30 October 2014

Quinoa with mixed vegetables,squash ribbons & spicy baked chicken drumsticks Roast


quinoa_chicken

 Well,after aVege and an eggy rendition,now it's time for something spicy,bakey and chicken-y. It's time for a masaaledaar/spiceful Quinoa makeover.King P is soo happy-whistle whistle wink wink ;p.So is this humble daasi/his maid . That means the menu and the Queen-dom is not bland anymore. Thank you my dear spices ,you make my food and life tad more interesting.

Hail King P,Queen Q & Indian Spies-ces (spices) !

Quinoa with mixed vegetables,squash ribbons & spicy baked chicken drumsticks Roast

Ingredients

 Quinoa - 1 cup
Water - 2 cups
Onion(medium size),sliced - 1 no.
Green Chillies,slit - 3-4 nos.
Ginger-Garlic paste - 1 teaspoon
Tomato(medium),chopped - 1 no.
Mixed vegetable (I used frozen peas,corn,beans,carrots),boiled-1 cup
Yellow long sqush (medium size),ribbons- 5-6 nos
Cloves- 2 no.(optional)
Cardamom - 2 nos.(optional)
Cinnamon-2 nos.(optional)
Turmeric powder - 1/4 teaspoon
Red chilli powder - 1 teaspoon
Shan Biryani Masala- 1 tablespoon
 Salt to taste
Oil/Ghee - 1-2 tablespoons
              
Baked spicy Chicken Drumsticks Roast
Ingredients
 Chicken Drumsticks -6 nos
Onion,sliced-1/2 cup
Green chillies - 2-3 nos.

Any spice mix (I used Eastern's Chicken fry) - 1-2 teaspoons
Ginger-garlic paste-1 teaspoon
Pepper powder - 1 teaspoon
Chilly powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Lime juice - 1 teaspoon
Yogurt-1 tablespoon
Tomato,sliced - 4-5nos
Salt to taste
Oil-2 tablespoons
Oil spray


Method:

  • Rinse quinoa under the tap water and put it in a saucepan with water and little salt.
  • Place that saucepan on the stove and allow it to boil on high heat.
  • Once it reaches the boiling point,reduce the fame to medium-low,cover it and let it cook for about 15-20 minutes until all the water is absorbed and most importantly,grains become translucent with a spiral tail.or watch this ...
  • Put off the stove.Let it stand covered for another 5 minutes to make sure it absorbs any moisture left.If there is any water left,do drain it completely.
  • Fluff it with a fork and keep it aside.
  • Cut the squash into long,thin strips using a vegetable peeler that should look like ribbons .
  • Heat a pan with little oil ,add the squash ribbons,sprinkle little turmeric powder,chilli powder and saute for a minute,then cover it and on low flame allow it to get tender.
  • Heat another pan/kadai with oil ,add the cloves,cardamom & cinnamon to it .Saute for a minute.
  • Add the onion slices and green chillies to it and saute them until onions become translucent.
  • Add the ginger-garlic to it and stir until its raw flavor is gone.
  • Add the chopped tomatoes ,turmeric powder,chilli powder and biryani masala to it.Mix well.Stir well.Low the flame.Cover it to make the tomatoes soft and mixed well with all the powders.
  • Once tomatoes are soft & mushy,remove the cover,add the boiled mixed vegetables, followed by cooked Quinoa to it and mix well.
  • Finally add the tender fried squash ribbons to it and mix everything well.
  • Add the salt as needed.
  • Quinoa s ready.
To bake the spicy chicken drumsticks :-
  • Pierce the drumsticks with a sharp knife all over (here & there) so that flavor gets infused in and out.Now,combine all the ingredients with 1 tablespoon oil in a big bowl and allow it to marinate for 30-1 hr approx in the refrigerator.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degree F.
  • Take a 9*13 baking pan and put the remaining oil and swirl to make sure the entire pan gets well coated.
  • Now place the marinated chicken drumsticks with space in between.(Not crowded)
  • Bake them at 375 degree F for about 35 minutes approx and then reduce the oven temperature to 350 degree F and turn the chicken drumsticks,onions,chillies and tomatoes,spray them with cooking oil lightly (don't do it directly in oven,it will be dangerous ,raher take out the pan carefully & spray outside the owen) .
  • Bake them again for another 30 minutes or until the chicken is well cooked,juices run clear and is not pink anymore or use a cooking temperature which should show 165 degree F meaning cooked and ready to eat.
Note:
That's it Quinoa filled with the goodness of mixed vegetable and squash with a spicy chicken-y kick is ready for my highness,King P.

Well, this humble daasi would like to take a leave now and let King P and Queen Q enjoy to the fullest.I don't want to be "Swaragthil katturrumbu (Malayalam)/Kabaab mein haddi (Hindi)/to play gooseberry".What say ??

All I say now ,Hail King P and Queen Q !!

 


28 October 2014

Almond Linzer thumbprint Oats cookies

 
linzer_cookies

 Life is too short to be sad,mad or bad but then it's life,it is like seawaves going up and down,sometimes we smile,sometimes we can't help but frown.However,when I see myself going to the bitter end,I come out with something that can recover,replenish and re-enforce sweetness back to my life .What I do ?Well,nothing hi-fi ..I always take the simpler yet effective route..(to my wonder kitchen),I make something sweet and when I bake something sweet,that is more fun ! and when it is cookies..it is like small pieces of heavens in every bite that sure has the magic to spin the mood for good(atleast for me) !!

With the extreme kindness of the king of my life(my better 1/2) & queen of all grains (Quinoa), as they are ruling the kingdom of health and well-being at my humble-royale abode these days,I, the CEO of this royale kitchen ,got the permission to bake something sweet but healthy... you see,there is always a catch ..every best-est things in this world comes with a price ...but then everything becomes more interesting, when it becomes more challenging and we are ready to take the plunge..Right ?

thumbprint_cookies

So,I baked these sweet edible healthy goodies ,Linzer cookies with thumbprints which has in fact ,got an Austrian influence .The name Linzer is derived from the word,Linz,the third largest city in Austria and recipe from one of their very popular tarty cake called Linzer torte . The dough used for the tarty cake,Linzer torte is a rich buttery dough with the crunchiness of dry nuts like Hazelnuts/almonds/pecans/walnuts etc and with the light jelly-ness of any Jams or preserves and Linzer cookies use the same dough which are cut into different shapes of cookies usually sandwiched with jams or simply with thumbprints of jams and covered with any nutty ingredient.

jam_cookies

 Though this cookie may sound little hi-fi,the ingredients are surprisingly,easily available at most of the homes.Like any other cookies, within 30 minutes or so,we can whip up a batch of tasty homemade healthy cookies  to munch yummily and happily for days or weeks .

So,here is a Linzer cookie I made with Almonds and sugarfree blueberry jams with my challenge-the  healthy ingredients ,Oats .

