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I am a professional and a cook,rather a cook by choice and passion.Cooking is something I fantasise about.When I first thought of starting a blog,a thousand ideas coursed through my mind,albeit,none stood the sands of time.Except for the thought of a food blog accompanied by subtle nuances from daily life and from the world around me!



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Monday, July 26, 2010

And the brown rice steals the show!

It had been a cosy Saturday afternoon sometime in November last year.The nip had already set in and the air felt chilly when it bristled against the skin.The stairs at the porch of our deck basked in the soft sunrays as a couple of us gathered for an impromptu gossip.One thing lead to another when all of a sudden,one of us came up with the idea of having Chicken Biriyani that night.We would have ample time on our hands to get together all the ingredients and once done,we would put on our aprons and get to work with lots of chatter,a munch here and a sip there!It would be a day well-spent!

No sooner had we put our minds to work, the chicken made its way way to the kitchen and one of us busied ourselves in washing it well and soaking it into the marinade.An expert chopper snipped her knife mercilessly through a couple of big,white onions,letting them roll out into white filigreed slivers.The chillies would be next and the others would follow.
Time rolled by,and by evening we had everything at hand;the chicken nestled cosily in the refrigerator,the succulent juices of the marinade inundating the insides.The spices laid out on the counter.Everything seemed perfect,but for the rice!Ohh so we had to get the long-grained Basmati rice from the nearest Indian store before we even started.Thank heavens that someone remembered!

The zip-locked packet of India Gate Basmati Rice saw us through.The zipper flew and out came the first handful of rice.But what was this?Heaped on a palm was this long-grained rice albeit one that was brown in color,not white and had the coarse husk about it.It did even seem polished!My, my...so there was this whole packet of brown rice which sat on our counter at eight in the evening.Did someone say we were supposed to have Biriyani?A virulent mayhem ensued, a couple of long faces - and soon enough,another bag of pristine white polished long-grained rice had been fetched from the store.The brown rice was banished somewhere,no one cared to know where.The Biriyani seemed divine that night after all that trepidation!

A long time passed by after that,and then I happened to chance upon the same bag of brown rice,sulking in the deepest abyss of my kitchen counter a couple of days back.I would in no way throw away these precious grains,the wordlywise mind thought.It does not bear the quintessential fragrance of its whiter twin,the same look or even the same taste for that matter,but then it is rice after all!I went hunting down recipes,lovely ones that would make the brown rice seem worthwhile.And lucky me, find out I did!I managed to lay my hands on this lovely Brown Rice Pudding from Madhuram's blog for eggless cooking and just tweaked it a bit to prepare the pudding which I will write about in today's post.There are couple of more recipes with brown rice that I eventually tried out and will post them in later posts.Thanks so much Madhuram, for sharing your recipe and letting me borrow it.The rice pudding earned me a thousand pats-on-the-back and it was indeed contentment galore!
Linking up this post to 'Fresh Food Friday' at Roz's place 'la bella vita'...
...and 'Let's do Brunch' at April's place!

Friday, July 23, 2010

A day by the lake shore

The past weekend was a nice one!We had been having hectic schedules recently and an outing to lift our cranky moods would almost be elixir to us.So out came our thinking cups over our evening cups of coffee one day.We have been staying in this place long enough to have explored almost every nook and cranny that seemed to peek out from Google maps!But this would in no way be a visit to a place we had been before - it had to be a completely unexplored one!

After much debate and deliberations, we finally zeroed in on a place that had somehow managed to escape our attention this long!Plans of a visit to Sauble beach was immediately chalked out.Sauble beach, on the eastern shores on Lake Huron in Ontario, is a picturesque stretch of beach area and the favorite haunt of beach-goers on a hot summer weekend.Cruising along on a three hour long drive, we drove along country roads through small counties, some quaint, some queer and some upscale. We passed the town of Garafraxa, the name being more of a tongue-twister! The green fields of Chatworth passed by as I managed to capture the shingle of a lake respledent under the sun in its bluish-green hue. Driving past Hepworth and Abermarle, we finally entered Wiarton. The faintest tip of Wiarton along the town of South Bruce Peninsula is the Sauble beach. The name traces back to a French origin, when French inhabitants named the beach after the Sauble river which meets Lake Huron near the Sauble Falls.
The beach lay dotted with merry beach-goers lazing to their heart's content under the hot summer sun.The waters seemed a myriad mix of blue and brown with whitish waves lapping against the beach.A paintbrush was at work when beautiful billowy clouds adorned the otherwise azure skies.Everywhere, the colors seemed to play havoc setting aflutter every heart that was fortunate enough to be reveling here.
We intended to touch down upon Sauble Falls on our way back, and so we did!The Falls seemed to be a paupery remnant of some gushing waterfall once upon a time that had nevertheless stood the sands of time.The placid waters rippled mindlessly upon jagged rocks with a soft murmuring sound and finally nestled on a bed of rocks at the foot of the falls. 
The rays of the setting sun playfully mingled with the lime-green leaves of the trees around the lake as the heart heaved a gentle sigh!It was finally time to go back home.At that moment, it felt like I understood what Wordsworth actually meant when he penned the lines "And oft when on my couch I lie, in vacant or in pensive mood/ They flash upon thy inward eye which is the bliss of solitude." 
I unwittingly admit that this is indeed a very uncouthly put version of the happiness and peace that I happened to experience somewhere deep inside my heart, but the ripple of the gurgling stream and the surge of the lashing waves still ring in my mind and undoubtedly, the stupor still pervades!For today's post, I leave my readers with the exhilaration of my trip and memories abound.See you again shortly with another of my culinary creations!So long, happy reading!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Koraishutir Kochuri - the green peas magic and more!

