Thursday, December 31, 2009

Day Seven -Finale to the Marathon - Varan Phal

The Finale to the Marathon i.e Day Seven of the 7 Days 7 Recipes Marathon hosted by Nupur(thanks for hosting a great event and unique different concept to bid goodbye to 2009) is here.
Here's the list of the Enthusiastic runners of the Marathon and take a look at the amazing, wonderful and delicious fare that they cooked on Day 1, Day 2, Day3, Day4, Day5, Day6 and Day7.
The seventh dish on Day Seven of the Marathon is VaranPhal. VaranPhal is a Varadi dish( dish from the Vidarbha region of Maharashtra i.e. Nagpur) Nagpur is my father's hometown and this quin essential Varadi dish is one of his favourites.
Since he is travelling on New Year's, here's wishing him A Very Happy New Year with one of his favourite dish - Varan Phal.

Baba - This one is for you.

Here just when I thought that I managed to survive the weekend long food marathon in midst of work deadlines and foreign delegation of clients, exciting things were in store for me....what with umpteen technical problems first in the computer then the hard disk crashing and then what with the non-co-operative blogger server, which refused to upload my post or photos, everything that could possibly go wrong did for the Grand Finale.....C'est la Vie......
Anyways, please accept my apologies for the delayed post.
The server continues to be as non-co-operative as ever and I am unable to upload the photos. I will upload them as soon as the technical snags get sorted out.

VaranPhal is also know as Dalvaphale or Dal dhokales in other parts of the country. Dinner comprising of Vegetables, Dal and Roti can be replaced by this single dish meal.
Here's how the dish is made Varadi style -
For Varan(Dal)
Ingredients -
1 cup toor dal
5/6 cups of water
Salt as per taste
Onion - 1 (finely chopped)
Tomato - 1 (finely chopped)
Ghee - 1 tablespoon / oil
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds (rai)
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera)
1/2 teaspoon asafoetida (hing)
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/2 teaspoon coriander powder (dhania)
1/2 teaspoon cumin powder (jeera powder)
1/2 teaspoon garam masala powder
7/8 cloves of of garlic
2 inches of ginger finely shredded or cut into small pieces
(alternatively use 1 teaspoon of ginger & garlic paste)
Black Pepper / Kali Miri- 7/8
Cloves/ Lavang - 4 / 5
Cinnamon/Dalchini - 1 inch stick
Bay Leaves / Tamal Patra- 2
Red chilli powder - 1 teaspoon / Green chillies - 3/4
Curry Leaves - 6/7
Tamarind pulp or paste ( 1 teaspoon)
Fresh coriander leaves for garnishing
For Phal (dhoklas) in the varan -
Whole Wheat Flour ( kanik or atta) I use Sakas Atta - 2 cups
Salt - pinch
(Cumin seeds, coriander or masala can be added to the dough)
Method -
Pressure cook 1 cup of toor dal with 5/6 cups of water, a pinch of turmeric and 1/4 teaspoon of ghee for 4/5 whistles.
Let the dal cool.
Take one tablespoon of ghee in a large bottom pan and heat it.
Add mustard seeds (rai).
When the mustart seeds splutter add cumin seeds (jeera) and asafoetida (hing)
Add Black Pepper / Kali Miri,cloves/ Lavang ,cinnamon/Dalchini , curry leaves and Bay Leaves/ Tamal Patra.
Add ginger and garlic and stir well.
Add onions and stir till they become translucent.
Add turmeric powder and tomatoes.
Add dal, Red chilli powder ,coriander powder (dhania), teaspoon cumin powder (jeera powder) & garam masala powder.
Add jaggery and tamarind pulp / paste.
Add water if required and bring dal to boil.
Mix together whole wheat flour, salt with water and form a dough( like we do to make rotis/ chappatis) .Knead the dough.
Oil can be added while kneading the dough to both hands(so that the flour does not stick while kneading) as well as the mixture.
Cumin seeds, coriander or masala can be added to the dough.
Make small balls of the kneaded dough.
Take one ball and flatten it with rolling pin and make a round of it.
Cut it into horizontal and vertical lines using knife( same process as in shankarpalis)
Take the small pieces and drop them in the boiling dal.
Let the mixture boil for 5 mins till the atta gets cooked properly.
Serve hot with a dollop of ghee and garnish with fresh coriander leaves.
Varan Phal is ready to be served. Its a great single dish meal more in the lines of simple comfort food specially in the cold winter evenings.
Wishing everyone a Very Happy & Prosperous New Year!!!!!!!!
The marathon comes to a grand end and its time to bid goodbye to 2009.........
But its time to welcome the new year 2010 with new recipes so even though the marathon ends, we will continue to meet in the new year ........
We begin the New Year with a watch this space for more........

