29 February 2016

Favourite Fantasy Novels

Here are my top favourite fantasy novels

10. Discworld by Terry Pratchett
9. Lord Of The Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
8. The Prince Of Thorns by Mark Lawrence
7. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
6. American Gods by Neil Gaiman
5. Assassin's Apprentice by Robin Hobb
4. The Name Of The Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
3. A Game Of Thrones by George R.R. Martin
2. Harry Potter by J.K.Rowling

Aaaand my all time favourite IS:

Dune Chronicles by Frank Herbert

QOTD: Which is Your favourite fantasy novel?

22 February 2016

Mughlai Parantha

Photo Credits: Eat like a Bengali

Original Recipe: Bhalo Khabo

500 gms wholewheat flour
1 cup milk
Warm water
Salt to taste

1/2 kg minced beef  meat
3 tbsps vegetable oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 medium-sized onions chopped fine
1 tbsp garlic paste
1 tbsp ginger paste
2 tbsps coriander powder
1 tbsp cumin powder
1 tbsp garam masala 
Salt to taste
2 medium-sized tomatoes chopped fine
Juice of 1/2 a lime

3 eggs

- Heat the cooking oil in a wok or deep pan, on medium heat.
- Add the cumin seeds and fry for 1 minute. 
- Add the onions now. Fry till they turn a pale golden colour.
- Add the ginger and garlic pastes and fry for 1 minute.
- Add the minced meat and all the powdered spices - coriander, cumin, garam masala and salt to taste.
- Continue to brown the minced meat, stirring often to prevent burning. 
- Add the tomatoes, stir and cook till they are soft.
- Turn the fire off, add the lime juice and stir.

- In a large bowl, mix the flour and salt to taste. Add the milk a little at a time and knead. Once the milk is used up, add water. Knead well to make a medium-soft, smooth dough. 
- Wet your hand and rub all over the surface of the dough. Cover with a damp cloth and keep aside for 15 minutes.
- Whisk the eggs with salt to taste and keep aside.
- Divide the dough into equal-sized balls and then press flat. On a floured surface, roll a ball out into a 4" circle. 
- Put a large spoonful of the Masala Kheema in the center of the circle and fold edges of circle up to completely cover and seal the Masala Kheema inside. Pich the folds to shut.
- Gently press down on the filled ball to flatten it and then roll it, with very gentle pressure, into a 6" circle. --- Heat a griddle on a medium flame till hot. Put a Paratha on it. 
- Cook till you see tiny bubbles appearing on the upper surface. Now flip.
- Wait for bubbles to appear on the surface that is now on top. 
- Grease this surface with a little ghee/ cooking oil and flip again.
- Brush the surface now on top with some egg and flip again. 
- Grease the other side and brush egg on it also.
- The Paratha is ready when the egg on both sides is cooked.

15 February 2016

Why I Love Sushmita Sen!

It would not be right to say that I just love her... I adore her, I look up to her and absolutely idolize her!

I came to know who Sushmita Sen is with the rest of the world - when she defeated the 'really pretty model' to become Miss India and then went on to become our very first Miss Universe. She has gone and done something that no Indian woman to be crowned Miss.Universe, yet people came back (from seeing her at some event) to tell me that 'she is so dark skinned' or 'she is too tall for a (Indian) girl' or 'she is not at all pretty in real life' and I would be so exasperated. Is that all defined a girl who represented our country on a world stage - and ruled that stage, mind you!

She 'really' caught my attention when she adopted her first child. I stopped and really looked at her. and these are the things that made me adore her all these years ever since:

1. She is a single mother who adopted 2 girls and gave them a great life.

2. She has a very strong personality. You can see it in the way she walks, talks and carries herself.

3. The way she has balanced her work and personal life all the while being a single mother.

4. She lives her life on her own terms. She doesn't let anyone dictate any aspect of her life.

5. I admired the way she handled the Vikram Bhatt link up. In India it is always a woman's fault and as such people pointed fingers at her for being involved with a married man. But from where I see it - she was single - she wasn't cheating or hurting anyone. If anything the 'married man' should not have taken the steps. If he is ready to step out and cheat on his wife - it doesn't matter who the 'other woman' is - he will.

