30 September 2015

WOW Topic- 'Television Commercial’


 "I'm the idiot box. I'm the TV. I'm the all-seeing eye and the world of the cathode ray. I'm the buob tube. I'm the little shrine the family gathers to adore" – Neil Gaiman, American Gods

I wonder who coined the word "Idiot box" for a TV in the past ,I mean during my childhood days (80s-90s) ,as I certainly don't believe it was then though it is now !

As Neil Gaiman said,"Television was indeed the little shrine the family gathered to adore."  As a matter of fact,it was not an idiot box but everyone's prime source of entertainment box back then.It was considered fortunate to own one .During those days ,there used to be only one channel,DD1-DoorDarshan in India, movies were in black and white and color and had quality less yet meaningful ads. being aired in between .

However, during those days,"Less was more" . Even the TV commercials used to be quite entertaining than annoying .Within a few span of a minute or two,lots of things were said and displayed ; it was simple,touching,innocent,thought provoking,lol'ing,inspiring , part and parcel of everyday lives.A golden memoir of simple life ! Sometimes we sang along,acted along,danced along,teased our friends along,played along ,watched with our family along and stored in our memory along... forever....

Reminds me Atif Aslam's song - "Wo Lamhe, wo baatein, koi na jaane,
Thi kaisi raatein,hooo, barsaatein,
Wo bheegi bheegi yaadein, Wo bheegi bheegi yaadein.........

When Jalebiiiii became the most sought after cutest Indian sweet ,when all you needed was a Liril soap to bath under a waterfall ,when all you needed was a Lux soap to be a celebrity ,when fast food meant 2 minutes Maggi that even kids knew how to cook ,when we didn't need a like button to do a thumps up or to have a gold spot for a cool drink,when chal meri luna and hamara Bajaj were nothing less than a Harley Davidson motorbike,when groom's parent's dowry demand consisted of Pan parag ,when melody used to be a chocolatey,when percy,perk chocolate would make you munch and perky.

 When all you needed was a surf and Lalitha ji's pearls of wisdom to make your clothes and life brighter ,when Nirma washing powder would turn you into a ballerina,when even though you drank Horlicks or Bournvita ,you would like to be a champ like Shahid Kapoor ,yelling "I am a complan boy/I am a complan girl.",when you could have pearly teeth by using a Lal dantmanjan ,when you just needed a rhyme not a reason to confess "I love you Rasna" ,When summer became frooty and cool to the soul like roohhafza,when cadbury's had kuch baat ,khaas way to make you dance like no one is watching,when an antiseptic cream, Vicco Turmeric would also make you fair and lovely.

When even though a kid hates milk,he/she may drink it singing ,"Doodh doodh doodh,peeyo glassful doodh," ,and loved it completely if it was a milky bar,when anyone could have long ,black hair like an actress using Dabur's amla oil,when harr baat hazam ho hi jaathi thi,all they had to do was chew a hajmola candy ,when you wanted to have a rabbit as a pet like "Lijjat paapad's" than a dog or a cat,when you wouldn't mind having a khich khich /throat sore ,if you've a stock of Vicks ki goli at home,when saari clad ladies would groove to "Ice ice baby",when "Onida TV..in fact, any TV was your pride and neighbor's envy.....

Those were the golden part of my childhood days ,when "Simplicity was sophistication."

Now it is like the continuation of the above Atif's song -

Na main jaanu,Na tu jaane,
Kaisa hai ye mausam,Koi na jaane,
Kahi se yeh fizaa aayi,Ghamon ki dhoop sang laayi,
Khafaa hogaye hum,Judaa hogaye hum....

Nowadays,we are flooded with so many TV channels that you lose count .I don't know if kids do watch TV anymore .Forget about kids even I don't feel like watching those serials in Hindi ,Malayalam especially .It's all about those saas-bahu/ammaiamma-marimol/monster-in-law oops mother-in-law-daughter-in-law serials with oodles of makeup (sorry,cosmetic industry), which a mother-in-law does better than her daughter or daughter-in-law and the entire story revolves around conspiracies , controversies,complications and consequently, bad influence on the society or some stupid reality shows...I hate it ! Grrr...Moreover,every member of a family have their own preferred channel and programs to watch ...

It's so hard to stick to one...it's like you can watch a movie+serial+a song+documentary ..all together at a switch of a button....And Advertisements? ...Who watches advertisements anymore ??? It's all skippable !! ..Though they are short,they still make us feel so annoying and impatient that one tortures the remote control in and out even if it wears out ...It's easily available and affordable after all...

I wonder, whether my kids will have any advertisements,serials/soaps,movies worth remembering,reminiscing when they grow up .I wonder, if their memories will be fully occupied by Facebook,twitter,Instagram,YouTube etc etc likewise in making. I wonder, even if we teach them simplicity matters ,will they ever value it .I wonder, if they are not in advertising or marketing and other than any theoretical lessons at school,if they will really know, what advertisement really means..I wonder, will they LOL or ROFL, when they watch ads. from our era or will it make them any sense at all or will they care to watch it ever ..

Now ,as they say,future is a mystery..so let it be...Hope it'll be worth when it reveals itself...Hope it'll prove all my presumptions,assumptions,perceptions about the new ultra modern generation ..wrong!!..Hope there will, still be a balance between simplicity and modernism...Hope the future will be for the best without undermining the good in the past...Hope TV will not prove itself to be the idiot box exactly, as it claims to be...Hope TV commercial will not fade away like a page in history...

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

26 September 2015

Kerala Thirandi curry recipe|Stingray recipe Kerala style|Kerala seafood recipe


Do you have a favorite vitamin that you can vouch for ? I've many, but my favorite is vitamin "SEA"..wink wink,blink blink. Yep,I love sea and I lovvvve seafoods . In that way,I am a pakka mallu/malyalee girl !

