Saying Good Bye


What is it to truly leave a part of you behind?

How does it feel to end a journey?

What does it take to steel yourself from the force of emotions that hits you?

What if what you love, you can’t keep?

How does it feel to know that everything you have known will be left behind?

And you have tears brimming in your eyes…

And you can’t turn back… Nor can you go back.

There is nothing there for you.

Trying hard to leave…

You are trying hard to let go, to let them go.

Love takes prisoners with it and you are waiting…

Waiting for the sinking feeling and the final parting.

The hardest part is always good-bye.

Radish Kofta Curry

Radish curries seem to be the rage. It is searched on google pretty often. I think most people do not know what to do with radishes, like me. Hence,google to the rescue. This is probably the best dish that I have made with radishes so far. If you have come up with something better with radishes, leave a comment below.

I was browsing the net a while back and came across many kofta recipes. Usually koftas consist mainly of potatoes or paneer (cottage cheese) in them. I changed it up to use white radish in them. I also included them in the gravy of the dish. You could always omit radishes in the gravy.  This curry is great as a spread on bread too. I tried 🙂 Continue reading “Radish Kofta Curry”

Quick Eats: Cilantro Avocado Sauce over Enchiladas

   Cheese is something we eat very rarely and finding recipes without the use of cheese is always on my list. I used to spend hours watching the food network shows but I don’t do that anymore. I just switch the channel even if I see something drool worthy. I love Ina’s kitchen, all white and posh looking but I have never seen any recipe on her show that I can make. Reason – its either meat(psst – I am vegetarian!) or it involves so much butter and sugar that it makes me go “Oh Dear!”. Rachel Ray has a lot of veggie adaptable recipes but she cooks so fast, I miss most of her ingredients and also, I can not take her chattering. I like her but really I cannot for the love of God, take her chattering. So, I realized that I ought to check out food porn. Before you get any ideas, Continue reading “Quick Eats: Cilantro Avocado Sauce over Enchiladas”

Veggie Patties – Yum!!

Sandwiches are meant for those times when you are feeling lazy to cook a full-fledged meal or if you have leftovers and you want to incorporate them into your dinner. That happens a lot to me, especially laziness!! .I usually make sandwiches with lots of spreads and veggies but today I remembered burgers from back home in Hyderabad. They made some mean veggie burgers at this place that I used to frequent with friends. I think the joint is named Bakers Inn. I tried to recreate the taste and let me tell ya , it was pretty good ! 
Makes 6 medium-sized patties 
 
Ingredients:
1/2 Bell pepper chopped
1/2 tsp Cumin Powder
1 medium Potato (boiled and mashed)
1/2 zucchini finely chopped
20 leaves of spinach chopped
Onion– 1 small-sized finely chopped
1 tsp Chopped Garlic
¼ tsp Black pepper
½  tsp Lemon Pepper
Salt to taste
10 tbsp Bread crumbs
2 tbsp Plain flour/gram flour
4 tbsp Semolina/Rava/Cream of wheat
Oil for frying/sautéing
 
Directions:
Boil and mash the potatoes. Heat the oil in a pan, and then add garlic and onion. Fry it on medium heat until the onion is transparent.  Add Zucchini pieces and sauté for a minute. Add the spinach and the mashed potatoes. Cook for a minute. Add lemon pepper, black pepper, cumin powder and salt. Mix it well until the spices coat all the veggies. Take it off from heat and let it cool down for 10 minutes.

Transfer to a bowl and add gram flour to this mixture to form a thick paste. It acts as a binding agent. Add some pieces of bread or roll the patties in the breadcrumbs (do this after you make a round patty).Mix together and form the patties. Now roll them in semolina. Cover on both sides. Rolling the patties in semolina makes them less sticky and also gives a nice crunch.
Heat oil in a pan, take the patties and fry them two to three at a time in medium heat. Shallow fry them on both sides until they turn golden in colour.
Serve as a Sandwich or eat with salad. I did take a picture of this but the photo sucks and the patties are all gone, so no picture of it this time. 🙁

Vegetarian Pad Thai

Closeup of pad Thai, a Thai dish made from ric...
Image via Wikipedia

Apart from Indian food, Thai food is popular in our household since it can be easily made as a vegetarian dish. I have made red and green curries earlier and they came out pretty well. But, when I tried Pad Thai, the most popular Thai dish, it turned out to be a bummer.

