Monday, September 21, 2009

Once upon a time……..

kadalinakkare ponore, kaana ponninu ponore
kadalinakkare ponore, kaana ponninu ponore
poy varumbol enthu kondu varum -- kai niraye
poy varumbol enthu kondu varum
oho..ho.. oho..ho.. oho..ho.. oho..oh..

‘poyi verumbol enthu ondaaki therrum.. vayar niraye ?’…… that was the question Pareekutty asked Karuthamma as he was preparing for a fishing expedition…Karuthamma who was standing demurely behind the coconut tree replied…

‘adhehathinnu fish biriyani undaaki thanaal mathiyoo…’

‘yes Karu darling…that sounds good!! ’ …… Pareekutty replied

Karuthamma holding a palm leaf in her hand timidly stepped towards him ….

‘But kochumuthalaali…. kochumuthalaaliyude Atkins diet enthu aavum……..’

She was worried about kochumuthalaali’s health….After all he was gaining weight these days…

Pareekutty held Karuthamma ‘s hands and said….

‘Atleast not this day karale…namakku fish biriyani adichitttu ee kadalinakkare paadi paadi nadakkam…what say….’

‘Oh chetta…how romantic!!’ Karuthamma mumbled turning her face away shyly with her fingers to her chin…..

Not wanting to waste much time… Pareekutty hurried up to his thoni….It was thundering in the backdrop….. Karuthamma glanced at the rough seas and asked her boyfriend….

“Pakshe chetta….look at the clouds...hear the thunders…and the sea is rough…..”

Karuthamma looked quite worried….but Pareekutty walked ahead unperturbed for he knew it was global warming…..As he was about to launch his thoni to the waters he turned back and yelled in a deep baritone voice…..

‘I ll BE BACK….’

Karuthamma blew a flying a kiss as he faded away into the vast Arabian Sea…

As she was on way back to her hut she went to Foodworld nearby and bought about 1 kilo basmati rice….and ghee… It has been long time since she has made fish biriyani and so she had no choice but to visit a nearby internet café…. There she found a blog by Seenachechi who had written down how to make it… She took a print out and ran home before her dad found her. Once at home she turned on the radio…it came to life….and there was music in Radio Mirchi...

“Maanennum Vilikkilla

That song was not a favourite of hers…she changed the station…..

Maanasamaine varoo… Maanasamaine varoo…

The song touched her heart and no sooner since she finished slicing 6 big onion and 8 green chillies, tears welled up in her eyes…But there was no one to comfort her….After all Kadalamma was her only comfort at times…It was after all kadalamma who gave her both Pareekutty and Salmon which she needed for the Biriyani.. After marinating about 700 gms of Salmon with a paste made of 2 tbsp ginger-garlic paste, 4 tsp chilli powder, half teaspoon turmeric, 1tsp pepper, 1 tsp fennel powder, salt and lime juice she rested for sometime…. She picked the nearby Manorama magazine spend reading a story by her favourite author Thakazhi saar for the next 30 min… That’s when she remembered she had to slice the Thakali’s…Wasting no time she sliced 4 tomatoes into thin pieces… But then she was stuck with a big dilemma…But she had no choice…. She immediately set to her parent’s home….


“Entha Karuthammye…..”

“Mummy…enikku alpum kashuvandi theraamo…..”

She immediately went back home collecting 50 gms cashewnut….She was happy to avoid meeting her daddy Chembankunju whom she could not ever forgive….As a reminder of his betrayal there still adorned in her kitchen…the dowry he gave it her hubby….. A LG microwave oven… She put 3 cups of rice along with 6 cups of water, 3 cardamoms, 4 cloves, 2-3 pieces of cinnamon, salt, tsp ghee, bay leaves and a pinch of saffron… She set it to 20 min and fried the fish in the meanwhile… In rhythm to sound of fish getting fried in hot oil she started humming her favourite song…

Pennaale pennaale karimeen kannaale kaanaale
Pennaale pennaale karimeen kannaale kaanaale
Kanni thaamara poomole aha..
Kanni thaamara poomole aha..Pennaale pennaale

She stopped singing coz she could hear a familiar voice humming in the back ground….

Puthan valakkare…puthan valakkare…

“Damn it...” she said…. Any moment Pareekutty would be home….