Here is how I made this cookie with a healthy touch,

Almond Linzer Thumbprints Oats Cookies

Ingredients

Oats,ground - 1 cup
All purpose flour - 1 1/2 cups
Baking powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Cinnamon,ground- 1/2 teaspoon
Salt-1/4 teaspoon
Butter,unsalted (room temperature) - 1 cup/2 sticks
Oil-2 tablespoons
Yogurt - 1/2 cup
Brown sugar powdered- 3/4 cup
Egg,room temperature - 1 large
Almonds,chopped - 2 cups
Sugarfree blueberry jam - 1/2 cup

Method:

 

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degree F.Line the bakiing sheets with parchment paper and keep it ready.
  2. In a medium size bowl mix well the dry ingredients - oats,A.P.flour,baking powder,cinnamon and salt.Keep it aside.
  3. Cream the butter,brown sugar in a large bowl by using a hand mixer/stand mixer -until light and fluffy,3 minutes approx (on medium-high speed).Beat in the egg.
  4.  Lower  the speed of the mixer and gradually,add the above dry flour mixtures little by little into it,mixing until all just incorporated.
  5. Keep the dough to rest for about 5- 10 minutes.
  6. Roll the dough into 3/4 inch balls and cover each balls with chopped nuts.
  7. Place the balls on to the baking sheet,about 2 inch apart.
  8. With a floured finger,make indentations just in the center of each balls.
  9. Fill each indentations of cookies with 1/2 teaspoon jam.
  10. Bake them until the cookies are golden brown around the edges,12-15 minutes approx.
  11. Allow them to cool on the sheet for 5 minutes,then transfer hem to a wire rack to cool off completely.

Note:
  • You can replace oats to all purpose flour for the real taste of this linzer thumbprint cookies but with oats addition it still is quite tasty on another level.
  • Oil and yogurt helps to make the dough with oats to come out more softer . 
  • The best way to chop the nuts at home are using a large knife and chopping them carefully or by using a food processor,in which case add a tablespoon of flour or sugar to it so that it doesn't turn out to be a paste instead.
  • You can use any sugar not necessarily brown sugar.
  • Choice of nuts and jam/preserve are as per your wish.
  • I got approx 60 cookies.
 
oats_cookies

I love cookies and when it is infused with healthy ingredients,I love them the most.

We are one healthy and Sweet kingdom now !!

Hail King P and Queen Q !!

Eat,love,live Deliciously,








P.S.:Did you check my other more or less similar cookies like Spitzbuben Cookies  and Cookies with a red mole ?

25 October 2014

WOW-Write a Letter to someone you miss the most this Diwali


[This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.]

This Diwali I miss my big bro the most ..as always........nowadays,it's all about whatsapp & other similar apps /instant messaging and I am glad Blogadda gave this topic ,I miss writing long letters and when I do it's like this............ A letter to my bhaijaan/big bro ...
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dearest bhaiya,

Hope my letter finds you ,bhabhi and our cutie baby,paimol hale and hearty.Here we are also by God's grace doing well.

Bhaiya,today I am missing you a lot as Diwali is going on and today is bhai-dooj.It's been years we celebrated this festival together.I am wondering when we'll be able to celebrate it once again with loads of masti in person.I hope someday soon.Till then I'll as usual reminisce and rekindle the fun filled memories we had in the past.Hai na?

Bhaiya,remember ,when we were small,how our sweet neighbor,Bengali aunty used to arrange the puja thali filled with sweets,chandan,fruits etc as amma didn't have any clue how exactly to celebrate this festival .I and our Jhilli rani would force you to the puja room and instead of worshiping God we would directly do aarthi of you and aunty would be lol-ing and would say out loud,"arrey pehle bhagwaan ko khush karlo phir bhaiya ko karna."We would do it in a hurry,you would have two tilaks on your head and we both lil sisters would be giggling and then you would put those big ladoos in our mouth and again we'll be fighting and teasing each other.And when you think you are done and before you plan to run,we would demand "Chalo chalo paisa nikalo/Cash time bhaiya" and as kanjoos makhichoos you were and are hehee,you would give us both Rs.5 each and say,"Jaa aish kar !!" .

However,you never learned how stubborn and goal-oriented we both were.Jhilli was laid back and so I had to work extra hard to compel you to pay us an hefty amount with a warning ,"Do or die".Eventually,amma ,aunty and papa would sniff the chaos in disguise and dad would jump to light up the situation and hand over Rs.100 to you and aunty would give you Rs.200 .But before you would even touch it and change your mind,we would snatch and run for our life chanting,"Happy Bhaidooj" la la laaaaaa....How we loved this festival ?

As we grew up you changed for good,you used to save your pocket money especially for gifting us on such occasions, without any hesitation.I remember every Diwali,even though I would only use sparklers ,I would order you to buy all kinds of crackers and you happily obliged .Even when you were busy lighting up those big crackers ,you would keep your eye on me, if I am safe.I miss you every Diwali,every festival we celebrated together with maa and paa.

I just want to say that even if I don't say this often,even though we are miles apart,you'll always remain in my heart not only as a big bro but also as my best friend/next to paa & maa --through thick and thin.Thanks a lot for all your support,love,understanding and you mean a lot to me.I am proud of you in every way always no matter what.I'll always be there for you as you are.

Like everyday,I am praying to almighty to bestow all his blessings to you and your family.May you get peace,prosperity,good health ,wealth and loads of happiness wherever you are,whatever you do.God bless you .Amen! .

Since I am such a good sister and for all those good words above,you can definitely send me a hefty commission later ;D.Like a good bro,hope you will be not be kanjoos and do the needful ;)...heheh..just kidding bhaiya...I pray to almighty ,may the sacred bond we share always get stronger and stronger by each day and may I always get your precious blessings ,love & guidance.

You are such a wonderful brother and moreover,a very good human being at heart.I love you.I miss you.Happy Diwali wishes and happy bhaidooj !!

Convey my sweet wishes to chechi and paimol.Hope Paikutty is enjoying her new school.You all take care and enjoy.

Rest in next.

Yours loving sis,
Manju mol

24 October 2014

Quinoa pilaf with broccoli,red bell pepper & scrambled egg


 quinoa_pilaf


 The king of my life (my better 1/2) and the queen of all grains (Quinoa) are ruling my house these days and I am the humble daasi/servant at their service .Oh,by the way the name of our kingdom is "Kingdom of health and well-being".Must say,my highness king and queen are playing a vital role in making sure we all keep ourselves in pink of our health.My king ordered me to show my creativity on his queen,Maadaame Quinoa.As generous and obedient as I am ,I humbly obliged !!


Earlier I decorated Madamme quinoa with the goodness of raw papaya and red potato and today ,I decorated her with the greeny Broccoli and red-y bell pepper with a sprinkle of scrambled egg .Look at her -how appetizing she looks! Did I say,how impressed my king was ? I got double promotion as the CEO of the royaaal kitchen !! Oh wow..what a destiny !! Confused


Quinoa

Hail king P & Queen Q !!

