Monday, April 16, 2018

Vangibhat






It's been quite sometime, 4 months, that I shared my thoughts and recipes with you all!  I missed blogging, it's very relaxing and it's my own time, which I always love to do, but sometimes life just goes on and on, though you want to sit down and write, you may not had that moment! 

But today, just started to write, as its raining heavily, cleaners have come to clean the house, after 2 months and I am forced to sit in one place, as they are cleaning around the house! So sat down with a  cup of coffee.

Public speaking! Does that comes to you easily, without blinking, without thinking, without any hesitations, inhibitions, nervousness, awkwardness? Then you are a born public speaker! No doubts about it!

Recently I attended some 13-14 sessions of public speaking classes.  Well, I did not plan to or register myself into one. It just so happened, that I attended those sessions.  My kids got enrolled in that, and there was a parent, who volunteered, she could conduct classes, for parents, while they wait for their kids for 2 hours!

So me and my friend, both decided to register to the class, as it was very cold in the morning, nothing else to do in those two hours, neither go back home, as it was bit far and come back nor anything else to do close by.

And soon we both felt, it was worth spending some time there, since we both recognized that there was so much out there, to learn, though it was hard to wake up early on weekend, and bundle up as it was freezing temperatures! Slowly I understood, its a structured program! You start off with table topics, which is on spot, you are given a topic, and you need to talk about it. And then ice breaker speech, which would be about you, you can talk about yourself or any important memory or incident of your life! Its all timed, 3-4 mins, and there will be evaluators, who would evaluate, time, how many pauses or likes,ums,so's etc being used, your body language, where you used the whole stage or just stood folding your hands,were you nervous, voice modulation, eye contact.......! Am just briefing out....!

Each and every week, you would be doing new speeches, improvising based on your previous evaluation! Well, that's what its expected or supposed to be!

Now, I like to sit behind and evaluate the whole public speaking concept!  Will it help!? Before going further on this, I will make one thing clear here is, kids at very young age, exposed to anything for that matter, grasp fast and will make a difference in what they learn, how they learn and they can really improve their skills!

But as we grow old, there are certain basic things, which, no matter how hard you try, you "might improve",  a bit, that's all! One of them is public speaking! If its not in you, sessions, classes, won't help you much, well, that's my argument or my experience or thinking!

The things which won't comes natural, will land up us in misery, awkward, embarrassing situations! I am not commenting on the sessions I participated. It was really awesome experience and met some really nice people and get to know their experiences and values. And neither I am saying, I did not learn anything.....I did! I do know many things know.....but will I be able to put all those theory into practice, time will tell....!?

But somewhere, somehow I felt, public speaking should come naturally to you.  Improving your eye contact, body language, is all fine, you might improve on those, over a period of time.  But still overcoming nervousness, hand trembling, voice shaking, face becoming red......those things, should come from within!  I don't think or call public speaking as a skill, it's just you have to born with it, thats all!

If you are introvert or shy or hesitant to speak up, or you might be humble to express.....so to those kind of people, no matter how much you get trained, it still will be awkward, feels like "fish without water"!

Having said that, I leave this topic here, for you to think.....! Now I will share the most yummiest recipe of my mom, Vangibhat! Vangi means eggplant or brinjal, cooked with spices and vangibhat powder, and mixed with rice, a typical south Indian rice dish, very commonly made in every household! My mom used to make the most authentic, yummy Vangibhat!

But now Vangibhat has now taken various twists and turns and you can add any kind of vegetables and Vangibhat powder mixed with rice, but still call it as Vangibhat! Because of its unique flavor of the powder, the mixed rice tastes very yummy. In my house, anytime, any day, my husband and kids love Vangibhat. It can be eaten with raitha too, but typically you won't, but my husband loves, raitha, pretty much with everything, so I make it and its also a nice way to make kids eat yogurt! Today I will share my mom's most yummy recipe of Vangibhat, made with onions, green bell peppers(capsicum) and averekai(Surati papdi lilva). You can add any combinations of vegetables, or just do with one, capsicum,potato,methi leaves,peas,onions,carrots and beans,cut into thin slices.

I will share my Vangibhat powder recipe separately, under my Powders, label. Until then you can try with store bought Vangibhat powder!

Ingredients:

Onions-2 medium size ( thinly sliced)
Capsicum-2 medium size(thinly sliced)
Averakai-1/2 cup (boil in water until soft)
Curry leaves-few
Coriander leaves-finely chopped
Rice-1 cup
oil-2 Tbsp
Ghee-1 Tsp(optional)
Mustard seeds
Cashews-2 Tbsp(Optional)
Vangibhat powder-according to taste(Store bought or home made)
Dry coconut/Desiccated coconut-5-6 Tbsps(optional)
Salt to taste

Method:

Pressure cook rice and keep aside, rice should not be mushy nor too split, it should be cooked just right. I use Sona masoori variety for making Vangibhat.

