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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