“Palani chetta… innu chakkara innu povunnu ille…”

Fishing was Palani’s first love...and he was promised fish Biriyani as well when he would be back home…

After frying the onions until brown, karuthamma added 2 tbsp ginger garlic paste to it….And after some time she added 1 tbsp garam Masala, 1 tsp coriander powder, salt and sautéed for sometime.. And finally she added the sliced tomatoes along with coriander leaves and allowed it too cook for a couple of minutes…Once she was sure that the tomatoes were cooked she reduced the flame and added half cup curd to it… And then finally she added the fried fish and allowed it to cook for a couple of minutes…

But meanwhile something was cooking in the deep seas….Pareekutty and Palani were fishing in the same area….It was recipe for a final showdown…. The deep seas and two men fight it out…and both agreed only one man would have the fish Biriyani…

Unaware of it Karuthamma layered the rice and the fish mix on a pan which was coated with ghee…She garnished it with fried cashewnut and coriander leaves….After closing the lid she allowed the whole mix to cook on a low flame for a couple of minutes… She knew the aroma of the Biriyani would go far out into the arabikadal and bring back either of the dudes..

It has been almost 1 hr since she has been waiting… She got worried… Where are they!!!

Then someone knocked the door… She couldn’t bear to know who was it…

“Karuthammyeeeeeee…..” A deep voice echoed……..

She opened the door slowly… Stood in front of her…the man….the man who was her real love…her childhood crush.. The man who deserved the fish Biriyani…

“chettaaaaaaaa……..” karuthamma cried……

The man sniffed the air inside and he knew what was cooking…
karuthammykku fish biriyani ishtamaano…”

“Marikunathu vere…” Karuthamma replied in a shivering voice..
That evening Jayan chettan and Karuthamma had a candlelight dinner at Neendakara….while 2 bodies washed ashore somewhere nearby....

Jayan chettan had a camera which he got after a recent fight with some he took some pics too..

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A thoran and Egg situation…

When I was a little kid and comparatively new to the world of sin and crime, there were occasional instances where I had my brush with unlawful activities….like stealing toffees from the fridge or mom’s wallet….And apparently I was taught by the nuns in sunday class that all you need to confess it during confession to negate any after effects and maintain status quo….So it happened that this jolly good fella confessed one day to the priest…

“achoo….njan mutaayi kattu eduthu”

What followed was a lengthy sermon….

makane…ee mutta eke ellavarkkum vendi ullathu alle…karthavvu orortharkkum arhikumbol mutta kodukkum……”

“but actually achoo….”

“ee thettinnu prayachittam aayittu….”


“entha mone ..nee ethra mutta kattu eduthathu….”

achoo…njan mutta alla eduthathu…muttayyiyaaaaaa….”

I don’t remember what exactly transpired after that…but the achan had a lengthy pause….and I couldn’t stop laughing thinking this priest was assuming that I stole eggs all this time..

But history as is…Following the heartbreaking confession, I took a sudden liking for egg…probably it has to do with the remarkable similarity in shape with numbers that adorned in my progress report…Or it could be due to the fact that I was hen pecked as a little kid to eat more nutritious food… And to this day I have been laying my eyes on any kozhimutta or any kozhi planning to lay one in the vicinity.. To put it simply, Kozhimutta and me is epitome of a harmonious partnership that has withstood the test of time and the only crack in our relation was when I occasionally needed a bulls eye!

Dear readers, while the eggonomic benefits of consuming eggs during recession time should not be overlooked, we have to be careful not to put all eggs in one basket… Every egg has a character and personality of its own. A good egg connoisseur can make out which egg has to be boiled, which one has to be scrambled and which one is bulls eyed. Though only a few aashans are still alive who can claim to possess these skills, our state is lucky since a few in my family are the finest connoisseurs I know…If you think I am joking about how serious we are about eggs, even the place we settled down in Trivandrum was chosen after a lot of considerations, pondering over muttashasthra….at Muttada….

Although the mistake which happened to the priest as mentioned earlier in the post was a linguistic confusion, its true to an extend that humans have affinity to steal eggs. That’s why in Kerala the most reported thefts are eggs especially from kallu shaaps and hostel messes.. Infact people who could steal eggs from our college canteen were looked at with immense respect by juniors and professors alike. People used to line up in the streets to watch these folklore heroes walk up to the nearby restaurant where they sell their prized catches!!

Friends I can write eulogies about egg and its influence in our culture and heritage…but since it’s a food blog I ll rather share with you all a egg dish which was served for the French aristocracy during the times of Napoleon. It’s a exquisite French dish but MAY sound like a Kerala dish….anyways….

Hard boil 6-7 eggs, peel off the skin and slice into small pieces…
Heat vegetable oil on a cooking pan and sauté 3 big onions until they are transparent
Add 1 tsp of ginger-garlic paste, 3 thin sliced green chilies and plenty of curry leaves..
Once the raw smell of ginger is gone and the onions started browning, reduce the heat and add 2 tsp pepper powder, 1 tsp kashmiri chilli powder, 1.5 tsp coriander powder, 1 tsp turmeric powder and half tsp garam masala, salt to taste.
Sauté the entire mixture on medium flame until the masala’s are cooked..
Now add the sliced egg and crush it along with the onion mix using a spatula, Allow the egg yolk to get crushed and blend it suitably with the onion-spice mix…
Once the masala’s are coated properly garnish it with coriander leaves and cook in a low flame for 2 min.

