Category Archives: Uncategorized

Changing Times

Way back in the late 80s, when we came to live in this neighbourhood in Vikaspuri in West Delhi, there used to be rows of green patches of trees, shrubs, herbs, and flowers outside each house at ground level. Only one or two houses like ours had an additional floor.

With increasing affluence and expanding families, however, additional floors with internal parking spaces for accommodation of private vehicles were added to these houses. The green patches soon turned into concretized spaces occupied by more cars. You may wonder how these public spaces got concretized. Well, in its zeal to lay down new water pipelines, the MCD (Municipal Corporation of Delhi), a Government agency, accomplished this objective after indiscriminately clearing up all the greenery. Very much like a juggernaut. The same agency distributes free tree saplings these days. But where is the space to plant them?

Those of us who love greenery are now compelled to indulge in our passion by growing trees, flowers, vegetables, and Tulsi plants in flower pots on our balconies and terraces.

If you look again at the pic on the top clicked from my balcony with flowers and a karela (bitter gourd) jutting out, you will notice how the rows of plants stoically watch the rows of cars below them ocupying the spaces that once upon a happy time were theirs…

But things are changing again. Parking facilities and roads are insufficient. Come November 2019 and odd-even rule will be in full force. Owning a vehicle is, in fact, a big hassle these days and moving around in a Metro train or an Ola or Uber cab makes better sense.

Well, who knows, what the future holds. We can only hope that the green patches return where they were earlier without subjecting the Indian automobile industry to the kind of extreme stress that it is reeling under at present.

Or perhaps, the concrete road will remain and people will keep buying cars; but there will be a hydroponic farm on every terrace…☺️

Advertisements

Green Peanut Chutney

Today, on 15 September 2019, I made my own version of a green chutney with roasted peanuts. It was for the first time that I used roasted peanuts in a chutney and it tasted absolutely heavenly! My family loved it. Its taste was similar to that of a coconut chutney.

Before going for work, my husband Sukhangshu asked me to keep some for him for dinner. I took that as a big complement.

I wondered why I didn’t try it out earlier. It’s so simple and easy to make, far easier than coconut chutney which I make very often. Coconut chutney requires almost 10 times more effort and time. You first need to crack a coconut and keep aside its water. Then you need to extract the edible part from its shell after hitting it several times from diferent angles. Next, you have to grate the coconut. I have often injured my fingers while doing all these activities. Those days are gone now.

Here is the recipe.

Ingredients: Green coriander 50 g, curry leaves 1 tablespoon, 6 green chillies, one onion, raw peanuts half cup, amchur one teaspoon.

Method: Roast peanuts on medium flame and keep stirring to avoid burning for about a minute or two till the outer covering starts cracking and coming off. Switch off the gas and allow peanuts to cool down. Then rub them between your fingers till the outer coating comes off from all the nuts. Blow air from your mouth into the plate of peanuts and you will see that the brown flakes will all fly off.

In a mixie, add all the ingredients (peanuts, green chillies, coriander leaves, curry leaves, onion, and salt (as per taste) with about a cup of water. Grind them all into a paste. Your green chutney is ready.

Enjoy!!!

Next time, I will use roasted chana in place of peanuts and see what the chutney tastes like.

Blooming Hours

Like humans, there are many flowers which have fixed working hours. They fold their petals as soon as the sunlight disappears.

Isn’t that cute? A special effect that only Mother Nature can achieve…

See these pics below. I came across these lovely flowers while attending a training session at my new job…

In the morning…😍

In the evening…Shut for the day…Time to go home…

πŸ™‚

We humans, unfortunately, can’t always lead lives like these flowers here. Sometimes we go against Mother Nature; bloom at night under moonlight and sleep during the day while the sun is out…πŸ˜”

I Love Pumpkin, Why Don’t You?

Isn’t it tragic that in spite of being such a wonderful vegetable, pumpkin is not as popular as it deserves to be? Most people add a lot of spices while cooking it to make it more palatable.

I recently cooked pumpkin in two different ways with just the basic ingredients (salt, turmeric, mustard seeds, mustard oil, and one whole red chilli) and I was pleasantly surprised to find it so delicious! Well, that proves that food can be tasty even without too many spices.

Here are the step-by-step pics.

1. Pumpkin with Karela (bitter gourd): Pumpkin neutralizes the bitterness of Karela and the net effect is absolutely heavenly.

First chop the Karela into thin slices and soak them in salted water for about 30 minutes. Then wash them thoroughly and squeeze excess water from them. Deep fry these karela pieces in small batches in hot, smoking mustard oil till they turn light brown. Keep them aside in a plate.

Next, keep only 2 tablespoonfuls of mustard oil in Karachi and pour out the remaining hot muatard oil in a utensil. Heat the Karachi again and add 2 teaspoons of mustard seeds and one whole red chilli. Once spluttering starts, add chopped pumpkin, turmeric, and salt as per taste.

Once the pumpkin becomes a bit soft, add the fried karela pieces and put a cover after lowering the gas flame. This will prevent burning.

Keep checking every 2 minutes till the vegetables are tender without becoming mushy.

Your pumpkin-karela dish is ready. Bon Appetit!

2. Grated Pumpkin

Here, the method is same as above, except that this time you use the grated pumpkin.

Sprouts Salad

Courtesy photo: Suroshri Chatterjee

My daughter works these days in the night shift. The food I cook daily doesn’t always suit her, as she needs to eat things that keep her active and fresh during her working hours.

Last week, she made a sprouts salad for herself and she left behind some for me too. I found it extremely delicious. See its photo on top.

I had it for myself again for breakfast on the following day. I did not feel bloated, like I generally do whenever I eat sprouts. By lunch time, I was hungrier than usual!

It is commonly believed these days that fruits and vegetables must never be eaten together, but this particular sprouts salad that I am going to tell you more about now has both of them. It is healthy, light, nutritious, easy to make; doesn’t take much time.

Ingredients: one Apple, one pear, one cucumber, one small onion (optional), a small cup each of boiled sweet corn and sprouts, juice of one lemon, salt and chaat/raita masala/or any masala as per your taste.

Method: Chop the apple, pear, cucumber, and onion. Add sweet corn, sprouts, lemon juice, salt and raita masala. Mix well. Your sprouts salad is now ready.

Simple, isn’t it?

Enjoy! Bon Appetit!