Closing in to a month: Day 28 & 29


As the moving date gets closer and closer, our days are getting busier by the day. Packing when is kid is around is so difficult, don’t you think?

Anyway, last two days could be better described as Summer-ized! Yes, the summers are already in CA. The area had already received a prolonged draught and cold wave so the summers might just get the heat burst as well. The sudden transitions hurt the routine a lot. More hunger and thirst pangs and yes added weight of electricity bills :P.

I wasn’t very hungry for last two days especially around the lunchtime (it’s the heat L). I decided to give some rest to my over-exerting tummy and ate simple Dal Khichdi (Lentils and rice cooked in a soupy style usually served as comfort food when ill J). However as the temperatures settled I was able to dine well. I m anyway a dinner loving person!

Since I skipped my 30 day ab challenge on Sunday, I decided to not have a rest day on Tuesday as per the schedule. This challenge is working out great personally. Takes 10-15 minutes of my time through the day and then I don’t have to feel guilty of inability to go for post lunch walk or evening strolls. It’s a must try if fixing up a regimen is an issue with you.

Have you heard about “Clean eating? I kind of believe in doing that at least once every month. No matter the organic stuff and products I consume, the body still finds ways to store junk in it. Fortunately, the only noticeable addiction I have is drinking ginger infused tea. Ice-creams and aerated drinks do not fancy me for last 32 years at least. Never took to liking them because of my tonsillitis issue as a child. Perhaps simplifying and making it friendlier to suit my likes, what say? I m working on it but any inputs are welcome!

We packed some stuff in the guest bedroom for the last two days. I have moved 9 times in my life! 2 times in Bombay (from Chembur to Shivaji Park to Mahim), 6 times within the bay are and once overseas :P. Many of our friends call us pros in moving and have suggested commencing a help centre for the same!!! As ridiculous as it sounds, the thought is quite intriguing!

The thought of a sense of belonging and a feeling of being at home (other than the parents home in India) finally seem to get more real now. As I sit in the middle of boxes packed memories, a poem written in circa 2008 (while dating Rohan) keeps my mind hydrated, daring to share it again J.

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 A Home Away From Home..

 A friend (was Rohan J) met me over a chat conversation on the internet,

To introduce to me a vision I was blinded with,

A view of a homesick toddler (at heart) wanting to revisit days of childhood,

Might it seem impossible to those who have forgotten to pause in the midst of utter madness!

 He requested in a humble yet persuasive tone,

“Build me a home, Build me a home”,

In the lush greens of motherly arms,

In the happy lap of the fields,

In the blooming smiles of buddies, 

Midst of swaying trees, dancing crops to the monsoon songs of my sisters swinging a heavenly flight!

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 A dwelling not merely,

A little deeper than that,

An enlightenment replicating my soul,

Hiding simplicity within its hearth with long and open courtyards,

A porch to nostalgia,

A garden essaying my childhood,

A comfort to the frames in the family room,

Tantalizer to the taste buds of low lying kitchen,

A tranquility for the soul in the neatly lined bedroom,

“Oh, dear builder, build me a home away from home!”

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 A mother in the disguise of subtility,

A father to humanity,

A brother to hospitality,

A sister to care and kindness,

A search so mythical,

A demand so selfish,

“Still, dear builder, build me a home..away from home”.

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A symbol of trust & a mirror to reality,

A shoulder to cry & lean on,

A shelter to cringe for,

A granny singing a lullaby to shut me away from the world’s demanding and illusive strings,

A maid who tamed my tantrums to the matured handsome advisory,

A home that holds, a home that straightens,

“Hey builder, build me a home, build me a home”.

I am sure there is a mixed bag of emotions associated with our life at some point of time about a sense of belonging. Finally, we have found a home! Hope all find theirs J too!

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I have lost half an lbs early this week! So I m happy!!

In the last two days I have walked quite a bit in all the leading hardware stores around the south bay J. Yesterday we were so late that I could only fix up Cilantro Theplas and onion salad for dinner! But, I still could have a happy healthy meal, low on calories and nutritious.