The egg thoran is ready and is a lip smacking combo with rice and curd…

I must say it’s a very difficult recipe for people who are not versed with the nuances of cooking food…but maybe all you need is beginner’s egg…err…luck!! :-D

Sunday, August 23, 2009


Happy Ramzan to all of you!!
dedidcating this fav song of mine to all...

sorry folks...i just realised the song link i put here was not the one i intended..;-P

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Exotica Hamburg la Eggplant dé Soufflé mit Potato gratin

Well…Friends today I am going to explain how a marvelous vegetarian dish was recently made at my state of the art Italian err German kitchen…The Brinjal dish which was made with exquisite care and fineness will surely make any vegetarian go green with happiness for a change…It might look similar to Baingan ka Barthavu and yet taste different.. For my English speaking readers from Europe, Asia-Pacific and Americas…Baingan ka Barthavu is a famous Indian dish roughly translated as ‘The Husband of the Baingan’…Legend as is the name comes during a swayamvar ceremony in 1632 BC a lady from Lucknow called Baingan Sawant told the audience who had to come to attend the show that she would marry a Brinjal rather than the idiots who had come to attend the contest…The news spread like wildfire was a popular tweet those days and it became a part of folklore to make fun of men who were voted out of swayamvar contest those days…

In streets of Lucknow, ladies used to pass snide comments…

“Look there goes a wannabe Baingan ka Barthavu” …hihihi…

The dish I am going to explain has been christened as “Exotica Hamburg la Eggplant dé Soufflé mit Potato gratin” or in other words Brinjal curry.

Brinjal is one veggie like Capsicum which has different names in different parts of the world…Some call it eggplant though scientist have proved that the brinjal is pure vegetarian and has no egg yolk in it…and other like my dad might call it Solanum melongena after all the biologist in him never gives away… Infact given a chance he would go to the palayam market and teach all the vegetable vendors out there that its not pavakka or padavalanga, but rather Momordica charantia and Trichosanthes cucumerina ……. Its only due to the blessings of Velankanni mathaavu that he has not attempted to do the same so far…And it is no solace that the merchants in palayam market are fine exponents of malayalam literature which when spoken with a good tenor and passion can be lethal…Infact the Martyrs column nearby was built in honour of people who tried bargaining with fish sellers inside the market several decades ago.

The Brinjal or rather the eggplants which I get here are much bigger than the ones we get in India...
What appeals me most about brinjal is its super-utility ….It can be fried…it can be can be smashed…it can be made as a curry…it can be used for juggling….

Btw an interesting info for readers which I got in wiki….

“On consuming 9 kilos of brinjal you take as much nicotine in your body as in one cigarette…”

Quite interesting info isn’t… I have been trying very hard to spread this news to unsuspecting people…;-P

I like making Brinjal curry mainly coz it’s easy to cut into small pieces and don’t require any peeling…Secondly Brinjal curry goes well with rice and curd and is a dish to prepare when I am too lazy to prepare something non-vegetarian…I have decided to make a movie sometime in the future considering the deep respect I have for it….tentatively titled.. “There’s something about Brinjal”

Readers would be informed shortly about the release date of the movie as negotiations are on going with the actors…The lead actors are apparently having a busy calendar and I have myself pitched into the negotiation table…Let us hope for the best!!

I followed the recipe as told by the most famous chef in youtube…Though I did my own additions like adding potatoes and adding garam masala to make it a tad spicier…The curry turned out really good and it’s rare that for a veg dish we are left wanting for more…this was an exception…

Aaah...before ending the post I couldn’t resist sharing the pic of a fish curry made recently…it turned out nice and I missed some kappa and kallu to go with it! :-(

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Yeh Dil Maange Moru!!

What has to be one of the most popular catch phrases in the early 90’s, it is no secret the ad gurus created the punch line after the famous bollywood actor had come down to my place and was treated to a nice oonu with lots of curries…And usually the last curry for a typical naadan meal would be our humble moru curry…Shah Rukh was so impressed that day that he told me...

’Yeh Dil Maange Moru’

Poor guy I thought… and I kept serving the moru until he was so full that after 4 rounds of chooru moru and kadumaanga pickle, he got all sentimental:-

‘Bade Bade Deshon Mein, Aisi Choti Choti..uh..sorry..“

Shahrukh suddenly looked so distraught and tears welled in his eyes like in Devdas.....his voice quivered like in Darr...

