Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Why Not...!

Hey, I guess there are too many posts happening in a span of a very little time. But I just can’t stop now. This post is not so much about a dish or a soup or baking….it’s about something which has been on my mind for a week or two…and I am putting it down.

Well, I joined a new organization some 6 months back and I had to move from my previous job because I stood for myself and decided not take any shit from anyone (sorry! for the language), be it a colleague or the boss. In my current organization, I am pretty happy and settled. I have met some really interesting people. From our CEO to the CFO to anyone, it’s a different culture altogether. Here I get to take my own decisions and execute whatever I believe is profitable for the organization.
One of these days I was having a chat with one of my colleagues and we came to the topic of how someone moves up the ladder and what all one has to face to be successful. This colleague has now over a period of time has taken a special place in my life, I love him, I adore him but over and above all this, I respect and believe in him…All in all…I am in awe of him. So while this discussion, the topic of why I left my earlier organization also came up and I told him the real reason, I was expecting him to explain me why such things happen and what should I have done etc. etc., but instead he asked me to read this book called ‘Why not…! Racing ahead with mentors’, And I like a little puppy said…OK, will do sir.
And then a few days later he came up to my desk and brought to me a print out of a book cover and asked me...
P: - Did you read the book I asked you to?
S: - Not yet sir! (Scared!!!)
P: - Very well, you couldn’t have either ways (grinning sheepishly)…coz it’s not yet in the market!
S: - Then how come you asked me to read it when you haven’t read it yourself! (amazed!)
P: - Well, I know you should read it…. coz, It’s been written by me…

And then he showed me the print and I was amazed…his name proudly mentioned below – Partha Sarthi Basu.

Well, I did buy the book and have read a few pages and I can assure you, it’s not one of those management books which talks about…do this and do that…it’s a lovely story of a person who has climbed the ladder from the bottom… and talks about, ‘Life at Top’ and ‘Behind those numbers’ and ‘Focus on Worthiness’ etc.… well, it’s something you got to read to know why I am going on and on about this book….It’s a must read.

Also, since I mentioned earlier that I am in awe of this author......on one of my recent official tours, I figured out that he is a hog when it comes to Prawns…so to lead you back to the cooking sphere…one of the dishes I hope he will savor is mentioned below:

Chingri Malai Curry

- 1 Pkt frozen prawns
- 2 large onions – grated or paste
- 2 green chilies
- Coconut Milk
- Salt
- Turmeric
- Red chili powder
- Whole garam masala (cinnamon, Tej patta, laung)
- Powder garam masala
- Oil

In a bowl, take prawns and marinate it with salt and red chili powder. Keep aside for 15-20 mins. Now in a kadai take some oil and sauté the marinated prawns for about 5 mins, once they turn dark pink, take them out, In the same oil, put the whole garam masalas, add the slit green chilies and then onion paste and fry for 5-7 mins. Now, add turmeric, salt and coconut milk and bring it to a boil. Once this boils, add the prawns and keep it on simmer for about 5 mins. Serve hot with steamed rice!!!

I wish this great man a great success as an author and otherwise.

You are more than welcome to borrow the book from me or…if you wish, you can buy it and I will have it autographed for you.!!!! Why not??


Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Dip Dip Dip

You must be tiered of reading about my parties and party preparations....well, when it comes to serving snacks, one of my fave is Salad, which mostly comprises of cucumber and carrots, along with a curd dip...its easy, healthy and can be made while you are preparing the rest of the stuff.

Here is what you need:
- 1 pack curd (Nestle or Amul)
- 2 Green chilles - chopped
- Garlic paste
- Salt
- A pinch - Sugar
- Pepper

Now, before you start preparing the rest of the dishes, take a piece of cloth and pour in the curd and hang it. Once you are done with all the cooking, take the hung curd, add the green chillies, salt, sugar, pepper, garlic paste and whisk it...put it in the serving dish and chill a bit....and then goes well with Salamis too...