Constant blogging has gotten me nomination for awards (and a tough job of selecting blogs that inspired me truly! I am sorry to have disappointed so many of my blogger friends, but hope you understand) but my eye power has shot up as well, so visiting a doctor on Wednesday L. Keeping my fingers crossed J!

Too long right? I believe any health regimen is incomplete without the state d’optimization of our hearts and minds!

This week is going to be more about heart though my fitness routine continues.

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The Infinity Award Nomination!


“For the celebration I got champagne flutes, even though I’m not musical. That night I felt like Mozart. He was a drunk, right?” Jarod Kintz “This Book is Not For Sale”.

In the same spirit and virtual state of being drunk, I am happy to re-announce that my fellow blogger Sandhya has nominated me for the Infinity Award. Thanks Sandhya for the honour and again excuse me for the delay in responding! The news really made me feel so proud that a shot or two helped me appreciate the value of such a nomination. I truly needed to introspect if it was deserved or not :P! Yes, I am always this analytical J.Featured image

Awards and nominations come with a great sense of responsibility and expectation from the critiques (for glory or depreciation) to be able to keep up to the quality of content.

Sandhya wanted me to nominate 7 other promising incredible bloggers and share my dreams/desires along with some introduction about myself! Sandhya, that’s going to be toughest part for me J. But, I will give it a try!

 A heart without a desire is like a fire without warmth,

A lady without a dream is like a bird without wings,

A mind without a simplified hope is like a body without a soul,

I am a lady that defies the norm yet manages to be normal!

 A lady full of thoughts in a sealed envelope is like the storm after the quiet,

A lady that rebels and submits is like the dawn after the dusk,

A lady that dares and dreams is like the lost tide that gushes into the ocean with defeat,

I m a lady that defies the norm yet manages to be normal!

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So, I write J (or have been pretending to do so since 2006). But, this totally defines me as a person. For years that I lost my voice to rebel, this blog is a perfect vent. It’s complicated I know!

Apart from writing I am an arts lover. I enjoy music, pottery, photography and painting. It’s been a while but reading Jefferry Archer is my solace. Though my blogs brag about my mother’s food and goodness (and one might be lead to be fooled), I am totally Baba’s daughter (daddy’s daughter). And yes, my love of Sarees is not an unknown now or is it? :P.

Cooking has been a stress buster for all the years that I could not practice my vocation after migrating to US. It has helped me dig deep into the science behind every recipe and enjoy individual ingredients that go into my system.

I hail from Bombay. One could take me out of there but Bombay shall always stay inside me! Always. (Btw,that reminds me to share a newsAaswad Restaurant in Bombay made us proud by bagging the award for their signature misal pav for the “tastiest vegetarian dish in the world” award in London). My recipe would soon be published-loads of backlog!

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I am a classically trained Architect and hold masters in Construction Project Management.

I am still awaiting for my big break and foray into a meaningful career in the US. But I am very hopeful!

“There is more to me than words could refine,

More words could ruin the context of me,

If the words count,

Then count me not,

For there is more to me than words could define!”

But, if I had to (have to as per the guidelines of the awards) enlist few dreams and desires that keep me up and bouncing, here’s a real cutthroat list!

  •  To never stop aspiring..

I need to breathe dreams and believe in them. If I stop to do so they would never get the best of me. I frankly feel the best has yet to come; the better has yet to overcome!

  • To never stop learning..

I am basically extremely bad at being idle. My mind has to be busy with something. Thankfully my father and I shared this gene pool so following his footsteps learning new things always keeps me motivated. I m a great admirer of the processes than the actual product, so learning process fascinates me!

  • To be a little heartless..

Yeah, that’s right. I have always had issues from being exceedingly involved and invested in people. I have been bruised and hurt a million times. My compassionate heart fails my brain and its power to hold control over emotions. So, sometimes I truly hope to be a little heartless! 😛

  • To Simplify life..

I watch Daniel Tiger’s “world of make belief” with my son. Every time we watch it, I hope honestly to believe that life would be as simple as to “use your/one’s words” to explain or express and resolve issues. In the real world, we are too busy hiding our true emotions and creating a faux façade for the world.

