Sunday, November 20, 2011

Whats this Sunday about...

Well, I got a lot done and am not even feeling exhausted...
  • Woke up 7.30 am and wanted to go to the gym but had to supervise the cleaning and cooking in case the maids turned up early... Relaxed with a book, newspaper, Nescafe Vanilla Latte, True Blood, face pack, hair pack
  • Cleaning and cooking started at 9.30 am. The plan was to cook dal bhaati. My native pl
    ace is 3 hours from Rajasthan and I have grown up eating this dish at home... there are numerous dhabas also which serve it in Gujarat (close to Rajasthan). The bhaati is cooked on coals... in bhattis... at home we cooked in a special tandoor. I cooked it in a microwave today. For recipe scroll down
  • Once KC woke up, we had b'fast and I headed to the gym. I do not understand the guy... how can someone complain of insomnia at night and sleep so much during the day.
    *Shaking head*
  • The AC was not working in the gym... there were only 3 of us working out which was a change 'coz peak hours are packed with people on all instruments... there was 1 instructor
  • only... I was sneaking out after an hour of cardio and he stopped me... I had the shame to do my leg work outs for another 15 mins
  • After grocery shopping, lunch, a bath which ended with cold water (geyser does not work during power back up... my electricity woes are going to start)... I am now relaxing in the lounge type room. It is not cold but it is cool... I cannot sit on the bare cold floor without a mat... just finished reading latest part of Diary of a wimpy kid and will pick up part 2 of True Blood now.
I will begin with recipes for jam filled muffins which I have taken from Anita's blog
( Ok... not posting it here... you can hop onto the link for the recipe. Having some issues with the font color.
I baked around 4 muffins- 4 with jam and 3 without jam. The ones without jam taste less sweet... I guess you need to increase the sugar measurement if not using jam. Just stick to the jam.

And here is the recipe for dal bhati:
Bhati- nos 7 small ones
  • Add 1.5 cups flour (regular one), lots of oil (triple the quantity you would use when making regular chapattis), some salt and little haldi. Knead the dough with little water. It has to be very, very hard... as hard as you can make it. Make flat oval shapes (you can even make round ones)
  • Boil water in a big vessel. Put the bhatis in them. They will be done once they come on top. It takes around 10-15 mins. Ensure that the water completely covers the bhatis
  • You can either cook them in a tandoor (available everywhere) for 10-15 mins. Heat a tandoor, put the bhattis on the grill, cook covered. Once the top becomes firm and brown, turn and cook the other side till they also become brown
  • For microwave, mine has an automatic setting and cooked in 15 mins. For others, I guess the convention mode will have to be used. Put bhattis on a tava, place tava on high grill and cook on high for 7-8 mins. Turn the bhattis and cook for another 7-8 mins
Dal (serves 3-4 people)
  • Boil 1/4 cup tuvar dal, 1/4 cup urad dal and 1/2 cup moong chilke wali dal. The idea is to use 3 types of dal in this ratio
  • Crush the dal once boiled. Add the water leftover from boiling bhattis (why throw away nutrients?)
  • Add 1 chopped tomato, salt, green chillies, salt. Boil
  • In another pan, heat oil. Add jeera, hing, 1 small chopped onion, red chilli powder, haldi.
  • Add the mixture to the dal and let it boil
  • After 5 mins add nimbu/tamarind paste
Serve the bhattis with ghee.
Years ago, some guests were invited to our house for dinner. They brought their relatives along who had just come from Australia to visit. We were not aware extra people were coming (Indian culture!!!). Mom had cooked dal bhatti. There were 2 NRI kids who did not know how to eat it. They were dipping the bhattis in dal and having it. It was quite funny. We taught them to crush the bhatti, pour ghee over it, dunk dal on top, mix it well and then eat.

Disclaimer- There are many, many recipes for bhatti and dal. I don't know how genuine this one... this is how my mom makes it and its good enough for me.