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Day Six - Vegan Potato Latkes

The sixth recipe for Day Six of the 7 Days 7 Recipes Marathon by Nupur is Vegan Potato Latkes. Like I mentioned in my earlier posts, I was a non-food blogger(new blogger at that) who joined this marathon, thanks to Nupur who was sweet enough to let me join the marathon with these wonderful people.
Here's what we were upto on Day 5.....
I thoroughly enjoyed participating in this and sharing the recipes, visiting so many wonderful blogs and reading such variety of different, some traditional and some extremely creative recipes.
Thanks to the Marathon, I have so many recipes bookmarked for cooking.(I think I would need to start a bookmark project at this rate :))
I received so many new visitors to my blog who read it and left lovely comments.Those comments really made my day.I must thank each one of you who took time out to read my blog and give your lovely encouraging comments. Thanks one and all for encouraging me.
Coming back to Recipe 6 for the Sixth Day of the Marathon, the post in which Nupur had extended her invitation to all fellow bloggers for participating in 7 days 7 recipes marathon,had coincidentally one of the recipes that I had bookmarked -Potato and Sweet Potato.
Today's recipe is Vegan Potato Latkes which is inspired, bookmarked and adapted from Nupur's Potato and Sweet Latkes.
The link to Nupur's recipe is here which in turn is bookmarked from Lydia's recipe from The Perfect Pantry.
We had a visit from dad's maushi(aunt) who is a vegan and here's my adaptation of the receipe that I made for her. I did not use flour and eggs.
Vegan Potato Latkes
Ingredients - For one person -
Potatoes - 2 medium Salt as per taste.
Red chilli powder - 1/4 teaspoon / Green Chilly - 1
Turmeric powder - Pinch
Sugar - Pinch
Asafoetida - Pinch
Method -
Take 2 potatoes and wash them. Cut them into two equal halves. Do not peel the skin of potatoes.
Take the potatoes in your hand such that the skin of the potato is in your palm.
Grate the potatoes(till only the skin of the potatoes remains in your hand).
Add salt, red chilli powder/green chilli(I used red chilli powder).
Add a pinch of sugar, turmeric powder and asafoetida.
Mix well and do not add water. Drain any excess water of the grated potatoes.
Heat a non-stick pan / frying pan.
Take the entire mixture and flatten it on the pan(like we do for thalipeth)

When one side turns golden brown (ensure that it does not get burnt) flip over to the other side,this time apply oil. Oil may be added to the sides both the times so that it becomes crispy. When both sides are done, vegan potato latkes are ready to be served hot with tomato sauce or mint-coriander chutney.

Like most of the recipes that I did for the marathon, this one also can be done in practically 2 minutes, requires very few ingredients and no before hand preparation.
This is a very simple and basic recipe. Cheese, mushrooms or vegetables can be added. See you tomorrow for the next recipe.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Day Five - Gajarachi Bhaji (Carrot Bhaji)

Day Five Recipe for the 7 day 7 recipes marathon hosted by Nupur is Gajarachi Bhaji (which means Carrot Bhaji / Subzi)
I love carrots (and it has nothing to do with my recent .......ahem..........resolution to lose weight)
I specially love eating fresh raw carrots.....crunchy,tasty and filling.....without having to worry about gaining those extra pounds :)
Carrots are used a lot in salads, rice and deserts like carrot kheer and carrot halwa......Gajar ka halwa is legendary thanks to those umpteen hindi films where the "filmy ma" is always cooking gajar ka halwa for the "beta who passed his exams in first class" but in all the dishes carrots are mostly the sidekicks or at the most the second/parallel lead.
So I decided to give my favourite Gajar his "solo hero"project....... Gajarachi bhaji (Carrot Bhaji / Subzi)
This is again basically one of my mother's recipe ( yeah.......yes.....again) in which I added a few spices.
The additional spices are adapted from this simple recipe which Nupur had done of glazed butternut squash, Maharashtrian style(The original recipe is that of bhoplache bhaji) based on my suggestion to her previous post.(Thanks a ton Nupur)
I have used gajar (carrots) instead of lal bhopla (red pumpkin)
Here's how I did the "Gajarachi Bhaji"(Carrot Bhaji/Subzi)
Gajarachi Bhaji"(Carrot Bhaji/Subzi)
Ingredients -
Carrots - 6/7
Oil - 1 tablespoon
Salt as per taste
Red chilli powder - 1 teaspoon
1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds (rai)
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera)
1/4 teaspoon asafoetida (hing)
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/2 teaspoon goda masala
1 teaspoon white sesame seeds/ til
1 teaspoon poppy seeds/khus khus
1/2 teaspoon fenugreek / methi seeds (optional)
pinch of sugar
For garnishing - fresh coriander leaves
Method -
Wash and peel carrots.Cut carrots into small pieces.
Heat one tablespoon of oil in kadhai / flat bottom pan.
When the oil gets heated,add mustard seeds .
When the mustard seeds start spluttering add cumin seeds ,asafoetida.
Add pieces of carrots and and turmeric powder (optional) & stir.
Add red chilli powder,salt,pinch of sugar,goda masala ,til,khus khus and methi seeds (optional)
Stir well and cover with lid. Water is not required to be added but ensure that the lid which covers the pan has water on it so that the bhaji does not get burnt.
The carrots get cooked very quickly so the bhaji is ready in quick time.
This bhaji tastes great and requires very few ingredients in it. No before hand preparations are needed and the dish gets cooked really fast........
Garnish with fresh coriander leaves
Serve carrot subzi hot with rotis/chappatis/phulkas.

