“Hey- I had no choice but to get down, down, down, down”

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Dance, nothing left for me to do but dance,
Off these bad times I’m going through just dance
Got canned heat in my heals tonight baby

So to bring everyone up to speed on some fantastic news that makes me smile from ear to ear….I am officially a dance instructor for an amazing dance company! I can’t believe I got it...especially after that miserable audition! But I guess they liked whatever they saw and said that I had great talent so yes folks…the Dance Nazi is back! I am also excited because the new team of instructors seem like amazing dancers and wonderful people; possibly a group that I could see myself hanging out with during the weekends. I’ll give more details on the dance company and where and what time are my classes once I get all the details tonight. I also wanna make sure I can advertise their name and class details on my blog since I know they would love to have more people show up for these dance classes ;o) I believe Jamiroquai says it best “ There’s nothing left for me to do but dance!”

PS (T minus one day for Bhatji’s arrival!!)

“Aaja Sohneya…Ghar Aaja Sohneya”

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Tere Baajon Jee Nain Lagda
Main Tay Marr Gai Thaan
Aaja Sohneya
Ghar Aaja Sohneya

I know I know I have been awful about updating the blog but I can’t help it! I have been busy at work and then I have been booked with social engagements. Yes that’s right! After all the moaning and complaining that I don’t have a core group around…I have made efforts to meet new folks and then try to go out as often as possible. Bhatji isn’t home during the week and so I have nothing else to do but be a social butterfly. In other news, I auditioned for a Bollywood dance teacher’s position, and I am pretty sure that I screwed up! I can’t fathom why I was so nervous and why I messed up so badly in front of 2 girls. I love to dance and perform. Crowds have never made me nervous but I guess I have been out of touch with dance and it took me forever to choreograph a one minute piece :o( By the time I got in and out…I pretty much knew I lost my shot at it. Ahh but it felt good to get back into the groove of dancing. I miss my dance crew soo much. If I could I would love to gather those girls together and have one big reunion performance…but for now I guess I have to keep trying out. I’m used to trying out girls to join my team and not me trying out for another dance team. Let me tell you it’s a nerve racking experience. I even replayed the dance sequence in my head and was disappointed at how many mistakes I made. Sigh.
Well on to the foodie part of this blog. My mom had given me this dry spicy potato dish that goes perfectly with roti or yogurt rice. I had this idea of making a wrap with some leftover rotis, cheese and onions and it turned out superb! It made a perfect meal for just lil ole me :o) So here is the recipe for spicy potato wrap:

4 medium size potatoes
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp mustard seeds
¼ tsp ginger paste
¼ tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp red chilli powder
Lemon juice
1-2 tbsp oil
salt to taste
2 rotis
One small red onion chopped
Shredded cheese as needed
2 green chilies chopped

To Make:
Wash and peel potatoes. Cut into wedges or large cubes and boil them in salted water until tender. Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds. When they begin to splutter add cumin and sesame seeds. Add ginger paste, turmeric and red chili powder and sauté for a few minutes. Add potatoes and season to taste. Stir until they are well coated with spices. Sprinkle lemon juice and serve hot.
Take a roti and add the potatoes in the center of the roti. Top the potatoes with onions and then cheese and a few green chilies. Use a sandwich maker to heat the wrap in it and it will turn out to look like an empanada. MMMM soo good!

Try this recipe and let me know how it turns out for you. So until the next yummy recipe… Happy Blogging!

P.S (I can’t wait till Bhatji comes home this weekend so I can cook up a storm. I miss him too much :o( Hence the song on my blog)

“Hey hey hey, I’m losing you yeah, ain't love the sweetest thing”

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Baby’s got blue skies up ahead
But in this I’m a rain cloud
You know she likes a dry kind of love
Oh oh oh, the sweetest thing

Yea I know it has been long…but what to do? sometimes work life is not so easy. On a happier note Mzswats is staying with me for the next 3 days before she goes back to NYC. She has had a lot of decisions to make but whatever she decides I will support. Its what makes her happy :o) I have decided to cheer her up by taking her out to dinner and getting her a lil drunk at happy hours. Nothing like sisterly bonding over some liquor!
Last weekend my parents hosted a graduation celebration picnic for Bhatji and Mzswats. Lots of good family, friends, food and beautiful weather made the picnic successful. We played bingo, balancing a lemon on a spoon game. For one day we were all big kids running around not worrying about the real world. Ahh good times!
Last Friday, I made one of Bhatji’s favorite dishes, Hakka noodles. I had bought some pork chops a while ago hoping for a bbq. Since that hasn’t happened yet, I decided to make Indo Asian style pork chops and mint yogurt chutney to go along with the Hakka noodles. It was soooo good! I don’t usually prepare pork so this dish turned out to be a success and Bhatji was inhaling it! I have shared recipe for Hakka noodles in the past so here is the recipe for Asian Grilled Pork chops.

