Showing posts with label ENGLISH WRITE-UPS. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ENGLISH WRITE-UPS. Show all posts

Sunday, November 12, 2017



Mirchi ka salan (curry) is a traditional dish from the "City of Pearls" and divine Nizami cuisine. This peanuts and sesame based salan or curry is considered to be the most authentic accompaniment with biryani in Andhra cuisine and comes with many variations. Yes, you can make bhindi ka salan as well.
I wanted to make a salan that could be served with phulkas or paranthas or as a side with plain steamed rice and that's how the germ developed to cook chicken and chilli curry , the Hyderabadi way.
I had to tweak this traditional preparation a little bit so as to suit the typical Bengali taste buds, like the addition of jaggery, which you can omit. Secondly, I have added fresh coconut, as I personally feel it enhances the taste , but traditionally the recipe requires dry coconut.
Also , since it is not possible to get the Bhavnagri chillies here , I had to make do with the longish organic chillies which I ordered online.
Once in a while when you are in good cheer to make something exotic for the family , this dish could be given a thought.

And yes, nuts, sesame seeds, jaggery and lots of chillies make this recipe  iron and vitamin C, 


Chicken- 500gms
Green chillies- 10 atleast
Peanuts - 1 cup
Coconut (sliced)- 5/6 pieces
Sesame seeds- 1/2 cup
Khuskhus/posto- 1 tbspn
Fenugreek seeds- a few
Ginger- 1inch
Garlic cloves- 8
Onion - 1 or 2
Cumin- 1/2 tspn
dried red chillies- two (optional)
Curry leaves- handful
Mustard seeds for tempering
Tamarind pulp- 2 tbsp
Salt - as required
Haldi- 1tspn
Black pepper powder- 1/2tsp
Garam masala powder- 1tspn or less
Coriander leaves - chopped (optional)
Jaggery- 1tbsp (optional)
Lemon juice to marinate


Step 1

Marinate the chicken pieces ( boneless or with bone) with lemon juice, salt , haldi, black pepper powder and refrigerate for 2hrs. Take them out and shallow fry them , keeping the pan covered so that they are cooked properly . Almost done that is. Strain the oil and heat it again.

Step 2

Wash and de- seed the green chillies, fry them (lightly) and put them aside.

Step 3

Dry roast - peanuts+ posto +sesame+ methi+ coconut+ cumin+  dried chillies
Cool and blend with the garlic cloves and ginger.

Step 4

Add more oil if required and heat. Temper with mustard seeds and curry leaves. Brown the finely chopped onion and add the blended paste, alongwith haldi . Furthermore, add the tamarind pulp and jaggery. Let it simmer for a few minutes.

Step 5

Finally, add the chicken pieces and a cup of water. Let it soak in the flavour, and check the gravy to balance the seasoning. Once the chicken pieces are done, throw in the fried chillies, garam masala powder and increase the flame. Cook till the oil starts oozing.
The gravy should be thick and not runny or watery.
Before turning off the flame sprinkle the coriander leaves and keep covered till served.

Sunday, March 26, 2017



This is a Maharashrian dish, a khichdi made with rice and moong dal. If you want you can add potatoes otherwise the flavourful tadka of dry chillies, hing and other ingredients is sufficient to satiate your palate. One awesome recipe, definitely for keeps. 

Step 1
Take equal quantities of rice and moong dal . Add haldi ,salt, jeera and hing . 4 to 5 cups of water depending on the kind of consistency you prefer .
Let this cook in pressure or a deep bottomed pan.

Step 2.

Heat around half to three-fourth  cup of oil . Temper with mustard , jeera ,sliced garlic , lots of dry chillies , chilly powder,  one finely chopped  small onion, hing , haldi and salt. You can add finely chopped potatoes at this stage. No sugar please . Now cover with lid and let cook .

Once cooked pour this over the khichdi and enjoy accompanied by a glass of chilled buttermilk.