Day Four - Seviyan Halwa (Sweet Vermicelli )

The fourth recipe of Day Four as part of part of 7 days 7 recipes marathon hosted by Nupur is Seviyan Halwa ( Sweet Vermicelli). Basically,Sevaya Halwa is dessert or sweet.
As a kid, my mother would make mouth watering sevayachi kheer (vermicelli sweet) and seviyan halwa. Seviyan is generally made in all Indian homes as desert for occassions.
Here's list of participants for the marathon and the receipes done on Day 1, Day2, Day3 and Day4.
Here's how seviyan halwa is made at our home -
Seviyan Halwa
Ingredients -
Ghee - One big tablespoon
Seviyan ( vermicelli) - 2 cups ( I used brown roasted variety of seviyan instead of white)
Milk - 2 cups (more or less as per thickness required)
Sugar - 3/4
Coconut - 1/3 cup
Cardamom Powder - 1 teaspoon ( finely grounded)
For garnishing -
Cashew nuts (optional)
Method -
Take one big tablespoon of ghee in thick bottom pan (kadhai) and heat it.
Add 2 cups of seviyan and stir continuously for at least 5 mins till seviyan turn hard.
Add 2 cups of milk in the seviyan and stir.
Cover with lid till the seviyan are finely cooked.( for about 7/8 minutes)
If more thickness is required add more milk as per requirement.
Add 3/4 cup sugar and stir . Cover with a lid for 5 mins.
Add 1/3 cup coconut (optional) and mix well.
When the sugar completely dissolves in the mixture, turn off the gas.
After the gas is turned off, add 1 teaspoon of finely grounded Cardamom Powder.
Garnish with cashew nuts or any other nuts or raisins.
Seviyan Halwa is ready to be served.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Day Three - Rice Pakodas( Fritters) & Phodanicha Bhaat

The third recipe on Day Three as part of 7 days 7 recipes marathon hosted by Nupur is Instant Rice Pakodas (Fritters)
At some point or the other, we all are facing problems with what to do with leftover stuff. No one is even remotely interested in looking at the leftovers.
The problem of rice leftover is generally solved here in Maharashtra by preparing what we call in Marathi as "phodanicha bhaat" (rice with oil tempering)
The method for doing "Phodanicha Bhaat" is very simple .Heat oil in a pan and when it is hot add mustard seeds.When the mustard seeds start spluttering,add cumin seeds,asafoetida,thin slices of onion,turmeric powder and groundnuts. Add cooked leftover rice to this and chilli powder, salt, coriander and cumin powder.Garnish with fresh green coriander leaves and you are ready to serve steaming hot "Phodanicha Bhaat"
Sometime back, I saw pakodas done from leftover rice on Zee Marathi's cookery show "Amhi Sare Khavaye" and immediately decided to try them at home as my younger sister is not a big fan of phodanicha bhaat.Need I say that the Instant Rice Pakodas were an instant hit with her and my entire family. Since then, I make them regularly for my sister, who loves pakodas and bhajis of any and every kind.
Basically, pakodas is the Indian word used for fried snacks. All of us love eating pakodas and bhajis.And the description of eating steaming hot kanda kekda bhajis(onion bhajis) on a rainy day is legendary.
Amu, This recipe is for you and your love of bhajis and pakodas............
Rice Pakodas ( Fritters/Fried Snacks)
Ingredients - Cooked Rice - One cup
Gram Flour(besan) - 1 teaspoon.
Salt as per taste
Fresh Green coriander leaves
Pinch of sugar
Garlic - 2/3 cloves
Ginger - 1/2 inch
Green Chillies - 2
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds(jeera)
Method -
Grind together ginger, garlic and green chillies and make a fine paste.
Mash the cooked/leftover rice. Add Cumin seeds, salt as per taste,Fresh Green coriander leaves, pinch of sugar.
Add ginger,garlic and green chillies' paste and mix well.
Add one teaspoon of gram flour(besan) .
Besan acts as binding agent hence the quantity of gram flour to be added will vary as it depends on how dry the rice is. If the rice is very dry, more besan is to be added.
Heat oil in a kadhai (thick pan) for frying. After oil is heated take one teaspoon of oil and add in the mixture.
that the oil is properly heated and then make small balls of the mixture and deep fry them in the kadhai(pan) .
You can also add 1/2 teaspoon coriander powder (dhania) and 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder to spice it up further.
Steaming hot rice pakodas are ready to be served. They taste great with coriander or mint chutney or tomato sauce.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Day Two - Methi Corn Pulav (Fenugreek Corn Rice)

