27 December 2012

Fill it up

A cup of Joy, A plate of peace, Glasses of Health, Bowls of Wisdom.

23 September 2012


What is the facebook value of the Politicians?
Though in the last few years facebook has become a noun, one can safely say that the face value of the politicians  depends on the words that leave their mouth, because some of the plans are only meant to bring votes.We all know that the now termed Obama health care would have been Clinton health care in 1994, but then it was not as much a vote pulling gimmick because it was gregarious surplus American economic period.
This year the health care has become the trump card and has  given  much thrust and power to the politician in the running and for the party.Political gimmicks continue every season and in  an election year it escalates as the dates draw near. Not that the Political jabbering is nonexistent otherwise,but the tones are not as  intense and loud in an election year and the common man cannot ignore it how hard he tries .

Why is it that we are attracted to Political language
“Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and  murder respectable and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind”, said George Orwell.At the conventions the tangible outcomes of the words spoken by the delegates are almost intangible and are up for lengthy discussions,debates, interpretations and misinterpretations in the legacy of the politicians career.

In order to keep the stress down the politician hums the popular tune to himself.

Smile,an everlasting smile
A smile could bring you near to me
Don’t ever let me find you gone,
Cause I need your vote so badly .

The world has not lost its glory
I will build a brand new story
This is my time and I will show
My commitment in t-i-m-e
Just Vote for me ..
Have faith in my words
I have dedicated my life to you and you alone
So I am here waiting to take your call.
Its only words and words I have to make you cast a vote for me
But forget about the words after the election, because it does not mean anything anyway.  

They are only words …. The voices fades away and the crowds strain to hear, but the politician has hurriedly left to make the next deal

22 September 2012

Left overs celebrated again

Picture this .
It is a Friday evening. A 20 minute commute turns into an hour plus long drive. The events of the day at work growl the driver. But she is a poker faced calm chick ! Nothing can spoil her mood not even the," Oh,we do not have anything at home for dinner." 

The fridge was almost empty. Still the remnants of the weeks left overs screamed loudly.

Cooked quinoa
A few beet roots
Some scallions

My favorite pot with a copper base went on the stove. 
A garlic, the scallions and beet roots were hurriedly  sliced.The stove was set to the highest heat possible.
Almost 3 minutes into the heat, the quinoa was added. To add flavor, feta cheese and soy sauce was added and stirred thoroughly along with the other screamers which already had taken its seat in the pot.

The stove was switched of.The finely diced parsley was added and the pot was covered.

In another 10 minutes the food was plated and the cook sat down to eat a scrumptious dinner.

Great start to a good weekend.

28 August 2012

a Spicy Celebration

Our household celebrates left overs.

Boiled chickpeas
Boiled  urad Dal
An egg plant
Some beans
Some String beans
A sweet potato

If you have a pot with a copper base, things speed up . But if you cook the vegetables in a clay pot it adds the extra flavor.

Since time was my master, the copper base pot took over and the vegetables was cooked with some salt. In the meantime -  the garlic, green chillies and curry leaves( the herb mix)  were pounded in a mortar and pestle.. Asafoetida, Cumin and fennel were roasted and powdered to add to the already sizzling herb mix on the stove. The boiled chickpeas - urad dal  and  the cooked vegetables joined the herb mix.

A tablespoon of dry coconut and curd went in. Turmeric went in last. They were stirred thoroughly for the flavors  to mingle.  The aroma announced that it was a joyful dance.

 The pot was removed from heat and allowed to rest . A quiet Sunday brunch was celebrated .

27 August 2012


Change is an 800 lb ant

26 August 2012

Power expressed eloquently.

"It is always easy for the dominant side to be content with the status quo. I mean, the oppressor to use violence to maintain his position and calls it the rule of law. But when the person underfoot uses violence to change his status he's called a terrorist and a criminal and the violence of the state is called upon to put him down" - From the movie Margaret .

25 August 2012


"Destroy all the world's Libraries, keep only a single volume, choose it at random, and this volume will be the masterpiece of the human intellect" - L. S Mercier.

                Image Credits : Basil. . Place : Southern Goa

09 August 2012

Quinoa made tasty

It is time to include some raw foods into my diet and this is one such I made this morning:

3 table spoons of cooked traditional pale ivory quinoa.
1 apple diced 1 inch.
7-8 strawberries sliced.
2 table spoons of cheese - ( i dont remember the name but it is made of sheep's milk and is salty )
Parsley - around 2 table spoons

Throw them all together in a bowl. Relish

I had some for breakfast. Now we shall see if the apples turn color by afternoon.


29 July 2012

The 21 day itch

It has been 23 days that I have started exercising,with 2 vacation days in between and the 21 days of exercising are over today. It has now become a habit and a wonderful habit that I am extremely pleased with. It has been a mix of  4 mile walks, yoga, breathing, stair climbing, some beach volleyball (read amateur) and basket ball, walking backwards and one day of kickboxing. Some days have been difficult to get up, but a friends call and  the company  at 5.00 a. m helps. Mr B accompanies sometimes.  And since the last few days my body wakes before the call or the alarm - now if that is not a success then what is ?

