It’s been too long…


…and this blog seems like a chore to be completed; and among all the chores to be completed every day, this one seems like the most do-away-able.

So, I figured it might help if I move to someplace else.

Of course, the rest of this blog will be there as well, but it’ll be a new address, a new home, with a new look.

I might move back here again, who knows – but for now, I think I need a change.

See you all there!

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A sonnet of cats and dogs


Pic 221

Dedicated to Gabriel and Brandy. 🙂

 

 

A cat has grace that is envied by all,

Dogs, though, are “man’s best friends” by far.

We know dogs from feline grace do but fall,

Because cats do believe in being the czar.

 

We know a cat as dainty, proud and sly,

And also, as curiosity exemplified.

Dogs are playful, happy and the best ally,

And to stop wagging their tail, can’t decide.

 

But, to earn the trust of a cat is hard,

And, when done, is a feat well accomplished.

A happy dog is not tho’ such a reward,

But that doesn’t stop it from being cherished.

 

Never the twain shall meet, is often said-

Still, both of mine, each-other do sure dread.

© Aanchal Tyagi, 2010

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hai-ku?


You and me

Hot and sweaty –

Moving furniture.

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Blogcrastinator


That is what I am.

Link courtesy: The technologically-challenged workaholic who maintains her diary here. (Must read for everyone who accepts that they are workaholics, and for those who are still in denial!)

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Random Ramblings


A friend of mine that I chatted with today, after quite a long time, tells me that she loves my blog, that she really loves my blog, and that she really really loves my blog.

And then, she tells me that she’s been published (here – and I really need to find this book in Delhi somewhere), and then I tell her that I’m very jealous of her, and I’m very very jealous of her.

She says that I get published too.

I tell her that hitting the publish button is very different from “getting published”. Also that, my everlasting problem, which is the answer to everything I don’t get done in life, is laziness. Plus, I have a feeling that the fact that my job requires me to write might also be the reason for not feeling like writing after I get done with work.

Meh. :-/

I really should write more.

And, I’ve noticed that there really is no point in making that one of my new year resolutions. Too lazy to keep most of them.

In other news, two of my friends have had babies in the last week-ten days. The first one, a friend from childhood who I used to pretend being Nancy Drew with and solve make-believe mysteries, has had a lovely, lovely daughter.

The second, a friend from college, wanted a daughter, and has had a son – but is very happy (and exhausted). This little baby I’m going to see tomorrow. 🙂

This writing thing is actually quite nice – no?

Makes me feel nice to write. Should do it more.

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I proclaim today as 90s Music Day


And, since I do, and also since I’m working from home today, I thought I’d post some videos here that I used to love when I was growing up, and yes – the thought that I loved some of these songs does embarrass me (a lot!), but then there’s just so much about the 90s that would embarrass almost everyone, that well – here it is, then.

Now, some of these songs I may be embarrassed about, but some others I still quite like. And, I won’t tell you which ones – I know I’ll be judged! 😀

So, the No.1 romantic Hindi movie of the Nineties – Dil, and Mujhe neend na aaye, chain na aaye… from this movie. I really, really wanted that black satin outfit that Madhuri’s wearing in a part of the song, with a red flower behind her ear – and yes, I am (quite!) ashamed of that.

This song, and the next one, from the same movie.

There was something so nice about building a home out of nothing.

“Chhat pyaar ki,

dil ki zameen,

khwaabon ki hain ye deewaarein…” …or something like that.

This song I remember dancing to – a lot!

And, this song from another Aamir-Madhuri movie. And, can I just say that I thought Aamir looked quite cute in his specy-avatar.

And then, this song from another movie from 1990 – Baaghi, with Salman Khan and Nagma. Used to love the red and white striped sweater that he’s wearing in this song.

And, this one from another Salman Khan movie, this time with Revathi.

And this song – I still really like, by the way.

And – the ultimate Salman Khan movie from the 90s – Maine Pyaar Kiya, the movie that created Prem and Suman.

A little bit of film trivia. In Hum Aapke Hain Kaun, the next Rajshri movie with second avatar of “Prem”, there’s a scene during Pooja’s wedding, when Prem gets a crank call, and the girl on the other end says that her name is Suman, with the soundtrack of Maine Pyaar Kiya playing in the background. See, now would you have known that if it wasn’t for this post? 😀

I also liked this next song, which was a copy of this song.

The original antakshari that we all tried to memorise, so that playing antakshari became so much easier. Yes, cheating wasn’t a big deal for us, obviously.

And then, this and this too, from the same movie.

And, then – hold your breath – this next song, from the movie that had the long-haired poet and his long-haired friend, both in love with the same girl.

And, then this song from Vishwatma, and I love the music that this song starts with.

And, how can you have a list of songs from the 90s, without having Govinda in them, so here’s one with him and Divya Bharti.

