Thursday, 7 June 2012

Romancing the Food with Nigella Lawson

I don’t know how many of you have heard of Nigella Lawson.  She is a British food writer and journalist but famously known for her cookery shows and books. I first watched her on BBC channel where she was presenting her own cookery show Nigella's Kitchen. I was simply awestruck and my fingers froze on the remote.

NO. It was not the recipes that caught me unaware but the presenter, Nigella Lawson. My eyes were only watching her style; I was least bothered with what she was cooking.  I felt as if she is romancing the food, slowly seducing her way to the viewers.  She literally flirts with food but at the same time her eyes hold an intimate connection with the audience. She looks coquettish with her voluptuous body and sizzling appearance while she seeks and gives an appetizing pleasure to the food lovers.

She comes across as a warm and charming woman with certain X factor. She can be described as tangy, zesty and fruity just like her diverse recipes. Her dulcet saccharine voice with a teasing tone sounds music to ears. She tempts you, lures you and invites you to taste her ambrosial cuisine. One look at her and you will know that she is an epicurean and an overly food extravagant. When she handpicks her ingredients or breathes in the aroma of fresh fruits, you just want to be with her right there.  Towards the end of the programme, she is shown waking up in the middle of the night to satiate her midnight appetite.  I tell you the hell breaks loose at that one moment. Here is a lady who is not at all shy of indulging her senses into the divine pleasures of food at any ungodly hour.

I can hardly comment about her recipes, but Nigella Lawson herself leaves with you a scrumptious impression and you end up craving for her more.

Cooking Tips

  1. The knife becomes sticky after cutting bhindi. Rub some salt on the knife and wash thoroughly.
  2. If you run short of lemons while making a salad, use a mix of vinegar and black salt. The salad will taste yummier and stay fresher for a long time.
  3. Add a teabag to chickpeas while boiling them in a pressure cooker. You will get the rich dark blackish brown colour.
  4. While cooking onion gravy for the egg curry, sprinkle few drops of water every few seconds. This will give a rich aroma and texture to the dish.
  5. Add some ajwain to the besan batter prepared for the pakoras. They will get a distinct flavor.
  6. Add little milk to the beaten egg for a fluffier omlette.

Sunday, 3 June 2012


Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Serves 1 glass


1 small lemon or half medium size lemon
2 tbsp sugar
½ tbsp black salt
½ tbsp dry mint powder
A pinch of roasted cumin powder
1 glass chilled water
Few ice cubes

  1. Squeeze lemon juice into the glass of water.
  2. Add sugar and black salt. Mix well till they dissolve in the water.
  3. Add dry mint powder and roasted cumin powder. Stir well.
  4. Add ice cubes and serve chilled.

Saturday, 2 June 2012


Food Trivia:
Did you know that cauliflower is available in four different colours: white, purple, green and orange?

(Cauliflower Potato Vegetable in Green Gravy)

Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Serving Size: 1 person


1 cup cauliflower florets
½ cup potato diced and cubed
¼ cup fresh or frozen green peas
1 cup green coriander leaves
1 green chilli
¼ inch ginger
1 small clove of garlic
½ tbsp coriander powder
A pinch of garam masala powder
Salt to taste
½ tbsp cumin seeds
A pinch of aesofotida
A pinch of turmeric powder
1 tbsp oil
3 to 4 drops of ghee

  1. Make a paste of green coriander leaves, green chilli, ginger, garlic and coriander powder in a mixer grinder. You can add water to it so that the consistency of paste is on thinner side.
  2. Put a pressure cooker on the gas and add oil.
  3. Once the oil is hot, add aesofotida, cumin seeds and turmeric powder.
  4. When the cumin seeds splutter, add the green paste and stir it till the water gets evaporated.
  5. As soon as the consistency of the green paste thickens, add the cauliflower florets, potato and green peas.
  6. Mix and stir the vegetables till they are coated in the green paste. Add salt.
  7. Add little water, almost to the level of vegetables.
  8. Cover the lid of the pressure cooker and allow 3-4 whistles.
  9. When it cools down, add garam masala.
  10. Add 3 to 4 drops of ghee.
  11. Serve with chappati or rice.

Friday, 1 June 2012

Terrible Two's, A Mother's Woes

My first encounter with the term Terrible Two's was while watching a child care programme on TV. I did not pay much attention to it since my daughter Anushka was just a few months old then. I will cross the bridge when it comes, I had thought.  I have reached the bridge now. Anushka turned two few days back and this birthday has brought a load of new nuisance and surprises with it.