Even my dream home would be, a cute home next to a beach, tsunami-proof-ed ,with less bikini clad babes or bare-chested hunks but filled with cute kids enjoying the simple pleasure of life with their parents or couple in love feeling more romantic or people who are so stressed by their life,that the sea would remind them that even it has ups and downs and when it becomes too much ,it can become a tsunami which will be very destructive ,so is life !!..So, take it easy ,relax and enjoy ...


 Just like the sea,I love most of the seafood that the sea has to offer. One of the weirdest ,my extreme seafood love and my all time favorite one is spicy "Thirandi" curry a.k.a "StingRay curry" made by my mother . I love the meat so much because even its bone is edible and curry filled with spices and flavor.I love to enjoy it with hot boiled rice,any Kerala sidedish-thorans/mizhukupuratti and especially with kappa/tapioca ..YUM !

Kappa and thirandi curry....

If you don't know what stingray is,see it's picture here.It belongs to a shark family.Some fun facts from Wiki -

  • The female pregnant stingrays holds the embryos in the womb without a placenta.So,embryos absorb nutrients from a yolk sac, and after the sac is depleted, the mother provides uterine "milk".
  • At the Sea Life London Aquarium, two female stingrays delivered seven baby stingrays, although the mothers have not been near a male for two years. "Rays have been known to store sperm and not give birth until they decide the timing is right".

OMG !Smiley ...Stingray you rock !!

I remember touching them,petting them,actually the stingray babies, in Seaworld in Orlando,Florida .They were so soft,wiggly ..I wish I could hold them forever...

When I can't,I eat them ....grrr....A hardcore seafood lover's plight !

Here I get them all cleaned and cut into small pieces from the Asian store.

This is how I make Kerala style thirandi curry at home  :

Kerala Thirandi curry recipe  

NOTE :This is not a very spicy thirandi curry.If you want to make it spicy,omit thin coconut milk and add just water instead.

Now, whenever I eat a thirandi , I feel like, I , in fact, took a revenge on someone's behalf especially "Steve Irwin's ",the famous daredevil,"the Crocodile hunter". I remember watching his shows in the Discovery channel,fearlessly fighting either with a giant crocodile or a venomous snake etc etc and unfortunately,he was killed by a stingray while filming a show :( . RIP sir !

So, for as long as I will remember you and many, who died of Stingray attacks,I'll eat and savor them as much as I can......How dare they !Smiley

23 September 2015

How to season a meen chatti\mannchatti|How to season a cooking claypot at home|How to take care of claypots

 "Our admiration of the antique is not admiration of the old, but of the natural." - Ralph Waldo Emerson
Have you ever wondered, why our grandparents even in 70s and 80s  (in India) are comparatively healthy,energetic and enthusiastic than us- our generation ?? My granny ,ammamma,is 5 times active than my amma and 10 times active than me !!

Well,as I always say, there is always a good and bad side to everything.Likewise,as technology advanced so did us,our lifestyle,our thoughts,our values ...and even though all developments have improvised our life ,made it easy and smooth comparatively to primitive times ,I believe that it also has a bad impact on our food,health ,our lifestyle too .

During old times,foods were prepared using fresh ingredients in earthen wares .During those times no one cared about losing weight or dieting etc ,all that mattered was eating a hearty meal thrice a day . 

No one feared of the consequence because they all worked hard on their foot,every parts of their body was at work . Early men were busy hunting foods,some were busy making earthen wares as cooking utensils or for hunting or for building a hut etc ; they were physically damn active . When it came to King's rule,king's lavish lifestyles never affected their well being as they were busy practicing different kinds of fighting arts like martial arts,bows-arrows etc that kept them active,strong,healthy and prajas/disciples, were living an ordinary content life accepting all life's challenges related to "Roti,kapada,aur Makaan"/ "Bread,clothes,home". So,were Indian farmers who  are still struggling ,yet carrying out farming practices in conventional ways.

Women would make (time consuming) freshly ground flours , batter , butter etc at home than relying on any ready-made items or on any cooking aids or man made machines- like mixer-grinder,microwaves,dishwasher,washing machine etc for that matter. They broomed , mopped their house,cleaned utensils,washed clothes etc all by themselves .

There were no gyms - treadmills,ellipticals and not required ,to keep one fit .No food substitutes were preferred, everything was used or savored in its natural state ,as it is, filled with fats,sugar,calories.So,there was a time when people worked their butt off to earn their livelihood and live it as simple yet satisfying as possible...Even though their life was not that easy ,they were pretty healthy and less prone to diseases ....

Though ,at times, my laziness, would thank all inventions that made our life easy,when it comes to health ,I am concerned !!!

Recently ,my mother was saying, how one of our neighbor uncle got advanced stage lung cancer and his doctor advised his wife to cook foods only in earthen pots as they were safe and healthier than other cookwares.Since, my mother does all these pongalas for her favorite diety,Durga maa ,she has a collection of claypots/mann chatti at home, neatly decorated as show piece items in her garden .My muslim neighbor aunty came home and asked, if she can have a few claypots for cooking and amma gave her happily ,hoping it would help in uncle's recovery somehow.Unfortunately,it was too late ; we are not yet thaaat advanced to treat cancer 100%..Sigh! So,he passed away last year .May his soul rest in peace ! 

Amma was also saying that all our neighbors and relatives are ditching all other cookwares made of aluminum,steel or coated with glaze ,enamel etc for claypots as those cookwares are chemically treated and are reactive ,meaning while cooking in high heat especially,the chemicals from these materials leach back into our food and when we take that food,it may badly impact our digestive system which then can hamper bodies core functioning. :((

Importance of cooking in a clay pot :
  1. Most of the essential nutrients and vitamins are retained in the foods cooked in the claypot.
  2. Clay is a natural material, alkaline in nature which aids in neutralizing the pH balance of the food by interacting with the acid present in the food. So it is safe ,healthy unlike other cookwares.
  3. Food cooks evenly and becomes intense and flavorful.

