Monday, March 30, 2009

The easiest Indian breakfast to prepare

Well, I am back after spending 8 hectic days at my parents'.
After returning, there wasn't any South Indian tiffin like Dosa/Idli batter at home.
The quickest tiffin could only be Pongal(also called pulagam). The following is the recipe (for one):
Take 50 gms of rice and 50 gms of moong daal (the split one). Together they would comprise a cup. Wash it. Put some turmeric powder. Put around 500 ml of water and pressure cook well. On opening the pressure cooker, you will be greeted by a yellow, paste-like stuff. Nothing to worry here. While still hot, add salt. Scoop out into a bowl. Douse with ghee and slurp it up!!!
Its quite yummy,yummy, good for health and fast to make.

Saturday, March 28, 2009


More than a year has passed since I began writing this blog.
I remember the excitement of discovering Rourkela friends through Rourkela mates a year ago and my posting a lot on the mates...especially vividly I remembered posting about Ugadi and how it is celebrated…the Ugadi pachadi etc. I was so enthusiastic about it the last year...but this year there’s no mention of it in the mates...somehow inappropriate responses/ no responses have put them all off.
Well, I began this Ugadi by having an ordinary breakfast of bread and chips. This was followed by the conventional Ugadi Pachadi. I tasted it after offering it to God. The taste that first hit me was that there was less of salt in it...means life may not have that special zing this year...even otherwise my life has remained more or less a straight line for quite some time now...I still feel that even this is ok as long as I don’t get to experience those terrible lows in my life that I had earlier.
I listened to the "Panchanga Sravanam" which predicted that this year would be favorable though the Income, Expenditure ratio was predicted to be 2:8! It was also said that my lucky number would be 9... as tho I didn't know about it. The new year beginning on the 27th ( 2+7) itself augurs well for me. :)
Made 'pulagam' for lunch…offered it to God and ate it.
Later in the evening, I had a bath and wore new clothes…pink and white and prayed for a long time...later made 'payasam'...
This is how I celebrated Ugadi this year quite conventionally...though all alone.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Coffeez with Bajjiiz: A review

It was 4 in the afternoon. The cool evening beckoned me to step out.
I left home to go to Padmaraonagar and finished my work by 5:30. While returning, I wanted a bite. I had heard a few months ago that a new place had opened called "Coffeez with Bajjiiz"
What struck me was the very casual ambiance. It had thatched roof,cane chairs in places, sofas of logs tied together with a few cushions strewn around; a lot of modas of all shapes and sizes; long stones placed parallely and set on two vertical stones to act as some kind of a bench; tables are simply pieces of polished granite slabs placed on bricks roughly cemented together. On the surface, nothing seems to be in harmony but there wasn't one discordant cord in the whole arrangement. For me, this is perhaps our Hyderabad version of the famous Calcutta Coffee House. Never been to see it but in my imagination, it could be like this. The place has an aura of intellectualism. Much smaller though…just a 50x 30 place.
It is for people who want a quick bite after work. The crowd had people with laptops…either singly or with friends working together.
The only jarring note was the Bollywood music. Instrumental (Indian/Western) would have suited the ambiance better.
The menu card consists of around 50 kinds of tea, coffee, shakes & sodas. And one shop for all kinds of bajjiis. Well, the South Indian knows what's a `bajjii'. But for the others, a `bajji' is any vegetable dipped in besan( Chickpea flour)and deep fried. In that, they offer at least 5 varieties of what Hyderabad is famous for…the "mirchi bajji"
Difficult choice but went ahead and ordered a Vegetable bullet and a Butterscotch milkshake.
The serving time was 20 minutes…according to me a longish time but it was worth the wait as the vegetable bullets served were absolutely yummy! Hot, soft, crunchy and tasty with the right sauces…no gooey tasteless red and green stuff! Every bite just melted in the mouth!
The thin milkshake spoilt the fun though. Maybe I should have stuck to the various coffee/teas on the menu.
What was not necessary on the menu card was a tiny section offering biryani and curry…that ran contrary to the tone of the restaurant.
The bill fits your pocket very nicely too. Rs 85/- for my order today!
I would be a bit skeptical of recommending the restaurant/café to the tourist as I wouldn't be able to sell this idea of coffee and snacks as something unique and a must-try.
But to the localite, I would recommend it strongly...very cozy place...go alone if u want to work undisturbed or just with your companion!
It is situated above "Fresh" vegetable market in Padmaraonagar, Secunderabad.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The story of Au Gratin

Well, in the last post I had written of the leisure that I was looking forward to.
The first day at home was Friday, 6th March. Sat, 7th & Sun 8th were spent cleaning the house with vigor.
Monday, I went out to explore some real estate options on son’s insistence.
Tuesday...all hell broke loose as a Taurean was forced to shed her space and socialize!
The morning was spent entertaining a doctor couple from the Army…enjoyed doing that...but that's it...I couldn't spend more time with people. But in the evening I was again forced to meet another person Mr. XXXX.
Well, I went to the Chilly's at Paradise, Secunderabad to meet him and wisely opted for Masala Pappad and Sweet Corn soup. But after that when I wanted to order for the safe Roti and Curry, this guy recommends Au Gratin!! He also wanted me to order Roti and Curry but the steward wisely asked us to wait, finish the Au Gratin and then order for the main dish.
First, having had a late lunch, I wasn’t in the mood of eating. Second, I am usually a bit skeptical of eating things untried but because this was such a strong recommendation, I thought why not have a go at it? The first spoonful was ok. Baked vegetable in a mayonnaise base sounded ok...but the 2nd, 3rd and the 4th spoonful turned more and more tumultuous inside the tummy. I finished my helping with great difficulty. But,Mr.XXXX, unmindful of my agitating stomach was holding forth on the taste of Au Gratin and insisting that he alone could finish the whole dish…I stopped myself from making faces with a great difficulty… yuck!
I had more than enough for the day especially after being told that all that white stuff was actually cheese! OMG! The thought of all that cheese sitting in my stomach made me feel all the more squeamish! A whole year’s quota of cheese had just slid into my tummy!
And as though this wasn’t enough, he insisted on a dessert! Took him to a Kulfi Wallah! I managed to have one but he ended with two and I had a feeling that he would perhaps have had another one if I weren’t around.
Topped all this stuff with paan. That’s the only thing he stopped with one helping.
This post is written days after it actually happened but even now, just the thought of all that white stuff causes a major churning in the stomach. Next time you hear the term Au Gratin, run from it and save your life!

Definition of!@#$%^&*Au Gratin: Covered with bread crumbs and sometimes butter and grated cheese, and then browned in an oven. Well, this wasn’t one of those ‘sometimes’, it was swathed in butter and cheese!!!

Friday, March 6, 2009

At Home.....finally!

The project closed on the 11th of Feb'09 and I was looking forward to spending time at home after the very hectic schedules while in the project.
The travel of nearly 3 hours to Gachibowli used to sap most of my energy...what was invigorating was the work…under a decent Pr. manager...that kept me wanting to come back to do and learn more...
But with this great act of Raju, all my ambitions are quashed...the variable pay is gone…things seem so uncertain…
Anyway let me not think of future but of NOW!
Now, I want to enjoy this sudden leisure that I have found...feels good to be home after a long time...
I had to still go to office as there was some billing to be done and then again to hand over things and close the ODC yesterday...
Need to allow this feeling of leisure to sink in. Let me make the most of it till I get into another project/organization...
Working in the just-closed project has spoiled me and I wander if I will find the same kind of amicable work environment...but here I go worrying again of what’s going to happen…let me enjoy this moment and catch up on LOTS of pending work & movies..