“Overground, watch this space, I'm open to falling from grace”

Monday, April 30, 2007

Calm me down
Bring it round
Too way high off your street
I can see like nothing else
In me you're better than I wanna be.
Don't think 'cos I understand I care
Don't think 'cos I'm talking we're friends

What a week/weekend…in my last blog entry I had mentioned that my best friend Steph was down here in my area for a conference/visiting me. So I soaked up as much Stepheezie time as I could. We had a small UMBC reunion at Modern and I also got some time in with my breaker boys. I can’t believe that they were all there and nothing has changed…well except one of my favorite breaker, Vince is getting married! All in all it was grand time, dancing away and diving into nostalgia of all the good ole time. Sigh. I feel old…it all seems so long ago. We have all grown up and are doing grown up things but at least we all managed to bring out the college kid in each other…even if it was for one night :o)
My sis Mzswats was also down in DC this weekend and we partied it up like 2003 ;o) and Bhatji was partying with his boys in Chicago…I guess this weekend was all about mini reunions and I wish we all had more weekends like this past one. Now on to the recipes; Bhatji loves eggs. He likes them scrambled, omelets, egg fried rice but most of all he looooooves egg curry. So after looking through recipes and finding Nupurs recipe...last week I made an excellent meal called Egg rasa (Marathi style curry), peas and carrots pilaf and raita. Needless to say it left Bhatji drooling for more :o)

Ingredients for Peas and Carrots pilaf:
A cup of frozen peas and carrots
2 cups of basmati rice
1 tsp of Jeera
1 tbl sp of oil
Salt as needed
To make:
Heat the oil in a pan and add the Jeera, when it splutters add the peas and carrots and cook for about 2-3 mins. In a rice cookers add the 2 cups of rice to 4 cups of water add the salt and mix well. Then add the peas and carrots mixture to the rice cooker and cook till it’s done. Once it is done make sure you fluff the rice to ensure the peas and carrots are evenly distributed in the rice.

Ingredients for Raita:
One small onion
2 green chilies
A pinch of hing
½ cup of yogurt
Water as needed
Cilantro for garnish
Salt to taste
To make:
Slice the onion into thin long slices. Add the onions and all the other ingredients from above. Use water for desired consistency and garnish with cilantro.

This meal did not long to prepare because while you are making the curry the rice will be cooking on it own. And the raita take only about a few mins. But never the less this simple meal felt like it was fit for a king….well Bhatji felt like one for the night :o) Until the next scrumptious blog, happy eating and happy blogging!

“Break it off boy, Cuz ya got me feelin naughty”

Thursday, April 26, 2007

I wanna know boy
If I could be ya shawty
Set if off boy
And make me hot all ova my body
Break it off tonight

I can’t believe that April is almost coming to an end. Summer is almost upon us…and Amen for that! So my best friend Stepheezie is here in VA for work this week and this obviously means that I have some serious catching up, bff quality time planned out and couldn’t spend as much time on blogging. This past Monday, Steph, Darrell (another one of our college buddies) and I went to the Arlington Draft house for dinner and a movie…we saw Pan’s Labyrinth and I must say it lived up to the hype. Don’t be fooled into believing that it is some sort of fairy tale or something like Harry Potter. The protagonist is a little girl whose imagination straddles the line between fantasy and reality during the gruesome Spanish civil war. The story shows the horrors of the war and how we as humans, need to question what is truly good or bad. The movie is very gory and dark, so leave the kids home for this one. The director of the movie, Guillermo del Toro, did an excellent job with the story line and direction and I recommend this movie as a must see.
Now for the foodie section; Bhatji and I always try to make healthy but quick lunches so last week I made vegetable upma/uppito(Kannada). I have started buying the quick mixes by MTR or Priya to make my job easier. I recommend the MTR upma mix, because all you need is 1 tblsp of ghee, one medium onion, a cup of the frozen veggies like carrots and peas. Boil the veggies including the onion, add the mix and stir the ghee and you have an awesome quick lunch that will remind you of your mom’s upma. One of these days I will make it from scratch but if you ever need to make a quick snack, breakfast or lunch then don’t hesitate to use the MTR or Priya mixes. I made half the packet of upma and we were able to eat it for 2 lunches. It was super tasty! More recipes to come in my next blog...until then happy blogging!

