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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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Friday, May 27, 2011

Summery nostalgia and a light Minced chicken curry

I'm back to my blog after almost a month.Thanks to everyone who cared to drop me a line  after my last post.All has not been good,but some of it has been. And I guess everyone has to flow with the tide!So be it!

So summer is in full swing!As a kid, summer days would mean waiting eagerly for the summer vacations to be announced.With sweltering heat reigning supreme in my part of the world,summer mornings would be spent lazing on the couch and poring over novels for hours together. Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys would keep us intriguing company.With no boring textbooks to mull over and the folks letting us breathe easy,it would be a feast for our kid hearts!Ohh what lovely days!

As in every tropical country, it would also be the time for mangoes!Lovely amber-hued succulent mangoes with an enticing and lingering flavor!There were a whole gamut of varieties all of which was never known to me - not that I was too keen to know though!All that I was keen for was to dig my teeth greedily into the sweet fleshy mangoes. Visitors to our home would be treated to cooled and cubed mangoes, sometimes sprinkled with a fine dusting of rock salt and black pepper.Another of our favorites would be my Mom's homemade milkshake which she made a point to serve anytime I would bring my friends along.Skillfully extracting the pulp, she would blitz it together with cooled milk and sweeten it with sugar and a dash of honey.And what heavenly the frothy smoothie would taste on a tepid summer afternoon!
All said and done,I will now come out of my 'mango-ey' nostalgia and move ahead with my recipe for today.Well,since I have been rambling so long about summer contours,you must have guessed by now that my recipe will have something to do with summer!Rightly so, my recipe today is a very easy,sublime and lightly flavored Minced Chicken curry gently spiced and finished off with a light dash of lemon.Hope you enjoy the dish!Happy cooking!

Posting this recipe to Roz's beautiful blog titled 'La Bella Vita' and 'Friday Blog Hop' at Katherine's!!

Minced Chicken Curry
You will need:
Minced chicken - 500 gms
Onion - 2 small
Ginger - About an inch
Garlic - 5-6 cloves
Yogurt - 2 tablespoons,diluted with a little water
Green chillies
Capsicum - Chopped finely
Cilantro - Finely chopped
1 freshly cut lemon

Spices - 
Turmeric powder - 1 teaspoon
Cumin powder - 1 teaspoon
Coriander powder - 1/2 teaspoon

Canola or vegetable oil for cooking

How I made it:
1.First of all,grind the onion,ginger and garlic to a smooth paste.In a pan, heat 2 tablespoons of cooking oil and when hot enough, add the green chillies.Next add in the onion,ginger and garlic paste and fry till oil starts leaving the sides of the pan.

2.Now add in the minced chicken to the fried spices. Next add in salt,turmeric powder,cumin powder and coriander powder and mix everything together very well.
3.When the minced chicken is slightly cooked,add in the yogurt and stir well once again.Adding the yogurt will change the color of the gravy to a very soothing ochre.

4.Next add in a little water to help the chicken cook and cover with a lid.Keeping the lid on for 5-10 mins,remove it and low down the flame to allow the gravy to simmer.
5.Once the minced chicken is cooked,put off heat and squeeze out the juice of one freshly-cut lemon and spread it evenly over the dish. For the final garnish, sprinkle finely chopped cilantro on top and serve with plain,white rice!Enjoy the summer!

Friday, May 20, 2011

A tirade without a recipe - just for today!

So much has been happening in my life and yet I have been writing so little!

At times I wonder, I had started this blog as a keepsake of my thoughts,my ideas and what I feel about the world around.Basically this was a very stealthy way of coaxing my inner self to make itself shown.Yet there are things that I keep doubled up in my heart  - but no,I'm going to speak of such things today.

The Husband is having to move again to faraway climes.I absolutely dread this idea of us having to live away from each other even if it be for a short while.There are plans of me joining him shortly, but the exact duration of that 'shortly' part is still unbeknownst to both of us - and that is what irks me the most!Arrgghh - the uncertainties of life!Nevertheless, I know what happens does happen for the good and so I will be happy for him and for us.

But then there are graver situations.A friend is almost on the verge of losing a very close friend of hers to a terminal disease.The saddest part is that everything happened even before things could even sink in.It feels weird and unbelievable but then all I know is that its happening.At times I think it is so foolish that we bicker over things when everything is just as temporary as a mere pack of cards.And it feels selfish to think that I could be wallowing in self-pity when there are people suffering so much more!Life is such a strange jigsaw puzzle - you feel like you are putting things in place but however hard you try,you will have to struggle with that perfect piece which will just fit in and complete the puzzle!