The second recipe on Day Two of the 7 day 7 recipe marathon by Nupur is Methi Corn Pulav( Fenugreek Corn Rice)
Sometime back, I had came across a Marathi cookbook having recipes with Methi and Palak. (unfortunately, I am unable to remember the name right now) In that book, I came across an interesting Methi Pulav recipe. I say interesting because generally in the methi rice recipes that i had come across earlier, the rice is usually cooked separately and then methi and other ingredients are added to the cooked rice.But in this particular recipe, the methi and rice are cooked together in pressure cooker.
This is also adapted from interesting simple yellow fried rice with sweet corn and turmeric recipe from Live to Eat. The original recipe is here. I liked the use of turmeric powder in methi rice.However, the flavor of methi is bitter so I thought of adding something sweet to the rice hence I thought of adding sweet corn to the methi rice to give it bitter-sweet taste.
I have mixed and modified both the recipes by adding sweet corns.I felt that the combination of the sweet taste of sweetcorn and the bitter taste of methi will come out nicely in the Pulav. The Pulav was a instant hit with my family and guests when I made it for dinner.
Here's how I made the Methi Corn Pulav -
Ingredients -
Methi(Fenugreek) Leaves - One cup ( cleaned, washed and cut)
Basmati Rice - One cup
Fresh Sweet corn - 1 cup
Potato - 1 (peeled and chopped)
Onion - 1 (finely chopped)
Tomato - 1 (finely chopped) This is optional.
Few cloves of garlic
Ginger - Finely shredded or cut into small pieces
(alternatively use 1 teaspoon of ginger & garlic paste)
Oil - One tablespoon / Ghee
Salt as per taste
Cloves / Lavang - 5/6
Black Pepper / Kali Miri- 7/8
Cinnamon/Dalchini - 1 inch stick
Bay Leaves / Tamal Patra- 2
Black Cardamom/ Badi Velachi - 1
2 green chillies or one teaspoon red chilli powder
Curry Leaves (optional)
1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds (rai).
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera)
1/4 teaspoon asafoetida (hing)
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/2 teaspoon coriander powder (dhania)
1/2 teaspoon cumin powder (jeera powder) (optional)
1/2 teaspoon garam masala powder
Water - 2 cups
Fresh green coriander leaves for garnishing
Method -
Wash and soak one cup basmati rice .Drain the excess water and keep the washed rice aside for at least half an hour.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil (alternatively ghee can be used) in pressure cooker.
When the oil is heated, add 1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds (rai).
When the mustard seeds start spluttering,add cumin seeds,asafoetida,Cloves,Black Pepper,Cinnamon,Bay Leaves and Black Cardamom.
Add finely chopped onion & curry leaves and stir till the onions turn translucent.
Add turmeric powder, chopped potato and tomato.Then add ginger and garlic. Alternatively ginger garlic paste can be used.
Add one cup basmati rice and one cup washed & finely chopped methi leaves and stir well.
Add 2 green chillies or one teaspoon red chilli powder, coriander powder , cumin powder and garam masala powder. Stir well.
Add salt as per taste and 2 cups of water. Add one cup of Fresh Sweet corn and stir well.
Close the lid of pressure cooker and pressure cook for 2 whistles on medium flame.
After 2 whistles, keep on low flame for 5 minutes and then switch off the gas.
Garnish with fresh green coriander leaves and serve hot steaming Methi Corn Pulav with raita.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