“Such a lonely day shouldn't exist. It's a day that I'll never miss. Such a lonely day and its mine”

Friday, April 20, 2007

The most loneliest day of my life
And if you go, I wanna go with you
And if you die, I wanna die with you
Take your hand and walk away

Start Rant-> I woke up so tired today…I know I should be excited because it’s Friday, but I am way to exhausted and all I want to do is go home and take a nap.
Happy Freakin Friday! Now…where is that darn Advil?? <-End Rant

“Tamally maak…we law hata ba eed any, fe alby hawak”

Thursday, April 19, 2007

I am always with You
And even when You’re far away from me
Your love is in my heart

-Translation of the Arabic song “Tamally Maak” by Amr Diab

This weekend is finally going to be warm (highs of 70s!) and I have full intension of shopping around Georgetown and enjoy a big dollop of ice cream at Hagen Daaz! The thought of new shoes and clothes….all I can say is YAY! Aside from that I plan on finally coming up with a menu that Bhatji and I can enjoy on our balcony. So far I have a light salad and gorgeous blush wine, but then I am also thinking a tapas style menu. So we’ll just have to wait and see what tickles my foodie fancy :o) No there’s no special reason for this balcony dinner…its just because the weather is going to be beautiful and I think Bhatji and I both find it relaxing to sit out and enjoy a delicious meal and exquisite wine. I also think it would be good to break our habit of sitting on our couch eating dinner and watching TV and instead sit out enjoy the breeze and great food. I mean I like my share of the boob tube sometimes…but I have always felt the best way to have conversations is to just avoid it all together and instead indulge in good company.
I recently made a wonderful typical Konkani Egg plant (vaingan) dish. I have been meaning to add more vegetables in our diet so during our last Harris Teeter shopping trip, I bought a large purple eggplant…with absolutely no idea how I was going to prepare it, All I knew was that I wanted to buy it because it looked so good and my mom always tells me that Vaingan is the one of the best vegetables because it has so many nutritional values. So after doing some research and checking with my mom, I made Vaingana Sagle. Konkani folks make a lot of veggie Sagle’s which is a dry coconut based curry. I made a simple Daal (dalitoy), rice and Vaingana Sagle. Here is the recipe.
1 Large Eggplant
1 cup Grated coconut
8 red chilies
Marble sized Tamarind
2 tsp Coriander seeds
1 tsp Fenugreek seeds
1tbsp Mustard seeds
2 tbl spns of oil
Salt as per taste
To Make:
Wash and cut the eggplant into large square pieces. Grind the grated coconut, red chilies, tamarind and salt in a food processor. Fry the coriander seeds and fenugreek seeds and add to the existing masala, and grind further into fine paste. Smear this masala on eggplant and let sit for about 10 mins. Heat 2 tbl spns of oil in a pan and add mustard seeds. When the seeds splutter, add eggplant and just sprinkle a few drops of water and cook on a low flame for about 15-20 mins till the eggplant starts to soften.

Definitely try this dish! its very simple to make and very very konkani :o) Enjoy!

“I must be strong and carry on…”

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Coz I know
I don’t belong here in Heaven

