Am bored and cooking bore.

Am bored.

Am bored of eating , eating the same vegetarian diet day after day , night after night.

Am not pure vegan , neither my husband , but we are I am the most laziest couple person on planet earth. Laziness supersede all other love , even love for good food. We I can’t get our my ass off our house to buy meat, to order online. (PS: Asked my husband to edit and he strikes out “we” to “I” , but trust me , it is we as team lazy ..)

It’s been more than 2 weeks since … the fragrance , the sound , the touch , the physical presence of chicken plate, It still lingers in my mouth and keep me awake on lonely nights. Everything reminds me of it. I look at moon and think why cant it be like chicken leg. I look at flowers and think why cant it be fragnant as chicken curry.

I rage for you , my body aches for you.. to be specific stomach  , watering tongue , and the Mademoiselle Pallate.

Oh dear lord , hey bhagwan , Allah!  Am in love with chicken.

Am missing it so much.

And fish..

Aaah , my heart aches even to write fish. Or when my son sings the rhyme of fish “Machli jal ki rani hai”.  I should code-name it something else , as well teach my son another rhyme. So my poor heart can be happy. Henceforth , no fish but hsif.

Now  , some of your will be think , What rubbish. Am vegan and am quite good without meat.

If you answered Yes to this , please go to nearest doctor and get your eyes checked out.

What?! Eyes , why ?

Still not clear why ?  Proves me right , no fish means no good eyesight AND no brains.

Moving along.

Am bored. I know I have said this like 100 times already for you to read , but I hope I have made by point clear – am really really bored of eating vegan diet in past 2 weeks, bored to death, eating is not fun like before.

Heck, even my fridge is complaining . “Do you remember party at Somjit ? Fridge at his place had a kilo of basa fish and a kilo of chicken and perhaps more meat jam-packed into freezer and look what do I have – Ice”.

Fridge is right , it need protein. Protein that comes from fish. Am thinking Salmon and Chicken and Surmai , pomphret , rohu and mince meat.

Moving along.

Am bored. So when I had to cook vegan again, specifically this below , I said enough.

ivy_gourd_in_india
It is green , taste okay , it is just vegan

 

I refused to create any usual vegetable. At least , lemme spice it up. But I will not waste time cutting it up into bite size pieces. To hell with bite size ,like it is gonna make bite size coccinia into chicken.  I will just cut it into half and cook.  That is my bite size.

It’s just co-incidence  , both starts from “C”. Chicken or coccinia or cundro (In hindi , should start with C , but ..

Anyways – here is a dish for your boring vegan days , tip for broken heart and stomach -From -another green eating rotten stomach.

Steps to follow… after cutting each one into half.

(1) Look at leftover , Do you think anything will get along with this?

(2) Nothing . Look again ?

(3) Al rite ,look at sauce compartment. Anything?  for the love of looking .. pls look harder. I cannot cut onion and tomato paste to make elaborate masala.

(4) Got it – chutney , peatnut chutney , leftover from Dosa yesterday. It is just simple roasted peanut , powdered spice and two rounds in grinder with a bit of water.

(5) Add a tomato and fry it a little . That should be step 5.20160217_090010

 

(6) Next add the chutney directly to the pot along with tomato and coccinia.

PS : This is the exact moment when my husband reminded that I should have cooked chutney a little before adding it and that it is a bad choice coz it sticks to pan and I need to stir it constantly now . If only he was present during step 1.

Aaah ! Too late.

20160217_090554

 

(7) It sticks to pan , but remember pan-stick-gravy is always tasty. So praise the lord and continue the stir. Add all powdered spice like Salt , Coriander , Turmeric. And then I added those white and black seeds for looks only!

20160217_091013

(8)  Sorry – keep stirring . Try not to curse ALL vegetables on planet earth. We need vitamins and minerals for good skin and hair. Stir ,else it might stick to pan like below.

