Monday, May 12, 2014

Kathal (Jackfruit) Pulao


We have recently got a property that has coconut trees, a jackfruit tree, guava trees, lemon trees, lime trees and 2 water bodies. While a lot of work has been planned in the upkeep of the garden, we have already started enjoying the fruits/ veggies.

The last time we visited, we got a medium sized jackfruit (Kathal) from the Jackfruit tree. Today, I wanted to eat something nice for dinner, but didn't want to cook a spread, since it was only me, essentially. So, decided on a Kathal Pulao, which I have recently learnt. This actually, will take your mind off meat, as it hits the meat craving and satisfies the biryani kick and craving.

The recipe follows and since it is not really my recipe and I am not able anyway to stick to the exact measures in recipes (EVER), will mention only approximations.

Ingredients (Main):
Kathal (Jackfruit) - about quarter kg
Rice - 1 measure (cup or whatever measure you feel like - enough for 2-3 people)
Water - double measure of the rice
Ginger paste - 1 tbsp.
Onion - diced - 1
Cinnamon - 1 stick
Shahi Jeera - 1/2 tsp
Cloves - 2/3
Black cardamom - 1
Bay leaf - 1
Salt - to taste
Red Chilli Powder - 1 tsp (I prefer Kashmiri chilli powder)
White Pepper Powder - 1 tsp
Oil
Ingredients (For the 2nd flavouring):
Ginger - Julienned (1 tsp.)
Coriander leaves - chopped up
Juice of 1 lime
Onion - 1 - julienned and fried golden brown
Mace (Javitri) Powder - 1/2 tsp
Cream - about 2 tbsps.
Green Chillies - split - 2-6 according to your preference

Method:
Wash and soak the rice for about 30 minutes. Chop the jackfruit into bite sized pieces. Fry the jackfruit until it is golden brown. Take a pressure cooker, put about 1 tbsp. of the oil the jackfruit was fried in. Heat it up. Add the Cinnamon, Shahi Jeera, Cloves, Black cardamom, Bay leaf until they crackle, add the chopped onions and ginger paste, and cook until the onion is cooked (translucent to light brown). Add the jackfruit, salt, chilli powder and white pepper powder. Cook for about 3-4 minutes. Add the rice and the water. Bring the water to a boil. Reduce heat. Then add all ingredients for the 2nd flavouring, mix well, close the lid and cook until a single whistle. Turn off the flame/ heat. After the pressure reduces, open, give it a good mix and serve.

There, simple, isn't it?

Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going?

I met the mob. It was very strange, but nice. My family is so small and individualistic, it is very, very strange for me to be in a family environment where there are 500 odd people all looking alike and being clannish. The good thing is that SO perceived my panic attacks and was a rock.

A very long time ago (more than a decade and a quarter) when we had only just met, fallen in love  and become friends, we resolved to never let go of our minds and to follow our own minds and not our parents, elders or anyone else's, because both of us felt we were responsible, mostly did right and followed rules and the laws. We've stuck to our resolve, but now looking back, it seems we were rebelling. Aided of course, by each other. I'm afraid both of us enabled each other's rebellion by supporting it. Still, apart from the one thing, no regrets.

And so, our lives have become pretty much one. In our minds, it happened long ago, its only now we are letting other people in. By other people I mean, our families, extended families and friends. This has so far been a happy experience. Ignoring negativity helps in keeping it happy.

So this is it....

C'est La Vie

I've started to paint and this is what the first tiny canvas looks like.
 
This is my life now. Exercise, work, cook. Wet, lather, rinse, repeat.
 
I love it. 

Colander

It's hard to write anything when your brain is one giant colander.
 

Sunday, March 23, 2014

On Happiness

Sometimes happiness is just a plane ride away and it takes you years to buy that ticket.

 

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Woe Is Me

The baker got a PHUNKY haircut, and it makes him look like a cross between a macaw and a lunatic, when the aim was a jap hipster. So much fail!

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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

I'm Gonna Get a Haircut Even If I Have to Cut It Myself

The baker has a barber who comes to give him a champi (Head massage with oil), a haircut and an occasional shave. Tradition dictates that barbers are all gossips at heart and talk non-stop. The baker's barber too is a chatterbox and delivers random gossip while he is getting his haircut/ champi/ shave.

Few days back, the baker got to know that the barber had a "saloon" (barbershop) called "Red World". Red World because everything in it was red coloured. The barber's chair, the mirror frame, the aprons, even his scissors were red. Apparently, the saloon faced stiff competition from an older barber. However, the jazziness of "Red World" attracts all the young rakes in his locality and the barber was an expert at "modern" hairstyles downloaded from "compooter".

The baker's hair has just started growing back, and so, he asked his barber if he could recommend a "modern" hairstyle and what was currently a popular style these days. The barber told him with a deep sigh, "Aajkal to PHUNKY chal raha hai. (Funky - phunky hairstyles are in vogue now)" On further probing, it was revealed that PHUNKY hairstyles have random spikes and layers and it all makes no sense whatsoever. Moreover, the baker would have to wait for another 6 months atleast, in order to get a phunky hairstyle.

