Saturday, 19 December 2015

Easy Delicious VEGETARIAN MAYONNAISE WITHOUT EGG!

With festive season round the corner, holidays afore and house full of dear ones; a homemaker needs quick fixes, store supplies and yet present delicious food.
Here i have for you a very easy and simple Mayonnaise recipe WITHOUT EGGS.
I made it tasting a bit at a time and adding ingredients
So here is what I did


Ingredients

  • Refined white flour (maida)           3 tablespoons
  • Butter                                          50 grams
  • Milk                                             2 and 1/2 cups
  • Salt                                             1 generous pinch
  • Sugar                                           2 tablespoons
  • White vinegar                               3 tablespoons

Method

Take a heavy bottom utensil and let the butter soften in it. Mix it or rather mash it well with the flour to make a smooth paste.
Now put the utensil on medium flame. Don't fry the flour to brown shade. Instead if you want white mayonnaise start adding milk to it little a time and continuously keep whisking the bubbling boiling mix. Once the all the milk is used up and you feel the consistency is right, take the utensil away from the heat.
Let it cool down
Gradually add in salt, sugar and vinegar to it and mix well
Taste it and you can improvise upon it as per your own taste.

VEGETARIAN MAYONNAISE IS READY

Note: While the utensil is on flame keep whisking continuously to avoid lumps in your mayonnaise

Variations
This is a very interesting part. You can make any kind of spread or dip with this basic mayonnaise by adding a little twist, such as:
  1. Add a little tomato sauce as per your taste or wish for colour to get a pinkish tangy mayo
  2. Add a little mustard paste or kasundi to get the heat of mustard
  3. Add melted cheese of your choice
  4. Add assorted fine chopped herbs
  5. Add assorted fine sliced/chopped vegetables and/or fruits (the picture given bellow has pomegranates, lettuce leaves and pink onion chopped)
  6. Add a crushed garlic clove for a little Mediterranean taste
  7. Go non-vegetarian by adding shredded boiled chicken or mashed boiled egg or fish. Go grab your sandwich
  8. and many more from your imagination  
Advantages
It stays well if kept in refrigerator in an air tight container  for a week or more
It has far less calories than egg mayonnaise or fresh cream
It has longer shelf life than egg mayonnaise

I tried this in number of occasions with friends and family, and they loved it
Now you try it
You will surely love it
Enjoy!

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Wednesday, 2 December 2015

TRAVELOGUE: KAZIRANGA AND GUWAHATI

Hi! We took a beautiful short trip to Assam, mainly Guwahati and Kaziranga!
We took a train from Kolkata to Guwahati, but got down at a station before Guwahati, Kamakhya Railway station. Here we hired an auto to Kamakhya Temple for 200INR. The auto took us to the mountain top where the temple complex is.
This ancient temple is one of the very holy Hindu temple, also known as Pitha-Sthaan.


The temple complex has many deities stone carvings. Animal sacrifice is still practiced  here.

Then we went to our guest house, freshened up, had a quick lunch and went to Assam State Museum.
There are beautiful collection of artifacts here. The kids specially enjoyed the Assamese village household made inside the museum.
This statue of Durga in the museum was dug up in Assam. Hindu mythology talk of Goddess Durga, who was empowered by many Gods to fight the demon King Mahisasur. Here Durga is seen with 20 hands with various weapons riding a lion slaying Mahisasur  who appeared out of a cut buffalo(mahish) body.
In the evening we went to nearby markets namely Paan bazaar and Fancy bazaar.
Get yourself a Mekhala Chador, traditional wear of Assamese women.

The next morning we went to Tezpur.
Lovely, peaceful place.

BEHOLD! We are in KAZIRANGA NATIONAL PARK!



We took a jeep safari. Here we saw elephants, deers, wild boar, pelicans, famous Indian one horned Rhinoceros and many other birds. Tigers are a bit difficult to spot. It was great fun. My hubby, Suman was most thrilled of the lot.

Can you guess, what plant or fruit is this?
?
This is peppercorn.
Tasted it. Fresh, strong flavor with sharp heat. 