In a deep pan, heat oil, and add mustard seeds and once it splatters, add curry leaves and onions, capsicum, and on a low heat keep frying, until aroma comes, now add averekai, mix well and add little salt and little vangibhat powder and mix well, make sure the vegetables get nicely coated with salt and vangibhat powder.

Add rice, more required salt and Vangibhat powder and mix well. Add dry coconut or desiccated coconut and mix well. And turn off the heat. In a small pan, add ghee and cashews and fry golden brown, and add to vangibhat, add finely chopped coriander leaves and mix well. I add dry coconut sometimes, since my vangibhat powder has dry coconut powder, so its optional, some people add fresh coconut too, it's according to taste and preferences. Enjoy warm Vangibhat, with some happla-sandige or raitha or just plain vangibhat!





Friday, December 29, 2017

Kati Roll







Good morning dear readers, well wishers! Its morning in my part of the world...! So 2017 is coming to an end, actually 2 days left.  Thought of connecting with you all...!  Am sure you all would be looking forward for New year, new resolutions,  new goals, and carrying forward, the dreams, which may not have come true in 2017, looking forward, working hard on it, to make it happen in 2018...!

Year starts...year ends....we make resolutions, and today, please tell me, how many of you actually stick to resolutions made, how many of you actually, follow the resolutions which are made...please be honest!

I can write about mine, honestly!  I am very enthusiastic person, when it comes to festivals, people coming to our house for dinners and lunches, or something like this new year....I do get super excited, I start to clean up the house, cook, do Parayana (recitation, chanting) waking early in the morning....! Yes I will also make new year resolutions....and past few years, its been the same pattern, same resolutions....of eating healthy, exercising, may be start working....!

Past one week I have been thinking hard on this topic...!  I even asked one day, at dinner table, my kids and husband, whats your new year resolutions......kids came up with getting good grades in school, being more independent....and guess what husband said.....eating healthy, exercising, taking care of his health....! Lol

But surprisingly, nobody asked me back, whats your resolution......! There was some distraction in the topic, so I did not get a chance to talk about my resolution!

But if I got that chance, will I tell my resolution.....!? Well, this year, no resolutions is my resolution!! 

Okay as I wrote before, I will be honest, as I said, I am very enthusiastic when it comes to festivals, etc....but, later on, it slows down...I somehow can't stick or remember to my resolutions!!

I analyze a lot everything, before getting on to a judgment or conclusions...so according to my analysis, we all get, lost in day to day business, too much focused on other stuffs, lot of distractions....especially I blame it to gadgets also, that we tend to loose interest on resolutions made..!

And if the pattern of the same things, as hard as loosing weight, eating right, exercising, every year the same resolution, of course, we wont and we cannot do it!

So thats the reason I decided not to make any resolutions this year...! And also yes, health, exercise is all important but, there are so many other aspects of life, which we can focus, which we can make it as a resolution, and may be we might be motivated to follow it and get excited in accomplishing it!

Like, learning a new language, learning an instrument, or traveling, or doing organic gardening, making sure, you almost don't buy any veggies outside, but grow in your backyard(well, there goes indirect way of taking care of your health and eating healthy), or volunteering, anywhere, you like or desire, ! Or carry forward, any one of your parents legacy....may be spiritual, may be any talent they had, you can tap on it and see if you have, if you haven't done all these years! Or pick up some thing from our parents, and following it and carrying it forward, being a role model to your kids also....!

I lost both my parents, in less than a year...am still on healing process...this pain, I guess, is life long! But trying to think and remember of just not happy moments spent with them, but I am spending my time, in being grateful, showing gratitude and feeling WOW, that they have done so much in life, and as a couple, they were role models to others, and am trying to show my gratitude to them, by remembering every single thing they have done!

So having said that, hope I did not damper your spirits about new year resolutions!  Please don't be, my intention was not to damper your spirits but to think about making the same resolutions every year, in case if you are doing so...! Or may be you might come up with a new idea or give me a idea as to how to stick to new year resolutions!? Any suggestions is always welcome!

Okay, lets get to the eating mode! Its year end, and as I brought up the topic of resolutions....I will bring the topic of eating healthy...! Eating healthy should not be boring, bland or tiresome! There are many ways, you can make your family eat veggies and love them! I found a new way and thought of sharing with you. Hope you like it and try it and enjoy as much as my husband and kids just loved and asked me to do everyday!!

