Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Food Tag

I got a food tag from a fellow blogger friend. It was lying around since ages in my mail box waiting to be picked up. The rules are simple. Just talk about your favourite food memories...this should be easy I think because I love to cook and eat and by the way folks, it shows. Oh, how it shows!! Without further ado then...

1. Undoubtedly, Mutton Pulao- or Yakhni Gosht Pulao, as the correct name goes. If I was anorexic, believe you me, I would be gorging on this day and night -as a stand alone cure for it! A one pot rice casserole made of the finest Basmati rice, marinated chunks of Lamb and aromatic spices. The recipe for this has been passed down from my maternal grandmother and now our cook at home does an equally good job. Ever since I was a little girl, it has been an absolute favourite. And the one fond memory I have of it being cooked at our house? Well, from childhood till now, whenever it's being made, I hover impatiently around the cook and the kitchen, waiting for it to be ready to eat. I have also been known to taste it while still uncooked...I have been known to have left overs for up to 3 days later- and yes for all meals!

2.Haldiram's Bhujiya: Despite the recent conviction of the owner of Haldiram's in a murder case, he still has a loyal customer in me. That's how loyal I am! Fried, spicy savoury snack from North India (actually Rajasthan I think), this has so many memories attached to it. My sister in Canada, N, loves it too and I think it was she who got me involved in this love affair! I remember many evenings of gorging on Bhujiya with tea. Everyone in my family knows about it and when I visit India, dad makes sure the stock never finishes!

3. Cheese Bread Roll: When we were very young, maybe 9-10 years old, my sister, who is four years older then me, started developing a great interest in cooking. Oh, I remember, many many evenings, she would fry these rolls for all of us younger couisns etc. She was herself quite young, but the earliest memory of her becoming a fine cook that she is today, starts from these evenings. At 77 Number (our add back home), the steps of the mini terrace, hot bread rolls with gooey cheese filling and tomato ketchup which we called sauce for some reason!

4. Jhaal Moori of St John's: This was another favouriteeeeeee. Again introduced to it by my sister. Oh dear, I do see a patter here. Anyhow, I remember, during lunch break I would go to my sister and ask her for some money. Then promptly go and spend it on Gupta Ji's Jhaal Moori. He was an external vendor, selling this snack within our school compound. A mix of puffed rice, green peas, fresh lime and chaat masala (or God only knows what), he had us eating out if his hands! He did brisk business and hope has pots of money today.

5. Maggi Noodles curry flavour: Oh boy!!! Oh Boy! I need not say much because then I will be tempted to go and make some for myself, like right now! When we were in London struggling to make some money so we could get married, I lived off Maggi Noodles often. Hubster, who was my fiance then, would cook it for me all the time and serve it with so much love and enthusiasm, it made me fall for him a little more everyday! And I decided at those precise moments, I am not letting go of this man!

Hmmph, these are some of my best food related memories. By the way, since I write so much about my -sister-in-canada, might as well name her MSIC for blogging purposes! That's settled then.

My Experiments in the Kitchen

Following my poor lifestyle choices and ill health, I got a wake up call on Monday. I suffered from Vertigo the whole day. It was truly terrible and hubster took me to a GP in the evening. The good doc quickly diagnosed my problem. It seems I was spending too much time hunched over my laptop in a totally incorrect posture. Long hours of this and I am on my way to cervical problems if I dont stop now. It was such an awakening. I dont want to be sick with anymore chronic diseases because I already do have diabetes. Thank you very much.

