There are many dishes that I have been making on quite a regular basis but never get the chance of posting it. The main reason being most of the rich, not so ordinary dishes are prepared for dinner or for parties. I like to do things on my own pace and the perfectionist I am I always prefer dinner parties so that everything is done and arranged way before the guests arrive. Unless it’s a potluck or some 3rd party caters the food, afternoon get together is not very common in our household. So though the makhani chicken, dhokar dalna, za’atar focaccia, mutton curry is being made and enjoyed almost regularly but they never get the chance to appear on the blog.
I think good stylised food photography is not for me. I envy all those who so effortlessly (at least it seems so, kinda carefully careless) takes such good pictures. Though am not crazy about food photography and my style is quite homey and casual but Photography is an art and like any other artistic expressions, this fascinates me. I agree that I don't put much effort with props selection or light settings and I do not even have a proper place or table to take pictures. Every time I want to click I have to lug a folding table to the spot, take out crockery from the cupboard, iron the table cloth which remains squeezed between a truck load of baby clothes, and most frustratingly everything has to be finished while the baby naps i.e. within an hour. One of my most cherished dream is to have a sunlit house with a cupboard only for my blog and a table permanently placed in a sun drenched corner. Sigh!
Have you ever thought of life without electricity? Which means no Fan, no light, no a/c no Fridge…Nightmarish right? But many villages in India still live that nightmare day and night. not even very long back that most of the Indian villages dint have electricity. We find it tough to deal with this fact because we have grown up with this facility. But when you don’t have it you find and devise your own way to deal with it.
The temperature in Kolkata right now is extremely hot, wet and humid. By afternoon the roads are all deserted as no one can dare to face the scorching sun. The sonny boy has started school too and once he is off for the morning I get the whole morning by myself to finish off the household chores. so when he takes his afternoon nap I get enough time to what my heart fancies. Last Friday changed the setting in the drawing room a little bit. Here are some glimpses...
The lotus on the wall is an unfinished wall art that I started then lost interest as we will have to move house soon. Then my son found it uninteresting and tried to add some colours with his crayons.
Have a fun filled Sunday!!!
The reason I am so concerned about the weather is because am very sensitive towards it. Slightest change in the temperature makes me sneeze like a mad woman. This mostly happen in the summer months when the pollens take advantage of the light humid air and float easily. After heavy downpour for almost a week the afternoon temperature now is soaring. No one dares to go out in the scorching sun and all afternoon we can only hear the humming sound of the air conditioners. Yes, the typical Indian summer is already here. Sigh!!!
This hot and humid weather calls for changes in our meal plans as well. The agonizing heat results in loss of appetite and all we want these days is to eat and drink plenty of water. In our home we always cook the water laden summer vegetables and try to stay away from greasy or heavy food on regular basis. though as kids we often termed the summer vegetables as bland and tasteless but they actually are very beneficial for the hot and humid months. These vegetables not only have all the prefect ingredients that helps us fight the hot weather but also Provide us with some wonderful health benefits. Most of these vegetables are cooling, easy to digest, are natural detoxifier and high on fibres.
Bottle gourd or lauki specifically has many healing properties. According to ayurveda it is very good for diabetes, constipation and urinary disorders. Bottle gourd juice is very effective in the treatment of stomach acidity, ulcers, and indigestion. It is also great in summer for quenching your thirst, preventing fatigue, and keeping you refreshed throughout the day.
I personally don’t like dishes cooked with fish heads but every week 2-3 heads accumulate in the fridger. To finish it off once in a week I cook curries that taste good with light fishy smell. Cooked this particular dish with jhinge chingrir jhol for lunch one day. My father came over that afternoon and loved these light flavourful meal with aam dal and rice.
Often I wonder how uncomplicated life was when we were kids. Everything from our daily needs to entertainment options all were straightforward and non fussy. Sometimes too many choices take out the pleasure of life and leave us wanting more. And most of the time we do not even have idea what it is that we really want, something in us just keeps on telling don’t settle for anything less as something better awaits us somewhere. And the way of life we are used to now, never gives us the chance to stop or think that whether we really want the best of everything.
|This photo is inspired by Lakshmi's Citrus cake. find it here|
How are you enjoying the much-coveted spring at your part of the world? We are having a pleasant weather too here in Kolkata. It seems Summer has not yet set its fierce foot here. Thought the days are hot and humid but the morning and evenings are soothing with cool breeze and clear skies. Though for a short stint but in all its glory Spring finally has become a part of our life. The miniature garden in our apartment complex is vibrant with beautiful bright flowers and flocks of multicolored butterflies, which the kids love to chase. In the evening it bustles with activities, fun, frolic, giggle and innocent laughter of joy.
Day before yesterday the season’s first Kalboisakhi has further swept out the existing heat. Sitting in our bedroom we loved to watch how the black smoke like clouds suddenly covered the sky and blocked all sunlight. The rumbling clouds then started sending sparks of fierce lightning followed by a dusty thunderstorm. And then as suddenly as it had come into existence, it transpired into a heavy downpour clearing the dust and calming everything down. It never fails to amaze me how such a noisy and devastating storm finally makes way for a peaceful calming ambiance. Just like all my big enthusiastic ideas, which finally reduces and makes way to something that’s easiest.
This is the one dish for which I cannot say that I am going to make this again and again. Because the basic ingredient that is the pattypan or sunburst squash is not available in India. I first saw these pretty things at PJ’s Ginger and Garlic. And really wished if I could have laid my hands on these. Hardly did I knew that soon I will be able to cook with them.
|Bought this beautiful plate from the famous Chatuchak weekend market for INR.90 (unbelievable). wanted to buy many more but with a nagging kid and sleep deprived husband you cant shop. I want to go again just for shopping.|
Our Thailand trip was an eye opener for me in many ways. I was not too excited to go abroad for a relaxing trip because I still believe that we have plenty of beautiful places to explore in our own country. Though for work and for passion I have traveled extensively in and around some parts of India yet there’s no dearth of beautiful destinations in India. But hubby wanted to go and his point was that he would mostly be not reachable by his office (liar) and could finally relax the way he wanted. But the time I touched ground in Bangkok I fell in love with the city. Warm and cozy like my own country yet different and developed in many ways.
The aspect that I loved most of Thailand is its people. Such generous, happy, friendly and smiling faces uplift the mood automatically. They are always eager to help you out and treat you well. They will recognize you even if they have met you just once and come and greet you with their warmest smiles. Some of the girls in the restaurant we frequented loved my son so much that they arranged for kid’s food by going out of their ways. Not to mention the friendly ladies in the spa who fed the kid and kept him busy when we soaked in the luxury. People here are very relaxed, happy and enjoy their lives. It’s a joy to watch flocks of students, batch of office collegues or a group of working moms catching up animatedly in the sky train or on the roadside eateries. Not like in my part of the World where a day in the office leaves people feeling frazzled.
Another thing I fell in love with is their sense of beauty and aesthetics. Not only Thai woman are pretty, well dressed or well maintained but they maintain their surroundings really well too. Even the tiniest apartment is surrounded with beautiful plants and tropical flowers. Minimalist yet everything clean and neatly arranged. Most of the shops be it the roadside carts or big super markets are run by women and I watched once how vigorously they clean their places once the day is over.