"Khandesh is a region in Maharashtra which has a very hot climate where the folks of that region love to eat spicy food, high on pungency .
So basically this is a khichdi which is cooked without any spice but eaten with a super spicy oil  .. "

Recipe Credit - Mahesh Khole




Chicken- 500 gms
Green chilli paste- as per preference
Ginger paste- one and half tableVspoon
Salt- as required
Oil and ghee- as required
Celery/randhuni powder- half teaspoon
Few green chillies (slit)- to garnish



Heat oil and fry the sliced onions , add some green chilli paste, grated or minced ginger followed by the chicken pieces. Give it a good mix. Cook on a high flame for a few minutes. Season with salt. Cover and cook on a low flame .


Once the chicken is cooked, add a tablespoon of ghee/ clarified butter, sprinkle celery powder/ randhuni powder, few green chillies and cover the pan . Keep it covered till served.

Recipe Credit- Rukma Banerjee

Monday, March 13, 2017




Spinach- 1kg (chopped)

Coriander- 500 gms (chopped)

turmeric powder- 1/2 tsp

jeera powder- 1/4tsp

hing- a pinch or two

salt- as required

sugar- 1/4 tsp (optional)

curds- 4 to 5 tbspn

whole cumin- 1/4 tspn

dried red chillies- 1 or 2

green chillies- 1 or 2 (chopped)

garlic - 12-15 cloves (crushed or finely chopped)

sesame seeds- 1/2 tspn (optional)


Heat mustard oil ( 2-3 tbspn ), temper it with dried red chillies, cumin seeds, hing and 9 to 10 crushed garlic cloves. AS they turn brown add the chopped greens.

ON a medium flame keep stirring and cooking till the oil leaves the side.

next step is to add the curds, which has been beaten nice and smooth.

AT this stage increase the flame and as the water starts drying up, add salt.

I also add little sugar as I always feel it balances the taste. But it can be avoided.

I like mine bit overcooked and tangy. You may add less dahi and not overcook.

To finish the dish , in another pan heat little oil, temper with rest of the garlic and

sesame seeds and drizzle over the dish.

I did not have sesame seeds while preparing this dish hence they are absent in the picture here. But do add them as they have great benefits and also add a nice crunch to the finished product.

Happy cooking. 





Step 1
wash and soak

1. Rice- 3cups (5hrs)

2. urad dal- 1cup (2hours)

3. methi- half tsp (1hour)

Step 2

After 5-6 hours, soak one cup of poha / chewda for 5 minutes.

drain the water .

Grind all the ingredients separately and then mix them nicely .

the batter should be thick at this stage so use less water while grinding.

Step 3

Give the batter a nice mix , add a teaspoon of salt , mix gently and leave it covered for about 10 to 12 hours for fermentation.

Step 4

After 12 hours or so, you will see that the batter has fermented and increased in
volume. beat it nicely , and add salt as per taste.

For idli the batter should not be runny. For dosa you may need to add water and give it a gentle mix.

First batch of idli and first dosa should be enough to guide you regarding the

Step 5

Oil the idli moulds/ plates and pour the batter.

Steam for 6- 7 minutes .

Insert a thin bladed knife or a toothpick in the center , if it comes out clean then you can spoon out the idlis. Or else steam it for another 2 -3 minutes.



Wednesday, February 22, 2017




Fresh palak/ spinach leaves
Besan/ chickpea
Rice flour
Red chilli powder(optional)
Chat masala or black/rock salt
Oil for frying.


This is a very easy dish to prepare . Less time consuming , yet very tasty dish. These fritters can be enjoyed as a snack with tea or coffee or as a side dish with dal chawal or even khichdi on a rainy day.
It is very important to choose the leaves which are crunchy and fresh. Wash them nicely. Now in a bowl , make a very thick batter with besan/chickpea, rice flour (one fourth of besan), salt (according to taste) and sugar (very little). To make it spicy you can add red chilli powder too. Allow the batter to rest for 5-10 minutes and beat it again nice and smooth. Heat the oil to a deep frying temperature. Lower the flame. Nicely coat each leaf with the thick batter and deep fry them on a medium to low flame, two to three leaves at a time. Drain the excess oil on a kitchen towel . 
Before serving, arrange the fritters on a platter and sprinkle some chat masala or black/ rock salt on them.