Saturday, November 19, 2011


The reason this review is so late is because everyone has already said everything about it. I will now give my views on it.
While deciding whether to watch it or not, I found the reviews very confusing. They said positive and negative... nobody told me if I should watch it or not. We went for it last weekend.
Rockstar is not a movie about a guy becoming a rockstar... it is a movie about him falling in love, getting his heart broken, finding the love again, losing it... finding it again and then losing it finally. Thats the kernel. Music and stardom are the shells. Ranbir as the "Rockstar" is fab... I loved his North Delhi guy's typical accent and dressing. It is on spot. The accent does not change throughout... just 'coz he becomes famous his language does not get refined. Ranbir is a natural and I don't think he has ever acted in a "bad" movie till date.
Nargis is torture... she cannot act... it is as artificial as Amisha Patel, Aishwarya, Katrina- in the beginning of her career. Her voice is dubbed by the same female who dubs for Katrina. I found her pout very, very, very irritating. I have not come across any females with such a prominent pout in my day to day life. It has obviously been surgically enhanced.
Imtiaz Ali has a thing for firangs... a role which can be performed well by an Indian is given to firangs. I have nothing against them... but they need to be able to dance, act and speak the language, atleast.
Music grows on you. I did not like the songs when I saw them on TV but after watching the movie, I love them.
Watch it... once... for Ranbir.. for the music... for Imtiaz Ali.
It had potential to be a great movie but ends up in Bollywood cliches.

JS and the Times of my life

I just finished reading this book. Jug Suraiya is a famous journalist. He writes the column Jugular Vein in TOI. I have always like his columns and am familiar with his wife Bunny through them. The book traces his experiences as a journalist... it is witty, humorous, gives an insight into journalism and gossip. Worth a read.


Hiya... this week has been slow... less hectic... more laidback... I gave myself sometime.
But lemme talk I most comfy with... in bullet points:
  • KC was gone for 2 nights... he was supposed to be back after 1 night but his stay got extended. I had a hard time falling asleep... thinking about Paranormal Activity part 1. When he left home at 4.30 am, I told myself "Now I am alone... if there is something, it will happen now". Nothing did. I should have been convinced but... I didn't find PR 2 as scary... PR 1 is what gives me nightmares
  • I broke into my new Allen Solly red colored jeans. I bought it for 50% off on Love the buy... so worth it. I have bought skinny jeans after a very long time. Thank god, it fit perfectly.
  • My left foot had been aching for the last 2-3 days. Strangely, I didn't feel the pain in the gym or Jazz class. It was always in the morning. Yesterday, I could not even put my foot on the floor. I limped my way throughout the day. The thought of going to the doc crossed my mind but I remembered the last experience. I had a skin infection, the doc gave me 99% guarantee that it is incurable but she needs to do a biopsy. I was charged 2500 bucks after which she said that it is curable and I just need to apply ointment. Next time, I will go to a hospital in Gurgaon when I am on my death bed
  • Lesson learned today- Do not wear heels when your left foot is aching. Fashion can kill
  • We went for dinner to Ambience Mall. The soup and starters- dimsums were at restaurant 'Dimsum'... and main course and dinner was at Kobe Sizzlers. KC was about to pay without checking the bill but I always check the bill, just to know how much we have spent. I was shocked to be charged for 2 main courses. The waiter was called for and he rectified it. We would have overpaid by 300 bucks. Checking the bill specially at retail chains has become a habit. Twice I have been charged extra or charged for a 1+1 promo. Since my work involves dealing with chains, I know how screwed up they are. Once there was a 1+1 promo running at 50% off which means, on buying 1 unit of a product you get another free and are charged only 50% of the value.
  • I baked muffins today- jam filled muffins. The recipe was taken from Anita's blog. I share the pics tomorrow. Finally... next I want to try cupcakes with cheese frosting. I had them at Choco La (priced at 95 bucks each) and sooooo yummy... Cheese frosting is not sweet or sour... it balances out the sweetness of cupcakes.
Thats about it... more updates on books read and movies watched.

Monday, November 14, 2011

The week in pictures

A pic of the muffins. I experimented with a strawberry sauce filling and nutella topping. Both were tasty. Just need a good recipe for a proper muffin now. I need to try cheese frosting next Sunday.

My library has started stocking Calvin and Hobbes... I am so happy. The comics are really, really expensive and being able to rent them is a dream come true. I ordered one book and was surprised to receive the biggest book I have laid eyes on. It took me a few days to finish it... but I did. Every minute was spent on it... KC called it my Gita since it is so big and I laid it in my lap to read.