Perhaps “to simplify life” I would have to become a cartoon character and pray Walt (Walter Disney) to make me the Minnie he designed on his desk (not the one we see today)! But, I still desire to simplify life in my own little way. No manipulation and no politics. Speak up for the righteous is my motto! But, my real desire is to get myself out of the tamed social context to be able to practice right of speech better :P.

  • To finally get a job on merit!

That’s quite a bit. I cannot think of more that what I could achieve in a while now!

And now the seven nominations for the Infinity Awards are:

Congratulations to the lovely Bloggers for the nomination! I’d like all of you to share more about yourself,your desires and nominate 7 more awesome bloggers!

 And Sandhya, thanks again for the opportunity and nomination!

Butterless Spaghetti Makhanwala with Shammi Kabab Meatballs


I love the concept of classic New York style Spaghetti with Meatballs. But it’s rare to find meatballs in Chicken or fish, isn’t it? Here’s how I began to believe otherwise J.

One of my son’s classmates Zo often got Spaghetti with Meatballs in her lunch box. And my son would find ways to convince me to make it. I thought and searched but could not think about a decent scramble for a chicken oriented meatball recipe. We don’t eat red meat so I don’t cook it either. I don’t have an issue if my son decided to eat red meat when he grows up but at the present if he ate and asked me to recreate a dish it would be very difficult. So, it’s more of convenience to opt for Chicken J.

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Through a food group I was introduced to a very talented culinary mind Ritu Shrivastava who shared her recipe for Shammi Kabab once. And my adventurous mind began to fuse an East meets the West recipe! Ritu, thanks for that recipe, it was very generous of you to share your delicious recipe and help me structure the fancies of my boy J. This is to you!

Here is a totally Indian take on the classic. Mine is called Butterless Spaghetti Makhanwala (low calorie tomato based sauce used for Indian delicacies like Butter Chicken etc) with Shammi Kabab meatballs (Indian Chicken mini patties infused with herbs).

Sharing this recipe for my boy of origin who loved it!

Spaghetti Makhanwala (Butterless Spaghetti in Tomato based Sauce)

Makhanwala (literally means loaded with butter and cream) gravy is rich, creamy and extremely flavorful. However, I wanted to make a lighter version of the parent sauce. Here is my version.

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Btw, I always make non-meat stuff first to avoid any cross contamination of uncooked meat and other ingredients.

Ingredients

  • 3 medium sized tomatoes.
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic.
  • 3 tsps. Cardamom powder.
  • 1 tsp. Garam masala (all spices powder).
  • Salt to taste.
  • 1 tsp. kasoori methi (dried fenugreek leaves to be added as garnish).
  • 2 tbsps. Yoghurt.
  • 3-4 black peppercorns.
  • 5 tbsps. Cashew powdered. (I did not use these. But they would add to the richness of the sauce).
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds.

Method:

  • Blend all the ingredients using very little or no water at all into a smooth sauce.
  • Cook the sauce and bring it to a boil. To enhance richness of taste reduce it to a thick sauce.
  • Set aside.

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For Spaghetti:

  • Drop the Spaghetti into boiling water and follow the instructions on the carton for cooking through. Drain the water, dust salt and drizzle some olive oil.
  • Mix the spaghetti with sauce just before you have to serve. The starch in the pasta thickens up the sauce too soon. So, ideally drop the pasta into the water (simultaneously) when your Shammi kababs are been shallow fried.

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Ritu’s Shammi Kabab (Ground chicken meatballs)

  • 8-10 Organic chicken tenders (skinless).
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic.
  • 1 cup of Cilantro.
  • ¼ cup of Mint leaves.
  • 2 tbsps. Ginger paste.
  • Green chilis (optional)- I added Tandoori Masala and Garam Masala (all spices powder).
  • Salt to taste.
  • Italian Bread Crumbs (my addition).
  • 2-3 tbsps. Italian Basil leaves (optional, my addition)
  • A good grinder.
  • Oil for shallow frying (about 4 tbsp.).

