Drinking tea in these little claypots, has always been my most preferred way of drinking tea/chai. The tea lover that I am, I can rave about its endless joys – the earthy smell, the earthy flavor, its simplicity, and of course that …it’s completely eco-friendly. Feeling the warmth.. cupping with my both hands and enjoying every sip, is what I call divine. 🙂
Aldona, Beach, Books, culture, Food, Goa, Homestay, India, Life, Local Market, Mapsua, North Goa, Old Heritage Homes, Photo, Photo Essay, Photography, Poi, Porch, Portuguese, Prawns, Sea Food, Spices, The Only Olive, The Road Less Travelled, Travel, Travel Journal, Village, Writing
As the dinner simmers slowly on the stove… I sit down to write, collecting my thoughts, with stillness around, about my beautiful sojourn in the quaint little place called Aldona, in Goa.
You know, I never need an excuse to travel. All I need is an urge to runaway to the wilderness of a new destination – to explore something new. So, when the urge sparked, I went ahead and booked my tickets to Goa, for a weekend. Well, it had to be Goa, North Goa, as monsoons cast a mysterious spell in that coastal belt. This time, certainly, I intended to explore more of its native life, unlike the last luxurious excursion, to consume more about the general lifestyle and cultural norms, and of course to taste the food, cooked home style. Hence, I preferred a homestay, which I thought, would help me experience it well. I feel, hotels, can’t fulfil that quest to savor the local flavors, both in terms of food and culture.
During my brief research I stumbled upon “The Only Olive”, a supposedly century old Portuguese style villa, restored and renovated. The lonely planet, Outlook, Condo Nast` and several other travel journals had strongly recommended. I looked up for reviews too, which seemed to me, a reasonably good place to lodge. They all recommended its hospitality and the feel-good-experience, well that is, only if you like the kinds – the rustic, timeless, classic touch. I went ahead, made my reservations. Though it was a brief conversation with the owner, I could figure out, this gentleman, was not here to do just business, but instead, he wanted to leave a fine imprint on the visitors with an ever-so-rich experience in true Goan customary style.
As soon as I landed, a fresh most air, welcomed me in Goa. There were soft clouds, all over the sky, but did not promise rains. It was green – lush greenery sprawling all over. I was picked up from the airport, and on my way, I observed how calm and serene the place was, where people were in no particular hurry, and they wore a smile, which was not plastic – I like to explore this bit, during the transit time, from airport to hotel or whatsoever, in my car, as it helps me gauge a bit about the place. Monsoon had bathed the floras and faunas abundantly, that almost everything sparkled and winked in happiness. The roads were clean and smooth – buttery, magnificently maintained. I thought, it would be fun to drive.
Maneuvering through the narrow roads, and having crossed, several old terracotta roofed old homes and little markets, we reached the homestay. It was an hour’s drive from the airport to the destination, Village Aldona, where The Only Olive was perched on a hillock, – a quaint little place, in North Goa, along the sides, there’s a calm river, that flows silently, cautious enough not to stir the tranquility of the place.. And as I walked up to the porch, I could take a sweeping view of the surrounding village, and listened to the constantly chirping birds, that need to be located with careful attention somewhere behind the flowering bushes and fruit trees, specially, an olive one, that the patch of garden boasts of.
The caretaker welcomed me with a gentle smile, helped me carry the little bag inside and escorted me to the room. I was amazed to look around – A very high celling, roofed using terracotta tiles, the old teak wood beds, tall wooden doors, the old style iron hooks to lock them, terracotta tiled floor, my favorite unfinished wooden table, positioned for dining outdoors in the courtyard, the old, style, caned arm-chairs.
I simply felt, I could touch the era that’s gone by. Santosh, the very humble, polite caretaker, quickly got some tea, bread and eggs for breakfast. The bread was a local one – rich in fibre, husk and pocketed ones, like pita, slightly chewy but very fresh and enjoyable, that was sold door to door in a little motor bike, piled in a cane basket, covered tightly with a plastic sheet, to ensure its freshness was sealed and intact. I enjoyed my every bite, and then decided to take a power nap, so that the rest of the day could be well explored, unaffected by lack of rest.
Around noon, I could not resist. I woke up, dressed up, to venture out in my rented car. Decided to start with the local market, where the magnificent church, little shops, general stores, etc. were all closely knit.
I drove down, all through the narrow roads, reached the Mapsua Market, photographed the vibrant, colorful fresh stocks, of spices, flowers, breads, vegetables, fresh supplies, in little makeshift shops and push carts.