Its Veggie paneer Kati roll! There are numerous versions of Kati roll. This recipe is so flexible, and you can be creative and add anything, everything to it. I am writing my version of Kati roll, you can play around it, if you don't have paneer or any or some of the ingredients, still you can make it, with what you have.  Chapathis and palya(Curries), Dhal, eating always is boring, try this one and I bet your family will love it and love you more!!!! Here goes the recipe

Ingredients:

Chapathis or rotis
Left over Chapathis or store bought Chapathis, is also fine

For Curry:
Potatoes- 3-4 boiled and mashed
Capsicum- 1
Paneer- 1/2 cup crumbled
Jeera Powder-1/4 TSp
Coriander Powder-1/4 TSP
Red chilli powder-according to taste
Salt to taste

For Red chilli sauce:

Red chilli- 6-8 (Byadigi type of red chilli, which is wrinkled,only)
Garlic-2 pods
Ginger-small piece

Onions-finely sliced
Lettuce-Finely sliced
Carrots-thinly sliced

Oil-4-5 Tbsp
Butter to spread on chapathi
Date-Tamarind Chutney-store bought (optional)

Method:

You can always use, store bought or left over chapathis for this, or can make fresh chapathis.
Soak Red chillies in hot water for about any hour, more the better. Grind it to a smooth paste, with ginger, garlic and can add little water to get the sauce consistency, add salt and pinch of sugar and mix well and keep aside.

Boil potatoes and peel the skin and mash it, make sure potatoes are not over cooked and become soggy! In a deep pan, put 2 Tbsp of oil, and once its warm, add capsicum, fry for few mins and then add, paneer crumbs and potatoes, red chilli powder, jeera powder, coriander powder, salt to taste and mix well and keep aside.

Warm the chapathi with butter and put it on a plate. Spread the red chilli sauce evenly, in the middle, add some lettuce, onions, carrots, and make cylindrical shape of the Potato curry and place it on top of the veggies, spread some Date and Tamarind chutney on top the curry, and fold the bottom first and fold both the sides carefully and serve it with a tomato hot and sweet chutney! Enjoy!






Monday, September 18, 2017

Tambuli

Today, is a very special day, it's my birthday! Well, that's very childish and funny and silly, that I am calling my birthday as special and announcing it myself! But why I call it as special, because, I would love to share a recipe of my mom, today, which is totally traditional, authentic and many people would have forgotten it, and am sure would definitely remember their mom today, and call her or visit her and ask her to make it!

Since it's my birthday, my Mom, always used to call me, send me messages, first thing in the morning, after I came to this country! Before that, it was a very special day for her, she used to be so excited, busy in making some 3-4 sweets (desserts), since I have a sweet tooth, gave me oil bath, and surprise me with gifts....!

But this year.....no calls, no messages......it's only silence! Its more than a year she left me and 3 months ago my Dad left me....making me and my brother, all alone in this whole wide world! Well, we both are grown up, individuals, married, with kids, my brother holding a high position job....but still we are kids to our parents and we miss them and we love them!

Today I want to express my gratitude, my love, my respects to my Mom, who was wonderful, amazing, caring, loving, giving, selfless and very very kind and forgiving! And many more amazing qualities she had which I don't find right words to express!

This recipe is very traditional, and very healthy, since it has to be eaten before you start the main course. It helps in digestion and its very good for all stomach ailments. It's very simple to make, yet in this time and age, people would have forgotten the most yummy, healthy dish!

Since today is my B'day, I thought of sharing a recipe of my Mom, and also my way showing tribute to the most wonderful Mom and my way of saying thank you for everything, what ever good I am today, is only because of you! And its a way of saying, I miss you Amma.......

So here goes the recipe, am sure you will call your Mom today, and ask her to make it or if you are far from her, you will make it and call her to say that, "somebody had posted this on blog, Amma, I remember how you used to make it when we were kids and today I tried and I just love it, as before"!!

But "if" there are unlucky ones like me, who have lost their mothers, will definitely try this, as I did and cherish the old memories, down the lane....! Love you Amma!

It's called as Tambuli! Its a yogurt based dish, which helps in digestion and stomach ailments. It's done with different variety of greens, or ginger. The most common type of Tambuli is made of Doddapatre, which is known as Big Thyme, well, I googled since I was not aware of what Doddapatre is called in english. It has a very very unique smell and taste, which is very good and helps in digestion.

But Doddapatre or Big Thyme is not available here, or atleast I have not seen, so I tried with Ridge gourd peel, which is very good for IBS(Irritable bowel syndrome)!

I forgot to take a picture of Tambuli, next time when I make it, will post the picture!

Ingredients:

Ridge gourd Peel or ginger or doddapatre - one cup
Cumin - 1 Tea spoon
Black Pepper-4-5, or according to tolerance of black pepper
(Green chillies - 3/4 or according to taste)
Ghee-1 Teaspoon
Coconut-1/4 cup grated
Yogurt/curd-1/2 cup or desired consistency

Method:

You can add either Black pepper or Green chillies, if pepper is used, add it after you put cumin, else you can add Green chillies later.

