Showing posts from 2012

Good Bye

Last post of the year ... :) .. personally has been a gr8 year for me

So again I shifted yet another house this year ... seems like I end up shifting atleast once a year!!
Great learning and experiences professionally as well

On the social scene I feel it was definitely an year for change .. India against corruption campaign earlier and now the campaign for women's safety .. hats off to all the volunteers and Student Associations .. way to go

Coming to the new year ... loads of dreams and loads of things to do .. miles to go before  I sleep .. :)
Ah ..  as usual taking time for exercise and balanced diet top my list of new year resolutions .. only to be forgotten once I dig into my new year's special lunch tomorrow .. :)

Looking forward to this bright new year ...
Wish you all a very happy and prosperous new year

Weekend Wrap-up!

Had an interesting weekend.
Watched the movie Life of Pi - 3D .. Loved it .. :)
Been to the dentist ... hated it .. :( Tried to make some Veg Pullav and satisfied with the outcome ... :) So with 2 :) was over-all a :) weekend ... :) :)
I'm no cooking wiz .. infact i'm a lousy cook .. so feels funny to be putting these recipes ... :) Try them at your own risk .. :) :)
About the Pullav recipe .. i'm mighty impressed by a couple of shows on the traveler channels .. so decided to go with the 'from scratch' approach for the spices. Well I was not really confident to pull it all till the end so finally added just a dash of biryani masala .. :D .. what would i do without them?? ..
Gather your stuff Cut veggies like carrots, cauliflower, onions and peasCollect spices like laung-elaichi, ginger-garlic, pepper and bay-leafMalai (cream) and kaju, badam, pista (dry-fruits) - let's make it "shahi" (meaning royal)

Heat some oil. I use the cooker directly. sav…

Kolkatta - City of Joy

Kolkatta - capital city of WB, one of the major cities in India and a major power center during the Raj. The last  one sure sticks to kolkatta ... :). All the prominent landmarks are from the British era - the Howrah bridge or the Victoria Memorial or the Howrah railway station itself.

The city has expanded a lot in the last couple of decades with the new settlements like New Town or Rajarhat and Salt Lake city almost about 25-30 kms away from the city center. These areas are like an entire city within the larger city of Kolkatta.

One striking thing about kolkatta is the bazars!! - simply amazed by their shear size and numbers. There is Garia Haat, new market, Shaam bazar, Bow bazar, Shova bazar and top of all - the Babu ghat ... I'm sure I've missed a couple of equally huge markets and bazars. And we are not even counting the numerous malls and city centers around .. :) People here simply love to shop. And kolkatta cotton - why even my trip mates were buying like there is no t…

Diwali 2012

Had an amazing Diwali this year ... had been to Kolkatta - the city of joy. More on the trip later .. :)

Enjoyed a lot in the office as well .. with a whole week of activities - cube decorations and diya painting events. And office decorations - as always were totally amazing. They put you into the festive mood with lights and rangoli, diyas and flowers everywhere ...

On home front .. it was mostly travelling. Getting to see Diwali in Kolkatta .. with Kali Puja and loads of rassogullas .. :)

I've moved yet again. Same city, another house .. :) . So missed the Diwali and specially the fire cracker show in Magarpatta.

Paneer Jalfrezi ... It's eazy ..

Don't ask me why it is called Jalfrezi .. I'm myself confused with the name .. :)
But the recipe is super simple so here it ..

Paneer cubedCapsicum choppedOnions choppedTomatoes - pureedGinger and garlic - finely choppedGreen Peas - good if they are boiled.Malai - optional, but that's where the taste comes from .. :)Garam masala - easily available. coriander - finely chopped for garnishing

Take some oil in a kadhai. I always skip the step of frying the paneer pieces and use them directly instead. Add copped ginger and garlic followed by chopped onions and chopped capsicums and let it cook till tenderAdd salt to taste, garam masala, chilli powder and turmeric powder and let it cook for a few minsAdd tomato puree and more water for consistency. Again let it cook for few minsNow add some malai. It gives a great consistency to the gravy and amazing taste.Specially to counter balance the sour taste from tomato puree. Finally add paneer cubes and boiled green peas and let it cook t…

Memories ..

Been busy for a while and haven't been able to take a break. That's when you remember earlier breaks and trips you had made and the best times you have had.

For me best times have been all my trips to konkan. I Love everything about konkan. The wonderfully fresh sea food, the serene beaches, the greenery and the ghats and rivers. Just awesome ... all of it.

Sharing few of my pics from my favorite konkan trips ... day dreaming of being there already .. :)

Ganapati Bappa Morya!! ...