After some time, went further to a couple of beaches – famous enough as the party hubs – Baga, Candolim, Calangute and further explored the Fort Aguada and the beach alongside.
The enroute was not so smooth – but it was fun wading through the roads, breathing in the air, that was so relaxed with a tinge of humidity. I walked along, splashed the salty water, looked across the horizon, and slowly retreated to the homestay. It was late evening, where silence enveloped the night and stars twinkled up there in the sky, which was fairly clear, signaling me, it was time to say goodnight…after a tiring day. Of course, on the dinner table, the steaming hot, fresh prawns curry, some rice, crumb fried fish, a veg curry and a green salad, awaited to be devoured. Santosh had neatly cooked and served the food. His services for the day had ended, and he headed home, to spend time with his flock, that stayed right behind.
Sigh!!!! Two days of absolute fun thus came to an end. Well, Goa is beyond parties and beaches, only if you wish to explore.
This morning, the sky looked this vibrant. Yes, bright and happy mornings inspire me amazingly. And how we are going to spend the rest of the day quite depends on how well we’ve opened our mornings. For me it surely does. Even if there are struggles that lay ahead, we possibly would have enough positive energy to fight it. I believe so. No? 🙂
I have just had my morning cup of tea, and as I type this, my breakfast of fried eggs and toasts are in the making, followed by some chopped apples and nuts.
Stay fit, happy and inspired!! 🙂
Bengali Meal, cauliflower florets, Comfort Food, Cooking, Culinary Skills, cup basmati rice, Food, Fun, ginger paste, Khichdi, Lentils, Life, mung dal, mustard oil, peas carrots, pot meal, Rice, Vegetables, Vegetarian
Dear Girl Next Door, this post is specially for you, on your request. So, here’s how I made this Khichdi; 🙂
Portion: Can serve two people
- Half Cup, Basmati rice, washed and drained
- 1/4 cup yellow mung dal
- Mediium size, ripe tomato, coarsely chopped, 1 (Optional
- One medium size potato, peeled and diced
- One Onion, thinly sliced
- A cup of cauliflower florets(little bigger chunks if you are to pressure cook), french beans, carrots
- Handful of green peas
- One tablespoon of ginger paste
- Couple of green chillies
- 1/4 teaspoon of garam masala powder (green cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, black pepper)
- One teaspoon of turmeric powder
- One or two bay leaves, 1 black cardamom, 1 small stick of cinnamon
- Mustard Oil / Ghee / Refined Oil
- Sugar / Salt as per your taste
The Know How;
- In a pan, dry roast the mung dal until the lentils are gently browned. Once, done, let it cool and keep it separate
- In a pressure cooker, heat oil / ghee, and add bay leaf, black cardamom, cinnamon stick. Saute for a few seconds
- Add the onions, green chillies and the veggies(green peas, save it to add towards the end) and a pinch of sugar. Now stir fry for a couple of minutes until the veggies are slightly colored
- Add the ginger paste, and the spices. Mix everything and keep stirring
- Now you can add the lentils and rice. Mix it well
- Add one and a half cup of hot water and sprinkle some salt and garam masala.
- Cover the lid and pressure cook until two whistles, and then lower the flame of stove and let it rest for a couple of minutes
- Turn off the stove and wait for the pressure to drop on its own.
- You can then add some clarified butter and serve it hot with pickle and fritters or fries
A few things:
- You can add more of veggies and little rice and make it healthier
- You can cook this in a pot too, but the cooking time would be extra, plus more water would be needed(hot water in both cases)
- You can also use a mix of lentils (Masoor Dal, Mung Dal, and Tuar Dal)
- If you are using frozen peas, put them in a bowl of water(room temperature) and keep changing it for a couple of times unless they defrost. This will retain the texture and not make the peas chewy
Please try and let me know if you liked it. 🙂
Babycorns, Berry Drink, culture, dessert, Fish, Food, Food Photography, Food Post, Fritters, Goa, Goan Food, Goan Rice, Ice Cream, Indian Food, Journal, Main Course, Pomfret Curry, Prawns Curry, restaurants, Salad, Sea Food, spices and condiments, Starters, Travel, Vegetarian, Western India, Yoghurt
Ok. I know. Silence and this long absence. I blame it to work partly and a bit to my sickness. The sickness is because of this unpredictable, cold, gloomy weather here in Bangalore. Anyway, feeling slightly better and posting the pics from my recent trip to Goa. Yes, my taste buds have gone for a toss, and my cravings for spicy food has just shot up. Hence, this food post 😀
This was an amazing juice I had. Apparently made of kokum, Garcinia indica, of berry family – very mildly spiced, with a hint of tang, and garnished with green chillies.