Spinach greens are supposed to be highly nutritious with great health benefits. Deep frying them is not that healthy as this process will definitely lower the nutrition quotient of vitamin K and iron by several degrees. But, once in a while it is all right to give in to your food cravings and allow yourself an occasional indulgence. Happy snacking !!


Friday, February 17, 2017

HUES / प्रकृति के रंग.....

Delicate hues with a strong message...
I do not know much about anger management nor do I know the art and science of analyzing or controlling child behaviour, especially a teenager's behaviour.
I take each day as it comes, dealing with situations on case by case basis and trying to figure out the solutions.
The counseling sessions are held periodically between father and son mostly as the prerequisites like calmness and patience are not my forte when a discussion involves an argumentative (logical most of the time) teenager.
A situation arose a few days ago when we had to impose a limit on our son's cell phone usage. This also meant limiting his interactions with his friends over whatsapp and hike etc.
Our son was compliant enough but angry. But this time we did not care , for a change.
But, children often prove you wrong , often surprise you with their behaviour and actions which are contrary to your apprehensions.
Our son, taught us a lesson in anger management and I say this with great pride. I also think that he belongs to some other planet..
Well , he channeled his anger towards something as positive as gardening and tending to his flowers and herbs. Our tiny balcony now looks beautiful and everytime I look at the hues of nature I feel proud that my child has grown up and is well equipped to handle his emotions. I also reckon that he knows that we love him unconditionally and will never be embarrassed of him or stop fighting for him... AND LET HIM BE.

Tuesday, November 04, 2014


It is always wonderful to meet up with old friends, especially those from school as that is the most carefree period of one's life.
After so many years when we meet, it hardly matters who used to be a topper and who the inconspicuous backbencher. Life is never without its upheavals and predicaments, so connecting with friends also means that life won't be that difficult anymore with friends just a phone call away.
After a long time had a blast laughing and reminiscing about school days as we all reverted to being teenagers


Tuesday, October 28, 2014


Pain, sorrow and unhappiness are inevitable in this world. But I know a light will enter my heart and keep my strength and hope alive even if they become festering wounds...

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

ROTI, KAPDA AUR MAKAAN.... / रोटी, कपड़ा और मकान....

