Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Chocolate and Coffee Banana Loaf/ Cake

I found this recipe in a Vegan Site. The lady has simple recipes explained  and she also has videos of most of the recipes in her site.
I am slowly turning into a Vegan though  I am still not 100% Vegan, for it takes time. However as much as possible I cook only Vegan food.
Here are the pictures of my recent cake, I only added some Walnuts and some instant coffee  to the recipe, as I like the crunchy taste of Walnuts, which are also very good for brain health.

Just out of the Oven

 For the recipe go to:http://www.mrishtanna.com/2017/…/chocolate-banana-loaf-cake/

Enjoy the cake with Hot Coffee or

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Halwa Poori and what not.......

Pooris come with many yummy combinations. In some states in India it is served with Geela/ rasdar Potato bahji with tomatoes and peas in, some places they serve it with semi dry potato bahji like in West Bengal or they are even crazy about potato Posto and Allo dhum and they serve poories or luchies, as t is known in Bengal, with these combinations. Below is the picture of Allo Posto a poppy seed paste slightly dry gravy curry of Bengal

Come to Maharashtra, you would find people loving it with different kinds of Srikands, mango, cardamom, saffron, pista you name it you have it. (No  pictures)

Come down south, in states like Karnataka, you would find it being served with Pallaya, a kind of mild kurma kind of concoction, and also it would come with some green mint or coriander chutney as extras. (I don't have pictures of the Karnataka style Poori Bhaji)

 Further down, when you come to Tamil Nadu, you would find the best Poori Masala, the aroma wafting through the packet (if you plan to pack it) which is made of Banana leaves, oofh, you won't even have the patience to wait to get home to gobble it down, it is that yummy!
The masala is nothing but the potato masala filling  of Masala Dosa, if you ask me which is best combination, I would give Poori Masala of TN the number 1 position.
Our very own Poori Masala of TN

Okay , now there  is another version also, which Halwa Poori, which is usually made in North Indian for some Pooja, and this is given as a prasad to young girls. This combo too is quite yummy.
It is not just poori and halwa it is also comes along with some yummy dry channa baaji.
I read this somewhere in FB, "Nani ke ghar jayenge! Halwa poori khayenge!! Mote hoke aayenge!!!", and immediately I was reminded of the days long ago, when I was young, our North Indian neighbors used to call me for their special pooja and serve me and my other friends this as prasad.
Sadly, now neither do I have any Nannies (grandmas) alive, nor can I afford to be more moti, but since I had to relive those moments from the past, I decided to make this combo today.
Of course, past is past one cannot recreate it however much we try, but still......no harm in trying to recreate as much as possible.

The Punjabi's also love the combo of  Kadhu Wala Poori, (yellow pumpkin) here is the picture:
And their favorite is also Channa with Poori:
BTW all these dishes were made by me sometime or other.

Seeing all these pictures I am sure many of you are feeling really crazy with hunger, my choice as stated above  is Poori Masala anytime, what is your choice?

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Mother's Day Special!

Today, again, I am left with only memories of my mother. It has been almost 24 years since my mother passed away. Last year in December, I lost my father too at the ripe age of 94. Two lovely people, who loved us unconditionally. If you have been following my blogs I am sure you must have read many stories and anecdotes, about my mother and my father. I don't want to repeat myself again. Memories are always there, but during such special days, they come out as if some dam has been broken, and they just tumble out relentlessly.

Keeping my thoughts to myself, I just share this with all of you

My mother wore this beautiful saree for my wedding. It was actually a nine yard saree. She always loved green and red combination, she even had a beautiful green and red Mysore silk saree too. After she passed away, each of us took a few sarees of hers. I took this saree as I knew she loved it very much. It had worn out in some places so I made it into a 6 yards saree.

How I wish there was a clear picture of this saree worn by her during my wedding.

Whenever I wear it, I feel as if I am enveloped with her extraordinary love for life, and her zest of enjoying every bit of life. She didn't have great desires, only small ones, and little things were enough to make her feel very happy and blessed. Despite going through many ups and downs in her life she was never grumpy, for her cheerful nature and her beautiful smile never left her.

Mother's Day Special!!

