Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A simple yet invigorating green peas curry...

I love this green peas curry, it reminds me of my grand mom's place in Mahim, Bombay. I remember eating it with kadak pav (this really hard crusty bread, that wonderfully soaks up a curry and you have to chew on it slowly to savour every molecule... ). I don't know why but my mom rarely made it at home while we were growing up, so it always remained a Bombay delicacy until I grew up and learnt how to make it and now I make it quite often. And it really is a time saver, you don't have to chop any onions or tomatoes... this dish is just gloriously easy and to borrow a phrase from KFC its finger licking good!

First soak your green peas for at least 6 to 8 hours in water. I am assuming you know which peas I am talking about here, those hard ones you get in department stores (not the frozen or the fresh ones). Then pressure cook (don't use the same water you soaked the peas in, add clean water) it for 5 to 6 whistle spans. And you'll get something like this... 

Here they are, the peas all cooked with their little delicate white skins floating on top...

Crush a few cloves of garlic now...

Heat a pan, add a little oil and drop in few cumin (jeera) seeds and the crushed garlic. Give it a slight mix...

 Then add some chillie powder and coriander powder.

Add the entire contents of the pressure cooker (the peas along with the water) and mix it up well. Add enough quantity of salt and with the spoon mash a few peas to the base of the vessel. Do this a few times, this will cause the curry to thicken and gain its desired consistency. Cover it with a lid and let it simmer for a few minutes till you get that Bombay smell (that's how it is for me). You guys can simmer it for 5 minutes or so.

Voila! That's it... you get some delicious warm curry and it tastes good with chapathi, dosa or plain bread (that's what I have to make do with, since Kadak pav isn't available where I live). This really is a little treasure of a dish, its easy to make when you know you are gonna be busy the whole day and you just want to cut down an all your chores. Just remember to soak it beforehand and half the job is done. So there, hope you try this out...
Thanks Grandma, and a big hug to all my cousins in Bombay :o)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

A Psalm

A Psalm to hang above my door... made this using fabric paint and a piece of discarded cardboard. I've always liked this Psalm and I was wondering how to incorporate it into the room somewhere...
So, is it legible enough...

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Yercaud; all this place needs is a Mr.Darcy and an Edward Rochester to be perfect...

A few pictures from my trip to Yercaud, its such a charming little place... you can almost expect to see Jane Austen characters walking about, its that lush and beautiful and sparsely populated. The word Yercaud comes from two tamil words 'Yeri' & 'Kadu' which mean lake and forest and that precisely sums up this hill station. There's a pretty lake and the rest is basically forest with a few coffee/orange estates thrown here and there.
A little stream on the way...
The rocky terrain...
 A quaint little bench under the roots of a tree...
The view from my room.... 
A sleepy little hamlet...
Everywhere you look, you see sights like this....
Pretty flowers swaying on a breeze...
Don't they look delightful...
There were monkeys all over the place, caught this fellow staring into the room... 
A little bridge connecting two rocky ridges...
The swimming pool at the resort, check out those bar stools... pretty neat right, sipping and soaking and taking in mother nature in all her pristine beauty. 
At the Don Bosco Retreat Center, run by the Salesians priests...
The really beautiful church at the Don Bosco Retreat Center...
Inside the church... (the picture doesn't do enough justice), this was one of the best chapels I've been to...
The Sacred Heart Church, where we attended Sunday Mass...
Inside the Sacred Heart Church...
The twinkling lights of Salem seen at night... the whole town glows, its pretty amazing.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

And the moral of the story is 'An idle mind is the Devil's workshop...'

So it was a lazy Friday afternoon, and we (me, Sajeeve and Jude) were kinda bored so we decided to play this game and I had no idea it would turn out to be this sacrilegious. So if you are a religious fanatic please do not continue reading this... I am pretty sure the story we concocted is blasphemous in at least 3 religions, Jude (a cousin) seems to think so anyway. I was too busy laughing and trying to bring some modicum of sensibility (not to mention respectability) to the story but my cousin Sajeeve is blessed with a very fertile imagination and once he unleashed it there was no going back...
So here it is... 

Karen : She was moping the floor and singing along loudly with the radio.
(I was thinking along the lines of a cute M&B... she a hard working woman and he a wealthy arrogant guy who gets drawn to her calm, strong & sensible nature)

Sajeeve : But deep down she was contemplating if she could forsake her conservative principles.
(This is when I knew the ‘cute falling in love’ part of the story was never gonna happen)

Jude : lol, you guys are nuts

Karen :She figured she would never go that far... cause it clashed with her values.

Jude : There was a skip in her step as she heard the familiar honk of Harry's car as he pulled into the driveway

Sajeeve : But she thought to herself, why should I look at that indolent bastard.

Jude : Thankfully she caught a glimpse of a picture of Jesus on the wall and banished all such thoughts.

Sajeeve : The way she controlled her lithe body while moping was so impressive that Harry could not take his eyes off her.

Karen : Since he was ogling at her indecently, she poured that bucket of soapy water on his face...

Sajeeve : That only served to make him more aroused. Her refusal to display even a modicum of cleavage angered him.

Karen : She thought where are my girlfriends when I need them the most..

A little chat in between..
Jude : ok now this is a lesbian story?

Karen : No, I was thinking that, cause you guys are turning it into something porn like...
Story continues…

Sajeeve : He could not resist the myriad possibilities for having some fun

Jude : There was loud bout of thunder and lightning

Karen : and she knew that he was drunk and starting to get violent...

Sajeeve : Little did she know he was a cold blooded killer who wanted to stick the mop down her throat.

