Sunday, July 29, 2007

Momo - Calcutta Version

This was supposed to be my entry for WTSIM Dumpling! But, even though I made my momos on schedule, I just did not get the time to transfer the pics from my laptop to my home pc in time. Anyway, I had never attempted cooking dumplings before, because I am relatively new to cooking, lazy and avoid taking on anything that involves hard labour. However, I am getting more courageous in expanding my horizons and the WTSIM events, provide me an opportunity to try cooking food that I normally wouldnt. So, even though my work doesn't allow me posting the posts on time, I am glad, I actually make an attempt!

Anyway, I racked my brains for Indian Dumplings and even though my family does have a nifty dumpling tradition (dal ka dulha anyone?), given the fact that I don't like them, I wanted to attempt something more adventurous. So, I tried to find a dumpling equivalent and the closest I could get was with the Nepali Momo. The tastiest Momos can be found at Hamro Momo, off Lee Road, though I am sure all people from Calcutta have a favourite Momo place they swear by. The Calcutta version consists of minced meat (pork or chicken) flavoured with shallots, coriander, ginger and garlic and seased with salt and pepper, enclosed in a flour packet and either steamed or fried. I decided to stick with the steamed ones as I feel the flavours are preserved. I would have loved to make pork Momos, but I don't trust the quality of pork, so had to make do with Chicken.
Since my first try at making momos, I have made them twice and tweaked my recipe and am posting my tweaked recipe instead of the recipe I used to make these momos. Sadly, I did not take any pictures the other two times because both times, I was too hungry by the time I had finished and couldn't resist stuffing them into my face!
The first change I made was to roll the wrapper dough thinner. The trick is in rolling it so thin that the dumpling doesn't taste all flour but doesn't tear while steaming or frying. It isn't difficult to achieve and after one or two attempts, it comes easily.
The second change I made was that I did away with the garlic in the stuffing and also marinated the minced chicken overnight. The difference was that my second and third lot of Momos were wonderfully succulent and flavorful.
Anyway, this is the recipe:

For the stuffing:
Minced Chicken - 250 gms
Minced Shallots - 4 (divide into 2 portions, 2/3 and 1/3)
Coriander - a bunch - chopped superfine (divide into 2 portionsdivide into 2 portions, 2/3 and 1/3)
Onion Shoots - chopped fine (divide into 2 portions, 2/3 and 1/3)
Ginger - 1 inch - chopped superfine
Salt - To taste

Flour (Maida) - 2-3 cups
Oil - About 2 tbsps
Salt - a pinch or two

Dipping Sauce:
Red Chillies


Mix the minced chicken, 2/3rd portions of the shallots, coriander and onion shoots, ginger and salt. Mix well. Refrigerate for a day. Mix the other 1/3rd portion of shallots, coriander and onion shoots. If you want a pepper kick, you may add a smattering of black pepper, though I did away with it in my final recipe.

For the Dipping sauce, just combine all ingredients and process it in a food processor until smooth. I kept on tweaking and adding ingredients until the taste was hot, tangy, sour but with a faint sweetness to mute the hotness and the tartness of the vinegar.

To make the dough, combine all ingredients and knead with water until well-binded. The dough should have approximately the consistency of puri/ luchi (bread) dough but slightly wetter.

Once the dough is done, prepare your steamer. Grease the steamer container where you will place the Momos for steaming VERY generously or else the dough will stick to it while steaming and will disintegrate when you try to take it out.

To roll the dough you need LOTS of dry flour or else it sticks everywhere. Anyway, take a tiny portion, the size of a largeish marble and roll it into a round. Try and keep the edges thinner than the center, though this is easier said than done. Once the dough is rolled out, place a very heaped teaspoon of the stuffing and form pouches. This is not hard at all. You could keep it in a conch shape as well, but I like these pouch shapes easier to make. Place on the greased steamer container. Another point to note is that while placing the Momos for steaming, they should be placed with adequate space between each other, because they tend to expand while cooking. Steam for 25-40 minutes. Let it cool a bit, sprinkle some chopped onion shoots, serve with the dipping sauce.

Just a word of caution, this will make about 16-25 Momos depending on the size you make them.

If you are lazy and do not want to make the dipping sauce from scratch, just blend together Sriracha sauce with a little garlic and vinegar.

This is a somewhat painstaking process, but the Momos are so tasty and hearty, that it is worth the effort.


Lucy In The Sky


MV's Three Thing Meme - Reasons Why I Love Her So Very Much

3 Things that scare me: Being burnt alive, Scary movies, Occasions when I am forced to risk lyfe and lymb clambering over cliff faces so that my friends can get wherever in a hurry and prove their manlyness at the same time.

