Thursday, October 30, 2008

Random thoughts

I haven't been posting much in the past month- almost nothing here, and very little on my other blog.

Its just been a busy month. At work, I am working on issuing a set of financials tomorrow: One for a product distribution company, which is in San Diego, but idiotically has its accounting base in the UK :S That last fact is a huge problem in terms of communications- its a first year engagement, the accounting liaison isn't too bright, and I have had to define stuff like shareholder's equity in terms of US GAAP and liquidity computations till I want to scream. The other FS due out, which is worse, involves financials for a non-profit organization who has a CFO I want to brain with my laptop- a 60 year old male drama queen if you will :S

Outside of work, the home situation is kinda mad as well- one of the cars got into an accident (all by itself- I promise) and so we've been carpooling together, which leaves us both a bit cranky. Not to mention the idiotic paperwork to be done with the insurance company (GAH). Before the accident happened, I went and blew crazy money on drapes for the house (there were super ugly and old blinds earlier), which has left me short of cash in these crazy times. Oh wait- the BUYing of those drapes was the worst bit- who knew it took almost 10 hours (I counted) of running around and conducting major discussions in 5-6 stores??? Like how does someone spend that much time on drapes??? I am consoling myself with the fact that they look as calm and subtle as I wanted them to- I need a restful home to come back to after watching CFOs have shouting matches :)

So yeah, no innovative cooking happening- no time to, though we will see how the coming month goes. I have an exam right after Thanksgiving, and a brand new client to deal with starting today, so I am crossing my fingers.

Reading back on this post, things do sound as stressful as I feel they are- but as long as I can sleep well on the weekends (which I do, except for that weekend with the drapes- shudder), its all good :D

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Egg Curry

This used to be somehow a special dish I was growing up. Ma wouldn't make it ofte, since eggs=high cholesterol, and therefore, on I would find this on the table only on some cold winter afternoons, when she was short of time, but wanted a curry.

Replicating ma's flavors is always hard, but I came close, and here is what I used, to feed 3 hungry adults:
  • 5 hard boiled eggs; cooled, shelled and cut in half (lengthwise)
  • 2 medium tomatoes; crushed or minced fine
  • 1 medium red onion; diced
  • 1/2 tsp garlic paste
  • 1 small green chili- minced fine
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder (my mom believes it prevents arthritis- and you can never plan too early on preventing it!)
  • 1/2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp whole black peppers
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tsp flax seed meal (this has no bearing on the dish- I add this to most curries/stews since it is known to reduce cholesterol- and well, with a 5 egg curry, I guess I do need all the help possible anyways, right? :))

  • Throw in the onions in the pan (medium heat), and shower on the olive oil, to avoid burning. Once the onions brown slightly (about a minute or so), add the tomatoes and garlic paste, stir.
  • In another 2 minutes, add all the remaining ingredients, except the eggs.
  • Stir, and let sit for about 2 minutes.
  • Once the mixture in the pan is a golden brown, and has almost exuded all moisture, add one large glasses of water.
  • Stir again, and let come to boil, after which you can reduce to a simmer, but since this was going to be a quick curry, I didn't bother simmering much. (The longer you simmer, the more complex the flavors get- many times you DON'T want that).
  • At this point, the curry sauce will be pretty chunky- if that bothers you, you can always use a immersion blender and blend to desired smoothness- if you do that, the sauce turns creamy almost instantly, and also becomes a lighter shade of red.
  • While the curry cooks, add 2 tsps of olive oil to a non stick pan and lightly browned the halved eggs.
  • Add the eggs into the sauce and bring to a boil, then let simmer until ready to eat, about 5 minutes, or longer, if you have the time.
  • Serve on white rice.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Culinary terms and patronisation

I was just surfing through Mumbai Mirror, and found this, which makes me really mad.

Per the author, this is a article on "tongue-twisting culinary terms" ; I am not certain how the author decided they were tongue-twisting- I think she means western or unfamiliar culinary terms.

Some of her definitions work, and some are just strange. Here is an example:

"Blind bake [noun]: Baking the crust of a pie without any filling, hence called ‘blind’. It is usually done by keeping weights such as dry lentil on the pie while baking to keep the pastry from bubbling or puffing up.
Usage: We should make a few blind bakes in advance for the party."

Dry lentil??? What exactly are you telling someone reading this thing with any seriousness??? Firstly, the definition isn't quite correct. In case you care, here is the correct definition.
Secondly, the "Usage"- where basically the author uses the term in a sentence is clearly wrong- it propagates further misuse.

I honestly think it is time Indian news media gained some level of responsibility, and would have someone review and edit the stuff they are communicating to the masses. The nation is supposedly gaining in literacy- but these are really horrible examples.

Ohh I get so angry!
[deep, calming breaths now]

Saturday, October 11, 2008


So fine, the name of this dish is a bit misleading- In Hindi, fresh dill is known popularly as "Soya"- and has nothing to do with Soy or Soy products. Other than that, there is no mystery to this quick stir fry vegetable with tons of dill, and an unusual green, fenugreek: both of these are fairly easily available in Indian and Middle-Eastern grocery stores .

This dish was pretty much a staple back home; my one quibble: my family used too much oil, frying the greens to pretty much a crisp, and killing them entirely- this is my low-"er" fat version.