6. She is extremely well read and well spoken personality.

7. She is SEXY!

QOTD: Who is your favourite celebrity to idolize?

08 February 2016

Quaking Pudding

Photo Credits: Simon Dean Photography

Original Recipe at : Celtnet Recipes

100ml whole milk (you need the cream in the milk for the recipe) 
400ml whipping cream 
70g caster sugar 
40g breadcrumbs 
4 egg yolks 
1 whole egg 
grated zest of half a lemon 
ground cinnamon to decorate 
¼g each of cinnamon and nutmeg 
1 tsp finely-grated lemon zest (optional) 
butter and flour for dusting the moulds 

For the sauce: 50g butter, 60g caster sugar, 2 tbsp rose water

- First lightly grease the inside of four 150ml pudding bowls with butter and dust with a tablespoon of flour. 
- Roll the excess flour inside the pudding bowl until it entirely coats the inside of the bowl then tip the excess out. 
- Meanwhile place the milk, cream, breadcrumbs and spices in a saucepan and gently bring to the boil (you may add the lemon peel at this stage if you wish). 
- Beat the egg yolks and whole egg with the sugar until the sugar has dissolved. 
- When the milk and cream has boiled add to the egg yolks and whisk together. 
- Immediately divide between the moulds. 
- Add the lids on these and place near the centre of a roasting dish. 
- Fill this about half full of boiling water and transfer to an oven pre-heated to 100°C. 
- The puddings should take about 45 minutes to bake at which point take them out and allow to cool for about ten minutes. 
- Whilst the pudding is cooling cream together the butter and sugar and add the rose water. 
- When the puddings have cooled sufficiently tip them out onto plates and add a spoonful of the sauce on top so that it begins melting. 
- Serve immediately. As the name suggests the puddings should 'quake' (ie wobble) on the plate.

01 February 2016

Why I Love Shah Rukh Khan!

I fell in love with a young Circus owner in 1989 - as a kid and its almost three decades now - I still love him.Well, why do I?

He is not the best actor around... Neither is he the best looking actor around. He is certainly not the best dancer in the industry. And God knows he has had his share of controversies...

Here are the few reasons that I think are the reasons why I can never outgrow him:

1. He is a self-made man. He has been competing mostly with Amir and Salman Khan since the day he entered the industry. But both of them (and quite a few others) had an advantage over him when they started in the industry. SRK is not from a filmi family, did not know anyone in the industry and certainly did not have any godfathers or backing when he started off. The only other person who has come close to his popularity level while starting from scratch is Akshay Kumar.

2. His real life love story is something that has stood the test of time and is quite inspiring. Irrespective of how many times people have tried (and failed) to link him with other actresses (which I never ever believed), he is a family man and he has proved it time and again.

3. He is a possessive father. From the way he speaks about his children to the controversy at MCA ground, he has proved that as well. For the record - people may think that he was wrong to have gotten somewhat violent - but that just shows our present day patriarchal mentality. I absolutely love the fact that he picked a fight with the people who were being rude to his daughter and her friends. In my books - REAL MEN do that sort of thing, like standing up for and defending the women in his life.

4. He is an educated, well spoken and polished guy. From the very first, SRK has wowed me with his words. I am not talking about when he hosts Filmfare events... but most of the time he is a very well spoken and knowledgeable guy. His wit and sense of humour makes me swoon every single time.

5. I love the fact that he acknowledges that his fans made him what he is today. Every single time. He always gives back to his fans as much as he can.

6. I love the fact that he is a person who knows and follows his own religion at the same time being respectful of the others.

7. He is not one of those people who does charity work for press and recognition [or to show that 'accidents' are part of 'being human']. He is one of the few in the industry who does a lot of charitable work behind the scenes because he genuinely wants to do something. Here I just have to mention Sunil Shetty - a man I really respect for all his charity works - news of which never reaches the media.

8. Everything else as well - He IS smart. He is well read, media savvy person. He is honest about his need for fame. He is always respectful of women. His dimple.... And his EYES.

QOTD: Who is your favourite actor? Why do you love him?