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Method:

  • Ground all the ingredients except oil and crumbs in a grinder. (Ritu had marinated the ground chicken with ginger and garlic paste along with onions. But, I skipped the marinating part and addition of onions. Also I did not add any oil in the ground chicken mixture as she suggested.)
  • Make small patties and roll them into bread crumbs. (Now you can make balls and choose to deep fry them but I am on a healthy diet plus a busy mom, so not going to commit the sin :P).

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  • Heat the oil on a flat pan and shallow fry the patties until crisp (about 7 minutes on each side). But, you can still cut it and find out if they are cooked through or not. I always follow the actual test than follow my gut here. No chances with raw meat!

Serve together!

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This is a healthier and extremely delicious Indian version of the American Classic! This is going in my special heirloom recipe book to be passed on to the next generation!

25,26 & 27,there is a mile to get it even!


I have been super-duper busy over Friday, Saturday and Sunday! Don’t ask! I m going to go on and elaborate it myself anyway :P.

Friday was all about Pranaya’s Graduation dinner!

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The whole day I was excited along with a bunch of 10 other very enthusiastic ladies about the dinner! It was the first dinner after 2012 (my friend’s had pulled me out for drinks after a year and half pregnancy and post) that I was going to have to dress up. Trust me for a mother who really thinks way too much about her post pregnancy appearance and spare sometime for herself to look decent it’s a bigger ordeal than anything else. But, I was feeling good about the whole excitement around the getting ready part! Woke up early and did my 30 day ab challenege (day 5) workout for today, followed by tea and clearing up the dishwasher. My son woke up soon after so did not have enough time to blog in the early quiet hours of the morning.

After the usual chores, we had to visit Walgreens. I locked the door and we went downstairs only to notice that we had dropped our flash card (door security) somewhere. Like headless chickens we kept looking for it downstairs and finally found it inside our house! What a waste of energy! My son enjoyed it thoroughly. As I thought of it, it was really fun :P. We returned our stuff at Walgreens and came home. Udeet was very hungry and I had not catch a breath.

I fixed quick and easy Cheese Parathas for dinner as well as for Udeet’s lunch. I chose to eat a Tomato sandwich. Simple and quick! (I hear you sisters, tomato sandwich sounds such a heavenly treat :P).

It was already 2 by the time we finished lunch! Time just flies with children around. Quickly gave him a wash and put him to sleep. Now, it was a ladies only dinner that I was to attend so had to make my hair look awe-less (from awful :P) too! Washed them and thought I would iron them out once my son went out with husband in the evening. I decided to work on Inspire Us story for the week. However could not compose a draft that could please me.

I would like to thank all of the readers for their fantastic response to Meena’s & Jyothi’s stories. They both have such an inspiring tale that writing them and comprehending them was a big task for me for I was concerned of losing the message while rewording or extrapolating certain aspects of the story. The one I m working on is personally important to my being and hence missed the Saturday mark. But, I hope that such a wonderful audience would understand my gust of emotions and would wait for this one whenever it fits the bill!

Anyway, by the time I was exhausted and looked at the time, it was 4 pm already! I made some hot tea and was about to pour it into cups when Rohan arrived. Udeet woke up with his daddy’s voice! The guys had tea and milk (Udeet would like tea but was given Milk J) and left for the new home (supervision) by 6. Alas I was on my own and started to iron my hair! I was ready in 20 minutes. What next? My excitement was on cloud 9 and killing time was difficult. So decided to put a red nail polish :P! So much for the dignity of vanity J.

Janki arrived in time so we left for Sino’s but stopped at Cute Flowers for a bouquet! We were lucky to get a parking spot in the parking structure! The stars were shining! The other group was going to be late and Meena managed the locomotion with great care J What say Meena?

But it was fun! I enjoy a little glass of Riseling after ages! The food was in moderation but fun was unlimited! I had a blast with the girls! We chatted and yapped but it was fun! The good food and chatter was followed with exercise :P. Me and Janki were climbing up and down to find out the car. The confusing staggered floors! And we laughed some more!