For those who are not aware of this funny jargon, let me make it simpler for you. Terrible Two's is a phase in a child’s development where s/he plainly refuses to understand the meaning of NO and throws some unimaginable tantrums. This so called definition is just the tip of the iceberg. There is so much more to it if you try to fathom it.

So, how can my daughter be different in that sense?

For a start, Anushka is becoming fiercely independent. She no longer wants her mamma to feed her. She wants to see how she can create a mess with food, eat less and drop more on the floor. She wants to try a particular food with spoon though it is meant to be eaten with hands, chappati being one of the examples.  And if you hand over a spoon to her for dal or vegetables, she would poke the food as long as she can and till it starts dancing out of her plate. She wants to soap herself during the bath. She wants to wear her dresses on her own. This is a good development but exasperating when you know that she will take half an hour for a job which you can do just in 5 minutes!!!

Next, she is jealous of her mamma relaxing and taking a break from household chores. The moment I sit on the sofa and close my eyes for a while, there she comes with her preschool books, nudging me to teach her. Before you think that she is such a sweet child who is interested in books from so early days, hold on. She has learnt every book by heart and knows each picture in and out. I am tired of teaching her same thing repeatedly. And I do not want to buy new books because they will meet the same condition as the old ones –each page dissected from its original place.

What do I say about her mood swings? One moment she goes gaga over the new crayons her papa bought her and next you know, she throws them away, crying at the highest pitch of her voice because mamma refused to let her paint the walls.  And I thought it is only us women who have mood swings thanks to the games that our hormones play!!!

How does she vent out her anger or frustration? She loves to watch us scream in pain when she would appear out of nowhere and bites us anywhere she pleases to choose.  And I must say sometimes she makes interesting choice of our body parts to dig her teeth into.

She is a big time attention seeker. Her highness needs to be entertained and kept engaged every second of her waking hour. Or else, the TV remote control would be snatched away. Newspaper and magazines would be pulled out of our hands. Laptop keyboard would be hammered nonstop till we switch it off. And so on.

Anushka has mastered the art of switching between being an infant and toddler. She would listen to the instructions carefully and execute them thoroughly to your utter surprise. You would think that she has matured. Few minutes later, she would not heed anything I say, no matter what. As if I am talking Latin and Greek to her. As if I am talking much above her intelligence level. She would look innocently at me and just give a million dollar cute smile. I fail to comprehend if she is mocking me.

Exploring things around her is her latest pastime. Fearlessly. The word dangerous does not ring any bell to her. She would precariously sit on the armrest of the sofa seat or climb on the edge of chair to get hold of something on the dining table. As if some sixth sense tells her that there is someone behind her back to look after her. I wish we adults had the same liberty and daring to act before thinking. Her favourite amusement is to play hide and seek games with her mamma. Especially during  brushing the teeth, potty training, changing diapers and change of clothes. She makes me run to and fro after her. I have a gut feeling that she is challenging me into losing all those extra kilos piled up on my body after pregnancy.

This girl drove me crazy even before she was born and hasn’t stopped yet. She was born 17 days after her due date with a C section operation. She would not sleep a single wink during the day during her early months. She crawled at 10 months. She walked at 17 months. And now, she hasn’t started talking much yet. I mean I sometimes feel adult abused by her. I wonder why people just talk about child abuse. What about the mental and physical harassment games that the children play with the adults?

I understand that Anushka is just being her age. It is a normal growing phase for her. I also know when and where to discipline her. These days would soon be sweet memories captured in my heart. It would not be long before I miss her pure and innocent joie de vivreBUT all the things apart, this Terrible Two's thing is giving me a ride of lifetime…

I am going to leave you to read this beautiful and the most appropriate poem on Terrible Two's I came across on a website

There's crayon marks on my walls,
and toys up and down the hall,
There's something that used to be a couch, its true
now it's turned into just a cool-aid stain for two.

This morning i found a toy in my shoe,
but then again i guess that's nothing new,
There's a girl who screams" no, no!"
until my anger starts to show,
There's a girl who wants a cookie and whines until she gets,
I do have to say she's getting good at those little fits!

There's "Sponge Bob Squarepants" on my t.v. all day long,
I swear I'm gonna scream if i hear another "Blues Clues" song!
She tells me NO! when i say it's time to sleep,
and there never seems to be a time she don't make a peep!

Everyone says it's a natural thing she's going through,
But i swear i don't know what I'm gonna do!
These terrible two's are going to kill me!
i guess I'll just hope it gets better when she's three!