It might have been because I used egg noodles the first time round.(I had only those at home). Also, I had the Pad Thai paste from Authentic Thai and I used that as my only curry base. Personally, I did not like the taste of it since it did not taste like restaurant style Pad Thai. So, this time round I changed  a few, no! a lot of things. I added tamarind paste and soy sauce apart from the pad thai paste . According to authentic recipes of pad thai that I have seen, that is all the flavour required. You could also add radishes. I added some mushrooms for added taste. Let me warn you that I am cheating here by using the store-bought paste. 😉

Ingredients:
1/2 packet dried thin/flat rice noodles
1 tablespoon tamarind paste
1 cup water
2 tbsp soy sauce
Authentic Thai “Pad Thai” paste
1 tbsp chili sauce
4 tbsp Jaggery/brown sugar
1 package firm tofu
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 cup bean sprouts
1/4 cup mushrooms
1/2 red onion
1/4 cup broccoli(as much as you like)
1/2 cup roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped
1/2 bell pepper chopped
 

Directions:

1. Soak noodles in a large bowl of warm water until softened, 30-40 minutes. Drain and set aside.

2. Meanwhile, make sauce by soaking tamarind pulp in boiling-hot water in a small bowl, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add soy sauce, Jaggery, and chili sauce, stirring until jaggery has dissolved.

3. Cut onions into long slices. You can also add shallots if you like. Cut 1/2 of the Tofu into 1-inch cubes and pat dry.

4. Heat oil in wok over medium heat until hot,fry tofu and then set aside, then fry onions over high heat, stirring frequently, until golden-brown, 8 to 12 minutes. Add garlic and bell pepper and stir fry.

5. Lightly beat eggs with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in wok over high heat until it heats up. Add eggs and swirl to coat side of the wok, then cook, stirring gently with a spoon, until cooked through. Break into chunks and transfer to a plate. You could make a scrambled tofu instead like I did.

6. Add noodles and stir-fry over medium heat for 3 minutes. Add bean sprouts,mushrooms,broccoli 4 teaspoons of Authentic pad thai  sauce and the tamarind sauce and simmer, turning noodles over to absorb sauce evenly, until noodles are tender ,for about 5 minutes. Add salt as desired.

9. Stir in more sauce if desired, Transfer to a wide soup dish, sprinkle the dish with the roasted peanuts and serve.

Here’s the final result. The image was not very good. Sorry about that. Maybe next time 🙂  I added some lettuce for some colour.

Quick Eats:Garlic (Pav) Bread

What do you make as an accompaniment to chapatis and curry. I don’t usually make anything. So I decided to cook something up for a change, something quick. I am gonna call this series “Quick Eats” – quick to make and to eat.

Who doesn’t like Garlic bread, right ? I was dying for some but I did not have any French bread but did have some pav. I had made pav bhaji with that but then again how many times can you make pav bhaji ?
So, I made garlic bread with the pav since it’s a soft bread and suits the texture required.
Ingredients:
Pav bread(as many as you want yumm !!)
salt, garlic powder, butter/canola spray, dry basil leaves
paprika(optional)

Directions:
Cut the pav in half. Apply the butter/canola spray on it and then sprinkle the rest of the ingredients on one side of the bread according to taste. Repeat the same on the other side.
Heat a large pan and place the bread on it. Toast it to a light brown on both sides.
Enjoy !!

Easy Fenugreek Paratha

Methi/Fenugreek paratha is a crowd pleaser at our home. Methi/Menthe/Fenugreek has immense health benefits and should be included in everyday diet. A spoonful of Fenugreek can be added to any dish but make sure you do not add too much of it. You do not want your dish to taste bitter (fenugreek is bitter).

OK, I get sidetracked easily. We shall get on with the recipe for yummy methi paratha, shall we ? This is an easy recipe and mostly everyone can make it. However, I suck at making parathas. I usually tend to spend hours slaving over the stove trying to make these before they acquire any sort of shape. Darn it !! I should not have mentioned my lack of paratha making skills this early in the post. It will probably dissuade most of you from reading further. Hang on !! This is a good one. I assure ya !!  If you are still reading this, you have “True Grit“.  By the way, anyone know if it won any Oscars ? I saw “127 hours”. It looks like an Oscar ready film but I doubt it has much of a chance when “The King’s Speech” is around.
Onto to the recipe before my thoughts run off again !! Let me mention that  you will need to use Menthe Chutney or store-brought chutney. That’s what makes it easy. As I have mentioned before, this chutney can be used in a lot of recipes. So, you could make ice cubes  of it like pasta sauce and store it in the freezer.

Serves 2 hungry people. Also, in the picture is Palak Paneer.

Ingredients:

2 cups whole wheat flour/atta

5 tbsp All purpose flour/Maida

2 tsps oil

Some fresh Methi leaves for color

hot water to knead the dough

1/2 tsp  red chilli powder

1/2 tsp Ajwain seeds

salt to taste

Quick Directions:

Make a hard dough with wheat flour  and water .Add oil, salt, ajwain, red chilli powder to it. Keep aside. Wash the Methi leaves, add water, a little salt and boil it in a pan. Remove from flame, drain the water and set aside. This step is optional. You need not add the methi leaves. It does however add color and a beautiful aroma when cooked.

