Apr
07

Stuffed Egg Masala

Every kid is biased towards his/hers mom’s cooking but in my family the bias is not just from my side as everyone agrees unanimously how awesome her dishes are; especially this one. She completely owns this recipe. I have not had this dish anywhere – neither at friends/cousins’ homes nor not seen it in hotels or restaurants that I have been too prepared in the manner that she does.

Finally my home is set-up in London and most important part – the kitchen is now fully functional. Now with no luxuries of the cook – I have to think of a new dish everyday as more than MDH it is me who gets tired of eating the same dishes every other day. So here goes mumma’s famous stuffed egg masala that I managed to prepare last week.

Ingredients:

Eggs – 4

Onions – 2 medium size (finely chopped)

Ginger-garlic paste – 1 teaspoon

Turmeric – 1/2 teaspoon

Kala (Black) Masala – 3-4 tablespoons. This is a Maharashtrian masala which is easily available in stores and mainly used for all non-veg curries.

Coconut Paste: 2-3 tablespoons. ( This is the common paste we use in our non-veg curries and usal (pulse gravy) preparations).

Salt to taste

Coriander – Finely chopped to garnish

Oil – 1 tablespoon

Method

Boil the eggs and peel of the shell. Then slice 4 cuts evenly into the egg – keeping the base intact and the cuts good enough to insert the stuffing.

Coconut Paste:

Roast dry grated coconut – 1 cup till medium brown in a pan. Then dry roast 1 chopped onion and 1-2 garlic petals in a pan. Roast till the mixture turns light brown. Then grind all 3 ingredients into a thick paste. The paste should be smooth and you should not be able to feel the coconut particles. You can make this paste in bulk and the same is used in chicken/mutton gravies as well as various pulses commonly made in Marathi household

Stuffing:

Heat oil in a small wok (kadhai as we say) and add finely chopped onions. Once the onions are brown in colour, add turmeric, ginger-garlic paste , kala masala, salt and sauté for 5-10 minutes. Then add the coconut paste and little water so that it cooks well. Ensure the stuffing remains dry and not too watery else it will be difficult to fill it into the eggs. Add some coriander and mix well.

Let the mixture cool down, then with a small spoon fill each egg with the stuffing taking care that eggs do not break. Use very light pressure in the hands to fill this stuffing. Then ensure that the stuffing is smoothened out evenly on all sides and place these eggs back into the wok. Heat the wok, and turn the eggs on all sides delicately.

Serve with parathas – tastes delicious and can serve as starters or even main course ( your choice)

egg masala

Jan
27

The Shift

I haven’t had an evening to myself since 10th of September. So much has happened in the last 4 months – I have not had a moment to sit down, relax, fall back, think, smile, laugh, get tensed, get worried, freak out, breathe in breathe out, assess, fret, get mad, get angry, shout out loud, scream , be happy , be sad, reflect  -  the last 4 months have flown by like they were 4 days, actually 4 hours, no forget probably 4 minutes.

Jan 2013 – MDH and I kept wondering where life was heading and we both felt we needed a change – professionally or personally this year. This year. We had got comfortable and eased out in Dubai – our home for last 7 years and over the last year I was somehow getting the feeling that I was done with the place. We had to move out – either back home to India or to another land. We felt this was the year we had to make it happen; of course if life had decided otherwise and taken a different turn we would have thought of making the move few years later.

You can’t predict what life holds for you but you can sure make an effort to turn it your way. And so we both tried, whoever got the first break the other would follow we decided.

London – I fell in love with this city when I first came here as a tourist in 2007 and I came back twice later once on work and again on a holiday ; and every time I came back I realised how much I was fond of this place. I realized I would love working and staying here and when the opportunity came at work I took the chance, we took the risk and we moved here in Dec.

People ask us if leaving Dubai was an easy decision – it was in fact a no-brainer for me from a career perspective but not easy personally. All the right and wrong reasons will need another post. Don’t get me wrong – I liked the city, I will definitely miss my house a lot and more importantly I will miss my wonderful friends there who were my family away from India. At the back of our minds we always knew this place was going to be short term;by staying 7 years we had probably overshot our stay more than what we had planned to when we first came here.