Thank God ,in Kerala,we still make fish curries or seafood curries and more, especially in an earthen pot called,"Meen chatti"/"mann chatti".It no doubt,renders one-of-a-kind ; earthy ,simple yet homely flavor to anything cooked in the chatti. Thanks to amma ,she bought me one for sure ,before I left India after marriage.At that time, I was not fully aware of it's importance in many ways.So,the claypot amma gave me was a small one which she kept inside a big one (*idea was mine* wink ) and wrapped well with layers of bubble wraps .By the time,I reached US,my fear came true ; the large one broke but the little one survived.I thought of buying another one in US as a backup someday.I simply admired the simplicity and versatility of this earthen pot !

Little did I know,in US,these non-fancy,simple earthen claypots are like exotic cookwares .Nothing less than any antiques !! They were not easily available and much sought after by Mallus/Malayalees especially.

Recently,to my utter surprise,I found one in an Indian store.I didn't think twice and bought it right away. I made something in it after washing well, but it smelled and tasted like paint,chalk-y.I threw the curry completely. So,tring tring called up my help desk person in Kerala,my mother and asked the reason and she said that before using the chatti,the claypot,I must season or cure it properly ,which not only ensures tasty ,healthy food but also, it will strengthen the pots and make it more durable . (The one she gave me was seasoned by her already but I had no clue and she forgot to tell me that. :| )

So,this is how my mom ,grandma ,they season or cure a claypot or meen chatti at home. There are 2 methods and the first one is the most preferred one . A claypot can be considered fully seasoned after many uses,that is why these methods are done for a few days....

I also found these methods that I think I may try in future according to the situation ,as required :

  1. According to bramcookware.com,soak the claypot in water for 2 hrs,then dry,rub all over the claypot with a glove of cut garlic and coat any unglazed surface especially the bottom with olive oil.Then fill the pot with 3/4 full of water and place it on a gentle flame with a heat diffuser .Let it simmer for 2 hours,making sure it doesn't boil dry.After that claypot is seasoned and ready to use. 
  2. According to Wikipedia to cure a claypot,make a broth of rice or wheat flour ,water and cooking oil and bring to a full boil.
  3. According to ehow.com to season a claypot,soak the claypot in water for 2 hours.Blot dry,wipe the unglazed surfaces with olive oil.Fill 3/4th of it with water,cover it with its lid .Place it in the center rack of the "cold" oven and turn the heat to 225 degree (no preheating at all)..Allow it to bake for 2-3 hours .Turn off the heat and let it cool off in the oven itself.

There are actually two types of claypots - Glazed clay pots and unglazed claypots. For cooking purpose,unglazed pots should be food safe and lead or chemical free and if glazed, it should be only at the bottom, which makes it easier to clean and prevent cracking .

To obtain the best results of cooking in a claypot ,it mainly depends upon their use and how you  maintain these claypots at home. So,here are the points to remember to take care of the claypots or meen chattis at home.

DOs and DON'Ts to remember :
  • The first time when you use the clay pot, soak the clay pot overnight in the sink with very lukewarm water plus 1/4th cup of baking soda added to it. Then next day,wash in warm water, using a brush or a non-metallic scrubbing pad. Same method can be used especially after cooking fish or foods with strong flavors.
  • Never use any abrasive cleansers or scrubbers to clean your clay pot. It will decrease the effect of the seasoning/curing .So,if the food begins to stick to your clay pot, season it again. If you use your clay pot frequently, maintain it, by curing it once or twice a year. 
  • The clay pot and lid (if any) must be soaked in water for at least 20 minutes before using. 
  • After using,wait for the clay pot to cool off completely and then wash it in warm water with a drop of dish washing liquid and rinse well twice or thrice ,as clay pots can absorb the chemicals from the dish washing liquid and leach back to food while cooking. 
  • Never put the clay pot in the dishwasher. Sudden change in temperature may crack the pot eventually and the excessive dishwashing liquid used ,will clog the pores of the clay pot. 
  • Never put a clay pot in a preheated oven as it will crack from the shock of the heat from the oven. 
  • Do not place a hot clay pot on a cold or cool surface , it will crack. 
  • On stove,increase the heat gradually (within a window of 5 minutes) and only go up to medium heat. 
  • High heat or any drastic change in temperature can cause cracking or breaking.

So,cooking claypots or meen chattis are not that simple as they look.It needs to be pampered,loved ,cared and then for sure,it'll show its love forever .

And I'll also remind myself every now and then as Daphne Oz said ,"Everyone has their own definition of a healthy lifestyle, and mine has come to mean making health a priority but not an obsession. "

My friends often ask me where can they purchase meen chatti or cooking claypots from ,so ,likewise,if anyone wants to purchase as well ,please check in Indian stores especially Kerala stores in your area, otherwise they are also available online here :
 1.Clay Curry Pot - Large - 9 Inch
 2.Clay Curry Pot - Medium - 8 Inch

Eat,love,live DELICIOUSLY,

21 September 2015

WOW Topic- A simple hello could lead to a million things..