Another question
Where am I?
?
I am standing in a TEA GARDEN
These manicured shrubs caught my attention while traveling. Found that these are tea plants, and so went in.
The trees in between the the TEA shrubs have  PEPPER climbers on them.
Very Interesting!
Even chew some raw tea leaves. They leave the tastes of tannin behind..

These are orchids
This one in particular looks like the flower of banana and also smells like it..

We were lucky to be able to visit KAZIRANGA NATIONAL ORCHID PARK. Just 2 to 3 kilometer from main gate of Kaziranga National park, was inaugurated on 14th October 2015. This is the effort of  motivated people under guidance of eminent activist Akhil Gogai. It was honour to meet him in person. Very humble and enthusiastic person.
Best time to visit is March and April when all orchids are in full bloom.

Kids thrilled after they saw pitcher plant. There is cultivation of all the orchids of North East India, 200 varieties of rice, medicinal plants, two ponds full of fishes and picture gallery. They also have authentic Asamese cuisine served here, Asamese cultural pro gramme including Bihu danced being showcased and also a real tree house. MUST GO....

Here we are on Agnigarh hill top. Strain your eyes and see behind us the Kolia Bhomora Setu https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kolia_Bhomora_Setu This is 3015 meter long bridge built on Brahmaputra river not only joining two parts of Assam but also an important landmark joining North Eastern states of India with the mainland.


Kids having fun of Agnigrah hill. Agnigarh tells the mythological story of Tezpur. The Har-Hara war when the place was strewn with dead and blood, gives this now peaceful place its name "Tezpur".

We came back home refreshed with lovely memories...
Enjoy Assam...

Monday, 12 October 2015

SPIDER-MAN ON MY T-SHIRT!

My son Adhrit wanted a RED t-shirt with spider-man painted on it. So difficult to find a customized T, so I PAINTED ONE...
 
He is happy..
Am happy...
And
A T-shirt is recycled and refashioned.....
This is last years sport's day school T-shirt, which still fits well and is in good form
So make better use of it

Chose a pose of Spider-man Adhrit likes
Drew it on the T

Painted the Spider-man using acrylic colours. Around the school logo I painted the night city life. Acrylic paints are good for fabrics as they don't wash of with daily use and detergents..

The backside logo also had to be hidden..
So this satin ribbon banner with SPIDER_MAN on it was a very easy way out:)

Adhrit in finished SPIDER-MAN T..
He is SUPER happy
to the extent that he wears this T almost everyday
HA! HA!

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Thursday, 23 July 2015

SPICY JIMIKAND OR YAM :O

This is a very spicy and mouth watering dish made of  JIMIKAND or YAM.
It can be eaten mixed with hot steamed rice, parathas or spread on any bread.

Ingredients:
Jimikand or yam  500grams
Tamarind  soak an inch big ball in half a cup of water, then extract the pulp and sieve Yellow mustard powder  2-3 tsp soaked in half a cup of water
Black mustard seeds 1/2 tsp
Salt      to taste
Sugar or jagerry  1 tsp(only enough to balance the acid of tamarind)
Turmeric powder  1/2 tsp
Red chilli powder to taste
Oil       3 tbs (preferably mustard oil)

Method:
Peel the outer layer of jimikand or yam. Cut the yam into finger thick chunks roughly. Boil or pressure cook it till done. Mash and keep aside.
In a pan heat the oil. Put the mustard seeds and let it crackle. Put the mashed  yam  and sauté. Put salt, sugar/jaggerry and chilli powder. Keep stirring well till the mash is well mixed with spices.
Add the tamarind pulp and sauté more till you reach the right consistency you want. Note tamarind needs little cooking. Check the seasoning.
Now add mustard powder solution, mix and remove from fire.



Its salty, SOUR and HOT!
Its lip smacking!
Its taste bud tingling!
Its mouth refreshing!
Just enjoy!!!

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Thursday, 9 July 2015

FAST & SMART T to COWL!


This was so super fast and super easy to make.
This is my daughter's T-shirt that she out grew.

 
This shirt had ruffled strips of same coloured fabric sew to it as embellishment, quite like Alabama Chanin style.
I neatly cut out this lower piece from the T-shirt along with 1cm or 0.4inch extra for folding in.