“kk.kkk.kk..kya boolu .what I really want to say is….. this curry is so awesome ...“

Later as well all know some ad guy who was there for lunch sold the line to Pepsi and raked in all the money. But the history of Moru dates back to a village in US called Baltimoru where once a caveman invented this classic dish by twist of fate. ..There is a intriguing story that links the past and the present.

Based on studies conducted on the cave paintings archaeologist have found the origin of the curry. It had happened that a Caveman by the name Sasi Kazhakuttom did not manage a kill one particular night. The furious wife and cavewoman Mrs. Gloria Fernandez (she was half Mexican) scolded the poor hunting skills of her hubby and hollered how they are going to feed their 32 kids that night. Sasi was heartbroken and timidly walked out of the cave…He went to the hilltop nearby and shouted at the sun god..

‘thilothomia thilothomia…why on earth did you do this to me!!’

But the sun just kept shining like as usual and Sasi trotted back home…but he knew it would not be glorious to meet Gloria under current circumstances. Back in those times it was legally possible in the state of Baltimooru for the wife to file for divorce if the husband did not bring atleast one wild boar for dinner every night. Sasi was heartbroken and could not imagine a life without his wife and 32 kids (20 of which he could remember by name).

Desperately Sasi decided to visit the chief priest S.R. Kattabomman and ask him for a solution to maintain harmony in the family. S.R.K was a very wise man…a man of knowledge…a man who was known to have magic powers from years of meditation.

When Sasi told SRK his sad tale he felt sympathetic towards him. He wanted to help him by giving the secret formula which would keep Gloria happy ever after. But there was the curse of the pagan gods that would kill SRK if he ever disclosed the formula to anyone. And thus SRK did the supreme sacrifice by sharing the recipe of Moru curry to Sasi for the greater good. In a dramatic heart wrenching moment while SRK was losing consciousness ,Sasi promised that he would never forget this noble deed and he swore to pray for his return to life. SRK passed away peacefully due to the curse of the then powerful god Coca Cola.

Sasi ran to his home in slow motion and made the moru curry using the secret formula which was passed on to him. In honour of SRK he immediately spread the word of Mooru curry to make it popular and even uploaded the recipe in from where this author got the recipe.

The lip smacking Moru curry with rice and pickle was served that night at the Cave instead of the usual steak. Gloria and the 32 kids were content and Sasi was finally smiling ….A family disaster averted and peace restored.

Several several centuries later.

Moru curry was by now popular throughout the world….it had spread wide across to places as far as Kerala, Tamil Nadu...etc….And one day when a Sasi Junior had gone to the movies the karma of what happened several 1000 years ago unfolded in front of him in a dramatic climax. As the movie Karan Arjun moved to the final scenes and SK and SRK met face to face...there was a drop of tear in Sasi’s eyes… was sign of a prophesy that came true….

*Salman Khan is supposed to have a uncanny resemblance to Sasi Kazhakuttom.
*SRK is believed to be a direct descendant of S.R Kattabomman and Pepsi had adopted the line Yeh Dil Maange Moru in honour of the legend from Baltimooru.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

April showers bring Cauliflowers!

Its spring time and you can see flowers every where…..The city looks now at its beautiful best…blue skies…long sunshine hours….green promenades….gardens with myriad colors…..And the only blemish on an otherwise great day was our landlady who was coming down to say that she is not happy with our gardening skills in the humble balcony of ours…..So that day she told me…

“Mathew….it is high time you remove the weed out and plant some flowers!”

Flowers….and me…haa…

Now that she was insisting I took out the cauliflowers from the refrigerator and adorned our balcony with it…It’s a pretty sight for onlookers walking by and the neighbors are jealous coz everyone is looking at my cauliflowers instead of Tulips and Dahlia’s which they meticulously had grown for springtime…Art enthusiasts drop by and stare from the streets towards my balcony trying to identify the hidden meanings in the piece of modern symbolic art as they see it as…

Cauliflower in the midst of tulips….very eclectic design…

It did not take much time for me to realize that people don’t appreciate cauliflower in flowerpots…people these days don’t have any sense of taste!!

Talking of taste I was informed by my roomie that this idea may invite the wrath of Neo-Nazi’s and the Ku Klux Klan who may not have any clue about my artistic intents…And rather his all day kvetching forced me to take them to where it belongs…to the kitchen.

