MISCELLANEOUS BOILED PEANUT SALAD

I love peanuts. I really love when they’re boiled. They get a water chestnut-y texture I adore. Toss in lemon, salt and pepper. That’s really all they need but rummage through your fridge and throw in any other odds and ends you think may fit.

Here I’ve put in diced bell pepper, cucumber, slithers of spring onion, a tablespoon of sesame oil and the dregs of a bottle of sweet chilli sauce that was in my cupboard way too long. Eat it warm.

 

TAKEOUT REVIEW: NOSHI – YUM ASIAN DELIVERY, GK

The first time take out food blew my mind I was a kid in New York who had just discovered the sweet and crispy General Tsos Chicken and fortune cookies. Sushiya was the next big game changer for me – I had their massive sushi platters sent over to my friend’s house where we’d skip on our internships and stuff our faces. When I moved back to Delhi from Bombay I was an Asian Haus addict – their fantastic packaging and consistent deliciousness had me hooked.

Taking all this to the next level is Noshi. From the guys behind my favourite Yum Yum Tree + Cha, Noshi’s not only delivering some of the best Asian food in Delhi but doing so with aplomb. The food is so good I wish I could afford to order it more often and the packaging so gorgeous I don’t throw it away.

My favourties –

  • Edamame tossed with Chilli and Garlic
  • Crystal Duck Dim Sum
  • Crazy California Roll
  • Tom Yum Soup with Noodles
  • Miso Ramen Soup with Noodles
  • Green Curry with Sticky Rice
Photo credit: Noshi

SPROUTS JALFREZI

Cultivate your craft. Water it daily, pour some tender loving care into it, and watch it grow. Remember that a plant doesn’t sprout immediately. – JB Mc Gee

Jalfr-easy =P
Jalfr-easy =P

I’m not entirely sure what a Jalfrezi is meant to be but to me this dish is basically a rough and ready stir fry. The flavors are Indian but simple, the process idiot proof and the results healthy and comforting. I picked the recipe up while looking for easy breakfast recipes but you can serve it as a side at any meal.

Serves 1

Recipe adapted from NDTV Food

 

What you’ll need:

1 cup sprouts (whichever kind you have at hand)

2 tomatoes + miscellaneous veggies you may have on hand (I added peas and half a bell pepper)

2 tbsp ginger garlic paste

2 tbsp powdered coriander seeds (Dhaniya Powder)

1/2 tbsp turmeric

1/2 cup yoghurt

1 tbsp cumin seeds

1/2 tbsp garam masala

Salt and chilli to taste

Dash of lime juice and coriander leaves for the garnish

 

How to:

1. Add a couple of tablespoons of oil to a pan and let it heat.

2. In about a minute, add the cumin and stir. Let roast for about a minute. Then add the ginger garlic paste and stir some more. Once you can smell the ginger garlic roasting, add the tomatoes and stir fry some more.

3. Add the garam masala, coriander seed powder, salt, turmeric and chilli powder. This is also when you add your miscellaneous veggies.

4. Add the sprouts and stir fry at high heat till they start to brown a little. Don’t burn them (obviously) but stir till they get that lightly fried look.

5. Add a cup of water and bring the mix to a boil. Check to see if your veggies are cooked and your sprouts slightly softened.

6. Add the yoghurt and mix well. Let the dish dry out on high heat if needed.

7. Serve hot, topped with chopped coriander leaves and a dash of lemon juice.

 

BANANA STRAWBERRY CHOCOLATE BITES

“Behind all your stories is always your mother’s story. Because hers is where yours begin.”
― Mitch Albom, For One More Day

My mother recently pointed out that she’d had two kids by my age. While I don’t have any plans to push any out in the near future, this lovely list of lessons from a mother to a daughter (read it here) inspired me to put together my own list of lessons learnt for any future female progeny.

1. If you can’t figure out why someone is doing what they are – look at what they’ve done in the past.

2. Learn to play a team sport.

3. Wear nice shoes and take care of your feet.

4. You don’t have to be a great cook but you need to be able to: (a) fend for yourself in the kitchen if there’s not takeout available, (b) feed the ones you love once in a while, and (c) have a signature dish that you do amazingly well.

5. If you can help, do it.

6. Sunscreen is for everyone.

7. If s/he is telling you someone else’s secrets then be sure they’ll tell yours to someone else.

8. Marriage is not the solution. You are.

9. Find a shade of lipstick that works for you and wear it when in doubt.

10. Travel. A lot. Often.

11. Carbohydrates, gluten, men, women and/or math are not the enemy.

12. If you take their money they’ll take your freedom.

13. Don’t stop dreaming but nobody promised you a rose garden.

14. Make mistakes, everyone does. Just be honest about them.

15. There’s nothing wrong with liking nice things but try to save atleast a little of your salary every month.

16. If he left someone for you, he will leave you for someone else.

17. There are some things we do for money and some things we do for love – know which is which and that both are valuable.

18. You should be able to wear/say/do what you want but the world is unfair. Make the most of what you’ve got. You’re better off than most.

