29 July 2009

Meals

As a lot of people may or may not know, mum's not home for the month. Which means I've been cooking my own meals. Which means I've been googling recipes, and I thought I'd share to the world, what I've been ripping off the net and fabricating in real life. I found the recipes simple, easy to cook and good to eat. Have a go when you can, and if I should make them again, will try and post a pic up. If anyone's tried them out, lemme know!

Dum Murgh - Chicken (Hydrebadi/Mughal)

Grocery List:
Chicken (I used 500 grams for this recipe)
Juice of lemon/ lime 1
Ghee 2 tbsp (doesn't alter the taste too much if you don't have this)
Butter 2 tbsp
Bay leaves 2-3
Cloves 8
Green cardamoms 8 (can be substituted with normal cardamoms)
Cinnamon sticks 3-4
Onions, ground 1/2
Ginger paste 1 tsp
Almond paste 1/2 cup (to make it, chuck almonds with warm water in a mixer n grind)
Green chillies, slit 4
Mace (orange flower, can be subs with nutmeg powder amt: one large pinch), powdered 2-3 blades
Cream, fresh 1/2 cup
Saffron soaked in
1 tbsp water a few strands (I used turmeric, failing which I guess a little colouring would do)
Salt to taste
Red chilli powder 2 tsp
Mint leaves 20 ( finely chopped)

How to prepare:

  • Marinate the chicken in lemon juice for 30 minutes.
  • Heat the ghee and butter in a pan, add the bay leaves, cloves, green cardamoms, and cinnamon sticks, sauté over medium heat till they crackle.
  • Add the onion paste, sauté for 3-4 minute, add the ginger paste, garlic paste, and almond paste.
  • Cook over medium heat till the oil separates.
  • Add the chicken and cook for about 10 minutes.
  • Add the green chillies, mace powder, cream, saffron, salt, and red chilli powder. Mix well.
  • Sprinkle some mint leaves, cover the pan with a heavy lid and seal with dough.
  • Keep on a small charcoal fire with live embers on the lid and cook for at least 45 minutes to an hour- (This is the bit that looks difficult. Obviously we dont have charcoal fire so you can substitute it with the lowest flame available on your stove, cover the pan with a heavy lid/ aluminium foil. I guess the point of the whole gizmo is to contain the steam, within the pan and cook the chicken slowly. Check on the chicken every couple of mins to make sure it doesnt burn and add a little cream/milk when ever it looks like it could use some. The consistency that you're trying to get is somewhat like a Kurma/ Korma dish).

27 July 2009

FOUR FEET

I have done mostly what men do,
And pushed it out of my mind;
But I can't forget, if I wanted to,
Four-Feet trotting behind.

Day after day, the whole day through--
Wherever my road inclined--
Four-Feet said, 'I am coming with you!'
And trotted along behind.

Now I must go by some other round--
Which I shall never find--
Some where that does not carry the sound
Of Four-Feet trotting behind.

--- Rudyard Kipling ---

26 July 2009

The Weekend

It's been a long and hard weekend. Or rather 24 hours. And I have a feeling it's going to be a heart breaking week. I hope to hell that I am wrong.

- Asra got married last night. We all wish her well, we know.

- Fidel ate brother's razor refill thing. So that's 2 mm long blade that's floating in his stomach. The doctor prescribed some liquid paraffin to help him crap it out, so I've spent a good lot of the past day poking through his poop hoping like mad, I see some silver. Another two days of waiting before heading off to an X Ray and surgery.

- Got bitten in the eye by something, its swollen and painfull to touch.

- Hearing news of a good friends pregnancy. Lovely =)

I have a feeling I'm sinking into my lows, cause the year has been void of any serious lows. So here goes the roller coaster, heading towards doom. And then, when I'm gone, away from the reach of any sanity, remind me, I was never sane.

24 July 2009

Mehendi/Sangeet

The title words meant little to nothing to me.. mainly because I've never been to one before. Meaning a ceremony that has the same, and well, for those people who may be as unfamiliar to the tradition as I am, it is- atleast in this pre- wedding ceremony, a get together of sorts, for the bride and her family, celebrating the departure of their loved one.

We all got mehendi's done, I think earlier in the day there was a haldi ceremony (if i know right, it's where all the relatives go over to the bride and put turmeric on her face and she will later take a shower to remove all the turmeric and the yellow). The friends of the bride (not me: unfortunately) and I guess the younger relatives of the household plan out dance steps that will be showcased later in the evening.

Following the mehendi, the music is turned on, and lo behold out come the dancers with their co-ordinated steps to Bollywood tunes that center around the concept of a departing bride. I thought this was sweet, and very honestly wished that I was a little less rigid at the prospect of dancing in front of a lot of relatives- who by the way also joined in. I think I'd forgotten, that it is possible to have fun of this sort with out alcohol.