These were crisp babycorn fritters, which tasted heavenly.
Like I said before, trying anything else other than sea food in Goa would have been a sin. So gorged on my favorite prawn curry. The prawns were fresh, succulent, and cooked to perfection with right blend of spices and condiments.
I am not a hard-core non-vegetarian and eat very very selective kinds. Stick to mostly chicken and very limited types of fish – Just prawns, pomfret and rohu fish, so I never had the zest to try out the exotic ones, like lobster, crabs etc. and I was just happy with what I had.
I did taste the local rice which is unlike the fine grains of Basmati. Similar to parboiled rice. The curried fish sauce with the rice very well complemented each other.
Am not too fond of the other Goan desserts, so just went ahead with this which was strongly suggested by the Chef there – it was not too bad.
I terribly want to eat some good food now – very spicy, hot and flavorsome. While I go and get it, do tell me if you liked this post? 🙂
Almonds, Breakfast, Cereal, Eggs & Bread, Figs, Food, Good Health, Health is Wealth, Healthy, Honey, instant oatmeal, Kickstart, Mangoes, Milk, Muesli, Nuts, Oatmeal, Parfait, Photography, Robert A Heinlein, robert heinlein, sweet mangoes, Yoghurt
“One should not attend even the end of the world without a good breakfast.” – Robert A. Heinlein
And I totally second that. Breakfast is an important meal. A good one helps you fight the day. I usually try instant oatmeal with different variations, or the eggs and bread, or muesli /cereal. Now, with muesli, it does get slightly boring if you do not spice it up a bit..so I try different things.
This morning I soaked the nutty muesli in skimmed milk for about an hour or so and then created a sort of parfait with layers of soaked muesli, whisked yoghurt with honey(to give that creamy effect and a bit of tang), and then chopped ripe and succulent sweet mangoes and figs. I loved it. It did help me kickstart my day on a very healthy note. 🙂
Happy Weekend Ahead! Celebrate & Enjoy!!
When there’s nothing much in the kitchen or the fridge isn’t stocked enough. When you just don’t feel like cooking luxuriously and all you want is a simple, one pot meal… then Khichdi comes to our immediate rescue. For me, Khichdi, has always been, one of my most preferred comfort foods of all time. I crave for it especially when it rains or when it’s slightly chilly, and I relish it absolutely hot, just off the burner. Khichdi, is also one quick meal, I prefer making it often, as it’s easier to cook after a tiring day, and turns out to be a considerably healthy meal, with a mix of veggies, rice, pulses, etc. I love making khichdi with lightly roasted moong dal and lots of vegetables like, cauliflower, potatoes, green peas, carrots, french beans etc. and serve it with mango pickle or red chilli pickle. Occasionally, I also make some fritters and crisp potato chips or papads to serve as accompaniments.
Earlier, at home, I remember, we used to have Khichdi on saturday nights, a norm that was followed for many years. Back then, there was no such thing called weekends. I guess, we used to look forward to Sundays, the only holiday of the week, so that was our simplest way to celebrate our joys. I made this khichdi, just the way my mom makes it – a pure Yumm! 🙂 This has very little spices too, just some grated ginger, turmeric powder, salt and sugar.
What’s your favorite weekend meal otherwise?
So, last weekend was quite something. After a long time, I got some time to unwind a bit. I went for a beautiful hair-spa and then met a friend o’er some delicious Mexican lunch.
I really don’t know why, but am just too addicted to Mexican food these days, and this new Restaurant, Habanero at Indira Nagar, Bangalore is just AWESOME. I guess, it was my fifth visit or so, yet, strangely it leaves me craving for more. For starters, Nachos is a HOT favorite with me and they serve it just right at Habanero – crisp and topped with fresh lettuce, olives, tomatoes, cheese, and some chives. When those nachos are eaten with sour cream, guacamole, salsa dips, they simply taste divine. For main course, I had tried the grilled chicken before – a neat portion served with some mashed potato or Mexican rice. This time, I tried the tortillas and tacos. They were great too – stuffed with beans, meat, veggies and rightly balanced with spices and condiments. By the way, the Wiki, says Habanero is a type of chilli pepper. The ambience~ is subtle, nothing exotic about it but fairly decent to dine in.