20160217_090630

(9) By now , I was bored of stirring , bored of cooking a vegeterian dish. I mean, what the hell it is not like am stirring continuously from last 10 minutes to cook chicken curry?! It is not magically transform into chicken or fish curry ? Will it.

Screw it. Add water. Lots of water.20160217_092122

(10) Close the pot , simmer the heat and go watch “Street Food” on TLC or read blog.

No wait. I have to get ready for office and get Adi ready for school. Forget about chicken.

(11) After a while , check on pot. End was not so bad , I will say. The lunch was a semi success 🙂20160217_091131

 

PS: That was on Monday , Today is Sunday and I bought – 2 Surmai and a packet of mince meat . My stomach is happy , So I completed this post 🙂

 

Quote for today.

“The best way to eat chicken curry -cook it today , put it in fridge, eat it tomorrow.”

Quote for tomorrow.

“You are welcome, Yes am awesome!”

 

Capsicum butt stuffed, a complete family entertainment!

Capsolovers family..

My favorite vegetable is capsicum. My husband eats capsicum ..we consume at least a kilo a week. My complete family loves capsicum! We are capsolovers !

Head : Liar ! Husband hates capsicum , your 3 year old boy doesn’t eat any vegetable. Family of capsoooooohaters!

Hey ! careful head , Husband , he eats it..I have prepared for him ..

Head (interrupting) : wait ,I haven’t finished yet ..  And capsolovers ??.. is NO word. See spellcheck is screaming !

 *continuing in a tone of sophistication * : And  by eating , if you mean , trying to thaw it with spoon and murmuring hate for every mouthful  before deciding ,”enough I need an omelette” then yes he did eat capsicum.

Alrite (making a mental note of not lying in front of head),  1/3rd of my family loves capsicum. That is the stat. We are three . Including me.

Head : Do the maths lady ..

So , C’on , what’s not to like , I mean its round ,crunchy, even has a butt so can sit and best of it ,can be taken both – raw or cooked.What other veggie can claim all that adjectives?

Head : veggie  with butt ? Why am I attached to a heart with no sense of world!

I remember a dish .. all of us likes and its of capsicum.

Head : Eh ? The one where you stuff capsicum with whatever you find in your fridge and put it in microwave and eat it almooost raw? 

It is called smart cooking , am a smart cook. Remember this? Don’t spoil it. Am gonna explain how it’s done for only smart readers!

hmm , what should I name the dish?

Capsicum butt stuffed!

So I had few capsicum in my fridge. I bought them green , nurtured in there till turning red and then realized it is not gonna turn into bell pepper , so I might as well finish it before crunch is gone…

20151206_160001
See , I told you capsicum have butt and can sit!

Now I need something to stuff up these capsicum. I love stuffed so much!

Head : Eh , and wont you tell your reason for “love stuffed”?

Alrite (making a mental note of trying not to deviate truth in front of head), So I love stuffed capsicum coz that way I can eat capsicum , husband can eat stuffing and I can even make paratha from stuffing for kiddo… .a complete family entertainment!

Phew ! There I said it. This is my family favorite recipe coz everyone get’s to eat their favorite!

Head :  I feel so much lighter now!

Ignoring the snob head..So now I need something to stuff up these capsicum.

(1) Open your fridge , look around and see what can you find? Paneer (cottage cheese) , other cheese , peas. Bring it on. Anything can be stuffed into capsicum. I found mushroom.

(2) Nothing in fridge? Alternative .. hmm you got to have potato in your house.. What kind of Indian ( or European?) are you with no potato!  Boil it and mash it.

20151206_155509
Mushroom were getting lonely in fridge and needed some trimming . Mixed here with all spices…

(3) Heat a pan , add butter . Not oil .. Butter is tastier. Add some onion.

(4)  Add mushroom to pan , salt , chilli powder and whatever powder spice you can find.  Find some special spice like amchur , chaat masala..

Head: Aha! You didn’t tell to wash and cut mushrooms before adding to pan , not whole one,

C’on , Do I need to tell this to humans who knows to cook ?

