Friday, October 13, 2017


Since I am off bread and cheese these days, I had to put more thought and effort into planning my hors-d'oeuvres for a recent get together at home.

Both Bread and Cheese form an integral part of several of my creations or even those I like to copy from recipe books.

So, one had to look elsewhere for inspiration, which was not too far away. If you keep your creativity levels high, then you can do wonders even with the most banal, the most commonplace. The humble cucumber and the omnipresent tomato came to my rescue.

So here's presenting Ibaadat syle crudites, Sushi, and snacks on picks.

In case of the first, since I don't like being a copycat or following a practice replicated the nth number of times, I broke away from the style of presenting Crudites as strips of vegetables. Instead, I cut moderate-sized roundels of cucumber and tomatoes and topped them with a delish Hung Curd Dip.

For the snacks on picks, I strung golden toasted, home-made Paneer tikkas along with Green Olives. I use tikkas because, being partially dairy intolerant, I cannot consume raw cottage cheese. So we began using grilled Paneer instead!

What do I say! It was almost like a divine intervention. The taste of sultry olives with the lush Paneer tikkas marinated in Mint-coriander chutney and roasted in Olive oil is a marriage made in heaven. The combination tastes like manna on one's palate and leaves a rather nice, lingering after-taste.

But the crowning glory this time was the Ibaadat style Sushi wraps. Ours is a vegetarian household so one had to substitute fish with what we can happily eat.

And I love inventing things - even if they are something that bring everyday pleasure and may not be of national or international significance.

Our take on Sushi is Cucumber strips, evenly laid over with Mint-Coriander chutney and then rolled over a cube of home-made Paneer tikka. Secure the wraps with a toothpick and they are good to go.

My platters just have to look pretty and aesthetically rich. I hate lumping things onto a plate. I have to dress them up and present them in all their regalia. The proof is in the pictures.

The bonus - all these hors-d'oeuvres are vegetarian, all healthy, mostly gluten-free as a foodie friend pointed out and all are delectably delightful!

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

One good thing deserves another!

When you start leaving your favourite things, those very things that brought you comfort, you begin to look elsewhere for recourse and respite.

You start new love affairs, you look forward to meeting and embracing new things.

You step out of your old zone and create a new one for yourself - with new energies and new promises and new hopes.

Separated from erstwhile aides, you forge new relationships and seek co-travellers for the next phase of your journey.

And forced to break away from your old ways, you push yourself to become more creative and serendipitous.

Yes, all this philosophy from leaving puds and pasta and bread and cheese   

Monday, October 09, 2017

Fare thee well Spuds! See you on the other side!

A couple of days back I divorced, nay, separated from potatoes with whom I have enjoyed a celestial marriage.

Which means, no Aloo paranthas, no Fries, no Samosas, no Aloo Bhujiya, no potatoes in jackets covered with melted Cheddar, no cheesy mash, certainly no home baked Crispies nor the ones out of a packet and most definitely no Dum Aloos.

No, I am not on a special diet. I am just testing myself out by abstaining from any weakness so as to get closer to the Buddha inside me.

So here's sharing what we recently did with the delightful potato, one last time.

Looking forward to reuniting with the spuds on the other side of three months.

Here's our Dum Aloo Spudwiches - homemade Dum Aloos sandwiched between warmed up and chutneyed Kulcha Triangles!

Enjoy the bliss of food and food cooked with love!

Sunday, October 08, 2017

Karva Chauth - only if you will!

Amidst all the noise about the gender specificity of Karva Chauth, the increasing chatter calling it archaic and obsolete, the 'new' thought train questioning its relevance; Sulabh and I observed the 'no food - no water' fast once again, for the 17th year together!

No drama, no coaxing, no odious comparisons! 
And Sulabh has been keeping it with me regardless of office pressures, business schedules and quizzing by family and friends.

Here's wishing all couples around 'oneness' within their uniqueness and diversity.

Stay blessed!

Sharing pictures from some of the previous years.

Friday, October 06, 2017

Here's some Nature's magic at Lucky Manzil!!!

Do notice the fine pink freckles on the petals, the half-yellow half-fuschia flower and that one pink strip on an otherwise yellow flower!

As if we didn't know already. God is the finest painter of all and such a show-off  

The flowers featured here are called Mirabilis, also called Four-o'clocks or Umbrellaworts. Their best-known species is Mirabilis jalapa. 

Picture courtesy - करुणा दयाल

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

The Shepherd connivance!

Our crafty, intelligent Shepherd Daughter!

Don't be fooled by the pictures below. Or by the overt show of emotion.

She loves me alright, but she is her Dad's Daughter!

That thing you have heard about Shepherd traits where they sort of belong to ONE person, it is true. Though Cindy Baby 2 loves all of us but her special attention and emotion is reserved for her Pa. Go and gloat some Sulabh Upadhyay

But should she want something to be done or has a problem that needs to be addressed or is not feeling a 100% and needs that issue to be taken care of, guess who she comes to!!!!

So happy to serve the Shepherd Girl!