Ingredients for broiled Pork Chops:
2 lean Pork chops
3 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon of veg.oil
1 tablespoon of dry rosemary
1 tsp pepper
2 tsp of dry Thyme
Salt to taste
To Make:
Combine soy sauce, mustard, Wostershire sauce, veg. oil, pepper, rosemary, thyme into a ziplock bag. Add the pork to the bag. After squeezing the air out, seal the bag and make sure the meat is well coated with the marinade. Refrigerate for 2 hours (the longer the better or even 30 mins could work for quick marinade) Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Remove the chops from the marinade. Pan sear the chops on a pan for 3 mins on each side. Place the chops in an oven safe pan and add the extra marinade on top. Season the chops with salt and pepper. Broil the chops for about 7-8 mins on each side until done. Remove and cool for a few min before serving.

Ingredients for Mint yogurt chutney:
½ cup fresh mint leaves, well rinsed
½ cup cilantro leaves, well rinsed
2 cloves garlic
¼ cup onion, chopped
2 tablespoons lime juice
¼ cup plain yogurt
Salt to taste
Water as needed
To Make:
Blend all ingredients in a blender. Add water to liquefy if needed. Serve with chops.

You can also cook the chops on an outdoor grill. It will add smoky flavors to the meat. Hopefully one these days Bhatji and I will get some time to grill outdoors. The weathers too nice these days and there’s nothing like the summer breeze and yummy bbq! That’s all for this entry…until the next delectable entry…Happy Eating!

“I guess if I can let the night just drift away so baby whatcha gon' do?”

Friday, June 15, 2007

Cause I don't wanna lose it
come on keep it movin
All I really want is
for you to back it up
go on and put your weight on it
cause it's alright
do what you wanna
make me believe ya
ooh I wanna see ya
Get it shawty, get it shawty

I am too excited about this weekend! Of course Bhatji is coming home today and also my lil Tina is coming to visit! I haven’t seen her since a short dinner in April so needless to say there will tons of fun with the family and good friends. Also this weekend we are having a family picnic celebrating Bhatji and Mzswats graduation and just enjoy the summer sun. There will be plenty of food, drinks and games. I haven’t seen some of the folks that are coming to the picnic for a while now so it should be fun catching up with everyone.
Ahh I love picnics! In my younger days in Mysore, summer meant a lot of picnics and game time with the family. Mysore was a beautiful city with lots of greenery and the surrounding villages and towns were just as beautiful. We used to drive to different villages and towns and stop at a quiet corner near a lake or a pond, eat mom’s yummy food under a tree, and then play Frisbee or card games. Often my cousins would visit us or our family friends would bring their kids for their summer holidays. Those were some good times. No worries, no stress, summer was full of innocent fun, imagination and adventure.
Bhatji and I love indo Chinese food. I know I have already posted my recipe for Gobi Manchurian, sweet corn soup and Hakka noodles. Another favorite of ours is Chili chicken. This simple and spicy recipe for will definitely satisfy. I referenced Meena's recipe for Chili chicken and just added extra veggies. Here is the recipe:
2 chicken breasts cut into 1-inch cubes
1 medium-sized onion, sliced thin
1 red bell pepper chopped
1 tbsp ginger paste
1 tbsp garlic paste
2-3 green chilies, finely chopped
2 stalks of green onion, chopped
2 tbsp soy sauce
½ tsp crushed black pepper
1 tsp red chili powder
1 cup water
2 tbsp cooking oil
2 tsp of corn flour mixed with 2 table spoon water
Salt, to taste

To Make:
Heat oil in a non-stick pan and sauté chopped green chilies, chopped onions and fry till lightly brown. Add the red bell pepper, ginger and garlic paste and cook till fragrant. Add chicken pieces and cook on medium heat. Once the chicken looks cooked add salt, pepper, chili powder and Soya sauce and cook for a minute. Add water and let it come to a boil. Add corn flour mixture and stir till sauce thickens. Cover cook for a few minutes and garnish with chopped green onions.

It was so good that Bhatji keeps asking me to make this dish over and over again. Also you can throw in mushrooms if you like. Even though this is a spicy dish, Bhatji and I always add extra hot sauce on top of the rice…its not spicy if you aren’t tearing up a lil ;o) Well until the next lip-smacking blog…have a great weekend everyone!