The trim, fit, slim body is yet to be seen, but I am getting there. I do not have the aches and the pains,feels very energetic and I am fitting into my clothes better. That is a bucket load of peace for me because shopping does not come easily.   

The second  of the next 21 day phase starts tomorrow and I have to find something  novel or find a consistent  volleyball partner since my current exercise partner does not  believe that the beach volley ball will exercise her body enough. On the contrary I enjoy  beach volley ball very much (the lure of the sand)and do not feel like I am exercising at all. To add to it, the address of the  beach volley ball  court  is  scenic: 

Across the River, 
On the hill. 
Beside the giant trees.

My walk to the court is also enjoyable and refreshing - few or no cars on the road, occasional pedestrians, the sight of pretty birds, fresh air, gorgeous river view and when I reach the courts- the feeling of the beach sand beneath my feet. Bliss.
Come find me,
I need a volley ball partner, who will come 7 days a week.

28 June 2012


"The weather in your mind dictates your life than the weather  outside."

03 June 2012


One Day at a time ........keeps you moving along. NOW is when it all happens.

12 May 2012

Well said Fuller.

" You can never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete. "
Buckminster Fuller

04 April 2012

4/4/2012 - Ingredients for life

A yellow squash gets evenly diced.
When the cast iron gets piping hot and the oil sizzles, the squash starts cooking evenly. A dash of salt releases the moisture of the squash and two dashes of freshly ground black pepper feels its rightful place.
Another pinch of kasuri methi joins the party in the hot pan. The feta cheese adds more flavor. The left over couscous gets folded in thoroughly. The lid is placed over the pan and the cook relaxes.
Company always makes a meal extra special.
A glass of wine makes it fine dining. So it was on a cool spring day of the 4th of April 2012.

Good Intentions, Great thoughts , high spirits creates and exudes life.
Always Grateful,

24 March 2012

a rescued magazine from my mothers trash, now my Treasure

The House Magazine of James Finlay & Co. Limited & Associated Companies/Summer 1969.
Front Cover Design R. Jobling.

28 February 2012

Brown Rice Medley

Sometimes a prepacked medley is very handy on hurried mornings. Daikon Radish seeds, Black Barley and Parboiled Rice packed together.I added 3 table spoons of masoor dal to bulk up the content, so that I can reserve a cup for yet another lunch this week. While the Garlic and the tomatoes bounced in hot oil in a pressure cooker, the washed cup of medley was added.

A spice blend of fenugreek, fresh black pepper, fennel, cumin and salt was folded into the contents of the cooker. A fresh turmeric tube added an extra burst of flavor and long string beans was the green companion to the medley.

The pressure cooker steamed for 5 minutes. As the lid was pulled away after the pressure cooker was well rested and the steam cooled off, the flavor gave away to a beautiful bed of cooked yellow whole rice decorated by spots of black barley and brown daikon radish seeds

fine cilantro garnish gave it the final touch

Always grateful for a hearty meal,

22 February 2012

Turkish Tea

Chai,the elixir to relax ? Perhaps, that is one of the reason it is one of the highest selling beverage. Boiling Tea leaves is the most easiest drink to make and the most common part of making tea irrespective of the culture.

How long water is boiled, When should the tea leaf be put,in what kind of pot is the tea boiled, How is it presented, what else the tea is mixed with -(sugar, milk, cream), At what time of the day or night should it be taken, How many cups of tea can one drink is what makes it different from Turkey to India and from China to Canada.Nevertheless Tea is a unifier to bring oneself to relax and and enjoy the comfort and company of friends.

I was pleasantly surprised when a Turkish friend invited me to Turkish Tea, since I was naive of its existence. People from different countries were present - Americans, Egyptians, Cubans, Chinese, Polish , French, Indians and the large population of Turkish origin or Natives, because it was held at the Turkish Center. It was considered only polite to drink at least 3 cups of tea.

Tea was passed around in chai barads. It was black and I had mine without Sugar. Two cups were good enough for me, after a sumptuous serving of Turkish snacks, all made at home by Native Turkish women. But the best of all was the company of our friends for 3 hours. The discussion moved from Tea Party politics, to paintings (one of them was a painter who was currently working on an exhibition ) to food of the ancient culture of our countries.

There were many things in common among everybody - a love for true earthy things , without being polluted by the cosmopolitanism of the fusion foods that we see around everywhere these days and our roots. Each of our roots had similarities,yet different,especially in the value and concept of time. That is what has bought us together - something we did not get in our countries and the curiosity to explore and experience new things.
I will be back with a cup of tea again !

30 January 2012

notes to self

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do.
So,throw off the bowlines.
Sail away from the safe harbor.
Catch the trade winds in your sails.


- Only Mark Twain could have said the above.

And if anybody calls you crazy, just know that you are doing it right ! I just added this one.
Talk to your self to believe in oneself -because only you know yourself better than anybody else.

And if you don't know yourself,it is a job to be taken seriously to do.
Take a book a pencil and write and talk to your self - You need company for chai ? Invite yourself

28 January 2012

Couscous with love and patience.

