In Eating Out, Travel on October 2, 2013 at 11:53 pm
Yesterday it was TH’s big 50th birthday and we had a small family get-together. I had hoped we would go out but my family (primarily my parents and sister) resist going to fancy restaurants and spending good money. The maid chose this very day to play hookie, so I decided to keep it relatively simple with some of V’s favourite dishes. The son, now a young man, handled the bar. Most of the munchies were store-bought; only I ate the blue-cheese crackers I had laboured over. To think I went to the trouble when I had so much else to do!
There had to be a cake to mark the milestone, and I baked the Lime Chiffon Cake and gave it a fudge frosting. For dinner there was Hyderabadi Qabooli with tatziki, and also poori-bhaji. Those who had room for dessert got kheer. When everyone had left, we sat chatting with the son into the early hours of the morning.
In This and That, Travel on September 14, 2013 at 10:28 pm
What a Summer! In a city where Summer is the longest season, this year it seems to have gone by in a blur. The highlights of this season were extended visits from family members living abroad.
First, May through June, it was TH’s brother and kids (we missed you, Aparna!). Despite the heat, and with help in the kitchen (yes, Kumari is back!), I spent a fair amount of time in the kitchen. There were old family favourites: poori-bhaji, Punjabi chhole, rajma, dal makhni, idli-sambar, besan-parothe, and newer ones like gavar with kaley vataney, and my original and disarmingly simple, pumpkin kootu. We partied a lot and I introduced the brother-in-law to my peanut sambal, fresh salsa, and roti-chips. When cooking got too much, we trooped out for food nostalgia to Karnataka Sangha for tiffin, and to Bercos for Indian-Chinese. Nathu’s chhole bhature (Bengali Market) have fallen from grace; Bikanerwala is the ‘new’ find.
The family drove up to Ramgarh for a short break. They (I stayed back to house-sit) spent two lazy days at a cottage there feasting their eyes on the peach and apricot-laden trees. It was only natural that they bring back boxes-full! The peaches were ripe and juicy and needed to be consumed right away. I made a huge batch of jam. If only I had thought of freezing some like Manisha did! Yet, in the end, I hardly had any left; it was all picked up by family and friends! I hope you are all enjoying it! The children also got their fill of aloo paranthas for breakfast at the cottage and at highway dhabas.
In Low Fat, Under 30 min!, Vegetables, Vegetarian on June 22, 2013 at 8:47 pm
Hot and Humid.
But the early onset of Monsoons this year brought relief to some and tragedy to many. Engineers (and politicians) will have us believe we can control Nature, twist, throttle, and contort it every which way, without any consequence. Nature, then, has no choice but to show us what she is capable of. Last week, just two days of incessant rains laid waste to much of Uttarakhand, the new state that was carved out of the hill districts of Uttar Pradesh in 2000. The rivers Mandakini and Ganga reclaimed their banks with incredible force. My parents were also amongst the many stranded in the state. They were lucky to not have ventured further up beyond Uttarkashi, though Uttarkashi itself witnessed hundreds of buildings being swept away into the Ganga. Sensibly, they decided to stay put in the safety of the ashram they were at, and waited for the rush of people to clear. I was myself scheduled to be in the upper reaches (Bhimtal-Pithoragarh) at that very time for work but the unavailability of train tickets for our team meant we must reschedule the visit. The official meeting at Dehradoon on Monday happened as scheduled while the magnitude of the disaster was still being uncovered.