7 Day Recipe Marathon - First Day - Aaichi Dhiradhi (Mixed Flour Pancakes made as per my mother's recipe)

Wishing you All Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year Ahead!!!!!!!!!
Like I said in my previous post, I am back to blogging thanks to Nupur Of One Hot Stove who came up with a wonderful idea to host a 7 day recipe marathon from 25th December,2009 to 31st December,2009.
7 recipes in 7 days...........sounded extremely interesting. So I decided to join in
Here's list of participants for the marathon.
My first recipe is a traditional Maharashtrian breakfast dish .No surprises considering the fact that I am a Maharashtrian.
My first recipe is Aaichi Dhiradi(Fixed Flour Pancakes made as per my mother's recipe)
My mother basically makes dhiradis from combination of different flours so that the dish gets more nutritive value.
But before I tell you about her recipe of making dhiradis, let me try to explain what exactly are dhiradis.Its a marathi word used for describing pancakes.
It's a lovely comfort food which is extremely satisfying to your palate having enough nutrition and yet can be made almost instantly.It seriously can be cooked in a jiffy.What more could one ask for ? It's perfect for a quick morning breakfast or for instant evening snack.
Basically, there are different ways to prepare dhiradis.
The traditional and most common way involves mixing rice flour with salt, red chilli powder or green chilli with a clove or two of garlic finely chopped into small pieces and water (or some curd/yogurt) This mixture can also be mixed in buttermilk which gives it good consistency.This is generally mixed before hand and then the mixture is poured out on hot tava/frying pan/griddle. It is to be cooked with a lid on the tava. After the mixture is cooked from one side, flip it so that the second side gets finely cooked. This time, the lid is not required.
Voila, steaming hot rice flour pancakes are ready in a jiffy.
My mother modified the recipe and added a few ingredients to make amazingly tasty mixed dhiradis.
Here's her recipe which I follow to the T :
Mixed Flour Dhiradi (my mother's recipe)
Ingredients -
Whole Wheat Flour ( kanik or atta) I use Sakas Atta ( 3 measures / cups)
Rice Flour( Tandulyachi Pithi) ( 2 measures/cups)
Gram Flour (Besan) (1 measure/cup)
Cloves of Garlic (optional as per taste) finely cut into small pieces
Shredded Ginger ( optional as per taste)
Salt as per individual taste
Red Chilli Powder 1 teaspoon or 2 green chillies cut into small pieces.
Chopped Coriander leaves (optional)/cilantro
Method -
Take whole wheat flour, rice flour and gram flour in proportion of 3:2:1.That's 3 measures of whole wheat flour with 2 measures of rice flour and one measure of gram flour. Mix them finely. Add few finely chopped cloves of garlic and some finely shredded or chopped ginger. Ginger garlic paste can also be added but i prefer adding small pieces of ginger & garlic instead of fine paste as it is crunchy. Add salt as per taste and preference & one teaspoon of red chilli powder or 2 green chillies in the mixture. Add chopped leaves of coriander / cilantro(again optional but i would recommend it as it tastes great). Add water to this mixture and mix the batter thoroughly. Ensure that the consistency of the batter is thicker than the one we make for bhajiyas/pakodas. Heat some oil and add one teaspoon of hot oil to the batter.(this is called adding "mohan") Mix the batter well and heat non stick tava or griddle. Pour the batter on the tava (the consistency of the mixture being poured is thicker than the one for dosas)
Add some oil to sides as it gives good crispy feel to the dhiradis.
Cover with a lid and let it cook properly.
When the one side of dhirade is cooked properly, flip the dhirade. The second side should be cooked without the lid.(oil may be added to the sides)
When both the sides are properly cooked, the dhirade is ready to eat.
This no-frills dish is basically simple comfort food with ample nourishment which can be made in a jiffy.
Like I said earlier,what I personally like about this dish as it is very easy to cook, very few ingredients are required and also no before hand preparation are required whatsoever. It is dish that can be made instantly (in the style of 2 minutes Maggie)
Aai, this dish is for you.
Have a great weekend and see you tomorrow for the next recipe.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Back to Blogging!!!!!!!!!!

Dear All.........
Yes I am back to blogging.
The entire credit for this should go to Nupur of One Hot Stove who initiated 7-day recipe marathon from Dec 25 to Dec 31 and was good enough to include non-food bloggers(make that non-bloggers actually considering that i have been inactive for close to 6 months from the blog) ....
Thanks Nupur for the fabulous idea and for including me.........
So we start the 7 day marathon from 25th December,2009........
See you with my first receipe .......
Best Wishes to the rest of the marathon runners......

Monday, June 15, 2009

Marathi Cultural Weekend.......

Its a Sunday again ......I seem to be blogging sunday ke sunday..........
Last night saw me and my parents at a Marathi play after years....
"U-Turn" was the name of the play ( was a marathi despite the name)
It was a light hearted play dealing with a serious social theme revolving around only 2 characters.....
Brillant acting by the actors (Ila Bhate & DrGirish Oak) .....good use of audiovideo medium with songs by Avadhyut Gupte.........All in evening well spent........
Sunday saw me and my parents head to the nearby multiplex to catch "Mi Shivajiraje Bhosale Bholatoy" ( was a Marathi cultural fest this weekend) ...................a Marathi movie that had won rave reviews and is declared a box-office hit too..........
It was an excellent movie with lots of points to ponder...........Top class acting by the entire star cast comprising of Sachin Khedekar,Suchitra Bandekar,Priya Bapat,Mahesh Manjrekar......

