Showing posts from April, 2013

Many thanks, Paul Da

(This is my entry for Chicken Soup for the Indian Entrepreneur's Soul. I wish to get my story published in Chicken Soup for the Indian Entrepreneurs Soul in association with )

It was on a hot July afternoon in 2004 that I landed in Mumbai from Delhi, a fresh MBA graduate. I remembered the phone call that I had received a week back from my cousin Parthajeet. I called him Paul Da.

“Leave Delhi,” he persuaded. “Start your career in Mumbai. You will like it here more than Delhi.”

I had demurred. Delhi was where I had spent two years as a student and somehow a chord had struck with the city. Besides, the college was still arranging for campus placements.

“Ignore those campus placements and the meager salaries offered,” Paul da persisted. “Mumbai is where your future is.”

Thus arose the big dilemma – Mumbai or Delhi, a debate which till date never fails to garner sentiments from supporters of the respective cities.

I kept on deferring my decision but Paul Da would not leave me al…

Super Simple Ginger Chicken

I hope you won’t be miffed at how elementary this dish is. But it just happens to be one of my favourite dishes. More so because I don’t have to enter the kitchen to cook it - I have a magic wand, you see!

Okay fine, no more of the Harry Potter stuff (I was thinking of coining a magic word for the dish to appear out of nowhere), it is the husband’s recipe and he like to cook his own stuff. According to him, his ginger chicken was famous during his bachelorhood days in Delhi and colleagues from near and far would visit his room on weekends just to taste it. He bragged about converting many a spice lover who had firmly believed that chicken tasted good only if it was spicy. Although I had raised my eyebrows at him over the phone when he told me about the success of this dish during our courtship period, I have since then succumbed to the charms of it. 

The recipe is so simple that I am thinking of creating a label ‘Cooking with 3 items’. So then, here’s the husband’s take on ginger chicke…

Cheese-stuffed Chilly Peppers or Bhajji/Pakoda

April is the month my in-laws had got married. March was when my parents had tied the knot. So, we celebrated another wedding anniversary at our home last Wednesday. 
The husband, who had single-handedly cooked for my parents’ anniversary dinner, opted to do the same this time around as well. I had no complaints, given his culinary skills; although the aftermath of the ‘kitchen-storm’ can be a little daunting. Once again, I found myself entrusted with the task of preparing the appetizer. Last time, for my parents’ party, I had come up with Amritsari Fish Fry. It was inspired by a conversation we had in office. Call it sheer co-incidence, but the same thing happened this time also! Nowadays I seem to find my cooking mojo in my work-place! 
We have this office boy who makes the round of everyone’s cubicles at around 12.30 pm, half an hour before the scheduled lunch time, to get orders from people who had not brought their food. Not that we can order for stuff such as sushi or steak, the f…

Eat & Shop @ Madikeri (Coorg Part 2)

I wrote about our weekend in Coorg in my previous post. While writing it, I realized that we had so much fun there; it deserved a few more posts! For instance, take the case of Madikeri – the key hill station town of Coorg. We spent only a few hours in the town and yet they will remain etched in our memories as really incredible, although all we did was to EAT and SHOP. 

Allow me to take you around some of the places in Madikeri where you can do the same!

Coffee: The most important thing in your shopping list. You are in coffee country and you just can’t leave the place without carrying a few packets of the rich brew. Did you know that Coorg produces the largest amount of coffee in the country?

As we drove around the city’s market area, our olfactory senses were pleasantly assailed by the heady aroma of strong coffee. Finally, we could not take it anymore and decided to begin our quest for the perfect coffee shop. And herein lay the problem – there were scores of shops selling coffee (…

A Beautiful Weekend in Coorg (Part 1)

We had been planning a visit to Coorg since the time we shifted to Bangalore 3 years back. Coorg was to us a beautiful collage of blue mountains clad in mist, shimmering waterfalls and rolling coffee estates. Finally, this March (2013) we decided that we had enough of pining and gawking at others' pictures on Facebook. Time we visited the region ourselves! Besides, Bangalore had turned too hot and we wanted a respite from it. My parents were also visiting and we thought the cool climes of Coorg shall be the best getaway from the city for a weekend.
We booked our stay at Honey Valley Estates for 2 nights and made a crisp itinerary. This time, the husband played the role of the researcher as I was too busy with office work. A number of prominent tourist sights had to be left out as it would have been quite hectic and tiresome to cover all of them within a span of two and a half days. Especially as we had our 17 month old tyke and my sister's 15 month old son with us - the little …

Thai Green Curry

I cheated! Yes, I did! I used Thai Green Curry paste instead of making the paste out of scratch. Please don’t kill me!

There, I am done with my confession. Now, we shall move on.

Seriously, I have become such a ‘short-cut’ girl. I scour the supermarket stores for various ready-made pastes and sauces, although I admit that I have not been able to bring myself up to buying them. I think I am more comfortable buying ginger-garlic paste, tamarind paste and Thai curry pastes than other stuff such as Ragu sauce. 

In all fairness, I had tried to make Thai green curry once when I was living in Mumbai, at my cousin’s place. My cousin and I had got hold of this sure-fire recipe in a Sunday Times of India issue and rushed off to the newly opened Godrej Nature’s Basket in Lokhandwala. We had bought all the ingredients – lemon grass, galangal, Thai bird’s eye chillies, basil and the rest from the outlet and set off earnestly to making the curry. Somehow, the end product did not taste like the ones in…

Mutton (Goat Meat) Soup...or, Mutton Curry

We are a family of mutton/goat meat lovers. Unfortunately, all the doctors in the world have conspired against us in enjoying this delectable meat. They say it is red meat and hence bad for cholesterol, bad for uric acid, bad for everything that you know. And since we do listen to the doctors quite reverently, mutton has disappeared from our lives and we rarely see them on our plates. A sad world, this is.

Anyways, this weekend when we were on our monthly shopping expedition (eh?) for groceries and other household items, we came upon a small package of happiness in the ‘Meat, Fish and Poultry’ section of the supermarket. It was a packet of mutton bones, the meat removed to make keema (minced meat) most probably. I have been making paya soup (soup made out of goat trotters) for some time, but this was the first time I had come across mutton bones which were marketed as ‘mutton soup-cut’.

It seemed to be an interesting prospect and I thought that maybe I could make these soup-cut pieces i…

Jungle Tales 5: Ranjit, the Rogue