Onion Garlic Dal

Chopped scallions
Chopped scallions (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I know, I know, you are probably going to say that “most people know how to make Dal, what’s so new about yours ? “What I have realized after making Dal so many times is that Dal is best made simple.  I have tried to make it taste different by adding peas or basil or garam masala but the award for the best Dal goes to “plain Jane”. It is best made in a pressure cooker for optimum taste. Using spring onions also made it better somehow. So here goes:Ingredients:1 cup Tor Dal(togri bele in Kannada)1 bunch scallions(or spring onions) chopped

Half a lime

2 tsp Ginger and Garlic paste

1-2 tsp oil (I used olive oil)

1/2 tsp turmeric powder

1-2 green chillies chopped (depends on how hot you want it)

For tadka: jeera and mustard seeds

Salt to taste ( 1.5 tsp should do it)

Water to cook

Some Coriander leaves(cilantro)


Prep: Clean and soak the Dal in water for at-least half an hour). Even if you don’t do this, it turns out well 🙂 . Anyway, try !

Put the oil in the cooker or pan (pan should have a fitted lid).  Add the tadka and wait till the mustard seeds start flying around. 

Fry the spring onions till translucent. Add the ginger garlic paste and sauté till the raw smell is gone.

Now add the turmeric powder, chillies and lime to the mix.

Now add the Toor Dal, and around 2 cups of water. Mix well.

Add salt to taste. You can cross check this by tasting the water.

Here’s how the finished stuff looks.

Pressure cook for 3 whistles.  Cook on low flame for another 10 minutes.  In case of a pan, cook for around 15-20 minutes. Garnish with coriander.

Dal’s done. In case you are not feeling lazy, you can also add hing (asafoetida) and curry leaves to the tadka. Don’t forget to add some sugar and some love for added measure 🙂

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Giving Food a thought

I have been blog surfing a lot lately given my current “at-home” status. Wherever i clicked, there was a lot of food going around, figuratively..So I thought it’s probably about time I started blogging about my cooking disasters…ahem..no I meant cooking successes. 🙂
I have cooked based on either my mom’s recipes or the internet. I am badly in need of a cookery book so got myself one. So this first recipe is from that. Its called “The Best Ever Indian”. I made some changes to the recipe and it turned out well. In this curry, you can add more bell peppers for better taste.
Potato & Bell Pepper Curry

Time Req: 35 minutes

Serves: 4
1 onion, chopped

2 potatoes, cut into large pieces

2 1/2 green bell peppers, cubed

3-4 oz fava beans(I used sprouts instead)

7 oz/200 g canned tomatoes/2 medium-sized(chopped small)

2 small chillies, chopped(for spicy curry, add  another 1)

1/2 tsp chilli powder

2 tsp coriander powder

1/4 tsp turmeric powder

salt to taste

water/vegetable stock

2 tbsp oil(recipe said 3 ,but 2 is good enough)

My contribution

1 tsp Jeera

1 tsp garam masala

Directions :

1. Heat oil in a large heavy bottom pan. Add jeera, chopped onions and cook for about 5 minutes till its light brown and the raw smell of onions disappears, Add chilli powder, coriander, turmeric, green chillies and stir for a while.

2. Now add bell peppers and cook for about 4 minutes, while stirring occasionally

3.  After this,  you can add the sprouts or fava beans and tomatoes. Also, stir in some of the chopped cilantro, stock and let simmer for about 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Serve with Naan or Chapatis.

I cooked the potatoes in the microwave beforehand to save time during cooking. You could do the same. Unfortunately, I did not take any pictures while I was cooking. Next time, I am gonna keep that in mind.

And the heart

The heart is an amazing thing,

The heart wows, it wonders,

It engages , it cavourts,

It sometimes gets broken and is sometimes whole.

One minute, it is full of life and love,

The next, the heart is shattered.

It dies a slow, painful death,

Taking with it vivid memories, sharp and bittersweet.

Glimpses of a city I call my own

I have written and rewritten this post trying to get the right words to describe some of my favourite cities.

The sights, smells, the sounds …What make you never forget a city…Things like that…And the quiet little places that everyone knows exists but many haven’t actually seen.