So, all you readers of my blog, anytime you are in the mood for a PHUNKY hairstyle, while travelling in the interiors of eastern India, you can always head to "Red World" saloon. Mention the baker, and you will get a discount too. Doing my bit for local businesses, since 2003.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Time is a Jet Plane

So, 2013 has whooshed past. I've learnt nothing. Zilch and I'm also one year older. Woe is ME!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Meeting My Namesake

It took a long drive, but I finally held two loaves of Bakers Dozen in my hands. I normally never am at a loss for words, but I was then.


There is apparently something better than this sliced bread - holding it in my hands!



Saturday, August 10, 2013

The Shrine

My sister calls my collection of nephewy things, "The Shrine".

The Shrine finally drowned my doubts, and made me cry.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Books/ Magazines Giveaway 2013

Welcome to my annual/ bi-annual giveaways.

This could very well be my last Books Giveaway because I have started reading books on the kindle, which I got only because books started over-taking my house, like weeds. I now buy only those books which I cant find on kindle or have over-expensive kindle editions. That said, people, the kindle rocks. I thought I wouldn't enjoy it but it has preserved my sanity while travelling, where I can escape into a book, rather than getting annoyed by a mewling infant or annoying loud voices. I digress.

The books and magazines are all in excellent condition, and not very old, so rest assured you will get books/ magazines in very good condition.

RULES

  1. The Books/ Magazines Giveaway is not restricted by geography, though preference WILL be given to my friends and family. Since, I am giving these away absolutely free, feel this is only fair.
     
  2. Friends and family anywhere in the world can ask for books/ magazines. I will send them by normal airmail, so if you are not in India, be patient.
     
  3. The Books/ Magazines Giveaway is restricted to India ONLY for people I don't know, since I will not ship books outside India if I don't know you.
  4. To make a request, either leave a comment OR send me an email on plumpernickel at gmail dot com OR send me a SMS (for people who know me, obviously).
     
  5. I will require the following to mail books to you: Your Name, Proper Postal Address including House Number, Street Name/ Number, City, Pin/ ZIP Code, State, Country. For people not in India, I will require a telephone number.
     
  6. Friends, family, real-life acquaintances can request as many books/ magazines as they wish, but these will be given purely on a first-come-first basis. So, if you do not get what you ask for, please do not get mad. People I don't know, can only request 2 books and/ or 4 magazines per person.
  7. I will be crossing out books, according to requests made, so please do not request books that have been promised to someone else.
     
  8. Finally, please do NOT ask me why I am giving away stuff for free. If you live in a small house/ flat/ apartment, surely you too identify with the pain of stuff accumulating in leaps and bounds. I periodically create breathing space by giving stuff away. I would rather give away stuff to people I know, who will like what they get (hopefully), than sell it on OLX/ Ebay etc. Also, for friends and family, whose birthdays etc. I am wont to forget, consider it a very belated half peace-offering.  
  9. Last but not the least, once you get the books, please drop me a line or message. Last year I sent over 8 books to an unknown, who never bothered to let me know if she got the books or not and to this date have no clue.
Here's the list now....