Cauliflower is not a typical south Indian vegetable…infact it’s not even Asian and is more caucasian in nature…white and tastes bland…But it was not until discovered by Gopi in 1623 the vegetable became a hit in Indian cuisine…Things have come a long way since then….Gobi Masala is like naan and butter for every Punjabi now…

So this recipe which I got from YouTube is as follows...

*Boil the cauliflower florets in water for 10 min after slicing them into small pieces..
*Meanwhile in 3-4 tsp of oil crack mustards and jeera…
*And then sauté 3 thinly sliced onions 3 green chilies and few curry leaves
*Once they are transparent add 2 sliced tomatoes to it and keep sautéing the mix.
*After a few min add 1 tbsp of ginger garlic paste and keep sautéing.
*And once the tomatoes are cooked add 1 tsp turmeric, 2 tsp chilly powder and salt to taste…
*Once the raw smell is gone add the semi-cooked cauliflowers minus the water to it…
*Allow the Masala to coat well over the florets and after a few min add 1.5 tsp of coriander powder, mix well and cover the lid for a few min…
*Now open and add to it half a cup of water and mix well again…
*Allow it to cook for 10 min or until the cauliflower is sufficiently cooked while stirring it occasionally..
*Garnish it with coriander leaves in the end before serving it with piping hot chapattis... ;-D

And though as a consequence today when I look at my balcony I feel sorry for myself….it now sports tulips and dahlia’s... far from the once glorious veggie garden I had… and no necks turn as passerby's walk by…what a shame!! :(

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Rajma aur Sherry!!

Few years ago I was completely ignorant about north Indian cuisine…Even during college time, the only north Indian dish I knew was Butter chicken which is now quite pan-Indian. Its so popular at restaurants in Trivandrum that this sardar I know says, a few minutes at Kalavara restaurant reminds of his paaji in Jalandhar. Even the cook out there is called Cherian Singh!

And after getting acquainted with many friends from north, I became familiar with things like Paratha…palak paneer…dahi vada….gajar ka halwa….The problem with this kind of naming is that they wouldn’t possibly be able to name something like Avial !!

Though I enjoyed these delicacies, I never really ventured into cooking any of em myself.. So last week I decided to make a typical north Indian dish called Rajma masala…Talking of Rajma, I was not familiar with this dish either…Imagine a few years ago, if someone actually quipped from the kitchen..

’Do you know where is Rajma’

I would have said...’I have no idea…I don’t even know her!!’

Rajma was simply a girl’s name for me …like in Rajma Chowdhary or something.

So it was with much apprehension when I saw Rajma for the first time at Dostana supermarket in Hamburg...Popular know as kidney beans this is supposedly be very healthy which made me extra cautious coz I have strange medical condition of being allergic to such food…But on that instance, I didn’t care much and ‘transplanted’ the kidney beans to my shopping cart. I reaching home carrying approximately 500 such kidney beans that evening. The racket was soon busted when my roommate saw the 500 kidney beans hidden behind the shelves and he asked me the dreaded question that a man would fear most at such times.

‘Do you have any idea what to do with this stuff?’

You know, there are the times when you simply wish that a meteor would pass by so that you could divert the topic. But that day I couldn’t count on my luck for such possibilities and had to rely on the life saver of our times, the internet.

I searched in youtube and found a beautiful Pakistani lady making Rajma masala. After watching that for approx 10 min, I saw another Pakistani girl doing the same…and then another……Since I found it very interesting I began searching in youtube for “Pakistani girls making Rajma masala”…Finally I realized that youtube is the wrong place for searching recipes and decided on regular websites…Again I ended up mixing several recipes to suite my taste. So this a mix all recipe.

The problem here is that if you want to make this curry today, you have to start thinking of it yesterday and keep the beans soaked in water overnight…In other words you should be a far-sighted person to make this curry…and you need a vision and immaculate planning!! Such remarkable qualities enable you to make this wonderful dish…I did it!! hic...hic….;-D

Pressure cook the beans(abt 300 gms) along with 2 tbsp of toor dal for around 5-6 whistles…

Heat oil in a pan and do the usual thing with mustards and jeera….add 1-2 red chilies as well.
Sauté the onions(sliced thin 3 nos) along with 2 green chilies until sufficiently fried and add the ginger-garlic paste(3 tsp)...Now add 2 cardamoms, 3 cloves and 1” piece of cinnamon…Once the raw smell goes, add a paste of 3 tsp of coriander powder, 1tsp turmeric, 1tsp pepper powder and half tsp red chilly powder with 2 tbsp of water to avoid the masala’s getting burned. After 2 min add the sliced tomatoes(2 nos) and allow it to cook…When the oil starts separating out and the mixture of onion and tomatoes are smashed properly. Add salt to taste and a pinch of garam masala…Now reduce the flame and add 2 tbsp of curd to it….Finally add the cooked Rajma along with water remaining in the pressure cooker and cover the lid for 5-10 min or until the masala mix has blended well with the Rajma…Check the spice and salt level and adjust maadi accordingly!!