Ignoring …

(5) Add some sauce , it taste good. Open your sauce and soup cabinet and pick one. I had tomato soup. Mix it into the mushroom. It’s better mushroom cooks with sauce.

20151206_162034
Mushroom floating in tomato sauce

Head  : Aha! lady .. sauce makes it curry .. you are definitely not looking for a curry to fill into capsicum butthole?

Shut-up head , this is my recipe.

Wait , he is right.

Am not making gratin , its stuffed capsicum.. stuffing should be …solid. Think NOW, risk mitigation , crisis aversion, damage control.

(6) Mix  a bit of corn flour and add to thicken it. It worked, as you can see in picture. And I also added a bit of white sesame seeds, for the white effect 🙂

It just looked good in pan with other red stuff.

Damage contained!

PS: You can skip step 6 , if you have skipped step 5 .

20151206_161227
Damage controlled mushroom , cooking in peace and harmony with tomato soup /corn flour

 Head (Grinning ): See I was right 

Ignoring head who think he is Master Chef! Cover the pan and let it cook. This can’t be eaten raw. You see it has no can-eat-raw super power like my doll , capsi!

(7)  Work with capsicum , cut off capsicum’s head , slide off and then empty its belly. remove all the seeds and glaze the capsicum with oil on the inside wall.

 

(8)  Now am bore and I assume you get the drift. Fill the stuffing into capsicum, prepare your micro-wave plate.

Add plenty of oil, place the capsicum on plate and put it inside.

(9) Cook it as much as you want it .. I mean I like a bit raw ,as you can see in the pic.. try different options of microwave – Grill , convection , Grill + convection , power heat , or just plain.. sky is your limit (and the options of your microwave).

Here is the best part !

My husband likes the mushroom stuffing , I finished off the capsicum.

All in one and one in all .

Isn’t this the smartest capsicum butt stuffed ever !

Ta-da!

Blogging 101 : Who am I and why do I blog

So on a whim , I “registered” for Blogging 101 , which is like a learning program for whoever wants to learn better in doing blog .  Eh , Sounds nice. Lemme try. 

So I register , got few email and now am feeling like am school again with assignment , madam , teacher , (virtual) classroom . OMG!

This is first assignment is to write a post about “Who am I and Why do I blog” .

Well , you want to read more on this topic , by all means! Pls read more! Be my guest.

After a while,

If you are  still reading this line , that means you wanna read more about first assignment. You didn’t go away! You are a wise man , my boy.

Imagine Tom Cruise on Oprah , jumping on couch and declaring his love for his lady love. Now replace him in your thoughts with me , jumping on couch and declaring my love for YOU Reader! Thank You , Thank You , Thank You .. (for reading such boring topic , I swear I would have turned away.)

Assignment is to answer few questions:

  • Why are you blogging publicly, rather than keeping a personal journal?
  • What topics do you think you’ll write about?
  • Who would you love to connect with via your blog?
  • If you blog successfully throughout the next year, what would you hope to have accomplished?

I will try to pass this test.  My experience in college taught me to cover only relevent topics to get passing marks, not to cover all questions.. Answer any 3 , I will pass.My time starts now.

EH , Before that , Who am I ? Read this

Why am I blogging ?

Because I want to remember stuffs/events in my life and access it easily when I forget password to my personal journal.

What do I write mostly?

Whatever comes to mind , but I stay away from serious topics ..the political ones. I love humor , comics . I think everyone should be comedian. Imagine a world full of good humor . The rest will prevail 🙂

I write about my travel time , but cannot write touristy ,  general stuff . I write about how I “felt” there , like Scandinavians are tall , Napoleon was rich and Assam is greatest places on earth.

I like my adventures with my son. I write about how bad I cook. I try to be comic , funny coz (as I already said) I love humor. My Reader list is humor. I have these crazy talks in my heart which my head denies , so I write down talk so head knows there are many more “heart” like mine.