I have started reading the book after watching season 1 of 'True Blood'. I had heard a loooootttt about this series, specially from people abroad. Its quite a rage. An acquaintance had read horrible reviews on facebook after watching 1 episode. That got me intrigued. I watched the first few episodes... and was "WOW"... its full of blood, violence and sex... loads of it... dirty sex. Nothing like I have seen on television and I have seen a LOT. After completing 3/4th of the season, I gave up half way since the download speed is too low of the torrents and so is the buffering on I picked up the book and liked that the series does not follow it strictly. Now I have picked up the 2nd book and am downloading season 2... no matter how much time it takes. Not for everyone. I looked for the book in Om Book Shop in Metropolitan Mall, then at Ambience Mall, then at Reliance Time Out and finally found it in Landmark. Sadly, at every shop the guys helping out were looking for it in the kids section. I would have been mortified if they had stocked it there. I mean, a book about vampires, sex and blood in the kids section? Wow.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Whatta Sunday Morning

Hiya. This week has been extremely boring and slow. Generally, time flies away but this week I was actually counting minutes until the weekend. I didn't go the gym... I would decide to go in the morning and then wouldn't wake up since it has become cooler and sleep has become more precious. I would be determined to make up for it in the evening... but something or the other would come up... and laziness would get the more of me.
I was not even feeling too well this week. Friday was the most boring. We were home with nothing to do... couldn't get the tickets to any movie... we ordered dinner from Yo China and they sent the wrong order... they replaced it but it was not what we wanted. Hungry and bugged, we went to sleep by 10.30 pm. Such a waste.
I baked muffins and filled them with strawberry sauce and topped with nutella. They were tasty but too sweet. I think they were a bit undercooked. I am looking for a good recipe for muffins/cupcakes. The recipe I used was for chocolate chip muffins.
So, thats the update. More on movies watched and books read.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Books and Movies

Hiya. It has been a week full of books and movies. I had a stack of books in my drawer and I have devoured them one by one. Travelling in metro helps... it gives me time to read.
I wish this book didn't have Rekha on its cover... the book barely mentions her and she does not represent the "history" of Bollywood.
Anyway, apart from the cover... I loved it. It caught my eye and I ordered from the library. It starts from the beginning... first film made in India and abroad and chronicles the history, rise and fall of actors/actresses, their personal lives etc. It is very revealing. It does not dwell on actors like Anil Kapoor, Jackie Shroff, Mithun etc but spends maximum time on the earliest actors... Dilip Kumar... Amitabh Bachan... Raj Kapoor... Prithviraj Kapoor etc. Worth a read. I found it very difficult to put it down and waited to get home from work so I could continue reading.

Another book by Khushwant Singh and a very honest one. He has not hidden the fact that he got a job as editor of HT through Sanjay Gandhi and that he was fired from it by Birla. It takes guts to be this honest. Planning to read the rest of the books also.

I had taken part 2 home to watch it with my bro. But the format didn't work on the DVD player and we didn't get enough time to watch it on the laptop. Part 2 is scarier and yet it is not. It is scarier because the events happening are not as subtle as in part 1. It is less scary because part 1 gave the feeling that this could happen to anyone... in anyone's house but in part 2... the history is established. Which means... I will not have sleepless nights. I am looking forward to part 3... where it all began.

Downloaded and watched this flick yesterday. We were planning to watch "In time" but chucked it. I remember debating about it with my friends in school when I was in 7th std. The friends were Jainee and Monica. Jainee and I were of the view point that such movies should not be made. They set a bad precedent for the audience and gives them weird ideas. Monica was of the opposite view. So, unlike what I think now. I guess, then I didn't know what it was actually about. I still lived in the world of Mills and Boon and Barbara Cartlands.
I loved the movie. Shekhar Kapur is a genius. I wish he had made more Hindi movies. I loved the actors he picked- Seema Biswas, Nirmal Pandey, Raghubir Yadav, Namdeo (don't remember his first name), Manoj Bajpai, Saurabh Shukla etc. Its a wonderful cast... and at a time when they were nobodies. It shows an eye for talent.
The scene with Seema naked was a shocker. I had heard about it earlier... but thought it not be showing her completely nude. After all, which Indian actress will agree to such a scene? If she does, her reputation will be in ruins. It also made sense... if the movie is completely based on facts, why edit things out?
Another thing I loved was that... Seema does not have to mouth long dialogues or the rapes were not glorified to make the audience sympathize with her. The lines said by her; "Why no bullets for me?" when Namdeo (the villain) threatens to kill her partner. It means that her death will be a relief... she always has to suffer much worse... rapes... getting stripped in front of the village.
KC thought Phoolan was stupid to kill innocent villagers instead of the villains she had come after. If Phoolan was smart, she would have stayed with her husband instead of running away. The choice was getting raped by one man all her life or getting raped by many other men... of course, she didn't know then.
Phoolan had protested against this movie. But after its release, she became popular. She even got her autobiography published. She was a low caste icon and that explains the rise of Dalits in UP. They were tired of the oppression by the higher caste.
And if anyone reading this believes that oppression and discrimination does not exist anymore... you are wrong. But thats fodder for another post.