रोज़ ब्लॉग खोलती हूँ फ़िर बहुत कुछ लिखती हूँ, और बहुत बार मिटा देती हूँ। सुबह का अखबार देखती हूँ या खबरें सुनती हूँ तो यही महसूस होता है की आज इतना ही काफ़ी है कि मैं और मेरे परिवार के सभी लोग जिंदा हैं। हालात ऐसे हैं की अब साड़ी, गहने, विदेश भ्रमण ... सब बेकार के शौक़ लगते हैं। दहशत और अनिश्चयता के ऐसे दिल दहलाने वाले वातावरण में साँसों का चलना ही काफ़ी लगता है।
कल लोगों ने खूब आनन्द और हर्षोल्लास सहित ईद का त्यौहार मनाया। पर दुनिया के किसी कोने में कई परिवारों ने इस वर्ष ईद अपने प्रियजनों के कब्रों के पास बैठकर मनाई।
जी, मैं गाज़ा के बारे में ही बोल रही हूँ। और जेहन में उन लीगों की बातें भीं घूम रही हैं जो अपने प्राण अकाल मृत्यु के हातों बली चढ़ाने के लिए मजबूर हो गए। एक सप्ताह में तीन-तीन विमान दुर्घटनायें, इनमें से एक किसी आतंकी हमले का शिकार। इतनी सस्ती है ज़िन्दगी? कोई मोल नहीं जीवन का? और हाँ एक विमान जो अभी तक किसी को मालूम नहीं कहाँ गायब हो गया!!
Some say war is bad for economy... but the western concept is exactly the opposite. They say war is good for economy. And humanity? The children? Is it okay to kill children in the name of war? The innocent lives lost in these plane crashes were not meant to perish like this. They had hopes and dreams..what about them?? But as my husband always tells me " don't waste your energy and also don't lose your patience by pondering over something which is beyond your control "... True, but not easy.
All that remains after a war and merciless killings is innumerable orphans, childless parents, rubble and debris in place of a beautiful house. Endless days of mourning and bitterness..and thousands of burnt and charred dreams..
To err is human and to kill? Is war the only solution?
Closer home in every state we have such barbaric activities taking place almost every hour that a powerless citizen like me feels helpless. Writing about these on Facebook or posting on blog is not enough but how else do we express our concern.
कहीं भी, किसी लड़की या औरत की आबरू लुटती है तो ऐसा महसूस होता है जैसे मेरा ही अपमान हुआ हो। कितना हिंस्र हो गया है इंसान, कितने निर्मम तरीके से खून और बलात्कार करता है। 100 में से 99 महिलायें चाहती हैं की इन पिशाचों को सरकार मृत्यु दंड दे पर नहीं, सरकार तो पहले इन पर मुकद्दमा चलाकर वर्षों तक देश के नागरिकों का पैसा बर्बाद करेगी फ़िर सोचेगी।
Honestly, nowadays the well being of my family and friends is the utmost thing in my life. Life is short we know but terrorist attacks, wars and hooliganism has made it unpredictable beyond our apprehension.
रोटी, कपडा और मकान- इतना है तो बहुत है... ज़िन्दगी की बाकी खामियों को सुधारने के लिए अपनों का प्यार है न !!


Picture Courtesy- Google

Monday, July 21, 2014


Just finished reading Sudha Murty's Mahashweta and Dollar Bahu. I loved the beautiful and simple narrative style of both the books immensely. The basic premise of her stories is neither unknown nor unpredictable yet they were pageturners. There was a desire to read till the last page after the first few. Somehow, her style of writing reminds me of the great Bengali novelist and poet, Ashapurna Devi...


Wednesday, May 28, 2014


Just reading her, just listening to her teaches you so much... I do not know about others but whenever I read her quotes or come across a piece of composition by her I can not help but wonder, how accurately it resonates with me !! That is the power , the beauty of her words, simple yet so powerful, each and every word. No wonder she has been and continues to remain an inspiration to many ,men and women alike..I love you Maya Angelou. Yes, love liberates...

“Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I'm not cute or built to suit a fashion model's size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I'm telling lies.
I say,
It's in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.”
― Maya Angelou...

Rest in Paradise angel.... and forever in my heart..... You are and will remain one of my favourite windows to the world of writing..

(Winfrey released a statement Wednesday calling Angelou her mentor, "mother/sister" and friend.
"She was there for me always, guiding me through some of the most important years of my life. The world knows her as a poet but at the heart of her, she was a teacher. 'When you learn, teach. When you get, give' is one of my best lessons from her," Winfrey said.
"But what stands out to me most about Maya Angelou is not what she has done or written or spoken, it's how she lived her life. She moved through the world with unshakeable calm, confidence and a fierce grace. I loved her and I know she loved me. I will profoundly miss her. She will always be the rainbow in my clouds.")

Tuesday, May 20, 2014


That moment when the only song playing on loop is cacophony of birds...with an occasional lip sync by the beetles and the crickets...that moment when the sunrays shrouded in fog carress your cheeks 'houle se', that moment when the ' me' and 'you' becomes 'us', effortlessly...yes effortlessly.. That moment when the wind whispers a long forgotten lullaby in your ears and a drop of rain on the cheeks reminds you of that first kiss...that moment when silence speaks and you listen...that moment when love means holding hands and an emoticon is enough to convey millions...yes.. That is THE moment.....