“I know it's up for me, if you steal my sunshine”

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Making sure I'm not in too deep
If you steal my sunshine
Keeping versed and on my feet

It is incredible how attached you get once you are married! I mean you live, breathe, eat and sleep with one person by your side so it’s natural to feel attached. Anyway I know I have harped on how much I miss Bhatji during the week but I can’t help it and I can’t wait till the last day of his internship hehe. I know I am being selfish but I don’t care….I want him home and with me :o)
Ok enough of my sappy blabber. This past weekend was a lil rough. Bhatji and I had some major decisions to make…. our apt lease is ending and we weren’t sure what our future holds for us. We decided to resign our lease and take it one day at a time. If we move (depending on our jobs) then our landlords have asked to find them tenants who will take over our lease and we should be good to go. But for a short while there it didn’t look like our landlords would negotiate a deal where we could be released from our lease if we needed to move. I was really worried…especially because I am such a planner. In college I had to know well in advance which dorm I was going to stay at and which one of my friends was going to my roomie. I had a friend who would wait till the very last minute and people would plan for her! I can’t imagine being that way; it would irritate me to no end. Regardless of all the weekend stress, I am very happy that Bhatji and I will continue in our fabulous apt :o)
On Sunday Bhatji and I finally hung out in old town Alexandria. A lot of my coworkers are amazed that we have been living in the DC area and not visited Alexandria. And so Bhatji and I decided to see if it lived to all the hype. And it did! It was beautiful…reminded me of a typical European town with outdoor cafes, cobble stone roads and a gorgeous water front. The weather was also absolutely perfect. We sat outside and enjoyed a very tasty Thai meal. I can’t wait to go back again one of these days; I am probably going to be taking my parents, sister and my mother in law when she visits. Fun times!
Also this past weekend I had bought a honeydew melon thinking that it would make for a morning snack, but instead I decided to make honeydew juice. During the rough summer months in India, my mom used to make cantaloupe juice which was soooo yummy and refreshing….perfect during the unbearable heat. My mom told me that melons produce a cooling effect within our bodies when we eat them. This is probably why we love watermelons, cantaloupes and honey dew melons during the summer. The honeydew juice turned out very good! It took me back to my summers in India….yes the summers were brutal but my mom, my sister and I used to play cards and consume tons and tons of melon juice to cool down :o) Bhatji too loved it and it was all gone within the weekend! I am going to have make some more. Here is the recipe for a refreshing honeydew juice.

1 honeydew melon
½ cup of lemon juice
½ cup sugar
¼ cup of honey
2 cups sparkling or plain water, chilled
Ice cubes as needed
Couple of crushed mint leaves
4 slices of lemon for garnish
To Make:
Cut the honeydew melons in half and remove and discard the seeds. Working in batches, puree the honeydew melon, mint leaves in a blender. As each batch is finished, transfer it to a bowl. Add the lemon juice, sugar, honey, water and ice cubes to the puree and mix in a blender to combine until the sugar is dissolved. Cover and set aside at room temperature for at least 1 hour or up to 4 hours to blend the flavors. When it is ready to be served add some sliced lemons to the juice.

Definitely give this juice a try! It is worth the work :o) and perfect for summer outdoors gatherings or while you laze away a summer afternoon. Yay! Mzswats is coming into town tonight and we are doing dinner with my favorite kind of Brownman Neil ;o) Summer is pretty good so far…only wish Bhatji was here! Until the next delicious blog entry...celebrate the sunshine!

PS (the Len song makes absolutely no sense! But it’s catchy none the less)

“You can't live with 'em, you can't live without 'em”

Thursday, June 7, 2007

There's somethin' irresistabullish about 'em.
We grin and bear it 'cause the nights are long.
I hope that somethin' better comes along

I love summer! Its perfect weather right now and I am spending as much time on my balcony as possible. Yep you can catch me with a book or laptop and a glass of wine lounging on the papasan. Of course Bhatji is away during the weekdays and I have nothing but time. I am looking forward to the next few weekends….I am going to have lots of people visit me and I can’t wait!
So on to the foodie segment of my blog. This past Sunday when Bhatji was home…it was raining so we decided to eat at home. My mom had bought me some ready made puris from the Indian store and so we decided to enjoy a pani puri evening :o) Pani puris have several fillings depending on the different regions of India. But since we decided last minute we sorta made our own version of Pani puri fillings. I didn’t have to make puris so that was helpful.
Fillings for the Pani puri:
1) mashed potato with salt and pepper
2) a can of garbanzo beans
3) chopped onions (well I like it with onions :o)
4) Pani – jaljeera mixed in water

Ingredients for Tamarind Chutney:
6 tbl spns of Tamarind pulp
3 tbl spns of Jaggery/sugar
½ tsp of Red chilli powder
¼ tsp of Black pepper powder
1 tsp of Roasted cumin powder
1 ½ cups of Warm water
Salt to taste
To make:
Mix the tamarind pulp with the warm water and let it sit for about 10 mins. Add sugar, red chilli powder, black pepper powder, roasted cumin powder, and salt. Cook the tamarind mixture for 5 minutes on medium heat. Cool and serve.