By the time Janki dropped me home it was well over mid-night! Udeet was fast asleep and Rohan was on the verge of! A fun event and I slept like a cushion!

Good habits rarely die, don’t they? J. I woke up at 6.30 am on Saturday morning and did my workout for the 5th day of Ab challenge! I am totally looking forward to doing it every morning! It is exhaustive yet very relieving! I did not wish to be affected by a glass of wine after 25 days of regimen with slow and steady results. I fixed tea for us and milk for Udeet.

We had a long schedule sketched for today!

Have you guys been through same sort of busy routines while renovating houses? We have been running out to hardware stores, stone quarries and lumbers for last few weekends. And yet haven’t been able to finalize on so many things! Is it déjà-vu for all proud home owners?

Our lease in the current apartment ends 25th of this month! So, it’s crunch time for us! There is still a lot of stuff that needs to be taken care of! This I believe is just the architect in me or is it the home-owner? The thought of owing a home hasn’t still sunken in well. I am still not ready to pack off and leave this apartment! The sense of belonging they say takes a while to go!

But, first things first! We had to visit the Natural Stones on Brokaw and Ikea in Palo Alto both! We had boiled eggs and bread sandwich for breakfast. Headed out to the stone place where we finally found our shade of quartz! Yay! It was pricey! Yeah all things have a big branding price tag! I wonder why?? Our contractor figured out a better deal for us and we are all set to go with it!

At Ikea we walked and walked. Sometimes with my son in hands and sometimes on foot, but we walked for sure! And we managed to decide on a Billy bookcase for the study after reviewing all the options there! Oh btw, there are great blue pottery coffee/tea cups there! They are a steal J. So, if you haven’t been there in a while do visit the place! My husband and son were hungry at 4pm and we decided to have a quick bite at the cafeteria in Ikea. Though it is complete gluttony, their fries are so delicious! I ate a few but stuck to boiled veggies that were there. The Mac and Cheese was also good and my son enjoyed it. I did not get a chance to eat but my son loved their Strawberry short cake! It did look gorgeous!

After a day of walking our son was determined to go to Target and get hot-wheels! We eventually got a tiny hot wheels aero worth a dollar! He was happy and we were tired. Rohan told me to rest and not cook dinner! We got a to-go from Chaat Bhavan! We had dinner and very so tired that I was snoozing on sofa itself in minutes.What a day it was! I hope to see decent numbers on the weighing scale too! Though there was eating out, nothing beyond moderation and lots of walking! So, kept my fingers crossed for Monday!

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Sunday we decided to take it easy. I hadn’t worn saree yet so wore a green georgette Parsi Gara work saree when we went out.Me & Ru visited our new house! Got to show them this saree!

My kid has been asking me to make Spaghetti with meatballs for a good long time now! I did not wish to feed him frozen meatballs and we don’t eat red meat anyway. Recently on a food group on Facebook Ritu Shrivastava shared her Shammi Kabab recipe and my mind was set thinking after that! So I made my version of the classic! Mine is called Spaghetti Makhanwala (with no cream or butter or milk with Shammi Kabab (Chicken patties made with little oil on pan) meatballs!

The adventure worked!! My family loved it!!  The whole whacky combination worked! I m so excited to share it with all of you!  I was looking for a perfect shami kabab recipe for a long time! Ritu’s recipe for those kababs was deliciously perfect! Udeet loved them J. So instead of just a thank-you, tell me when you could come over and eat this with me! I will be glad to have you over!

We had to visit our cousins Bageshree and Sameer today since Bageshree’s parents came from India early this week. It was so much fun to spend time with folks from back home. Udeet kept Sameer on toes and made sure he shared all his gardening tips with him.

It was really late by the time we came home. We weren’t really hungry so had hot chocolate while Udeet rejoiced on the leftover Spaghetti Makhanwala (with no cream or butter or milk with Shammi Kabab (Chicken patties made with little oil on pan) meatballs!

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What a weekend it was! Amazing J Ahh missed my 6th day workout today but I m going to skip the rest day on Tuesday instead J.

Sino’s 2015: The Glutton in me!


