Monday, February 19, 2007


1. Women will ALWAYS form groups. The prettier ones will always be in the highest group and will look down on all other groups and especially at the one woman who is not a part of any group and promptly label her "loser", "freak", "bitch" or "slut". And then, shut all doors on said woman.
2. Women will go to any lengths to show members of other groups down, even if it means dragging their old bones out of a warm, cozy bed at 6:00 am to prove a point that they aren't yet that old and haven't lost it.
3. Popular women (especially bloggers) always have a rabid fan following and self-appointed male guardians.
4. A sudden quick glance in the mirror reflects the face of my cousin (scowl intact and face of ten years ago, before she decided that most food was fattening) and seriously freaks me out.
5. The realisation that my sister who was a tomboy and in my opinion, will always remain one, and who *still* is seriously fashion-blind, looks better in whatever she wears, while I, self-appointed fashion guru, top-notch accessory-ist, top-drawer clothes-buyer have to work so hard to just look passable. I know I am fat, but still.
6. The amount of BS in the art business.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Potato Potahto

What I eat everyday is a curious mish-mash of Indian, Thai and chinese cuisines. Indian - because thats what is my native cuisine, Thai - because thats my favourite cuisine and Chinese - because that's my next favourite cuisine and because the ingredients are easily available here. I also have started cooking Italian and french food but that is rare because I still do not have a satisfactory oven. My refridgerator is stuffed with Lee Kum Kee sauces, various kinds of pesto, cheese and preserves. If I have to cook a special meal for someone, it will often be chinese and thai inspired. When I want comfort food, I make arhar dal, rice and bhindi bhaji OR rajma chawal.

I bought a table top grill 3 days ago and since then, I have been grilling veggies, prawns and fish. This has further added a newer dimension to my cooking patterns, a very welcome one in fact.

The point I am trying to make is that my food habits have altered a lot ever since my exposure to other countries and cultures increased and I have been cooking lesser and lesser of Indian food. So, the question that is weighing on my mind is whether I should post only Indian food recipes on my blog, or post only recipes and food posts, or post whatever comes to mind, the way I have been doing? After thinking and deliberating, I have realised that this blog is as much about me, and the effort involved in hosting more than one blog is more than I can handle at the moment. So, excuse the personal posts folks, once I have the luxury of time, I will probably host multiple blogs.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Wiggle, Wiggle, Wiggle Like Soup

I am on a diet. I HAVE to lose 15 kgs (33 Pounds). I'm feeling miserable with all this extra baggage I'm carrying around and my beautiful clothes are not fitting (the real reason actually) and I really, really want to start running again.

My diet plan is soup, soup and more soup. And salads. And fruits and veggies.

So, in the next week, I shall be posting one soup recipe every single day, and hopefully an accompanying pic.

I make my own stock and I truly believe that the basis for good soup is a good, fresh, without preservatives stock. I mostly rely on chicken stock. I have a two recipes for stock, one for asian style soups and one for non-asian soups.

This is my recipe for Chicken Stock. It is basically a mix of different recipes gleaned from Kylie Kwong, Bourdain, Jamie Oliver, TAG and I guess about 100 other food blogs and tweaked to substitute locally available ingredients.

Chicken Stock for Dummies

Chicken Bones of 3 1.2 kg chickens(I normally get my chicken deboned and use the left over bones for the stock)
2-3 litres or more of water to completely cover the chicken
2 carrots sliced
2 onions/ shallots
Celery stalks (OPTIONAL - though I really think this is a wonderful flavour and you get pretty good celery at Park circus market)
1 Bayleaf (tejpatta)
Salt to taste

For Asian Stock:
Ginger - 1 inch sliced thick
Coriander stalks

In a large degchi/ stockpot/ pan, add chicken bones and cover with water, put on heat and let it bubble away. Keep skimming off the fat and impurities. After 20 minutes add carrots, onion, celery. If you are doing an Asian stock, add ginger, peppercorns and coriander stalks after 30 minutes. Add salt to taste. Simmer for 1.5 to 2 hours.