Bangalore is one of the most bustling metropolitan in India.It has one swell weather that I have ever witnessed.  The old world somewhat colonial charm has always existed here. Let me give a head start on some of the places you must not miss while here.

Vidhyarti Bhavan

One often misses this place when visiting Gandhi Bazaar coz its a smallish looking entrance like that of a house. The reason being that this place was originally started as a mess for students more than 50 years ago, also the reason for its namesake.  Over the years, it opened up for the general public. The Masale dose is absolutely yum here. (tasted it first hand *wink*). There is no oil used in the preparation, only Ghee. Imagine that!!! The Chutney served comes straight onto your plate and the consistency is like that of sambhar.

The main attraction that holds any first timer to this place is the way the dose is served. The waiter holds more than 15 plates at a time like it’s a flight of stairs… YOu have got to see it to believe it.  They also serve very good coffee, gulab jamun and poori. Prices are extremely reasonable and the place seems clean enough. The place however is crammed and looks like a long rain boogie. definitely a ‘must eat’ place.

A random Chappal Shop

I know that sounds vague but there are no names for shops in Commercial street. The location is right at the turning before westside and in the lane where pepsi is available to quench the thirst for the shopping crazy people like hmm…me.. 🙂 … The reason why you gotta go to this shop is that the chappals( ok, guys …you can stop reading from here…this one is for the ladies !!)  sold here are way different from the others, mostly has a very rajastani appeal to them. The prices are slightly more than the other shops but trust me, its worth it. While you are there, also get a hold of he guy selling cut mango pieces with Chutney right around the corner… Mouth watering yet ?…Thought so 🙂

Veena Stores

Veena stores is located at 15th cross, Margosa Road in Malleswaram. Just drive down the road till you find a whole bunch of people standing around a small stall. That is Veena Stores for you. It is rumoured to serve one of the best idli-chatni in banglore. The idlis are simly delicious and so is the chutni. I heard my uncle tell me he used to treat anyone visiting the nursing home next door to see my aunt at Veena Stores.

The Kesari bath/Khara bath is the other famous dish served here. They also serve rice items, snacks and beverages. Not to mention the really good coffee.Yeah well, Bangaloreans are coffee loving people..

Amruth Ice Creams

YOu have got to visit this place in order to uncover a mind numbing experience. Well,they sell ice-creams !! 🙂 . Not funny eh !! err..ok!! ..Amruth Ice Creams have been around a very long time and the place has not changed all that much. This ice cream parlour is located off 6th cross, Malleswarem.  There is a park right opposite to it.  You might blink and miss the place, so don’t blink.

One of the most delicious ice creams that one mustn’t miss eating is the kulfi – its is heavenly  at a mere *3 bucks( ever heard of anything you get at *3 bucks these days) . Their prices have not shot up much with the years. They have flavours too mango, elaichi. There are lots of other ice creams available in kilograms.

Pizza Shop

It is no ordinary pizza shop. This is our very own Indian home grown variety. No, I was not talking about vegetables. You get one pizza for yourself ( you could even call it a personal pan) for a mere *15 rupees at this place also located at 6th cross road. Just look for a pizza board to get to the shop. I was initially  very skeptical about the pizza but it turned out to be soft and easily eatable. The topping is the same for everyone and you have to wait your turn with your token bought from the owner, a very soft spoken guy .They also have Nippattu masala, chakkuli masala and the like, somehting unheard of. It tastes quite good too apart from the usual chats .YOu  also get flavours of ice cream here with varied toppings. You also have them selling the corn chats. Its like a shop stop for all your junk food needs. 🙂

*prices might change subject to time and weather .. THe WEather ??!! Well, no..

On the road….my dreams of nirvana

Explored! - Moksha - Karma - Nirvana

Someday I want to be on the road,
Driving nowhere fast,
Hoping that the journey will last.
With a full tank of gas
My sunglasses on..and baggage zilch..
Oh !! the adrenaline rush !
Got nowhere to go, got no one to please,
Going where the heart takes me...
Watching miles pass me by and people.
Darkness turns to light ..and night to day,
Times passes by without your say.
Trying to get a piece of the sky,
In my mind, I wish to fly.
Trying to absorb the warmth of the sun...
Cruising along until I reach the horizon
Or to wherever the end of the planet might be..
Am Dreamin' of a picturesque place and
Where the land has sun and sand
And a stillness and some calm..
There I will find...me and my Nirvana..