“I believe that life is a celebration, a celebration of being able to experience all shades of life. We all have our reasons to celebrate each colour of life, don’t we?”  This week surely has been a week of celebrations.

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Firstly, a gorgeous and talented fellow blogger Sandhya of Indfused nominated me for the Infinity Awards! Yay, I am so happy to be nominated that it took a while for me to actually blog about it, Sandhya thanks a million for the shout out and sorry for the delay in acknowledging J. I shall be blogging shortly the answers to all the questions as well as the names of 7 most promising bloggers!

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I m also glad to announce another happy moment of mention of appreciation from another lovely fellow blogger Chaitrali. Thank you girls for making it so special for me! Hoping to keep up to the faith and promise you hold in me!

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Third and most important reason for celebration is the Graduation of my friend Pranaya. She graduated this spring from NPU, CA. She is like a sister to me and I along with a lovely bunch of enthusiastic friends wanted to make it special for her. Graduation walks are very pristine. We arranged for a dinner and fun get together at Sino’s, Santana Row. Chatty friends dressed to dare and on a mission, what more does one need for a graduation dinner? Meena made sure that Pranaya got her beautiful surprise gift along with a bouquet that I got on behalf of all of us!

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An unexpected fourth celebration was all my friends decided to gift me wonderful gifts as a birthday presents (birthday was last month so this was totally unexpected!). Cannot thank them enough for making it such a precious moment for me!

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Sino’s is an absolute fun place! The ambience and vibe is definitely fresh and youthful. The bar and the eating arena are completely vibrant. Perfect use of red hues and lighting (read-not meant for photography :P) make it trendy. The next time thought I m going to make sure we book for the outdoor seating only! As the place gets busier, it was warmer in there. But, the music and cordial staff makes up for it! I was a bit confused to see babies in there. The loud music and drinks with babies?? Really? I m no judge to make passes but it did seem a bit odd. Poor baby L!

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The menu has decent options for vegetarians and Sino’s also substitutes meat with vegetarian/vegan alternatives if requested. However, the general tone of food tends towards a sweet-sour taste. The chicken lollipop was well cooked, crunchy on the exterior and moist on the inside but had a sweet after taste. The sauce and spring mix served along was tasty though. The seafood dumplings were good. I had a bite and realized (I know, have developed an allergy for prawns/shrimps all of sudden at puberty.) they have prawns so could not eat more, but they were delicious. But again, if you are a savory-spicy eater-that’s not the dish for you.

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We ordered Sea bass, Veg.fried rice, Eggplant Stir fry, Tofu curry,Fire Cracker Chicken and Veg.Noodles for main course. The firecracker chicken was a stunner! The chicken was smooth and silky. It had a perfect balance of sweet, sour and spicy! I loved this dish! The Sea Bass was well cooked, had a beautiful colour and had infused flavor from coconut milk. The tenderness of coconut milk definitely worked with the Sea Bass. The Sea bass needed some heat though. A little spice could have elevated the tenderness to another level. So needs improvement (Sino chefs I hope you are listening :P).

The fried rice was tasty and loaded with MSG :P. The Glutton in me wanted to ,but the hourglass in me stopped me from any more gluttony! The noodles were decent, nothing great about them again.

The drinks were great. I especially loved the Peach Martini my friend had ordered. It was citrusy and strong! Exactly how I love it! But I m on a strict diet, so nothing beyond a little glass of Riseling for me! Adventures need optimization, don’t they? J

I would give 5 on 5 for ambience, music and vibe! The food however was above average (thanks to the fried rice and firecracker chicken) so I would give a 3 out of 5. But, the drinks were great, so a big shout out to the bar-magician-you sure score 4 on 5!

If you are looking for quiet dinners, this is not the place! It’s a happening joint! Little Black dresses, casual shirts and trousers with dinner jackets, lots of music and great music! So, if you wish to have fun times with friends, it is a top on the list!

Besanwali Bhindi ( Stuffed Okra with Chickpea flour)


And then there was a ladyfinger. (Stir fry and Ladyfingers, thinking right?)

