Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Life is miserable

I just feel so low and awful about myself. All that I do these days is, sulk!
Just when I was starting to feel better about myself, it had to happen.
I cannot drive a car without crashing it! This is my third time. Everytime I start driving , it has to happen.  I lose confidence in myself and I give up driving. After a good long gap, I start over and it happens again! I should stop making attempts.  Driving is just not for me. I am one of those few drivers who will have a long record of accidents. More than the record it's the money I am worried about! If I were stinking rich, I would have taken another shot at driving. Fixing a car, sure is expensive here.
What could be worse? Saftey of my kid! I don't know if we were unlucky to have crashed or lucky to have gotten out of it without any harm to Lohith and myself.
It's just one nightmare that I can't discuss with anyone.
Winter will be here soon and I don't know what I'll do without learning to drive. I don't know how much more practice I'll need. I don't think anyone has taken as many classes as I have.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Oats Upma

I have been reading a lot about oats being used in Indian cooking these days. Like oats idli, dosa and upma. I really liked the idli and dosa but, upma...way too soggy! I have never tried making oats upma before because the picture puts me off. I am big fan of upma, the one made with rava, and I don't want to spoil that image after eating oats upma. But after doing some research I found that oats upma comes out great if you make it with regular oats instead of quick-cooking oats.
Wonder why then that so many food bloggers use quick-cooking oats in their upma recipe!!
And then I wondered, maybe I can make oats upma with quick-cooking(Instant) oats, without making it gooey.
Here's my idea - Quick-cooking oats is like poha(avalakki). It's just cooked and beaten oats. Just soak it and use it like you use poha. No need to add water while cooking. Just put tadka, onions, ginger, green chillies, and the soaked and drained oats, add some salt and garnish with cilantro. Voila!
Or make it like lemon rice. Although I haven't really tried this idea of mine, I am pretty sure it will work! Will try it out soon. Yum!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

My experiments with Non-veg

Non-veg ...I hate eating it.
It was hard to make up mind about cooking it for my hubby and son. But, I finally decided to go ahead with it.
I thought I'll throw up the moment I touch it. But, I managed to get through that part. Then comes the guessing game. Have I added the right amount of all ingredients? Has it cooked yet?
Then comes the end result. My hubby and son both liked the dish! Hubby never says my food is good... as a result I am always experimenting with dishes till I get a "It's good" comment. So there really are 5 dishes that I make regularly. The rest of the time, I am just trying out new things. Even after 6 yrs, I am experimenting with food. Anyway, the apprehension about the turn out of a non-veg dish was really high. Because if it came out bad, then I would have to throw away everything.
But alas, the end result was good and am happy that my son can now eat non-veg at home.

Only con about cooking non-veg....it leaves a very bad taste on my tongue even though I didn't eat it! I don't know if it's in my head or the if it's because of the inhalation of the aroma of the food.

When I started writing thing..I was really excited..now I can't think about a thing to write!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Back to NJ

Seems like yesterday that we moved out of NJ and we are back to 'square' 1, or rather, our journey has been a vicious 'circle'.
Six and half years ago I arrived in NJ  with my hubby as a newly wed. I still remember the 1 bedroom house that we lived in Hackensack, NJ. I didn't know whether to be happy or sad or bored.
I felt happy when I thought about how I can live my life the way I want. I felt sad when I couldn't talk to or be with my parents and siblings. The rest of the time I was just bored wondering what to do!
Now, after having lived in New York, California, Florida and Illinois we are back in NJ. Feels like I am back home!
So many things have changed since then. Now I don't have time to get bored. After getting used to this lifestyle and having a family of my own, I don't miss India much. But, visiting my parents always excites me.
I share all my happiness and sadness with my very own family. Of course sharing it with more people always gives you more joy!So talking to my parents is always very heartening.
We are yet to find an apartment here. Waiting to get back to my things. Though this guest house is really good and fully furnished, it still doesn't feel like home. I am missing my antique TV, my kitchen items, my bed and Lohith's toys! He has gotten addicted to TV now that he doesn't have his toys and books. That's the first thing I have to take care of when we move to a new home.