Pics taken by me @ Red Mud Chalet, Bermiok, West Sikkim 

Sunday, April 13, 2014


"Trouble with the Curve" is one of the finest films I have ever seen on father-daughter relationship and also is a fairly enjoyable and pleasant baseball drama . This movie is not at all preachy in the sense that it does not go overboard in explaining its audience that how one should deal with the upbringing issues..a child sometimes fails to understand why his/her parents are not giving them the much needed attention during their growing up years or why they have kept them away at a hostel or some relative's place, which is justified but then nothing that parents do is without reason..

In the movie the daughter missed her father all through her childhood and had silently hated him for not giving him much time and attention which she craved for but her father did not have much choice being a single parent who was always travelling and engrossed in the job of a baseball scout. But one more reason which the girl understands much later was his insecurity about his daughter's safety as she was once on the verge of getting sexually abused at a tender age of six. He saved her once but was not sure that he could get lucky next time as well..

There are two scenes that are quite impressive. An aging father defending his daughter, with the first one of him attacking a drunk bar-goer with a broken beer bottle after he tires to hit on her, and later, a rather disturbing and upsetting scene where he brutally beats a child molestor half to death in a shed.

Clint Eastwood carries the film beautifully on his shoulders and is so very handsome even at 75 plus.. not to ignore his signature style

pic courtesy-google

Monday, April 07, 2014


There are good days,there are bad days, but what makes this life interesting is how we actually manage to turn these bad days into good ones... we all know that complete happiness is not attainable but sometimes, with little effort we can keep the bad, depressing moments on some shelf or hang them on a hanger in our wardrobe and lock it.. find some favourite song to cheer ourselves up and voila!!

I have learnt one thing and memorised it by heart that whatever the situation, it is only me, who can tackle it and face the challenge..people can give support and assurances but it helps only if one has that indomitable spirit.. the ultimate truth is, we come alone, we go alone..and we fight alone....

Thursday, March 13, 2014

BUCKET FULL OF ASHES..............

In the end all that remains of our entity is mere bucket full of ashes...  yet we struggle and fight for all that is not going to give us peace when end comes knocking. The ultimate peace is derived from some home cooked food, some sleep in our own bed and presence of a few near and dear ones ...actually puts a smile on our face even when we are on the verge of losing a battle... But I always feel that God should give us a little time, just a little more, before calling the final shot so that we can thank our caregiver, express our love for the members of the family and friends and leave this world as one happy soul.

Thanking the caregiver is very important, whosoever it is, spouse, parent, chidren, maid or nurse, anyone. More so because they are the ones who have been looking after the patients daily needs and hygiene, doctor appointments, medications and diet, so in the event of death or any kind of criticality they are the ones who are questioned. They feel guilty when suddenly something untoward happens, quite unnecessarily. So, it is very important that their work and time is duly recognised and appreciated with utmost gratefulness by everyone.

Everything does not happen as per our wishes and every wish of ours can never be fulfilled yet we never stop dreaming.. and keep believing that everything happens for a reason.. thats the best way to accept and explain the loss maybe. But,the fact of the matter is, in due course of time, yes time, the most powerful yet abstract entity, we tend to forget the 'reason' part. We get caught up in the hustle and bustle and this minimises the pain.

Just wondering, do we stop dreaming after death? Is there really anything called soul? Do souls dream? Do we carry our dreams with us to our next birth? These are pretty weird questions but at some point or the other in our life we have asked these to ourselves or shared these queries with our peers...

Thursday, February 06, 2014


When my problems looked big I looked around and found bigger problems that were staring from the walls and nooks and corners, and I saw people staring back at them with nothing but hope and will power. This made me happy as I was not alone, not the only mortal with morbidity clouding my thoughts and I prepared myself to face the challenge... sounds like a paradox? well.... I really felt stronger when I saw the other mortals also trying to find means to save the lives of those who will NOT dwell on the earth forever.....  lesser or more, fact is, mortals always try to fight till the last breath against all odds... God is great, no two ways about it, and so is man..