Now, roll out the dough and add the menthe(Fenugreek) chutney paste and the drained fenugreek leaves in the middle. Fold it and dip it in Maida. Roll it out fully. If the dough sticks to the rolling-pin, use some more Maida to remove the stickiness. Finally, place the rolled out paratha on the pan and let cook on both sides. Use a generous amount of oil/ Canola spray on it. Mission Accomplished. Husband happy.

Note: You could add some turmeric to the dough to add some color. You can use hot and sour sauce as a side for paratha.

Menthe Chutney

Thought I’d do a quick recipe upload. I made Methi/Menthe/Fenugreek chutney and have used it for everything from sandwich spread, chapati and sometimes with rice.  Here goes :
Ingredients:
1 bunch Methi Leaves
1 big onion
1 tsp salt
1 tsp jaggery
1 tsp chilli powder

1 tsp ginger garlic paste

4 tbsp olive oil

Directions:

Fenugreek leaves are very bitter, so there are 2 ways to cook it. You could either fry them or you can blanch them.

1. Use about 3 tbsp of oil to fry them till the smell vanishes. For better taste, use more oil.

2.  Blanching is faster to do but the methi does lose some of its flavour. For this, clean the leaves, put them in boiling water with salt and then transfer it to ice water later. Squeeze the water out of it and set aside.

Now, fry the onions in oil then add ginger garlic paste and stir till the raw smell is gone. Add methi/menthe/fenugreek leaves and fry for a while. Then, add jaggery, salt and chilli powder. Now, put it in the mixer and make a nice paste of it. Put it back in the pan and let cook for another 15 minutes on low. Check for taste, make sure it’s not bitter. If it is bitter, you can add more jaggery. This can last in the fridge for about 2 weeks. If you use more oil, it will last longer since it’s a preservative. It will last longer if you freeze it.

Sandwich with Fenugreek Chutney:

Spread the chutney on one side of a toasted sandwich, add some fried tofu(if you have it), fresh slices of onion tomato and carrots on the other. You can also add some butter/cheese if you like( I skipped it). It’s ready to eat !!! 🙂 Unfortunately, no pictures this time 🙁 .

What do you look for in a movie ?

Poster for ''La Règle du jeu, directed by Jean...
Image via Wikipedia

I was just thinking aloud today about what people look for in any movie ? We obviously all don’t look for the same things. So, what moves us, what takes us to tears?  Does what we expect from a movie change with different languages ? Is what we expect from a French film different from an English movie ? What are you ready to overlook ? What makes any movie, a great movie.

I jotted down a few things that I look  forward to in a movie. There must some formula a director follows to ensure that his movie succeeds, like a checklist.(like a code developer’s checklist  – that’s the geek in me talking). Here, they are :

1.  A decent storyline. The plot needs to have some sort of direction.

2.  The characters should be well etched out. Or at least have personality.

3. I rate acting after characters because if the role you are playing is muddled, nothing can really save you. People will simply not identify with the said characters. But the flip side is, that the audience throngs the theatre if some or all the cast is famous. It works well for marketing.  Dhobi Ghat, also known as Mumbai diaries(Hindi) is one such example. Aamir Khan‘s presence drew the audience and once there the film did a fine job of drawing one into its intricacies.

4.  However subtle, humour is an onus in any film. Cheesy and recycled jokes are not funny.

5.  If it’s thought-provoking, all the more better. Sometimes, a movie that puts forth a message strikes a chord with its audience. Life is Beautiful (Italian) was a fantastic film in that respect.

Sometimes, even a bad storyline with a good message makes one have a feel-good factor about it. So, people tend to forgive some if not all the jarring mess some movies are.

6. Dialogues make a movie so much more memorable.  When I watched “When Harry met Sally“, apart from the strong characters and the actors who played them, the movie was memorable for its dialogues . Click here to see them.

7.  A beautiful picturesque scene in a film certainly stays with you long after you watch it. It’s what makes a good movie better.  The Lord of the Rings has such beautiful scenic locations that it made New Zealand the new tourist destination that everyone wanted to visit.

8.  A carefully edited film ensures that the viewer’s attention is held through its  length unlike a film with choppy editing.  Jodha Akbar (Hindi) is a lovely film that is badly in need of some editing.

Jodha Akbar

So what do you look for in a movie ?

Food for thought:I was looking for movie posters and found this –>http://inspiredology.com/minimalist-movie-posters/ .Let me know if you can figure out why each symbol is as it is.

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