Kadai Vegetable with Chapati

IMG_3651Hi friends! Hasn’t it been a while now since I posted a recipe? So, here you go. On a Sunday, sometimes I try making something different from our routine South Indian food. One of the Sundays I decided to make Chapati and Bhaji. Whenever I make North Indian side dishes for Chapati on Sundays, it is generally Paneer. This time, however, I wanted to try making something else and I found different veggies as well lying in the refrigerator. What more do you need? I decided to make Kadai Vegetable. I browsed on the net for a recipe and found one on Veg Recipes of India. I took the basic recipe from that page, but then, I did variations as per my taste.

Ingredients

For the Dry Masala Powder

1 tbsp. Coriander Seeds

½ tbsp. Jeera

1 inch piece of Cinnamon

3 Cardamoms

2 Cloves

4-5 Black Peppers

 

For the Wet Masala

2-3 Onions -roughly chopped

2-3 garlic Cloves

2-3 Dry Red Chillies

2 Green chillies (slit)

1 tbsp. Kasuri Methi

1 tsp. Turmeric Powder

1 tsp Saunf

Other Ingredients

2 cups of boiled vegetables (carrot, potato, green peas, beans, cauliflower) chopped

1 Capsicum (finely chopped)

½ tsp Chili Powder

1 tsp Aamchur (dry mango powder)

1 tsp Garam Masala

Water as per requirement

Salt as per requirement

Oil as per requirement

Finely chopped Coriander Leaves for garnishing

Method

  • Boil the vegetables and keep it aside. You can use whatever vegetable you feel like.
  • Dry roast the various ingredients for the Masala Powder. Do not over roast the same. Grind it.
  • In a Pan, heat 1 tsp Oil and when it heats, add saunf and jeera.
  • Add Garlic and red chillies and fry for a minute
  • Add in the roughly chopped onions and fry until translucent
  • Add the Kasuri Methi and fry for a minute and then add in turmeric and remove from flame
  • Add in little water and let it cool
  • Grind it into a fine paste once it cools down.
  • Roughly chop the tomatoes and grind it into puree
  • In a pan with 1 tsp Oil, fry the chopped capsicum until the colour changes a bit. Empty it into another container and keep it aside
  • Now take a pan with little oil and add in the ground wet masala paste and fry until it starts giving an aroma
  • Add in the tomato puree and fry well
  • Add the chili powder, dry ground masala powder, aamchur and garam masala and bring it to boil. Add water depending on the consistency you want
  • Add salt as per your taste
  • Add in the boiled vegetables and mix well
  • Add in the fried capsicum and mix well
  • Finally garnish it with chopped Coriander Leaves and serve hot with Chapati or rice

I hope you enjoy it. Do let me know how it turns out to be.

See you soon.

Cheers!!!

PC: Mayur Sarma

My Review on “Watermelon” by Marian Keyes

war=termelonHey friends! It feels good to be back blogging after a long time. Finally, I can sit near the window, with the laptop thinking about what to write, with breeze pushing my hair all over my face. It really feels amazing to sit and write on a super breezy monsoon evening. After such a long time, you can enjoy the weather without sweating. With the heat reaching new heights this year, I could do nothing I love, be it reading, be it writing. It took me about 2 months to finish this book, Watermelon. Yeah, it is one of my ways of justifying my laziness… So, this post is about the review of this book.

Watermelon is a funny book. It tickles your bones to the core. This is the first book of the author I ever tried reading, but believe me, I enjoyed it. It is a story about Claire. She has just given birth to the beautiful baby girl and her husband announces that he’s leaving her as he has been having an affair with a lady called Denise from their building. She is all heart broken and she decides to leave London and heads to Dublin where her parents and sisters live. In the beginning, she is all heart broken and depressed. She keeps to herself and her room. She is bribing her sisters to get drinks for her. She is always sprawling on her bed and crying over what happened to her.

Her dad walks into her room one day and advises her to hold herself together and come out of it. That is when she realises how stupid she has been, all the while. She decides to help herself and come out of it. She starts going out. She enjoys shopping with her baby. She starts going out more often, sometimes alone, when her mom minds her child Kate for her.

Enter sister’s classmate Adam!! She fantasizes him, though he is about 5 years younger than her. He also has a soft corner for her. They start meeting at Cafes and the Gym. He feels guilty about it, but then she realises that she is not having any affair but just enjoying, unlike her husband James. When things between her and Adams is turning out to be much more than just fantasies, James comes to Dublin. He wants Claire back in his life.

Does he genuinely want her or is it something more to it? What conditions does he strap her with, to get her back to him!

To know more about it, you must read this book. It is hilarious beyond belief.  I was reading the book for so long that I wanted to quit reading it at one point, but I am glad I did not do that. It is a big book with about 600 odd pages, but if you are free and can afford to read about 2-3 hours daily, you will be able to finish it by 4-5 days.