In short , Food , Travel , Mummy and Crazy Talks.

I  think I should pass now and hence I rest my case.

Thanking for reading till end 🙂

PS : I love fish. If you want more “likes” on your post , blog .. just send me a kilo of fried fish twice a week and I guarantee service.

Smart cook , a missing ingredient and a fab chicken recipe !

Am a smart cook. I realized it, first  when I cooked rice years ago…

Cooking rice is very easy- rice , water and a bit of salt in a steam pressure cooker, wait till cooker blows out 2-3 whistles and it’s done.Dumb cooks mess up by adding less or more water, dumbest one do not add salt.

Am smart cook. I do everything right.

I just missed one ingredient – water.

The result ? There was no whistle . By the time I realized this, rice had turned into  black  pebble sticking to the bottom of the pan so very hard that I was feeling bad separating two eternal lovers .Rice refused to come out of pot even after weeks of washing …

Not bad I would say, still in smart category . I just missed 1 ingredient out of 3,  that is 1/3rd recall value ,  memory memorize ,success rate ..blah blah blah.. I think based on this stats ,I should be called above average smart cook ( am feeling so good about writing this post now ..)

My talent doesn’t stop here . My husband never forgets to remind me of ONE  time , just bloody ONE time , in all of my cooking career  when I messed up a particular Indian sweet dish “Halwa”, another easy-easy dish with 3 ingredients -sugar , semolina and milk . I forgot ; again just one item….

How bad can a sweet dish be without sugar? I mean really how bad ? Just pour some honey over it honey !!

(One would assume my husband has good memory , but that “one” should wait till I ask my husband about first time I cooked for him and see his good memory show its true color!)

I once mis-read “cut into 1 centimeter pieces” and instead “cut into 1 inches long pieces” and result was raw , plain raw and this I admit was bad reading , not “lack of passion for cooking” issue.

My tea was once labelled gutter water .I meant to cut on some calories with less milk more water..smart move but not exactly drinkable combination for some.

But I will say it’s rather smart .

There are more , but am starting to think the reader of post will join my husband next time I make halwa and don’t want to give any upper hand to anyone via my blog , any-upper-hand-over-me post goes out of window!

This post is about my smartness in kitchen..

Overtime , I learned to specialize in recipe

  • which needs as little time in front of stove as possible…blink and you will miss when I was kitchen cooking..
  • which does not ever ever ever needs constant stirring…. just mix all , cover it , low flame and go read a blog.
  • measurement is not important and free style hand measurement is just about right.. nothing can go wrong if you add more salt or sugar..
  • most important is you are never ever out of ingredients and nothing is a must ingredient ; Sugar isn’t important for sweet dish , pour honey ,use chocolate syrup..
  • which can be cooked while you can catch your nap ! Yes , remember low flame ,  plenty of water , and tell husband to keep an eye 🙂

 

meandkitchen
That is me with a book , but sometimes I watch BBT or nap or play with son. And yeah .. in between I cook my smart chicken recipe!

Here is one very much fab chicken recipe..My style chicken..

Out – The Indian version which needs prep and constant stirring , at least 30 minutes in front of stove , an hour in making ! Puff!
In – read , write , watch TV, nap , play and in-between cook chicken!

Take a pot, put chicken(wash and dry) and mix following

  1. Open kitchen cabinet for spices  – add all to chicken , even sambhar powder (its a special for lentil-based vegetable stew only). I have salt , turmeric , chilly ,coriander , mustard and cumin seeds , and sambhar here.
  2.  Open kitchen cabinet for special spices – add all into chicken. I have bay leaf , clove , cardamom , carom seeds et al.
  3. Open kitchen cabinet for foreign exotic spices– rosemary , thyme , oregano and galangal. If you already live in land of rosemary or galangal , then look at step 1 & 2 again, that might be foreign and exotic for you!
  4. Open refrigerator, get out bowl of plain curd and add it . No curd – Tell hubby chicken will be a bit dry.
  5. Check your vegetable compartment and look for fresh herbs – coriander , mint, curry leaves and lemon.
  6. Look for any vegetable that is lying there since a week .. c’on you need to cook it now , capsicum , beans .. out out out! Not carrot ..you dont want chicken sweet
  7.  Add salt , of course.
  8. Add green chilly – this is my must have ingredient. Am ardent fan of green chills , it’s like oxygen for my food.
  9. If in mood , cut some onions and tomatoes and add it to pot. Add some garlic cloves .. actually add plenty of garlic.
  10. Pour in some amount of oil.
  11. Cover or do not cover the pot, I will leave the choice to you. Put on low flame. That’s it , enjoy – watch , sleep .. do whatever you want.