3 Things I love: Dancing, Food and Baldy, in no particular order.

3 Things I hate: People, Working for a Living, People who work for a living.

3 Things on my desk: My coffee cup, my laptop, a random tin of chocolates.

3 Things I am doing right now: eating a random chocolate, whining about how much my ankle hurts, pretending to like my Boss' dog

3 Things I want to do before I die: Spend a week in NYC, successfully run for elected office, Baldy

3 Things I can do: Swim, Gossip and Storm up the Dance floor

3 Things you should listen to: Korn, Dixie Chicks and basically anyone who is not named Bob fucking Dylan.

3 Things you should never listen to: Bob fucking Dylan, Toby Keith and Ann Coulter

3 Things I would like to learn: French, The West Coast Swing/Hustle, Sailing

3 Favorite foods: Unagi, Asparagus and Baked Garlic.

3 Beverages I drink regularly: Starbucks Espresso, Diet Coke, and Miller Chill.


Thursday, July 26, 2007

A Very Long Time Ago

If anyone cares to check my links, one would find a lot of dead blogs. Most of the dead blogs have been very popular at some point of time. Popular meaning loads of hits. Eventually the blogger stopped blogging due to various reasons which I am just not interested in knowing because I just don't care about the person writing it though I sometimes may have enjoyed a post or two. I feel that people take themselves and their blogs a little too seriously. THIS is exactly how I feel about blogs and bloggers.

Strangely I have never ever felt that I don't have stuff to write about, because:
(a) I am too opinionated.
(b) I actually live as opposed to existing.
(c) I feel nice about letting my often uncomfortable thoughts out and I have very many!
(d) I don't write every day.

On occasions, there is a deep silence from me because:
(a) There is just no time to post because I actually work for a living rather than shacking up and reproducing like there's no tomorrow because I actually feel that producing more humans, burdens the earth more than anything else and SOMEONE HAS to stop this endless cycle of producing moron after moron.
(b) I travel a lot and when I do, I don't feel the need to inform the universe about my travel plans, and isn't the whole point about travel is, to get away?
(c) I just don't feel like posting anything and I don't feel that this blog is something that my life depends on.
(d) I don't care if anyone actually reads my stuff because I have no incessant need to be told how lovely I am. I know I'm pretty wonderful, which is why I don't need to put silly, "cool", "hip" pictures of my gob to be validated by total strangers, most of who I would not even want to know.

And so....

I have been posting stuff on my blog since 2004, yeah baby....


Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Where Do You Go To My Lovely?

You talk like Marlene Dietrich
And you dance like Zizi Jeanmaire
Your clothes are all made by Balmain
And there's diamonds and pearls in your hair, yes there are
You live in a fancy apartment
Off the Boulevard Saint-Michel
Where you keep your Rolling Stones records
And a friend of Sacha Distel, yes you do
You go to the embassy parties
Where you talk in Russian and Greek
And the young men who move in your circles
They hang on every word you speak, yes they do
But where do you go to my lovely
When you're alone in your bed
Tell me the thoughts that surround you
I want to look inside your head, yes I do
I've seen all your qualifications
You got from the Sorbonne
And the painting you stole from Picasso
Your loveliness goes on and on, yes it does
When you go on your summer vacation
You go to Juan-les-Pins
With your carefully designed topless swimsuit
You get an even suntan on your back and on your legs
And when the snow falls you're found in Saint Moritz
With the others of the jet-set
And you sip your Napoleon brandy
But you never get your lips wet, no you don't
But where do you go to my lovely
When you're alone in your bed
Won't you tell me the thoughts that surround you
I want to look inside your head, yes I do
You're in-between twenty and thirty
A very desirable age
Your body is firm and inviting
But you live on a glittering stage, yes you do
Your name, it is heard in high places
You know the Aga Khan
He sent you a racehorse for Christmas
And you keep it just for fun, for a laugh, a-ha-ha-ha
They say that when you get married
It'll be to a millionaire
But they don't realize where you came from
And I wonder if they really care, or give a damn
Where do you go to my lovely
When you're alone in your bed
Tell me the thoughts that surround you
I want to look inside your head, yes I do
I remember the back streets of Naples
Two children begging in rags
Both touched with a burning ambition
To shake off their lowly-born tags, so they try
So look into my face Marie-Claire
And remember just who you are
Then go and forget me forever
But I know you still bear the scar, deep inside, yes you do
I know where you go to my lovely
When you're alone in your bed
I know the thoughts that surround you
'Cause I can look inside your head

Fucking Moron

I have a knack for being attacked by stupidity all the fucking time. Today, after working out for almost an hour, while I was sipping water slowly at the cooler, I was approached by this dumb looking 40ish bimbo who asked me, "are you one of the people who works for the gym?" Ummm.... Isn't a person working for the gym supposed to be fit and not potbellied? I just refused to reply back and stared at a spot behind the babe.