In a small pan, heat the ghee, and add cumin, after the aroma comes, add black pepper, add either ridge gourd peel,ginger or doddapatre and on a slow heat, fry until it slightly changes color and then add green chillies and coconut, and fry for 2 mins and transfer it to the mixer. Once it cools down, grind it with little water, to a smooth paste. Add yogurt and salt to the paste and mix well. Tambuli is ready to eat!! Its neither should be very runny consistency nor very thick as chutney. Before you start eating your meal, mix Tambuli with hot rice and enjoy and good health!


Monday, July 10, 2017

Sajjappa









It's been a while I posted a recipe.  Today I got into mood of writing the blog.  Exposure always makes you learn new things, enhance your knowledge and thinking. But I say, that, not all kinds of exposure will result in positive way! Certain kinds of exposure gives and leaves negative impacts on life!

As I had to visit India 2-3 times a year since my parents were unwell, last couple of years, I have been observing that there is increase of hospitals in almost every street, which is not an exaggeration! Every street one "Multi speciality hospital" has popped up! Every street has pharmacy, which in India we call as 'Medical store', and all hospitals are specialized in almost every areas! Which I feel is the result of our people getting exposed to different cuisines, life styles, multi national companies(MNC), and high amount of stress!

What Multi National Companies has to do with increase in hospitals, question would come up! Yes, right form the final year degree of college, students will be interviewed to different companies and immediately after graduation, would have a job, and salary in some 6 figures, per month!

As kids live with parents in India, even while working, or even if they get a job out of their city, they do not have any responsibility nor parents would expect to send any money, all their salary would be "pocket money"! So here comes the exposure!

They are young and have money!!!! So like to explore different life styles, eat out every day..which is the result of many illnesses which was not heard in India, now has become common and people are getting those illnesses at a young age!

And even alternate medicine is getting its popularity and its high in demand and a tough competition to Alopathy! The claim that there is no side effects and garuntees 100% cure!

For example few years back nobody heard or knew about Thyroid issue! There are two types, hypo and hyper! Thyroid is a gland which controls metabolism and if the gland is under active or over active causes sever issues! And the irony is within 5-6 years, I hear every other person having this issue and there is both allopathy and alternative medicine avlaible! I saw a small clinic, in one of the residential areas, which had a board saying, "specializes in Diabetes, Hypertesnion and Thyriod issues"!!!!

There were days when Bangalore had only few big hospitals and very few clinics, where you could find General physicians! And those clinics would be busy only in winter or rainy seasons, as people would complain of cough/cold/fever! Other than that nothing major was seen! And illnesses was heard only in older people!

But now even small kid is exposed and can get anything! Which is a scary situation! But people are aware of these and there are Gym and Yoga centers becoming popular too! But the funny part is, they are aware of these illness still they are attracted and lured to different things and still want to be healthy, so they go to Gym and Yoga! Hopefully people will draw a line and start to balance between life styles changes and health!

So to start with, let's go back to our old traditions and food, which was always healthy and kept us happy! Today I would like to share the yummiest dessert, which is mostly or can say, it's only done in South India! It's called Sajjappa! It's a tradtional dessert done mostly in festivals.

It's my mom's bestest recipe and it's my most favorite, she used to do the best Sajjappa! I could eat 4-5 of them at a time! And today my kids love them and asked me to learn! Though I haven't tried yet making, the above picture is from my mom's kitchen. Which I could not wait to share with you, especially today! Today, marks one year! My mom passed away, so I would love to share her's most yummiest, dessert with you all ,in fond memory of hers! She used to always make it for me! Hope you will try to make it and I bet you would love it! So here goes, the recipe!

Ingredients:

Chiroti Rava (fine soji rava) a- 1 cup
Oil
Salt
Filling: (Hoorna)
Grated coconut- 1 cup
(Both dry and raw)
Jaggery -1 cup
Cashews- optional
Method:

In a bowl mix, chiroti rava and 3-4 table spoons of oil, a pinch of salt adding water as requiredto a firm dough and keep it aside for 2-3 hours.

Mix both dry and raw coconut (vana kobri and hasi kai thuri) equally, half cup each and grind it in the mixer. In a pan mix the grounded coconut and jaggery and keep stirring on a low heat, until it leaves the pan sides and mix well and become hoorna and you can add finely chopped cashews now.

Allow it to cool.

