Thursday, June 25, 2009

Dosa Lover

What's about this Dosa that makes me eat this wonderfully delicious crispy rice pancake, every morning without a dot of boredom ? OMG, I just love this Dosa.

Being a Tamilian, we were brought up with Idlis and Dosas, in our childhood years. WOW, it is such a amazing tasty combo of Idlis / Dosas with the awesome sambhar, especially made by mom. How much I miss my mother's sambhar made with those tiny onions (shellogs) !!!!!!

Actually there are so many varieties of Dosas we make at home and along with the tasty accompaniments like sambhar, chutneys, milagai podi*, it is sure to be a melody of tastes. Just writing about them is tempting me eat dosas again - You know, I had them for today's breakfast too.

The regular dosa can be made into so many varieties, just by changing the topping on them, like a pizza. We have the podi dosa, tomato chutney dosa, pudina chutney (mint) dosa, grated cheese dosa, onion chutney dosa... to name a few. Some people also do an egg dosa, which is sooo tasty.

When I was younger by age, I used to relish the Rava Dosa, which were my mother's speciality. And it goes very well with an awesome coconut chutney done with very hot green chillies. Those times we used to live as a joint family with my uncle and grand parents. So, we counted a little over a dozen - that's the whole family's size. For the taste of my mother's rava dosa, each one of us will surely gobble about 4 or 5 of it. So, my mother will plonk herself onto the kitchen top, sit there and nicely make the rava dosas so crisp and tasty for the hungry dozen. This rava dosa is a delicate dish, which has to be made with such care and it is a time consuming one. That is the reason that my mother chose to sit on the kitchen top, to do this tasty job.

Another favourite of mine and my daughters is the Masala Dosa, which has the potato masala in the center of the dosa. I love the way we have to roll the dosa around the masala, so that it looks like a tube filled with delicious aloo. Sometimes, it is also done in the triangular shape. Whatever shape it is, this dosa is one of the best with the sambhar and chutney.

And then there is this Methi Dosa, which is such a coolant for the stomach. Small children, breast-feeding mothers and the grandparents will all benefit from this absolutely soft, tasty and easy-to-make dosa. When we soak the rice and dhal for the dosa, the methi seeds (fenugreek seeds) are also soaked in warm water and ground with the rice and dhal to make the batter. This dosa is best done when it is fat and thick, instead of the regular crispy ones. It'll look like a sponge with lot of holes in it which is because of the fenugreek seeds added to it. Now, when the dosa is hot, just spread some ghee on it and while it is melting, sprinkle some sugar. You will be engulfed in the wonderful mixture of tastes, which I am sure about.

We also have the Dhal Dosa (adai, in Tamil), which is a delicious blend of rice and all the dhals (toor, chenna, urid ) in proportions. Such an amazing invention by our ancestors that I thank all those who were involved in this wonderful creation. The dish that'll go well with this is called the aviyal (which is a blend of vegetables cooked in coconut and green chilli paste and mixed with curd finally).

There's a saying that says that the people belonging to the banks of the River Cauveri, are those people with a impeccable taste and value for word. The human tongue performs the dual role of taste and talk. These people who have been brought up by drinking this Cauveri water are sure to keep up their words and are great foodies too. I am very proud of this fact, as I belong to one of the towns on the banks of the River Cauveri, in Tamil Nadu. I love food, particularly Dosas and I value the word very much.

Three cheers to the variety of Dosas and to all those people who make their families happy by making this wonderful Dosa.

* Milagai Podi - Roasted red chillies and dhals ground to a coarse powder. Should be mixed with ghee or til (sesame) oil for better taste.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

A Questionnaire on ME, again.

One more TAG for me !!!!! And thanks Swaram, for asking me to do it.

1. When you looked at yourself in the mirror today, what was the first thing you thought?
Looking at the few grey hairs, I wondered whether to put henna for my hair today or not.