Sunday, July 22, 2007

Three Things Meme

Gia's tagged me for the Three Things meme. Seeing how much I enjoy making lists, here goes...

3 Things that scare me: poverty, clowns, dying alone and being discovered half eaten by maggots (I will never have cats, so maggots it will be)

3 People who make me laugh: My nephews and nieces (well thats not one, but still), Varsha Commotion, Woody Allen

3 Things I love: My pinoccio puppet from Sorrento, one painting I own - it is called "sambad pratidin" (everyday conversation - please correct me if I am wrong) and shows a chap buying fish from a fish seller, shoes

3 Things I hate: People, cloudy weather, religious fervour

3 Things I do not understand: Stupidity, why people even like me, the sudoku craze

3 Things on my desk: fax machine, pic of my nephew, lots of pens

3 Things I am doing right now: writing this post, checking emails, cracking pumpkin seeds

3 Things I want to do before I die: See the world, think of one brilliant idea that will change the way we do things, run a full marathon

3 Things I can do: dance the salsa, cook, long distance running

3 Things you should listen to: Bob Dylan, Ella Fitzgerald, Freddie Mercury (would a name like that be even possible in these days and times?)

3 Things you should never listen to: Most Hindi Pop Stars, your parents after the age of 21, your neighbours kid practising rabindrasangeet

3 Things I would like to learn: baking, playing the saxophone, scuba diving

3 Favorite foods: Foie Gras, arhar dal, mangoes

3 Beverages I drink regularly: Tea (Darjeeling First Flush Orange Pekoe, Jasmine, Oolong), Water, Milk

3 Shows I watched as a kid: A Team, Karamchand, Didi's Comedy Show (Does anyone even remember this?)

I tag JAP, Arun and Mr. Fact.


Saturday, July 21, 2007

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Can't wait to read......


Friday, July 20, 2007

Spring Cleaning

I emailed about 30 people two-three days ago. Some were friends from college, some people I met on Sparkmatch, some I met during the early start of my career. I didn't expect anyone to reply back, but I got 7 emails back. 3 from my college pals, 1 from a fellow Dylan fan and 3 from people I met on Sparkmatch. These 7 emails, some long, some one liners and some midling, made my week.


Thursday, July 19, 2007

Shogun, Dusit Thani, Bangkok

One thing that I hate about restaurants in asian hotels is that they hardly have any people. I know I hate people, but considering the fact that I eat most of my meals alone, eating at a crowded, full of happy families (ha! ha! ha!) restaurant sometimes cheers me up. No, its not what one would think, its because I get to eavesdrop, see hordes of dumb, crass, annoying people who consequently make me feel so much better about myself. Schadenfreude is my middle name!

Anyway, it is my aim to eat the best food possible while travelling to take away the thought of ghastly airline food. Yeah, right! Anyway, what I like about the Dusit Thani is that its right in the middle of Bangkok. What I hate about the Dusit Thani is pretty much what I hate about all asian hotels, the pimps and the annoying people in the lobbies on "business". What I REALLY like about the Dusit Thani are the restaurants. I like the french restaurant, the vietnamese restaurant, I even like the steakhouse. However, Bangkok does lead itself to errrr... over-eating and when one over-eats, the prospect of eating thai, french or anything else does not seem bright, leading one to... Japanese.

So, one walks down (well, uses the elevator) enters shogun, finds the chefs flirting with the middle aged haggard hostesses - yeah the restaurant was that empty, and one worries about the food. However, one's fears proved to be unfounded and the chef proved to be as talented with the food as he was with the ladies.

Ebi rolls - these were really, really good.

I've actually forgotten what these were called, but they were as luscious as they looked, especially the ones with the bigger roe.

The broiled/ braised (forgotten which) mackerel however was the scene stealer.

The grilled cod was good too, but not as good as the mackerel.

Well, the food made up for the dead atmosphere, and my plan of eating a "light" japanese dinner obviously did not work out, but I'm not complaining!