The last 4 months have flown by – relocation is not easy, I have no clue how people shift homes and countries every few years! Paperwork, paperwork and paperwork – it is endless. Exiting a country and entering a new country – we were lucky that my company was in charge of most things but settling into a new place is not easy however familiar you may think you are with it. After getting to London, everyday is a new learning and if anyone needs guidance on moving here just drop me a note!

It is always mixed feelings when you leave and move on and when I find some time to breathe again I will do a post on my Dubai journey – what a rollercoaster ride it was for us. We left with wonderful memories of wonderful people – I’m not sure how much I will miss the place as years pass by but I will miss those wonderful folks and the relationships – will savour them for a lifetime.

London – you will be a different experience altogether – if I did not love you so much I would have torn my hair apart by now thinking how difficult you have been to settle into for a newcomer coming into the country . Your warmth though has had the most calming effect  on us (yes even though we have come in winter) – I’m amazed by your acceptance and ability to embrace. Stay this wonderful for as long as we decide to be here.

A new life begins – still not settled in, but things are slowly falling in place. The tube travel, the DIY for almost everything, relying on yourself and no one else, the challenges at work, a whole new culture to embrace. We feel ready and it feels right. I haven’t been so excited and thrilled and tensed together in a long, long time.

The shift has happened, now to soak it in!

Nov
04

Cristina and Meredith

Grey’s Anatomy Season 10 has been pretty mediocre so far – not one episode has been gripping or held my attention for long. However last night when catching up on the last 3 episodes that we had missed out – two scenes from episode 5 stayed with me.

I get Cristina – I always have. Many of you may not – but I do. She is my favourite character in the series. She often speaks out loud what most of us women don’t want to hear even though we know she is right; such as this scene when she reasons out with Meredith why she did not give her the surgery.

 

But for first time while watching this series I loved Meredith’s response – and I get her too.

 

She is right – the reason we stop connecting with folks we thought were once friends  is this one simple fact :

“You don’t have time for me now because you don’t have time for people who want things that you don’t want”

Sep
06

Malvani Crab Masala

Crabs are so dear to everyone in my family and I’m the odd one out to not eat them. I have tried crab cakes or crab mince but not been able to develop a taste for the typical Malvani Crab Curry as my mother makes it. MDH is a foodie (you already know that by now if you have been reading this blog) and crabs are way way close to his heart (or rather stomach) . I wanted to learn how to cook this curry and after having done so I can proudly claim it turns out quite super – so here is the recipe for you all.

Ingredients:

1 Kg crabs – cleaned and if large have them cut into halves to separate the claws and the main body.

Onions – 6 medium sized fine chopped

Turmeric powder– 2 tea spoons

Ginger Garlic Paste – 2 table spoons

Kala Masala (Black masala) – 4-6 tablespoons depending on how spicy you want to make the curry. My recommendation the spicier the curry the better the taste.  The Kala Masala is a Maharashtrian masala which is easily available in stores and mainly used for all non-veg curries.

Coconut Paste – 3-4 table spoons

Salt to Taste

Preparation:

Clean the crabs well and apply little salt and set them aside.

Heat oil in pan, about 3-4 tablespoons and add finely chopped onions to it. Sauté till the onions are dark brown and the oil begins to ooze out from the sides.

kajuchi bhaaji

Add ginger garlic paste and sauté for 4-5 minutes. Add turmeric powder and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Then add the Kala Masala powder in the given proportion and salt to taste.

Add the crab pieces and mix well. Add  3-4 cups of boiling water and let the curry cook on medium flame.

While the onions are turning dark brown and the crabs are getting cooked – prepare the coconut paste on the side as below.

Roast dry grated coconut – 1 cup till medium brown in a pan and set aside. Then dry roast 1 chopped onion and 1-2 garlic petals in a pan. Roast till the mixture turns light brown. Then grind all 3 ingredients into a thick paste. The paste should be smooth and you should not be able to feel the coconut particles. You can make this paste in bulk and the same is used in chicken/mutton gravies as well as various pulses commonly made in Marathi households.

kajuchi bhaaji

Once the crabs are 3/4th cooked in the curry add the coconut paste (3-4 tablespoons) and let the mixture cook on low flame. Keep stirring the mixture every 10 minutes. Add boiling water depending on how thick/thin curry you wish to have. We prefer thick curry. Crabs take time to cook and let the gravy cook for 20-30 minutes on low flame. Once the colour of the shells of the crab legs turns orange/reddish you know the crabs are done.

