Friday, February 11, 2011

Obeying my sweet-tooth

I have a problem. Yes, the problem of giving in my sugar cravings. Like I had mentioned in one of my earlier posts, I inquire about the dessert before the food at dinner parties. The past week I was successful in keeping sweets away from me. But one week is all that I can manage. It is really difficult, I am addicted to sweet treats. On a rebound, I gave in and prepared my version of suji (semolina) ladoos. Actually it can be called suji-coconut ladoos, they are cooling in the kitchen right now. As soon as I finish this post I will savor my first glorious ladoo. Here I am sharing the recipe so that someone out there might satisfy his/her sugar craving too.

Suji-Coconut Ladoo Recipe :

1 cup suji ( semolina)
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup milk
2 tbsp rose water
1 tsp cardamom powder
1/2 + 1/4 cup dessicated coconut (dry)
1/2 cup chopped almonds and raisins
2 tbsp ghee

Method :
1. Heat ghee in a heavy bottomed pan,add the chopped almonds and raisins and fry on low heat.
2. Now add the suji and roast until slightly golden.
3. Add the sugar and cardamom and keep roasting for 5 minutes. The heat should be low throughout.
4. Now add the dessicated coconut, mix well and pour the milk along with the rose water.
5. Mix well and remove from the heat.
6. Let the mixture cool for a couple of minutes. Form tiny balls with the mixture and roll it in the 1/4 cup of dessicated coconut. Set aside to cool.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

My new ironing board

Like I usually mention , I like to do things by myself....get a thrill out of it. And this time I re-invented my ironing board, gave it a face lift and also made it slightly more energy efficient.

Well there was nothing wrong with the old board to begin with. It was strong and sturdy and did its job well. But I kind of got bored of its cover. It was orange with tiny teddy bears, cute but I was done with the teddies. Besides, there was an old cotton bed-sheet with a better print and I really wished to re-commission it. If things do not get thrown or given away, I re-use them in a new avatar. So I started this new project. Measured up the board and the sheet, cut according to size and got stitching. Hand- stitch that is... An hour of sitting on the floor with my poor neck craned upwards, not a very comfortable position though, the job was done.

And for the energy efficiency, I slid in a layer of aluminum foil between the new cover and the old one, before stitching. The foil will reflect the heat from the iron and make the ironing process easier and quicker. I had read this somewhere and promptly applied it, I hope it works.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Okra with potatoes

We Indians call it 'bhindi', the good old lady-finger or okra is on of my favorite vegetables. Green on the outside and sticky-slimy on the inside. Its seeds are like tiny pearls and one might find an odd worm wriggling inside too once in a while. Not many people are a fan of this product from natures garden, but nevertheless it has won quite a few hearts. For those who eat it really love it(you can either love it or hate it ,but cannot ignore it). Here is a unique way to prepare it with potatoes.

Bhindi Aloo Recipe :

200g tender okra
1 large potato
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
2 tbsp cooking oil
salt to taste

1. Wash and dry the okra, cut into 1cm thick pieces.
2. Wash and peel the potato and cut into cubes of 1cm.
3. Heat the oil in a wok and add the cubed potatoes. On medium heat fry for 4-5 mintues or until almost tender.
4. Now add all the dry ingredients, stir for well.
5. At this point add the okra. Stir lightly, cover and cook for 6-7 minutes.
6. Cook for another 4-5 minutes or until done with the lid off.

Delicious Bhindi Aloo is ready to be savored with chapatti or  steam rice accompanied with dahi kadi (yoghurt curry).

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Spring Cleaning ......and its not even spring yet!

God knows what hit me today, I have been de-cluttering my home since morning. A little back-breaking exercise that requires some brain exercise too. Got out all the boxes, cartons, suitcases and emptied their contents. Then I made three piles - 1. throwing away, 2. giving away, 3. holding on (until next time). Must say the first two piles were way larger than than the third, and I am very pleased with myself. The job was pending for quite sometime now and it had to be done. Now my storage space is much more organized and my mind is at peace. Even as a young girl I enjoyed the job. It is kind of a de-stressing technique for me.

I have never been a hoarder for things at any point in my life, be it personal items, artifacts, clothes, furniture...whatever. If there is something that does not come in use for a year, it is transferred to one of the first two piles. I love handbags, but each time I buy a new one, an old one is given away or recommissioned. The same rule applies to my clothes and shoes( in a way I make room for newer stuff). I try to do it for hubby dear and my princess too( toys are inevitably rescued).

I feel good about myself and am thinking of newer ways to busy myself for the week ahead.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Restless hands

Yes, as the title suggests, my hands are getting restless. And this time around I am not re-inventing my blanket. Instead, doing some art and craft, just like in the school days. Lots of glitter and glue, laces and ribbons, scissors and sticky tapes.

I am making some hand-made name cards(I don't know what is the exact term). The ones that you attach on a gift or a bouquet. Actually, last weekend we were buying gifts and preparing for the upcoming occasions. And during the exercise I realized, how ridiculously expensive the tiny tags are, and there is nothing special or unique about them. Just mass printed stuff with a tinge of glitter. I decided to make my own. So now I have 24 pretty name cards that are all unique, made from scratch and totally hand-made. I am happy , and hope the ones who receive them will be delighted too. 

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Time to put on the reading glasses...........

A few minutes ago I finished this book, but to honest I was itching to blog about it the minute I started it. Two States by Chetan Bhagat, what a wonderful read. A love-story between two young adults from different communities. One might find many such books, but this one is different, because it is humorous. No heavy duty emotions, very cool and casual, just the way young people are these days. Of course it has a happy ending, but the journey is exciting.

The characters and situations are so real, they remind you of your own relatives. The ones that make you go "geeeezzzzz" sometimes. We all have them, lets accept the fact. Also the conversations the protagonist has with himself in his mind while talking to others, reminded me that I do it quite often too.

The story pushed me down the memory lane and re-visit my own experience of choosing a life partner, sticking to the decision and getting married by hook or by crook (thats one helluva story too, I promise you). And for a split second I thought maybe we could have done things differently. But naa....... even before the thought could form properly, it disintegrated, in our case not possible. Getting back to the book, its a great read filled with self-gyan that makes a lot of sense, a small helping of nationalism, an introduction to the typical features of two different communities(that is really interesting), slightly touching a few social issues. If I say more maybe the fun of reading it all will ruined.

So I stop now and hope you get a copy and enjoy reading the book, because the one thing about this story is that you feel the urge to share it (or is it just me?), read it and find out.