 “Oye pimply”,”Oye clearsil ki ad”,shouted, a chorus of boys ,from the second floor of a posh three-storey school,the Daisy international school.
It was not unusual for Seema .She was used to the constant bullying by boys from her class,class 10 B .Just like any other day ,she pretended she didn't hear them and she walked into her class, heads down and sat at the corner of the backseat of her classroom.
When every kids were looking forward to the lunch time or game period ,she was looking forward to a new hiding place other than the library ,where she could just disappear .
She had only one friend ,Rosy ,who was very pretty and famous ,but not studious like Seema.Seema was not the top most scorer of her class but certainly among girls . That was one of the reason Rosy befriended her as Seema helped her to complete her homeworks and Seema was glad ,she had at least someone with whom she could spend some time ,for that matter.
Seema's parents, Radika kataria and Hemant Kataria were quite famous lawyers of the city ,who were pretty busy with their professional lives .They spent weekdays at work more and weekends on spa,parties and meetings with VIPs' . Seema often felt left out ,alone as she was the only child of her parents and sometimes she felt she was a mistake ,a burden on their parents ,who would have been very happy if she was not there in their life .
Seema was convinced when her mother and her father didn't think twice before aborting their second child-to-be . Seema was so longing for a sibling ,a companion for life but she was hurt again,deeply hurt as this was only what she wanted ,when her parents asked ,what she would love to have as a gift for her 15th birthday.Instead, her parents gave her a diamond necklace with a letter S inscribed on it. For Seema,diamonds,gold, pearl ,anything that money could buy , never enticed her . She just wanted to love and be loved !
Though she was pretty and could pamper herself to look more beautiful ,she was careless ,for that matter .Neither anyone had time to look after her nor she cared to do so herself.That was one of the topic of argument with her parents most of the time.
Apparently,her appearance gave people a wrong impression that she belonged to a poor family. It was the matter of status in the well-off society after all ! Also the main reason she was often bullied at school ,her face ,full of signs of her raging hormones activating into puberty ; the pimples and scars . She was so used to getting hurt,that she cared less .
One day,Rosy introduced Seema to Jay of class 10 A, who was one of the most handsome guy and an all rounder in school.Just like any other girl ,Rosy had a big crush on him and she was trying her best to woo him and make him fall in love with her.Like any other boy at school,Jay didn't have crush on her or in love with her but then he simply admired her to be a beauty with brain.
Seema didn't even look properly at Jay ,said hi and bye and went back to the library room.
Jay was surprised and asked Rosy,”Well,is that your friend...she looks so...”
Rosy completes the sentence ,”Weird ?” “She is actually a butt of jokes in our class “ .
Jay intervenes ,”But why and how did she become your friend then?
Rosy takes a deep sigh and replies,” All those pimples and you know what she doesn't even own a cell phone yet and her parents are like the top lawyers of the town . I am the only friend she has .I feel sympathy for the poor thing at times, because she would happily give her homework notebook to anyone who would ask for ,to simply copy, and sometimes,she even completes mine in my notebook itself.” 
"She is very studious by the way ,but then she is so weird that she is intentionally not studying well as her parents told her that if she scores the highest mark in the school in the finals, she will be sent to abroad for higher studies.Guess what,she wants to be an ordinary teacher at the near by slum area ,she says.How cheap and gross is that !!
Jay responds,”What ? That sounds unfair to me.Give her some space.You all should support her."
"The way nobody likes her,she also doesn't like or believe anybody other than ,yours truly,ME . Ok ,gotta go...my class is gonna start soon .Bye handsome . Laters!," waved Rosy with a wink.
Bye Rose,smirks Jay with a blink.
The other day,Seema didn't go to the school as she had stomach cramp and so stayed back at home . 
To her surprise,Rosy came in the evening to check on her .
You've to help me Seema,please ,“said Rosy.
Seema asked bluntly ,”Trignometry or Permutaion combination  or calculus ?"
Rosy replied ,”Calculus.”
Tomorrow at lunch time,I'll do it for sure.Not today,my head is gonna explode ,Rose,” whined Seema.
"No,Seema,please do it now. You know,what today I've invited Jay to my home ,kind of date ." emphasized Rosy.
Seema said,”Jay? Who is that ?
Rosy got irritated,replied,”You never pay attention girl,the hunk from class 10 A,I introduced you the other day ,now remember ?”
Ummm..kinda...ohh okk that guy ,the all rounder ! All the best for your date then? But what does it have to do with me ?”,asked Seema in a confused tone.
"One day while talking to him,he was telling me how he was having a tough time solving an equation in Maths. I remembered it was the same one that I copied from your homework notebook. So,I showed him and he was quite impressed .Actually,thanks to you,because of your solution,he started showing interests in me more than his best friend Celine and Celine is so heads over heels on him .So,I want to be the one who should win his heart eventually. I can do anything for him Seema.So,please help..do it for me !," said Rose.
Alright,show me”,said Seema.
Within an hour ,Seema solved the problem while Rosy was busy playing with her lips ,trying red ,purple ,plum lipstick to select the apt one for the evening.
Here it is Rose.” ,said Seema.
Oh wow..thanks girl !...gotta go fast...see you tomorrow at school..can't wait to tell you tomorrow what happened tonight....bye See.. .”
Bye Rose.Enjoy !!.
Rose heads to her home.She rushes to her beautiful pink colored room She opens her blinky wardrobe and picks her new short flirty black dress with halter neck for the evening. While she was busy applying make up,she heard someone knocking at the door,bell rang .Her maid,Jenny opens the door .It was Jay,looking dapper, standing there with a bouquet of yellow roses and pink lilies.
Rosy baby,someone is here to see you.”,said Jenny ,in a high pitch.
Ask him to sit down,I'll be there soon.” ,replied Rosy.
Jay sat down on the beautiful soft sofa. As he was admiring every detail of the posh bungalow,the antique clock's pendulum strikes to 7 pm.
Rosy was still not done with her make up.She changed her lips to red color and asked Jenny to call Jay to her room.
When Jay came to her room .He found Rosy ,with a book and pen , as if she was busy doing something.
Jay asked in a confused tone,” Hey Rose,How are you ...what are you doing ?
Rosy replied ,”Hey handsome...aa..I totally forgot about the maths homework. This calculus problem really got me ..am sorry Jay for being late...but...you know what ..It was a tough cookie,I solved it...hope you'll understand”
Jay smilingly said,”Oh no problem ,let me see. Wow,that is indeed one tough one even I was trying to solve yesterday but I couldn't.Good job!!"
Now that I am done,let's go out then..mm..how do I look Jay ?.
Jay with a smile replied ,” As always ,simply awesome !!”.
Jay,where do you wanna go ?
Jay replied with a grin,” Ben and Jerry's “ .
"Are you kidding me ? How about Lush cafe -it is so posh and you'll love it," said Rosy .
Ok,sure ,thy order is my command ma'am,” said Jay teasingly.
They reached lush cafe and indeed it was quite cozy yet posh.It was filled with kids and teens like them.
They order, Cold espresso ,donuts and  pepperoni pizza and then sat on the chairs next to the window.