LIST OF BOOKS/ MAGAZINES


  1.  Multiple City - Aditi De
  2. New market Tales - Jayant Kripalani
  3. Heavenly Date and Other Flirtations - Alexander Mccall Smith (I know I don't give away A Mc Smiths, but I found I bought 2 copies by mistake)
  4. Under a Monsoon Cloud - H. R. F. Keating
  5. Inspector Ghote Trusts the Heart - H. R. F. Keating
  6. The Perfect Murder - H. R. F. Keating
  7. Inspector Ghote Breaks an Egg - H. R. F. Keating
  8. Inspector Singh Investigates: A Deadly Cambodian Crime Spree -  Shamini Flint
  9. Beatrice and Virgil - Yann Martel (Hard Copy)
  10. The Help - Kathryn Stockett
  11. Winners Never Cheat - Jon M. Huntsman (yeah laugh, there is nothing I wont read if I feel it gives me insight into clients)
  12. Three Cups of Tea - Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin
  13. Cooking on the Run - Boria Majumdar
  14. All Aunt Hagar's Children - Edward P. Jones
  15. The Corrections - Jonathan Franzen
  16. Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage - Alice Munro
  17. Little People - Tom Holt
  18. The Portable Door - Tom Holt
  19. Depths - Henning Mankell
  20. The King's Speech - Mark Logue and Peter Conrad
  21. The Woman Who Went to Bed for a Year - Sue Townsend
  22. The Year of Yes - Maria Headley
  23. My Latest Grievance - Elinor Lipman
  24. Shopaholic & Baby - Sophie Kinsella
  25. Can You Keep a Secret - Sophie Kinsella  
  26. Shopaholic takes Manhattan - Sophie Kinsella  
  27. Whale Done - Ken Blanchard
  28. Sex and the City - Candace Bushnell
  29. Everyone worth Knowing - Candace Bushnell
  30. Everything Happens for a Reason - Kavita Daswani
  31. Five Quarters of the Orange - Joanne Harris
  32. Jigs and Reels - Joanne Harris
  33. Lark Rise - Flora Thompson
  34. What Men Want - Deborah Blumenthal
  35.  My Sainted Aunts - Bulbul Sharma
  36. Rude Food - Vir Sanghvi
  37. The Devil Wears Prada - Lauren Weisberger
  38. The Teahouse Fire - Ellis Avery
  39. A Prison Diary - Jeffrey Archer
  40. Sons of Fortune - Jeffrey Archer
  41. Eat Pray Love - Elizabeth Gilbert
  42. The Diary of a Social Butterfly - Moni Mohsin
  43. Vogue Magazine (US Edition) - Jul 2010 
  44. Vogue Magazine (US Edition) - Dec 2010 
  45. Vogue Magazine (US Edition) - Feb 2011
  46. Vogue Magazine (US Edition) - May 2011 
  47. Vogue Magazine (US Edition) - Aug 2011
  48. Vogue Magazine (US Edition) - Dec 2011 
  49. Vogue Magazine (US Edition) - Dec 2011
  50. Vogue Magazine (US Edition) - Feb 2012
  51. Vogue Magazine (US Edition) - Feb 2012
  52. Vogue Magazine (US Edition) - Feb 2013
  53. Vogue Magazine (UK Edition) - Feb 2012
  54. Vogue Magazine (Indian Edition) - Jun 2013
  55. Marie Claire (US Edition) - Mar 2009
  56. Marie Claire (US Edition) - Jul 2011
  57. Marie Claire (US Edition) - Aug 2011
  58. Marie Claire (US Edition) - Aug 2012
  59. Elle (US Edition) - Feb 2011 
  60. Esquire  (US Edition) - Dec 2010
  61. GQ (US Edition) - Dec 2010
  62. Good Homes (Indian Edition) - Nov 2008
  63. Good Homes (Indian Edition) - Jul 2010
  64. Good Homes (Indian Edition) - Sep 2011
  65. Good Homes (Indian Edition) - Dec 2011
  66. Good Food  (Indian Edition) - Oct 2012
  67. Scientific American  (Indian Edition) - Apr 2009
  68. Scientific American  (Indian Edition) - Aug 2010
  69. Scientific American  (Indian Edition) - Nov 2010
  70. Scientific American  (Indian Edition) - Dec 2010 
  71. Rolling Stone (US Edition) - Jan 2009
  72. Robb Report (Indian Edition) - Feb 2012
  73. Robb Report (Indian Edition) - Mar 2012
  74. Robb Report (Indian Edition) - Sep 2012
  75. Fortune (US Edition) - 1 Dec, 2008
  76. Fortune (Asia-Pac Edition) - 7 Sep, 2009
  77. Fortune (Asia-Pac Edition) - 24 Oct, 2011
  78. Fortune (Asia-Pac Edition) - 14 Feb, 2011
  79. Fortune (Asia-Pac Edition) - 18 Apr, 2011
  80. Fortune (Asia-Pac Edition) - 30 Jul, 2012
  81. Fortune (Asia-Pac Edition) - 20 Aug, 2012
  82. Fortune (Asia-Pac Edition) - 18 Mar, 2013 (2 Copies)

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DVD Giveaways

Welcome to my annual/ bi-annual giveaways. 

RULES

  1. The DVD giveaway is restricted to family, friends, real-life acquaintances and after that folks in Kolkata only. Since, I am giving these away absolutely free, feel this is only fair.
     
  2. To make a request, either leave a comment OR send me an email on plumpernickel at gmail dot com OR send me a SMS (for people who know me, obviously).
     
  3. Friends, family, real-life acquaintances can request as many DVDs as they wish, but these will be given purely on a first-come-first basis. So, if you do not get what you ask for, please do not get mad. People I don't know but from Kolkata, can only request 2 DVDs per person.
     
  4. If there is a remote chance the DVD does not work or is in an incompatible region or is not the movie you thought it would be, (a) download VLC (b) grin and bear it, it only came free!
     
  5. Friends, family, real-life acquaintances - need to be in India.
     
  6. If you do not like the movie, see 4. (b).
     
  7.  Finally, please do NOT ask me why I am giving away stuff for free. If you live in a small house/ flat/ apartment, surely you too identify with the pain of stuff accumulating in leaps and bounds. I periodically create breathing space by giving stuff away. I would rather give away stuff to people I know, who will like what they get (hopefully), than sell it on OLX/ Ebay etc. Also, for friends and family, whose birthdays etc. I am wont to forget, consider it a very belated half peace-offering.  

Here's the list now....

LIST OF DVDs

  1. The Romantics
  2. The Rebound
  3. The Adjustment Bureau
  4. Novocaine
  5. Serendipity
  6. I Want Someone to Eat Cheese With
  7. The Debt
  8. One Day

  9. Modigliani
  10. The Bachelor
  11. The Royal Tenenbaums
  12. Relative Strangers
  13. Henry's Crime
  14. Shortcut to Happiness
  15. The A-Team
  16. After The Sunset

  17. The Bucket List

  18. Crash
  19. Wag the Dog
  20. A River Runs Through It

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