Try it out.

The Dieting Season

Hubby and I have been talking about starting a diet program, but unfortunately, the get togethers every second day doesn't let us maintain it. And our prog is not the full fledged diet plan...we just want to cut out the dinner bit completely and replace it with Soups....thankfully, we have been able to have soup thrice in the last one week...which is an achievement for me.
Earlier, i just knew one way to make the soup and that was to put in all the vegges in a pressure cooker and then puree it...dashing a bit of salt and pepper and gulping it down...but i realised, if i want myself and R to have soups everyday, I need to have some variants. So, the last two times I tried 'Hot and Sour Soup' and 'Spinach Soup'.

Here is how I made it...

Hot and Sour Soup
2 tbsp Chili Sauce
11/2 tbsp Corn Flour
1/2 tbsp Soy Sauce
2 tbsp Vinegar
2 tbsp Capsicum - chopped
2 tbsp Spring
Onions - chopped
2 tbsp Tomato Sauce
2 tbsp Carrots - chopped
1/4 cup Cabbage - chopped
1 tsp Black Pepper Powder
1-1/2 tsp fresh grated Ginger
1/2 tsp Sugar
4 cups Water

Mix 4 cups of water, chili sauce, soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, salt, ginger and pepper and bring the mixture to a boil. Now add all the chopped vegetables into the soup. Cook for a minute on medium heat. Dissolve corn flour in 1/2 cup water and add to the soup stirring constantly till it becomes thick. Cook again for a few mins then remove from flame. Transfer to a serving bowl.Garnish with some more green onion and serve hot!!

It was yummmmm

Another one which i freaked out on....

Spinach Soup

1 pack Spinach
1/2 Cauliflower
3 carrots
2 Spring onions
Garlic paste

Put all the above in a pressure cooker with salt and water and pressure cook for 3 whistles. Once done, let it cool and then blend it in a blender, put it back in the cooker and give a boil. Take it out in the serving bowl, garnish it with some fresh cream or butter and pepper and serve hot with Garlic bread.

It's really healthy and filling too and the Spinach is just so WOW.

Hubby was very happy and so was I, in fact he said 'I can have this soup everyday!' which was a huge compliment and I was floored...

Try it out!


Monday, December 24, 2007

It's Chirstmas Time...and Time to bake and Njoy

My hubby loves when I bake cakes and cookies, he relishes them and I relish the site. I have some raisins lying around for a long time and I had not been in the mood to make Kheer and all then struck me to try baking some cookies esp. since Christmas is around the corner, so this is what I baked:

3/4 cup Maida
1 tsp Baking Soda
1/4 tsp Salt
3/2 cup Sugar
3/2 cup Brown Sugar
3/2 cup Butter
1 tsp Vanilla Essence
1 Egg
1 1/2 cups uncooked oats
1/2 cup Kishmish
1 cup Dark Chocolate Chips

Before you begin preheat the oven to 175 degrees.
Grease a baking tray.
Mix flour, baking soda, and, salt.
Cream sugar and butter.
Add vanilla essence, and, eggs one by one while mixing .
Add the flour and mix the oats.
Mix well and then add currants and chocolate chips.
Now drop one spoonful of the batter on inch apart on the greased baking tray.
Bake for 12 - 14 minutes or till golden in color.

Let it cool and then HOG!!! It's yummm and can be stored for sometime, it goes well with hot drinking chocolate or just as a snack...give it a shot....Merry Christmas

The love for Bong food

A few few months back I had gone over to a friend's house...a bong friend…and had this dish called 'Dhokar Dhalna', it was amazing. I kept looking for the recipe to surprise my hubby but unfortunately, wherever I found it, it sounded extremely complicated so I kind of gave up… and felt bad :(

Then a few days back I decided to give it a shot irrespective of the fact that it was complicated or not. It turned out great infact, it wasn’t as complicated as I thought it would be. Here goes the detail


