Month: May 2014

X-Men : Days of the Future Past

I’m terrible at maintaining this blog regularly – I realise it even more when I get down to pen a post and realise that I have not written about these loves on the blog before. Well better late than never right. As a kid the only superhero comics I read and watched were Superman, Spiderman and Batman – and even those were not read as extensively as some of my friends did. They know every dialogue written by heart! X-Men only caught my fascination once the movies were released. Since then the fandom for this set of superheroes has grown exponentially and I have to admit that the star cast has been a huge factor.

Hugh Jackman, Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart , Halle Berry and if those were not enough in the first 3 movies, they went and cast McAvoy, Fassbender, Hoult and Lawrence as the younger lot! And then they felt this too was not quite enough; so they got all of them together in the recent instalment and had Bryan Singer direct them. These were enough reasons to expect a cracker of a movie after the awesomeness that was witnessed in X-Men First Class. I must say this one did not disappoint; in fact it was way beyond my expectations; though I must add I did have one minor disappointment.  The director did not give enough meat to Mystique’s role – yes she was the focus of the film but somehow I felt that Jennifer Lawrence did not get enough scope to prove her stellar acting prowess. She surely has oodles of talent to take Mystique’s character to the heights of popularity that the other characters in the series have achieved. As Charles, Eric and Tsark admit – she is special and unique and probably the most powerful of the lot. Also Jennifer Lawrence is a far superior actress to Rebecca Romijn who had essayed the role in the trilogy and I hope the next part does justice to her acting talents.

Now before I  go to the movie and the scenes that left me spell bound let me get this out of the way – there was Fassbender, McAvoy and Jackman on the screen together; that is criminal – I mean how are we ladies to focus on the movie and the story and the rest of the cast with so much hotness on the screen! Ok that’s the fangirl talking – ignore that and let’s stick to the movie.

The movie is a brilliant example of how movie making techniques and the technology used have evolved over years to bring to life on screen the scenes that go beyond anyone’s wildest imagination. After watching the Magneto-Submarine scene in X-Men First Class I was convinced no other scene would come close to it and it probably topped my favourite movie scene list until I saw the QuickSilver Slow Motion Prison scene yesterday. A glimpse in the trailer below.

Brilliant is a mild word for this scene. You have to be a whacky genius to first conceptualize it and then go ahead and execute it to perfection! I can assure you that The QuickSilver SlowMotion scene in the movie will blow your mind off. It is what they call cinematic genius and magic all combined into one. I can’t wait for the DVD/BluRay to hit the market soon so that I can watch it a million times and I know the more I watch it the more I will crave for it. It is intoxicating to mildly put it.

The scene was shot to this lovely song (don’t forget to read the quicksilver related comments on the song; brilliance is oozing all over – ripple effect of the movie) and it has been stuck in my head since last night in a loop!


Then there is Hugh Jackman , who is what he does best – Being Wolverine –  Sarcastic, Angry, Impatient and now entrusted with dealing with a depressed , drowning in self-pithy and self-loathing Xavier portrayed by McAvoy (flawless again!) and getting him on track to ensure the future of the mutants is in safe hands. In the process befriending Beast, getting QuickSilver to help Magneto escape from the heavily guarded prison in Pentagon so that the duo Charles and Eric can find Raven(Mystique) and ensure the murder that changes the fate of the mutant community is averted.

However the man who is the real star of the movie, the one who steals the limelight from an array of stars present in the movie has other plans. He does an U-turn on the team and goes about setting the future as he deems it should rightfully be. If Ian McKellen immortalized the Evil Magneto, to me Michael Fassbender takes the evil genius to a different level in this movie – an act that is going to be tough to beat. We saw glimpses of it in X-Men First Class but then there was the whole sympathy angle and him being good turning into evil bit. In this movie though , he is just a pure cold-hearted, unapologetic , unforgiving, conniving, evil genius that you love to hate. Magneto plays around with the weapons that were meant to destroy his clan like they were his toys. The railway tracks scene is the one where you sit on the edge of your seat wondering what is going to happen next . You don’t quite figure out the master stroke until the last scene of the movie where Magneto single-handedly holds the entire US government at ransom. The scene though where i almost fell of my chair was seeing him execute so much style and panache in a one minute scene where he walks into the Pentagon to retrieve his prized possession (the helmet)– Did you not notice the glasses, the hat , the suit and his uber cool poise?

X-Men Days of the Future Past is a delightful entertainer for us X-men buffs but to me the enticing bit is with the future having been completely reset the movie makers can take some serious liberty to reignite the franchise and twist the stories around. The whole prospect is now making me delirious and 2 years seems like an eternity by when XMen – Apocalypse will hit the screens! Now waiting for the next instalment with bated breath – Damn you Bryan Singer!

Prawn Chettinad Pepper Curry

I get bored of making same old prawn curries that I know so I hunted on the internet to try something new. I found my love for south indian non-veg cuisine in Dubai and was quite craving the good old curries from Simran Appa Kadai and Calicut Paragon that we had so often when we lived there.

I found this easy and quick recipe – and I made a little bit of my own variations. I added some more curry leaves, sautéed the onions till they were dark brown, a bit more pepper and bit more water to have more medium rather than thick gravy. The one on the link looks scrumptious too and next time will attempt to maintain the thickness and red chilly colour. Here is the one I landed up making based on the above recipe. I garnished it with coriander and boiled egg slices. Try it – I love curry leaves and pepper taste and South India has some lip-smacking, finger-licking meat and seafood recipes!

Prawns Chettinad Pepper Fry

Lamb Chops Masala

We all have our favourite dishes – mine are any that have mutton and it really drives me mad when folks equate mutton and lamb. The one thing I’m missing after moving to London is not finding mutton in meat shops around. Guess I will have to venture out a bit far to find it here. So to overcome my psychological barrier with respect to lamb, we finally got lamb chops from the butcher near our place and with some tips from my friends who are cooking experts at different cuisines and have cooked lamb often; I ventured out experimenting my mutton chop masala recipe with some variations.



  • Lamb Chops – 4 pieces (total weight 500 gms)
  • Turmeric – 1 teaspoon
  • Red chilly powder – 2 tablespoons
  • Ginger-Garlic paste – 3 tablespoons
  • Mixed spices dry masala : Dry roast the following ingredients and then grind into a fine dry powder – 4-5 whole peppercorns, 4-5 cloves, 3-4 cms long cinnamon stick, 2 black cardamoms, 1 tablespoon fennel seeds, 1 tablespoon cumin seeds, 1 tablespoon coriander seeds, 1 star anise, 1 dry Kashmiri chilly.
  • Curd – 3-4 tablespoons
  • Salt as per taste

Marinate the lamb chops with the above ingredients. Since I was cooking lamb for first time I let it marinate for 24 hours.


I made the gravy directly in a pressure cooker. Add 3-4 tablespoons of oil , add 3 medium sized finely chopped onions and sauté on medium flame till they turn brown. Once the oil starts oozing out from the sides, add the marinated chops and mix well. Place a lid for few minutes and let it cook for 5-10 minutes. Then add 3-4 cups of boiling water such that it is enough to boil the chops in the pressure cooker. Shut the gas off after 3 whistles and let it simmer. Once the steam is gone, open the lid, and check if the meat has cooked well. If not, you may need to put the lid on for couple more whistles. When I attempted, the meat cooked perfectly with 3 whistles of the cooker. Garnish it with coriander and serve with hot parathas/rotis and rice.

Enjoy your lamb chops masala

lambs chop masala

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