Monday, 17 December 2012

Dark Chocolate Chips Cookies



Credit - Nigella Lawson

Quantity - around 20 pieces  

Time - 40 minutes

Ingredients -
  • 125 gms. dark chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa solids)
  • 150 gms. plain flour (I use wheat flour)
  • 30 gms. cocoa powder sieved
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 125 gms. butter soft
  • 75 gms. light brown sugar
  • 50 gms. white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 medium eggs cold from the fridge
  • 350 gms. dark chocolate chips (or semi sweet chocolate morsels)

Method -
  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C. Melt the 125 g dark chocolate in a heatproof dish over a pan of simmering water.
  2. Put the flour, cocoa, bicarbonate of soda and salt into a bowl.
  3. Cream the butter and sugars in another bowl.  Add the melted chocolate and mix together.
  4. Beat in the vanilla extract and cold egg, and then mix in the dry ingredients. Finally stir in the chocolate morsels or chips.
  5. Scoop out 12 equal-sized mounds - an ice cream scoop and a palette knife are the best tools for the job - and place on a lined baking sheet about 6cm apart. Do not flatten them. (I made around 20 smaller cookies)
  6. Cook for 18 minutes, testing with a cake tester to make sure it comes out semi-clean and not wet with cake batter. If you pierce a chocolate chip, try again.
  7. Leave to cool slightly on the baking sheet for 4-5 minutes, then transfer them to a cooling rack to harden as they cool.

Serve - Serve with tea or coffee. 

p.s: Its really simple and a huge hit!! :-)

Friday, 14 December 2012

Phalanges Express



I have found out a great brain teaser for the breaks at work - "on line Typing Tutorial"! I know it sounds a little weird, but it is actually real fun! Over the years of using a QWERTY key board, I had kind of subconsciously started typing without looking at the key board and honestly, fairly fast. But just out of curiosity, I wanted to learn the systematic technique of the same and found this site.  Its real neat and a very refreshing break as well! While using this site I follow the basic standard chart of "Fingers : Letters." (Refer the picture below)


The nature of my work is quite sedentary and very varied as well. To begin afresh from one task to another, a short break always helps. In stead of playing a game of Solitaire or make a cold call or for that matter just whiling away your time thinking about what to do, this is a very interesting change over! You learn as well as get a complete break from the monotony! I hope you find it as constructive as I do!

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Nankhatai



Credit - Internet (My little additions)

Quantity - 16 to 20 pieces  

Time - 15 minutes preparation 20 t0 25 minutes baking (Over night dough resting)

Ingredients -
  • Maida/ Self rising flour - 1 cup
  • Castor Sugar - 1/2 cup
  • Cardamom powder - 1/2 Tsp.
  • Ghee - 1/2 cup (melted and at room temperature)
  • Baking Soda - 1/2 Tsp.
  • Salt - a pinch

Method -
  1. Stiff together the flour and baking soda.
  2. Mix the ghee and sugar together till a smooth paste is formed. Add the flour and soda to this paste slowly till a dough is kneaded.
  3. Rest this dough for overnight in an air tight container. (You can also rest it for an hour before baking. But overnight resting makes it more delicious.)
  4. Pinch similar size balls out of this dough and place on a greased baking tray.
  5. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 170 degrees for 20-25 minutes. 

Serve - Serve with tea or coffee. 

Monday, 12 November 2012

A long wait


So this is one of my point of views on that city where big dreams are realized. Or so it is believed! Yes I am talking about "Mumbai". "Waiting" is an integral part of each and every thing here. You got to wait because you are stuck up in perennial queues everywhere! Even those precious dreams for which you chose to be in this city have a long wait before you actually see them occur. And mean while your life just drags itself so badly that it makes you feel it was all worthless! 

Of course, for those who feel I am absolutely mistaken, I am just kidding! The rest who have visited Mumbai know that I am not! Out of the rest, who haven't visited Mumbai yet, are simply blessed. My suggestion, in case you happen to visit this city, taking a perspective of "I am so lucky I don't have to come here again and again" will surely help you put up with what you experience here! 

From where I see it, people living in this place are always in some kind of hurry and land up missing out on all those elements that complete actions. Their mornings are bad due to lack of good sleep, afternoons are messed up because they reached work late, evenings are frustrating because they are struck in traffic and nights are screwed up because its just now they reached home and have a long list of to do things before they sleep! There is no plane satisfaction of accomplishing anything or peace of mind! Forget mind, there is no peace even in the surroundings. The decibel levels are so high that it can be sinfully painful at times. Pollution levels, best nothing said about that. Just bare in mind, prevention is better than cure while travelling and take all the precautions.