My favorite time of the year is here ... :)

It's Ganesh Utsav and most housing complexes and several Ganesh mandals all over the city are decked up to welcome Ganapati Bappa. This 10 day festival starts with installing the Ganesh idol and daily poojas and aartis. Most mandals organize different social events, blood donation camps,charity events as well as entertainment events like talent shows and music shows. At our house too we install the Ganesh idol and invite friends and relatives over for aarti and prasad.

This year we went for a completely Eco-friendly Ganesha. We got the idol from a local vendor and it was made out of 'shadu maati'. They had used natural dyes and colors made out of turmeric and kumkum for painting the idol. It really looked very beautiful and serene.

For the decorations, it was a simple lotus made out of pink card sheet paper. No thermocol or plastic decorations this year .. :). With a blue cloth for background and green colored handmade paper cut t…

Subz Dum Biryani ..

Subz Dum Biryani - I agree it's just a fancier name to a relatively simple recipe .. :)

Cut vegetables like cauliflower, beans, carrots.
Boil the cut vegetables along with peas and corn until they are soft and tender Separately, cook the Basmati Rice
Make 2 portions of the cooked rice - for one portion use some food color to make it a little colorful

Saute some onions, green chilies, coriander, Pudina leaves, ginger-garlic along with some 'biryani masala'. You could also add some tomatoes to this.
If 'Biryani masala' is not available use spices like - pepper, clove, Tej patta and cardamom
Grind the above sauteed mixture in a grinder to make a fine paste
Add the boiled vegetables to this masala paste. Now layer the masala paste and the colorful rice successively in a large kadai.

Close it with a firm lid. Place some heavy object on top of the lid - this is our home made 'Dum' .. :)
Alternatively, some people also seal the lid to the kadai using some 'atta'…

Colors of Independence ..

Dudhi halwa - one of my favorite since it's easy to make and healthier as well.  Below is my simple recipe:

Grate the dudhi by peeling it with slicer and making small manageable pieces.Heat some home made ghee in a 'kadhai' and add the grated dudhi into itSaute the Dudhi till it changes the color slightlyAdd some 'malai' and a little bit of milk and sugar as per tasteLet it cook for about 10mins on low flameFinally add some shavings of almonds/cashews/pistachios as per requirement
And for some fun ... :)
Take a little amount of 'kesar' and mix it well in the milk.
Add this to a small amount of 'halwa' to give it an orange hue
Alternatively, you could also use orange food color to give it a better color.
Arrange the 'Halwa' in 2 layers to represent the Indian flag - Orange and Green
In the center sprinkle some coconut to give it a white color look.

Using food color, these colors and decoration can be changed as per the occasion .. :)
Happy In…

Serene Waters

This is a snap of the river Godavari in Nasik. This snap was taken just a few days after the monsoons started this year. The waters look so calm and serene. Sitting on the banks and eating 'peru' and 'bhutta' is a wonderful experience.

Mumbai calling ...

Mumbai .. the maximum city as it is known is a truly inspiring place .. I've always loved visiting Mumbai and it always leave me awestruck ... :)

Sharing a few snaps from one of my recent trips to this amazing city ...

We traveled from Pune by the 'Deccan Queen' express which has been running on this route for 82 years now ... what a legacy... Loved everything from the people and their spirit around to the pantry car and it's delicacies ... :)

The route goes via the beautiful lonavla-khandala ghats which were in full glory during this monsoon season. The wada-pav at karjat and the coffee from PC is a must have while enjoying the monsoon sights of the ghats.

We reach the CST - Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus in Mumbai which is a very impressive edifice. It also houses the Railway offices. We walk from there to the flora fountain or fort area. The entire area is sprinkled with lots of impressive looking old and new buildings of great importance. So beautiful yet sadly so vuln…

Nashik - a historic visit ..

Its really funny. I've spent my entire school and junior college years in Nashik and yet there are places in Nashik where I've never been. Strange enough some of these places are really famous like the Sundar Narayan Temple or Sita Guha. So this vacation I spent a couple of days in my hometown - Nashik to actually see the places for which Nashik is famous.

Nashik is considered to be a very ancient settlement with stories and events from the holy epic Ramayana having happened here. There are many temples around the area known as 'Panchvati' which is considered to be holy land.

I visited the Sundar Narayan temple on the Godavari river banks. It is said that on the day of equinox in March, the Sun rays directly fall at the feet of the idol here. Its a very beautiful temple but sadly not very well maintained.
From the temple we went onward to the river banks also known as Goda (short for Godavari river) Ghat. Here too there are several temples - one specific worth mentioni…