PicsArt_1378491943810crab 2

 

Add little lime juice and garnish the gravy with fresh coriander leaves fine chopped and serve it with Chapattis or what we Maharashtrians love – Tandalachi Bhakri ( Rice Roti)

crab 1crab 5

Enjoy your crab curry – try it out and let me know how it turned out.

Aug
25

The Key

3 days had passed and I continued to ignore her loss. She has always been around, must be hiding somewhere and playing her cat and mouse game with my memory again. Yesterday despite my repeated attempts to recollect where I had last left her I simply could not remember where she had hidden herself.

I checked all the places at home where I tend to carelessly leave her , hunted every corner of the drawers and she was still not to be found.

I had almost given up hope of finding her and the only solution I could see was replacing her. I would have to reset all connections – between the new her and me – between the new her and my home.

I don’t lose my possessions easily – almost never have. And she is an important one. In one last attempt before I could accept that I had misplaced her; I emptied the handbag and still found nothing; and then I caught her in my hands but I still could not see her. A small hole in the inside pocket of the purse and the house key had slipped in between the gaps. I finally managed to take her out from her hiding space and I sensed a huge relief in my mind.

She reminded me of the relationships I often take for granted, even if they disappear for a few days I still don’t go looking for them , I know they will be around. And when they don’t turn up as I expect them to, it puts me in a frantic state of mind. I find myself chasing them and wondering what I did wrong, what is it that I had said, what is it that I had done, what is it that I had forgot.

I can’t lose them – the similarity to my house key ends there, if I lose my key, I’ll replace her and enter my house, but what about those relationships I lost? Will I be able to replace them and move on?  And I already know the answer – I cannot. They are inseparable from me – and I won’t be the same person without them.

And it is almost like they read my mind. They are just testing me and they quietly slip back in the same place I knew I had left them and make me realize that without them I’d be lost.

They are still around, they will always be – in the one corner of my heart – they are the key to my existence – and they want me to seek them, to reach out to them like that little house key of mine hidden in the corner of my handbag.

Aug
10

Kajuchi Bhaaji (Cashewnut Veggie)

Don’t look surprised at the title of this dish. Kajuchi Bhaaji is an absolute delicacy in my family and even though cashew-nuts are very famous along the coastal line of Maharashtra and in Goa – this dish is not found easily. This is my mother’s speciality and I’m yet to master the taste her dish has but I guess I will never get to her level because as they say the magic of cooking rests in the hands of the cook.

Mom makes 3 varieties of this dish – in Marathi ”sukka” kalvan (dry gravy), the curry and the curry modified with the addition of egg. Today I’ll share the recipe of the sukka kalvan which is my favourite.

The cashewnuts are not the dry or salted ones that you will generally get in the market. These are taken fresh from the fruit and very popularly known as “Ole Kaju” (wet cashewnuts). They are dried in the sun along with the skin. You can store them in a cool storage for 5-6 months. They are available only for 2 months in April and May, so I pick up in bulk and stock them at home so that I can make the dish over the next 6 months.

Ingredients:

30-40 cashewnuts.

Onions – 4 medium sized fine chopped

Turmeric powder– 2 tea spoons

Kala Masala (Black masala) – 4 tablespoons. This is a Maharashtrian masala which is easily available in stores and mainly used for all non-veg curries.

Coconut Paste – 3-4 table spoons

Salt to Taste

Preparation:

Soak the cashewnuts in water for 8-10 hours (preferably overnight or in the morning if you plan to make the dish in the evening). Peel of the skin before making the dish. Split the cashewnuts from the top into 2 equal parts as shown

kajuchi bhaaji

Heat oil in pan, about 3-4 tablespoons and add finely chopped onions to it. Sauté till the onions are dark brown and the oil begins to ooze out from the sides.

kajuchi bhaaji

Add turmeric powder and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Then add the cashewnuts and sauté for 4-5 minutes. Then add the Kala Masala powder in the given proportion and salt to taste. Add  2 cups of boiling water and let the curry cook on medium flame.