19. Value old things. Half your story is where you came from.

20. Pick your addictions, friends and fights well.

21. Cleanse, exfoliate, condition, moisturize. That’s pretty much all of it. Don’t let beauty magazines tell you there’s more.

22. Don’t change for a man and don’t expect a man to change for you.

23. You need to be able to pay for your existence by 24.

24. Massages, bath products, great food, books and live performances are always worth it.

25. Diet pills, fairness products and cheap shoes are not.

26. Don’t believe everything you read.

27. Don’t believe everything you hear.

28. Don’t believe everything you see.

29. You don’t have to pick a signature scent.

30. Hydrate.

31. Call me if you’re in trouble. Any trouble.

32. Worry about the environment.

33. You have every right to pick your job, husband, religion, politics and wardrobe. Just remember all choices come with consequences.

34. Move abroad, if you like, it’s probably a better life but I’d like if you made a difference here.

35. Don’t worry about making people angry.

36. Life is only ever going to get busier. Learn to make lists.

37. Hobbies are necessary.

38. Vote.

39. Sometimes the smartest thing to do is get out.

40. When you feel overwhelmed, walk away, drink a glass of water and wash your face.

41. Your surroundings reflect who you are and who you want to be.

42. Keep a journal.

43. The curative properties of a hot bath are greater than those of alcohol.

44. If you have an option, choose handmade.

45. Do not sideline your friends for a relationship. This has never worked out for anyone.

46. Know the difference between how you look in crepe, chiffon, georgette and silk.

47. You don’t have to get along with your gossipy aunt, busybody cousin or chauvinistic uncle but you have to be polite to them.

48. Mentor someone.

49. Donate. Many in our country have very little.

50. There is a middle ground between what your heart says and what your mother says. Look for it.

51. Be kind to those who work for you, children and animals.

52. Learn how to tie a sari.

53. Your boss will lie to you. It’s part of the job description.

54. Everyone needs a good dentist, tailor, gynecologist, dry cleaner, financial advisor, dermatologist and mentor.

55. Firsts are overrated. This first love/job/apartment drama is a scam – some people only get it right in their 35th try and there’s nothing wrong with that.

56. “This is how things have always been,” “this is not our culture,” “what will people say,” are not valid arguments.

57. Don’t put up with anyone who makes you feel bad about yourself.

58. This too shall pass.

59. Be ambitious.

60. Call your friends home often.
About 15 – 20 bites
Recipe adapted from Oh She Glows
What you’ll need:

3-4 bananas
Handful of strawberries
½ cup of chocolate (melted)
¼ cup of chopped almonds/ walnuts/ shredded coconut (whatever you have on hand)

How to:

1. Chop up the bananas and strawberries into the same number of pieces and make little skewers of strawberries and bananas.

2. Put together an assembly line to avoid getting melted chocolate and nuts all over the place with the bowl of chocolate first and then the bowl of chopped nuts.

3. Dip the skewer first in the chocolate and then quickly coat the melted chocolate with the nuts/coconut.

4. Sit the skewers in cupcake liners and stick them in the fridge for a minimum of 15 minutes.

 

INCREDIBLE IDIA AND A BOWL OF PEA SOUP

“Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.” ― Martin Luther King Jr.
The idea of IDIA (Increasing Diversity by Increasing Access) was started by Shamnad Basheer (ex-Professor of the West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences (NUJS)) as a movement to eliminate inequities in access to higher education. Statistics show there’s a shocking dearth of diversity amongst the students clearing entrance tests for most national law universities, the IDIA team was set up to help change these statistics. Their main aim is to provide access to resources required to crack the CLAT to students from marginalized communities and regions, who wouldn’t be able to get through the exam otherwise.

Local IDIA Chapters have been set up across the country which have started an intensive training programme for students who are interested in pursuing law as a career. IDIA also selects students for the training program through its exam called IDIA National Aptitude Test which is held every year in several centres across the country. Contact Diptoshree Basu (INAT Coordinator) at dbasu3@gmail.com to find out how you can contribute, that is through donations, volunteering or maybe even mentoring some of the students that IDIA is trying to help.

I thought an appropriate pairing for the inspiring work being done by IDIA was this nourishing but simple Pea Soup – they’re both good for you and good for your soul.

 
 Serves 2
Recipe Adapted from 101 Cookbooks

What you’ll need:

1 cup shelled peas
2 onions (sliced)
2.5 cups vegetable stock

Foodnote: I usually melt Maggi cubes into hot water for this but I’ve heard they may contain MSG. Explore other brands of stock cubes to find one you like.

2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 lemon (juiced)
Red chilli powder to taste
Oregano/Thyme/ Rosemary/ Parsley or whatever seasoning you prefer

How to:

1. Pop olive oil into the container you’ll be using. Heat the oil a bit and then add the onions, stir while they soften and caramelize.

2. Add the peas and stir till soft. Add the stock and the rest of the ingredients (except the lemon juice) and let cook for about 15 – 20 mins.

3. Puree the mix and check the seasoning. Adjust as per taste.

4. Add a squirt or two of lemon juice and serve.