Oh yes! The Mocktails are not to be missed – especially the Mojito, a mint flavoured drink. I can bet you would be forced to refill your glass…especially during these ultra hot summary days… 🙂
That was not enough for the day. My friend and I headed for some quick shopping soon after that not so heavy lunch and in the evening met some more friends over chai and gupshup. That’s when Saturday-night-party idea was born. And, we cooked, we drank(non-alcohol), we hogged, we danced, and made merry. Later, the pleasant breeze and a brief shower added to the grand finale and thus the day-long frivolous affair came to a quiet end.
The following day, I was too tired to do anything at all. So, just lazed around and that’s how all the week’s stress was busted at my end. How was yours?
“The most important thing is to enjoy your life—to be happy—it’s all that matters.” – Audrey Hepburn
1. One portion of egg
2. A glass of milk
3. Two-three portion of fresh fruits, a day
4. A few nuts – Almonds, figs, walnuts, dates
5. Fruit Juice
6. Green leafy vegetables, Pulses, 1-2 servings a day
7. Cereal – Corn flakes, Oats, Brown Rice, Wheat Flour
It’s a bit unrealistic to eat all of those above portions in a day. But, at the same time, it’s important to get a balance of essential nutrients. Am on a fitness spree these days and the good news is with my efforts to gain strength – both physical and mental, I’ve nearly succeeded in improving my overall health quotient. I have started experiencing hunger pangs – a positive indicator, that my body has started functioning normally, after years of health abuse and irregular food habits. 😉
My typical day begins with soaked nuts(overnight) and a glass of water. For breakfast, I try to combine scrambled eggs with buttered toasts, an egg sandwich or sometimes, corn flakes with milk, nuts and fruits or cooked muesli, and tea. On weekends, I slightly go overboard to satisfy my taste buds… that crave for Indian breakfast options – stuffed paranthas, puris, idlis etc.
As the day proceeds, after a gap of 2 hrs, I try and grab a fruit and around lunch time, I keep it light or stick to soup and bread. This is the only time when I eat outside during the day and sometimes end up eating junk because I do not get enough time in the morning to pack lunch. 😐
In the evening, around 4 PM, I have some green tea with crackers and after office hours, I head towards the gym to finish my workout, in general. By then, am half-dead. Well almost! Once am home, I make a quick milk shake of skim milk with nuts (in case I have missed them in the morning) or gulp down a glass of fruit juice and at 9:30 PM, after cooking I eat my dinner of rotis and curry or dal. In case am too lazy to do that, I make some quick-fix khichdi of dal, rice, and lots of veggies in a cooker – all at one go.
The result is, I feel great. Overall I kickstart my day with a whole lot of positivity. Having said that, occasionally I do indulge in… pizzas, desserts and my other fave food. 😀
So, what scores high on your fitness card?? And yes, a happy and fit weekend to all! 🙂
This is my most favourite, any time snack, Nimki. That’s what we call, but give it any name… I don’t care. All I care about, is its beautiful crispy and crunchy flavor, especially when this salty snack crackles right into my mouth.
My mom, would make container full of these and store them airtight, thinking it would last for week-long. And within a couple of days, all would be gone. It’s simply irresistible. And, like Lays’ punch line, no one can stop at just one(Yeah, I tweaked it slightly from “no one can eat just one”) 😉
During these wintry evenings, I enjoy them with my cup of sweet, milky tea. Just some AP Flour(a cup and a half), pinch of nigella seeds, a tablespoon of oil, salt and a pinch of sugar to make a nice stiff dough with some water. Then I roll them out, cut them into thin strips (some prefer them even in diamond shapes) and deep fry in hot sunflower oil. Later, I strain them… once they form nice golden in color. It has to cool down to get its perfect crunch.
What’s your favorite tea time snack these wintry evenings?
Eating-out has become quite a phenomenon these days. It was not much of a norm, when I was a kid. Back then, we enjoyed dining together in our little warm house, over some cheery, giggly conversations, with not so lavish food but simple curries, lentils and breads or rice, cooked and served with undiluted love and joy.