Rosy couldn't help herself staring into Jay's eyes.
Even Jay was smitten.
They dine happily,flirting with each other ....
A musical band was playing at the background ..
Rosy asks Jay to dance with her.
Jay simply obliges. He places his hand on her waist and they dance to the tune the band was playing,staring at each others eyes.
Rosy tries to kiss him but Jay steps back.
"Next time Rose ..sorry...well,it's getting late,I think we should go ," said Jay teasingly.
"Too soon Jay," whined Rosy.
I've exams next week ,so I've to prepare .I think it's too late for you too.”,said Jay
I've an idea -how about, let's go over to your place ,I've a math problem ,if you can help me to solve it.I think you love maths.
Rosy was shocked and little frightened as if her little secret was gonna come out soon in front of Jay.
Rosy replies,”Jay,I am sleepy.I'll go home.Will do it laters”
Ok Rose.No problem.Let's go then.
Jay drops Rosy at her home.Rosy again tries to kiss but …
Jay with a big grin replies,”Not yet . By the way did you like my bike - the Harley Davidson ?"
Rosy replies with a dissatisfied tone,”It is ok but I prefer your Range Rover.
Jay smiles back and waves her goodbye ,starts his bike and was gone.
Rosy was like partially satisfied with her date with Jay ,but she was confident ,she could make him fall for her for sure .
Next day at class ,Rosy runs fast to hug Seema.
Seema asks,”So how did the date go ?
Rosy shamelessly lies,”He kissed me .I am sure he is in love with me .
Hey, that's great.Good to know Rose.
Rosy's iPhone starts ringing.
“OMG,it's Jay”,Rosey jumps with joy.
But suddenly all her smile was disappearing little by little.
Seema wondered why.
Hey See,you've to come with me to meet Jay now.
Why,what happened Rose.
"Jay wants to see me now.He wants to discuss and solve a maths problem,"replied Rosy with a frown.
Rosy just drags Seema with her.
Hey Rose ,so happy to see you ,"said Jay excitedly.
Rosy was smiling from outside and frowning from inside.
Jay,whats up? “,said Rosy.
Just a maths problem ,it is giving me such a hard time.I thought I'll spend some time with you and if you wish, you can help me to solve it too,”replies Jay.
Seema felt uncomfortable.She was thinking ,what the hell she was suppose to do here..between them.So she hid herself partially behind Rosy.
Umm..J...why don't you give that problem to me..I'll solve it in my class..we've to go quick ,our class is gonna start soon”,said Rosy in a hurried tone.
Alright,may be we'll catch up later then.”,says Jay.
Rosy and Seema heads back to their classroom with Jay's notebook.
After a few minutes.,Jay thought of checking upon Rose just like that. He was surprised, he saw her goofing around with boys and her other girl friends from her class.
Then he saw her going back to the class.He followed her.
At the door,he overheard Rosy asking Seema,”Hey Seema,are you done with the problem,do it fast,the quicker you complete,the quicker I can give it to Jay and quicker he will be madly in love with me . I'll be back soon ok.”
Jay hides outside,behind the corner of her classroom.
Rosy heads back to her gang .
Jay enters into their classroom and watches Seema hurrying to solve the problem.
Jay was confused and he then heard Rosy's voice ,so he rushed out and went fast back to his class.
Jay gets a call.It was Rosy.
After 5 minutes,Rosy comes to Jay's classroom and says ,”J..here is the maths problem..solved !
Wow that's really really impressive,how do you do all these,huh ?”,asked Jay mockingly.
Oh Jay,I am crazy about Maths.I didn't even eat my lunch today.I was solving this maths problem just for you”,said Rosy playfully.
Ahh..I see..I am so impressed Rose ...tell me this,CosΘ/sinΘ = ??
Rosy got confused and stammered,” Whaat.. I don't know..I mean...I am tired ..and hungry..will see you after class ..bye.”
Rosy ran for her life.
Jay was convinced that, all these time, Rosy was just lying to him,pretending to be someone else ; to get his attention ,to impress him .
After class , Jay was walking downstairs when he saw a few boys mocking at a girl .That day even girls joined them and teased her .
It was Seema!This time Seema couldn't help herself but cry.
Jay rushes to her and gives her his handkerchief. He asks all boys and girls to step back and stop it and warns them not to repeat ever.
Since girls were also there,it was a matter of pride for the other boys of their class.So,the head boy warns Jay back and asks him to mind his own business ..in his class...
The other one steps up and hits Jay .
Jay also hits back .
Seema didn't know what to do.She went running to the restroom to check if Rosy was there ..doing make up as everyday..
Seema said everything to Rosy in tears and Rosy went back running to stop the fight.
She stopped the fight somehow but she yelled at Seema,”Look at Jay,he is bleeding you fool..all because of you...loser...just get the hell out of here, you ugly .”
Seema was deeply hurt.She just left sobbing.
Jay also went after Seema.”Seema,stop please .“
Seema just ran towards her bus ,wiping her tears.
Next day , while Seema was walking towards her class,she saw Jay with a huge bandage on his head and bruises here and there.She couldn't stop herself out of guilt and rushed towards him.
Jay,..I'm Seema...I am really sorry for whatever happened yesterday”,said Seema in a mellow tone.
Jay turns back.
Hey Seema,how are you...mm..ohh don't be.”,replied Jay with a smile.
Ok.Bye Jay.
Wait Seema ..I wanna talk to you ..seriously,please. ”
Seema for the first time ,looks up to his face ,into his eyes as if it was literally ,her first hello to him in true sense.
Even Jay was also staring at Seema as if he was also saying ,hello for the first time …
You've lovely eyes...and heart ..trust me ,” whispered Jay.
Seema stood their silently as if it was a dream.She always trusted her instincts .Her heart started pounding.She felt a spark she never experienced before ...
Rosy saw them standing together.So did Celine.Both rushed together towards them ,one from the right side ,the other from the left.
Jay ,what are you doing with this pimply,ugly ..weird girl,” asked Rosy angrily ,looking at Seema..
Jay simply and lovingly without losing his gaze ,kisses on Seema's forehead...
Rosy and Celine felt helpless and stood there flabbergasted..
And Seema..she knew ...this hello was going to change her life forever....for better ….
Reference : My imagination ! So it is a pure fiction..duh..If I am not there ,it ought to be....;)

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

20 September 2015

Netholi Meen Pattichathu/ Meen Peera/ Meen Thoran/Kerala Anchovy recipe


 "Best things come in small packages!"

