Category Archives: Random Stuff

She wont fix it or beg

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Mushroom Frittata

 Prep Time : 10 mins

 Cook Time : 15 mins 
 Serves:2 
 Recipe CategoryBreakfast-Lunch-Mushroom 

 Recipe CuisineInternational

   Ingredients needed

   Butter – 1 tbsp 
   Onion – ¼ cup chopped
   Garlic – 1 tbsp minced
   Capsicum– ¼ cup chopped
   Mushroom – 1 ¼ cup chopped (any mushroom)
   Eggs – 4 
   Milk – ¼ cup 
   Mozzarella Cheese – 2-3 tbsp grated
   Spring onion greens – 1 tbsp 
   Pepper powder to taste
   Salt – as needed


Preparations

Preheat oven to 180 degree C for 10 minutes.


Finely chop onions, garlic and capsicum. Wash and cut mushrooms.



Break eggs into a bowl, add milk and beat vigorously.



Add salt needed, pepper powder, spring onion greens and cheese to the mixture.



Method 

Heat butter in a pan, add garlic and saute well for 2-3 minutes.



Add finely chopped onions and saute until it turns transparent.


Add capsicum and saute for a few more minutes.



Add mushrooms and cook until light brown.(do not add salt to mushrooms)



Remove from heat. When it is warm, add the egg mixture and stir well to combine. (You can prepare all this directly in an oven safe cast iron pan. As my cast iron pan is small, I sauteed the mushrooms in a bigger pan and then transferred it to the cast iron pan).



Bake in a preheat oven for 10-15 minutes or until until the eggs are completely set and well cooked. Do not over cook.



Add grated cheese and bake for another 2 minutes or until the cheese melts.



Cut into wedges and serve hot.



Note – If you do not have an oven safe cast iron pan, you can use any oven-safe skillet/dish. 


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What goes around comes around

One day a man saw an old lady, stranded on the side of the road, but even in the dim light of day, he could see she needed help. So he pulled up in front of her Mercedes and got out. His Pontiac was still sputtering when he approached her.

Even with the smile on his face, she was worried. No one had stopped to help for the last hour or so. Was he going to hurt her? He didn’t look safe; he looked poor and hungry. He could see that she was frightened, standing out there in the cold. He knew how she felt. It was those chills which only fear can put in you. He said, “I’m here to help you, ma’am. Why don’t you wait in the car where it’s warm? By the way, my name is Bryan Anderson.”

Well, all she had was a flat tire, but for an old lady, that was bad enough. Bryan crawled under the car looking for a place to put the jack, skinning his knuckles a time or two. Soon he was able to change the tire. But he had to get dirty and his hands hurt.

As he was tightening up the lug nuts, she rolled down the window and began to talk to him. She told him that she was from St. Louis and was only just passing through. She couldn’t thank him enough for coming to her aid.

Bryan just smiled as he closed her trunk. The lady asked how much she owed him. Any amount would have been all right with her. She already imagined all the awful things that could have happened had he not stopped. Bryan never thought twice about being paid. This was not a job to him. This was helping someone in need, and God knows there were plenty, who had given him a hand in the past. He had lived his whole life that way, and it never occurred to him to act any other way.

He told her that if she really wanted to pay him back, the next time she saw someone who needed help, she could give that person the assistance they needed, and Bryan added, “And think of me.”

He waited until she started her car and drove off. It had been a cold and depressing day, but he felt good as he headed for home, disappearing into the twilight.

A few miles down the road the lady saw a small cafe. She went in to grab a bite to eat, and take the chill off before she made the last leg of her trip home. It was a dingy looking restaurant. Outside were two old gas pumps. The whole scene was unfamiliar to her. The waitress came over and brought a clean towel to wipe her wet hair. She had a sweet smile, one that even being on her feet for the whole day couldn’t erase. The lady noticed the waitress was nearly eight months pregnant, but she never let the strain and aches change her attitude. The old lady wondered how someone who had so little could be so giving to a stranger. Then she remembered Bryan.