Bhatji and I were glued to the news all night…stunned by the details of the horrendous Virginia tech shootings. Maybe because we live in VA or maybe because I know many of the local VA, MD and DC students attend Virginia tech, or maybe because it all just feels surreal. 33 people dead….but why? What kind of deranged person would just go on a shooting rampage, murdering people the way he did; just shooting away at everyone in a classroom and barricading the doors with chains so no one could escape; And what about the parents who were going about their Monday like it was another work day to find out that their 18-22 year old child has been brutally shot…whilst attending their class? 30 some funerals taking place in the next few days and all because some insane guy decided to take out his frustrations, anger and bitterness out on innocent people.
About 2 years ago on Christmas night, when I was living with my parents, our house got broken into. The scariest part was that we were all home…all including me, my sister, my parents and my grandparents. The other scary part was that my sis and I were awake when the guy decided that he was going to break in, around 2.30 am in the morning. I was on the phone, my sister was on the computer, our TV was turned on and we had our door open and I am positive the robber knew that we were awake….because there was no way he didn’t hear us! We even considered going downstairs for water, but our laziness prevented us and we decided to sleep around 3.00. A few minutes later I heard my dad scream “Someone is in the house! Someone is the house!” My dad had heard footsteps out side my room and he knew it was too late even for me and my sister to be up so he decided to check it out. He saw a guy opening the door to my bedroom and started to scream! I jolted up and my first thought was to run down after him but I wasn’t sure if he was armed, so I called 911 and waited till the cops came. We never found the guy and nothing too precious or expensive was stolen, but I was scarred. Even to this day it takes me a lot of time to fall asleep. Normal noises such as the settling of the house, pipes, heavy winds, worries me that someone is trying to get into the house. Poor Bhatji has had to deal with many a nights when I have woken him up and asked him to check to see if someone was outside or to make sure our door is locked. Mind you we live in a very, very safe apt building. But the mind plays tricks on you and that robbery has definitely affected me. If a robbery can leave me so paranoid, I can’t imagine how the students that have survived this massacre, this terrifying episode of random shootings in their classroom can go back into a classroom. There were a few students that actually watched as their classmates and teacher got shot and lived to tell the tale. I am sure that psychologically nothing about their classrooms, schools will ever feel safe again. My condolences go out to the families who have lost their children, to the students who have lost their friends, to Virginia Tech and to this nation for losing a future generation in such a gruesome way. May God rest their souls in peace.

“The more I see the less I know, the more I like to let it go... hey oh”

Monday, April 16, 2007

Deep beneath the cover of another perfect wonder
Where it's so white as snow
Privately divided by a world so undecided
And there is nowhere to go
In between the cover of another perfect wonder
And it’s so white as snow
Running through the field where all my tracks will be concealed
And there is nowhere to go

The weather sucks! We have been in the middle of the Nor’easter storm and all this rain and wind is just starting to make me angry. After a really cold February and March, I was hoping for a warm spring time. So I am praying that I can hang my winter jacket away for good and soon! Anyway this past weekend, even though it was cold and rainy, Bhatji and I made plans to meet up with Ms. Pai and her cousins Mrs. Karavande (sp?), Mr. Pai and his gf for dinner at Jaleo….not the one on 7th street downtown DC, but the one in Crystal city :o) Sangria, Tapas, and fun company followed by more drinking at Mackie’s…overall a wonderful time. We all discussed food (come on a whole bunch of konks sitting around talking…you know food will be a big part of discussion) specifically how much we all loved Dosas (crispy Indian pancakes). Its amazing how everyone just loves dosas. Maybe because it actually takes skill to make it, its almost like an art. My mom makes the dosa batter from scratch keeping it overnight and that’s why her Masala Dosas are famous! Well I have never attempted to make the batter let alone the skill of ladling it into a fine thin pancake consistency. Luckily a lot of Indian food companies are now making it easier on the girls who live away from India ( My mom believes that the tropical weather in India also helps with the consistency of how the Dosa Batter turns out), leading busy work lives but have hungry husbands to feed by making pre made Dosa batter packets. Yep companies like MTR, Swad, Priya make these Dosa batter mixes and all you need is water and yogurt to make it work. Obviously there is nothing like making it from scratch…but when you are short on time, or you just wanna practice ladling dosas (trust me you need practice to get it just right…this aint your American Pancakes!) you can always use these mixes. Anyway I decided to take it upon myself to try the Rava dosa mix by MTR. All I needed to add was 1 cup of water, 2tsp of cumin seeds (moms suggestion), 3 tbl spns of yogurt and chopped coriander (also moms suggestion) in the mix; After the first 2 failures (those landed in the trash) the 3rd one looked decent, the 4th one came out even better and the ones that followed actually looked and tasted great. Bhatji was happy and so was I. I served it along side some chutney pudi (dry spicy chutney that goes great with a little bit of olive oil) One day I will have to actually make it all from scratch with my moms help, but as of right now, this novice cook was supremely satisfied with the way the Rava Dosa’s turned out. Maybe after a little more practice I’ll be able to have a Dosa Party :o) Make sure to try em out! The MTR or Priya (south Indian companies) mixes work the best.