Sundays, however used to be the most awaited day of all – a relaxed day combined with some lip-smacking food. That was the only day when we were allowed to wake up late. The kitchen in the morning would smell of nice, hot fluffy luchis(puris), aloo dum, and paayesh(sweet rice pudding) – a very typical bengali breakfast. Around lunch time, it had to be mom’s chicken delicacy with steamed rice and ghee; or an occasional indulgence of fried rice and dal fry. For dinner, hot and soft rotis off the iron skillet were served with leftover chicken curry. Such was the routine followed by our family over the years on Sundays. Well, almost. We never got bored, or missed outside food. Instead; we relished the home-food and the moments, which, till date serve as a fine memorabilia.
Yesterday, it was Sunday, and I was a bit drowned in nostalgia. So decided to make puris(deep fried flatbread) and potato curry for breakfast. Usually I make aloo-dum with puris or spicy-tangy cholle. But this time, I was tempted to try Pree’s Runny Potato Curry. The only alteration to the recipe I did was – added a tomato. And, needless to say, it was Yum 🙂
I love puris, and I don’t think if eaten in moderation it causes any harm. 😉 I mixed the wheat flour, refined flour, little salt, pinch of sugar and a tsp of oil to make a soft dough using water. Later, using a rolling pin I flattened them and deep fried in hot oil. Yes.. yes.. and it puffed and turned as above.
For the potato curry, it’s best to follow Pree’s recipe step by step, as I have always found it be just accurate 🙂 A very simple and quick to make recipe, if made in a pressure cooker – using potatoes, and just the basic spices i.e. panchphoron(bengali 5 spices), dry red chillies for tempering, chilli powder, turmeric powder, coriander, cumin powder, salt and water…cooked in mustard oil. The use of tomato is optional though, only to add a slight tang. This curry can be eaten with parantha also.
Well, that’s how I managed to relive some good old times o’er a sunday morning. How was yours?
I feel lazy on weekends, and there’s hardly anything to explore in the city. It’s either shopping, mall-hopping, movies or eating out. That pretty much sums-up a weekend tale for most of us. But deliberately I have banned Mall-hopping in my life, unless I have a serious need. Mostly, I visit the independent stores but not the Malls. Somehow, am claustrophobic. Don’t like the maddening crowd which keeps growing each time… like never before. Hence, weekends are mostly spent at home, unless it calls for meeting friends o’er coffee or lunch or dinner. Having said that…I actually enjoy this “me” time… I cook… read…and of course eat and sleep 🙂 Currently, reading a classic tale titled, Madame Bovary, by Gustave Flaubert. The problem with reading classics is I so strongly wish to go back to that era 😐 and it’s a lovely read so far…
This morning found the weather to be really pleasant and crisp…as if the autumn has announced its arrival. Just apt for long drives, picnics and fun. Had my regular cup of morning tea and decided to make some hot paranthas( Stuffed Indian Flatbread), baingan ka bharta(roasted and mashed brinjal with spices), to be served with chilled curd and pickle – pure weather delight!
Well, that’s how the platter looked. It tasted good too 😉 Opened the day’s newspaper…read the articles slowly and enjoyed my lazy breakfast o’er this weekend. How was yours?
My favorite sponge cake – perfect for evening tea time and I bake this frequently (sometimes go overboard with nuts)
There, a slice of the tea cake 🙂 This time, left it slightly crusty and it tasted yum!!
Same batter, added some choco chips I had, and tuned them into choco chips muffins.
This was the highlight – Butter Garlic Bread Rolls. It turned out to be super soft and delicious 🙂 Thanks to Suhaina, for her recipe turned out to be a bliss. Guys, try this if you love garlic rolls. Bread making is slightly time consuming but worth the effort.
Leaving you with ideas to bake over this weekend. Try it, it’s so much fun! 🙂
Bengali meal served traditionally in bronze-ware – ghee-rice, daal, fish curry, another variety of fish marinated with spices & steamed in banana leaves(macher paturi), a dry curry made of broad beans & potatoes, papad, sweet chutney, rice pudding(paayesh/kheer).
A delightful feast followed by a much deserved afternoon siesta – pure bliss ins’t? 🙂
During my stay in Delhi, I did not want to miss the much recommended – famous paranthe wali galli – where they serve a platter of crunchy stuffed indian flatbreads, deep fried in clarified butter with a variety of curries, chutneys & pickles. Sounds too calorific, isn’t? Well, It is. 🙂
As I cross the dusty & crowded streets of chandni chownk, Old Delhi, I find my way to paranthe wali galli. It was a wintry morning and the sun rays sneaked in with great difficulty … through the tinned roof tops and several entangled wires to reach the narrow lanes finally.