The dance was followed by dinner, which in this case was Mutton Biryani, Brinjal Curry-Masala thing, Raita and vegetables. Dessert was popular indian sweet meats & cake. And if I thought that that was the end of the night, it was followed by Dumb Charades & a game of antakshari. A sweet family moment was when the bride's father sung an ode to his wife, and I guess what was running in the bride's mind was that she hoped that many years down the line, her husband would confidently take the center stage to sing a love song for her.

And surely, this drew applause & cat whistles from the crowd, while the bride's mum looked away blushing. Following several complaints from the neighbors, the music & the noise had to stop and hence it was declared to be the end of the night. So I have work in three hours time, and I can only be thankful that it's Friday tom, even though I'm working on Saturday too.

And to add on a side note, Rahul Gandhi's recruiting new members into the Congress Youth Wing- one condition though, no criminal records. Good on the man, it's about time we revolutionised our politics.

Also, the boys at work won their football match, even without my presence. Who's the happy manager now?

20 July 2009

tralalalala

It was a some what fun weekend, stressfull for some and for others, a nervous- enjoyable one for other people. Someone's getting ready for their Sangeet & Mehndi ceremony. Someone else gets back to work this week. Another one attends a friend's, while the last one has a blanket wrapped around her legs in front of the tv, next to her dog and writes this.

So soon, time flew. And very quickly a marriage descends after a bachelorette's party that someone passed out on :-) Other stories of the night? Some ciggarettes, some weed and then some sibling unhappiness. Past that, I don't remember much of the rest of the night... What I'm worried about though is facing the fact I've been pleasantly skipping- which is:- She's really getting married, and getting through with this.

Lord knows it's been coming since the first time we met, she's never beaten around the bush regarding what she really wanted, and now she's gotten it... and while I'm happy, I'm sad. We are indeed all growing up very very fast.

11 July 2009

And we start hearing the bells ring...


And the plans begin.. for a hen's night out.... ;) Any ideas towards any special things that we can do?
******************
So we met up today, at a very nice restaurant to begin planning for the hen's night. And we hit a hiccup- we needed a place to host.. so guys n girls, first thing u cannot miss- is an actual place to host it.
Secondly: Food & drinks (turns out that this was the easiest part of the day)
Thirdly: A gues list (thanks to the bride we had that done well)
Fourthly: A stripper (and this we still have not found)
Lastly: Nervous anticipation of what this friday is going to be like... suggestions appreciated all!

04 July 2009

A month in the life of...

So that would be the first time there were no posts for the month of June. What's been happening?





  • I turned 24


Life's been it's usual twisty self, with friends coming down and going off, before they even land. Plans made, castles dreamt off, and well, they all came down, some what like humpty dumpty and his great fall. Except the King's men fixed him up, well and good, or so we hear.



Who's the adhesive that's going to paste the grande picture? LOL, who else? That's what we do, all our lives. Humpty had his men, we have ourselves. When things come crashing down, because we dared to care, we don't throw our hopes out the window, we mend the broken pieces.



One of the questions I've had to answer this month was what judgement to pass on a married friend who embarked on a dangerous fling of an affair. It will never be the right thing to do, never be savoury or exotic. But I guess, it's what it is- a short ride, that's over before it starts and besides the only person that needs an explanation and that can pass a judgement is a man's wife. And I am not she.



Whilst everyone else enjoyed the monsoon rains, I was thrilled to have it rain on my birthday. Better yet, it wasn't rain but a short drizzle on a very sunny sky. Went to the good old dhaba, got mighty high, played hopscotch on the stoned pavement, slipped and incurred a ghastly bruise. Went out with the ladies that have made my adult life, met an unsultry cat man, sung two songs, and got home to enjoy a night chat with perhaps my best friend, this side of the world.



What the world woke up to, was not Sabitha's birthday but Michael Jackson's death. Poor man, who lived a charmed life, magnified a million times by unwarranted gossip, a tragic celebrity death of someone who I know, was a genius. And more than that, someone who truly was a victim of his own eccentricities and fame.



And the highlight was a touch n go moment, with the man who inspired some stories, in the car in the middle of sand. What can be thought of a few short pecks, and when other's see, concluded to be romantic, we saw the end of a long and cold war, that started a year back, an act of forgiveness. That's the best I can describe it, anything else that I say, probably will make it something other than what it is.



And talking of men, there was to come a man of true friendship. One that hasn't been talked to in ages, talked about in years but today we found out that he won't be coming because of some strange government policies. I spit on this policy, and I beg for it to change but we all know, that's another piece that will need a mend.



So many threads, coloured differently, make a beautiful piece of cloth admired by many. And thus ended June to give way to July. A marriage is to take place this month, for our loved belle. Let us see what other drama enfolds, in this story!


Pic of dog, from this year's ugliest dog contest :)