- 200 gms Chana Dal / Cholar
- 1 Large Potato cut into small pieces
- 1 tbsp Coriander seed paste
- 1 tbsp Cumin seed paste
- Chili powder
- Turmeric powder
- 50gms Curd
- 2 tbsp Ginger paste
- A few Green chilies
- 1 tbsp Ghee
- Salt
- Roast Garam Masala, cumin and coriander together and powder it
- Oil


Wash it and soak chana dal overnight. Grind chana dal with little ginger, salt & green chili. Heat oil in a pan & add chana dal paste. Fry till moisture dries off. Spread the mixture in a greased plate. Cut in diamond shapes or whichever shape you prefer & fry in deep oil till golden brown. Fry potato till brown. In the same oil add ginger paste, coriander, cumin seed paste, turmeric powder, chili powder, salt & curd. Fry till leaves oil. Add water, fried potato & boil. Add already fried dhoklas & cook for 2 minutes. Add ghee & garam masala.

You may use onions and tomatoes as well for the base gravy, that's another version of the dalna.

You may have this with rice(which normally all bongs do) or have it with luchies or roties. I had it with luchies and I freaked out...It wasn't as great as the one I had at my friend's house but it helped a bit and not to too miss the lovely 'puchie' I got from my hubby for this thats called accomplishment :)

Try and let me know your feedback...I would love to modify and get a better version any day.!!!!

The Party season and never ending cooking

After the exhausting 18th Dec party, I was in no mood to throw another one, atleast for a week or so. But then, I can't help my own self. My hubby's ex-boss, is a darling and I adore him and he has a special place for himself in my life. I hadn't seen him in days, so i called him on 19th and asked him if we could have dinner at my place on friday, and he readily agreed. So, he with his wife and son were invited my body was cursing my mind left right center for doing this....anyhow...the day arrived and I told my hubby that the food will be very very basic and there will hardly be any snacks...he said 'Dekh le, your call...or if you wish we an order'....the order option seemed very tempting, but I am not the kind to invite friends and serve ordered food.....

So, i decided on making Alloo poori and Beet sabzi. I had msgd my friend and asked him he will be OK with something heavy like that...and his response was a single word - 'WOW' :)

I am sharing the simple recipe for Alloo poori with you...try it, its yummm

- 4 Large potatoes - Peeled
- 4 large tomatoes - Pureed
- 2 green chillies
- Oil
- Salt
- Turmeric
- Garam masala
- Red chili powder
- Kasoori methi

In a pressure cooker, take 2 tbsp oil, split the green chilles and throw in the oil. Put in the pureed tomatoes and put it n simmer for 10 mins, keep stirring. Once the oil separates, put in salt, red chillie powder, turmeric and stir. Put in the peeled and cut potatoes, add some water and pressure cook to three whistles.
Once the pressure is off the cooker, open and stir nicely. Now, add the garam masala and add some crushed kasoori gives a lovely aroma and tastes heaven (i have in fact tried making aloo methi with kasoori methi, it is lovely).
Now give a boil and serve hot with poories.

The Beet sabzi was a surprise to my friend and his family...and guess what, the sabzi was wiped out with poories and I finished the aloo sabzi the next day.

Here goes the beet sabzi, its really yummmm...

- 3 large beetroots - peeled and cut in small pieces
- 3 large carrots - peeled and cut in small pieces
- 1 cup peas
- 2 medium onions - chopped lenghth wise
- Oil
- Salt
- Red chili powder
- Turmeric
- Sugar
- 2 green chilies

In a kadai heat 1tbsp oil, add green chillies, after a few seconds add onions, stir a bit, add beetroot, carrots and peas. Add salt, turmeric, sugar and red chili powder. Stir nicely. Add a cup of water, cover and keep it on sim for about 15mins, stirring occasionally. Once the carrots are soft and the beet is just about OK....take it off heat and serve with poories/ roties or rice. Its low cal and yummm....

