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Easy as pie? My foot!

Just when my Ma decided to let me have my way in the kitchen and my dad chose to wait in eagerness for my pie instead of submitting to his worst fears, which primarily involves physical damage to myself, I cooked up my first ever kitchen disaster.

I was doing just fine. 15 minutes into the baking, it looked great. The smell, the aroma, filled my senses. Only thing, it looked a little dull, wheatish, not the perfect golden brown you see on TV or magazines. So I put it back into the oven. By the time I got the color right we had to hammer our way into the pie. **** the food designers. Me the photographer should have known better.

But then, Team India came to my rescue. Sachin went on to score yet another hundred and we looked good to reach 350. Easy match! Just then Sachin fell and the rest came tumbling after. 9 wickets in 29 runs! Now that’s a master act. South Africa won and by the end of the day no one remembered by pie.

Oh! I have to tell you this. While my mother was helping me with the pie she started singing “Sheila ki Jawani”. She returned my cold stares with a beaming smile as I made a futile attempt to make her stop. She did, but to my horror, soon started on “Munni badnam hui”. And I surrendered.

Well, I guess nothing is as easy as a pie… least of all instilling corrective behavior in your mother. But got to admit, they are always embarrassingly sweet.

Burnt remainings of my pie

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Being a wife is like being a master juggler.

Needless to say, with no prior experience, I landed myself in a big mess. In my good old maiden days, my mom decided what I would wear to work, and my dad did the ironing. My shoes always shined, and I left for work after having a five course meal for breakfast.

Looks like I missed the train and I’m stranded at platform number 9¾. But, I’m getting better at it, everyday…

One and half years into this new life, I can do a lot of things simultaneously. Sometimes I wonder if little elves come and cook me the finest delicacies, while I’m busy doing other things.

I guess not. Your mind just begins to work mysteriously to speed up your life and restore the fun back in your system.

The other day, while doing the laundry, I suddenly realized that my husband and I wear the same color to work. Strange! That’s what twins do (or are forced to do), not man and wife. I was confused. Despite my conscious effort to break the trend, I just couldn’t.

And, suddenly I knew why. Not so long ago I used to spend a lot of time sitting in front of the wardrobe deciding what to wear (not only for myself, but also for him). Now, I simply pull at whatever color catches my eye. That’s done in a minute. And, it’s easy… spares me a lot of time to have romantic breakfasts to begin my day. 🙂

And, why did I name this piece “Ami bhule gechi ki chaitam, aar tui ki bhalo bashti”? It’s because I was listening to this wonderful song when I unveiled the mystery of the matching colors. (I’ve modified the words slightly, to match the moment…)

Moreover, forgetting what you like to get what you love is sometimes a BIG DEAL!

Here’s a picture of my “Eureka!” moment.




 

It took me 3 decades to prepare my own birthday dinner!

My parents freaked out, constantly asking me if I could take it on.
Well, I did… and here is how it went:

Ingredients

  • Chicken – 2 kg
  • Curd – 500 gms
  • Basmati Rice – 1 kg
  • Onions – 250gms
  • Garlic – 100 gms
  • Potato – 1 kg
  • Chilli powder – according to your taste
  • Cardamom – 10 gms
  • Cinnamon – 10 gms
  • Jaifal – 1 pc
  • Jeytri – 5gms
  • Alu bokhra – 20 gms
  • Milk – 250 gms
  • Mitha attar – a few drops
  • Kewra jol, Rose water – 1 teaspoon each

This is the first time that I could mention the quantities with some amount of precision. But the truth is, I hardly follow it. You’ll know why very soon.

3-4 hours before cooking, marinade the chicken with curd, ginger garlic paste, grated onions, cinnamon and cardamom paste, salt and chilli powder. If you are making mutton biriyani, make it 7 hours.

The next step requires you to overcome disgust. 1 hour into the marination, I dip my finger into this, taste it, and if anything is missing, I add it.

I decided to take a nap after lunch before heading for the kitchen at 4. When my husband came to wake me up at 4, I asked him to give me 30 more minutes. Well, at 4:30 I did the same thing. Finally, at 5 he shook me out of my slumber fearing the biriyani may not come by at all.

Back to cooking… Boil water, add 5-7 pieces of clove, 5 pieces of cardamom, and the rice. Add some salt. After the rice is half cooked, strain it and keep it aside.

What is a biriyani without an alu? (Well, there ARE some who think adding pedestrian potatoes is an insult to the royal biriyani…) Anyway, take as many of them as you want. Half boil them in water by adding salt and a little bit of colour.

Fry finely chopped onions (2) until brown. Crush 1 jaifal.

In a bowl take a little milk, add a pinch of saffron, a few drops of mitha attar (biriyani scent), 1 tbsp of kewra jol, 1 tbsp of rose water, little bit of colour and mix it.

Oil the bottom of a cooking pot, much like greasing a baking tray. You may put some bone pieces in the centre (a small area which will be on top of the burner) or sacrifice a handful of rice. Choice is yours. Add a layer of rice. Put the potatoes on top. Sprinkle little bit of salt, jaifol, 1 jeytri and the milk mixture. Drop 1 alu bokhra. Add another layer of rice. Place the chicken on top. Sprinkle salt, jaifal, 1 jeytri, 1 alu bokhra and milk mixture. Add the remaining rice on top, sprinkle salt and the milk mixture. Place the fried onion on top. Sprinkle the remaining jaifol, add 1 jeytri and alu bokhra. Add a little bit of refined oil on top. Close the lid and seal it with dough.

Put it on high flame for 10 mins, and then on low flame for 30 mins. And you may spend these 40 minutes in your bedroom watching a movie while the biriyani cooks itself.

Shake it up a little before serving.

A special thanks goes to my friend Faisal’s mom for sharing this recipe with me. I simply added a little tweaks here and there. It looked great and tasted even better 🙂

Let’s Go Fishing

Stuck are you?
Doing things
You aren’t meant to do?
Come with me
There’s much to see
Life is good
So, break free!

P.S.- Me, the Rancho wants to be a photographer & I need to figure out a way to take self portraits 😉

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Life’s Like That

I wake up in the morning
With the sun on my eyes
I slip into my shoes
To walk a mile
I’m tired and refuse to rise
I didn’t know
That I was in for surprise
Splashes of green
Pop out on my face
I lose myself
In the lure of the lakes
Squirrels say ‘Hi’
And birds fly by
Oh, where am I?
Pandora?
Imax?
Life’s like that
I guess
It slipped my mind.

” The Deep Blue Sea spoke to me

It was holding back a mystery

A dolphin took me by the hand

It wanted me to understand

That in this world there is more to behold

Than bags of money and pots of gold

Believe in yourself and you will see

How happy and free you were meant to be”

– Mike Dooley

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I’m back

Victoria Memorial, Kolkata

I was away for a while

Living with my parents

For sometime

Enjoying all the food and the love

After such a long time

Then, I was off to Singapore

The Sparkling city

Lights up the sky

You believe me not?

For I have proof

But now I’m home

With my mind full 🙂

Marina Bay Sands, Singapore