2. How much cash do you have in your wallet right now?
A 500/- note and a lot of coins (Trying to be the CHANGE I want in others)

3. What’s a word that rhymes with DOOR?
SOAR - As my is heart is doing right now, doing the tag. I spent a whole 1 hr on what to blog, today morning. Just at that moment I read Swaram's comment, to take up the tag. Thanks, yaar.

4. Who is the 4th person on your missed call list on your cell phone?
Airtel Customer Care - I never answer this call, as it'll be a recorded message on some new promo or scheme.

5. What is your favorite ring tone on your phone?
A R Rehman's Nokia tune.

6. What are you wearing right now?
One silly pyjama, which is absolutely out of size but so comfy and my fav Tee.

7. Do you label yourself?
Perfect Passionate Yoga loving Feminine Chef

8. Name the brand of the shoes you currently own?
Reebok, Nike

9. Bright or Dark Room?
I prefer the bright ones, unless I've the splitting headache.

10. What do you think about the person who took this survey before you?
Funny, Smiling with a great love for life.

11. What does your watch look like?
I still hold the Titan watch my S gifted me close to my heart, for my first bday after marriage. Its diamond shaped with a gold dial.

12. What were you doing at midnight last night?
Dreaming that I was being felicitated in some grand function. But couldn't remember, when / where /why.

13. What did your last text message you received on your cell say?
It was an order for the Tupperware business I am doing from home. My friend had smsed to order lunch boxes, fridge bottles among others.

14. What’s a word you say a lot?
Muruga Muruga or Rama Rama, but I think it'll be Thank you God.

15. Who told you he/she loved you last?
My S before leaving to office, 2day morning. He better say it everyday !!!!

16. Last furry thing you touched?
My daughter's teddy bear which she sleeps with, when I cleared her bed.

17. Favourite age you have been so far?
24 - I got engaged, painted the town red for 3 months with my S, got married and had a super duper honeymoon. Wish those days will come again.

18. What was the last thing you said to someone?
Hey Munni (my Beautician who comes home), When are you coming to put henna for my hair ?

19. The last song you listened to?
Mandram vandha thendralukku, manjam vara nenjam illayo ? kanne en kanne ..... A beautiful tamil song by S P B (Am a gr8 fan of him) in the movie Mouna Raagam.

20. Where did you live in 1987?
Hot and humid Chennai.

21. Are you jealous of anyone?
Yes, all those people who flaunt their flat tummy, while I am furiously working out on it.

22. Is anyone jealous of you?
Not that I know of.

23. Name three things that you have on you at all times?
A To DO List in my mobile which stays in my pocket all the time, My favourite Titan watch, A smile and a hug for my daughters.

24. What’s your favourite town/city?
Hyderabad / Secunderabad Twin cities.

25. When was the last time you wrote a letter to someone on paper and mailed it?
To LIC for change of address - not too sure. Its been a very long time....

26. Can you change the oil on a car?
Total dependency on the car mechanic.

27. Your first love/big crush: what is the last thing you heard about him/her?
Big crush was Ravi Shastri, when I was in college. It died a silent death, when I got to meet so many real men in life.

28. Does anything hurt on your body right now?
Yeah, my right heel. Should consult a doctor.

29.What is your current desktop picture?
My hubby with a scenic backdrop - I took this picture, when we had been to Srisailam last week.

30. Have you been burnt by love?
Hurt by love, Burnt by passion.

What, is that all ? Only 30 questions ?????
Anyway, it was fun doing it.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

I hate these questions .....

Yesterday, I had been to the bank, to update my passbook. The man in the counter smiled at me and started making small talk with me. I didn't mind the questions which were out of my personal sphere. Then came the - Is your husband working with ..... ? What is he, in that company ? Here I am, trying to answer those questions with all the patience in the world, while he was waiting for the printer to print my account details. I was praying for the printing to be done fast, as I know the next question that was to be thrown at my direction.