Friday, June 5, 2009

It's Raining.............

ITS RAINING............
Make that pouring heavily..................
Just when everyone was complaining of the sultry hot summers which showed no signs of going away.........Temperatures were soaring..........Hot weather was becoming unbearable.................when suddenly after the skies seemed cloudy for a while..........It started raining.............
First drops of rains for this year ? or is this also the pre-monsoon showers?
One doesn't know..........
What one does know is that different people have different ways of enjoying the rains........
Monsoon is the favourite season of die-hard romantics...... Poets & writers have written so much on the scenic beauty of the nature in monsoon.........
Overcast conditions.............The rumblings of thunder followed by crackle of lightning across the dark cloudy sky............ Eager Anticipation of the arrival of the first rains in the city..........Then...finally the first drops of rains.............The first smell of wet earth..........then the heavy downpour ........steaming hot ginger tea(adrakwali chai) and hot pakodas( bhajis ).........hearing the pittar-patter of raindrops falling on the rooftops or windows....the kids screaming with joy on getting holiday due to rain..........waddling through kneedeep water.........sailing paper boats in the stream.......or just splashing dirty water around........Going off to Lonavala,Khandala or Mahabaleshwar to enjoy the rains.........boating in the ...............going on a long drive in car........drenching in the rains by commuting on two-wheelers.............eating garamagaram bhuttas........sipping hot cups of coffee .......drinking hot soup ..... uff.......... and here i was blaming people for romanticising the monsoons of double standards.........The drops of rain on the flora and fauna..........The greenery all if the dirt & dust has being washed off...........
The breathtaking beauty of the nature seen at its best...........
For me personally,the perfect way to enjoy the rains would be ..........sitting in the balcony reading a lovely interesting whodunit by Agatha Christie( i know while it is heavily raining outside(the rain sliding on the closed windows in the background while I m reading)........... wow .......i predictable and boring .....par kya kare......everyone cannot be as interesting and unpredictable like a certain Ms.De............I must confess I m a big fan of her blog and cant wait to read what she has to say.....from food to travel to fashion to films to politics.........she says it all like only she knows...........
Hmm........what did i start saying and where has the topic come to.........
If my ramblings seem incoherent, you know who is to be blamed...........Who Else.........but the Incorrigible Rains...........
Meanwhile........Enjoy the Rains !!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

It's a SUPER SUNDAY !!!!!!!