Quinoa with broccoli,red bell pepper & scrambled egg

Ingredients

Quinoa - 1 cup
Water - 2 cups
Onion(medium size),sliced - 1 no.
Green Chillies,slit - 3-4 nos.
Ginger-Garlic paste - 1 teaspoon
Tomato(medium),chopped - 1 no.
Mixed vegetable (I used frozen peas,corn,beans,carrots),boiled-1 cup
Red ball pepper,julienned- 1 cup
Broccoli florets - 1cup
Cloves- 2 no.(optional)
Cardamom - 2 nos.(optional)
Cinnamon-2 nos.(optional)
Turmeric powder - 1/4 teaspoon
Red chilli powder - 1 teaspoon
Shan Biryani Masala- 1 tablespoon
 Salt to taste
Oil/Ghee - 1-2 tablespoons

Scrambled Egg
Egg - 3-4 nos
Salt & pepper -1/4 teaspoon
Cheese - 1/4 cup (optional)
Oil


Method:

  1. Rinse the quinoa under tap water and put it in a saucepan with water and little salt.
  2. Put that saucepan on the stove and allow it to boil on high heat.
  3. Once it reaches the boiling point,reduce the fame to medium-low,cover it and let it cook for about 15-20 minutes until all the water is absorbed and grains become translucent with a spiral tail.
  4. Put off the stove.Let it stand covered for another 5 minutes to make sure it absorbs any moisture left.If there is any water left do drain it well.
  5. Fluff it with a fork and keep it aside.(Click to see -How to make perfect Quinoa in 15 minutes )
  6. Boil broccoli florets until just tender.Keep it aside.
  7. Heat a pan with little oil ,add the red ball pepper and saute for a minute,then cover it and on low flame allow it get cooked.Once cooked well ,add broccoli florets to it and sprinkle little turmeric powder & red chilli powder ,saute everything well and keep it aside.
  8. Heat another pan/kadai with oil ,add the cloves,cardamom & cinnamon to it .Saute for a minute.
  9. Add the onion slices and green chillies to it and saute them until onions become translucent.
  10. Add the ginger-garlic to it and stir until its raw flavor is gone.
  11. Add the chopped tomatoes ,turmeric powder,chilli powder and biryani masala to it.Mix well.Stir well.Low the flame.Cover it to make the tomatoes soft and mixed well with all the powders.
  12. Once tomatoes are soft & mushy,remove the cover,add the boiled mixed vegetables, followed by cooked Quinoa to it and mix well.
  13. Finally add the fried ball pepper and broccoli  to it and mix everything well.
  14. Add the salt as needed.
  15. Beat eggs,salt,pepper and cheese well .
  16. Heat a pan with oil on high flame.Put a few drops of water on to it,if it sizzles the pan is ready for preparing egg.
  17. Reduce the heat to low-medium.
  18. Pour the beaten egg and using the pan handle just swirl the pan so that egg mixture coats the entire pan well.
  19. Once it starts cooking,using a spatula keep on scraping the egg mixture until it gets scrambled and cooked well.
  20. Add this to the quinoa pilaf.Mix well.
  21. Quinoa Pilaf with broccoli ,bell pepper and scrambled eggs is ready to serve.

quinoa_pilaf

Gotta go,have to prepare the next menu ..you know with what ..right ..

Eat,love,live deliciously,








P.S.: Incase you missed it Quinoa Pilaf with raw papaya & red potato

23 October 2014

Bread crust Pakoda


bread_crust_pakora

Do you have that feeling, after eating something sweet ,to eat something spicy,crunchy or salty at times ? I do !...Weirdo me !!..Moreover,festival is all about sweets but how about those people for example honey P who are not very sweet person :P (not literally!!;) ) I mean not a fan of sweets unlike me who believes and lives in the mantra ,"Eat sweet,be sweet".I believe in that case or in my case ,I try to balance it somehow .I make it a win-win .That's how I like it to be.

bread_pakora

For example, the instant bread Gulab Jamun that I made yesterday ,first we have to trim the edges or crust of the bread slices and then we go ahead with rest of the steps.Remember I told you not to discard those bread edges/crust and I'll tell you how I turned it into another yummy snack that is sooo easy to make and everybody will not only love it but also will keep on wondering if it is just the bread crust ,the star ingredient of the snack .Well,seeing is believing and eating is justified !

I bet after using this recipe you'll never ever throw those bread edges that kids and adults would otherwise scoff at.

By the way ,incase you don't know,Pakora/Pakoda is an Indian fried snack and usually,a favorite evening snack at  every Indian home.There are many varieties of pakoras and this is something I came up with .

So,here we go,this is how I make bread crust Pakora

Bread crust Pakora

Ingredients

Bread crusts - A bowl full
Besan/Gram flour/Chick pea flour - 1 1/2 cup
Water as needed
Baking powder - 1/4 teaspoon
Chilli powder - 1/4 teaspoon
Turmeric powder - 1/4 teaspoon
Chaat masala/powder - 1 teaspoon
Salt to taste
Oil for deep frying
Chaat masala to sprinkle
Ketchup

Method:


  • If you don't have bread crusts ready,then trim the edges of bread slices and cut them into two ,repeat with the rest and keep them all aside.
  • Add water little by little to the besan until it becomes a thick batter and is lump free.
  • Add chilli powder,turmeric powder ,chat masala ,salt and baking powder and mix well.Keep it aside for a few minutes. (Do check the salt,if it's enough)
  • Heat a pan with oil,put a drop of batter into it to make sure if the oil is ready for frying and if the batter sizzles and surfaces on top,the oil is ready.At this point reduce the flame to low-medium.
  • Now put the bread crusts into the batter,coat well and dip them into the oil one by one without over crowding.
  • Flip the pakoras to make sure it is fully fried but keep it in low -medium flame.
  • Do not allow it to get very dark browned.
  • Using a slotted spoon pick up the fried pakoras out of the oil,drain them and place them on tissue paper to blot the excess oil.
  • Once all are done,sprinkle the chaat masala on top and toss pakoras well.
  • Serve hot and Enjoy with ketchup.
  • You'll love it especially your kids :).
Note:
  • Chaat masala is an Indian spice powder widely used in North Indian cuisine especially to flavor foods and drinks .It makes any snack extra tangy yet subtle spicy.It is available in any Indian/Pakistani stores.
  • Don't fry them for too long or it will simply soak lots of oil,though it will turn out quite crunchy but oily.
pakoda_recipe
So,that's how I try my best to do it.I mean, if I make sweet,I also make sure I've something special for my man as well.Double duty !! But ..hey,Pyaar keliye kuch bhi karega ;) I'm blushing

Eat,love,live DELICIOUSLY,



22 October 2014

Bread Gulab Jamun|An instant Gulab Jamun


bread_gulab_jamun

Om Asato Maa Sadd-Gamaya |
Tamaso Maa Jyotir-Gamaya |
Mrtyor-Maa Amrtam Gamaya |
Om Shaantih Shaantih Shaantih 

Meaning: 

From untruth lead us to Truth.
From darkness lead us to Light.
From fear of death lead us to Immortality.
Om Peace, Peace, Peace.
                                     (This prayer is the very essence of Diwali-the festival of lights !)


I am in a day-dream mode .Though I am physically here,my heart and mind is completely lost in India.I wish I was Mr.India ...No no not like a fashion model and moreover,certainly not a male model per se :D ...I meant like Anil Kapoor in the famous Bollywood movie "Mr.India", where he could become invisible at his will.

During festivals that's what I badly wish for - to vanish and be visible only in India among my family at my home ,helping mom to clean not only house but also every food item she prepares for the festival ,helping (read -pretending)dad to decorate our home and pester him to entertain me with some ancient fables side by side,ordering my big bro to buy all kinds of crackers even though I limit my dare-ness to phool jhadis/sparklers .

BREAD_GULAB_JAMUN


very busy day indeed for me-busy in kitchen -finishing up one by one delicacies and alongside,switching channels one by one in TV to watch all the festival related programs .God how I love to be busy all of a sudden!!I am utterly confused to be at home or to be outside .It is a difficult decision but day is for home and night is for outside because that's when all the fun begins.The darkness of night starts glowing not by stars but by diyas (an oil lamp made with clay with a cotton wick dipped in oil) lit at every homes,temples ,communities etc.,the sky sparkling and shaking with the burst of varieties of firecrackers and every home bustling with near and dear ones ,smiling,carefree ,feasting and celebrating. Aaah festival is in the air !! Diwali is in the air !!