What I used:
  • 3 medium potatoes, boiled and diced.
  • 2 large-ish bunches of dill, leaves only- stems discarded- about 1/2 lbs.
  • 3 medium bunches of fresh fenugreek, leaves only- stems discarded.- about 1/2 lbs.
  • 1 green chili, minced
  • 1 tbsp dhania powder (dried cilantro powder)
  • 1/2 tbsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt to taste
What I did:
  • Add the oil into a wok/good sized pan on medium heat.
  • when hot, add in the cumin seeds and potatoes.
  • Sprinkle in the salt, green chili and dhania and turmeric powders- keep on stirring.
  • Once the potatoes turn golden and a little crusty (it will happen- give the potatoes time to sit on each side- since we want these to crisp without adding a ton of oil), add in the dill and fenugreek- stir for a minute.
  • Reduce heat and cover the pan.
  • Uncover the pan after 5 minutes- the leaves would have exuded moisture, which you can reduce or evaporate completely- I prefer this dish pretty dry, so I stir the veggies around for another 5 minutes, till done.

Dig in with good 'ol "Deep" brand home-style parathas and boondi raita (Spiced yogurt with boondi- fried chickpea dough dots). Parathas and boondi available at- u guessed it- your friendly neighborhood Indian grocery store :)

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Women seeking men

After insistence from Bollyviewer and The Bollywood Fan, I found myself researching the sequel to the Indian Matrimonials post- here is therefore the Women seeking Men :)

1. Looking for groom (separated/divorce/widow
My 1st marriage life went to wrong within 3 days. My ex-husband ran away with other girl after 3 days marriage life and spoiled my life for just to satisfy his parents wishes. Now I am looking for broad mind person who like to marry me and make me happy and care me. I am very sure that I will take care you very much.
I wish you would not look for widows to get married to. I don't believe same sex marriages are yet legal in India. Also I am a bit skeptical about the drama.

2. teenvs
whats my parameter of assessing anyone? me. not a full-proof way but what can be done?...thats the only tool available. though erroneous, but may be u too, just throw a cursory glance on the first few lines of personal ads and a fleeting glance at the pic...then...the chapter changes. no calculation or road map works here, so lay back n enjoy the show!

First of all, she titles herself a "teen," which is troubling. Secondly- wth is she trying to say???

3. bahl81
So a bit about myself:I don't really expect much to be honest with you. Not because my standards are low, but because I'm a simple girl with simple desires. ...When I'm laughing hard enough (which is easy to get me to do), I tend to go into fits of laughter resorting to tears and a great ab workout! ... I'm very clean and tidy, have great table manners and know how to be respectable. I've been raised to hug all the aunties and make small talk with all the uncles.

Amazing. She starts by admitting she isn't being honest- therefore you have to be a real loser to respond to her ad. A tendency towards hysteria and some neurological problems also appear indicated. Note that she communicates with aunties and uncles only- all others may pose an issue.

4. Sincerely003
It's not how we live and interact with others that count but most importantly, it's how we interact with ourselves...Be Happy!!!I believe in life that you never stop learning..I am easy going, passionate, athletic, and hope to find someone with similar qualities. Hope to hear from YOU!!Always Believe in Yourself and Your Dreams!!

She scares me.

5. Wanted bride-grooms..
Rich & only Girl, very attractive, soft-spoken, God-fearing girl aged 28-yrs (MOOLAM Nakshatra) needs Bride Grooms who are in Software/Bank sectors. Bride-Grooms without father preferred.

Umm- there ARE other girls you know- you cant possibly be the only one. Also I suggest you look for 1 single man- not Bride-grooms. I am glad you appear OK with the Bride-grooms having mothers at least- but what will you do with so many?

6. Wanted
looking for my daughter 22 yrs, ,colur normal fair, good looking,smart,active,homley services,education graduate, either proffessional employes or our tradational job of who has done agama as his proffession for 4.11 inch height

Now wait a minute- why are you looking for your daughter on a matrimonial site? Should'nt she be at home? And how come your daughter is under 5 inches in height???

These last two were probably the most entertaining:

7. Wanted
I am santhosh my elder sister for seeking groom, bride name padma priya, date of birth 15.12.1976, vanniyer,D.H.S.M,D.Y.N,looking for any job or business Age 32 to 38 same caste (bride small fat).

You cant be your own elder sister. I am also glad your sister isn't bride big fat. Also, call China- you may find a eligible cousin of Chow Yun Fat.

8. Cute Tamil divorces
i got divorce recently due to misundetrstanding, cute, young call or send mail.he should be caring lovable, open, broad minded, widowers and divorcess can also contact, colour, religion caste no bar.

I can hardly believe Tamil, or any divorces are cute in any way. Divorces cannot paint, color or perform activities that you describe either.

Concluding thoughts: I almost felt bad doing this-The men had been simply quiet in their bios, not saying anything that would reflect negatively upon them in any way. The women were by and large more superfluous with words, poetic, dramatic and highly unbelievable.

Happy Dussehra- and happy birthday as well.

Today is Dussehra 2008- the celebration of Ram's victory over Ravan- symbolic of good defeating evil. So happy Dussehra everyone- I hope your year is prosperous and happy.

Today also happens to be a landmark birthday for me- I am thirty today. Strangely, I don't feel much older than when I turned 6- or any birthdays in between. Certainly I can express myself much better, but I am not certain if I feel the level of seriousness I always expected I would when I reached such a benevolent age :)

So what has really changed? Through my teens I struggled through self-doubt and lack of confidence, and searched for an identity. From a mixed-religious background, this was especially important for me, and was a journey worth taking. In my 20s, I grew stronger, and gained some sense of who I was, inner strength and discovered my desires. In my 30s, I hope to gain self-actualization and set more concrete goals for myself.

I like being 30- the insecurities of my 20s have disappeared, and I find myself an unapologetically strong person welcoming life. I feel fulfilled, energized and in happy anticipation of the future. I love my friends and my loved ones. I want more big bites of life and see where I will be in the next 10 years- when I hit 40 (yay!). And that in itself is a heck of a birthday gift, thank the Lord.