Now knead the dough well and roll it with the rolling pin into medium circles, of poori size. Keep a big spoon full of the hoorna and close it on all sides and again roll it into circles. Heat oil in a deep frying pan and make sure the oil is hot and deep fry into slightly golden brown. Now your yummiest  Sajjappa is ready to eat! My mom used both coconuts and grinder first so that, the filling( hoorna) will be firm and not liquidy since its deep fried. Make sure the hoorna is not liquidy else, the it will open up, while frying and you cannot use the oil.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Majjige Hulli





This morning, I was browsing for some new recipes, and found my own blog, when I was searching! Its been a year now, since I blogged!  Not that I did not want to blog or connect with my readers, but life went upside down this year and still not able to cope up with the things that happened!  My blog says "Welcome to my place, Ammana Adige and Bengaluru Samachara"! Those who cannot understand the language, it means "Welcome to my place, mom's cooking and Bengaluru(city) news"!

This blog mainly has my mom's recipes and this blog is dedicated to my mom, who taught me cooking and who was a amazing cook herself!  I wrote "who was...."! Yes, she passed away 6 months ago, leaving me shattered, heart broken and sad! I just cannot believe myself that, I wrote she passed away!  Did she really go? I could not come to terms with this question and I wonder each day, did she really go!?

Six months, is a long time for me! I used to call her every single day, from past 6 years, it was part of my day and day would not have completed without talking to her. And 6 months, I haven't spoken to her, nor heard her voice and it's total blank, void, silence and loneliness, grief, sadness filled in!

There is not a single moment in a day has passed without thinking of her....!  I am eating/sleeping/talking/watching TV/doing all my chores and days are passing by and I really wonder and feel weird and strange that, I am doing all these without her! I wonder myself sometimes, how I am doing all these without her!  She was not living with me, she was some 8,351 miles far away from me! But never felt that way, never felt she was far away! We used to talk every day and my Dad had gifted her Ipad for her birthday couple of years ago and she used to chat with me, send message to me everyday and that was the first thing in the morning I would read, her message!

Everyday from past 6 months, I keep looking at the messages in the morning, to see, if she ever write to me! Really she is gone! Now also I call every day thinking that, she might pick up the phone....! She used to wait for my call everyday...and today my Dad waits for my call....!  These little moments, matters so much in life, you won't realize until you loose them! I just feel scared and want to hold on to time, not to move forward, since I feel she is going far far away from me! Well, she has really gone away!

Now every single day, I do keep remembering the olden days, the golden days of my childhood, where Amma was a multi talented, multi tasking, awesome, loving, caring mother, wife, sister, daughter, daughter-in-law, friend, cousin and many more.....! She had a very awesome voice and always used to sing and hum songs! She used to write short stories and poems, that was her passion! Writing and singing was her passion, but she never developed nor gave importance to her talent! She was a really an amazing cook, she used to learn and try out new recipes and inspire others to do so. She learnt baking(in those times it was a big thing to buy oven and do baking at home), used to do concentrated juices of all seasonal fruits, fill into some 20 juice bottles and share it with her sisters!

She was a role model, mentor and mother to her sisters and brothers!  The day she passed away, all her sisters and brothers, paid tribute by singing the Bhajans(Devotional songs), which my mom had taught them and that was everyday routine, that all 6 sisters and 4 brothers have to be in the family room, at 6 in the evening, to sing those bhajans with her, when they were young!

There were always guests at home and she was an awesome host! I never remember her saying "I am tired today"!  She used to wake up at 4.30 in the morning every day and her day used to end at 10.30 in the night! She was religious and followed all the customs and traditions and every festival...now I can say, was done like a wedding!  I meant, with so much traditions, very colorful, dedication, grand and auspicious! That's the reason, now when I look back, I feel it was like a wedding! So much of preparations, she used to do, effortlessly, she had so much passion, dedication, in what ever she did!

She was a strict mom, but never tried to control us!  She always used to have open discussions and listen to us and very generous. I really really wonder, how and where so much of energy, passion, dedication she had in all the things....! That's incredible!

She learnt Piano at the age of 75!! And she was on a advance level and the "Teacher", was amazed and used to give example of my mom to others when it comes to learning, discipline and dedication! Playing Piano became like a second nature to her!

That smile on her face, the abundance of kindness and forgiving nature she had, I guess it's hard to find! The same Amma(mom)......from past one year, suffered with pain and gone through a lot, but still never gave up mentally, she was strong! Before she left to the hospital, two days before, she passed away, she folded her night dress and her towel, put it in the right place and said "Bye" to my Dad and everybody and left....!

Every body from my Dad's side, my mom's side, came when she passed away and me and brother were over whelmed by hearing and seeing, the response of all, how much everybody loved, respected, cared my mom! That's how great, influential she was, well she is!!!!

One of my cousins rightly said, when all the sisters and brothers were singing, to pay her tribute that, "Can you imagine, she meant, valued, influenced so much in all their lives that today they are all singing for her"!!!!