Madam, Do you work ? --- Now, what kind of question is that ? I hate this question pointed at me. I get up at morning 5.15am, start packing my girls' lunch boxes as they leave at 6.45am. Then comes an array of chores like breakfast for me and S, lunch box for S, laundry, buying things for the house, banking, baking (some days), handle the maid, evening snack for the hungry girls, dinner and the list is sometimes endless. I try and catch up with my favourite Nigella's shows in between, if possible. While I slog around the house so much, I don't take it kindly to answer that question - Do you Work ? Should I answer a NO, I don't work - to this stupid question.

Just because he happened to be the person who helps me during long queues in the bank, I nodded my head both ways - up and down and side to side, totally confusing him. While he looked at me eagerly waiting for the answer, I took the passbook and escaped a verbal answer to him.

Are you employed somewhere ? sounds much better.

Another question that makes me really really irritable is - Are you a housewife ? I am totally angered by the way this society forms words in English - housewife???? grrrrrrr. To which I normally answer, I am a homemaker.

If you take up any application form in this country, there will be Name, Address. And under the heading Occupation, there will be options which has to be ticked. Options available are Employed, Housewife, Student, Others. When there is an option for employed, let the other option be Unemployed - Why degrade the 24*7 working women with a word like housewife ???? I generally choose the Others category and write Homemaker in the space provided.

If a man stays at home taking care of the house and kids, will he be branded as house husband ????? Maybe, yes, in India.

I prefer the stay-at-home Mom / Dad tag much much better than this stupid housewife thing which I am living with.

What are the questions which repel you from answering ? Do you get irritated like me ?????

Friday, June 5, 2009

Happiness Journey

As per my blogosphere friend's request, here I am, blogging about the journey of Happiness through different stages of life - as understood from Dr Deepak Chopra.

Dr Deepak Chopra specialised in internal medicine and was practising in California, before he took up Ayurveda. Further, he started concentrating more on the mind - body connections and advocates self-awareness and meditation as primary factors in both illness and healing.

There is this show in NDTV Good Times called "Happiness - A Journey with Deepak Chopra" which greatly appealed to me. And, this show is aired on Mondays & Saturdays 7.30 pm IST. Generally, 7.30pm shows in NDTV GT are about yoga, meditation and the alternate methods for peace and health.

In this series, Dr DC talks about finding happiness in various aspects of life like - love, work, death etc. The thoughts shared were simple, yet carried a profound meaning to it. I'll try my level best to remember Dr DC's thoughts and write them down.

  • There can 101 ways to beat stress like meditation, swimming, yoga and many more. But the most powerful ones are those times spent with your friend / spouse / partner doing some activity, where MONEY is not involved. Play a game of tennis or badminton, walk a few miles - any activity with a buddy is sure a great stress buster. When money is not involved, it brings in great happiness to play with friends and hence greater relief from stress.
  • As Lord Krishna advocates in his Bhagvad Gita, an employee also should live the life of KARMA YOGI. It means that - Just keep doing the work about which you are passionate about, but don't await the outcome of your work. If you love what you are doing, then the end result should never matter to you. Great musicians, artists have all created wonders - but never with the intention of selling and making money. If it happens later as a gradual process, then learn to accept it. But, the point is, Be passionate about your work, Work more passionately, Never think about the outcome. By living the life of Karma Yogi in the work place, the employee is totally satisfied - you can never find a more satisfied and happy human being at work.
  • The human body is made of matter, as are all the things in this earth. So, why do we think that the human body is destroyed after death ? Matter can never be destroyed. It just exists in different forms. By thinking that the person who died, is existing in this earth in some other form, will bring in some serenity to the mind. Its all in the mind - what you make your mind to think, is what you'll feel later.
  • When two people meet and talk, each person starts to exist in the conscience of the other. This kind of communication through the conscience is very powerful and intent. It also helps in feeling the other person's presence, even when they are not near us. This feeling is a great happiness contributor, when the other person meets with death.

Dr DC's thoughts and expressions were many more, which I am having trouble in bringing them to memory. Once, I do it, I'll be sure to write them also.

Finally, our happiness is within us. Nothing outside can affect this happiness within. We are responsible for our own happiness. How we react to situations, how we work passionately, how we treat our friends, how are we treated by our enemies - anything and everything should not affect our inner happiness.