It just gets you thinking what kind of life is this? I mean, what is so brilliant about this lifestyle that people pour in this city so much? A patent answer to this question is "there's money and opportunities". I say, what is the use of that more money when you can't even spend it on things you love only because you are so very busy earning it? What is the use of those opportunities when you can't even enjoy them on every step because of this inherent hurry in and around you all the time?

I am sure even though not everyone living in Mumbai may accept this, but deep down they do dream of a peaceful life!

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Kindness and Compassion



This is one of the Short Stories my Grandfather used to often tell us. For some odd reason, I had forgotten about it. At a recent family get together when we missed his presence, every little memory of him came back to all of us. This is one of the many wonderful memories of him! 

Once upon a time, in a small village a saint shot to fame across the region for his beautiful white horse. The special thing about this horse was that he used to follow each and every instruction given - but only by the saint! It was too good to be true, so people from far distances started visiting him to see this wonder with their own eyes.

In no time, exciting narrations of the obedient horse reached the king of that region and out of curiosity he paid a visit to this saint's abode. The king fell in love at the very first sight. A selfish desire made him want the horse as his own possession. Expressing his desire of owning the horse, king offered the saint any price he wished for the same.

Taken aback with this offer, the saint very politely refused saying that the horse was not for sale as he used his ability to serve the needy in his region, and so he is better off being on the fields than in palaces! The king, unable to take "No" for an answer strode away immediately in utmost fury. Just before leaving, he swore to the Saint that before the next day ends, the horse shall be in his palace!

It was a sleepless night for the saint as he couldn't understand how his intentions could have been misunderstood! He had noble desire to help the needy and serve his country men. And how it had turned out to be a nightmare for him by offending the King! Unable to close his eyes due to sun rays passing through the window he realized that the night went out without a minutes rest.

As he walked on the banks of the river by his abode, the saint saw a very weak man who was crying for help. In no time the saint carried this man to his home and gave him supper. After the sick man could gather up enough energy to speak, he asked for help in reaching a doctor in a near by village. The saint called his horse and instructed  him to go where ever this man says. Then he helped him to sit on the horse properly. Being happy with his deed right in the morning, the saint smiled one last time to his horse and said good bye!

As soon as the horse started trotting, the sick man threw away his disguise and looked back at the Saint. With a glorious laughter the King said to him that the horse is going to the palace finally! And that he defeated him well before the next day ended! But the King could not understand why the Saint was still calm.   The only thing he said was "It was never a race between us. You were running it alone. I just ask for one request. Please don't tell anyone how you brought this horse in your palace. Because if you do, no one will then believe in Kindness and Compassion!"

- The End - 

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Tricolour in Pasta


Credit - Adapted from Internet but still my versions!


Quantity - 6 servings

Time - 50 minutes

Ingredients -
  • Pasta - 600 gms.
  • Salt - 2 tsps.
For Green Sauce
  • Spinach - 100 gms.
  • Green peas - 100 gms.
  • Onions - 1 nos.
  • Garlic clove - 1 nos.
  • Oil - 2 tb. sp.
  • Cheese - 50 gms.
  • Salt to taste
For Red Sauce
  • Tomatoes - 200 gms
  • Onion - 1 nos.
  • Garlic clove - 1 nos.
  • Red chilli powder - 1 tsp.
  • Tomato ketchup - 1 tb. sp.
  • Oil - 2 tb. sp.
  • Cheese - 50 gms.
  • Salt to taste
For white Sauce
  • Potatoes - 1 nos.
  • Sweet corn - 1 cup
  • Onion - 1 nos.
  • Garlic clove - 1 nos.
  • All purpose flour - 2 tb. sp.
  • Butter - 2 tb. sp.
  • Milk - 2 cups
  • Cheese - 50 gms.
  • Salt to taste