So this post is a tribute to my Amma, who was and is everything to me, in every way. I bow her with respect, love, gratitude and affection! I miss Amma!  The recipe I am sharing now, is Amma's and today I had made and thought of sharing with you all!  I keep writing, sharing, connecting with you all dear blog readers and thanks for reading my post! Happy New Year filled with tons of happiness and good health to all of you!

Ingredients:

Ash gourd - 1/2, peel the skin and cut into cubes
Green chillies - according to taste
Cumin - 1/2 tea spoon
Channa dal - 4 table spoons
Coconut - 1/4 cup
Yogurt - 3 table spoons
Turmeric - 1/2 tea spoon
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tea spoon
Oil - 1/2 tea spoon
Salt to taste

Method:

Soak Channa dal, in water for about an hour or two.  Grind soaked channa dal, cumin, green chillies, coconut, turmeric to a fine paste.  Cook, cut ash gourd pieces in water, until soft, add little salt and then add the grounded paste, and more salt to adjust to taste and water to desired consistency.  Since its Channa dal, it becomes thick, so you can add water, to a desired consistency. While its boiling, in a small pan, add oil and mustard seeds and when it crackles, add to the majjige hulli and turn it off. After turning off the heat, add yogurt and mix well.  Serve with hot rice and happla and sandige(Papad) and enjoy!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Paddu or Gundponglu or Panyiaram





Hope all my blog readers and well wishers are doing good!  Don't know why I am bit sad today!  There was nothing to watch on TV while having my lunch today!  It was so much part of my day, and looking forward to that moment, where I used to watch this Regional Television serial and got attached and went little beyond "liking" that serial!  I went to India, in January this year and there my mom and everybody in family were watching that show, which used to come in 7.30 PM and thats how I got hooked on to that! It's a Kannada(one of the South Indian language) serial,  and it had started from last October and I could easily catch up, since my mom told the story!

After coming back from India, I continued watching the serial here, where I have an option of watching "video on demand", any time I want.  So I choose to watch at my lunch time, since I hate to eat alone, at least TV is a good companion!  Both my kids and husband would not be around at my lunch time, which is kind of peaceful time for me to watch my show!! 

For me to watch a TV serial, the story, the characters, acting, dialogue, expressions....to put it in one word, it has to be "perfect"!  And it should create "chemistry" between me and the characters!  And I am sure you will be thinking, it's hard to find "perfect" one like that!  Hmm....I agree to some extent, but there are very few serials which really meet that "perfect" title!  And this Kannada serial, I can say, was one of them!  And the main characters were new, fresh, young and all the senior actors, were well known actors!  The language and acting was brilliant, as well as the plot and the story was very unique!  Many scenes I would just feel, oh it has happened my house also and it was so natural! 

Well, I think I created quite a curiosity for my readers as to what it could be!  So let me try to put the whole story, in couple of paragraphs, and see if that shows some justice to the whole one year length of serial!!??

The hero of the story, comes from a rich family who has a mom,dad and grandfather,  and he is a journalist and very passion about what he does and very fun, full of life, enthusiastic!  He meets a girl, and falls in love with her, for her simplicity and decides to marry her!  She is 5 years older to him, and comes from a poor family with mom, 2 sisters and dad who had left them when they were young and comes back after 20 years!!  She would be struggling hard working as a teacher to take care of the family and not interested in anything in life, since she has a past!! She liked a guy 8 years ago and got pregnant and the guy would have refused to marry her saying his career was important!  She would have decided to have baby, and when the baby was born, it was a girl born without one leg, handicap!  So the mother of the girl decides to hide the fact of the baby being alive, and admit the baby in orphanage and tells the girl that her baby was dead when it was born!

So thats the reason she would not be interested in anything and the "hero" and refuse to marry him!  But the hero's dad, would convince her to marry,then she tells her story, still then he wants her to marry, his son and asks her not to tell the story to him!!!!!  She is being forced to get into this marriage, unable to tell the truth to her husband, who loves her like crazy and to an extent of not even he cares to know whether she loves him or not! He assumes she loves him!! There are many twists and turn to the story, where society and the Hero's mom would refuse her initial to accept her, since she is elder to him and she also struggles with her past story, haunting her, making her guilty all the time! Then comes the guy whom she had loved 8 years ago, into her life, well not directly! He becomes, Minister for the state and becomes close friend with her husband!! She avoids and struggles not to meet him, when ever her husband wanted to introduce to the "minister"! And her daughter who is in orphanage, comes to her city, looking for her and her mom tries and struggles hard, that daughter does not meet the girl! The minister adopts the girl, but still always wants to meet her mother! Well, this is the main story, but there are many other plots and characters, who have their stories, which are connected to the main story!

When the whole serial was running nicely, and story was in the peak, with lot of emotions, complications, unsolved or never can solve kind of issues......with awesome meaningful songs, awesome acting,expressions, language......suddenly there came a news one fine day, that the serial is going to end!!!!!!!! What!!!!!! That was the expression, every viewer had!