This post of mine goes to the fabulous event titled 'A.W.E.D- Indian Cuisine' started by DK of 'Chef in You' and being hosted by Ayeesha in her lovely blog 'Taste of Pearl City'
Phew!It was a long day at work today.Loads of work unfolded the moment I entered my overloaded mailbox early in the morning.The hours ticked by as I shuffled about my desk,sifting through the paperwork and mincing with numbers and figures. By the time I wrapped up,the sun was still high up in the sky.When I first set foot in this part of the world, I would be in awe to see the sun gleaming down at us  even at eight in the evening.In the country of my birth, eight in the evening is almost like deep in the night!

I never remember when I had rested my head on a pillow and dozed off till the soft pitter-patter of raindrops woke me up.Big droplets of rain were somersaulting on the awning atop my neighbors doorway.We have quite a funny arrangement in the apartment that I live.The window in my bedroom overlooks the doorway that leads to the front door of my neighbor above.It sounds sort of weird,but then the arrangement is convenient in the sense that we do not come into each other's way when we go out or come in.There is the much needed space that everyone has a willful right to, I guess.

Anyway, I shook myself up and clambered out of the unkempt bed with slumber till clinging on heavily to my benumbed senses.I rolled down the blinds and there it was!Sharp shards of summer rain lashing straight onto my porch and shiny droplets of water waiting to roll off the velvety green leaves.My mind wandered to muddy roads and small puddles of water on which I would set afloat small boats fashioned hurriedly out of newspapers, as a kid!And yes,the earthy cinnamony fragrance of summer rains seeping into the parched mud.The same smell that reminds me of the rains back home.

I had a friend team up with me this Sunday to churn out Koraishutir Kochuri (a deep-fried bread made with flour and stuffed with spiced green pea mush) and Aloor Dum (a spicy potato curry prepared the Bengali way) from the larder.The combination of Kochuri and Aloor Dum, an oft-repeated delicacy in almost all Bengali homes, made us wallow in the aroma of the magical spices that wafted through hearth and home.It was a Sunday well spent and well-fed!

For today's post, I will post our Koraishutir Kochuri and Aloor Dum recipe,the way we had prepared it.It may not be the traditional rendition and that is a disclaimer I owe to all my readers.Nevertheless, it is the rendition that we managed to churn out and forgive me for gloating sheepishly but I must say,you can give it a try.So long,happy reading and happy cooking!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Rotini pasta with chicken and veggies

I am sending this post to Presto Pasta Nights # 205 being hosted by Debbie at her space 'Debbie Does Dinner' , 'Hearth and Soul Blog Hop # 39' and 'These Chicks Cooked Link Party- Featuring your Best Recipes #29' at Katie's place!!

So here I am back,after a longish self-imposed exile.For those of you who might be wondering where I had been all these months (the last post I had written was in May), I was visiting home. I have been back for quite sometime now but I guess procrastination got the better of me as it has been doing always!:)

Anyway,it was so great to be back here after the hiatus.I have been doing a good amount of cooking in the meantime and had been clicking away photos of my creations in all glory.I start off my return innings by posting a pasta recipe which is extremely simple to make but astonishingly yummy,given the time and effort to cook it.All I needed was some vegetables and a few things which are almost manna for any pasta recipe.I will not say I am a regular with pasta because in reality I actually am quite scared of cooking pasta.The impish devil inside my head keeps on giving me scary premonitions about over-boiling the pasta and turning it into an inedible mush.But the rotini pasta proved to be quite tame and malleable and saved me from sacrilege whatsoever!So if I could cook pasta,with all these challenges to wrestle with,I bet anyone can.So here goes my rotini pasta recipe!Happy cooking!:)