I thought the curry came out decently well...infact way beyond my other words this time I haven’t accumulated miles unlike the last time when the kadala curry created a record of sorts by earning me 10000 miles in a span of few days….and a frequent flier card to the loo!!

P.S. The chappatti is ready made...

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Vol-Au-Vents a la Crème Fraîche and a tag...

I was tagged by two wonderful bloggers…Divs and Varsha where I have to write 25 random things about myself…The first question I asked myself was whether there were 25 things about myself to even tell about! But as I started writing it was quite easy to make this list however uninteresting the facts are…So here goes that tag…

1. I am a movie buff…though am quite selective about it …I love Padmarajan and Sreenivasan movies…apart from that I love classics...and any movies of Benigni...Spielberg...Tarantino...or Polanski

2.I never enjoyed cooking when I was at home in Trivandrum…its was more of cooking due to forced circumstances….though had lots of fun with bro trying out things in the kitchen like putting kudampuli for the sambhar or spoiling the mixie 4-5 times in a month trying to make idli maavu…. my first food blogpost is quite silly..;-D

3. I find a lot of connect with many bloggers than people whom I know in daily life….sometimes I feel they think so much alike and are of similar wavelength making me comfortable communicating with them…many are almost like family for me.

4. I love cold weather or rather moderate weather by European standards...20-25 deg…I get irritated at plus 35…I don’t mind shivering in the cold but I hate to sweat in the sun…But I now appreciate the beauty of sun when it occasionally shows up in winter.

5. I love travelling...I have been to several countries in past 2-3 years and considering myself lucky for being able to do so... Norway is next in my wish list..:)

6. I don’t think I was proud of myself as a kid or as a college guy…but I somehow feel happy for myself that I managed to hold on to some principles inspite of temptations to break it after I finished studies. Integrity in action is a much under-appreciated value these days.

7. I love peach juice and I don’t like sugar in coffee.

8. I would like to copy a line here from yumworld...i am a Cancerian as well…infact most of my blogger friends are cancerians…

9. I envy people who can sing…that’s something I wish god gave me…and I do have an eclectic taste for music…

10. Some of the nicest people I know are not necessarily the richest or most well endowed physically or financially. I learned that there is goodness even in sections of society we disregard as second fiddle or unworthy of attention...

11. One of the proudest moments in my life was when I got my parents to Germany and later took them to Paris and Rome…and they send a mail after reaching home about how happy they were…I am highly uncomfortable expressing love or gratitude in person and they know it, it seems…

12. I am very instinctive in nature…at times I believe that I have psychic powers too. 4 years ago along with a friend while munching on a home delivered pizza, we were worried about roomies coming soon sharing the already small pizza we had..5 min after we finished the pizza we got a call..4 of them were stuck somewhere in the lift of our flat…;-D

13. My all-time favorite TV show is Frasier. I am so much a fan that I would love to visit Seattle if I ever go to USA…

14. I love being a travel guide. and I love doing the planning…and I do it in extreme detailing starting from when exactly should I wake up on the day of travel..;-P

15. I sometimes wish if I had a sister…just a weird wish...

16. You rarely would see me emotional in person…it’s a trait I got from dad which I know is not necessarily good...But I am my own “agony uncle” if there is any..;-P

17. I love doing pencil sketching, jigsaw puzzles and watching history related television programs…esp... if it has something to do with world war’s…and besides that I like car and bike shows. I also used to closely follow the Indian election scene when I was a kid. I remember when I was like in 8th or 9th standard and it was exam time and I was forcibly confined to the study room. But my mind was always in the pie chart showing the seats won by Congress, BJP and other parties...

18. I am late riser…Its hard for me to wake up without seeing the sun...

19. I don’t follow sports religiously…and cricket is not a religion for me….though am a fan of St.Pauli and Arsenal football club…

20. I hate liars, hypocrisy and pretentious people…And I love people who don’t have any air about themselves…If you have qualities that is adorable or causing envy in others, don’t allow arrogance to get over you…I have seen a flamboyant ex-banker having had to rely on food from charity...there could be a fall for anyone of us!!

21. I love wines…and though am not anyway a serious aficionado at it, I love trying different wines…and my colleagues here know it and that what they usually gift me when the occasion demands… :)

22. Three woman I consider as most beautiful are Princess Diana, Konkona Sen and Madhubala…

23. I like the money in my job, though I harbor a desire to do something creative at work place…and the farthest I can do now is colorful fonted mails to colleagues...