True that !..When it comes to seafood,Anchovies/Netholi/Kozhuva hits a Home run !

Apart from the forever cleaning and cutting this little one,by look and by taste ,they are really cute and best ..for me at least...as if they want to teach me like my life ,"Patience is a great virtue !" ....


 Did you know that ? (Credit:mnn.com)
  • Anchovies provides as many grams of Omega-3s as a salmon fish and twice of Halibut fish .
  • Anchovies are low in mercury or any other toxins .So,safe during pregnancy as well.
 One of my favorite anchovy/netholi recipe is a very famous traditional Kerala fish recipe,meen peera patichathu , fish covered in a coarse coconut mixture with a little tanginess of Gambodge/Kudampulli added to it .It can be a dry fish side dish or a main course food item .It goes awesome with simple boiled rice not Basmati though and that's exactly the way I enjoy every bit of it .However,you can enjoy it with roti/chapathi,dosa,appam etc ,any way your taste bud will be pleased .


 There are different  ways to prepare a meen peera patichathu/Meen thoran .This is one of the way, I make meen peera pattichathu at home ; though,shallots /kunjullis are used for this recipe in Kerala,I've intentionally used the regular onion just to show,you can make a tasty meen patichathu even if you don't have shallots at home as they are not always available abroad.But yes,shallots gives the authentic taste to this recipe for sure.So,if you have it,use it instead :) ,otherwise make it like this way :-


Netholi meen peera /Meen patichathu/Meen thoran


Anchovies/Netholi/Nethili/Kozhuva /chudaa- 500 gm
Coconut,grated - 1 1/2 cup - 2 cups
Gambodge/Kudampuli- 3-4 nos
Shallots/kunj ulli - 3-4 nos
Ginger - 1" piece
Garlic,big cloves - 2-3 nos
Green chilies,large - 2-4 nos
Turmeric powder - 1 teaspoon
Water - 1 cup
A few curry leaves
Coconut oil - 1-2 tablespoons 
Mustard seeds 
Salt to taste

Method & tips:
 Please watch this quick video that will show you how to :
Note:You can use any small fish instead of Anchovies.If the green chilies are not that fierce,you may have to add more to make it spicy.This recipe is not that spicy at all.

Pattichey pattichey...
Alla meen pattichannu paranjada keto :P...:)....never mind-ey....

Eat,love,live DELICIOUSLY,

P.S.You may also like- Learn fish names, How to clean and cut Anchoy/netholi meen  , How to remove the fish odor,  

19 September 2015

How to remove the fish odor at home

I,fish and my home - A despicable smelly tale  !

I love Sea foods but I hate it, when I smell like one !! That's the downside of buying a sea food item,cleaning the sea food item and eating the sea food item . I feel, as if the soul of that sea food just possessed my body and my home .And everyone ,even my neighbors get a hint that there is something fishy about it and that my kitchen is haunted ! That smell,that stink, travels faster than anything on this Earth. Law of smell .....Smiley

If you clean and cut fish at home then can't even explain,it just makes you and everything that fish touches, despicable you .Sometimes I wonder if my home has turned into an aquarium .

However,like every problem has a solution to it.There are ways and methods to solve the problem of fish odor at home as well:

To nip the evil in the bud ; to make the fish less smelly in the first place : (Credit:downthecove.com)
  1.  Soak the fish in the milk for 20 minutes approx ,if the fish is like a day or two old and the flesh is firm.
  2. Or,soak it in little vinegar mixed with water.
 Or, if it's too late,fikar not/worry not, following are the tips and tricks to remove the fish odor from hand/sink/kitchen/home:

Watch this video that will show you four easy methods I personally use, to remove the fish odor at home :

Other tips to remove fish smell/fish odor are :
  1. Heard a lot about this one but never tried but would like to, by simply rubbing the hands on the stainless-steel under running water the fish odor can be removed from hands or by using a stainless-steel spoon, or anything else stainless-steel and hold it under running water in the sink, while rubbing your hands with that stainless steel thing.  
  2. Cold water plus any minty flavored toothpaste or any toothpaste can remove the odor. 
  3. Heat a pan and simmer little water with a couple of cloves in it for 30 minutes. 
  4. While cooking fish ,burn a scented candle or an incense stick.  
  5. If the fishy water spills on a carpet or floor,put some newspaper sheet on it.It will absorb it . 
  6. Cut a lemon in half and boil in a little water for 10 minutes. 
  7. Keep a bowl of white vinegar in kitchen overnight
  8. Put a small amount of vanilla extract to a paper towel and wipe the surfaces especially in refrigerators or use any disinfectant wipes or sanitizer to diffuse the smell.
 Reference : downthecove.com.

Reminds me, Phoebe Buffay's song in one of the episode of F.R.I.E.N.D.S...

Only difference,it was a smelly cat there and smelly fish here....

Smelly Fish, Smelly fish,
It's not your fault

You may not be a bed of roses
You're not friend to those with noses
I'll miss you before we're done
Or the world will smell as one...................


18 September 2015

How to clean and cut Anchovies fish/netholi meen at home


 Fish market did give me "Zor ka jhatka dheere se ",you know,shock without any shock treatment ;P...but like everything in life and like I believe,there is always a good side to every thing .Though fishes possessed a supernatural power to confuse me even though they were dead and the fish seller were like ,"No,you don't get any vegetables here,buy or leave ."