After the lady finished her meal, she paid with a hundred dollar bill. The waitress quickly went to get change for her hundred dollar bill, but the old lady had slipped right out the door. She was gone by the time the waitress came back. The waitress wondered where the lady could be. Then she noticed something written on the napkin.

There were tears in her eyes when she read what the lady wrote: “You don’t owe me anything. I have been there too. Somebody once helped me out, the way I’m helping you. If you really want to pay me back, here is what you do, do not let this chain of love end with you.” Under the napkin were four more $100 bills.

Well, there were tables to clear, sugar bowls to fill, and people to serve, but the waitress made it through another day. That night when she got home from work and climbed into bed, she was thinking about the money and what the lady had written. How could the lady have known how much she and her husband needed it? With the baby due next month, it was going to be hard… She knew how worried her husband was, and as he lay sleeping next to her, she gave him a soft kiss and whispered soft and low, “Everything’s going to be all right. I love you, Bryan Anderson.”

There is an old saying “What goes around comes around.”

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The Mango Tree

Once upon a time, there lived a big mango tree. A little boy loved to come and play around it everyday.

He climbed to the tree top, ate the mangoes, took a nap under the shadow… He loved the tree and the tree loved to play with him.

Time went by… The little boy grew, and he no longer played around the tree.

One day, the boy came back to the tree with a sad look on his face.

“Come and play with me,” the tree asked the boy.

“I am no longer a kid, I don’t play around trees anymore.” The boy replied, “I want toys. I need money to buy them.”

“Sorry, I don’t have money… but you can pick all my mangoes and sell them so you will have money.”

The boy was so excited. He picked all the mangoes on the tree and left happily. The boy didn’t come back. The tree was sad.

One day, the boy grown into a man returned. The tree was so excited.

“Come and play with me,” the tree said.

“I don’t have time to play. I have to work for my family. We need a house for shelter. Can you help me?”

“Sorry, I don’t have a house, but you can chop off my branches to build your house.”

So the man cut all the branches off the tree and left happily. The tree was glad to see him happy but the boy didn’t come back afterward. The tree was again lonely and sad.

One hot summer day, the man returned and the tree was delighted.

“Come and play with me!” The tree said.

“I am sad and getting old. I want to go sailing to relax myself. Can you give me a boat?”

“Use my trunk to build your boat. You can sail far away and be happy.”

So the man cut the tree trunk to make a boat. He went sailing and didn’t come back for a long time.

Finally, the man returned after he had been gone for so many years.

“Sorry, my boy, but I don’t have anything for you anymore. No more mangoes to give you.” The tree said.

“I don’t have teeth to bite,” the man replied.

“No more trunk for you to climb on.”

“I am too old for that now,” the man said.

“I really can’t give you anything… the only thing left is my dying roots,” the tree said with sadness.

“I don’t need much now, just a place to rest. I am tired after all these years,” the man replied.

“Good! Old tree roots are the best place to lean on and rest. Come sit down with me and rest.”

The boy sat down and the tree was glad and smiled.

——By Shel Silverstein

The tree in the story represents our parents. When we are young, we love to play with them. When we grow up, we leave them and only come back when we need help. Parents sacrifice their lives for us.



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Palak Paneer

I am a big fan of North Indian (especially Punjabi dishes) dishes and cook North Indian dishes at least twice a week. I learnt all South Indian dishes from my mother and North Indian dishes from my aunty who is an expert in cooking various dishes. Palak Paneer is a very popular Indian dish that goes well with all Indian Breads and flavored rice. This is one of my family’s favorite. Today let us learn how to make palak paneer following this easy recipe.