There are quite a few shops selling paranthe, and I learnt that all are from similar clan who have branched out to cater to more visitors in that crowded street. I entered this one, the oldest of all… where there was a board in front, hosting a collage of photographs of yesteryears political heroes, Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi who visited the place for their meals after India was freed.
Here’s the man who rolls out the flat breads using a variety of stuffings: peas, potatoes, onion, pulses, mixed veggies, cauliflower, paneer etc..They surely don’t look appetizing or even hygienic but who cares when you wish to gorge on Indian Street Food. , that too with global fame? It’s featured on several TV shows, books & journals including National Geographic.
That’s the stuffed flatbread being fried until brown and crispy in pure clarified butter… !! I couldn’t have more than 1 ..it was quite heavy!
And, that’s the platter served before the hot & fresh flatbread arrived…with north indian style potato curry, a curry made using pumpkins, a sweet and tangy chutney, green chutney made of coriander leaves & mint, and some sort of crunchy pickle using radish, carrots & green chillies.
This was the special cake, I made for my brother’s birthday last week. Wanted to post earlier, but missed it. Thanks to Kalyan for posting the recipe 🙂 The only modification was that… I smeared it with icing and decorated it with some chocolate chips and chocolate rice. Also, this was my first attempt in making a chocolate cake with icing. It truly turned out to be a nutty, chocolaty and delicious cake…! Oh, and my brother…he couldn’t believe it until I claimed 🙂
My Delhi trip turned out to be an absolute pleasure trip. Good project, good team, good food, and lots of shopping. Met some close friends. Visited places. All in all, good time spent. And now, I am back to my cosy place. No matter how far you travel, no matter where you travel…at the end of the day, it feels good to be back home…to feel safe and sound. To be back to your comfort zone.
However, I would miss the place. Especially, because it was a winter month. For, it had a different charm altogether. Here are some of the things…I would miss, I suppose.
- Cold-frosty-wintry mornings. Sometimes clouds marked with silent rainfall made it even dark and dreary
- Those foggy days and the long wait to catch a glimpse of sun… to get soaked in the warmth
- Regular tea servings to beat the chill-ginger and lemon flavored
- Heaters and blowers. Comforters and electric blankets. To warm up the cold rooms and our freezing limbs.
- Layers of clothing…thermal wears, sweaters, jackets, scarves etc … yet, an attempt to look cool 😉
- Breakfast mostly of stuffed paranthe (Indian flat breads) and vegetable pickle, sometimes dose of chhole bhature, puri and aloo sabzi – north Indian breakfast staple
- Gajar and mung daal halwa; winter-special sweet indulgence
- Occasional munching of fresh-steaming-momos with spicy chilli sauce
- The times spent with friends at Dilli Haat, Purani Dilli and other market places
- Delhi’s well connected metro lines and its rides.
- Those nostalgic cycle-rickshaw rides and reading some of the hilarious sign boards in hindi on the way
“Travelling, to me is beyond moving. It’s about learning & experiencing new things, meeting new people, exploring a new chapter of my life…in a foreign land” – me
Well, I realise good moments are actually created. Just expecting things to turn fine all by itself is sort of inane. We must do things that bring us joy, do things that give us pleasure. We must create those moments, make them special. These days, I cook more often. I try new things, spend time watching classics on Television, listen to Mukesh/Md. Rafi / RD Burman songs, water my plants, I meet close friends, spend more time with family, read lots of books, journals, & I write as much as I can.
O’er this weekend, I visited a very close friends’ place. It’s been a long pending one. This time, I had decided not to drop the plan, come what may. And, what an amazing time I had with him, his wife & adorable, beautiful, little daughter who is going to turn a year old in a few days. Those were a few good moments. We went for an evening walk together along the road. There was so much greenery. We crossed a very old cemetery too. We talked, cracked jokes, laughed, remembered some good ol’ times, pulled each other’s legs, and walked back home. Later, we decided to go out for dinner, but on our way we changed our plan. We wanted to cook at home together. We stopped by for grocery shopping and picked up all that we needed to cook up a sumptuous dinner. We returned home.
And in no time, while we were chatting, chopping, stirring & cooking, our meal was ready. Spicy Pulao, Chicken Drumsticks cooked in a tomato rich gravy on slow fire , Stir fried potatoes & frozen peas. All prepared and ready to be served with chilled coke. Yes. We gave a damn to calories and hogged instead. We did not regret going out. Had a relaxed hearty meal, & then I was dropped back home safely.