. . . . DizzyDrrrrrr..duppp...thudddddd....... 

.
.
.
Toota toota ek parinda aise toota Ke phir jud naa paaya
Girta hua woh asma se aakar gira zameen par
Khwabon mein phir bhi badal hi the woh kehta raha magar
Ke allah ke bande hasde allah ke bande....
(Toota Toota Ek Parinda Aaise Toota song from the bollywood movie Waisa Bhi Hota Hai Part 2)

As the song says,my dream broke,I fell on my face AND welcome back to reality .....

Not to mention,I feel darn homesick !!

But like the song,thank God and keep smiling atleast I've all these wonderful memories to reminisce and tomorrow when I'll have kids I know for sure how to recreate and give my kids their fair share of festival memories as well...well,till then,it's another kinda lonely celebration for me and Honey P!

 Anyways,for now a visit to a near by temple,a few diyas lighting up our home,a not-so-perfect rangoli design by me on entrance floor ,a few prayers to Goddess Lakshmi and Shri Ganesha ,few phone calls to near and dear ones in India,their happy tones and heartfelt wishes will be suffice to have a chota sa dhamakedaar Diwali......

Oh oh by the way I missed the most important thing that can turn any festival more sweeter ....well,the SWEETS !!

gulab_jamun

This year,I made a very simple yet a variety Gulab Jamun -The bread Gulab Jamun.Gulab Jamun (if you don't know - I doubt -but still-I'll enlighten you:P) is a very popular traditional Indian dessert like a dumpling made with milk-solids/Khoya traditionally but there are easier ways to make it too.I tried making Gulab Jamuns using milk powder last time and this time I tried it with bread.I believe this is one of the easiest way to make instant gulab jamuns though taste will be different but believe me or not one-of-a-kind for sure.Initially,I was skeptical about it how can it be so easy but the outcome just blew my taste buds away .( My taste buds are back to its place once I was done with eating every single piece of Gulab Jamun..just FYI :P).

Usually, all you need to make this bread gulab Jamun are Bread,milk and homemade sugar syrup.I ran out of milk at the right time :-\ but I had whipping cream so I used it instead which made it more richer--- the result was "No-regret-at-all-I-LOVVVE-IT"!

This is how I made a bread Gulab Jamun,


Bread Gulab Jamuns

Makes - 10 Jamuns approx 

Ingredients

Bread slices - 6 nos
Whipping cream - 8 oz
Oil for deep frying -1-2 cups 
Water - 1 cup
Sugar - 1/2 cup
Cardamom,crushed- 3-4 nos.
Rose essence - 1/4 teaspoon(optional) 

Method:

  • Boil sugar and water in a pan until the sugar dissolves .
  • Add cardamoms,reduce the flame medium-low until it reaches a sticky consistency (Carefully test a drop of sugar between your thumb and index finger, it should be sticky).Remove from the stove, add the rose essence and Keep it aside but warm.
  • Trim the edges of each bread slices and keep it away. (Don't discard the edges/crust,my next post will be how to turn them into another tasty recipe)
  • Cut/tear the bread slices into small pieces by hand/knife/kitchen scissor and dip them in the whipping cream.Lightly squeeze out the excess cream and put the bread pieces in to a mixer/blender and blend it for a minute or until it becomes a smooth paste.
  • Now, turn it into a dough and divide the dough into small smooth balls without any cracks( or I did a oblong shape here )and keep it aside.
  • Heat oil in a pan.Put it on high flame and put a piece of the dough into the oil to check if the oil is ready to fry or not.If that piece immediately surfaces on the top of oil,the oil is ready for frying.Now reduce the flame to low.
  • Fry the jamuns without over crowding it on low flame and make sure all the sides are fried well until golden.
  • Now immerse all the fried jamuns into the warm sugar syrup . Let it rest for 30 minutes.
  • Serve it hot or chilled as you wish.
Note:
  • Instead of whipping cream,you can certainly use plain preferably wholefat milk (1/2 cup) and to make it more flavorful add 2-3 tablespoons of milk powder to it.BUT when you use whipping cream/heavy cream it turns out more richer and full of flavor comparatively.
  • If you are not able to make it into a dough or ball shape,add another chopped bread slices to it.So,the bread dipped in cream or milk shouldn't be watery.It should be able to hold a shape.
  • I got 10 gulab jamuns but then it depends upon the size and shape of the gulab jamuns.
Now,isn't that the easiest gulab Jamun one can make within no time? ...oh and also one can finish it within no time as well...if you are a big sweet tooth like me !! Easy and irresistible !!

I hope our life will be as easy and sweeter like this sweet , all our worries will burst and will be gone with the wind with every firecracker we experience and our life will be ever glowing ,blessed and I wish you and your lovely family the same..Have a safe and blessed Diwali !! Enjoy ....Have fun ..remember me when you or your kid uses a sparkler/phool jhadi :P...just kidding....keep smiling ;)

Ke Allah Ke Bande Hasde Allah Ke Bande ,
Allah Ke Bande Hasde Jo Bhi Ho Kal Phir Aayega
(Continuation of the above song meaning God's children, keep smiling. Whatever happens, tomorrow will come again.....)

Happy Diwali !







P.S:Here is the link if you missed it incase-Gulab Jamun made with milk powder





17 October 2014

More Indian than you think


India's tradition,culture and heritage is so vast that it is like a jasmine's fragrance ,that spreads far and wide.India withstood test of time and many foreign invasions but nothing could stop the rich and cultural traditions to flourish and impact the entire world by leaps and bounds. Each and every festival we celebrate in India irrespective of types of religion,our faith,our belief,our celebration,our cuisine,our attire,our unity in diversity etc (to mention a few), always influenced nook and corner of the world.

These are, a few of my experiences in the United States of America that I came across ,that proves "As India gets increasingly globalized, the world is getting increasingly ‘Indianized’. 


1.Color 5k runs - It is an un-timed,stress free, fun filled and color filled five kilometer running race either "for profit" or mainly done "for charity purpose" that aims to encourage healthy activity with a burst of colors.Just like our Indian festival Holi,where people get together irrespective of any barriers ,bury their hatchets with warm hug,throw their worries to the wind , smear and toss different colors on each other and simply enjoy the colors of life,likewise ,this race promotes the most color-filled day spent with family and friends celebrating life, friendship, fitness, and fun.

Let go and leave everything at the starting line is the laid-back mantra here.Clad in a white dress mostly,start the race either by running slowly or like a marathon runner and at each kilometer,color run volunteers would throw different (safe & Eco-friendly) colors into the air and by the end of the race,one will experience a festival-on-run experience .It doesn't end there,just like Holi filled with dance and celebration,there will be a post run party as well with more color showers,crazy dancing  and fun one-of-a-kind.

Anyone can participate, no strict rules to adhere like whether you are an amateur runner or run-for-fun type or a marathon runner,all are welcome to let the inner child out,go crazy,go wild,get colored and run and turn into a rainbow.

This Holi based run has now spread across the world to encourage a running environment that is competition free and health and happiness more ,promoting various charitable cause and personally,enjoying one-of-a-kind colorful experience in lifetime.