Dedicated to Music

sourced image

What is it about music that moves me, the soul stirring, the heart warming and the smile widening…..
She calms my senses and makes me go into a trance…
A haze purple, silver or white draws me away from my blues……
The beats ring in my ears, making me deliberate over things, ponder and make me wander.
Can I put into words her entirety, her beauty..Such is the power of music..of keys and of notes..
She’s a wonder…My Music <3 in every part of my life..

Few of My Favourite Quotes

Atlas sculpture, New York City, by sculptor Le...
Image via Wikipedia

One of my all time favourite quotes is by Ayn Rand – truly inspiring lines. Has always made me sit up and notice where I am..

Do not lose your knowledge that man’s proper estate is an upright posture, an intransigent mind and a step that travels unlimited roads. Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark, in the hopeless swamps of the approximate, the not-quite, the not-yet, the not-at-all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish, in lonely frustration for the life you deserved, but have never been able to reach. Check your road and the nature of your battle. The world you desired can be won, it exists, it is real, it is possible, it’s yours.

“Love is blind, they say; sex is impervious to reason and mocks the power of all philosophers. But, in fact, a person’s sexual choice is the result and sum of their fundamental convictions. Tell me what a person finds sexually attractive and I will tell you their entire philosophy of life. Show me the person they sleep with and I will tell you their valuation of themselves. No matter what corruption they’re taught about the virtue of selflessness, sex is the most profoundly selfish of all acts, an act which they cannot perform for any motive but their own enjoyment – just try to think of performing it in a spirit of selfless charity! – an act which is not possible in self-abasement, only in self-exultation, only on the confidence of being desired and being worthy of desire. It is an act that forces them to stand naked in spirit, as well as in body, and accept their real ego as their standard of value. They will always be attracted to the person who reflects their deepest vision of themselves, the person whose surrender permits them to experience – or to fake – a sense of self-esteem .. Love is our response to our highest values – and can be nothing else.”
— Ayn Rand

Another one of my author quotes and verses has been of the Late J.R.R.Tolkien. His stories always manage to transport me to his land of elven kings and queens, men and hobbits 🙂

“Three Rings for the Elven-kings under the sky,
Seven for the Dwarf-lords in halls of stone,
Nine for Mortal Men, doomed to die,
One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.”
— J.R.R. Tolkien (The Lord of the Rings)

This was my favourite verse describing Aragorn *sigh* 🙂

All that is gold does not glitter, Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither, Deep roots are not reached by frost.
From the ashes a fire shall waken,A light from shadows shall spring,
Renewed will be the sword that was broken, The crownless again shall be king.

Its rain, beautiful rain…it haunts me, it takes me to turmoil, it calms my soul, its sweetness takes my breadth away, and its rage scares me, rain beautiful rain

There are many more I have saved. Will post them another day 🙂 .


My Beautiful People

You must have met them somewhere…
As the life of a party…
Or helping someone out…

They are the ones who make the effort for you…
Who ask you what pains you..
And ask if they can find the remedy for you…
Who inspite of their own reluctance
do something if only to please you..
Who are worried more about your comfort than their own…
What I would not give to have such people in my life.
They are the beautiful people ..

The story does not end here…
Because they are in my life
My piece of miracle…
My very own beautiful people..


Shattered and Whole

You don’t want to believe that we could be one again…

You don’t want to believe that you can feel love again…

I want to move away from this life,

From all the drama created

From all the pain and the disappointment

From the negativity

To a better sun,

To a better shore,

I am not running away from…

I just want my space…my share of  “calm”

To rediscover who I was and what I meant to Be…

I always meant to be good,

giving out rather than taking from…

I meant to be the best person that I can be….

Somewhere..I have lost my way and need to find it again

Where I used to be before the heartache..


Somehow you are responsible for my reasons and passions now…

But the day will come when I will come into my own..

I will be whoever I want to be.



The road started where you did..

Then strangers joined along the route 

Just when you thought that your destination was the same, they changed course

And your path was lonely..


But you moved on..you met others.. But only for a short course, your paths were the same..

And you lost your faith.. 

Then you lost your way..

Somewhere the road turned and you didnt see it coming….