Friday, January 24, 2014


Ain't it true that the hospitals and wedding venues are the two places where you get to meet up with those relatives (and sometimes friends ) whom you haven't seen or spoken to in ages and even those who you do not even remember. The most funny part is the effort that you have to put while trying to recollect whether they are related to you on your father's side or mother's side. But the truth is, at the end of the day you need endless love and prayers. Presence of relatives and friends when in pain helps immensely, whether it is the new beginning of your life or the twilight .

Every now and then I come across the terminology 'role reversal'.. this time it was my turn to experience it. Yes, it feels terrible when you have to pacify and scold a seventy two year old who does not want to eat, does not want to stay in the hospital and listen to the doctor, crying inconsolably as the umpteen number of tubes and needles puncture his body causing him discomfiture. You feel helpless. That is the moment when you go back in time and try to remember the parent that he was, and the way he would make you see reason when you behaved adamantly. You want to remember those words and tactics that he as a father used to make you understand the rationale behind his decision. You actually try to be the parent to this child who was once your parent. 

Life is tough when situations go beyond your control and the complexity of the situation makes you feel helpless. The whole world seems wrong when you have the will but not the way to come out of the situation. Though you end up as a great fighter more often that not but the stress that accompanies such a fierce battle is very trying. Breaks you completely. The most negative outcome when dealing with the unknown is loss of trust and confidence. There cannot be anything worse than losing faith in your doctor. The fear shows in your face clearly and you fail to convince the patient that everything is alright. What more!  you lose sleep.

I have always believed that the best motivator is you yourself. No one in this world can motivate me other than me. I can go to some great spiritual guru or therapist or even a counsellor but the 'me' within knows the best how to motivate myself and come out of a situation with flying colours. There have been situations in my life when I have weeped for hours feeling humiliated and embarrassed by my failures, failure at coping with certain challenges but then it has been me , only me who has finally comforted myself, stopped crying and picked up the threads of life and tackled those negativities.

Well, life goes on.....

Saturday, January 11, 2014


You could be a star, a celeb, a business tycoon or whatever but when it comes to comfort food it is probably the simplest of things that you would want to be served, indulge in with closed eyes remembering your childhood, actually the food that you grew up with. Especially, when depression, melancholy or ill-health strikes you, all you need is that small portion of your favourite comfort food, which could be khichuri(khichdi), jam bread, chicken stew or icecream or even the roadside food like egg roll or alur chop and yes, also that two-minute wonder food, maggi. 

Just read, Mahanayika Suchitra Sen wants to have phuchka (paani puri). She is very ill, 82 years old, in severe respiratory distress, is hardly eating anything but when Mamata Banerjee asked her , she said, she would like to have a few phuchkas. See !! Comfort food really blunts all kinds of negative feelings. Elevates the mood as well as our physiology. Do not forget this is the food that your mother made when you felt litle down , had fever or loss of appetite. 

I think, we develop this craving for 'comfort' food mostly while going through a rough phase in our life. Perhaps,  this takes us back to those times when we would throw tantrums, driving our parents nuts, refusing the vegetables or the fish that we hated to debone. Eventually, the frustrated but caring mother would get us the food we would eat without uttering a word and feel happy that the child is not hungry anymore and later eat her food aram se ..


This habit stays with us till the last day of our life and we seek comfort and security, which our mother used to provide us during challenging times in our childhood, even when we are on the verge of hitting the twilight of our life . 

A bowl of vegetable curry or the healthy soup might have been replaced with the bigger problems of life, with the various complexities but the comfort zone that we still search for is the love and care that manifests itself through the comfort food.

 Mine is very clearly deem, alu sheddho, bhaat with ghee or butter (boiled eggs and mashed potatoes with rice and ghee/butter). What is your comfort food and why ?

Image courtesy- Google


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