Method -
  1. Put the pasta in boiling water and add salt to it. Keep steering it from time to time.
  2. In another pot, boil the spinach and green peas together. Do not throw away the water, we would need it for gaining required consistency in the sauces.
  3. In another pot, boil the potato and corn together.
  4. Finely chop the 3 onions and garlic cloves. Sauté over oil till onions turn golden brown. Make 3 equal parts of the same in 3 different cooking pans.
  5. In a blender, make the tomato purée and add it in one of the pans of onion. Turn the heat on and add red chilli powder tomato ketchup and cheese. Finally add salt to taste. Bring to slight boil before turning off the heat.
  6. In a blender make a purée of spinach and green peas. Add this purée to another pan of onions and turn the heat on. Add cheese and salt and with the help of freshly made vegetable stock, attain the necessary consistency of this sauce. Bring to slight boil before turning off the heat.
  7. Finally in another pan, melt the butter and add the flour. Sauté till the flour is slightly golden. Do not over do it. Immediately add milk and keep steering to avoid the lumps forming. Add salt and bring it to boil. Then pour this mixture into the last onion pan and turn the heat on. Cut the potatoes into small cubes and add them along with corns and cheese in this sauce. Bring this final white sauce to slight boil before turning off the heat.
  8. The last stage is the pasta mixing. Drain the water completely and divide it into 3 equal portions. Folding it into the respective sauces, serve them along side each other.

Serve - Serve with Garlic bread and wine.

p.s: I know its too much of pots and pans and simultaneous tasks. But trust me this version with a slight homely touch to it doesn't fail you at all. It looks too good, is relatively easy and absolutely sumptuous! :-)

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Kukuye Sibzamini (Persian Potato Omelet Recipe)



Credit - National Microwave/ Convention Cook Book


Quantity - 6 pieces

Time - 30 minutes

Ingredients -
  • Potatoes - 500 gms.
  • Onions - 120 gms.
  • Turmeric Powder - 5 gms.
  • Salt - 10 gms.
  • Pepper - 5 gms.
  • Eggs - 6 nos.
  • Ghee - 60 gms.

Method -
  1. Pressure cook the potatoes for about 10 minutes. You can also microwave them.
  2. Finely chop the onions and add turmeric, salt and pepper.
  3. Peal the potatoes and mash them to add to the onion mixture.
  4. Whisk the eggs and add them to the potato mixture.
  5. In a pan or microwave bowl, add ghee and cook for 3 minutes. Pour in the egg-potato mixture and cook for another 8 to 10 minutes till it sets. In case of cooking range use medium-high flame.
  6. Set aside for 5 minutes to cool down before you cut the wedges.

Serve - Serve with tomato ketchup or cheese sauce.

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Pumpkin Soup


This is one of those coincidental creations that began with the weekly clearing out of my fridge. Special because its dead simple with readily available ingredients at home and very healthy!!

Pumpkin Soup

Credit - Yours truly :-) :-D


Quantity - 4-6 servings depending upon your soup bowl size

Time - 30 minutes

Ingredients -
  • Pumpkin - 1/2 kgs.
  • Potatoes - 2 nos. (medium size)
  • Onions - 2 nos. (medium size)
  • Garlic paste - 1/2 tsp.
  • Oil - 2 tb. sp.
  • Milk - 1 cup
  • Ground Nutmeg - 1/2 tsp.
  • Coriander - 1/4 cup (finely chopped)
  • Salt to taste

Method -
  1. Pressure cook the potatoes and pumpkin for 5 to 8 minutes. Do not drain the water because we will use it for blending the soup to attain required consistency. You can also boil the vegetables.
  2. Finely chop the onions and fry them with the garlic paste till they turn brown. You can do this simultaneously while the vegetables are cooking.
  3. Once the vegetables are cooked, peel the potatoes and mix the fried onions before blending the soup. You have to do it in 3-4 batches and use a net to give that extra smoothness to the soup. Use the freshly created stock for attaining the semi-liquid consistency.
  4. Add milk and nutmeg to this smooth soup and bring to boil. Before serving, add the chopped coriander for garnish.
Serve - Serve hot with bread or rice. Just a bowl full of this soup is good enough a quick healthy treat!

Monday, 9 July 2012

Chocolate Mousse (Egg less)



Credit - Nigella Lawson


Quantity - 6 servings

Time - 15 minutes preparation and minimum 60 minutes chilling

Ingredients -
  • Mini marsh mellows - 150 gms.
  • Unsalted butter - 50 gms.
  • Dark Chocolate Chips - 250 gms.
  • Water - 4 Tb. sp.
  • Fresh Cream (Double) - 300 ml.
  • Vanilla essence - 1 T.sp.
  • Bar of Chocolate (White/ Milk) - grated for garnish

Method -
  1. In a pan, mix marsh mellows, butter, chocolate and water. Heat on a simmer till it turns into a homogeneous mixture. Set aside for cooling.
  2. With a help of a blender, whisk the double cream with vanilla essence till thick and soft.
  3. Fold in the chocolate mixture into the whipped cream.
  4. Put random swirls in dessert bowls for chilling in the fridge.
  5. Just before serving, garnish with grated chocolate.
Serve - Chilled with grated chocolate. Also a small dollop of cream looks very stylish!

p.s: Yes I am a chocolate lover!!!! ;-) :-D

Saturday, 30 June 2012

Chocolate Buiscuit Cake



Since I have a sweet tooth, here goes my first dish that is a dessert! :-)

Credit - Chaya Maushi (Our family cook)

Quantity - 6 servings

Time - 10 minutes preparation and 7 mins cooking

Ingredients -
  • Bournbon Biscuits - 1 pack of 169 gms.
  • Parle G Biscuits - 2 packs of 84.6 gms.
  • Eno - 1 tb. sp.
  • Milk - 1 3/4 cups
  • Nutmeg Powder - 1/2 tsp.