Sunday saw me travelling to Yeh Hai Mumbai , Meri Jaan with my entire khandaan.......
To the surprise of all and sundry, me & my sis put in a long overdue special appearance(which by the way happens only once in many blue moons) along with my parents to Mumbai....
We woke at the crack of dawn thanks to dad's ultimatum(be ready or stay behind) and were actually well on our way by 6:30 am.......
The first stop saw us at J's.........enjoying a hearty South Indian breakfast or brunch , courtesy excellent chef,cousin K's wife B(Madam B..please take a bow)comprising of soft Idlis with chatni & awesome sambhar, yummy rasam-vada and piping hot meduvadas straight from the kadai.......& how can any South Indian breakfast be complete without the gunpowder chatni,present in all its glory (to be endeavoured with oil) and the icing on the cake was amazing caaffee(as they say in Chennai) The coffee deserves rich praise simply because it managed to impress MOI, in spite of the fact that i am a certified CAFFEINE-HATER......Lots of time after breakfast was spent in browsing through the amazing collection of books or library as we call it of cousin K......(its your turn now to take a bow,K) K is a certified book lover with amazing collection of lovely books........... I walked out with a full stomach and enriched knowledge.......what else does one need really!!!!!!!!!!!!
It was time for Baba's meeting with his client at Cartier Road's Cafe Coffee Day(some days are sigh..just coffee days) where Madam A(that's my lovely sis ) slurped Cappacino to all its creamy and frothy glory and me being really excited on spotting a TV actor,right behind us( star stuck can we be..ahem.......cough) ....actually to my defense.......there is a small, little child in all of us........hehe..........I was put firmly in my rightful place by my polished and elegant little sis,who was shell shocked at me recognising a TV actor....forget being excited at seeing him.....
C'est la vie..........
Then,it was time for actual reason for our Mumbai visit......... discussions with our architect,Mr.P regarding the furniture with sofas and all.....
And after gruelling two hours of discussions we finally took pity on Mr.P , and left his office for our next destination ............residence of our uncle,the Gs (mom's younger brother)whose entire family was eagerly waiting for us for lunch.......It was past 3 PM.........luckily, as we had informed them of the delay in the younger cousins(M & N) had their lunch and were ready with their beaming 1000 watt smiles to welcome us....... Lovely & delicious lunch of mouth-watering usal,kobichi bhaji,amti,kheer was awaiting us along with mama and mami....... the pick of the lunch was amti.........mouthwatering,simple and amazingly tasty........and my favourites fresh kachche tomato - khakdi, sprinkled with chaat masala...yum......
It was a heavy lunch and lots of gappa with G's(I was meeting them after ages) and my two little Rapunzels as I fondly call them(my cousins,M & N)
Later, I was off to shop in the sultry oppressive Mumbai heat to Oberoi Mall at Goregaon with A,M & N in tow.......rather they were ready to shop dragging me along,courtesy madam A who insisted that the world would come to an end if she didn't find the lovely pair of shorts at Bossini and insisted on us praying for their availability en route(ahem).........The story behind the shorts is that A had seen "THE SHORTS" at Bossini at Pune and was in two buy or not to buy was the question.......she chose not to only to regret it later and dragged me across Bossini in Pune but hai ram..........there were out of stock....available in every other size except hers........
Anyways,that day was a double whammy for M & N..........M just passed her 10th std with flying colors & it was little chubby cheeks ,N's birthday the next day so we went shopping for their gifts.......
M & N managed to find tops for themselves and alas for A.......THE shorts which were her reason for existence was not available in her size even in Mumbai............ab kya kare.........
After 2 full hours spent by her in trial rooms trying a size smaller shorts ,we finally managed to drag her out of the trial room,taking pity on the rest of bechare shoppers..........
It was time to pay a visit to my aatya,V who was ailing for some time but is on her way to recovery now........ Parlyachi aatya(as I fondly call her) and "V" aatya and kaka were early waiting for us........we were meeting after ages and running behind our schedule(what else is new) was a absolute delight to see "V "aatya looking fit and beautiful(as usual) and recovering quite well........... And believe it or faint there was lots of food awaiting us.....baap re.... after having late lunch that too heavy.........we wanted to skip but the aroma of the tempting food was too good to resist...... Garmagaram aloo paranthas with green chatni,dahi raita, achar and home made"loni" made an appearance........True to my diet habits.....I skipped the loni of course(but i ate the parathas there),tomato pulav and that was not all........... refreshing fresh mango milkshare(chilled) which I again skipped(the least i could do) wow.............Pick of the evening.............Its a tie between the lovely Ms.Parathas & good looking Mr.Rice........Lovely delicious food and lots & lots of all this we managed to see the video of one of my cousin(S) engagement too(which I ragged him saying its going be child marriage as both he and his fiancee are not only young but also have baby faces)........
And we managed to search back home well before midnight........

Didn't I say that It was A SUPER SUNDAY????? So how did you spend yours?

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Flashback & Rewind ...........My first attempt at blogging

I had written something in October 2006 (my first attempt at blogging) on

The same is reproduced below........... Its Flashback & Rewind Time..............

"Hi...Since this is my first attempt to write something, I hope all my well wishers will excuse me in case I go off track...I have decided to write about things that I generally like and enjoy...could be books (my first love), films or television progs, sports (with the cricket fever gripping the nation right now) or any other current event that I feel like writing about... My first blog should ideally have being about a book...but surprise, surprise its about a film that I watched recently and I just can’t stop myself from raving about it to one and all ...Most of you must have guessed it by now. Yes... It is none other than "DOR"...Directed by Nagesh Kukunoor.Starring Gul Panag,Ayesha Takia and Shreyas Talpade.... I absolutely loved the movie, brilliant acting by the entire cast including cameos by Prateeshka Lonkar ,Girish Karnad and Nagesh Kukunoor himself. The movie is a must watch of all you movie lovers wanting to see a movie that appeals to your sensibilities. The movie is shot in Himachal Pradesh and Rajasthan. This is a story of two women...who are as different from each other as chalk and cheese, one hailing from cold mountains of Himachal Pradesh & the other from hot deserts of Rajasthan, one Muslim the other Hindu, one who is extremely strong & the other meek & submissive... One who knows her mind and speaks it too, the other taught not to have any mind of her circumstances and destiny force the two to meet and how that meeting changes the lives of both (there is one more story running parallel regarding the actual reason for them meeting but I will not give away the entire story here)... Excellent script and brilliant acting from the entire cast sure makes this movie a must watch for all those of you genuinely interested in watching a good, sensible movie... That’s all for now..."

Dor remains one of my favourite movie..
Its a must watch & all those who still haven't seen it..........U all are missing something special...........

Monday, May 25, 2009

Salute to Legend....Anil Kumble.....IPL....Aur Kya!!!!

