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Friday, 28 September 2012

Korean Kimchi and Chocolate Pudding

It was easy to dislike the new Korean neighbours.
He was an engineer with two adorable children on a yearlong deputation to the Tata Motors factory in Jamshedpur – and his wife was far too slim and stunning.
Inexcusably – they did not socialize. So what if they spoke only Korean.
Impertinently – they were managing without maids as the rest of us were held to ransom by our household helps.
And worst of all – they had dug up the smooth green carpet grass on their front lawn.
Heads were shaken collectively – grim and unforgiving.
Until – Korean brisk walks slowed into leisurely strolls preceded and succeeded by  pakoda and puri parties at the neighbour’s houses; slender faces became round,  maids were employed who proceeded to victimise them and their front lawn started sprouting napa cabbage that promised to turn into Kimchi.
Dreams of tasting the delectable Mainland China Kimchi (which also turned out to be the national dish of Korea) in the rigid confines of the Steel city dominated minds and everything was forgiven and forgotten.
Salivation threatened to create a mini flood on the Sunday that the jar of Kimchi was finally brought forth.
 Apparently dainty fingers (used to stuffing pakodas by the dozens into their respective mouths) lifted the first bits of Kimchi in a show of restraint and popped them into their mouths.
An almost collective scream followed.
Kimchi was supposed to tickle our taste buds with its mildly sweet flavour and lull us into complacently polishing off the whole jar - but the Korean version was spicy enough to call for the fire brigade.
Coughing, spitting, gulping water and fighting over the sugar jar erupted, much to the bewildered unhappiness of Thong-Mei who thought that Indians were the lords of spicy food and so had spiced her Kimchi to please us.

Chocolate Pudding
Today’s recipe is a dessert designed to end spice feasts on a sweet note. It is incredibly easy, is ready in jiffy and allows you to bask in the glory of the hard work that you must certainly have put in (never let the people at the table in on kitchen secrets). Try it instantly.
1.     Take 1 ½  glasses of milk. Pour it into a bowl.
2.     Beat two eggs in another bowl and then mix it into the milk.
3.     Add 2 tablespoons of sugar to the mixture.
4.     Add 2 tablespoons of Cocoa powder to the mixture. I like my pudding to be intensely chocolatey so I add more and more cocoa until the mixture becomes dark brown. Add cocoa as per your preference of chocolatiness.
5.     Taste the mixture. Add more sugar or cocoa if you like.
6.     Pour the mixture into a steel tiffin box which has a tight lid. Put on the lid.
7.     In a pressure cooker fill water to the depth of about 2 cms. Actually the depth of water would vary depending on the steel box you are using. Basically the water level should be below the level of the rim of the lid.
8.     Close the cooker (without the whistle) and heat the water. When steam starts coming out lower the flame and steam for another 15 minutes.
9.     Turn off the flame cool the cooker and open the box.
10.                        Chill the pudding in the refrigerator and dig in.

Monday, 17 September 2012

On the Whypoll blog again - Part II

This time its about public transport.
After living in several cities and towns all over India - this is my verdict -

India: Moving, shaking

and its on the Whypoll trust blog
This is the link-!/2012/09/india-moving-shaking.html

About the recipe - yes I haven't uploaded one in the previous post but here is a fabulous Cabbage recipe.
It takes no time at all - is effortless and a sure shot winner.
My husband is CRAZY about it.

Sweet and sour cabbage

  1. Chop up some cabbage. I like to do long shreds but squares are ok as well. In fact just lunge at the vegetable with a knife and whatever emerges out of it is fine really.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a kadhai.
  3. Add 1 tsp of garlic paste to it. Be careful not to burn it.
  4. Then add  the shredded cabbage to it.
  5. Cook it for a while tossing it around in the kadhai so that the whole mass gets cooked and you dont end up with bottom burnt special.
  6. Allow the cabbage to wilt a little in the heat so that it attains its final volume which is going to be much less than the original volume.
  7. Now add a tablespoon of soya sauce, a tablespoon of honey, a tablespoon of vinegar and 1/4 tablespoon of chilli sauce.
  8. Mix well
  9. Add some salt. be careful here because Soya sauce is already salty.
  10. Mix well and cook until all the water in the kadhai has evaporated and the vegetable looks glossy.
  11. Serve hot (or cold). I sometimes wrap it in a paratha and make it into a quick tiffin box special.

Friday, 14 September 2012

I am on the Whypoll Trust Blog!

Hi everybody
I am writing a guest blog for The Whypoll Trust which is India's only open government platform that strives to link citizens and government using technology

The post is called "Whats in a Garment?" and this is the link

Check it out!!!

Monday, 3 September 2012

"The Liberals" - with a cup of coffee

On a dark rainy Mumbai evening, dishevelled and dripping after a two hour commute, we were pushing open the doors to Kitaab Khana to attend the launch of “The Liberals” when suddenly - the question popped into my head.
What was I doing at the launch of a book on the post liberalisation era?
 I am numerically challenged! And since numbers make no sense to me I have never understood economics and do not relish politics.
Then what was I doing here?
The question had no answer and I sat cowering in the last row, anticipating a barrage of unfamiliar technical terms.
To my amazement however, the discussion emerged as a nostalgic trip into the past two decades, and excitement rapidly replaced trepidation.
 I started reading - on the commute home.  
I loved the book from the very first chapter.
It read like a heart to heart with an old friend who had led an exotic life in the world of fashion, television and politics.
 With his hilarious irreverence, candid admissions, insightful introspection and amazing ability to refrain from sounding condescending, Hindol Sengupta in his book, comes across as the boy next door.
In his story of growing up and finding his identity in a changing liberal India, he splits open middle class life in Calcutta, Delhi and Mumbai and lays bare desires and fears without sparking animosity or shame.
Objective, compassionate and most importantly relatable this is a fabulous book after reading which I found myself revelling once more in the joys of liberalisation with the brief look at the gloomy past that this book afforded me.
In the book, I found a confidant.
It made my weekend!
Choca Mocha
This recipe today is just like “The Liberals”. The name sounds intimidating – but the recipe is extremely simple.
1.     In a small bowl (katori)  mix together 1 heaped tablespoon of drinking chocolate with ½ a teaspoon of coffee powder and 1 tsp of sugar.
2.     Add a few drops of hot water to this and mix.
3.     Put the mixture in a glass and top it up with hot or cold milk mixing all the while.
4.     Taste it and add more sugar if you like.
5.     Sprinkle cinnamon powder before serving.
I always like to drink this cold and my husband likes it hot. It is easy enough to make both simultaneously. The hot milk dissolves the mixture instantly. Cold milk is sometimes problematic. If you think you may not be able to dissolve the mixture in cold milk – add a quarter glass of hot milk initially. Mix well to dissolve and then add chilled milk followed by ice.