Of much lesser importance is the part where I am haggling with this overworked brain of mine to make a crucial career decision.I have been biting my fingernails,surfing TV channels mindlessly,putting things in the wrong place and mulling over things which are absolutely out of my control!And after I have suffered a week of horrid sleepless nights and the sheep themselves have snoozed off because of the number of times I counted them back and forth - I have decided to give up and flow with the tide.And my decision is still unmade - poor me!

I know that all the way I have sounded like a crackpot, letting off a tirade like a pitiful maniac on the loose - but if you wish to believe me,I have been bungling under stress. But I hope to see things in a positive light and wish to bid the Husband a nice and sweet journey.

I shall be back soon with a nice recipe - but do excuse me for today.The blog and you,my dear blogger friends, have become such a habit,that it takes a lot to just stay away!

See you soon!Stay well and stay safe in the meantime!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Ambling down memory lane with Aloo Paratha in tow!

Sometimes when I'm just left to myself , I let my mind drift away and it amazingly fetches quite fleeting memories from bygone days that I almost never imagine I still retain!

It was on one such day,when I was sipping my morning cup of tea on a pleasant,slightly cloudy summer day that my thoughts went back to a certain Mrs.Shea.

Mrs Shea was my class teacher when I was in 2nd standard.She hailed from a family that had British roots, but she had resided in India most of her life.A tall and slim lady,she had auburn hair,flawless skin and a sparkling nicely-set row of teeth which would embellish her almost beatific smile.She was gentle-natured and got along quite well with us kids save for a scolding here and there when the boys turned a tad too unruly!I was too young to gauge her number of years back then,and all I knew was that she had three kids of her own - two sons and a daughter.They were older than us by a couple of years and she would make it a point to bring them along to any celebrations that happened at school.

I,in a way, idolized Mrs Shea.Her mild-mannered demeanor and her unwilting patience with us, taught us a valuable lesson in kindness and being humane.Standing at this juncture in life,I realize that with a husband not keeping well and children at home,she must have been plagued with worries about a whole lot of things!But not once did she lose her patience or let that sublime smile slip her lips.Not a day that I can remember!
She would almost always wear dark pleated skirts paired with floral printed blouses.On winter days,she would don a short jacket over her blouse and looked pretty smart in that!The most extravagant I've ever seen her was the day we had a feast in school and she came in a blackish red hued plaid skirt.It was a windy day nearing end of November and she had a matching short jacket on,as was customary for her.She wore a pleated blouse in cream with frills around the neck and cuffs,and looked suave. Simple but elegant stone-studded pearl earrings coupled with a pearl necklace and a dainty bracelet complemented our dear Mrs.Shea beautifully!

On some days,I used to share my 'tiffin' with her.My Mom would pack sandwiches slathered generously with butter and sprinkle sugar on top. The butter would gradually melt seeping into the soft bread encrusting the sugar crystals all the way.At lunch time,I would open my tiffin box and offer it to Mrs Shea and she would reach out and very carefully tear off a wee bit from the corner.I would persuade her to take some more with a coy 'Please,Miss'. Bemused, she would lovingly roll her eyes and tell me that Mom had packed tiffin for me to have and that wee bit would just be enough for her to enjoy!
I moved on to the next standard and then to the next and then finally I bid adieu to my lower school and left for high school.Mrs Shea lost her husband in the meantime - he was long suffering from an ailment - and she continued teaching in the same school.Mom took me to meet her before leaving lower school,but then gradually I started losing track.The last I ever heard of her was from one of my friends,who had met her one day at the grocery store in the neighboring town.She had aged with time and had silver streaks in her hair now.I so longed to catch up with my old school teacher!

For quite some time now, I've embarked on a personal mission to track down dear Mrs.Shea and in this age of internet power, I hope to break into some lead pretty soon.I just wish I could meet dear Mrs Shea once again!
I'm posting a very easy-peasy Aloo Paratha recipe which is a spicy potato filling-stuffed fried flatbread.It is an extremely popular Indian breakfast dish specially towards North India but I absolutely love having it any time of the day!I did tweak it at places to attune it to my palate - but the essential recipe has been kept the same.So here you go!

Sending this recipe to my favorite 'Hearth and Soul Blog Hop # 46' , 'Tuesdays at the tableand 'Midweek Fiesta # 6at Amy's place!!