After 10 minutes , ask your husband to go have a look. Is the chicken tender yet?

After another 10 minutes , ask your maid to have  a look.Is the chicken cooked?

After another 10 minutes – get your own ass up there and check if chicken is cooked.

Oh yeah , I forgot to tell you -do not add water . All the stuff releases water and its usually not dry. If you have already added water by now , then never mind, you can watch 2 episodes of Big Bang Theory instead of 1 planned.

After 30 minutes ..and Voila !

I tell you its THE tastiest chicken dish ever and smartest too!

 


 

I got a pic 🙂

chickenonpot


PS: The smartest dish to cook is rice , but , hmm , though its very good for cook ,  bad for waistline ,so I say ..be smart , skip it.


PPS: Some of the Indian recipe do not come under my specialty , like making roti the Indian bread – its a full time job in kitchen. Be smart , get a cook or roti maker or order.


PPPS: This post makes me eat chicken so much now . I should probably tell cook to make her special konkan style chicken recipe tonight 😉

 

“In vino veritas”

I cannot drink alcohol. I have tried genuinely to drink couple of times , just a glass of wine , sometimes a sip or  a lick but my stupid pa latte thinks its from gutter and refuses to drink more. If only one could control senses ,  “drink this !

Did I say gutter , really ?

Yes . Its grape juice ,Isn’t it ? bitter , rotten , decade old grape juice , or whatever fruit juice. In the end , it’s bitter . From what little I managed to taste , it’s not bitter , it’s very very bitter . And so , the mystery , how the hell anyone likes it ?

I mean , sweet and salty I understand but drinking bitter liquid like water ? It’s bitter ! Who the hell came up with this idea?  That is something I will never know in this lifetime.

Last time I tried red wine , which was from India’s finest wine refinery , I tried hard to like it. Even bit a  cake in between sips to misguide my pa latte. Didnt work 😦  My tongue knew it is that gutter substance and I watched at the glass helplessly.

That is when I realized that there is one state of mind , which I can never , ever experience in life.

I can never be drunk!

I will never know how does it feels to be drunk , how free , exhilarating that might be. Is it as fun as they show in movies ? What’s a hangover anyways ? I will never feel light , tipsy or an alien out of this world. Will never talk or dance like no one is watching , will never be able to cry or laugh our loud like I have never laughed.

All this and more , is what I have assumed I will do if am drunk. I could only assume , unless I surgically remove my tongue or add taste buds from french where perhaps wine flows like water.

This may not be as bad as it sounds until I associated getting drunk to being honest. To know one true self , one must get drunk , peel out everything and just start talking and then whatever comes out in those moments will be the one that is actually true , there will be interesting stories ,embarassing moments  . . That will be nice , isnt it ? So it’s all that I assume. Wonder what I would be like…

I should sing and dance and talk !

Who knows my true self could be one hell of a rock singer or a whiny mother!

Never say never.  Am not gonna give up .

In vino veritas”

Magic of festivals

Now is the time to be in India.

