Wednesday, September 27, 2006

First Female Space Tourist

I came across this very interesting blog from Anousheh Ansari, the first female space tourist. She is currently in space and her diary of life in a space station makes for an enlightening as well as a very entertaining read. She talks about simple things that are a whole other story in zero-gravity - things like eating, shampooing, brushing teeth etc. Click here to visit her blog.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Methiwale Kabuli Chhole

I'm not too fond of chhole but a recipe posted by Hemant Trivedi caught my eye. It was a Rajasthani style chhole with fenugreek leaves. I had to try it. The recipe can be found here. The changes I made to the original recipe - used tomato puree instead of fresh tomatoes and kasuri methi instead of fresh methi leaves. The end result was still very good. This recipe does not use onions or garlic. Could not believe how yummy it turned out!

Monday, September 18, 2006

Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna - My Review

An unconventional storyline that had great potential to be a good movie but turns out to be mediocre at best. It deals with infidelity - with SRK playing a bitter, insecure husband whose wife is doing better than him career-wise and Rani Mukherjee who is dissatisfied with her life (for reasons not really clear) with a near-ideal husband, played by Abhishek Bachchan. The movie has some funny moments and some poignant ones. I loved that Kiron Kher, playing SRK's mother, is portrayed neither as a clingy mom nor a nasty mom-in-law. Instead she is sensible & dignified. She is like a mother to her daughter-in-law & chooses to live with her in the end. Loved that! What got my goat was the way SRK's character tries to justify the infidelity saying that Rani was the "one true love" of his life that he happened to meet after being married for 7 (or so) years to someone else. And in true Bollywood fashion, you have Preity Zinta, the wife, telling Rani Mukherjee to "go get your love"! A bit more realism would have made this movie a classic. It's still worth a dekko though because of the gutsy subject.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Matvadi Palya

Thought I will give my mom a break from the kitchen and decided to make dinner yesterday. On the menu was anna (rice), saaru (thinner version of sambar), tawa rotis and matvadi palya. Palya is Kannada for dry bhaji. Not sure what Matvadi means or where the word came from because it does not sound Kannada to me. This is a really yummy bhaji usually made with either boiled gorikaayi (gowar/cluster beans) or chopped methi leaves. Traditionally, it is made with soaked and ground chana dal but I made this with besan flour instead.


3 bunches of methi leaves (washed and chopped)
2 cups besan/gram flour
1 1/2 cups water
1 tsp lemon/lime juice
5-6 curry leaves
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
pinch of asafoetida
5 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp red chilly powder
salt to taste


In a bowl, mix the methi leaves and besan with water. Add salt and the red chilly powder. The consistency should be that of idli dough. Keep aside.

Heat oil in a kadai (note that this requires more oil than normally used for tadka) and add mustard seeds, turmeric powder and asafoetida. Once the seeds splutter, add the kadi patta and the methi/besan mixture. Turn the heat to medium low and keep stirring till the mixture, which would initially be a big lump, breaks down (kinda like egg burji). Sprinkle some more water if it looks dry. Add the lemon/lime juice. And it's done!

This goes well with rotis/chappatis. I can just eat this just by itself!

I apologize for the poor quality of the pictures. Not sure if it is the camera or my lack of photography skills. Probably a bit of both!

Friday, September 08, 2006

Apple Gojju - Apples in Tangy sauce

Apple Gojju

Gojjus are tangy and spicy curries with a hint of sweetness thrown in, to balance the sourness. They generally have a masala of coconut, tamarind and jaggery. But this apple gojju is without coconut and is quick too. Here is the recipe.


3 Apples (peeled and cubed)
1/2 Tsp Mustard Seeds
1/4 Tsp Methi Seeds
A pinch of Asafoetida
5-6 Curry Leaves
1 Tsp Saaru Pudi/Rasam Powder
1/2 Tsp Tamarind concentrate, dissolved in 1/4 cup water
2 tsp shredded Jaggery
1 cup Water
Salt to taste
1 Tbsp Oil


Heat oil in a kadai. Add mustard seeds, methi seeds and the asafoetida. Once the seeds splutter, add the diced apples and curry leaves and fry for 2-3 minutes. Then add the rest of the ingredients including water. Mix well. Cover and cook on low for about 20-25 minutes, until the apples are cooked through and the gravy is thickened. Taste to adjust the heat-sour-sweet balance and adjust accordigly. Apple gojju is done! It's that simple.

You can use any kind of apples for this. Granny Smith apples are especially nice because of their innate tartness. Rasam powder can be replaced with 3-4 dried red chilles added to the tadka. This gojju goes well with both rice as well as rotis.