2.ISKON (International Society for Krishna Consciousness) known as as the Hare Krishna movement was founded in 1966 in New York City,USA by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada that encourages Bhakthi yoga,selfless devotion and dedication to the Hindu supreme God,Lord Krishna based purely on the Hindu Holy scriptures ,Bhgawad Gita and Srimad Bhagwatam ,is spread all around the world.

It started in 15th century in India,1900's in America and 1930's in England.Since then ISKON has devotees/followers all over the world ,equal if not more than the Indian origins.In US almost every state (atleast I've been) has an ISKON temple with more American followers than Indians.

Hare Krishna mantra even appeared in various pop songs abroad like former Beatle George Harrison's 1970–71 hit "My Sweet Lord" &  "Living in the Material World" and his most popular song that inspired a Hare Krishna influence all over Europe especially -"Hare Krishna Mantra". Similarly,another Hare Krishna mantra was penned and sung by The Fugs in their 1968 album "Tenderness Junction" (featuring poet Allen Ginsberg) and by Nina Hagen.John Lennon in his song to "Give Peace a Chance" included the phrase "Hare Krishna" in his lyrics likewise, the Beatles' 1967 track "I Am the Walrus", Ringo Starr in his 1971 hit "It Don't Come Easy", written with the help of Harrison. Later Paul McCartney produced a single with a picture of Lord Krishna riding on a swan on the cover though didn't mention any Krishna chants in his lyrics.(Credit:Wiki).


3.Soma Temple,NC,USA-“Contained within the Veda is the knowledge of how to construct an enlightened city that will radiate coherence and harmony to our entire world. Mount Soma is that place.” – Maharshi Maheshananda

Sri Somesvara or popularly known as Soma temple is a Vedic Shiva temple (Hindu temple) nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of the state of North Carolina  and the visionary and the founder of this sacred temple is none other than an American ,Dr. Michael Mamas who is also known as Maharshi Maheshananda, who attained Vedic knowledge and wisdom at age 21 from India under his Guru, Maharshi Mahesh Yogi, considered to be the epitome of Vedic wisdom in the eternal tradition of Vedic Masters. He is playing a significant role in accepting and spreading the ancient vedic knowledge around the world.

When we (Indians) are still questioning (different) religions,holy books and God,here is an American who learned the ancient Vedic lessons from India ,went ahead and built a Hindu temple.

Similarly,it is always interesting to see Gandhi ji's statue at the entrance of an IMAX theatre (Wells Fargo ,Raleigh,NC ) where I think ,they hardly show any Indian movies .

4. Yoga - The art of physical,mental & spiritual practice that aims to transform body and mind ,dates back to Pre Vedic Indian tradition, was introduced to the west by the Indian yoga gurus and since then yoga plays a vital role as one of the most sought after meditative and calm exercise option preferred to balance one physically and mentally ,all around the world.In US almost every gym provides yoga lessons.

5.Brahma Shrine-When I went for a vacation in Lasvegas, the entertainment capital of the world, known primarily for gambling, shopping, fine dining and nightlife situated in the state of Nevada,US,I was surprised to see a Gold plated Brahma Shrine at Caesars Palace Hotel Casino located on the strip ,installed, primarily to bring good fortune and prosperity not only to the hotel but also is believed to grant all the wishes especially related to money and good luck to anyone who offers a prayer there.

Lord Brahma may not be the most popular God worshipped in India but he sure is rocking in the entertainment capital of the world ;).

6.Trump TajMahal Casino - In New Jersey,USA,one of the most popular casino is built/owned by Donald Trump - "Trump Taj Mahal" which as the name says is by appearance a replica of the Taj Mahal in India.


7.Pop trend-I recently attended a state fair where a concert was going on and was taken aback when I saw the pop singer flaunting a sparkling Bindi on her forehead .When I see married (Hindu)Indian women in US least interested in wearing Bindi with western dress or otherwise ,I also see westerners who are more than happy to accept it at least as a part of fashion statement .

It was also interesting to see this Lufthansa's new ad Lufthansa TVC.

Though,these are just a few of my personal experiences, I won't be now surprised to find more, I bet the list is endless around the world.Well,that's the magic of India ! It's contagious !!

A few of my points that goes against India are mentioned above,as much as we love our country those points are so true .Let's face it and rectify it . It's not a NRI saying ,it's an Indian saying who wants her country's glory blossom without any blots or patches.When we say we are proud to be an Indian,let us mean it,show it not just say it.Let us always highlight our culture without any ifs and buts wherever we are.That will make me,an Indian, more proud undoubtedly.

Reminds me what the French scholar,Sylvia Levi said, "She (India) has left indelible imprints on one fourth of the human race in the course of a long succession of centuries. She has the right to reclaim ... her place amongst the great nations summarizing and symbolizing the spirit of humanity. From Persia to the Chinese sea, from the icy regions of Siberia to Islands of Java and Borneo, India has propagated her beliefs, her tales, and her civilization!"


Aankhon ki chaabi se thoda betaabi se
chupke se kholein dilon ke taale
Jaan dete, usko jahaan dete ,apna imaan dete
jiski bhi baahein gale mein daalein
 
Aise hain chaahe waise hain
Are jo bhi hain jaise hain
khud pe humein naaz hai


Hum Indiawaale.....

Proud to be an Indian.

Vande Maatram,









P.S.This post is a part of "More Indian than you think" Indiblogger contest in collaboration with Lufthansa/Lufthansa TVC.

IndiChange-"Who's your crisis angel?"


Daily uniforms,daily classes,daily walks to school,combine studies/fun,friendships/masti/hungama,surprise class tests,I-hate-you-mid-term exams,I-am-not-prepared-yet exams to exams and this-is-it the board exams -this mundane yet memorable saga of high school days was going to end soon.I had a mixed feeling about it.It meant I may have to leave my parents,home-made mom-made foods,the small city (in North India) I was raised in,the festivals & celebrations of North India,my longtime friends,my chuddy dost/childhood buddies,the company quarter we stayed in since I was a toddler,multi-culture ,multi-religious friendly neighborhood ,in fine it was time to pack my bags and leave my childhood days behind in this city and gear up for another life changing phase of my life -College life.

However ,a part of me wanted to get out of this cocoon as well and explore more-the world outside my comfort zone,something more exciting,independent and fun without any parental intervention.It was time to stretch my wings.I thought of migrating to some other place in North India itself but the case was spontaneously dismissed by my parents.They wanted me to go to my native place in south India and continue my advance studies .Their verdict : Surrounded by relatives , I'll be safe & sound .

They obviously won the case and I scored good marks & got admission in a good college.I opted for commerce stream. College was far away from all my relatives though.So,they all suggested to stay in ladies hostel next to the college for my and moreover their own convenience .After joining hostel ,when my parents left ,I felt horrible ,I felt as if I was in a jail,deeply homesick.The hostel had very strict rules .I felt suffocated.I fell very ill.I wanted to get out ASAP.

Finally,my dad's relative extended a helping hand,asked if I would be interested in staying at their home but they had a very small home compared to rest of the relatives.So,comfort wise it was challenging but hey good to be at any home than a jail,the hostel and top it all,homely food.Since I was not a princess who was raised in a castle and the moral values imbibed in me by my parents.I happily nodded ,"Yes,PLEASE."