When I did dared or cared to buy any fish,there was one thing that impressed me a lot ...the fish seller would cut the fish, the way I liked !! ..Half work done I say !! So , all I had to do was just choose any,take home,quick clean, and cook the way I wish.Sounds good right ?? But no..not exactly ! You see,there is sometimes a bad side to everything too; The fish monger would only cut "Big" fishes not the small ones.Smiley


And when the fish are very shhmaal,they may look very cute and innocent (look at the above ones,awww) BUT don't be fooled by their looks ; to cut and clean those fishes,it is indeed an herculean task.Smiley

And if you love the fish and it's rarely available fresh ,then you may do what I did..Yepp,I love Anchovies/netholi meen/Kozhuva meen/smelt a lot which are abundantly available in Kerala ,is unfortunately, rarely available  here in US just like North India . However,I could find the frozen version of it in Indian stores here ,which though didn't tasted that fresh, was nicely clean and cut,ready-to-cook .


So,recently,I had a pleasant surprise at the fish market ,they had this Netholi/Nethili fresh but uncut .I bought them happily...

Since ,amma darling gave me a crash course, before my marriage,to how to clean and cut the fish ,which I said "Eww" then became "Thanks mom !" now...It is time consuming but worth it !

This is how I clean small fish at home/clean and cut anchovy/netholi at home :

Want to know how much patience you've in store ? Cut and clean the Anchovies !

Like one of my blog reader's request to suggest a good cutting scissor - here is one my friend recommended me- 
Coolife Kitchen Shears, Multifunction Stainless Steel Kitchen Scissors with Soft Rubber Grips, Comes with a Magnetic Sheath (Green)

Eat,love,live DELICIOUSLY,

P.S. Improve your G.K. : Learn the fish names in different or in your language well.!

17 September 2015

Something FISH-y about it !

Scenario 1 - When I and hubby go to the fish market !

Scenario 2 :
Time:IST:12:30 am
USA-EST:2 pm

Tring tring..

Mom -Hello molu/dear
Me: Hello amma
Mom:Enda moley ee nerathu..sukhamaano/why did you call at this time? Are you alright ?
Me:Amma,aa unda kannolla meende peru enda/amma,what's the name of that fish with big round eyes?
Mom: Othiri meen ondallo moley/There are a lot of fish honey : Unimary ,vatta ,vaala ?
Me : ummm...aaa..amma aa thadiyan meen ille athu/Amma that big fat one.loooong..Tilapia enna Englishil/In English,its called Tilapia..
Mom: Nee silopia aano udechichatu/You mean silopia fish we get in Kerala?...
Me..(Totally confused...)...amma njan pinne vilikyaamatto,orangiko /amma will call you later ok..too late go to bed ok Smiley

Call disconnected and the conversation ends ..in vain .

Well,these scenarios happened several times during those initial days of married life , just like everything else in cooking/eating ,but a tad more ; fishes here, really tested my general knowledge ,made my brain go upside down,brain cells shrink .Well,this mere fish ,totally confused me not only by its name but also by its shape,size and form.Some fish looked familiar but it's name, forget about English ,I wasn't even sure with its Malayalam name. The one I knew the Malayalam name,I wasn't sure if its the right fish I am looking for. In short ,in English, the only name of fish I remembered were "Pomfret" and Nemo , and in Malayalam:-Avoli,netholi/chuda,neimeen,mathi,ayila,shraav,thirandi specifically ..

Needless to say,it was really challenging to resist my love for seafood,drag my hubby to the fish market , stare at those fishes and then at the fish monger and finally to buy the right fish or any, for that matter.SmileyEven though I knew Pomfret,I once bought Milk fish, thinking they are same .After cooking,I was like,"Did I make the curry right or did I buy the wrong fish?". It was the epic of confusion level I could handle ever...only I know how I finished that milky fish somehow...lesson learned hard way!

I realized..enough is enough...It's neither fair to test their patience or torture their ; hubby's GK ,Fish monger's GK,mom and dad's GK let alone mine.Of course,Google was and is my go to guide . I still get confused and I am still learning.So,finally decided to compose a list of fish and other seafoods that my mother cooks at home and I am used to the taste of it ,so that now onwards ,any visit to a fish market will be less scary and total paisa vasool ....

Here are the seafood-s used mostly at my home.I've compiled the fish names in English to Malayalam,Tamil,Telugu,Kannada,Hindi,Arabic with their pictures, after researching the web in and out ,so that it'll be helpful to others as well .If there is any mistake or if anyone wants to add other fish names I missed to the list,please free to comment below.

Image : Freshfish.com

ENGLISH-Pearl Spot/ Green Chromide||MALAYALAM-Karimeen||TAMIL-Pattai, Palincha, Setha Kendai||TELUGU-Cashimera


ENGLISH- Sardine||MALAYALAM-Mathi/Chaala||TAMIL-Mathi Meen, Kavalai, Vellai Suda, Neethu Kavalai||TELUGU-Kavalu, Noona Kavallu||KANNADA-Mathi, Bootayi||HINDI-Pedvey, Padwa, Washi||ARABIC-Ooma, Alfa, Aida

ENGLISH-Mackerel||MALAYALAM-Aiyla||TAMIL-Kanangeluthi, Kaanakaathai||TELUGU-Kannangadatha||KANNADA-Bangude||HINDI-Bangda

ENGLISH-Pomfret||MALAYALAM-Avoli||TAMIL-Vavval||TELUGU-Nalla Chanduva, Tella Chanduva||KANNADA-Manji||HINDI-Paplet

Image :Mensjournal.com


ENGLISH-Salmon||MALAYALAM-Kaala/Kora||TAMIL-Kaala, Thira Vaala||TELUGU-Maga, Budatha Maga||KANNADA-Surmai ||HINDI-Rawas||ARABIC-Andag

ENGLISH-Catfish ||MALAYALAM-Kaari/Mushi/Etta  ||TAMIL-Soorai||Kelluthi, Mandai, Kaleru, Irung Keletee, Kellettee, Keliru||TELUGU-Jelalu, Walaga, Tedi  Jella||KANNADA-Thede, Walshingala, Walshingti||HINDI-Teesrya, Shimplya, Nal Shingala||ARABIC-Chim Khen, Kumal


