Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Questioning...


Sunday’s reading in church was about the Good Shepherd and how He always protects His flock. How no power on earth can snatch us away from the flock and how safe we, the sheep, are in His fold. And all the while I was holding back tears thinking of the five year old girl, who was brutally raped and violated, a few days back in the country’s capital. Similar stories keep surfacing and the evil perpetrators don’t seem to fear anything, in fact gruesome child rapes seem to be on the rise and it is mind-numbingly baffling. How can one torture and traumatise a child in an unnatural and inhuman way, how depraved does one have to be to force his perverted carnal desires on a little child’s body. Isn't she the littlest of lambs, the smallest in His fold… a tiny playful little lamb. Who snatched her away, where was the Shepherd? How does one go about life, knowing such things are not a rare occurrence? What can be done to weed out the scum in society and make the world more humane? How do you deal with a lethargic government that drags and falters every step of the way when it comes to protection of the weaker sex or race? Why can’t castrations happen immediately when a suspect confesses to his rape crimes, this will make the sick perverts think twice before forcing themselves onto innocent vulnerable beings?  Why can’t the science of evolution and adaptability take over, make us stronger or give us wolverine like claws? Wolverine claws that spring open only under immense danger, with one swipe of those blades, the problem won’t exist. How long are we going to read reports like this in the news, shudder at the horror of it all, say a prayer and hope that good will triumph in the end?

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Baked Paneer Tikka...

Some time back, a few guests were coming over for lunch and most of the food was already cooked and ready, when we remembered that one of the guests was a vegetarian. There was some paneer in the fridge,  to save time on the cooking I decided to throw all the ingredients I had into a pan and bake it. I really had no idea, it would come out this good. 
Take a couple of onions and cube them, (cut them into cube like chunks).
Do the same with a capsicum, I used a rather large capsicum here.
Then cube some tomatoes and drop them into the dish.
In another dish, add a generous quantity of thick yogurt.
Drop in some garam masala powder...
Add a little turmeric...
Then Chillie powder...
Then a generous quantity of coriander powder...
Next add a little Jeera powder...
Then drop in some ginger garlic paste...
And enough quantity of salt...
Mix this whole thing up with a spoon...
Drop in the cubed vegetables... 
And mix it around...
This is the brand I always buy, Hatsun. They are the best. So I wanted to know the difference in dropping the paneer as it is into the vegetable yogurt mix or first shallow frying the paneer and then dunking them in warm water and then using the golden tinted paneer pieces in this mix. I decided to use one packet of paneer as it is, and the other packet I fried the paneer pieces, soaked them in warm water and then used them in this mix.
Here it is, just the plain paneer pieces, also cubed....
And mixed with this... 
The other packet, I first shallow fried the paneer pieces... 
 
Till they achieved a golden brown tint... then drop them in warm water while the rest of the pieces fry.
Remove only the paneer pieces and drop them here and mix them around
Drop the whole mix into a baking dish... 
I don't know if you can see it here, but I have drizzled the oil that the paneer was frying in... bout two to three tablespoons of cooking oil. That's it, stick this in the oven for 45 minutes to an hour. It will start bubbling in between, mix it around a bit and then let it continue baking.
Here it is, all baked and ready to be eaten... 
Chop up a few sprigs of coriander leaves and sprinkle them on top.
Enjoy the baked paneer tikka masala... I really like this dish. It's so freaking easy too, just chop up everything and add the yogurt and masala's and then let it bake. You don't have to stick around while it bakes... so simple. 

I noticed that the paneer used straight from the packet, tended to be soft and fragile, sort of melts in your mouth. The other packet that I fried, was more sturdier and retained its shape and tasted more like the paneer we know. The other softer one was nice too, but it had a more milky taste to it... like fluffly milk that melts in your mouth. I liked both, but if I were to make this when there are many folks to eat, then I will fry the paneer first, people are more used to that taste. If I were to make this only for me, then I would just drop in the paneer without frying them, somehow I liked that 'melt in the mouth' feeling. Reminded me of the Far Away Tree while eating it, those kids used to eat all kids of weird sweets with Moonface and Silky the fairy.