My new college life began in full swing-new friends,new teachers,new subjects,overall new environment .It was a phase to adjust and cope everywhere.Be at college (where I was mocked/stereotyped for not being fluent in my mother tongue ) or at this relative's home.Though I was & always will be very thankful that this relative opened door to their home for me when no one did,I felt more like a paying guest .Other relatives visited me at times especially when my parents reminded them.Needless to say,I badly missed my parents and I felt very lonely.

However,there was this relative (who lived really far away) ,my dear uncle who took time out of his busy schedule to check on me,visit me and he would go out of his way to make me feel special.He would take me to his home to my aunty and my cousin and he would himself get into the kitchen and cook something really royal with my aunt as his helper and me and my little cousin sister would be watching TV /videos etc unlimited.All I had to do there was eat,eat and eat.Not only they were excellent cooks but also every food item arranged on the dining table was over flowing with love.Only at their home,when I ate I burped carefree happily,my tummy,my heart,my mind was at a joyful state.

In short, they made me feel homely,loved,cared and that I was not alone.They filled the voidness of my parents absence.More than my aunt who is in fact my mom's younger sister, I owe it to my dearest uncle .He had this charm and persona to make everyone feel special and comfortable selflessly.He was always at everyone's service.Quite respectful and adorable in his town and in our family.

He once won lottery when he was working in UAE and became an instant millionaire but he was so generous that he distributed chunks of his winnings to all needy near and dear ones who kept on asking more and eventually his business (he quit his job in UAE and started new businesses in India) didn't flourish as he expected and that consequently,hampered his finance a lot .He reached at the verge of bankruptcy.Inspite of the financial tension,he kept his family the most happiest people on this Earth .The love and trust my uncle and aunty shared was one-of-a-kind relationship ,purely unconditional to be admired and learn from.He took care of my aunt like a queen & my cousin like a princess unexposed to any problems of life.

I believe anyone who was near and dear to him never ever felt or saw him upset,stressed or hopeless.He was this jolly,carefree,enjoy-life-when-you-are-alive,b-happy-spread-happiness kind of guy that everyone either simply admired or secretly admired.When he was around it was like an aura of joy and smile.Not to mention,I looked forward to his arrival eagerly so that he can take me to his home.Whenever I needed him,he was there without any questions asked.I felt my dad around,my maa around.I felt I am not alone.I am AT HOME!

All thanks to my dearest uncle without him my three years of college life away from my parents in a place full of relatives and their homes ,would have felt completely left out,alone and darn homesick.He is indeed #MyCrisisAngel,who came along,held my hand,overcame my odds and gave me good memories to cherish forever.

Thanks Indiblogger for giving me this opportunity to dedicate this post to my guardian angel,my Shashi uncle who unfortunately passed away 3 years back in an accident and I am still crying silently in his memory ...someone who gave me reasons to cheer up ,enjoy and live life to the fullest no matter what.

Though he is no more,his memories are imprinted on our heart forever . He was not only mine but also our entire family's crisis angel.This post is in your remembrance -my dearest Shashipaapan.So,proud of you for being such a wonderful human being.We love you & miss you a lot.RIP!~ Yours Manju mol

 Some people come into our lives, leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never ever the same.



 




P.S.This post is a part of "IndiChange-Who's your crisis angel?" topic, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by Indiblogger.com and http://incrisisrelief.org/.Kudos to the team from V.O.I.C.E (Volunteers Online for Impact in Crisis and Emergencies)/@InCrisisRelief, for being Crisis Angels to a mass!!Inspiring.Keep up the good work !!


16 October 2014

How to keep fish fresh & flavorful

Properly frozen fish keeps well and holds its flavor for months, though it may affect the quality of fish .Next time while refrigerating fish , rub some salt , turmeric & lemon juice to keep the fish fresh and flavourful for longer.

15 October 2014

Quinoa Pilaf with raw papaya,red potato & mixed vegetable


QUINOA_VEGETABLE_PILAF


"Hail,O grainy Keen,the Mother of all grains,hail, our health,our life,our hope.To thee we beg two unhealthy ,infused with unwanted calories , immune to exercises,burdened with doctor's bill.Turn our misery into mystery I mean history ,bless us & heal,we sincerely appeal.Amen !!"

Well,now you can relax those eyebrows and pause racking your brain because what you just read above was nothing but a prayer .I mean,that's how we say grace before meals nowadays.Because nowadays, we have become brand & grand loyal to none other than the mother of all grains,the powerhouse of multivitamins & minerals & treasure trove of multi-health benefits,"The Quinoa,the great."Pronounced as "Keen-wah ". Though I love to call it "Queen-waaah".Yahoo Grinning

We've been introduced to Mother Quinoa lately ,before that ,I've never ever heard of anything like this but recently it has got a "Super-duper-bumper powerfood status" in the food-o-sphere.Needless to say, I became an agent 007 to trace the past,present and future story & glory of this grain.I didn't have to work that hard, as all the information I needed was already mentioned at the back of the food packet itself (the one I bought).So,if you don't know either or wanna know more about it.Allow me to enlighten you.May I?


QUINOA_RECIPE


Quinoa dates back to some 5000 years approx,grown bountiful in the mighty Andes mountains of South America in the Inca civilization.Quinoa was so significant to their diet that every year,the mighty king of Inca ,planted the first row of Quinoa with a solid gold spade.It was also considered to be quite sacred and used in various religious rituals.According to WHFoods, Quinoa “was the gold of the Incas” because they believed it increased the stamina and the quick recovery time of their warriors. It was even used to treat liver and urinary tract problems, tuberculosis, appendicitis, and altitude and motion sickness to name a few.

 However,what truly made it extraordinary in the food kingdom is that it is a complete protein-packed grain that supplies all nine essential amino acids in a balanced pattern unlike whole wheat or oats etc.As a matter of fact,though it grows as a grain,the edible part is actually a seed.It is also called pseudo cereal and is closely related to the family of beetroots, spinach and tumbleweeds. Interesting right !

QUINOA_RECIPE


Nutritional benefits:
  • Quinoa is naturally gluten-free and contains iron, B-vitamins, magnesium, manganese,lysine,phosphorus, potassium, calcium, vitamin E .
  • Quinoa contains almost twice as much fiber as most other grains that makes one eat less and feel full longer and thereby helps in weight loss,relieves constipation,prevents hemorrhoids and keeps digestive system healthy.  
  • It is low on the Glycemic Index scale (no blood sugar spikes & steady energy),contains flavonoids ,is anti-inflammatory,lowers cholesterol,blood pressure,balances sugar and prevents many chronic diseases.
  • Quinoa also provides small amounts of the Omega-3 fatty acid & Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA).
  • It is rich in magnesium so it keeps migraines at bay.
  • It acts as a natural anti-depressant that helps to raise serotonin levels and provides a relaxed,calm state of mind.
The Quinoa Corporation calls quinoa the “Supergrain of the Future.”NASA proposed this super grain as an ideal food for long duration space flights.Kewl!!

Quinoa is a tiny grain, size of a mustard seed,that cooks up just like rice and has a mild, nutty flavor and a light, fluffy texture similar to couscous..It has a naturally bitter coating called Saponin that infact keeps insects away sans any pesticides. Saponin is easily removed by rinsing quinoa with water prior to consuming.

QUINOA_PULAO

So,it is quite obvious that,it is quite a super health friendly food and it just makes nutritional sense to start consuming Quinoa more.Now you know why it has become the "Go to" meal of my menu lately and the reason behind that prayer .My better 1/2 blindly swears and cheers for it.Gosh,Quinoa corporation or NASA, please make him the brand ambassador of Quinoa,will you ?