Happy Birthday Stepheezie!!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

"Seasons change. So do cities. People come into your life and people go. But it's comforting to know the ones you love are always in your heart. And if you're very lucky, a plane ride away"
- Carrie in "Sex and the city"

I am little late with this wish on my blog since her birthday was yesterday but HAPPY BIRTHDAY Darling Stephanie, the bestest friend a girl could have. Even though I don't see you or talk to you as often as I would like, I know that the next time we speak we will both know everything that there is to know about each other.

“The very thought of you, my love”

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The mere idea of you
The longing here for you
You'll never know
How slow the moments go
Till I'm near to you

" Christian: You like Billie Holiday?
Cher: I LOVE Him!"

- Clueless < I heart this movie!
Ahh another weekend came and went. I was unable to do my Cherry Blossom picnic because of the unusual cold this spring! So I got some much needed R&R and cooking time. I also met up with Ms. Pai to practice our dance for Ms. Malas upcoming wedding. It took us a while to pick a song and I also realized I had been out of touch with dancing, so I was slow to start choreography. But once I got my niche, the dance Nazi was back in the game and poor Ms. Pai is probably regretting doing this dance with me hehe. I am such a perfectionist when it comes to dancing…timings, hands, expressions etc. No wonder my old dance company girls would call me a Nazi. I realized how much I loved to dance and how much I missed it. Bhatji has always pushed me to start teaching but I don’t know why I have hesitated….maybe soon :o)
In one of my older blogs I had mentioned that I was going to share some interesting/exciting news soon…so here goes: Bhatji has accepted a summer internship in NYC at a really great financial firm. We are both excited about the opportunity, but also anxious about the time that we will be apart and worried about the weekends full of commute as he will be traveling back and forth from DC to NYC since he will still have weekend classes here. I’m happy that he will be staying with my sister in Manhattan, who better to live with than family!
Well this past weekend I made another Thai dish since the garlic shrimp dish was such a hit with Bhatji. I found an easy and yummy recipe for Red curry chicken. And again it was welcomed with pleasure by Bhatji, so I am sharing it with you.
Red curry chicken
2 skinless chicken breast fillets cut into bite-sized pieces
1 onion finely chopped
3 teaspoons Thai red curry paste
4 cloves garlic chopped
1 can of coconut milk
1 cup chicken stock
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
1 eggplant cut into thin pieces
1 red pepper cut into thin long pieces
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Salt to taste
2 tbl spns of peanut or canola oil
2 cups of Jasmine rice

To Make:
Heat the oil in a large saucepan and cook the onion for 5 minutes. Add the curry paste and garlic and cook, stirring, for a minute. Add the coconut milk, chicken stock, oyster sauce, salt and bring to the boil. Add the red pepper, chicken and eggplant and cover with a lid, then heat on medium and simmer for about 15-20 minutes, checking to see if the chicken is cooked properly. Stir in the lemon juice and take off heat. Serve with Jasmine rice.

Another simple yet yummy dish; until the next recipe Eat happy and healthy.

“If you see us in the club we'll be acting real nice”

Friday, April 6, 2007

If you see us on the floor you'll be watching all night
We ain't here to hurt nobody
I'm the type of girl that'll look you dead in the eye
I'm real as they come if you don't know why I'm fly
Seen ya try to switch it up but girl you ain't got to
I'm the wonder woman let me go get my ropes

