Monday, June 23, 2014

Ek din Zindagi ke naam

It was planned that I would be in Delhi during the weekend of 21-22June. Then Husband dropped the bomb that he would be working full day on Saturday 21st June. Now that's wrong. What do I do in Delhi on a hot summer Saturday in June? As a blessing from the skies there landed a mail from IndiBlogger in my inbox informing about a interactive session with the team of the new Channel which was to be started from Monday. Zindagi from the family of Zee. The uniqueness of this channel - It will show some wonderful stories from across the border; from Pakistan. This meet was to be held in both Mumbai and Delhi simultaneously.Howzzat. In Delhi the venue was Taj Palace hotel in Man Singh road.

I registered myself for Delhi meet. Even though I was slightly apprehensive at first as I didn't know anyone in Delhi whereas in Mumbai many of my blogger friends would have attended. But then it reminded me of the day when I went for my first IndiBlogger meet without knowing anyone and now I have some really lovely bunch of fellow bloggers as friends.

The event started a little late. But please donot let that dampen your spirits. We were connected with the bloggers in Mumbai by a huge screen. Nihal, from IndiBlogger Delhi and Anoop from Mumbai did a wonderful job of connecting the bloggers from both the cities. There was a fun debate. The perennial debate between Delhiwale and Mumbaikars.
Q.Which city has the best public transport? ; Which city has more number of good looking men; Which city has the best weather.
Both Delhi and Mumbai came up with interesting details in support of their respective cities. All the while everyone had loads of fun. I, for one, a Mumbaikar sitting amidst Delhiwalon was having a good laugh.
Then came the creative head of Zee Zindagi TV and came along with her one of the lead actors from Pakistan Imran Abbas.   We all can surely hear the loud welcoming given to them all the way Delhi. Also joined us on the screen was Ms. Sultana Siddiqui. A very respected and well known TV producer and director. It was really wonderful to hear them talk about the life and the stories inspired by life in our neighborhood country with whom we share a bitter sweet relationship. Imran Abbas sang " Dharti sunehri" from Veer Zara which said so much of both the countries. While looking at the promos of the serials from Pakistan, one thing which I find heart warming is that we are so strikingly similar. They just look, talk , walk, wear, eat just like the way we do. There was no need of dubbing the serials because we speak the same language.

Few weeks ago I had the opportunity to watch a very wonderful little film called " Filmistaan" There the protagonist Sunny Arora who got kidnapped by terrorists by mistake and has been kept a hostage in one of the villages there says " Kaisa pata chalta ke Pakistan main hoon. Ghar, rehna, khana sab same hai" ( How would I know that I was in Pakistan. The homes, living, food everything is same)
That's what I felt when I saw the promos of the serials from across the border. Everything is same!

Zindagi comes with the message of Joday Dilon Ko - to unite the hearts.I hope Zindagi manages to bring a "Aman Ki Aasha " between the two countries and unite the hearts someday.

Another reason to watch the channel and serials : they end in 25-26 episodes. Beat that!!


Saturday, June 14, 2014

Being A Global Vegetarian

I admit I am not a Vegetarian. I love fish specifically river fish. I am from Assam where fish is considered a " regular vegetable" to have with either lunch or dinner every day. Besides that, I love Chicken and Duck too. Red meat I have to avoid because of my health reasons. Having said that, I also admit that I do not consider people who donot eat fish and meat as a bunch of losers. I respect their food choice and I expect everyone to respect mine.

My kitchen experiments have not been limited only to Non Vegetarians dishes. Proof - All links in my page " My Experiments in the Kitchen " Last week I got hold of the book " The Global Vegetarian " published in India by Body and Soul Books of Leadstart . The book is a compilation of Vegetarian dishes from across the Globe by 3 enthusiastic ladies -  Mridu Shailaj Thanki , Juhee Prabha Rathor and Vandana Shailaj Thanki. As mentioned in the gist outside of the book - " This book brings together international flavours, foods, and cooking techniques , culled from the world travels of the three authors and their passionate interest in gastronomy , one of the finest spices of life....This vegetarian collection of delicious dishes is an integral part of the mainstream, culinary experience."

The Global Vegetarian

In the Introduction of the book the authors provide a glimpse into what to expect as one turns the pages. They very honestly admit that the book " provides neither an extensive nor an exhaustive list of vegetarian recipes. It is simply a selection of dishes we consider an appropriate reflection of various places and people,and the food they relish, as we have come to do" The recipes can be placed in 3 categories.

1. Travelogue recipe
2.Recipes from our doorstep
3.Recipes of creative imagination

For anyone who goes through the book and find the ingredients unfamiliar and hence hesitate to try it out, please do not worry. The book provides the Techniques and has a list of Tips & Suggestions. This sure helps amateurs like me. They even have listed a glossary on select ingredients. This helped me in finding out what was required or atleast the close substitute.

I have started with one recipe at a time from this book. Today I have made ShakShuka for breakfast. This is a popular dish in the Mediterranean, parts of Middle East and some North African countries. Shakshuka is eggs in a savoury tomato sauce.

Here is the simple recipe for you.


1 each of red and yellow capsicum, finely chopped.
1 small onion finely chopped
4 - 6 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
3 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 tsp sugar
A small bunch of parsley, finely chopped
1 tsp paprika
200 gms canned tomatoes, chopped.
2 -3 eggs
Salt as per taste
Feta cheese ( optional)


Warm the oil in a heavy bottomed saucepan. Add the onions, peppers and garlic and sauté until they are soft but not brown
Add in the chopped tomatoes, paprika, salt and sugar. Stir and then simmer over low medium heat for10 - 15 mins. Stir occasionally until the mixture becomes a thick but still runny sauce.
with the back of a spoon, create a couple of shallow dips in the sauce and crack the eggs in to the dips. Do not stir. Cook and cover for 4 min, until the egg yolk become semi - firm.
Remove from heat, sprinkle with parsley and feta cheese ( if using) Serve with either some crusty bread or warmed pitta pieces.

That's my version without the greens..sorry but I didn't have any parsley or coriander in the my fridge today!

My version of Shakshuka
Although I would have loved had there been actual images of the dishes prepared rather than illustrations,  I do not miss them while going through the recipe. In a way it eased me off the tension of matching the perfect photograph of the final dish.

I will surely be trying out many dishes from the book. I will keep sharing them in my blog.

Priced at Rs. 399, this book will surely help you, if you love to experiment with Global cuisine in your kitchen.