Cool stock completely, strain and keep in fridge. Normally after a day the fat comes up on the surface. I strain it again to take out all the fat. This stays for 7 days in the fridge, but I normally use it up in 5 days. This should yield about 1 to 2 litres of stock. I truly believe that after getting used to home made stock, it is impossible to use those awful stock cubes.


Tuesday, February 06, 2007

The Great Dipper

Sometimes I think the beautifullest thing is...
  • to lie on a charpoy, covered with fine cotton chadars on a full moon summer's night, trying to find the great dipper against the brightness of the moon's halo, wonder at skeins of swans (migratory birds) lazily flying across the sky, listening to the rustle of the ghaghra's cool breeze amongst the ashok trees,
  • waking up to the sound of the papeeha and koel,
  • bathing in water freshly brought up from the tube well,
  • sitting down to a breakfast of mangoes amongst other things, drinking milk in big brass tumblers (or refusing to drink),
  • spending the morning chasing sparrows beneath karonda bushes or pretending to help while actually having great fun with glue, mortars and pestles and herbs and other aromatics,
  • having lunch of arhar dal cooked on a wood fire, bhindi sabzi, rice, thin rotis, the tastiest pickles and green chutneys ever and mangoes alongwith atleast 12 other people, drinking cold, cold water freshly pumped (I have never drunk such sweet metallic water since),
  • having a long siesta in the afternoon while listening to gossip and funny stories, and being cautioned that going out in the back courtyard would mean being chased by monkeys, which was found to be true gradually by all of us pint sized heroes,
  • having a long, uncomplicated tea of pakodas and ginger or kangri or cardamom chai and very sometimes spicy chat,
  • going for walks on the banks of the ghaghra or scampering up mango trees and plucking and stuffing still hungry mouths with plump, juicy falsas and returning home triumphantly with sweet limes, falsas, figs and baskets of mangoes,
  • being scrubbed by mostly our mothers under the cold, cold fresh water again,
  • sitting down to a dinner of rotis, different kinds of veggies and curds and mountains of mangoes yet again and still not tiring of mangoes,
  • listening to stories of independence, to the point and factual or fanciful and alive with imagination and fervour depending on the story teller,
  • squabbling on the best spots to sleep with atleast 8 other people....

And, I get sad because I know my nephew or if I ever have children, will never, ever know this beauty and never know that way of life....


Sunday, February 04, 2007


I love pretzels, even ones that are actually old signages.


Saturday, February 03, 2007


This is my favourite thing to do with leftover red wine. I drink red wine only now because I like it and because I can convince myself that it is actually good for me. So, I normally have loads of open red wine bottles that I simply do not have the heart to empty in the sink.

Anyway, this is my recipe with ALL Indian ingredients.

1 bottle of Sula Satori or Grover's La Reserve (750 ml) Red wine
Pineapple juice - 250 ml
Orange juice - 150 ml
1 orange (I use kino, but any thin skinned orange is good) sliced thin lengthwise
1 gandharaj lemon sliced thin legthwise
1 peach or 4 plums or 5 strawberries pitted and cut into chunks (any berries will do, even black grapes are ok. I like to use green apples also)
Juice of 2-3 limes
Sprite - 400 ml (as cold as possible)
Lots of ice

Mix the wine, pineapple and orange juice, the cut fruit atleast 4-5 hours or overnight before serving. Chill. Before serving, add lime juice and cold, cold sprite. Mix well. Top with lots of ice.



Thursday, February 01, 2007

Sneaky Thoughts

I can never be "good".
I don't want to be "good".
Most women have a sense of humour bypass after popping out a kid.
The words "play dates" seem really scary to me. What is wrong with just "playing"?
I'm not pally with my neighbours but I pretend to be.
Why do I feel wonderment at the times that have changed when my nephew actually understands what a conference call is but I feel annoyed when old(er) people can't check their email?