Ingredients for Green chutney:
½ bunch ( 8 to 9 leaves) Mint Leaves
½ bunch of cilantro
4 cups of Cold Water
3 teaspoons Black pepper powder
3 teaspoons Salt
2 teaspoons Cumin powder
1 inch piece of Fresh Ginger
1 ½ tspns of Lemon juice
To make:
Wash the mint and cilantro leaves and grind all of the above ingredients in a blender with the cold water and serve.

Well Bhatji and I gobbled down as many puris as humanly possible. MMMHMM we love chaat and if I had it my way (and chaat was healthy) I would eat pani puris every day. Well since I am able to make the chutneys by myself, I guess we will be eating chaat more often :o) until the next blog, Happy Eating!

PS (The muppets song is dedicated to Bhatji hehe)

“Cause in my head there’s a greyhound station where I send my thoughts to far off destinations”

Monday, June 4, 2007

I do believe it’s true
that there are roads left in both of our shoes
if the silence takes you
Then I hope it takes me too
so brown eyes I hold you near
cause you’re the only song I want to hear
a melody softly soaring through my atmosphere
where soul meets body

It’s raining and will continue raining this whole week. But because of the rain Bhatji and I had a much needed relaxing Sunday. In fact this whole past weekend was relaxing for the both of us. Especially since the 2 weekends before this one was absolute traveling madness. I cant believe that 2 weeks of his 10 week internship are up! Yep time is flying. Bhatji and I went to Bebo Trattoria for a good Italian dinner on Saturday, followed by the movie, Shrek the Third and it was really good :o) Well we liked it because we are 2 big kids at heart. I had originally planned to do something outdoorsy on Sunday but unfortunately when we woke up it was grey and raining. So we decided to do a big brunch at Whitlows on Wilson and then settled onto our cozy futon for an afternoon of Entourage marathon. This past Friday I picked Bhatji up from the train station and took him directly to school. I was soooo happy to see him. I really wanted to make a dish that was super yummy and would remind him of his I decided to make one of his favorite Marathi dishes: Pav Bhaji. I didn’t have any Pav so we had to make do with toasted bread. It was my first time making it and I was a little nervous because there are several steps to making it but it really wasn’t as hard as I expected. The Bhaji turned out fantastic and Bhatji chowed down like he had never before. So I am sharing the Pav Bhaji recipe with you folks :o)
1 small head of cauliflower or half a head of large cauliflower cut into florets
2 Large potatoes
1 medium onion chopped
3 large tomatoes chopped
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp chili powder
1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
3 tbsp pav-bhaji masala (you might need more)
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp oil
Salt to taste
To Make:
Boil the cauliflower and potatoes in a pressure cooker until they are soft. You can also throw the cauliflower in a big pot of water and boil until soft. You can throw the potatoes in a large microwavable bowl filled with water and heat for about 8-10 mins. One they are boiled and soft. In a big pot heat oil in and add the onion and cook until slightly brown. Add the ginger-garlic paste and tomatoes mix well and cook until the tomatoes are turn into a pulp. Add turmeric powder, chili powder, salt (and peas if you are using them) and sauté for a few mins. Add the boiled potatoes and cauliflower, pav-bhaji masala and make sure it all mixes well. Add about ½ cup of water and keep mixing and cook for about 8-10 mins. Then take this mixture from the pot and put into a food processor and “grind” or “mix”. Make sure that it is not a complete paste because then it will be too liquidy for the bread. I only mixed for about 30-40 secs. I could still see some solid potato and cauliflower pieces. I took this mixture and put into back into the pot. I added about 1 tsp of pav bhaji masala and ¼ cup of water. Cook on Medium heat for 15 minutes and keep mixing so the masala is blended into the veggies. Keep tasting and adjusting salt, masala until it tastes like its well balanced flavor of the masala and the tomatoes. Serve with Pav.
I didn’t have the typical burger buns so I used the regular wheat bread. I applied butter on both sides of the bread and toasted it on a pan for 2 mins on both sides. Do not use a toaster. When you toast it on the pan you can really taste the butter. I served the Bhaji on top of the bread with some raw red onions and a small dollop of butter for Bhatji; this is the typical way most Marathi folks like their Pav Bhaji. I however like my bhaji on the side with all the toppings and dip my pav into it. Needless to say Bhatji came home from his long class and gobbled down lots and lots of the bhaji. Even I was surprised at how good it turned out! Nothing compared to my mom’s but still a close second :o)

More recipes to come, maybe not a feat like the Pav bhaji since I am alone during the week but small, one pot meals that will get me through the week. So until then, Happy Eating!

Life with Extra Mirchi - by Templates para novo blogger