Last night was the IPL 2009 (season2) finale..
What a match!!!!!!!!! A complete humdinger in which the fortunes swung from one team to the other...a nail biting finish..went down to the wire as they say...
The team which succeeded in holding its nerves won...
It was case of RCB losing it rather than DC wining it...
The two teams who were at the bottom of the points table last year clashed in the finals to win the coveted trophy..
What tremendous turn around of fortunes of both the teams
As they say, generally all of us love fairytale ending...We all want to see the underdogs win...
Though I must confess that I am a big RCB fan since last year even when they were losing their matches left,right and center.
But without any bias, I am sure that all will agree that the RCB team was the most resurgent team this IPL. They had finished number 7 last year and were ridiculed as being the Test Team having all veterans when the success mantra of T20 was supposed to be youngsters with fresh legs and ideas.
This year the mgmt tried complete overhauling of the team by buying Kevin Pieterson at mind blogging price(one of the costliest buys in IPL) they made him the captain,bought Jesse Ryder,traded Zaheer Khan for Robin Uttapa with Mumbai Indians and the earlier coaching & support staff was replaced by Ray Jennings & Co.
The venue of the IPL changed from India to South Africa due to general elections in India and security concerns
The change of venue worked very well for RCB having South African coach and nearly all foreign players in the squad were South Africans .....Then,RCB won the first opening match against RR by 58 of the match was none other than so-called Test Specialist ,The Wall.....
I guess most people were shocked ....they thought it could be a fluke maybe .........Miracles cannot happen.......and then RCB proved them right by going back to their good old ways of consistently losing matches......they lost 4 matches on the trot......hmm.......everyone wrote them off and they were not even considered in the running for semi-final berth and then .................they managed to win the game against KKR(who were anyways losing their matches)
After which KP had to go for national duty and with Rahul Dravid back in India for paternal leave.....they were left with daunting task of searching for a new captain midway into the series...........(though the owner had announced Kallis as the man...with his form dipping,he himself was not a surety in the playing eleven, leave alone captaining the side) they had to no option but go for Anil Kumble...........he become the captain by compulsion not by choice much like his Test captaincy for the country.....but what a masterstroke it was....the best decision that the mgmt of RCB had taken since its start of IPL 2008..........and the old warrior was ready for the challenge.......and the rest as they say is history............Kumble was instrumental in reviving the sagging fortunes of RCB..........what a redemption for the team.........what revival............what resurgence of the team............he and his team proved all critics and analysts wrong by wining 5 straight games against the best opposition to storm into the semis and beat CSK convincing to storm into the finals............
Hats off and Kudos to Kumble for his inspirational wonder he is one of the greatest Indian player of all times.........Easily one of the most respected player .........
A true legend and complete gentleman........His man managment skills were par excellence........the team looked a complete unit under him........there was tremendous bonding and unity within the team after he took over the captaincy...........and that was what made all the difference in RCB's performance in IPL 2008 and IPL 2009...........He lead from the himself to bowl when the opposition looking like taking the game away.........his opening spell in the final.........bowling out Gilchrist for a duck in the second ball of the first over was amazing.........
Salute and Kudos to the great man....Anil Kumble........An inspirational leader and amazing bowler.......
Imagine the T20 was supposed to be for the Young & Restless and here ,we have a retired 38 year old that too a spinner bowling magnificently and becoming the highest wicket taker for his side (21 wickets).........remember his 5 wicket spell in the opening match against RR..........He has the best bowling figures in IPL.......( he also has best bowling figures in Test and One days........)
Felt completely sad that RCB lost the final from a wining position............most of all for Kumble.........
He deserved to take the trophy home............
Here's to a true winner and fantastic role model of this era...........

Friday, March 27, 2009

Gudi Padvachya Hardik Subhechya !!!!!!!!

Gudi Padvachya Hardik Subhechya !!!!!!!!
Here is wishing everyone "Happy Gudi Padva"!!!!!
Gudi Padva is the beginning of new year for the Maharashtrians.
According to legend, Lord Brahma created the universe on this day.Hence it is the first day of the Maharashtrian calendar.
People also say that on this very day Lord Rama returned from his 14 year exile back to Ayodhya and hence people celebrate this day as his homecoming.
On this day, Neem leaves, gaathis, a piece of cloth and a small copper pot marked with swastika are strung on a long wooden stick to make the Gudi. The Gudi is raised on a long wooden stick and placed at the entrance of the home by the head of the family. After the Gudi is set up , it is worshipped and prayers are offered as obeisance to Lord Brahma for creating the universe on this very day.
The Gudi contains both "neem" leaves which are bitter as well as "Gaathis" which are sweet. This represents the bitter sweet experiences in life.