I can see yesteryear Algerian women making couscous at home - hand rolling the semolina.It is planned, time consuming and laborious. Some day I would like to watch and learn this long process and make it from scratch, at least once. For now, couscous is fast food for me,since it moves from a box into a bowl. Talk about paradox ! And also about marketable skills. Well, lets move on to something more comforting,it is after all the weekend,....

I pour warm tomato broth (rich with a spice blend of salt, fennel seeds, garlic, fenugreek, urad dal\masoordal\green moong dal)into a bowl of couscous and let it steam.

Finely diced cilantro and baked beetroot, carrot, also goes into the bowl. Let the couscous mingle and get friendly with all of them. OR shall I say, bask in the glory of all the flavors ?

The more it rests - at least 2 hours or so,the flavors will settle in well. When it is time to serve, crumbled feta goes in.Pumpkin seeds will complete the picture.

Eat brunch like a king my dear.

Relish With Gratitude

23 January 2012

notes to self

...when you connect with people ...you change their world?

22 January 2012

Warm company.

I love the lime cilantro rice served at Chipotle,the younger health conscientious sister of the giant McDonalds.

To break the cold snap,we had to eat something right off the stove.Brown rice is a staple.

A small drizzle of lemony-garlicky-cilantro vinaigrette dressed the hot fluffy brown rice.

Cooked and drained black beans was added to caramelized onions,tomatoes, salt,cumin and turmeric.

Long thin strips of green bell pepper and left overs of a roasted chicken was sauteed together on high heat for a minute or two with a dash of salt and pepper.

Can you see a pretty plate ? A brunch perfect for company !

09 January 2012

Banana Flower on my plate

Yes, banana flower, you read that right. Raised in a city, I had missed out in understanding vegetation. My long spells of nature are the summer vacations to my ancestors village down south. From the time the train left the suburbs of Bombay and the train chugged through khandala and Lonavala, we had left the concrete jungle to enjoy brooks and streams, ghats and hills - breath taking scenes ( we didn't have a camera back then ) and these scenes still lives vividly in my memory. But why am I going down memory lane you may ask ?

At a filipino grocery store we found banana flowers,a vegetable that was commonly found in the backyards of our ancestors .

With Google as my guide,I followed a few instructions.

First, oiled the flower so that it would oxidize slower.
Second,tried to make a fine dice .

As the hot iron pan sizzled the finely diced flower took its honorable place.
After a few minutes curry leaves were added. Diced garlic, cumin and fennel seeds also went in .
(roasted seeds release greater amount of flavor ) In 5 minutes when I thought the vegetable was about to burn, we added some water, placed the lid and the vegetable now steamed quietly. In another 10 minutes it was the turn of grated dry khopra( coconut ) and we switched off the gas.

A good first attempt I thought , after I had a taste of the vegetable with rice and curd. Next time, the slender stems will not be going in because that's what makes the vegetable bitter.

It is said that banana flower is a great source of iron and that's exactly why it oxidizes in seconds when it is being diced.

The designer in me says that the banana flower will make a great table arrangement, but that's a picture for another post.

08 January 2012

Dressing up black beans

The black beans has been resting a while in my pantry. Read - A good 6 months or so. Fortunately they have not turned bad. Has it lost its freshness ? I don't know. When it is cold and one does not want to go to the grocery store, one reaches into the nook and corners of kitchen shelves to make a meal.

2 cups of black beans soaked in the morning. Cooked and drained in the evening.

Roasted carrots with some thyme.

pureed roasted carrots with a mexican chilli pepper, which was first soaked so that it could be softened ( fails me what type of chilli it was but it gives a kick to the otherwise sweet carrot soup.)

The black beans looked like shiny black pebbles inside the carrot soup. It made a delicious picture in a white bowl. crumbled feta is optional.


06 January 2012

Tomato Miso Soup .

I was home to eat macaroni and cheese, an excuse to switch on the oven. But found an empty box of macaroni languishing on the shelf. The heat could break the icy wind that just blew over me.

Instead I had to pick -

a can of diced tomatoes(411g)

green tea soba noodles(200g)

a handful of dried sea weeds

From the refrigerator-

5 pods of garlic

a table spoon of miso soup.

The can of tomatoes and 5 pods of garlic boiled together. It was then pureed.

A tablespoon of miso was mixed thoroughly.

In a cup of water, a small handful of sea weeds was boiled in the microwave which was added to the pureed tomato.

Cooked and drained green tea soba noodles dropped into a bowl of tomato miso soup, which was relished.

Good food can act as a balm. It can help one to forget the sub zero temperatures we have been experiencing for a few days now.

Always with gratitude,


02 January 2012

...And Another Time Piece

I like moments,but I really like MOVEMENTS and look forward to it everyday. Everyday has been incredibly miraculous the last year.In the last few days of the year, I counted my joys and sorrows, blessings and disappointments.

I understood the word "believe" better.We are closer to an answer that we have been searching for the past 11 years. We need great health and healing. We need miracles.

Wishing all of you another year of miracles everyday.


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