I hope you guys enjoy reading this funny book.

Cheers!!!

My Visit to Elephanta Caves

20170315_115636Hey friends! Summer here, is keeping everyone on toes. I hope it is doing the same for you. It has been quite some time since I blogged last. I know, I need to get more disciplined. So, here I am today, though it is a Sunday and I’ve been doing lots of things today. As the title itself suggests, I am writing about my visit to Elephanta Caves. Elephanta Caves are a group of caves located on the Elephanta Island or Gharapuri (as it is popularly known as) located in the Mumbai Harbour, about 10 kms away from Mumbai city. When you live in Mumbai, you obviously get to know about the Elephanta caves. Similarly, I also learnt of these caves long ago, but somehow, I couldn’t go there. Recently in March, when our relatives came from abroad, as a Guide I accompanied them (I know it is hilarious that I went there as a Guide without even knowing where it is).

Before going there, I did a quick research. I came to know that you need to take a ferry from the Gateway of India to reach the Elephanta Island. Then, you need to climb 120 steps to reach the caves. Reading the sentence which said you need to climb 120 steps made me dizzy. I am so unfit that I pant if I walk uphill in our area.  I gathered courage and decided that I will do it come what may!

The day of us going arrived. The previous day was very tiring for all of us as we had guests over for lunch and dinner at home. I somehow managed to get up and shower on time. We had decided to leave by 9 am. We left by 9.30 to be specific. We reached Gateway and there were guys standing with receipt books for the ferry ride. To be specific, the Ferry ride was priced at 180 per person. We were four of us.  We took the tickets and left for our ride. We were ushered into Ferry at around 10 am. We had to wait for a long time for the ferry to begin its journey towards the Elephanta Island. It was a one-and-a-half-hour journey. We reached the Island at about 12 noon. One thing you must keep in mind when you’re going to this place is that you must be ready to walk a lot. Once you get off the ferry, there is a pathway to get to the steps (yes, it is the same 120 steps). You can take a toy train instead of walking. However, it is for a very short distance. We decided to walk.

20170315_120545We walked for a long time and then, reached the deadly 120 steps. It seemed very deadly to me, one because I was too exhausted from the previous day and second because it was peak noon and too hot. There is a tarpaulin covering over the stairways, but believe me, it was super- hot. We panted all the way (at least I panted). We managed to reach the top and I was celebrating quietly as I seriously did not believe that I would make it.

After reaching the top, you need to buy the tickets for the Caves. Since I went with my relatives from abroad, I was the only Indian. The tickets were ridiculously priced. It was 30 Rupees per person for Indians and 500 Rupees per person for foreigners. We bought the tickets and made our way to the Caves. According to what I learnt there, there are 7 caves on the island. The first cave is supposed to be very famous as the main Shiva statue was being worshipped there way before Portuguese rule. It was beautiful. It was worth the 120 steps I thought. However, what made me sad was the fact that the maintenance of the same was miserable. We have such beautiful and pretty structures, but unfortunately for us, we don’t know how to maintain or I’d rather say, we are too careless about it.

After the first cave, we visited the second one. It was generally fine, but not as appealing as the first one. There were empty places in the caves. It was very apparent that the statues have been removed from there long ago. Also, the carvings and statues which were present were damaged. It is a sad sate for us. After seeing the third and the fourth cave, we didn’t want to go any further as there wasn’t much to see. We ended our trip with the fourth cave.

There were a lot of monkeys on the Island. They were literally snatching water bottles from the visitors. Thankfully for us, one of the guys there, warned us against carrying a water bottle in our hands. We were truly grateful to that guy. We captured a few pictures of the monkey drinking water from the bottle like a human being.

We walked down the stairs and this time, we hopped into the toy train instead of walking the pathway to reach the ferry. Our return journey to Gateway was very interesting as we met a couple of foreigners and it was fun to hear the children talk.

Overall it was a good trip. Except for the first cave which was magnificent, there was nothing much to see, but, it was an experience by itself. Where else would you get to go on a ferry and climb 120 steps. I’m sure you wouldn’t. You should give it a try.

This was my personal experience. However, you would probably have a different view from that of mine once you visit it. So why hesitate. Put on your shoes and just head straight.

See you soon!

Cheers!!!!

A New Dawn

Hello friends! As you may have noticed I was missing from my blog for a while now. Over the past few days I was busy with my short story. I was writing it for the Amazon Kindle Storytelling Contest 2017. I read about this contest sometime in April when I was in Mysore. I started off writing for the same immediately. It, however, took quite some time to streamline it and take it in a proper way.  I hope to get feedback on the same from all of you.