Oh, and this murder mystery from the Nineties – Khiladi. The frilly frocks, bright colours, coed-colleges, singing and dancing – how much more Nineties can you get? 😀

And, there are so many more of these absolute classic gems, that I find myself ODing on 90s music, and not doing enough work. (I am supposed to be working from home, you remember?)

So, more of these another time. No, no – don’t worry – there are loads more where these came from! 🙂

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Recipe Time – #1, or the beginning of a series of recipe posts


And, I promise to have tried out all the recipes that I will henceforth post here. The advantage for you, dear readers, will be my personal comments on the recipe found in whichever book or website that I get the recipe from – tasty/not so much, correct proportions, correct time – you get the idea.

Without further ado – even though I find myself detesting clichés more and more in my writing, here’s Recipe #1.

Today being a chhutti and all, I decided to try out this Zero Oil cookbook I have (which I’ve never tried before). I had kamal kakdi (also known as Lotus Stem, or the horrible sounding bhein) at home, which I normally cook in a completely different way – but having read this recipe, I’m glad I tried it out.

It’s interesting and different, healthy, tasty and quite quick to make.

Krispy Kamal Kakdi, or Kurkure Bhein (as the book calls it)

(Serves 4)

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 250 gm. Kamal Kakdi, cut into diagonal slices
  • 2 medium sized onions, cut into four pieces each
  • 4 tbsp. dry wheat flour, or sookha aata
  • 5 green chillies
  • 1/2 cup dhaniya or coriander leaves, chopped finely
  • 2 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2” piece of ginger
  • 4-5 pods of garlic
  • 1.5 tbsp. fresh yoghurt
  • 1 tbsp. tomato ketchup
  • 1 tsp. soya sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. amchoor or dry mango powder
  • 1/2 tsp. garam masala, or a mixture of five Indian whole spices, dried and ground together.
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ajwain, or carom seeds
  • 1 tsp. red chilli powder

 

METHOD:

  1. Cut the kamal kakdi into thin, diagonal slices, and wash it nicely. It normally has a lot of dirt inside it, unless the ones you buy are closed from both sides.
  2. Put this into a pressure cooker with about 1.5 cups of water and a tsp. of salt, and let the cooker give 2-3 whistles.
  3. Pour out the water, and let the boiled kamal kakdi dry and cool off on a kitchen towel.
  4. Take 2-3 green chillies and the ginger and garlic and grind them into a fine paste. Once the paste is ready, add the ajwain, yoghurt, and a tsp. each of salt, red chilli powder and lemon juice. Mix it well with the paste.
  5. Pour this paste mixture over your now-dry kamal kakdi, and mix it nicely with your hands so that you’re sure that all the pieces of the kamal kakdi are completely covered with this paste. Leave this to marinate for an hour, and go read a book or something. (The one I’m reading is the first book from this series.)
  6. Once you’ve read a chapters, and the 1-hour of marination (of the kamal kakdi and your brain) is up, go back to the kitchen and take a non-stick pan and heat it up. Now, take the sookha aata and roast it well in the pan, for about 4-5 minutes on a medium flame, until it turns a nice golden-brown. Keep stirring it to keep it from sticking to the bottom of the pan and getting burnt.
  7. Once this is roasted, sprinkle it generously over the marinated kamal kakdi. Again, make sure that the roasted aata nicely covers all the pieces.
  8. Now, take a kadhaai (or a wok), heat it up, and put your eight pieces of onion in it. Now, the book says that you just need to roast the onions till they turn brown, but I saw that I needed to use just a little bit of oil – about 1/5 a teaspoon of refined oil, just to help the onions brown evenly.
  9. Once the onions have turned a deep pinkish-brown, add the kamal kakdi pieces to this, and roast again till all of it turns browner. The paste that you’d covered the kamal kakdi with is still raw, so keep the flame low, and let this cook nicely. Keep stirring and moving it around to avoid the roasted paste from sticking to the bottom.
  10. Once you think that it’s nicely roasted and brown, sprinkle 1/2 tsp. of amchoor and 1/2 tsp. of garam masala. Mix well, and then add the soya sauce and the tomato ketchup. Fry this well till the kamal kakdi becomes dry and slightly crisp.
  11. While this is frying (and don’t forget to keep stirring it), cut your remaining 2 green chillies into thin diagonal slices, and chop your dhaniya leaves. After you’re done frying, add both of these, along with 1 tsp. of lemon juice to the kamal kakdi, and mix together well. Let it roast along with the kamal kakdi for a minute or two for the subzi to get a slight flavour of all of these.
  12. And, serve! We had it with arhar ki daal and hot rotis.

This is it. Please do leave comments and let me know how it turned out, if you do decide to try it. 🙂

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