So long.....

Sunday, January 23, 2011

How does a child's mind work??

It's quite simple actually..like the rules of a game. But, not until you start playing the game will you realize how complicated it is. Imagine you are playing snake and ladder. Dice, of course, is in God's hands. Dice keeps rolling, so does your life. Sometimes you get bitten by the snake ( almost everytime, in my case) and sometimes you get lucky and climb the ladder. Some very lucky ones manage to reach the end of the game successfuly ( I don't know if the credit should go to mom or kid,, in this case, for raising an obedient, honest,disciplined,  respectful kid ) and some others, like me, are always stuck at square 1, trying to figure out their kid. And some others, who manage to be successful in some categories and not so in others...still wandering the game board! Kudos to them too for trying so hard!

The result - Some kids who look like they have jumped right out of a fairy tale and others, who seem to have come out of Harry Potter books!

Anyone who has seen Lohith and knows that I had read Harry Potter during my pregnancy, says that, it's the books influence that he is so curious & adventurous! I couldn't have read Ramayana or Mahabharata either, because even they have wars!

I always feel you should enjoy bringing up a kid not feel beaten down and exhausted. Every time I try to enjoy, I only get exhausted!

Atleast life would have been simpler if there was a key to your kid's stomach. Just open it up, dump the food and lock. Half the tension of bringing up a kid is gone. Now, you only have to deal with what to do when they are not eating!

Life is so complicated!

Saturday, October 30, 2010


Here are some tried and tested recipes that did come out well for me. I used to write them down in some book. It is in tatters now. So , I thought it is time to digitize everything before I dump it into the recycle bin.
This is purely for my reference.

Traditional recipes

Bisi Bele Bath
Toor dal - 1/2 c
Rice- 1/2 c
Veggies - beans, carrots, potatoes, cauliflower, peas,  etc..
Onion - 1 small
Tomato - 1 big
Turmeric - 1/2 tsp
 salt - 1 tsp
cook all of the above in a pressure cooker with 3 cups of water
For masala-
Channa dal - 1/2 tsp
Urad dal - 1/2 tsp
red chillies - 3
dhania pdr - 3/4 tsp
cinnamon - 1/2 inch
dried coconut - 1 tbsp
roast all of the above and grind
Heat oil in a pan and add mustard, curry leaves and the cooked dal+rice.
To this add the ground powder and tamarind juice and cook till the raw tamarind smell goes off.

Fried Rice
Heat oil and add, 1/2 inch grated ginger, 1 garlic, 2 green chillies, 1/4 tsp pepper. Add veggies and 1/4 tsp ajinomoto, 1/2 tsp vinegar, 2 tbsp soy sauce, 1 tsp paprika powder and cook well. Mix cooked rice( abt 1/2 cup) and fry well .
Instead of garlic, green chillies and paprika powder we can add chilli garlic sauce.

1 cup toor dal - cook till it is just done - should not be overcooked
1 cup jaggery ( around 4 small pieces) - powdered
1/2 cup fresh coconut
2-3 cardamom
Strain the water from the cooked toor dal and grind the dal with the above ingredients without adding water.
It should form a thick paste.
Obbattu saaru -
Fry 2 garlic, 1/2 tsp jeera. 1/2 tsp pepper, 2 curry leaves,1 red chilli, 1/8 tsp methi seeds in oil and grind. 
Heat oil and add mustard seeds, curry leaves and the strained toor dal water. Add juice of a small lemon sized tamarind and cook well till done.

Alternately, we can make regular rasam with the strained toor dal water.

Horse Gram bassar
1/2 cup Horse gram
1 red chilli
1/2 tsp jeera
1/2 tsp pepper
1 garlic
2 shallots
1/2 small onion
3 red chillies
1 twig coriander leaves
2 curry leaves
l//2 of lemon sized tamarind
Pressure cook horse gram with 1 tsp salt for 10 whistles. Strain the water from the horse gram.
For Saaru -
Fry in oil garlic, chilli, jeera, pepper, garlic and shallots. Grind this with coriander leaves and curry leaves and little bit of cooked horse gram.
Heat oil and add mustard seeds, curry leaves and the strained horse gram water. Add the ground paste to this and also the tamarind juice and cook well.
For Palya -
Heat oil add mustard seeds, curry leaves and saute onions and red chillies. Add the cooked horse gram and mix well.