A New Dawn is a short story. It is not a thriller or mystery. It is just a story of Disha, the girl next door. She is very simple and down to earth homemaker. Then comes in her husband, Sameer. A normal ambitious businessman who travels a lot. Sameer’s frequent trips on business leaves Disha home alone. Is she happy with the way her life is going ahead? Or does she regret living this way?

Only time will tell! So make some time to read this short story to know this relationship of trust, love and lies as it unravels.

Follow the link given above  to download the book on Amazon.

Why are you still sitting here? Rush to read more about Disha and Sameer and how their life goes on.

Do get back to me with your feedback.

Cheers!!!

Note: The Cover Page for the book is created by Mayur Sarma 🙂

My Experience in a Public-Sector Bank

Hi friends! Hope summer is at its peak and troubling all of you equally (insert evil laugh emoji). I have been blogging more about recipes and book reviews these days. I thought it’s high time I blogged about something different. As you guys are aware, I have always shared my personal experiences which have had a lasting impact on me. So here I am today, with one such experience.

Few things are so deeply etched in your head, come what may, you will never forget it. This is one such incident which, how much ever I try I’m just not able to erase from my head. Okay, it’s not like I want to erase it. It’s just too funny. I, generally, avoid going to Public Sector Banks. It is not that I have a bias towards Private Sector banks. It is just that I have always had some sort of lethargic experience at my Public- Sector Bank. It always so happens that either the staff is too lazy to do something I ask for or they are busy in some personal conversation.

Last Thursday, I suddenly realised that I must go to my Bank, come what may, as I had some urgent work. I headed to accomplish the same along with other small things at the same bank. As I entered the bank, I had a funny feeling because all the staff members were out of their seats roaming all over the place within the Bank to my irritation. I wanted to go to my locker. So, I specifically asked for the same. They told me to wait. Then after about ten minutes, a lady started accompanying me to the locker with a lot of pit stops. She was a chatterbox (Okay, people who know me from close also know that I am a big chatterbox as well, but there is a difference between chatting non -stop when you’re free and jobless and chatting when you’re at work). Somehow, I managed to reach the locker with the pit stops and was relieved to be there, when she told my signature doesn’t match. Hmm, there was no difference whatsoever in my signature, but she went to re-check it in the system. Fine, she was doing her duty, I thought. She went all the way without asking my name. She came back with the query – Madam, what’s your name? I answered. She, then, returned with a smile saying – Your signature matches. I don’t know why, I felt it didn’t. It is all system scanned right, I think it was blurry when I saw it the first time. To which I replied with a fake smile – No problem. I finished my work and ran out of the locker room, as I didn’t want to waste my precious time in this place (I know I am being mean, but this is not the first time such a thing has happened to me).

After the locker room, I had other pending work to be done – passbook updation and cash deposit. The bank is all well equipped with machines for everything nowadays (it is just that the machines are out of order half the time). I wanted to try my luck at it. I went to the cash deposit kiosk which looked alright. I started my transaction; it went on telling me that the account number is wrong. I tried twice or thrice and gave up. I, then, moved towards the passbook updating machine. It also looked perfectly alright, but it didn’t work despite my numerous trials. I gave up and finally, went into the branch once again (sigh!).

I asked them whether their machines were out of order, to which they replied affirmatively. Hmm, the next question I asked was whether their manual cash deposit system was in place. The Manager assured me that it was. So, I went ahead and filled up the counterfoil and challan and went to cashier to hand it over, when he looked at me in shock (he looked as if I showed him a gun). He told me that their systems were down and he couldn’t help me. To which, I said – But the Manager told me that it is in place. He called the manager and said – Sir, the system is down, so how I can accept cash deposits and the Manager was like – Oh I didn’t know that (I was about to ask, aren’t you the manager, but somehow shut my mouth). Disappointed, I turned to walk away from the branch, when I saw one of the staff, who happens to be a youngster just resting on his chair (as if he is sleeping at home) just staring at me. I turned away the first time, but I could feel him staring continuously. I was like what the hell is wrong with this guy. I wanted to ask him, but, yet another time, I forced myself to shut my mouth. I just ignored the entire situation and rushed out of the bank because one thing I’ve realised is how ever hard you try, some things are never going to change, public-sector banks being one of them.

I kept thinking about what happened at the bank until I came home. I couldn’t control my laughter when I narrated the entire incident to everyone at home. That is when, Mummy (my mother – in- law) suggested that I blog about it. Why not, I thought! It would make a good experience to share, with hundreds of people.

Though I enjoyed narrating it today, I was super irritated that day. I hope you guys enjoyed reading it.

Note: I have deliberately omitted the name of the Bank for various reasons. One more thing I would like to specify here is, I am in not promoting any private sector bank over a public -sector bank. It is just my personal experience.

Cheers!!!