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Friday, October 21, 2011

In memory of Jayasree Satish: Soya-Vaangi Bhath

"Perhaps they are not stars, but rather openings in heaven where the love of our lost ones pours through and shines down upon us to let us know they are happy." ~ Eskimo Proverb 

Image: Lata Raja
It was a dim Wednesday morning on October 12th when things were quiet.Then, Bang! I read the status message on Lataji's FB profile. I almost wanted to cry. How can somebody vanish into thin air, just like that. A fun-loving, warm and ever-smiling person is no more. She is Jayasree Satish who blogged at "Experiments in Kailas Kitchen". Her blog was full of lively conversations, sharing some snippets of life around her and featured traditional recipes. For people away home, it felt like home.

I am still in disbelief. Is Life so short and unpredictable?

It was on September 3rd she 'liked' Cooking With Siri page and within a month's time, she is gone. I just wish, I can go back in time and pray for her good health, get her back.

Soya-Vaangi Bhath

My condolences to her family and hope God give them enough strength to get through this tragic time.

In an effort to keep this amazing woman in our memories, the food blogger community gave a shout out to cook Jayashree's recipes, with no modifications whatsoever.

I made some Soya-Vaangi Bhath. Click here for the recipe.

Soya-Vaangi Bhath

People do not die for us immediately, but remain bathed in a sort of aura of life which bears no relation to true immortality but through which they continue to occupy our thoughts in the same way as when they were alive.  It is as though they were traveling abroad.  ~ Marcel Proust

R.I.P Jayasree.


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Monday, October 10, 2011

Soft Scrambled Eggs at {The Beach Cafe by Lucy Diamond}

 "Community is all about living with each other and for each other!". That's the feeling that stays with you, as you finishing the book - "The Beach Cafe" by Lucy Diamond, chosen by our virtual book club for the month of September. It is a delightful read which will brighten your day instantly. It certainly did for me. Within 24 hours and I was done reading it. Trust me, it doesn't happen , very often.



The story is about Evie Flynn, who has always been the black sheep of her family - a dreamer and a drifter, unlike her over-achieving two elder sisters - Ruth and Louise. Then there is a boring,  IT software guy Matthew as her boyfriend, who loves his spreadsheets more than anything else. Evie, who did a masters degree in drama is a jack of all traits - an aspiring actress, a passionate photographer and a singer. But, nothing ever worked out for her. Now, she is stuck in a humdrum life, dabbling between various temp jobs as she waits for her admission to join her teacher course, which she agreed to do after a lot of persuasion from her family.

Evie's life literally takes a U turn when her beloved aunt Jo dies suddenly in a car accident, leaving Evie an unusual legacy - Jo's precious beach cafe is a remote village in Cornwall, far off from her buzzing Oxford life. After a lot of deliberation whether to sell it or not and tired of her sexist boss and breaking up with her tame boyfriend - she heads off to Cornwall, determined to make a life out of one thing(cafe) which is completely hers. Quite unexpectedly she gets more than she bargained for - in terms of earning respect within her own family, friends, work and of course meeting the 'love of her life' - Ed.

It is my first Lucy Diamond's novel and honestly speaking, it was quite hard to put it down. Evie, her protagonist in the novel is a lovable character with her own flaws & imperfections. Don't we all have those moments when life throws a curve ball at us. It all depends how we overcome those difficulties and learn something valuable out of such experiences. Coming back to the book, Lucy writing style, though very much British is easy on the eyes and very much enjoyable. I must admit, it is quite a long read - 484 pages. and Evie reaches Cornwall by 200th page or so. 100 pages less, it would have been perfect. Having said that, I would highly recommend this book because of the inherent, honest story and its endearing characters, to whom you will start relating to, right from the start. A special mention about the setting of Cornwall - the beach, the romping waves, blue waters with sun-kissed surfers ;-). There are numerous references to food, especially pasties, cakes, sandwiches and many british breakfast classics.

Speaking of breakfast, mine is always heavy on eggs and Scrambled Eggs would top the charts anyday. It is so easy to make, which so many options as add-on. Serves as an wholesome side with bread toast or just ketchup and complete it with a glass of orange juice - there, you have a perfect head start for hectic day ahead.

What's so special about today's recipe is that - these are Soft Scrambled Eggs as it has a hint of cream in it made beautifully beneath a sheen of butter. I had seen Merill make it on Food52, long time ago and finally remembered to give a try. Verdict: sneakily delicious! I don't think I will ever make my eggs scrambled any other way, ever.

Soft Scrambled Eggs


Adapted from Food52

Ingredients:

Serves 1

2 eggs
1 tbsp cream (creme fraiche or mascarporne)
salt & pepper
knob of butter


Preparation:

1. In a bowl, whisk eggs with cream, salt & pepper.

2. Heat a non-stick skillet and add butter and wait until it melts. If the egg starts to cook right away, turn the heat as low as it will go. Add the egg mixture. Using a wooden spatula or spoon, stir the eggs constantly, scraping the bottom of the pan all over in a long, continuous motion. Do this for few minutes until its little custard-looking, but not runny.