Ever since then, I have made drastic changes in my lifestyle most especially with regards to the food we eat as a family. I started following Rujuta Diwekar, a celebrity nutritionist and trainer from India. I have her book Dont loose your mind, Loose your weight. It is such a life saver. Full of practical and do-able stuff. I am sowly but surely incorporating her advise in to my eating habits and can already see/feel tremendous change. Now, I would have signed up for a nutrition session with her but she caters to the major celebrities in Bollywood. So imagine her fees! Best left unsaid. *heavy sighing*

Anyhow, inspired by this new regimen I am posting a recipe here. My first ever, although I dont want to blog too much about recipes because I feel it is tiring. I luurvvvve to cook but writing about what I cook would be a bit too much, me thinks. It is a major stress buster for me. For our dinner tonight, I invented a new combo of Dal (Lentils) with pumkin and green Moong sprouts. I dont cook seperately for Yohaan. He eats whatever we do. If it gets too spicy I just add fresh Yoghurt to his bowl. And he loves it all. I made this Dal in order to disguise some vegetables in it, mainly for hubster. Can you imagine, a grown man, has to be fed veggies like a spoilt teen!

Here's the recipe:
  • Toor/Arahar dal- 2 small handfuls, washed and soaked for a coupls of hours.
  • Moong dal- a handful . Washed and soaked overnight . I happened to have some already soaked.
  • Pumpkin- 1 cup, washed , roughly chopped, de-seeded- any sweet variety.
  • Green chillies- Whlole 1 or 2 , any variety, depending upon your taste
  • Raw green mango- 1 small, peeled and chopped in to thin strips
  • Turmeric- 1 small tsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Clarified butter (desi ghee) or any vegetable oil- 2 tsp

Boil all the ingredients together in 2.5 glasses of water. Add one tsp of oil in it so that the curry does not boil over. Boil for roughly 20 minutes or so. The longer your dal has been soaked, the faster it will cook. After the first five minutes of a rolling boil, cover the pot and simmer for the rest 15 minutes. Keep checking once in a while if the water is reducing, else you may need to add more water . The consistency should be that of a thick soup. Once you have checked for the done-ness, stir it around vigrously so it becomes soft and mashed up nicely.

And finally, We got to do the tempering!

In a small wok, heat the remaining 1 tsp ghee/oil. When hot, throw in a pich of asafoetida, 1 small tsp of cumin seeds, 1 small tsp of mustard seeds, 1 small dry red chilly. When all of this starts to plutter put in 1 small tsp of finely chopped garlic, 1 small finely chopped onion and 1 small tomato. Let sizzle and become soft. Pour over your dal. Serve hot with plain steamed rice.

I am serving this with rice, salad and some fried fish masala tonight. It cannot get simpler!

Monday, April 26, 2010

On not being so good over here!

I was all fired up to put up los of new posts this whole month (and the coming months too!) but my best laid plans went kaput! I have been sick. Yohaan was sick. Hubster was sick looking after the sick! With a hyper active baby who likes to do everyting himself, life is never easy. So I rapidly slid in to a pattern of letting my health suffer. Being a insulin dependant diabetic, I cannot, must not skip meals. Which is what I started doing. Not a good thing at all. Too many skipped meals. Eating on the go, making do with whatever is available, read- visible in the fridge and I landed in a mess. My sugar levels are all over the place . Sometimes it spikes sharply, sometimes it dips alarmingly low! Making me feel perpetually lethargic,dizzy, insomniac and irratable, trembly, sweaty and what not, I can assure you, you dont wanna be me right now.

Ps- Sister in Canada, if you are reading this, please dont inform mother. She will nag me to an early death. Already!

Which is why, I could not write new stuff you know. Stuff which I am sure, totally makes your day, dear reader! Stuff which you must absolutely must, read before you begin your day. Stuff which makes you sigh in wonderment and awe as to how amazingly well this blogger writes! Stuff which make you feel like throwing away your own stable life and get in to my shoes. What can I say. I live to make your days and reading quota ultra fulfilling.