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Some Good Hindi, and Tamil Short Films

Recently while I was watching some cookery shows in Youtube, I happened to accidently  come  across, some really interesting Short stories filmed with some known as well as some unknown actors, with good directors, with the duration of each film being from 8 mins. to 15 to 30 mins.
Some were from well known authors too. I have become totally hooked to these short, very profound movies.
I really missed the old Hindi serials which were aired in DD years ago.  In those days they didn't have such crazy Saas Bahu  serials with every character being very wicked and scheming, with everybody wearing designer blouses and sarees with heavy costume jewellery etc.
The stories used to be very simple and with lot of food for thought, we would be led to ponder over the story in depth for a long time. Mostly they were stories written by famous Hindi novelists. The actors were dressed in a simple manner, and they also acted very well. Some short stories of Tolstoy and other Russian authors too were made into short films. They were so good, intellectually stimulating.
 Then came the invasion of our television,  with serials made by the likes of people like Ekta Kapoor, and others followed her style : they were called Soap Operas likes the ones that had people hooked to them all over America.  I too was a big fan of Bold and The Beautiful and Santa Barbara.The B&B  is still running and Santa Barbara ended years ago. They had stopped airing B&B, and though one can still watch it in the net,  it has become very boring, with the actors becoming quite old, and their children continuing in the same path.
My TV watching has been cut down to just some travel, cookery, and some repeats of comedy serials like, Friends, Seinfeld, and Frasier. Somehow I never get tired of watching these comedies, and now they have stopped Frasier, and Seinfeld, really sad.  

Coming back to the present, I was thrilled to see some sensible type of films that didn't all of your time: it was such a relief!
I am posting some links to two short film which  I am sure you all would really love watch: they are short Hindi movie, but you can watch also many Tamil, Malayalam, Bengali, Telugu movies too, most of them come with sub-titles in English. All of them are award winning short movies.

Here are the links for you:https://youtu.be/ZmVPCnxN-1A


Everyday, I watch a few of them in all languages, and I am very happy to share them with all of you.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Message In A Bottle: a beautiful movie

I happened to see this movie once again when it was today on TV.
It is such a feel good movie, although the ending was really sad and very moving.
It  is a very simple story : A woman finds a bottle washed ashore with a message in it and it interests her so much, that she decides to find the man, and finds him too.
She goes to the place where he lives and finds out that he is ship builder who had lost his wife under very tragic circumstances. He loves his wife, who is no more so much that,he cannot think of moving on in his life. He is stuck with her memories.
When this lady from Chicago comes to meet him, there is mutual spark between them, and they both fall in love with each other. However, when taking a decision, he backs to because his love for his wife pulls him away.
The lady from Chicago goes away, for she could understand his feelings for his dead wife.
Few months later, he decides to tear himself from the past, and sails into the future with lots of hope and love. He sails in his new boat to windy Chicago to start a new life with his new love, but unfortunately, he dies saving somebody from drowning.
The actors Kevin Costner, Robin Wright, and Paul Newman, did their job brilliantly. What I like about these English movies is that there is no high pitched drama, one can feel each of the character's emotion fully.  One can feel it as if one is actually going through the pain, the love, the helplessness, the dilemma. It was really a very touching movie.
Most stories  written by Nicholas Sparks, have such sad endings, at least the ones I have seen.
The Notebook, Nights In Rodanthe,  and many others written by him are really heart wrenching

Sometimes it is so difficult to let go the past, some people do get over their past and move on to new happiness, but there are those for whom it  is simply not possible.
I have an aunt (actually she is my husband's aunt), who lost her husband after being married to him for 44 years. They had 3 children and were very happy together. My uncle had lots of health issues as he grew older, but still he asked her to lead her life the way she always did, and never bugged her to stay constantly looking after him. He told her that it is enough  for one person to be sick, it is necessary for both of them to be sick. He was a wonderful person.
One day he died, and our aunt felt totally alone with no one to share her thoughts  with. Two years passed by, when one day she met a man who was a retired Naval Commodore, and a widower. They met through common friends regarding some transactions. Slowly they started communicating with each  other more often, till one day he proposed and really shocked her.
He  also had two married daughters with children, and he was also lonely  without his wife, whom he had lost when he was very young. With some persuasion, my aunt finally said  yes to him, not without lot of hiccups from her children and some narrow minded relatives.
To make a long story short , she did marry him, and found love again in her life, and he too found happiness after many years of living alone.
Our aunt was a trend setter. She was 67 years old when she got married again, to a man of the same age.
They are happily married and it is going  to be almost 8 years now. The children also came around and everybody is happy, that two good people had found love again.
How many people can find true love twice in their lives : these people found it and surely, we all feel so happy for them.
And I am sure their respective spouses too feel happy watching the loves of their lives happy again.
In this new year (for many it is new year now in India), let us let go of the past, every aspect of it, and open our arms to new happiness and new life with new meaning.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Cravings for things that could not be had......