I love Indian food. I used to think it was really hard to make, but now that I have been dabbling quite a bit in Indian cooking, I must say it is super easy as long as you have good instructions or a good teacher to follow. I get most of my recipes from my mom and some from my mauma (maternal granny) but a lot of recipes I get from my fellow foodie bloggers. The great thing about the foodie bloggers group is that everyone hails from such different backgrounds that you get recipes from different cultures; even amongst the Indian foodie bloggers we have the southies and the northies. You get so many different recipes from every sub culture that with something as simple as a can of black beans you can make 15 different dishes!
Bhatji and I also love Thai food…any of the Asian foods actually, we try doing sushi Sundays, and have Thai food at least once in 2 weeks. I decided that since I have been making so much Indian food at home, I would try my hand a simple Thai dish. A couple of weeks ago we had dinner at Mai Thai with some friends and one of the dishes called Garlic Shrimp and Asparagus was super yummy! So I decided to recreate this dish at home. I was able to emulate it with a little help from a Thai recipe book I have at home but I added my own ingredients and I must say it turned out extremely good. Definitely a keeper according to my Bhatji :o) I served it alongside some Jasmine rice.

Thai Garlic Shrimp and Asparagus:
½ lb of large shelled and deveined shrimp
1 lb of Asparagus
2 tbl sp of oyster sauce
½ tbl sp of fish sauce
½ tsp of pepper
1 tbl sp of lime juice
2 tbl spns of olive oil
8 garlic cloves chopped
2 tbsp of red chilli garlic ginger paste
½ cup of chicken stock
1/2 tsp of red chilli flakes
Salt to taste
For the rice:
2 cups of Jasmine rice (found in any grocery store in the Asian food isle) to 4 cups of water or you can use Basmati.

To Make:
In a bowl take the shrimp and mix it with the 2 tbsp of red chilli garlic ginger paste, lime juice, and salt and marinate for about 5-10 mins. While the shrimp is marinating, cut the wash and cut the asparagus in about 2-3 inch pieces diagonally. Heat a big pot of water and when it comes to a boil add about 2 tsp of salt and drop the asparagus in it. Let it continue to boil for about 3-5 mins. When the asparagus turns bright green or starts to soften, take it out of the hot water by using a colander and then run some cold tap water over it and then let it sit. Take the 8 cloves of garlic and chop into very small pieces. Heat a sauce pan and heat the olive oil and add the chopped garlic pieces and cook till it starts giving off aroma. Add the marinated shrimp and let it cook for about a minute and then add the asparagus, the fish sauce, the oyster sauce, the chicken stock, the red chilli flakes and the pepper and cook for about 3-5 mins total or until the asparagus is tender and the shrimp starts to shrivel up and turn opaque. Check to see if there is enough salt because all the added sauces and the shrimp already should have enough salt but if it is lacking add some salt to taste. Serve with Jasmine rice.

This was the perfect simple Thai recipe to make at home. And the key thing was that it was also very healthy. Until the next delicious blog entry, Happy Friday!

“Ay! Amor es una tortura...perderte!”

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Yo sé que no he sido un santo, pero lo puedo arreglar, amor.
No sólo de pan vive el hombre y no de excusas vivo yo!
Sólo de errores se aprende y hoy sé que es tuyo mi corazón.
Mejor te guardas todo eso, a otro perro con ese hueso y nos decimos adiós!

I am sure the weather Gods are laughing at me. Yes I put way to many eggs in my Easter basket and now I am being punished…for celebrating the fake me out spring warm breezes that came and went. Sigh. It’s cold again and when I say cold I mean freezing temperatures. I was thinking of planning a picnic during the cherry blossoms, but alas that will have to wait until next weekend.
Today during my usual short commute to work, I had so many comments in my head about people, specifically tourists that were here to attend the Cherry Blossom festivities. They were dressed in light sweaters, some in T-shirts while I was rocking my heavy wool pea coat. I liked a girls red tote bad and I loved this dude’s hair…and I was missing Mzswats to share these thoughts with. We would be chattering away in Konkani and no one would know what we were yapping away about them! Soon though my dear sister, we will take NYC subways by the Konkani storm and no one will know what hit them ;o)
Lately I have been trying to make as many healthy meals at home as I can…so along with a simple Palak dhaal I made an easy Broccoli upkari. Its not only yummy, it takes all of 8 mins to make! And Bhatji loves this healthy side dish. So here is the recipe for it.
2 cups of frozen broccoli heads and steams (Fresh broccoli is better)
3 dried red chilies
1 tsp of mustard seeds
2 tbl spn of olive oil
Salt to taste

To Make:
Heat the 2 tbl spns of olive oil and add the mustard seeds. When they start to splutter, break into halves, add the dry red chilies and heat for about a minute. Add the Broccoli and mix well. Cook for about 5 mins and add the salt. Heat on low for about 2 minutes and you are done. Serve with a dhal or saaru and hot rice.