My experimentation with it so far have proved that it is easy aaand tasty to incorporate quinoa into our diet . It cooks like rice and the small grains cook to tender with a spiral tail, in as little as 15 minutes.

 So,here is one recipe among my successful trials-an extra healthy Quinoa recipe-A Quinoa pilaf made with mixed vegetables,raw papaya and red potato.

 Here is how I make a vegetarian Quinoa Pilaf :

Quinoa Pilaf with Red Papaya & red potato

Ingredients

Quinoa - 1 cup
Water - 2 cups
Onion(medium size),sliced - 1 no.
Green Chillies,slit - 3-4 nos.
Ginger-Garlic paste - 1 teaspoon
Tomato(medium),chopped - 1 no.
Mixed vegetable (I used frozen peas,corn,beans,carrots),boiled-1 cup
Raw Papaya,julienned- 1 cup
Red potato(medium),sliced - 1 no.
Cloves- 2 no.(optional)
Cardamom - 2 nos.(optional)
Cinnamon-2 nos.(optional)
Turmeric powder - 1/4 teaspoon
Red chilli powder - 1 teaspoon
Shan Biryani Masala- 1 tablespoon
 Salt to taste
Oil/Ghee - 1-2 tablespoons

Method:

  1. Rinse the quinoa under water and put it in a saucepan with the required water and salt.
  2. Put the pan on a stove and allow it to boil on high heat.
  3. Once it reaches the boiling point,reduce the fame to medium-low,cover it and let it cook for about 15-20 minutes until all the water is absorbed and grains become translucent with a spiral tail.
  4. Put off the stove.Let it stand covered for another 5 minutes to make sure it absorbs any moisture left.
  5. Fluff it with a fork and keep it aside.(Click to see -How to make perfect Quinoa in 15 minutes )
  6. Heat a pan with little oil ,add the papaya,potato slices and saute for a minute,then cover it and on low flame allow it get cooked.Once cooked well sprinkle little turmeric powder & red chilli powder ,saute everything well and keep it aside.
  7. Heat another pan/kadai with oil ,add the cloves,cardamom & cinnamon to it .Saute for a minute.
  8. Add the onion slices and green chillies to it and saute them until onions become translucent.
  9. Add the ginger-garlic to it and stir until its raw flavor is gone.
  10. Add the chopped tomatoes ,turmeric powder,chilli powder and biryani masala to it.Mix well.Stir well.Low the flame.Cover it to make the tomatoes soft and pasty mixed well with all the powders.
  11. Once tomatoes are soft & mushy,remove the cover,add the boiled mixed vegetables, followed by cooked Quinoa to it and mix well.
  12. Finally add the fried papaya and red potato slices to it and mix everything well.
  13. Add the salt as needed.
  14. Papaya potato Quinoa Pilaf is ready to serve.
Note:
  • You can add any vegetables of your choice.
  • You can use any masala even garam masala but tastes will be different then and I personally love shaan masalas.

Eat,love,pray,live DELICIOUSLY,



            


14 October 2014

How to - revive and refresh vegetables ?

What do you do when the vegetables you've stored carefully in refrigerator, lose their freshness slowly ? Do you feel hopeless ? Do you without a second thought just trash them with a deeeeep sigh ? Do you just brain wash yourself to think that you got those vegetables for free..or do you just take another deeep sigh thinking you just trashed a portion of your money in your dustbin ? (been there,done that...shh don't tell my hubby)

Well, don't you worry,there is a solution for it :

To revive the wilted ,soggy vegetables just immerse them in COLD water (remove any brown parts or trim the ends of leafy vegetables) for about 20 minutes-1 hr.You can even add 1 tablespoon of vinegar or juice of half a lemon to it to speed up the process.



13 October 2014

Bread Upma/Pulao

BEAD_UPMA

 Today let me tell ya,How to become a morning person ? How to make your watch's/phone's/clock's alarm system touchfree (for you)? How to make the alarm say,"Mission accomplished" ?

Are you like what ..what whaaat ? WonderingWell,:P...no no noo that's not exactly my post is all about today but it will certainly play a role .Stay tuned ok!!


Well,the thing is ,this blogging is turning little vulnerable for me ,as it is becoming prone to self-revelation.Lots of my secrets are no secret anymore especially all my negative traits are openly exposed to everyone with a mouse, screen and a net,Internet.Well,I am an open book ,can't help it.But then as ,Brene Brown said,"What makes you vulnerable,makes you beautiful." I would also like to add, "It makes you human,who you are as well".Right?

BREAD_PULAV


Well, the recent revelation about me ,that was making some noise & graced my blog was me being not a morning person and a sleep-o-holic .First thing first,of course for me 6-8 hrs sleep is a must whatsoever,but then I also believe in "Early to bed,early to rise ,makes a man healthy,wealthy & wise." So,I was always trying my best to find ways & means to do so but to no avail.

I am, I believe, born as Alarm-proof. Every alarm set for the morning only reminded me to stop that crazy disturbing sound pollution ASAP. Did I tell you I've alarm ringtones as myriad as colors in rainbow ? Some sound like a nature calling (not technically :P)-rainy,windy,breezy etc and some sounded as rhythmic as musical instruments-how soothing! ,some like Bollywood songs -"Subah hogayi maamu",then some which did have the power to provoke me a little, sounded like a roar of a lion,dog barking and howling,halloween theme,007 theme etc .Not to mention nothing worked !

BREAD_UPMA_RECIPE


However,I thought of twisting the plan this time- instead of changing the alarm sound system, I changed the place it is usually kept.I rely on my phone which is more easy to turn off (the alarm) for me and usually I keep it under my pillow.

So,here comes the tip and trick how to become a morning person :P .I kept my cellphone not under pillow as usual but on a table far away from my bed and every morning, guess what ,I've to wake up to even turn off my alarm and by the time I reach my alarm,my sleep is half-broke and if by any chance I go back to bed ,second-third alarm of a dog howling like crazy makes sure that I woke up better this time or my neighbors/cops will make me :P.So,yes so far so good.This plan is working.I am waking up early comparatively.Yayyyy...(Fingerscrossed!!)

But then ,even though I was not a morning person,it was never at someone's expense.I mean,it didn't affect my everyday schedule/ritual to provide my better-1/2 ,the food on time (give or take) ,unless I am dead sick or other unavoidable circumstances.That is something I am quite serious about and I can't compromise at all, otherwise it would kill me ,making me feel guilty and I would label myself as "Biwi No.0 ".

BREAD_PULAV


I am very conservative like that,I think as they say,"Children look  up to their parents.",I learned it from my mother who is a proud homemaker ,a dutiful wife & a doting mother.She neither believed in hiring a permanent maid to help her out nor she took the easy peasy ways to cooking .However,here, I am just opposite, I go the opposite way.I most of the time, look for the easiest ways to cook and yet make it yummy . :P...Lazy me !!

My morning breakfasts are something that I try my best to make sure is easy and quick to cook yet yummy and healthy as much as possible.So,one of the recipe that I frequently make that fits the bill is the Bread Upma/Pulao.Bread upma/Pulav is a combination of chopped whole grain breads,scrambled eggs,good mix of vegetables and a speck of finger-licking sauce/ketchup.I believe,this will be an excellent recipe for kids mostly,to make them eat all those vegetables along with bread,eggs and sauce with no complains.