Yesterday, I and Yohaan went out for an evening walk after what seemed like ages. Met a nice lady who has a son just a month older than Yohaan. So we got talking. We discovered a lot of things in common. The biggest one ofcourse being our boys. Then she asked me how many teeth has Yohaan sprouted so far? Very proudly I informed her ''eight''. Well, her boy has ten! Oh , ok then. Wow. Good job. Me wondering ofcourse when is Yohaan going to catch up....envying her little boy's all round chubbyness and ofcourse his ''ten'' teeth! Guess what? I should not have bothered. She is a full time working mamma. In great concern I asked her if the molars had caused him a lot of pain and discomfort, poor thing. Molars are a very painful phenomenon people. Anyhow, the answer she gave me left me speechless . She said ''I dont know, I didnt even notice, I saw them this morning, I hardly have time to feed him, we are all on a strict schedule, I really dont have time to notice his teeth of all the things''. !!!!!. No No No, I will not judge working mothers but really, I am absolutely, heart warmingly happy that I notice all this and everything else that happens to my boy. And I came away from our walk wondering why did she have a baby when she has no time notice. And something as earth shattering as new molars of her own toddler!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Missing love

So hubster has gone away this evening to see his mother in India. It will be a short trip(thankfuly) and I am missing him dreadfuly. *heavy sighing*- wont help much though.

This evening me and Yohaan went to see him off at the airport. And miraculously, hubster kissed me in public...not once but twice! I had to shoo him off because there is this British couple who are going to be jailed for getting amorous in public here in Dubai. Being a lawyer and all that jazzzzzz, he should know better I would imagine. Thankfuly nobody spotted us and we are safe. Oh the relief. But guys, I do have a tendency to exaggerate a bit. Post Yohaan, hubster and me are more like brother-sister duo combatting the exhausting effects of procreating. Never knew he would wreck so much havoc on our love life! Anyhow, off he went my older man and the little man almost had a mini meltdown. But I quickly distracted him and we were out of the departure lounge safely and without any embarrasement (primarily to me ofcourse).

Our driver cum man- friday is going to India for a couple of months untill hubster sorts out his visa and stuff. Will miss him. He is an extremely polite and a charming young man. Very sincere and good to us. Drives a bit crazily but better than many citizens of Dubai. He took us to a mall afterwards where yours truly tried to 'shop away' the hubster blues. I have a deep connection with retail therapy. It works best for me. Picked up lots of chinese blue pottery in miniature sizes and it is soooo cute. Will post pics. Just dont ask me when though. And oh, I also bought a really cute little dress and wooden hair clips for our driver's baby daughter. She will be one in June. I haven't yet gotten a chance to send anything for her. And I went bersek in the baby-girls clothes section. And I am determined to have a baby girl now....

That thought should firmly chase away any sisterly feelings I have developed for hubster post Yohaan. I cannot elaborate because this blog is PG rated after all. That way, I also MIGHT get more utterly strategic!

*walks away with naughty thoughts*

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Bummed Mamma Makeover

I am addicted to net surfing. It has reached such heights that I get withdrawal symptoms if I cannot read my favourite blogs everyday. The other day our internet connection went kaput for a while and I hounded hubster till he got it fixed! Baddddd, I knowwww.

Anyways, the point of this post today is to announce to the www in black and white that today being Easter (for want of a better day), I am adopting some resolutions in my life. Before I became a mother, I was a lot in to home decor, cooking, fashion and generally living life to the fullest. With a baby now, I realised that I have let myself go in so many ways. And it plays and plays and plays on my mind all the time. I keep thinking and hearing from my best friend R, ''you were not like this''. I cannot go on like this. Sure, it will take a huge effort on my part but then the alternative is driving me insane. Instead of just venting out here why dont I do something about it. I mean how much can my readers empathise/sympathise with my constant drama-queen moaning?? So, here goes.

  • 1. I will (try) loose weight. Look after my hands, hair and skin. We will see.
  • 2. I will keep my house in the best shape possible. Even if Yohaan is hell bent on destroying my efforts.
  • 3. I will get up every morning and simply dress up! That's it. I live in t-shirts and shorts. If I have to step out I just change in to jeans. Not acceptable from now on. And if I am going out in jeans, then I am doing my makeup and accesories too. The whole works. It better work for me! This will also be my bit for hubster. He has already threatened me for lounging around practically naked in the house. (lots of threats lately)
  • I will be thankful- NO MATTER WHAT!