Hopefully the weather warms up soon and I will start that planning of light meals and sitting out on the balcony. I’m looking forward to my cherry blossom picnic :o) Until the next yummy blog…Happy Eating and Blogging.

“A little bit more, A little bit more”

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

All I want is the best for you but
There’s only so much I am willing to do
And the rest…You gotta find someone else

I wanted to share pix from the weekend in Chicago of the amazing view from Rakesh and Sheetal’s apt downtown.

I really love this city! Ahem Bhatji - Are you Listening? ;o)

“This is a different type of commitment. I’m talking bout a true friendship”

Monday, April 2, 2007

It Would Be Fly If You Were B-U-D-D-Y
Don’t Be Shy, Give It A Try I Could Be Yours And You Could Be Mine
I Cant Lie It Would Be Fly If You Were My B-U-D-D-Y
Don’t Be Shy Give It A Try I Could Be Yours If You Could Be Mine

After a full 2 months of the dreary cold and the food that comforts you during those cold months blog fest, I am happy to say that spring is here and I have some fabulous recipes to share that are very “springy”. I find it interesting that our bodies crave for something a little cool and light during the spring season. Light meals are easy to enjoy outdoors either on a park bench or even on your own balcony. Even though Bhatji and I had planned to out on our balcony this past weekend, it was a bit on the chillier side and so we decided to postpone the outdoor meal when it’s a little warmer. Usually Thursday and Friday nights are the best times for me to prepare big meals, since Bhatji is in class till almost 9.30 PM. So this past Friday I decided that I was going to surprise him with a typical Marathi meal. Even though I am Konkani and he is Marathi, our foods are fairly similar, but one of the main differences I noticed in our cultures is that rice is a staple diet amongst Konkani folk and Rotis, Paratha’s and Puri’s (breads) are the staple diet amongst Marathis. Growing up in a very Konkani household in India, my mom rarely mad Rotis and puris…infact puris (deep fried puffed up bread) were made during special occasion or only for specific curries. When Bhatji and I got married and we had a chance to visit his family and his grandparents in India, I noticed that puris were made almost every other day if not everyday. I had never ventured into making puris because I had always assumed they were hard to prepare, but this past Friday I had the time to make these yummy, deep fried goodness. And the whole meal turned out exquisite! So I wanted to share the recipe for these very, very easy puris.

3 cups of wheat flour
1 tsp ghee
About 1 tsp of salt
½ -3/4 cup of oil for deep frying
Water as needed, I used about 1 ½ cup of water.

To make:
In a big bowl mix all the ingredients from above except the oil for deep frying. Add the water little by little while mixing all the ingredients to make the dough. Make sure the dough is not too watery, if it is keep adding more wheat flour to make the dough firm. Take a small amount of dough and roll into tiny balls (size of a golf ball). With a rolling pin roll the ball into a thin round sphere. Heat the oil on med high and drop the dough in. Once the dough starts to fry, gently coax the dough with your ladle as if you are pushing it down to the bottom of the pan. Do not use any weight or force on the dough during the coaxing, this motion will cause the dough to puff up and fry. Turn over to the other side of the sphere once it puffs up and cook for a shorter time on the other side. During this process of deep frying, make sure to be very careful while dropping the dough into the hot oil and during the coaxing as well.

I made a simple potato/batata bhaji and opened up a tin of mango pulp or Aamras to eat along with the puris, exactly like the Marathi folks would love it. And as I predicted, we forgot all about the healthy diets and indulged! Bhatji ate 6-8 puris that night and I myself ate about 4-5 puris with tons of Aamras! It was sooo yummy! The hot puris and cold aamras is a great combination for the perfect spring meal! I have more recipes and photos to share, so stay tuned for the next tasty blog.

Life with Extra Mirchi - by Templates para novo blogger