Coz now is the time in calendar when all our God’s said “Lets have some fun ” and  decided to have one party after another.It’s the unofficial festive season ; the last quarter of the year. Started with Ramzan , Ganapati , Durga Puja , Diwali and then finally Christmas ,new year and ending sometimes in March with Holi. Hell of a party time here.
Am an atheist , slowly getting there , Influence of my atheist husband. What he could not put off is my love for celebration during festival . I love the air of festivities , anything . Colorful Holi or the lights of Diwali. Love for Biryani makes every Eid delicious. Durga Puja is the time when my east indian hormones are at full bloom and out comes all mekhala Sadar from my wardrobe.

Festival is magic time.

The magic that works on everyone and uplifts everyone’s mood. Everyone plans for new dress , sweets , rituals , leave plans!  and hmm, some boring , very boring rituals.  I hate rituals , I never believed that is the way to connect to God, if there is one. But I love to attend rituals

Why ? Oh Boy !

Haven’t you had prasad any time?

I remember as teens , I would love to go to Gurudwara to have the yummiest tastiest prasad – Ghee wala halwa .What a treat for sweet-tooth. Halwa -I miss you so much . I was fortunate to attend langar (the community meal) 2-3 times and Gosh the food ! Awesome will be an insult to the food. It’s heavenly and surprising its veg! The only time
when I would say vegetarian food could satisfy the non veg body cells of mine.

Holi in airforce campus is the best. All ladies will make special sweet , place it on the table and leave the door open. Like a dog smelling a bone from far distance , we will hunt each house , have lump sum sweets to our stomach  satisfaction and then proceed to next hunt. Would gather and discuss which home is serving what and what did I miss.

diwali

Diwali – The biggest festival in India is a noisy affair , but a treat to eyes and belly of course. I remember helping Ma to light diya and distribute sweet plate to every home and looking forward to plate in return.

Ma and Me , preparing the diya's
Ma and Me , preparing the diya’s
Bihu , Bihu and Bihu

Assamese are little less creative with names . Every festival is called Bihu, even the dance form is called Bihu.W hat’s in the name anyways 🙂  The fun is Bihu is celebrated thrice a year and then we have mother of all festivals – Durga Puja. Aren’t we more simplistic? Name all festivals as Bihu and make same sweets in every Bihu.  Of course , there is more than that but who cares ? Eat laddu and wear new dress!

Durga Puja is time for shopping and shopping. Bihu is about everything else.

Now my current favourite is Ganesh Festival

Ganapati is the only idol who is depicted in thousand different forms , always up-to-date and following the latest trends . Ganapati playing cricket or saving farmers or whatever is cool today. Isnt he the coolest God?

It is celebrated widely in western India , where I reside currently and  My apartment society celebrates with games and fun for everyone – Salad decoration , Master Chef , Drawing competition , race , drama , song , dance , dinner , prasad … list is endless!

The housing complex atmosphere just lights up !

And the sweet Modak! Ganapati is not only cool but lucky God. Modak offered to him is so very delicious. Thanks to you Ganapati , we get to eat modak. Check out the pieces from Kaka Halwai – absolute divine!

Eid

Am lucky to enjoy Hindu and Muslim festival. After my wedding into a muslim family , I had my first ramzan fast . Fast for one full month.. By end of the day , I could eat anything that is in my sight , my voice decibel will go down and chit chatting will be reduced to half. But am amazed at the tolerance of my in-laws family who weren’t dying by hunger by evening.  But over years , I understood the importance of Roza for building my tolerance and I could survive roza .. I could never understand the true meaning of all religion

The best part of Roza is the Eid /Ramadan .  It’s a family union. The biryani is awesome and it is the time to try my culinary skills and act like a “bahu”.

And the photo sessions , family photo sessions , am no less than a model that day 🙂

Biryani

Growing up it was about food,  But later it was about  dressing up.

Food is sidelined , now it’s about “what should I wear on … ” . All my sari which never see daylight , are out of box and glittering in night. Whatsup and call discussion is about when to what and when to wear sari and jewellery.

And this list is only of major festival , India has plenty of festival and billions of people to celebrate with.

Moral of the story

Eat , dress like a queen ,pose like a model and enjoy , its magic time!