Prep Time : 15 mins

 Cook Time : 30 mins 
 Serves: 3-4 
 Recipe CategorySide Dish 
 Recipe CuisinePunjabi-Indian

   Ingredients needed

   Spinach/Palak leaves- 3 cups firmly packed
   Green Chilli -1
   Paneer/Indian cheese -200 grams (15-20-pieces)
   Onion – 3/4 cup chopped finely
   Garlic -3-4 cloves finely chopped
   Ginger-garlic paste – 1 tsp flat
   Turmeric powder -1/4 tsp
   Tomatoes -1 cup finely chopped or 3 ripe ones

   Salt as required

    Spice Powder 

   Cumin /Jeera powder -3/4-1 tsp tsp
   Coriander powder -2 tsp
   Red Chilli powder -1 tsp or as required (I used homemade chilli powder)
   Garam masala powder/ kitchen king masala – 3/4 tsp

   For the seasoning 

   Oil- 2 1/2 tbsp
   Cumin seeds/jeera seeds -1 tsp
   Cinnamon – 1 inch piece
   Cloves – 2

   For garnishing 

   Fresh cream – 2 tbsp (optional)


Preparation


Cut paneer into cubes and shallow fry it slightly in very less oil. Keep it aside. Check out myhomemade paneer recipe.


Discard the thick stems of spinach and use the leaves alone.


Bring water to boil. Add spinach leaves and cook uncovered for 3-4 minutes. Once it cools, grind it to a smooth  paste with green chilli and keep it aside. Our spinach/palak puree is ready.


cooking spinach leaves


Method

Heat oil in a pan, add cumin seeds/jeera, cinnamon and cloves. When jeera sizzles, add finely chopped onions, garlic and saute until onion turns golden brown. Add a little salt to speed up the process. Continuous stirring is necessary for the onions to brown evenly.


preparing palak paneer


Add ginger-garlic paste and saute for a few more minutes or until the raw smell goes.


Add tomatoes, all the spice powder, turmeric powder and salt needed.


sauteing tomatoes


Cook until tomatoes becomes mushy and oil oozes out. (See the picture of the cooked tomatoes below-you must cook it like that). Do not add water without cooking the tomatoes well.


Add the palak/spinach puree and cook uncovered in medium or low flame for 5-6 minutes.


how to prepare palak paneer


Once the spinach is cooked well, add the cubed paneer pieces and cook for another 2-3 minutes.


spinach and cottage cheese gravy


Add 1/2 of water (You can use the water in which you cooked spinach leaves) and cook simmered until everything gets blended well. If the gravy becomes thick, add little more water and adjust the consistency. Check for salt.


Garnish with fresh cream and serve.


palak paneer recipe


Serve Palak Paneer with phulka, parathas or jeera pulao or ghee rice or any flavored rice.



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Paneer Kofta Recipe

This is yet another classic Paneer recipe for all paneer lovers out there. It is a much simpler version compared to Malai Kofta. Paneer balls are deep fried and served with rich onion tomato gravy. It tastes heavenly with chapati, naan, parathas and pulaos. Today we will learn how to make Paneer Kofta following this easy recipe with step wise pictures.

Prep Time : 15 mins

 Cook Time : 20 mins 
 Serves: 4 
 Recipe CategorySide Dish-Paneer 
 Recipe CuisineIndian-Punjabi

   Ingredients needed

   For the Paneer Kofta gravy

   Onion paste – 3/4 cup
   Ginger- 1 inch piece 
   Green chilli -1
   Garlic – 3-4 cloves
   Tomato Puree – 1 cup
   Salt to taste
   Cashew nuts -6-7

   Spice Powder

   Coriander Powder – 2 tsp
   Chilli Powder – 3/4 tsp
   Kitchen king masala or garam masala – 1 tsp
   Turmeric Powder – 1/4 tsp

  For the seasoning

   Oil – 2 tbsp
   Cumin seeds/jeera seeds – 1 tsp
   Cinnamon – 1 inch piece
   Cardamom – 1
   Cloves – 2

   For the Paneer kofta balls- Yields 6 paneer balls

   Paneer – 1 cup grated
   Cornflour -1/4 cup
   Green chilli – 1 finely chopped
   Ginger – 1/2 tsp grated
   Coriander leaves – 2 tbsp finely chopped
   Chilli powder – 1/2 tsp
   Kitchen king masala – 1/2 tsp
   Salt needed

   Oil for deep frying koftas

   For Garnishing 

   Coriander leaves -2 tbsp finely chopped
   Crumbled paneer -1 tbsp


Preparation


Grind ginger, garlic and green chilli together coarsely.


Soak cashew nuts in hot water for 15 minutes and grind it to a smooth paste with little water.