While the onions are turning dark brown and the cashewnuts are getting cooked – prepare the coconut paste on the side as below.

Roast dry grated coconut – 1 cup till medium brown in a pan. Then dry roast 1 chopped onion and 1-2 garlic petals in a pan. Roast till the mixture turns light brown. Then grind all 3 ingredients into a thick paste. The paste should be smooth and you should not be able to feel the coconut particles. You can make this paste in bulk and the same is used in chicken/mutton gravies as well as various pulses commonly made in Marathi households.

kajuchi bhaaji

Once the cashewnuts are 3/4th cooked in the curry add the coconut paste (3-4 tablespoons) and let the mixture cook on low flame. Keep stirring the mixture every 10 minutes. Cashewnuts take a long time to cook – so let the gravy cook for half hour on low flame. Then check if the cashewnuts melt into the mouth, they should become really soft. Once you are sure they have, garnish the gravy with fresh coriander leaves fine chopped and served with Chapattis, Rotis or Naan or what we Maharashtrians love – Tandalachi Bhakri ( Rice Roti)

kajuchi bhaaji 1

Aug
10

Hasselback Potatoes

There are days at work when I’m completely drained out (and of late there have been too many much to my chagrin). The only thing that can get me refreshed is to cook up a good dish; and to my luck I chance upon recipes like this one shared on LifeHacker.

I did a bit of my own modification – I backed it for 30 minutes instead of 50 as mentioned in the link and at a temperature of 350 degree Celsius after having pre-heated the oven at 425 degree Celsius.

This one is very easy to make. Slice the potato as shown – try to make as thin slices as you can. The thinner the slices, the crispier they get at the ends. Grease the potato with olive oil (bare minimum), pepper and salt.

After 20 minutes of baking the potatoes -  I add some herbs such as parsley, rosemary and thyme. Not the fresh ones but the dried ones and sprinkled some parmesan cheese. Then baked the potatoes for another 10 minutes and the result was a scrumptious dinner for both of us given that these days I’m back to my light dinner diet.

hasselback potatoes

When I read up further on this recipe I found suggestions to add cheese slices, bacon etc to the potatoes and bake them. That is to be tried next time – I don’t eat bacon but am sure MDH would love to try it out.

Aug
10

Fish and Prawns Fry

How long has it been since I updated this section of my blog! I have been lazy and not posted any recipes though I have bombarded folks with the food pictures on Facebook, Twitter and Whatsapp and though they have got  many “likes”; I have also got abuses for not posting the recipes. So a huge sorry to all my friends and here I start with some fish and prawns fry recipes – make up for excellent quick starters. My father’s family hails from Guhagar, Ratnagiri in Konkan and I’m married into a Goan household – these fish/prawns fry specialities are a must in every Konkan/Goan fish-eating household. Try them and do let me know how they turned out.

The tip for frying fish – heat the oil in the pan well, try to take minimal oil and keep adding oil slowly depending on how much the fish soaks up the oil, and while frying fish maintain low flame and the let the fish cook in peace. Be careful while frying Bombil (Bombay Duck) – delicate hands a must for turning and frying this particular fish.

Red Masala Rava Fry:

This marination can be used for most fishes – Pomfret, Surmai (King Fish), Bombil (Bombay Duck), Verlya (Similar to whitebait), Bangda (Mackerel) and even prawns.

Proportions are for 1/2 Kg fish:

Marination Ingredients:

Ginger Garlic Paste – 1.5 tablespoons

Turmeric – 1 tea spoon

Red Chilly Powder – 2-3 table spoons (depending on how spicy you can consume)

Kokum (Garcinia Indica) – 7-8 petals.

Salt to taste

Lemon juice – 1-2 tea spoons

Take 1-2 tea spoons water in small bowl and mix the above ingredients well to form a nice thick paste. Then marinate the fish in this paste for atleast 1/2 to 1 hour before frying. My mother-in-law gives me an additional goan garam masala powder which I tend to add to the mixture to get an added spicy flavor.

The Coating

Rava (semolina) and rice powder are mixed together in the proportion of 2:1. A cup of this mixture is more than sufficient for a coating for 1/2 kg fish. Take the marinated fish and roll it delicately in this dry mixture till all sides are well coated in this mixture.