This is an era of technology, well let me put it this way, this is an era of Facebook!!!! Hahaha, everybody on this earth are on Facebook!  So all our favorite television actors and updates about the serial was all over the Facebook and there is lot of fan following, commenting on the serial....which I used to read it and as well follow their comments and views and felt OMG people have taken it so seriously and appreciates the serial so very much! But neither the Channel guys or the responsible people of the serial, like Director/story writer said a word about why the serial is going to end, abruptly of course!

But the girl, "Heroin" of the serial, wrote about the issues going on from a long time, with the production house, not treating the actors/technicians properly, she decided to quit the serial because of the unprofessional behavior!!  And she decided to quit, guess, they changed the whole story to an bizarre ending of killing the main character, the heroin of serial, then not showing the justice to the other characters, ending it, without any meaning to the whole thing, they started off, not even showing how the heroin was killed and why was she killed!!

So the weekend was the last episode!  And thats how today I was bit sad and had nothing to watch while eating my lunch!! Well, for Indian culture and Society, marrying an older girl, having baby before marriage, is all kind of revolutionary and still our society do not accept whole heartedly, though many things have changed!  And this was a bold step in showing that kind of revolutionary thing and people were accepting the things they were showing....even my mom's generation, the way they used to react and feel sorry for the girl's situation, was incredible!!!! The message was so effective and highly influential in narrating the whole thing and giving a whole new perspective about marriage and the situations, which we unknowingly fall into.....!  But suddenly ending without any meaning or justice to the characters....is unbelievable! Its sad that how these Directors and Producers play with people's emotions and time!!

Anyways....thanks for reading the whole thing, bit long, but had to write it, else you would not understand what I am expressing here! Okay lets move on!  I would like to share the recipe of "Paddu"or "Gundponglu"or "paniyaram"!!  To be honest with you, let me google and find out what that means, since its a new thing to me, I had not eaten when I was a kid! But the recipe is my aunt's(my mom's sister), who is expert in finding all the new recipes and sharing with all of us and she has motivated me many times to cook new things!  So this is her recipe, which I tried over the weekend, after watching my favorite serial last episode, which had a sad ending, but Paddu came out good and so my evening was a happy ending!  Well, google says that, its a South Indian dish, when kids used to get bored or complained of eating dosas, they found a new way to make kids eat, which was called as "Paddu or Gundponglu or Paniyaram"!  Its typically the same dosa batter but its steamed and cooked differently!

But my aunt gave me a different recipe to make, which is made of "Sabudana or Sago"! Sabudana or Sago is made from Tapioca root, which has a long history in Indian traditional medicine and is very low in fat content!

Sabudana or Sago Payasa is very famous and it was one of my favorite dessert when I was a kid!!  So after so many years I was hearing about Sabudana Paddu, sounded very interesting and thought of trying it out!  My husband loved it but my kids just gave a try for the first round and when asked for the second time they said "I am good, thanks amma"!! Well, Sabudana or Sago is an acquired taste, if you like sticky spongy kind of texture then you would love Sabudana!! Ultimately me and my husband finished off the whole thing!

Here goes the recipe, give it a try, whether you are a fan of Sabudana or not, no harm in it!!

Ingredients:

Sabudana/Sago 1 cup
Rice flour - 1 Table spoon
Yogurt/curds  as required
Green chiles as per taste
Salt as per taste
Onions 3 small or 2 medium
Coriander and Curry leaves


Method:

Soak Sabudana/Sago in yogurt/curds for 8 hours.  Let it not be on the liquid side while soaking.  After 8 hours add rice flour, finely chopped green chillies, finely chopped onions, salt, finely chopped coriander and curry leaves, with water, to a Idli consistency! Not too on runny side!

Grease the "Paddu" Tava,( you get a different kind of tava for that, as you seen in my above picture)  and as soon as the lava gets warm, put spoon full of the batter and close the lid and cook on a medium heat slowly! When the bottom gets brown, turn them to the other side and cook well!  Enjoy with spicy chutney!  I had made coriander chutney! 

Friday, May 29, 2015

Lettuce Salad with Walnut Dressing





Garden/Lettuce Salad

Good morning folks!  Well, it's morning in my part of the world!  Hope life is treating you fairly well....!  There was (is) a term called "appropriate age" to know and learn, as we grew up!  At least I thought and believed that way, until now!  In fact I (we) have been brought up that way, the appropriateness of knowing and learning things, have happened naturally, over the course of years!  Learnt many things, now know lot of things, and not every single thing I learnt or known is through personal experience, though!