 
Now neatly fold in the raw edges and sew it with simple hem stitches or sew it with single zig-zag stitch.

 
 Here, you may embellish the edges further with beads or lace, or just let it be.

 
Taa daa...
The cowl is done
Perfect for light nip in air
Super fast
Super smart
Super easy
Love the texture
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Friday, 26 June 2015

CHICKEN LOAF

Hi! This lovely young lady, Ishita is my friend's daughter, and she taught me to make chicken loaf. No other chicken loaf but a microwaved chicken loaf, all done in 20 minutes.
Thank you Ishita!

Microwave time 20 minutes
Standing time 10 minutes
Makes a loaf 1 inch thick and 10 inches circle

Ingredients
500gms chicken mince
2 bread slices
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs beaten
1 tbs chopped fresh parsley leaves
1 tbs chopped fresh coriander leaves
1 big green capsicum chopped
2 medium onions chopped
2 tsp garlic chopped
2 tsp ginger chopped

1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp chilly flakes
1 tsp powdered black pepper or to your taste
salt to your taste


Method
Cut the hard edges of the bread, soak them in milk, squeeze the extra milk out, and put the bread in chicken mince. Discard the left over milk.
Add in all the ingredients and mix well.
 Grease a deep 10 inches diameter microwavable dish with very little butter. Pour the mix and flatten and smoothen the top.
Microwave at high for 20 minutes uncovered and then switch off the microwave.
Allow standing time 10 minutes before taking it out of the microwave.

Serve hot or cold
Soft
Aromatic
Yummy
Actually very basic, hence can be used to make many other dishes

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Friday, 12 June 2015

WEEKEND GETAWAY: CHANDIPUR

It was truely a weekend getaway from day to day nuisances. Our blissful faces confirm the truth of it.

We went to Chandipur in Odisha from Kolkata.

 It is one the most amazing beaches in the world.Check this link http://www.theworldgeography.com/2013/08/strange-beaches.html The Chandipur beach is listed among 15 top strange beaches in the world.
Why is it strange?
Well you can literally walk into the sea!!!
Well check this
Do not believe YET?
See the next three pics...





The first pic shows the sea near the horizon, the seconnd pic has sea about midway from horizon and shore, and third pic is at time of full high tide. These pics were taken from our guest room veranda. Took us a while to realize this on the first day.

 This pic was taken early morning about 5:30am or so, and...
 these are the same rocks at about 8:30am morning with high tide!

We were so excited the first day, we walked till the sea waves during the low tide (actually the horizon from our veranda). The beach is flat for stretches varying 1 to 6 kms. You can just go walking in ankle deep water till you reach actual waves.
 My little world enjoying themselves...
It's a serene beach with very few visitors
 Lovely breeze..

We were thrilled

We in the morning
4:45am

 Here is the first glimpse of the sun...

Morning in bloom...

The foot prints of my most loved people in the world...
 Adhrit and Aarotrika

Tracks of a hermit crab...


The beach is strewn with sea shells

just like that...


Guess what?
It is dusk.
The moon is out.
Lucky we, its full moon!
High tide is approaching...
As the tide gradually came closer, we moved slowly towards shore.
We stayed for long in the beach observation point at night and enjoyed the sea in full moon during high tide. Oh! the night before there was rains with thundering and lightening. The sea would just dazzle up with lightening. VOW!!!
 
 Our last morning of the stay
5:00am
A friend took us to see spotted antelopes...
shhh..
they are very shy animals and ever alert...

What shy? A couple of them were saved from poachers and brought up here...
So some of them show little faith in some of we fellow humans and
like to eat maize corn from their hands...

 Last day with the sea
Kids enjoying
As the high tide would nudge towards the shore, we walked a few more step towards shore and so on ...till it was full high tide. Now to the observation point...


 As there are not many visitors, no commercialization, the beach is still a peaceful rendezvous with nature 
It was a short holiday
But some holidays are experiences and calm memories
This holiday filled my heart
Am peaceful
Am refreshed
Am charged
Am ready to meet the madness of life