3. Serve with bread toast and/or orange juice.



Hope you all have a wonderful week ahead.

until next time,

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Ginger and Honey Iced Tea


"Better to be deprived of food for three days than tea for one.." ~ an ancient Chinese proverb

It was love at first sip. Yep, that is what I would say when I tasted iced tea at Dunkin Donuts for the first time, few years ago. Throughout my masters days in Syracuse , I would drink atleast a tall-sized fresh iced tea, with an order of toasted everything bagel w/ cream cheese & hash browns on the side, every single day! It was much later I realised how good it is to regularly drink a cuppa of green tea.



A little history about our beloved tea -

China is known as the homeland of tea. India and China are probably the first countries to cultivate tea. It is believed that tea shrubs existed in China as early as 5000-6000 years ago. Once when Emperor Shen Nung was sitting under a camellia tree, a few leaves accidentally fell into a cauldron of boiling water. The resulting fragrance tempted the Emperor to sip the brew. This is believed to be the beginning of Chinese tea culture. 

All I would say, thank god for that boiling pot of water, right under the camellia tree. Emperor Shen is one lucky, smart chap. ;-)


Now, coming back to my pitcher full of green tea and why would I make some today...:-)

It is time for free spirit blogging again and this time, it is Deepti who chose the "Cafe Casa" theme. Here is what she says -

Did you know that making the perfect cuppa is more than mixing espresso, milk and sugar in a pot. It involves shots, flavors, steamed milk et. al. In fact, I learnt recently that steaming milk is supposedly an art in itself. Something that many baristas struggle to learn and end up serving dish-washing-detergent-like foam instead of creamy milk froth on top of coffee drinks. Hmm! Lots left to learn for us, indeed!

- Pick any coffee-based drink recipe OR choose your own from anywhere else OR conjour up your own
- Share with us your inspiration for the drink, if its your own or why you choose a certain drink
- Present it the way it would be in a Coffee Shop (Think cinnamon dusting, whipped cream etc.)

Well, you see I am not much of a coffee-person at all. Every morning, it is a cup of masala tea that wakes me up, very unlike of my other family members who polish off atleast few rounds of coffee, by the time I have my breakfast. they are all coffee-lovers - both my mom & dad, sister, my in-laws and my dear husband.

Hence, I took the tea-route and conjured up a "Ginger & Honey Iced tea" for the challenge.

Most of the coffee shops typically use a simple sugar syrup for their iced teas or give you unsweetened  version & provide few sugar sachets on the side. I don't usually favor sugar-laden drinks, hence today's recipe uses honey to sweeten it up. It also has freshly grated ginger, thinly sliced cucumbers and a herby feel from mint leaves. What not to love about it. Isn't it.

Ginger and Honey Iced Tea

Adapted from Real Simple

Ingredients needed:

10 cups of filtered water
8 green tea bags
1/4 cup honey
1-2 tsp freshly grated ginger
sliced cucumbers (optional)
few sprigs of mint leaves (optional)

Credits: Teavana

1. Brew the tea. For this recipe, I chose green tea as I like the taste of it. It all starts with boiling the water and then drop green tea bags into it. Let it seep it for 3-4 minutes. Beware, don't let it stand for more time as it will develop a bitter taste. Follow the chart brewing chart above.

Let it cool to room temperature.

2. Meanwhile grate the ginger and add to brewed tea along with about 1/4 cup of honey. Add more or less honey, based on how sweet you want your iced tea to be. Keep stirring, so that honey is evenly mixed into the water.

3. Add sliced cucumbers and mint leaves.

4. Refrigerate it for few hours and Serve over ice cubes.



It is unbelievably hot during afternoons in Bangalore these days, hence this was a perfect drink to cool the temperatures down, a bit. Just loved it and am having some more as I type this post.

Chao for now and until next time,

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Black and White Wednesday: Booze

 Most of the times....

“Booze may not be the answer, but it helps you to forget the question” ~ Henry Mon



Posted for Susan's Black & White Wednesdays.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Sweet Corn Sundal | Navratri Vrat | Dussehra Fasting Recipes

9 days of Navratri is synonymous to umpteen number of delicious sundals that are made in south india. From Chickpeas to Rajma to Moong dal, almost anything can be used in a sundal.

I have made some Sweet Corn Sundal for you all today. It is very simple to make, nutritious and a perfect way to break your Navratri fast. the sweetness from the corn with tempering and zing from lemon juice make it irresistibly tasty, perfect for breakfast or a mid-day snack.

Sweet Corn Sundal


Ingredients:

2 cups sweet corn kernels
2 green chillies, very finely sliced
juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 tbsp oil
few curry leaves
1/2 tsp minced ginger
a pinch of asafoetida (hing)
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
salt - to taste

Preparation:

1. Place the corn kernels in a microwave bowl, sprinkle some water on the top and microwave for 3-4 minutes.

2. Heat oil in a pan and add mustard & hing. Once they start to pop, add ginger, green chillies and curry leaves. Sauce for a minute. Finally add corn. Mix well and cook for few minutes. Season with salt.

3. Turn off the heat and add lemon juice to the sundal. Serve. Optionally, you can sprinkle some grated coconut as well.



Hope you all are having a wonderful time with friends & family during this auspicious Navratri. :-)

Other recipes that can be enjoyed for Navratri -

Chickpea Sundal
Jeera Aloo
Fool-proof recipe for Sabudana Khichdi
Methi Pulao with Mixed Vegetable Korma 
Fried Cauliflower
2 minute Pineapple Dessert

until next time,



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