That's it folks. I will be putting up pictures, largely to inspire myself. Anyone else wants to join in the ride, just gimme a shout.

Over to you now Jesus. Cannot do it without Your help!!!

Easter Sunday!

A Happy Easter to all my readers.... may the salvation and peace of the risen Lord Jesus give us all of our joy. It is a working day here, hubster has to be at work, so nothing planned on this side of the world....but I hope everyone else will have a wonderful time with loved ones.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

To: the one from the Cherry Hill..

I keep getting a visitor from Cherry Hill(NY)...I am mighty pleased by this reader's patience and loyalty towards my blog. Wont you please delurk and leave a comment...ah, afterthought: maybe its just my sister N, in Canada frantically visitng my blog to see the latest post...since I do a lousy job of keeping her updated via mail or phone!! Sorry sistah! Please get updates from mom untill I push my lazy butt to do the needful.

Your baby sister,

The post with no title

And it is going to be quite obvious why! I have no inspiration today to give this post a is going to be a blah post then. *sigh*

Off late I am troubed by the fact that I am inherently lazy. I am a lazy human being and nothing seems to help. I mean look at the way I am unable to hold my house together. I dont think having a toddler (a hyper one at that!) in the house is an excuse to let everything else go. I know mothers who have like three,four even six kids and seem to manage fine. So, no that cannot be an excuse. Although Yohaan does his best in undoing everything I accomplish around the house. I enjoy folding laundry. What can I life is exciting huh? Anyways, I will bring in all the clothes and pile them on the couch. Lovingly fold away every crease and make neat piles. My little man will come around and systematically pull everything to the ground. Pick up one underwear and proceed to dust everything in sight. He copies me you see! I will be in the kitchen or on the phone, come back and try not to scream at him!

And this goes on in every corner of the house. He gets in to the kitchen shelves and cupboards to pull out all the pots and pans. When I ask him what exactly does he think he is doing, he will give me a goofy grin and say ''khana''- meaning I am cooking mama! This cooking business keeps him busy for hours but in the process I loose a lot of hair. I was such a control/neat freak before. With Yohaan, it has been a huge struggle giving up this trait of mine...Anyways, I am now compiling a daily to-do list which will be non negotiable. I need to do this else I might slip in to depression. I have chosen the role of a home maker willingly for myself and if this is one thing I cannot get right, what's the whole damn point, see?

Last night I spotted thousands of misc stuff under/behind our bed and exclaimed loudly to the hubster... "OMG! Yohaan has thrown everything under/behind our bed, eeeksss, how will I ever get it all out?" Hubster replies very sweetly, ''that is your problem babe''. Needless to add I am mighty annoyed with him for not adding a helpful/encouraging bit to my already frazzled state. But then, he is right,as usual which annoys me even more.

So from this week, I am going to assign fixed hours for my housework. Which involves getting up early morning and finishing the chores before the little tyke gets up. Which means I am not going to be very happy but it also means some order and peace in my head. I am not a morning person at all. Yohaan's school will not start before 3 years at least. I dont see why should I be torturing myself waking up at some unearthly hour. But I did know this was coming. I have run out of options now. Hubster has enrolled (again) in an intensive Arabic class which starts at 8am. He wakes up really early to finish his homework and get ready before he leaves. I sometimes get up to give him his morning coffee and breakfast but not always. To his credit, he doesnt expect me to. But every house hold has a certain rhythm to it. Families have dynamics. Members have roles to play and tasks to carry out. Hubster performs his wonderfuly. Yohaan, the toddler does it even better, performing everything that a toddler is supposed to (read: creating havoc ) *more sighing*, except for me-the mamma. :( If one member is not contributing towards keeping the rhythm going smoothly, it can all come tumbling down. Dont you agree. My sister always says, moms cannot take an off! How right she is. Mom is ofcourse a generic term also for wife, cook, cleaner, baker, mender, fixer, shopper, comforter etc. At the moment I am none of those.

Send me good thoughts people. I am so tired of not achieving even a quarter of my daily goals. They are mundane, but keep the wheels running you know!