Shallow fry the fish on low flame ensuring that the mixture is not burnt. Let the fish fry for atleast 15-20 minutes and turn it in equal intervals to ensure both sides are cooked well. Cooking on low flame helps cook the fish really well and gives a firm crispy coating.

Serve hot with a tinge of lemon.

Bombil , Pomfret and Prawn Fry

bombil and prawns frybombil-pomfret-prawn

Surmai Fry

surmai fry

 Bangda Fry ( While being cooked and one already ready to serve)

bangda fry

Verlya Fry

verlya fry

If you are particular about oil – you can use the same marination to grill the fish/prawns without the coating. Still tastes great.

Grill Pomfret

grill pomfret

Green Masala Fry:

This marination generally works well only with Pomfret and Surmai.

Marination Ingredients:

Ginger Garlic Paste – 1.5 tablespoons

Turmeric – 1 tea spoon

Green Chilly & Coriander Paste – 4-5 green chillies (depending on how spicy you can consume), 12-15 fresh coriander stems with leaves, 5-6 mint leaves. Grind this mixture in a smooth thick paste. Use 3-4 tablespoons of this paste in the marination. The balance can be preserved for a month in deep freezer.

Kokum (Garcinia Indica) – 7-8 petals.

Salt to taste

Lemon juice – 1-2 tea spoons

Take 1-2 tea spoons water in small bowl and mix the above ingredients well to form a nice thick paste. Then marinate the fish in this paste for atleast 1/2 to 1 hour before frying.

Coating and frying technique as mentioned above.

green masala pomfret fry

Jul
21

Dear Parents of Sons

I hope you take 5 minutes out of your busy lives and read this brilliant post by Himali. This is not a sympathy seeking plea – it is an honest, forthright, rational, witty and intellectual post.

The Matrimonial Meetings – Dos and Donts

It is my earnest request to all you mothers of sons out there to stand up and give one tight slap to your sons if they dare to ask the questions to the girl they are meeting as their prospective bride that these idiots have dared to ask Himali.

Actually not dared, these guys aren’t even brave – they are fine examples of cowards , examples of poor parenting, and more than anything absolute scums of this earth. I say poor parenting because despite being well educated, living in multi-cultural environments, born in an era where seeing an independent, well-qualified , confident woman should not be a surprise for them, they still manage to ask questions that would have been a norm in the last century.

I blame the upbringing – surely their fathers don’t treat their mothers as equals – see them as a means to rear children and cook. What else explains guys stating that the girl should match his mom’s cooking or that his mom expects a child in the first year of marriage on what is a first meeting with his prospective bride – she who has not even given her consent for the marriage.

Virginity – man how important it is for men – they will sleep around with a thousand women but the woman they wed must be untouched and pure – raised eyebrows and offended if we women ask in return if they are virgins too! These men disgust me. And as Himali puts it aptly –”If you think that the topic of virginity is of utmost importance, be prepared to discuss yours too”

Dear parents teach your sons to respect women, to respect their independence, their job and their views. They are not tools or decorative items to be brought home. Need a cook – hire one. Marriage is not about the looks – that attraction fades away and what you need is a companion, a friend, a person to confide in and talk to – a person you can trust your life with. Learn to judge the person within.

And most importantly dear sons – before you start judging the girl on basis of how fair  or dark she is, what is her job, how much does she earn, is she shy or bold, is she a virgin or not, has she had past relationships or not – take a step back, go back to your room, look into the mirror and see if you pass the tests you are about to put her through – if not learn to shut up .

Realise that it is respect that is the foundation of any relationship – love and all that jazz  means nothing if there is no respect !

Jun
18

Why Henry Cavill is the Best SuperHero of the 21st Century

Christian Bale as Dark Knight – Perpetually Brooding Hot

Batman

Robert Downey Junior as Iron Man – UberCool Hot

iron man

Michael Fassbender as Magneto – Magnetic Hot

magneto

James McAvoy as Charles Xavier – Charming Hot

prof x

Hugh Jackman as Wolverine – Always Angry Hot

wolverine

But Henry Cavill as Superman – He is all of the above and Scorching HOT

cavillsuperman1

He is simply gorgeous – I rest my case!

 

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