Here is how I make Bread Pulav/bread upma :


 Bread Pulav/Upma

Serves -2

Ingredients

Whole wheat bread,slices- 4 nos
Onion,sliced -1/2 no
Green chillies - 1-2 nos (optional)
Egg- 2 nos.
Mix vegetables (I used frozen carrots,beans,peas & corn)- 3/4 cup
Boiled red potato,sliced - 2-3 nos
Turmeric powder & red chilli powder - 1/3 teaspoon

Salt to taste
Ketchup - 2-3 tablespoons
Oil/Ghee - 3-4 tablespoons

Method:

 

  • Chop/cube the whole wheat bread slices and keep it aside .
  • Microwave the mixed vegetables in a bowl(microwavable) with enough water for about 2-3 minutes or until they are boiled and cooked well.Drain well and Keep it aside.
  • Heat little oil in a pan,break the eggs into it and saute it continuously to scramble it on high to medium flame.
  • Heat oil in another pan and add the onion slices and green chilly ,saute until onion becomes transparent.
  •  Add the boiled mix vegetables to it and saute it for a minute or two.
  • Add the chopped/sliced boiled potato,turmeric powder & red chilli powder to it and stir for a minute or two.Put off the flame.
  • Heat oil in another pan ,add the chopped bread pieces and saute it until slightly browned.
  • Now add the mixed vegetables+potato+salt to it.
  • Add the scrambled egg to it .
  • Finally add the ketchup to it and mix everything well.
  • Put off the flame.
  • Serve hot.

Note:
  1.  This recipe will be great for leftover breads.
  2. You can always remove the crust and cube the bread slices tad smaller.
  3. Saute the bread cubes in butter to make it more tasty.
  4. If you wish,you can also add dry fruits to it to make it crunchy and more healthy.
Eat,love,live DELICIOUSLY,



12 October 2014

Writing Over Weekend:Date with God




Revelation 3:20 :Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends.

God is my "Go to" best friend.I believe in him through thick and thin.Couple of years back,when I was feeling down and helpless,I questioned our relationship.So,to clear my doubts,I asked God out - A date with me !

Location : My Prayer room.
Ambiance-Decorated with flowers,incense sticks smelling like heaven,peaceful atmosphere & a Diyalight dinner.
Date: God & me...(4get the nos.)
Agenda:Date with God

God:Hello my dear.How are you today?

Me: :)..frankly speaking,Overwhelmed ! ..Well,needless to ask ,still,how about you God?

God:Aaah overwhelmed ,again for the same reasons or any thing new this time dear? And thank you so much ..am so glad u asked for no one does.:)..I am so happy to be with you today .I was looking forward to it.

Me: Well,I am having a date with you and of course,more ,God.Please don't say you were looking forward to meet me.You were not.You are too busy to be my side.

God: :)..My dear,I am always with you.I am busy,but busy with solving your problems but not for you.The proof-Tadaa,here I am on an exclusive date with u.:)

Me:Really?..well..Thanks for your favor.

God:Anytime :).So,tell me how do I look? ;) I was little nervous.

Me:Ha! You and nervous? ..You are as always mysteriously and mischievously funny !!..Oh,by the way,you look great..Bright,glowing ,smiling & flirtatious .You look fab as always. Happy?

God:Thanks for the compliment dear:).I am flattered as always.I know you are very sweet.But I will be happy ,when I'll see you happy inside out.

Me:Yeah yeah...You are the master of sweet talks ! By the way,why were you nervous ?

God:Again,thanx 4 the compliment dear :).Aaah nervous because I couldn't find the big diary that I planned to tag along with me so that I would make sure that I saved all your & rest's( for whom you pray) never ending problems sequentially-aptly and so didn't get enough time to groom well myself you see...

Me:Ha ha ha...quite amusing !!

God:You think? ..Thank God errr Me !...I was just kidding..lighting up dear :)...You know what ,you certainly do look like you didn't get time to groom either..You are such a mess !!What happened?

Me:I knew you never paid attention..Do you've any idea,it's been a while I am job hunting in a so called "The land of opportunities".I didn't get my break yet.I am.mmm..so frustrated.

God:My dear ,I told u time and again via the book I gifted you, my autobiography,"Bhagwad Gita","Karmanye Vadikaraste Mafaleshu Kadatjana"(Concentrate on your effort (your job)not on the result (that's my job)).

Me:Seriously?...You can say like that ,you are a God!What do you know what is pain,suffering and hardships?

God:I know my dear what is suffering,remember in Ramayana,when I was in exile for 14 long years,away from my kingdom,my parents and my people.Remember, when I took birth as Jesus,I sacrificed my life on cross nailed and bleeding for the welfare of my people.In Mahabharata,during Kurukshetra war,I  fought against some of my favorite people like Bhishma,Dronacharya,Karna to name a few, to bring justice and righteousness.A few scenarios for you,see it wasn't easy.I've been there,done that.

Me: Hmm..I agree..You've gotta point there!!....However, in my case,I am concentrating on my effort but can't take my mind off from the result.It's impossible.I've to have a job ASAP.My work visa is gonna expire soon and you know it was not easy either to get it .It is a privilege which I don't want to lose.But,it's so difficult to get a job here in US with minimal experience( Indian work experience) .I almost got offers but lost it due to other visa issues and other was in far away places etc..I feel hopeless.Why aren't you doing something God? I am working hard,praying hard.

God:hmm...I know that.still I'll repeat,"Concentrate on your effort not on the outcome." Don't worry,everything will be fine :).You trust me right dear?

Me:You gotta be kidding me ! But yes I trust you.You are my only trust,my last resort.

God:Awesome! See,we do have a chemistry here !! Let's order something.What do you like to eat?

Me:I am not hungry but here is something special for you to eat . I don't think you can understand the depth of my issue .Chemistry? You are a God and I am a human after all.I think I am done for today.This is not going anywhere.Sorry,as usual you can concentrate on your other priorities.

God: :)...No one can understand you more than me my dear.You are my favorite creation.But I don't want to frustrate you anymore.You need rest.Relax ,then bounce back to make your dreams come true.Never ever give up for you've me always by your side .I know you'll never say never.

Me:Deep sigh..Goodbye God!

God:Goodbye,I am glad you spoke your heart out to me because you trust me.I value your time and YOU the most.Remember,everything is gonna be fine if not much better.Keep smiling.I hope you'll consider another date with me again.I will be waiting only a prayer away...

Me:........................

A week later,an evening I was going for a shopping,I got a phone call .It was another totally unexpected interview.There were about 6-7 people to interview me.I was unprepared and very annoyed as well .They not only spoiled my shopping mood but also,I thought I was not gonna get it anyways.I was completely pissed off and it reflected on my tone,on my interview.When I was done,I went for a long shopping spree to forget everything.



Next morning,I got a call,I got a job in Microsoft :),my first job in USA.I was speechless.I was happy beyond words :)).They say,"Dreams do come true" but I never even dared to  dream a job in one of the topnotch IT company of the world,Microsoft .Well,what can I say ,all the pains and the hardships I went through in my job search melted right there.All my doubts about my God was gone with the wind .I rekindled my date with God and realized:


My conversation with God still continued..........



However,did I say,I am preparing for my next date ? Hope this time God won't forget to bring his big diary......Winking Thumbs up



To be continued......







P.S. :This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.

UPDATE:Got my 3rd WOW badge from blogadda :)