All in all, had a blast! Yes, we create moments like these and make life worthwhile. I shall cherish these special moments life long.
that has kept me occupied since last week! Plays, get-togethers, Children’s day competition at our NGO, Cooking…etc!
Alyque Padamsee & Sabira Merchant after their brilliant performance in “The Game“. The act was absolutely flawless.
Naseeruddin Shah, Ratna Pathak, Benjamin Gilani, Akash Khurana & others in “Antigone” – A Greek tragic play. It was my life’s best experience to watch such legendary actors perform live on stage. Naseer was marvellous, so natural.
Children’s Day at Safa(www.safaindia.org). All hidden talents were discovered during this drawing competetion. (Look at their winning smile 🙂 …They all were fabulous and so creative!
Made some kachoris stuffed with green peas, Alu dum, Daal fry and kheer with nuts and jaggery for dinner.
And, further…am off to Jaipur for a Dance & Music festival o’er this weekend!! 🙂
Maggi is something; I cannot avoid. Period. Fear of putting on weight just vanishes, when a bowl of piping hot maggi is served. When there’s nothing in store, quick maggi comes to rescue our hunger pangs. I have tried many versions of making a maggi – plain, soupy noodles, stir fried with loads of veggies, with eggs, curry noodles, etc and I love all the versions. With these extra efforts, 2 minutes is not enough though 🙂 !! I have tried having maggi at odd hours too, past midnight, during evenings, it’s just an anytime meal for me… & yes yeh dil still maange more 🙂
Once in Bangalore I remember, amidst so many junk food options I opted for maggi, you may now imagine my craze for maggi 🙂
Sometimes I treasure these moments … A relaxed state of mind amidst a good ambience`, lost in a fantasy world, having a quiet breakfast with a lavish spread…enjoying every bite, followed by a lovely-aromatic warm cup of tea! Isn’t it a great way to kick start a weekend ?
May you all have a fun weekend ahead 🙂
Achaari Murg 🙂 (Chicken Curry with pickle spice)
Actually last evening I was just browsing a few food blogs, I found them so enticing that I made a promise to myself…which is ” I shall try making a new dish every day” 🙂 Thanks to ecurry for her recipe today. It turned out to be super delicious! 🙂 . Served with parantha, butter rice and crunchy floral salad.
May you all have a great week ahead 🙂
Bardhaman, a small town situated in West Bengal some less than 100 km North west from Kolkata.
A nice weather,sky all covered with grey clouds promising heavy downpour….
The historical Curzon Gate built in honor of Lord Curzon
A clearer view of The Curzon Gate
Sandesh…bengali sweets are incomplete without it’s mention. They are mouth watering, melts right into your mouth 🙂
Roshogulla with raw mango essence (Flavor of the season)
Ahhh hot fritters(Beguni and Alu Chops made of brinjals and mashed potato) with tea at a claystove stall. Nothing to beat a lovely rainy evening.
This man thinking I am a journalist while clicking pictures requested to click one of his pics 🙂
Silver lines..lightening up the night in the sky….
And…I leave the town next day early morning while the sun manages to smile bright after the night’s heavy downpour! While driving back; I envied the simple life that people led there, untouched by most of the modern transitions that has taken place in the cities. They live in their present, happy with the meagre they earn and live contented. They have not advanced, may be which is why they have not lost their simplicity.
Interestingly our taste-buds crave for an array of food each time. Sometimes spicy, sometimes sweet, sometimes plain simple food, sometimes no food at all may be. Most of the times, if dining outside I get tempted to try on different cuisines just for the sake of experimenting & experiencing (of course to kill my appetite too), when I realise some taste scrumptious and some don’t.
My food habits are pathetic, I hardly eat my breakfast. If breakfast means having a mug of tea, then I follow it ritually with a buttered toast (now I am bored of this too). Lunch is usually a Sub. I prefer Sub not for any Size Zero fad but my work gets really hectic and eating a heavy lunch makes me feel drowsy and makes it difficult to sit through the remaining hours post lunch. Though some days, team lunch / lunch with friends becomes an indulgent. Dinner I skip if I have had a heavy lunch or may be chapatti/rice with some curry.
What I long for is a nice weekend home cooked lunch, which I try and make it lavish yet simple. Nothing tops my list than home cooked food. So here I went to hand-pick some fresh looking luscious veggies from bazaar. (Not the super markets as I feel they are not the farm fresh ones).