This I am writing in context of my observation of my 10 year old kid, who is currently learning in school about "Drugs/addiction/prescription and non-prescription drugs/diabetes/asthma"!! She had a "Health" test,  (well, they have a subject as "Health", where they study all these) last week and she has a habit of studying out loud and reading it to me, which she thinks, she can understand better!

And she pop with a question, "Amma,(mom) what is the meaning of "high""!! I freaked out, but I am good in hiding a volcano inside and putting up a cool face!  So I just managed to put up the same cool face and said "Drugs are really harmful and dangerous substances and one must not even think in that direction, I am glad you are learning about these stuff in school"!!

No, I am not glad her knowing about these stuff at this age and still I did not give an direct answer for her question, "high"!  Being a conservative person and brought up in a similar atmosphere, I do strongly believe and feel that, kids at this age should not know all those stuff, its not required!

I have spoken to many parents and even my husband, feels that it's better to educate them on these stuff, so if they know that it's bad or harmful, they won't fall prey for the bad things!

But my theory or argument would be, just because you say it's harmful or dangerous, kids won't buy it, they may want to test it, experience it, they will get a curiosity in knowing about it further or may even want to try and see how it is....!  So why bother in telling them, that there is such a thing, existing out there!  They are young, tender, still not able to incorporate and understand each and every aspect of life and they are vulnerable.

We should leave them innocent, ignorant at this point!  I never knew in and out about drugs/prescription, non-prescription drugs etc, until I got married and until my husband mentioned about it, while watching a movie!  All I knew was it's a dangerous and harmful thing, which can ruin one's life!  But I did not know in detail about the "high"s or what ever.....! Neither I had curiosity about knowing it.  I never learnt anything about it in my school and all my generation guys would have the same experience!

Exposure!!!! Is it necessary??  Can we not leave our kids innocent,ignorant and push them more to play outside,  as parents spend more quality time with kids, by listening to them, giving them a chance to express anything and everything, playing with them, teaching them.......!?

Well, taking me as an example, what did I miss or left out or felt OMG I should have known this before or left behind, by not knowing all the stuff, as a kid!! It did not or has not affected me in any way, by not knowing stuff when I was a kid!

I feel more level headed and matured, I read a lot of stuff and have enlightened myself and gained lot of knowledge now, but still believe in our system, where there was restriction to exposure of many things and parents/society/school/teachers thought, a "appropriate age" will come and then we are fine to know the stuff!  I still believe and respect that thought and want kids to remain innocent and ignorant, until the "appropriate age"!!

Well, that was my thoughts!  Yeah, I said I am conservative but it does not mean that I don't explore new things!  I do, now that I can differentiate, compare, think, evaluate, analyze which is good and bad....!!   My husband loves Thai food, and I have my own choices and likings about that cuisine!  One of them is "Salad"!  You give me anytime, any day or every day, I can eat!!  That's how much I like!  I started to make Salads at home, which is actually fun, interesting and surprisingly kids and husband love it!  It's a great way to make your kids eat and love veggies and as well as fruits!

There are numerous ways of making Salad and Salad without a dressing it bit hard to eat, especially for kids, and it would be great and healthy if you can make home made dressings, it's simple and easy to make!

There is no specific recipe for a Salad or dressing, but I will share mine, which I often make.  You can be very creative, flexible with Salads and dressings.  Yesterday I had made lettuce and mixed veggies Salad, with Walnut dressing, so I hope you will also try to incorporate Salad in your day to day life and be healthy and keep your family healthy and happy!

There is no specific kind you need to stick with, it's your flavor and like of veggies/fruits/dry fruits and nuts you can use.  Yesterday I had only few choices of veggies, as you can see in the picture above, usually, I ALSO put, colored small peppers, fresh grapes, almonds, raisins, sprouts(moong sprouts)...! And as I said, if you do not have all or certain ingredients, you can substitute with what you have, like, if you do not have maple syrup you can use honey instead, or instead walnuts, use almonds!

Ingredients:

Lettuce (Small Romanian hearts(organic), 3, large portions enough for 4-6 people)
Carrots
Cucumbers
Corn
Apples

Dressing:

1/2 cup Walnuts
1/2 cup Maple Syrup
1/4 cup Vinegear
Garlic
Salt to taste
Black pepper to taste
2 Tbsp Canola oil or Olive oil

Method:

Wash all the veggies before cutting, thoroughly!  Cut lettuce into small bite size pieces. Cut cucumbers,carrots,apples into small bite sizes, mix them all and put them in fridge, if you like it crisp and cold Salad.  I put only lettuce after cutting, in fridge and the rest of the veggies and fruits I leave them at room temperature!

Blend all the ingredients in the dressing to the desired consistency, if it is very thick, add little water and adjust the salt and pepper according to taste!

While serving, mix all the cut veggies and fruits and nuts, add dressing and mix well! Enjoy Lettuce Salad with walnut dressing!


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