Few days back I was having some roasted cashew nuts, and my mind immediately travelled  back to the days when having such roasted nuts was unthinkable. I want to take you all with me down the memory lane.
I was very young, maybe around 5/6 years old
Those days we used to go to theaters to watch  some movies, once in a while. My sisters and my brother and myself, we used to be very happy and excited  with such  outings. Now during Interval, it was normal for most people to indulge  in buying some potato chips, ice cream, samosas, cool drinks like coke, fanta etc from the vendors who would come along with their wares tempting everybody.
At those times , it was natural for us too to expect  our parents to buy us  at least one  or two things. But alas, my parents could not afford to waste hard earned money on such junk food, and my mother would pinch me if I made a scene there. She would say, she would make chips at home and we can all have as much as we wanted.
However, the aroma of samosas, potato chips wafting from almost everywhere, used to be too unbearable, and suddenly I being the youngest in the family would feel very, very hungry. I would wish I was  born in a family where people can freely buy whatever they wanted without any restrictions. When I used to look at other kids enjoying their pop corns, colas and what not, I really used to envy them. The fun of watching a movie munching something constantly, somehow was never possible.
Then there would times like lunch time in school, where rich kids would have servants coming with their lunch, with napkins spread  out, their plates laid out and feeding them hot food, and these kids would be given cold homemade juice from the flask, and I would have to just eat by myself from the tiffin box some curd rice and drink ordinary water from the school tap in the hot weather. I used to wonder whether I would ever be able to have the life the other rich kids had.
 Then there was another time I remember, my mom had taken me shopping with some of her friends in Guwahati, I don't exactly remember the name of the Bazaar, it must have been Fancy Bazaar.
 We entered a shop selling ready made garments, my mom and her friends started looking at various dresses/ shirts, discussing between themselves, about the high rates that were mentioned on each  item.
I was alone looking, at the various colorful frocks attractively displayed inside the showcases, some pinned on the shop's wall, when a beautiful frock caught my attention. It had  brown and mustard print all over  it, and  it was a kind  of low hip kind of frock, that was in fashion those days.
I immediately, pulled my mom and showed her that frock and asked her to buy it for  me. My mom also liked the frock very much, and she asked the shopkeeper the price for the frock. When she heard the price she was shocked, for it was too much, she tried her best bargaining skills to get him to lower the price a little, but he would not budge, so my mom had  to leave the shop without buying that beautiful frock for me.
I was so sad, I can still remember,crying  uncontrollably all the way to our home, nothing my mom said could pacify me.
Now when I think back, I feel bad for the way I felt at that time. My parents gave us everything without any hesitation, but still being very young, I suppose I felt, that they didn't do enough or were not in a position to satisfy every wish of ours.
As I grew older, I could  fully understand, how difficult  it was for them and really appreciated them, for all they had done which was within their means.
Now, years later, I can buy as many potato wafers,  ice creams, as many bottles of Fanta, Coke and roasted cashew nuts etc.but  the experience  of  having them  inside a cinema hall has somehow been lost. Although, now too, we can do that, but somehow it does not feel the same.
I am sure many of you would be able to relate my random and very silly experiences

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

“I believe the world is incomprehensibly beautiful — an endless prospect of magic and wonder.” — Ansel Adams

It has been ages since I blogged. Various events kept me busy for sometime, and later, I became a bit lethargic, and at some point I even thought I would never start blogging at all.

However, today, I felt I could at least start by posting some pictures taken by me from our balcony: for I have to start somewhere isn't it?

As I saw the beautiful sunset from our balcony, I saw other interesting things to photograph too, like that lone crow sitting on top of our water tank deep in thought, the beautiful pink and white bougainvillea, bursting with joy,  the purple/ blue Jacaranda looking so beautiful, swaying in the mild evening breeze, the beautiful tall tree hiding the setting sun, the clouds slowly moving towards the sun waiting for it say goodnight to this part of the world, a single bird flying to back to its nest........

Nature at its best!!