ENGLISH-Anchovy||MALAYALAM-Netholi/velloori/Kozhuva / Chooda / Podi meen ||TAMIL-Nethili, Thogaimeen, Nethail||TELUGU-Nethallu, Pooroava, Kelba, Poravallu||KANNADA-Bolingei Kollathuru||HINDI-Kati||ARABIC-Phyasa


ENGLISH-Malabar Anchovy||MALAYALAM-Manangu ||TAMIL-Poruva, Poorava        ||KANNADA-Tharave, Larrae Manangu


ENGLISH-King Fish/Seer fish||MALAYALAM- Naimeen / Aiykoora / Nan meen||TAMIL-Vanjaram, Neimeen, Nettaiyan Cheela||TELUGU-Vanjaram, Konema||HINDI-Surmai, Visonu, Tuvar Anjari||ARABIC-Kanad, Chanaad Khubat, Derak



ENGLISH-Threadfin Bream/Pink Perch ||MALAYALAM-Kili Meen||TAMIL-Navara, Rani Meenu, Sennagarai, Thullu Kendai, Kandal Meen||TELUGU-Chalaneera Kanti||KANNADA-Mudumagalu, Madmal, Madumagala||HINDI-Rani||ARABIC-Hemamah, Hamarah, Bassi


ENGLISH-Tilapia||MALAYALAM-Tilopia/Silopia||TAMIL-Kari, Neyyi, Jilapi, Jilehi


ENGLISH-Milk Fish ||MALAYALAM-PooMeen||TAMIL-Paal Meen, Paal Kendai||TELUGU-Pala Bontha||KANNADA-Hoovu Menu, Hoomeenu


  ENGLISH-Hilsa Fish||MALAYALAM-Paluva||TAMIL-Ullam, Oolum, Vengannai, Seva    ||TELUGU-Killalu||KANNADA-Mallas Hilsa||HINDI-Pala


ENGLISH-Catla/Bengal Carp||MALAYALAM-Karakatla, Katla, Karaka||TAMIL-Katla, Kendai, Thoppu Meen, Kanavi, Theppu Meen||TELUGU-Botchee, Botcha||ARABIC-Boassa, Chepti, Bhakur, Katla, Tambra

ENGLISH-Reba/Rohu/Carpo Fish||MALAYALAM-Rohu||TAMIL-Kannadi Kendai, Rohu   ||TELUGUBocha Gnadu Meen||HINDI-Tambada Massa


ENGLISH-Shark||MALAYALAM- Sraavu / Choraku||TAMIL-Sura Meen, Sorrah||TELUGU-Soraputtu, Sorrah||KANNADA-Thatte||HINDI-Shivda, Pari, Puram||ARABIC-Jargoor, Gursh,lakham, Walad


ENGLISH-Mullet, Red Mullet||MALAYALAM-Thirutta Maalan, Kanambu, Thirutha (grey Mullet)||TAMIL-Saala, Madavai Kendai||TELUGU-Bontha Parigi, Koniga, Kathi Parigo



ENGLISH-Red Snapper||MALAYALAM-Pahari, Chemballi, Murumeen||TAMIL-Sankara Meen, Paruthi Vela Meen||TELUGU-Korameenu, Thundava, Rangu||ARABIC-Tambusa


ENGLISH-Finned Bulleye||MALAYALAM-Chenvara, Unnimary||TAMIL-Cheena Vaarai, Kakkasi ||TELUGU-Disco Meenu||KANNADA-Disco Menu


ENGLISH-Cod||MALAYALAM-Mullan, Chemmun, Sarghan, Panna Mahi||TAMIL-Panna, Kalava


ENGLISH-Grouper,/Reef Cod||MALAYALAM-Kalava, Murumeen||TAMIL-Kalavan, Panni Meen, Komeri, Kelavan||TELUGU-Muri Meenu||KANNADA-Guri, Gopra, Muri Meenu


ENGLISH-Mahi-Mahi ||MALAYALAM- Affunose

ENGLISH-Snake Head||MALAYALAM-Korava/ Varaal    



ENGLISH-Wallago / Knife Fish||MALAYALAM-Vaala




ENGLISH-Sword Fish||MALAYALAM- Kadal Kuthira   

ENGLISH-Bluefin Trevally||MALAYALAM-Vatta||TAMIL-Paarai||TELUGU-Kurugu Paarah||HINDI-Shitap

ENGLISH-False Trevally ||MALAYALAM-Parava||TAMIL-Neer Suthumbu, Kuthuppu||TELUGU-Sadumi


ENGLISH-Eel||MALAYALAM-Paambu Meen, Mlanjil, Manangil||TAMIL-Vilangu, Seram Paambu||TELUGU-Maluguchepa||KANNADA-Kencholi, Hari Meenu||HINDI-Vam, Bale, Ahir


ENGLISH-Stingray||MALAYALAM-Thirandi||TAMIL-Thirukkai||TELUGU-Teki, Belugiri, Tenku


ENGLISH-Lobster||MALAYALAM-Konjan||TAMIL-Singai Raal, Kal Eral||TELUGU-Konju   ||KANNADA-Konju||HINDI-Shevand

ENGLISH-Mussels||MALAYALAM-Kadukka, Kakka, Kadal Kai||TAMIL-Aazhi, Matti, Chippi, Kallikai


ENGLISH-Prawn||MALAYALAM-Chemmeen||TAMIL-Eraa||HINDI-Jhinga, Chingri, Sungat




ENGLISH-Squid||MALAYALAM-Kanawa||TAMIL-Oosi Kanawa, Kanavai||HINDI-Mankyo, Samudra-pheni, Calamari


ENGLISH-Clams||MALAYALAM-Kakka||TAMIL-Chippi, Kilingal, Vaazhi, Vazhukkumatti


ENGLISH-Crab||MALAYALAM-Nandu, Njandu||TAMIL-Nandu||TELUGU-Peetha, Pitha        ||HINDI-Kekda, Kurlya

Reference : iluenglish.com and wikipedia

Now,I know for sure, "What's in a name?" ....