in presentation, devoid of flamboyance and hence might lose out to the fashionable trendy restaurants offering a perfect cozy environment to their patrons. Unless you are a stickler for fancy decor in an eatery, you might like to have a dining experience in Aaminia which has an old appeal of traditional Kolkata.
I have prepared the Chicken Chaap in a traditional Mughlai way. But as opposed to the traditional Mughlai preparation, I have used minimal ghee in proportion to my taste bud. So you may adjust the same according to your palate.
Sunday, June 10, 2012
Chicken Mole Poblano is a Mexican cuisine cooked with chocolate, sesame seeds and almonds. The dark, thick sauce spread over chicken or turkey makes a rich sumptuous treat to savour. As opposed to the much spiced Indian curry, Mole Poblano is very low in spices with the dark color contributed by bitter dark chocolates. Chocolate is essential to the dish, so even if you don't like chocolates (who doesn't btw?) you must add some if you want to concoct Mole Poblano.
I added this recipe to my kitty during our Yercaud trip when we stayed for a night in an exotic resort owned by Mr.Visu Kaliyappa. He had an awesome collection of recipe books gathered from all over the world. Me and my friend took our turns to capture some of the recipes that caught our fancy in our cameras. Along with many other things, this Chicken Mole Poblano is one of the recipes we picked up in our treasure of memories.
Saturday, June 9, 2012
Carrots are very good for eyesight. I recall when I got my first pair of spectacles due to migraine; I was so paranoid that I started eating bunch of carrots raw on the advice of my father. My eyesight was perfectly normal even few years before until I weakened it by involving in excessive embroidery works.
Anyway, this Carrot Coriander Soup is instrumental in increasing your appetite if taken before a meal. With only a hint of oil, this is perfectly healthy concoction for anyone working on weight loss.
My father's cataract operation is due on this Sunday. In the event of his sugar again on the increase, the general physician has recommended him to postpone the operation, but the ophthalmologist has given him a green signal and so my father has decided to go on with the cataract removal. The only consolation amidst the tension and anxiety I have been feeling, sitting some thousand miles away from my home, over my father's deteriorating health is that both my brother and sister will be there beside him at the time of the operation.
My didi and dada have always been the saviours for me. When I was a child, I often used to rue over the fact of didi and dada getting more importance than me at our home for their status of older siblings whereas me being the youngest was always treated like a child even when I grew up. None of my views held any importance to anyone as did of my brother and sister. While the downside of being the youngest in the family is that you are always made to feel like a child even after you grow up into an adult, the upside is no problem in the family passes through you. Before even the problems begin to affect you, they are well taken care of by the elders.