Today’s lunch was made of raw jackfruit and potato curry (one of my favourites), lady’s finger cooked with shallots in a poppy seed paste, some daal to go with rice & fresh cucumber salad and green chillies.
Dessert…? It was chilled Lassi (A drink made of sugar & yoghurt) topped with cream to beat the heat!
As I have always said and that’s what I strongly believe, cooking to me is therapeutic! The joy one can derive by cooking for the loved ones is inexplicable in words. I enjoy it to the core. I have not yet gained expertise in most of the cuisines… however; I can claim that whatever I cook or have cooked so far has always been with love & passion and that’s why i guess Mom’s khana always rocks as they somehow manage to add that extra element of love leaving the meals lip smacking 🙂
I have been following Arundhuti’s blog for quite some time now, and I could not help but participate in one of her Events(Refer the link for more details) that she declared sometime ago. The event says that this January prepare a dish that is most favourite with the person we love! It can be ANYone…parents, siblings, friends, husbands, kids, cousins …anybody we love to cook for!
Here’s what I made for my brother this month – “Gajar ka halwa” !! He simply loves it so much so that even a huge helping is always less and he wants to devour more of it. Carrots are best available during this season & i thought why not a dessert which is so famous in India!!
An American writer quoted : “Life is uncertain. Eat dessert first.”
Christmas is celebrated worldwide irrespective of caste, creed or religion. Perhaps it has to do with all the festivity & joy it brings along, isn’t? Long ago, I had bought this christmas tree & this evening just tried & decorated it with bells, stars, candies, confettis etc. It was so much fun…for all of us at home 🙂
Christmas without goodies is not done 😀 so baked cookies, cakes, made some nutty chocolates(they turned out unbelievably yummm :D), & soft ‘n fluffy pancakes 🙂
Here’s wishing you all a very very HAPPY CHRISTMAS & a fantabulous year ahead!
Working during the week leaves me with no stamina to get into the kitchen and cook; hence, over the weekends I make it a point to cook something really special. I plan for an entire day & therefore balance it out with a light breakfast or heavy lunch/dinner or vice-versa…! I could not have digested the meal without taking the pics to share with you all 😉 so here it is…
Breakfast was buttered toast with scrambled eggs and tea 🙂
Dinner was egg-mughlai parantha 🙂 served with aloo curry and chips
This was an exception, for some reason I had to cook the dinner during a weekday and am posting the pic now :). Had made chicken curry and peas & rice in a jiffy ….
Now this was the FOOD of the day 🙂 it turned out to be super delicious …..A rich chocolate cake . Come on, now don’t be mean and leave your comments for all my hard work 😉
Now, this tag I could not have missed it 😀 … I love food & moreover love cooking if it’s for my loved ones including family and friends. I derive immense pleasure out of it especially seeing the delight on their faces after having a nice meal. There are plenty of such moments I fondly cherish, let me try and share a few with you all which is close to my heart:
- Somehow, I don’t know if it has happened to others, but with me it has happened several times. There are days when I have a severe craving to have my mom’s particular dish, and even before I tell her, I find that cooked the same day. It’s really uncanny to me….. 😀 but surely proves to be true that mum’s can read your mind. And, I end up embracing her with a smile.
- Sundays used to be special at home as my dad would take up cooking and all of us longed to sit together and have our afternoon meals. He was an excellent cook.
- Food memoirs and not mentioning canteen fun is not happening at all. During college times, friends and I used to visit the canteen to devour the samosas served with hot sambar (weird combo…I know) but trust me it used to be yummmm 😀 ! Up north anyway there’s a fetish for sambar, so we’d frequent it like crazy. For one plate of samosa we used to get unlimited sambar… so instead of ordering many plates, we used to order one plate of samosa and several servings of sambar. The canteen wala got so fed up that after a few days he changed the rule…..”Samosas served with one bowl of sambar ONLY”
- During the same college days, I remember when my best friend and I rushed to her place once after a long tiring day at college. Aunty was not there and Uncle could find nothing else to feed our empty stomachs but a fresh bottle gourd. He quickly made a curry out of it and served us with piping hot rotis. We devoured it to our heart’s content and can’t express how delicious it had turned out to be…
- I know am not a spoilt child, though love to behave like one 😀 when it comes to Mom still running behind me with food so that I have a morsel or two at least; while rushing to work during the crazy morning hours and listening to her grumbles…that I wake up late and do all this drama 😀
Thanks to Puja . It was wonderful reviving some old memories.