Sprouted green gram sambhar
1/2 cup sprouted green gram
1 bunch spinach
1 big tomato
1 medium onion
1 tbsp sambhar powder
lemon sized tamarind
mustard, curry leaves

cook sprouts, onion tomato in cooker
heat pot add oil, mustard
after mustard splutters add curry leaves and chopped spinach
cook till spinach wilts
add the cooked sprouts to this and add sambhar powder and tamarind juice

karamani ( Red chori, red moong, Alasande kaalu)  Huli
1/2 cup karamani
1 onion
1/2 tomato
2 tsp coconut
lemon sized tamarind 
1 tbsp sambhar powder

pressure cook karamani
fry 1/2 onion, tomato , cocunt and sambhar pwdr in little oil and grind
heat a pot, add oil , mustard
when mustard starts to splutter add curry leaves, remaining onion
after onion becomes golden brown add cooked karamani, tamarind juice and turmeric,
after raw smell of tamarind goes add the ground mixture and bring to boil.
the sauce should thicken and then turn off

karamani / black channa / kollu masala Saaru

1 cup black channa ( 2 cups soaked channa) / 2 cups soaked karamani
1/2 big onion
2 small tomatoes
1 brinjal
1 tsp chilli pwdr
1/2 tsp dhania
4 tbsp cocnut
2 cilantro sprigs
2 small cinnamon sticks
2 cloves

pressure cook channa/ karamani
fry 1/4 onion with oil and grind along with chilli pwdr, dhania pwdr, coconut, cilantro, cinnamon, cloves
heat a pot add oil and mustard
when mustard splutters, add curry leaves, 1/4 onion, tomato
once these are cooked add brinjal and cook  then add the ground paste and cooked channa/karamani
boil well..shud have kozhambu consistency

Bassaru ( beans, greens, brinjal, cabbage, cluster beans, flat beans, choyote)
1/2 small onion fried in oil
1/2 small onion
3 red chillies
1 garlic
2 curry leaves
1 1/2 tsp sambhar powder
tamarind - 1/2 lemon size
Toor dal - 1/4-1/2 cup
cook the vegetable with the toor dal  and 1 tsp salt, till the dal is just cooked. Strain the water from the cooked dal+ vegetable
For Saaru -
Grind fried onion , garlic, sambhar powder, tamarind juice, 2 tbsp of cooked vegetable  don't add vegetable in case of cluster beans) and dal.

Heat oil and add mustard seeds, curry leaves and strained dal water. Add the ground mixture to this and cook well.
For Palya-
Heat oil and add mustard seeds, curry leaves, 1/2 small onion, red chillies and fry well. Add the cooked dal+vegetable to this and mix well.

Oh man, this is such a daunting task. I am already tired of writing all this. I still have 20-30 more of them!

Guess What?

I actually found my old blog! Yes, to my surprise it still exists. When I tried searching for it I couldn't find it. And now, when I was just trying to login to this, it appears out of nowhere!Strange are the ways of the web!
You know what the funniest part is ? Someone had left a comment on one of my post saying I had a good sense of humor! Now that is something to laugh about ain't it?
What else is happening in my life?
My son is changing schools next week. I am actually very anxious at this point. His new school is a public school and one of the best schools in Illinois. They are actually providing free education for preschoolers who require special attention. Now I am interested in seeing how they actually plan on mending him. He is one restless kid!
I told my son that he will be going to a new school from Monday and he didn't like it at all. I thought kids this age won't care much about what school they go to. But, I guess he was very much attached to his old one. However, he did change his mind when I told him that he will be riding on the school bus from Monday.
I hope everything turns out to be okay.