Food (53) Fitness (10) Nature (7)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Auntyji's Khatta Macchi

Hey everyone.. it's time to fish!

Fig. 1. Auntyji's Khatta Macchi

This is from my Mom's recipe collection. Mom got this recipe from their childhood neighbour "Auntyji".

Every neighborhood has a motley assortment of residents. Some befriend us, some are just polite acquaintances, some quarrel with us and some ignore us. Almost every family knows an Auntyji in the 'hood. She's our building friend Chickoo's Mom, or she is Mom's polite companion when together they wait at the bus stop for us kids to return from school. Sometimes she's the neighbor who picks up our milk when we take off for a day and forget to update the doodh-wala.  And sometimes she is the bagal-wali Auntyji with the beautiful rose garden who is always on the look out for notorious gulab-chors (rose-thieves).

Auntyjis enter our lives and leave our lives as they move on with their own. Some leave with Chickoo, the building friend. Some leave with the school bus. Some Aunties leave behind real packets of milk while some leave behind memories of fresh, fragrant roses and ethical conundrums about ownership and longevity versus joy, beauty and spontaneity.

Mom has some marvelous stories to tell about her Auntyji and her family who were friends with Mom's family. Sometimes you get a real lot from family friends. So much that you can pass it on even to the next generation! We may not be neighbors with Auntyji anymore. But Auntyji left with us one very treasured heirloom! Auntyji's Khatta Macchi has been made and relished by my Grandma, my Mom and now me!

On behalf of my Mom and our family, thanks to Auntyji for this recipe and all the memories that came along with it. 

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


Hey everyone..

I haven't stopped keeping an eye out for birds and little creatures. Just recently I spotted this bird sitting on the banks of a pond. Wings wide open, waving a lazy sunny welcome to Soorya-dev!

Fig. 1. Anhinga
I looked it up on the net and found that this is an Anhinga. A boy Anhinga (because of the full black body). This is a "darter" or sometimes called a snake bird, which is certainly a very apt name. It swoops into the water.. all the way in. And then swims with its whole body underwater.. except for its head and long neck which entirely stick out into the air. Looks exactly like a snake dancing on the water! ;)

After all those underwater acrobatics, it is sitting out on the banks now sunning itself to dry out its wings. And you thought birds don't have to dry their laundry!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Bhapa Doi and 1st Blog Birthday!

Hey everyone!!

Fig. 1. Bhapa Doi

Reminds me of a poem we learnt as kids..

come on Leena play with me!
it's Leena's birthday, she is ten!

Well.. today it's my blog's birthday and it is ONE! :D

When I started reading food blogs, I used them primarily for the recipes, and then for the encouraging food clicks. Over time though I started really reading the posts. And I realized that most of the blogs I liked had posts that essentially told simple stories of the daily lives of many many women everywhere. And that is what makes me visit them again and again..

Reading food blogs is like peeking into someone's kitchen window. And the thought that another ordinary person, not some celebrity chef, but someone pretty much like me, is doing pretty much the same things as me gives me an incredible sense of companionship! It also encourages me to think about doing the things they are doing that I am not. And as you all know by now, I am always on the lookout for inspiration. 

Over time I realized that it would be good to record all the food I was making for my own future reference. I was cooking anyway. Might as well take pictures and post my version of the recipe. I find that taking a picture and writing it up serves as a tangible reminder at a later date when I am super-busy, eating only Maggie and have forgotten that I can cook! ;) I cannot argue with a picture of my own fish curry or rasgulla. Well, a year has passed, I am stilling writing, still referring back to old pictures and am encouraged to cook more!

A major reason this blogging continues is readership! People visit this site and visit again. Some stay on and give advice, tips and feedback! Just last week I cooked red chard for the first time.. and I got two more recipe suggestions in reader feedback! Thanks everyone for your companionship! It is greatly valued!

Let me also give a big shout-out to Aparna, whose blog, Apy Cooking, happens to have the same birth date as mine! Happy Blog Birthday, Aparna! :)

On to Bhapa Doi..

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Aloo Chard

Heylo everyone!!

Fig. 1. Aloo Chard
I know I have been very remiss.. Haven't been visiting online much, haven't been posting much and quite honestly haven't been cooking very much either. Shame-shame na.. But I'll be good now.. I'll cook and post and blog-hop too! Well, I'll try anyway! :)

Back to the food.. This post is about Red Chard. And notes to myself about using it in future.

When I go grocery shopping, I try to get something I "didn't get last time". That is actually not as easy as it sounds. Especially if I have been slacking off from the blogosphere. I tend to relapse into my old ways of buying the same-same stuff over and over. Spinach, bag of salad, onions, tomatoes, beans, carrots.. Really! And how would anyone be induced to cook with that same-old same-old!!

So every now and then I remind myself to just go with the seasons and cycle through all the fruits and vegetables over the year. But quite honestly I have little idea of what is in season and what isn't.

I try to reason that probably the in-season foods must over-fill the market in season, right? So instead of doing research and homework about it, I just hop over to the grocers and look around to see which vegetable is available in plllennty and pick up some. That way, on an average we end up eating most veggies at one time or another.

A few days ago I got a big bunch of Red Chard. I had never eaten Red Chard before, knowingly that is ;). So I wasn't quite sure what I would make with it. I wasn't even sure it was in-season at all. There was plenty of it. And it looked good and fresh. So I said.. hey-ho, lets go for it! Maybe it is the season for Red Chard!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Turkish Paneer Kababs

Hey everyone.. food-time!!

Here is a party appetizer I made recently, for a Turkish potluck with vegetarian guests! :)

Fig. 1. Turkish Paneer Kababs

The original recipe of my Kababs, Izgara Kofte from Turkish Cuisine, calls for meat. But I went ahead and made it with paneer to make it vegetarian. I served it with Roasted Garlic Hummus and pita. For my future reference, the above Turkish food blog has a great collection of recipes. I have also made Adana Kabab from there with minced chicken and that too turned out great, but I took no pics that time.

New Year begins

Hey everyone.. it's still January (barely).. so I will go ahead and wish you all a Happy New Year! :)

The new year dawned and I went for a run. When I returned and stretched I could feel every muscle in my body! And I suddenly felt thankful!

I am thankful for these legs, lungs, arms and a back! For the ability to use them all! Every little thing I lift with these arms, every step I walk up the stairs, every brisk scrubbing of vessels with my hands, every time I lift a laundry basket, bend over the dishwasher, every hour I sit glued to a desk and my back doesn't complain, I am thankful to have a body!

I am thankful for everything I have!

I am thankful also, for the strength to sustain everything I do not have! When my body complains or when things I want do not happen, I am thankful for the strength to endure. And I am thankful to have family and friends that give me this strength! Not only do I get strength, but also joy, cheer and a whole lot of laughs from you all. Many thanks!

I am verry thankful to have this blog and readers! It's been fun all of last year to cook, run, write and receive feedback from your clicks, comments and replies! Thanks!

Wish you all a good year!