Tuesday, July 17, 2007


I have loads of food pics and blogs to post, but I'm so very depressed I don't feel like posting anything.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

On Beauty

I can watch horses all day long. The way each horse is different, the way they gallop, trot and race gracefully, refuse to acknowledge your presence, try to catch your eye, come eagerly to eat the apple in your hand, or pretend to with wild, wicked gleams plot to bite you instead. I love their rich colours, glossy coats, careless manes and taut muscles.

This is a good approximation of a day at the races in Calcutta, actually.

If Clothes Were People, I wouldn't Like Them


And then I realise how much people are important to my business and I bare my clenched teeth and make fake smiles, and it goes well, really.

Thanks, Madder.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Idiot Comments*

*I am not able to enter anything in the Title box

People seem to miss the point of blogs completely. One voices one's opinions, however skewed and non-rational they may be on one's blogs. If one reads a blog that one does not agree with and feels motivated enough to voice a comment, one should be aware that the blog owner moderates comments and will delete all anonymous comments that are:
(i) Trollish in nature
(ii) Full of grammatical errors
(iii) Based on one post the blogger posts and insulting in nature
(iv) Abusive
(v) Very apparently malicious.

MV, this is not intended for you, JFYI.


Monday, July 02, 2007

More Stupidity

I just read yesterday's newspapers. According to them, the Amarnath shrine was melting, but devotees were still flocking to it. I checked out the pictures, and was all, "What??!!" The Amarnath shrine is a fucking stalactite! And people go to pray there? What is wrong with people? How can this stupidity continue all these years? Whatever happened to scientific temperament etc.? I am all for religious tolerance and you can go believe in a dog or a cat or a cloud, if that makes you happy. Still, there is something called common sense, right? In these days and times, how can one travel over hill and dale to go pray to a stalactite?

Pray tell me.


Stop Being Stupid

I'm sick of women being non-competitive at work. I'm sick of women not working or giving up work. I'm sick of women depending on men. I'm sick of men being the primary breadearners. I'm sick of women being so fucking stupid. Is it so hard to understand that being financially sound is the key to not having shit in your life?

Long, long ago, when I was struggling, looking for a job that would feed and clothe me to my exacting standards, I dabbled in social work. I helped out (read - was bullied into by ponappa) at a lgbt helpline. My assistance lasted a total of 4 months. It consisted of listening to mostly women and some men whine. It was very hard for me. There were stories of real horror, loathing and distress. Once my initial shock had worn off and I started applying my mind into offering "helpful" suggestions, I realised that one cannot help people who are not ready to be helped. Most of the stories consisted of women having to toe what their families thought was best for them either by emotional blackmail, coercion or sometimes by brute force. My solution to most of them was get a JOB. Despite the fact that my job was nothing to write home about at that point of time, I was atleast aware that having money and being in control was the one way to improve your life. What surprised me was that most women did not like hearing this suggestion. Most of them were waiting for some magical rescue from the situation they were in and were not willing to move a muscle to change the situation. Many times, I had this irresistable urge to slap sense into them, to shake them by their shoulders and shout into their ears to wake up and grow up and stop dreaming. I was an unsuccessful volunteer then and in disgust, I made a firm resolve to not wallow in anyone else's tragedies but my own. Life has changed. I've grown up, am working hard and am working my way towards financial independence.

The feeling I used to have while volunteering, creeps in these days when I get to meet women socially these days. This whole crap about being a "homemaker", enjoying your child, being an earth mother is fucking the world up. Firstly, the job scenario doesn't give a shit that you have to burden the world with your spawn. Re-entering the work place is tough and a break in a resume is a break in a resume. Secondly, I don't think that women staying at home make the best mothers or mother their children better. All that residual guilt is just in your mind. Your kid will still love you and kids these days sort of understand that parents work in general. I meet these annoying "homemakers" at my gym, club and other places, where they wistfully tell me they used to be an investment banker or doctor or engineer before they started reproducing. Everytime I hear this, I go have a stiff drink, simply because I have to dull my senses to avoid slapping that woman hard for being such a sorry ass loser. Bah! If you have opted for a life as a dependent, just stop moaning and groaning to total strangers about it. Thirdly, when you stand and talk of women being equal or some similar shit, just shut up. If women were really equal, could you be guilted into giving up your job? Would your husband do the same? Wouldn't your husband contribute equally in bringing up your devil spawn? Wouldn't there be an equal number of women in every profession? Would only 14% of workers in India be female? Tell me.

I just wish women stop being stupid, focus on their careers a little more and get more assertive in their lives. Oh! And not marrying or being with an asshole helps too.