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Yes, the Indian Ladyfinger is America’s very own Okra! A beautiful green colored long vegetable just like a lady’s fingers.

However, after migrating to the US (post marriage) I was amused to learn that ladyfingers are a kind of biscuit (low density, egg based and sweet sponge like) used as a dessert ingredient and not a vegetable. Ironical isn’t it? :P!

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Besanwali Bhindi (Bharwa Bhindi/Bharleli Bhendi/ Stuffed Okra with Chickpea flour) is one of my favourite stir-fries! Getting fresh bhindi here is a rarity. At least I have not come across a single store that carries a nice sharp stock of it with it’s tails intact (those of you who have shared same pains of selecting amongst broken tailed okras,my heartfelt empathies!)

In childhood, my Aai (my mother) used to be so upset when I used to gobble down all the okra even before the lunchtime. Loved munching on these.

They obviously taste great when the oil dollop is bigger (or so I thought!)

Believe me there are so many people like me who believed that fat, bacon and ice-cream are mandatory sins of the culinary world! The humungous addition of these ingredients alone would make a dish taste out of the world! But, this version of “besanwali bhindi” will change it for all thinkers.

It’s light, time effective and delicious! What more other than a detailed recipe would one ask for?

Voilà!

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Ingredients: (for 2 persons)

  • 20 okras/ladyfingers washed, towel dried and slit lengthwise.(select smaller ones, they are perfectly tender.)
  • 3-4 tbsps. Besan or Chickpea flour.
  • 1 tsp. red chili powder.
  • Salt to taste.
  • 1 tbsp. jaggery or palm sugar.
  • 2 tsps. cilantro powder.
  • 2 tsps. cumin powder.
  • 1 tsp. roasted dried garlic powder.
  • 1 tsp. carom seeds.
  • Oil spray.
  • Oil for tempering.
  • 1 tsp. asafetida.
  • 1 tsp. turmeric.
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds.
  • 2 tbsps. Garam masala (all spices powder).

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  • Mix the besan, chili powder, cilantro powder, garam masala, cumin powder, salt, jiggery, garlic powder, carom seeds and turmeric along with little salt in a bowl. Set aside.
  • Hold the slit okra is a hand and stuff the besan mixture in it. Gently coat the okra into the bowl of mixture after that. This seals the okra and the stuffing well and does not allow the filling to come out while cooking. (Even if it comes out, it still tastes great J). Repeat the same for all the ladyfingers.
  • Heat 2-3 tsps. Olive oil (or any of your choice) in a pan and make the tempering. Add the cumin seeds and asafetida in hot oil and allow it to crackle.
  • Add the stuffed okra in the pan.
  • Oil spray the okra and sauté.
  • The colour of okra changes to a brighter green, that’s when it is cooked well.
  • But, we need the okra to be crisp and crunchy so allow it to crisp on a medium-slow flame. If you fear the okra to burn in the deep pan, add a flat pan (tawa) beneath it until it crisps.
  • And it’s ready!

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I understand that it takes a while stuffing each okra and then crisping it up, but the results are worth the trouble! I have seen a couple of my friends broil it in the oven to crisp it up, you can try doing that and share how! One word of advice though, while cooking okra do not cover the pan with a lid, the gel like saps within comes off and is sticky. It’s not very appetizing to the eyes L.

Serve besanwali bhindi with your choice of bread or eat it JLT! I have had this as an appetizer for many gatherings and it’s a crowd pleaser!!

 

Day 24: Permutations & Combinations!


Featured imageA serene pleasant morning woke me up early. I began the day with my third day of the 30 day ab-challenge followed by a cup of tea started by me finished by dear husband before he left for the office! What a morning it was!

Did not have a chance to have decent breakfast and was hungry at 10 am! I ate the coconut-peacan fudge I made last weekend! Sorry, was too hungry J.