24. I love the smell of cake ovens.

25. Three of my favorite books are Curious incident of a Dog in the night time, Diary of Anne Frank and Catcher in the rye.

And well a little quick fix for folks who are in a super hurry mode for dinner, I presenta “Vol-Au-Vents a la Crème Fraîche” …ok….that was just to pretend it was a cool French thing!! ;-D

Well this is simplest non-veg dish ever known to mankind…fish burji…

There is this ready-to-eat mackerel fillets preserved in olive oil which you can buy from shops here…Just grab a couple of onions, few green chilies’ , curry leaves and fry em in the preservative oil. Once it’s suitably sautéed, add 1 teaspoon pepper, half teaspoon chili powder and salt to taste. Now add the fish fillets (which are already cooked) and blend them along with sautéed onions. This dish has a pleasant favour and overwhelmingly tastes of the fish and sauted onions unlike usual Indian dish where the masala is usually more prominent...Just like the short recipe it takes just 10 min to cook this up!!

Update: I just found out how the germans use it..they use it as a filling between two bread slices just like jam for their breakfast..;-P

Monday, February 23, 2009

Bachelor chicken curry Returns!!

If you remember, in my last post I had mentioned the apparent breaking up and extra-marital relations which I was pursuing with Begum Mutton …It was a short lived romance leading to nowhere and I guess someone got hold of our personal lives and even made a movie out of it…‘The Curious Case Of Begumji Mutton’…. The paparazzi never…aah!!

I was guilt struck and ruing over my deplorable behaviour and to mend broken hearts I planned to meet chicken again . It was a conscious decision when I finally realized that, just like Laila was to Anarkali…Sheela was to Prem Nazir…. someone was for me…This time I carried a beautiful bouquet of curry leaves!!

But no one couldn’t predict what I was about to witness…Chicken now an alcoholic, emotionally broke and frozen in some obscure corner, almost like a vegetable..…The sight was heart rendering and as we looked at each other, I couldn’t bear it anymore .I held her wings in passionate embrace and held back the Budweiser which was almost finished by the way…And then we sat down to talk…

As we shared our past, chicken mentioned that the excessive drinking did take a toll on her and she did not have any liver left which was indeed true when I looked carefully after lifting the neck …Infact she did not have most vital organs left inside…Nevertheless I was ready to accept her .. Due to precarious emotional state, she was in I thought of checking her into rehab. But she seemed more in a mood for a trip to Kentucky or Schezwan …Well it was recession time and I couldn’t afford such a long trip and I requested her to modify plans.…cost cutting was inevitable.. I said.

”shall we go Hyderabad or Malabar…dance in the onion meadows…throw tomatoes at each other….and apply masala on each other...and spice things up…whatsay? ”

And she ‘gingerly’ smiled at me and said…

“Yes…wherever you take me, my dear!!”

And then there was magic…a magical aroma which marked the culmination of an universal love story ….beyond borders of the chicken farms…cutting across race and colors ..there was a tear in the eyes of every single naadan kozhievery single broiler chicken...and every single Slumdog chicken…

* The End *

That was the climax of the much awaited movie as we saw the audience searching frantically for tissues unable to bear the emotional outpour which was building up within them….

”The sight of them patching up was so beautiful and I don’t remember seeing such scenes in Kozhiwood for a long long time…..” said one cine-goer who wish not to be named.

Well lets hear from the director himself in the segment ‘Director’s cut’

Filmfare : ‘Sir….Behind the universal appeal of the movie, there is an experienced director visualizing it…what lessons would you like to share with new budding directors ’
Kubrick Chekku: ‘Well...having decent experience with Asian as well as Caucasian chickens I would like to tell first time Hannibal Lecter’s to never attempt this passion on a frozen chicken. One of the finest piece of german engineering, my vettukathi broke in two when I attempted on a particular ‘Arnold Schwarzenegger chicken’ straight from the freezer!! Those were my rookie days…’
Filmfare : ‘How do you conceptualize a movie…do you have trademarks of your own!!’
Kubrick Chekku: ‘I normally start preparing myself emotionally by slicing 3 big onions, 3 green chilies and keeping it aside…Since there is lot of physical effort involved I wash and clean up the chicken and remove the bullet proof vest which comes as a package these days...and then its brutal creativity’
Filmfare : ‘Err…sir...Could you elaborate’
Kubrick Chekku: ‘This is when the director reaches a tantric level ,wields his weapon and cuts the chicken into pieces…and he doesn’t calm down until the pieces are marinated with 5 tbsp of chicken masala, 1 tsp of chilly powder, half teaspoon of turmeric, 1tsp salt, 2 tbsp of curd and 1 tbsp of lime juice….’