Puree tomatoes and keep it aside. We need 1 cup of tomato puree.


Boil water, when water starts boiling, add peeled onions, switch off  and keep it covered for 3-4 minutes. Drain the water completely and grind it to a smooth paste without adding water.


Keep all the ingredients ready to make your job easier and to prevent mess – Onion paste, ginger-garlic-green chilli paste, tomato paste, cashew nut paste and all the spice powder.


Method


Heat oil, add cumin seeds, when it splutters, add cinnamon, cardamom and cloves.


Then add the onion paste and saute nicely until it starts to brown. Add salt to speed up the process. Continuous stirring is necessary for the onions to brown evenly.


preparation for paneer kofta gravy


Add ginger-green chilli-garlic paste and saute for a few more minutes.


Then add the tomato puree and all the spice powder (mentioned under ingredients – spice powder) and salt needed. Cook the tomato puree well until it oozes out oil.


sauteing onion paste


Then add the cashew nut paste and cook for another 3-4 minutes.


Add a cup of water, when it boils, simmer for 15 minutes. This is the paneer kofta gravy. Garnish it with finely chopped coriander leaves.


preparing gravy


Preparation for the Paneer balls (Indian cottage cheese balls)


Grate paneer, add cornflour and the rest of the ingredients mentioned under “for the paneer kofta balls” except oil. Mix well to form a dough. You can adjust the spices and salt by tasting the paneer mixture.


Divide the paneer mixture equally and make smooth balls. If there are cracks, the balls will break while frying.


preparing paneer balls


Heat oil in a kadai, when the oil is hot, reduce the heat to low. Add the 1 or 2 paneer balls and fry on low heat until it browns evenly on all the sides. Be gently otherwise the balls might break.


Remove the fried ball and place it in a colander or on a paper towel to drain excess oil. Repeat the same process for the rest of the paneer balls. Now our paneer balls are ready.


how to make paneer kofta


How to serve


You have to add paneer balls only at the time of serving.


Before serving, place paneer balls in a shallow dish, reheat gravy and pour it over the paneer balls.


Garnish with crumbled paneer and finely chopped coriander leaves.


Serve hot with rotis, parathas, naan or pulao. It tastes amazing.


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Tomato Rice

Whenever I feel lazy to cook, my choice is usually Tomato rice. It is very simply to cook and tastes delicious.My children love this tomato rice a lot. Today we will learn how to make tomato rice following this easy recipe.

Prep Time : 10 mins

 Cook Time : 30 mins 
 Serves: 2 
 Recipe CategoryRice Recipes-Lunch/Dinner 
 Recipe CuisineSouth Indian

   Ingredients needed

   Basmati Rice -1 cup
   Ripe juicy big tomatoes -4
   Onion -2 medium size chopped
   Green chillies -2 slit
   Ginger-Garlic paste -1 tsp
   Sambar powder 1-2 tsp
   Turmeric Powder -1/4 tsp
   Salt as required

   For the seasoning 

   Oil -2 tbsp
   Mustard – 1/4 tsp
   Asafoetida – a pinch
   Curry leaves – little


Preparation 

Soak Basmati rice for 20 minutes. Drain water, add 2 cups of hot water and cook rice until soft.


Take juice of 4 tomatoes using a blender and keep it aside.


Method 

Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a kadai and add the ingredients mentioned under ‘for the seasoning’.


sauteing onions


Add onions and saute till it turns translucent.

adding ginger garlic paste


Add green chillies and ginger-garlic paste. Saute for a few more minutes.

how to make tomato rice


Then add tomato juice, turmeric powder, chilli powder or sambar powder and salt needed. Cook until oil separates as seen in the picture below.

easy tomato rice recipe


Add needed cooked rice to the tomato gravy and mix well.


thakkali sadam


Garnish with coriander leaves. Serve hot with papads, potato chips or raita.

Note – You can use ordinary regular rice or even leftover rice for this recipe.


If using chilli powder, add 3/4 tsp chilli powder and 1-2 tsp of coriander powder for best results.


Add needed cooked rice to the mixture.