As the sun came up, our life got busier with his highness Udeet and his kingdom of fantasy! We ponder so many times about what goes on in that little head of our naughty boy! He is on his toes all the time. Never a quiet minute passes by when he is around. Looking at him, we always ponder, what goes on in that little head of his! He’d be crying a minute and laughing the next. He lives a life of an uncrowned prince. A prince that has no thrown to topple him and no fear of losing a thrown he never owned! Never a moment of dullness or colourless, he is full of joy and enthusiasm. He rendered the emptiness of our world that have given us moments of pride and amusement, pain and trouble, but trust me not a moment of sadness or grief.

Yes and in return to all the happiness he gives us, we offer him dos and don’ts always helping him into taming himself to fit into this world of ours. I don’t know if it’s the right thing to do though! I feel rebellious so many times, but just gulp it down with a deep breath. But, are we doing any good to our new generation who look up to us? I have to think hard and read before answering some questions of his. For instance when he says, that boy is not well behaved,he is bad,should I tell him? It’s tough to be so naive and innocent,to top it all honest! I feel the misery sometimes of not speaking up to avoid the truth being told to people around,so I totally understand!

Don’t you think there is a theory of permutations and combinations in it? The one who has it all, never knows of it. The other one who wants it all, never fails to think of it! I look for happiness around me, while he (my son) reminds me that it is within me! And yet I ponder about what goes on in that little head of his!

I m sure if there was or is a device /method to look into how kids think (and why), the first one to own would be me! Their mind is more receptive, agile and sharp than ours-really I m learning every day through him (my son). I fuss over imperfections within me and those outside while he seems to be in perfect unison with the world. Isn’t it ironical? As an adult my ability to accept, forgive and forget should (ideally be) be better than a 3.5 year old. But, it’s not. We, adults are so obsessed with our ambitions and vanity that we barely want to budge. Everyday is a day of learning and we always ponder, what goes on in that little head of his!

Life at 3.5 does appear very contented. Doesn’t it? May it be the same for all the children anywhere in the world, I wish aloud.

Anyway, my mind goes into deep Gyan mode now and then, don’t mind 😛 ! It’s work in progress always J.

We played with cars and raced like one all over the apartment! Sounds familiar? I m sure most boy-moms would find their heart racing with the thought of tripping over one of those hot wheels or fancy remote cars.

So we ate all the leftovers from yesterday for lunch. Now, today I really wanted my boy to sleep in time because we had to go grocery shopping in the evening. The last weekend was so busy that we missed a trip to fresh produce and grocery totally! And thanks to that, I had to make Undhiyo out of my reserve frozen pack L. I hate to make lunch or dinner out of packs, but had no choice. The fresh ground masala made it flavourful 🙂

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Anyway, my son slept at 4 pm or so and hence we could not go to see the work at the house. My husband directly went there from office and returned home. After a round of cricket, we finally left for grocery store. The plan was boys would drop me to the Indian store and I will finish shopping there as well as get my eye brows done (have an event to attend, otherwise they are long enough to give Rapunzel a run for her length) while the boys get dairy from Trader Joe’s. But, our darling son suddenly felt very hungry outside the first stop! The whole drama was to basically eat the desi Ice cream at Nirvanaah there, but we ignored it. Bought him a pack of biscuits and asked him to munch on them while we finished buying fresh vegetables! We have all done the same tricks as a child, haven’t we? Like good parents, we finished grocery there and the boys left for TJ’s and I went into one of these fancy threading parlors!

I puffed 25$ on threading etc. and moved out looking human :P. Urgh, the troubles we women face! I totally hate going to the salon for anything. I m just so lazy when it comes to looking all prim and proper! I have taken that from my Baba (father). I am so lazy, don’t you think? Btw, has anyone ever faced the same felt the same lazy feeling to visit the salon?

By the time I was done, the boys were already there to pick me up.Came home and made fresh rotis for us.

Rohan had calls and was going to be busy until midnight so Udeet was to be taken care of! And you can imagine an hour long ordeal to make him sleep. Rohan finished his first call and came to see us in the other bedroom to find Udeet wide awake! Interesting right? I never imagine how he pulls on reserve battery settings for an hour! Finally he slept and after a tiring long day I fell asleep by his side.

Hope you had a good night too! To permutations and combinations,Cheers!