Filmfare: ‘wow…I assume you take good care of the co-actors too…as you have mentioned in an earlier interview about the importance they play’
Kubrick Chekku (heh…heh…measured laugh): “You seem to have done quite some research on me…yes…I heat up the oil and add mustard to it once its warm...they are important for the comedy as they will start laughing after sometime…Then the movie slowly transits into serious mode when you put the sliced onions, curry leaves and green chilies along with 1 tsp ginger paste, 1 tsp garlic paste”
Kubrick Chekku : ‘Once the onions are sautéed and the raw smell goes, introduce the side actor tomato to the scene…He will gradually blend with the other characters paving way for the hero!! That’s when I introduce the marinated chicken pieces…I love this part of the movie…there is music...there is color…and there is aroma ’
Filmfare: ‘Sir…salute…salute…I am just eager to know the climax’
Kubrick Chekku : ‘After about 5-10 minutes all the characters in the movie must have blended well giving the hero a glorified status…But you must check occasionally if the characters do have shades of salt and add accordingly… Then you add a cup of water and close the lid…The inner turmoil within the khandaan would happen now….’
Kubrick Chekku : ‘And then after 10 min when the hero finally restores peace….you open the lid and take a good piece and taste it…If the director is smiling…you know for sure the movie is a hit!!’
Filmfare: ‘Thanks...for sparing your valuable time with us…and giving the movie buffs enough reason to skip your movies…”

Everyone underestimated the marvelous director ..but some years every college…in every tea shop…there was a song everyone was humming…… ‘Aap jaise ‘Kozhi’ mere Zindagi Mein Aaye’..taantan....taaanttaaataan....................

adios... :-D

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Mumtaz Mutton- Ek Prem kahani

For the last two years there was a song I kept close to my heart…a song that made my heart beat like “kokokoo...kokokoo…”

“Ho Ek Chicken Ko Dekha To Aisa Laga
Ek Chicken Ko Dekha To Aisa Laga
Jaise Kentucky Roast
Jaise Reshmi Ka Kabab
Jaise Ujli Kadai
Jaise Schezwan ki Raat
Jaise Tandoor Mein Ho Ek Jalta aag
Ho Ek Chicken Ko Dekha To Aisa Laga”

It was not just a song but a romance that had stood the test of time and it still does…But being the foodie casanova I am, I found someone new and it has caught my attention ever since…I told my spiritual guru about this dilemma… and he asked…

S.G: “What do you think?? How will chicken react to this news?”
Me:I really donno guru… we have always been for each other and Chicki has never left me down…”
S.G:When did you last meet?”
Me:At Burger King…last Friday …and as always it was memorable, though it was kinda awkward when Ketchup was lurking us”
S.G: “hmm…a classic case of mid-life crisis. Have you tried something exciting like going out or doing something Tikka?”
Me:Yeah...we did the Tikka recently and that’s when I saw Mumtaz Mutton at the nearby table…We just couldn’t take our eyes of each other”
S.G:understandable…it has happened to me once as well”

Me:"And then"

S.G:"I was given the "Chicken soup for the soul"
Me:But I wonder if all this sounds like being unfaithful?”
S.G: “No my son… don’t be chicken-hearted…mutton up man!!”

I knew that chicken would forgive me for this little dalliance I was having…

like they say “Mard ka dil sirf ek murghi ko samajtha hein”

So this is how the new crush entered my life …

*Cook the kheema (minced lamb 500gm) with a pinch of turmeric and salt in a pressure cooker...Also cook a couple of potatoes and keep em mashed..
*Meanwhile sauté thin sliced onions (4), green chilies (3-4) and ginger-garlic paste (2 tsp).
*Add the following to the sautéed mix:-
2 tsp pepper powder, half teaspoon turmeric, 2 tsp meat masala, half teaspoon chilli powder, half teaspoon garam masala and salt to taste.
*Once the raw smell of masala’s are gone add the cooked kheema and mix em well until you the masala’s are evenly coated.. Cook this mix for a few minutes until excess water is drained out.
*Add mashed potatoes and crushed coriander leaves and blend the whole mix again..

Now get the puff pastry or anything of that sort…I found this thing called Blatterteig ( rechristened as german roti) which tastes similar to puff pastries after a few flips on a heated pan …

Once one side of this roti is cooked spread a layer of the mutton filling which has already been made…Roll em along the short edge and seal it up…Allow it to remain for a few minutes until you get a golden glow on the outside..

With a few sliced onions and a glass of wine I guess it’s not hard to fall in love…
P.S. i ll be back Chicken..dont worry!!