Karen : He opened the fridge, he wanted a beer to cool his temper.

Jude : Only to find out that she had thrown out every can of the vile liquid.

Sajeeve :"Hello Harry", said Moses as he walked into the room with a book in his hand.

Jude :"Wow!”, Harry thought, that must have been some strong stuff I smoked today

Sajeeve : Moses's boots meant that granny woke up to the harmonics emanating from his long firm footsteps against the wooden floor.

Sajeeve : "It's nice to meet you Harry, I honestly didn't believe Jessica when she told me she had a boyfriend", granny told Harry

Karen : When Moses appeared the fear of God came into Harry... and he vowed to turn over a new leaf. But then Eminem walked in rapping and acting all cool and Harry thought wait, I must be hallucinating.

Sajeeve : Jessica started mopping Moses's feet to subtly indicate to him to not give ideas to Harry

Karen : But Moses said, “Woman are you moping my feet... me of all people? I spilt a sea!!!”

Sajeeve : A closer look at Emimem revealed it was actually Abraham all clean shaven. Jessica was terrified, she had only the mop to her defense. Abraham was staring at her like a ravenous dog in heat with saliva dripping from his mouth. Jessica mopped his mouth, Abraham felt touched by the act, no one had wiped his saliva before. Harry and Moses were pissed off with the histrionics, they decided to leave and spend some time on the Xbox...

Jude: while Jessica and Abraham made out to the tunes of rap music.

Sajeeve : Grandma walks into the room and is shocked to see what’s going on, she goes into a cardiac arrest. Abraham says she is dead anyway, we’ll check her after sunrise

Karen : But Moses is reluctant to leave her lying there and performs a heart surgery. He opens up her heart and raises the mop high above her... the blood gets separated in each chamber

Sajeeve : He then realizes that Grandma has just fainted and not had a heart attack. Harry is pissed off at Moses's .

Karen : Meanwhile Abraham gets ready to sacrifice her cause he thinks that's why she has been cut open like that...

Sajeeve :The three of them regroup,they look around & jessica is missing. They are shocked, scared.. they look down and grandma is also missing.

Sajeeve : They get so depressed with the situation that they decide to call 1 hooker and 2 strippers home to change the mood.

Karen : But things get messed up and Judas turns up instead

Sajeeve : Abraham calls the hooker company on phone and says "Go, and gather the babes of Israel together, and say unto them: Appear unto me, we surely need you now, I will bring you out of affliction into my land overflowing with milk and honey.”

I guess by this point we were laughing too much to contribute anything useful... and fyi we did not mean to disrespect anybody living or dead by this crazy story. 

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Speak Now... a whole new Love Story all over again (for me).

I just had to tell you bout Taylor Swift's new album 'Speak Now'... been listening to it the whole week and I have to say most of the songs are really good. The title track 'Speak Now' is my favourite song... its so cute and whenever it plays you can't help but sing along. I bet even the video is gonna be great, cause the lyrics tell a little story... bout this wedding that is goin to take place and Taylor is hiding behind the curtains preparing what to say when the preacher comes to the 'Speak now or forever hold your peace' part of the ceremony. Then there's 'Back to December' a song where she regrets breaking up with this nice guy, she realizes she loves him but its too late... I'd go back in time and change it but I can't. So if the chain is on your door, I understand... its a beautiful sad song. The only country sounding track is 'Mean' and I like Taylor's attitude here... she describes how she feels when people are mean to her but what stands out is the way she deals with them, she never stoops down to their level... she just tells them that one day she'll grow up and move away, do something with her life but these people who have nothing better to do than discuss her flaws will go on being mean. How cool is that, and true too...

'The Story of Us' is pretty neat too... deals with the awkwardness after a breakup, the guy is doing his best to avoid her in a crowded room and the girl is nervously pulling at her clothes and trying to look busy. She wonders how they got to this situation, and she sings The Story of Us looks a lot like a tragedy now, great song! Another nice song is 'Sparks Fly', a typical romantic song... I see sparks fly whenever you smile ; isn't that awfully cute. The single 'Mine' was released way before the CD and its already a hit (I think)... its a cute song too that tells the story of young love and how they vow never to commit the mistakes their parents did, like giving up on the other. 'Never grow up' is a heartwarming song bout wanting to stay little and safe in your mother's care, that was the time when no one ever left you or scarred you and you found everything funny. Then one day you grow up and things aren't the same anymore... you wish you had never grown up. She sings bout remembering your childhood room and memorizing what it sounded like when your dad gets home... really hits a nerve this song.  

Enchanted is a cute fairytale kinda love song... she is at a party or something, and she is faking smiles and forcing laughter, generally just tired and bored of the crowd when she sees his face and becomes enchanted. They start talking and its time to leave, she is blushing all the way home and hoping he isn't in love with someone else... yeah, makes you smile, its a cute song. 'Ours' is also slightly country-ish and its delightfully strong willed and cute, she sings her heart out to this guy she is in love with telling him not to worry bout what her people think... cause she really loves him the way he is. I love the gap between your teeth, And I love the riddles that you speak - see this is what I am talking about, Taylor sure knows how to write songs that will keep you hooked, how can you not fall for such a cute song. The album has many more nice songs... but these are the ones that caught my interest. So if you do need some new happy songs in your life (a change from all the eminem/ rihanna fire catching girlfriend beating song 'I love the way you lie' or Gaga's over the top bad romance - fyi I am not dissing any of these songs, just saying Taylor's songs are more happy and fairytale like) you know where to turn to and if you are anything like me.... you won't be disappointed.