Method -
  1. Grease a microwave proof mold and set aside.
  2. In a mixer, make fine powder of these two biscuits.
  3. Add half quantity of milk to this powder and with a blender, mix well. Along with the remaining milk, add Eno and nutmeg powder and mix well.
  4. Immediately pour this batter in the pre-greased mold and set in microwave for 7 minutes.
Serve with - Coffee/ Vanilla ice cream/ Chocolate sauce

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Turning Point




Post 25 years of age, most of my friends (married or unmarried) are dealing with "the turning point" in their respective lives. For some odd reason, its only to do with the "marriage" status or coping up with the same. I strongly feel that turning point is a continuous phenomenon, and not a one time thing! Turning points are of course at times of marriage, but the list is endless... For eg. turning points in careers, relationships (family, friends, colleagues etc.), health, education, and the list goes on...

As the first post of this year, I wish to share some of my observations and principles regarding the turning point that is currently a burning issue around me!! Please note that I am a full time working woman, so my perspective is limited to working women only. I have always lived by these principles and they have never let me down.

  1. Getting married or being in a relationship is a turning point for both involved. So there is no reason it should be a one sided affair. It is very necessary that your relationship is on a "one to one" level, literally. To be precise, in a healthy relationship there is no Secondary position! 
  2. Respecting each others careers goes without saying. Your partner wont be able to put it in words, but your wholehearted support and interest in his career makes him respect you even more!
  3. Parents involvement is one of the greatest opportunities to strengthen your bonds. It is very crucial to establish that sense of security within each other and respective parents that, they are a part of your new life. Though the couple decisions are going to be the final word, including your parents in them will only add to the family happiness!
  4. Couples do need a set of common friends as much as they need their own set of friends. While you should have your independent time alone with your friends, making sure your partner has his time alone with his friends is also important.
  5. Your partner was big enough to choose you as his life partner. So he is big enough to take care of himself as well! It is not caring to keep on showering your partner with orders of what to do, how to behave, go to gym, drink or smoke less etc. all the time! This will only dilute the importance and seriousness of those crucial occasions when you really need your partner to do things only because you are saying so!
  6. Being possessive is not at all romantic, its simple pure insecurity which needs to be addressed on war footing. Getting attracted or interacting with an opposite sex doesn't mean cheating on you! Smothering each other will only destroy your comfort zone rendering you to go away from the transparency in your relationship.
  7. While the list of "compromises I have made" may crop up during arguments, there are honestly only 2-3 things in your life that you cannot compromise. Everything else becomes secondary and it helps to a very large extent towards making life together smooth and compatible.
  8. As you need to have something that you do just the two of you, there must be something in your routine that you do alone as well. It should be something which will establish your personal space! And share what you think or do or feel during this time with your partner. It makes your relationship that much closer!
  9. Do not forget that your life began from the time you were born, and not from when you got into a relationship. So your relationship or marriage is a part of your life and not the entire life. Keep a track of your dreams or plans or ambitions you have had since your childhood. Don't give them up just because you will share your life with someone, and make sure your partner does the same!
  10. And lastly, never deny your partner for sex! Making love cannot be a deal in any relationship ever. No reason what so ever is justified for denying your partner over this! Its like a knife that cuts and the wounds heal, but the scars remain forever. In stead focus on shedding all the inhibitions that you may have over sex. Your level of pleasure is indirectly proportional to your level of inhibitions!! Lesser the inhibitions, more the pleasure and better your sex life!
These were the best of suggestions I picked up from the doses all my well wishers gave me before I took the plunge into marriage hood. After penning them down here, I feel they are more like the 10 commandments of relationships! :-)

मेरे अपने

आज आसमान मुझे देख रहा है,  सितारें कुछ ज्यादा चमक रहे हैं,  मेरे अपने जो उनमें बसे  हैं! शायद वहां रहकर खुश है! पीछे रहना बड़...