The evening went off nice and cozy, we wished them Merry Christmas...gave away some candies to the little one and slept off....I felt nice after the eve coz there was not much cooking or cleaning....Infact for poories....everyone was in the kitchen and was helping make and fry poories :)

Looking forward to today eve...have to attend another party tonite...thankfully at a friend's have a great Christmas and See you soon....

Friday, December 21, 2007

When the Highest In the order comes home

Well, I visited Goa twice during the last month and had a blast. And i got to chat up with all my colleagues in an informal space. I liked some, disliked some, bonded with some and took home some friendships. I have always been fond of singing and organising singing sessions at my place. While in Goa fortunately i happened to get into the coach, taking us to Panjim for shopping, where all the Senior most were present. I like a little pup went and sat at last seat and kept low profile but slowly, everyone got into a mood and started singing and i couldn't hold all said and i done, i started singing too and realised that this particular gang loves the simplicities and would be great to have home once.
So, once back in office, I started planning and finally invited these senior people, not because they are senior to me professionally but because I clicked with them and shared a comfort level too, to call them over to my house. After the dates being shifted many times, 18Th Dec (unfortunately a weekday) was decided upon. I was excited but as soon as the date was nearing I started getting nervous, I have thrown many many parties but this one was different coz, I wasn't sure what to offer in terms of food, drinks, snacks etc etc.
There is very dear friend of mine who always has beautiful stuff to offer and the spread is awesome. So I called her and talked. My hubby wanted to me to offer continental and I was keen on Indian (tested and tried never fails), but finally gave in and decided on continental.
So, here is the list of all i made and their recipes:

Corn Tarts (My fave)
Salamis on crust
Salad with curd dip
and some of the ready made stuff like cheese, olives etc.

Main Dishes
Green Rice Salad
Raw Papaya salad (veg + non-veg)

Veg Pasta in Tomato Sauce
Potato and onions in Cheese
Mashed Potato
Chicken Pasta in white sauce
Prawns in cream mustard
And for the meetha Brownie with ice cream.

And Here goes what went into these dishes:

Green Rice Salad
Ingredients: 8 tbsp cooked rice
1 green capsicum
100 gm blanched beans
100 gm cooked peas
100 gm torn spinach leaves
100 gm sliced spring onions
2 tbsp shredded garden herbs

4 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp garlic paste
1/2 tsp oregano
Pinch mustard powder
Salt and pepper

Method: Combine salad ingredients together. Whisk together items for dressing. Pour over rice salad. Chill and serve.

Easy isn't it?

Raw Papaya Salad:
2 cups grated raw papaya
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp fried peanuts
8-10 cherry tomatoes
1 tbsp chopped coriander
2 tbsp Red chili sauce
1 tbsp brown sugar

Mix all ingredients and serve chilled.

For Non-veg salad.
I took some frozen prawns, marinated it with salt and red chili powder and then sauteed it in a bit of olive oil and after cooling them, I added it in the above salad.

Now, the main dishes, Pasta we all know and it was the simple recipe that picked.
One dish which i experimented with was, prawns in cream mustard.

Frozen prawns, marinated in salt and red chili powder.
Green of spring onions
Fresh cream
Tomato sauce
Mustard powder

Take a pan, heat some oil (you may use cooking oil or olive oil), saute the marinated prawns, add the green of spring onions, saute. Add mustard powder, add fresh cream. Mix well, now add in a tbsp of tomato sauce, mix again. Let it come to a boil. Serve hot with rice or with boiled pasta which I did. This one was a hit.

As per the guests requests, the eve was supposed to get over at 11.30, but guess we finally packed them all at 2.30 am and trust me the next day was crazy with the spirits still moving in in the body and the head was...phew....but the eve was fun and every one loved I achieved what I was looking for!!

If you need the recipe for any other dish mentioned above, please do let me know...till the next blog have a cool X-mas and very Happy New Year!