Quickest Shahi Paneer ever- with a vegan option- No Ghee- No Butter

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This is the easiest and most quick recipe for a complicated sounding yet most popular Indian delicacy. People in love with aroma of spices appreciate this preparation the most. Read through handy tips at the end of the recipe to try out vegan and no fat options. 

SERVES: 4

Why this recipe? How is it green? How am I contributing to making this earth green by following four steps or less recipes?

Using Pressure Cooker will take 5-7 minutes whereas it will take 20-25 minutes in a regular pan. 

You save: 40% of fuel energy and 20 minutes of your precious time that may be about 20 to 30% of the total time you spend in kitchen on an average (assuming you spend a total of 1-2 hours in a day in the kitchen)

INGREDIENTS:

1 tablespoons oil
1 cinnamon stick (small)
1 star Anise
1 brown cardamom
5 pieces of cloves
1 teaspoon of tandoori masala
3 medium tomatoes cut very small (preferable pureed)
½ kilo paneer (cottage cheese, feel free to replace it with Tofu, I love it)
1 inch frozen garlic or 2 crushed cloves
2 inch frozen or 25 grams fresh grated ginger
1 teaspoon red chilly powder
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon sugar
20 cashews or almonds (powdered)
200ml full cream milk (I usually make it with low fat milk)

STEP 1. Put all whole spices into heated oil, sauté until brown, should take about a minute or less.
STEP 2. Add small cut tomato/puree, red chilli and sugar and cover pot, let simmer for 3-4 minutes before you add powdered nuts with ¼ glass of water and put pressure cooker lid. Cook for 3-5 minutes in Pressure Cooker until pressure builds up. In an regular pot with lid it will take about 15-20 minutes.
STEP 3. Remove whole spices and run the hand grinder for 1 to 2 minutes right into the pan to make gravy smooth.
STEP 4. Add paneer pieces and half cup of cream/milk to curry as it becomes thick. Let it boil for 5 minutes before you serve.

HANDY TIPS:
1. You can replace cashew nuts/almonds with peanuts or other nuts as per your taste.
2. You may want to garnish it with cut fresh coriander leaves and if you don’t care about making it lean (fat free), feel free to add a tablespoon of fresh cream or butter while serving. For vegan options replace milk with soy milk, coconut milk or almond milk and paneer with Tofu.

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Deadly Nyama Choma..

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This memory ruminated back early this week after I met some of my long lost friends from my time working at the IRC in Kenya, two decades ago. A quickly arranged reunion at our new home in Nairobi turned out to be such a pleasant afternoon catching up with everyone. It was great to see the same old faces with a new look — more mature, yet holding the same expressions, nuances and  innocence of twenty years ago. We talked and chuckled about all the time we spent together as colleagues. One memory from 1998 that we all fondly recalled and could not stop laughing about was when I had suggested hosting a small house warming party at our new home in Nairobi. This was going to be the first get together with just my finance colleagues. Reacting to my proposal, Gabriel instantly came up with the idea that we should have a nyama choma evening — a traditional Kenyan barbeque. It seemed like a good idea to me to do something that would introduce me to the local culture.

I was new to Nairobi so I asked them where to get the meat for nyama choma, Gabriel readily offered to arrange for it. I was relieved that I just had to make some Indian food to compliment the main dish. It was agreed that the meat would be sent to my home and I would marinate it to be roasted in the evening.

On the day of the party, I was busy cleaning and getting the house ready when I saw somebody coming in through the gate. They were accompanied by a hopping, healthy, breathing and very much alive 3-foot-tall goat!

Seeing the live and kicking mammal, it did not occur to me even once that this could be the meat that Gabriel had promised to arrange. I was in a shock. I could not visualize this live goat lying in tiny pieces in the evening on the small outdoor griller we had. I called him and shared my sentiments as best as I could without sounding too distressed or tousled. I asked how he could possibly help in the situation and what to expect next. To my respite he offered to arrange for the meat to be made available in the form that we are used to see it. Soon enough there was somebody who took the live goat behind the house and came back with a torso of the goat without the head. It was again a sight that I had not expected. So I asked for it to be cut into a size and form that could be roasted. It took a couple of hours and the sacrifice of two chopping knives to get the meat to be ready. I once again cringed when I saw the quantity of meat we had on hand, considering that we would have a maximum of ten people that night for the get together. I recall mentioning to Manoj that we needed at least 50 people to tackle this much meat. Nevertheless, we had a great evening and all of the meat was polished off.

We not only created some treasured memories, we got acquainted to the local custom of nyama choma in the best of company we could have had.

Gopesh Mehra, our papa, that’s you

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Jan 25, 2018

 

It is 20 years today that destiny snatched you away from us. We have missed you since then. You have been in our thoughts each day. No words can describe what you were to all of us in the family. Your untimely departure from this world was not only a loss to the family but also to the Indian sports world. Here are a few words that Meizu has put together in an attempt to encapsulate your life and career.

Gopesh Mehra (born 12 June 1932) was an Indian publisher, journalist, and sports administrator. He was the founding Secretary General of the Archery Association of India.[1] and First Secretary of the Asian Archery Foundation. He served several terms as a member of the Indian Olympic Association[2]. He also founded and published the news magazine Sporting News from 1985 to 1987 and authored two books on international sports tournaments.

He was born in Chandni Chowk, New Delhi in India.

Career

Mehra began his career as a sports journalist with The Hindustan Times . He also reported for The Indian Express and The Motherland, an English daily newspaper published in New Delhi. During the emergency, he joined Samachar, the newly merged national news agency.[3] Samachar was closed after the fall of Indira Gandhi’s defeat in general elections.

Mehra then joined United News of India (UNI) where he would go on to cover major international sporting events including cricket series in United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and Pakistan. Mehra also traveled to Montreal for the 1976 Summer Olympics, Edmonton for the 1978 Commonwealth Games, Tehran for the 1974 Asian Games, Moscow for the 1980 Summer Olympics, Los Angeles for the 1984 Summer Olympics, Seoul for the 1988 Summer Olympics, and Bangkok for the 1970 Asian Games and 1978 Asian Games[4]

Mehra took early retirement from UNI after he was transferred to Calcutta as the Eastern Regional Manager for UNI. He covered the cyclone in Orissa in 1980.

He was a special correspondent with Associated Press for the 1982 Asian Games held in New Delhi.

Publications

Soon after the 1982 Asian Games, Mehra started a weekly news magazine Sporting News that ran for 2 years from 1985-1987.

Mehra also authored two books–Asian Games: A Book of Records (1982) and 1979 Pre-Olympic Games Moscow (1980). He also produced two TV shows for Doordarshan–Yoga for fitness and Asian Games preparations.

He was a member of the Press Club of India and Delhi & District Cricket Association.

Education

Gopesh Mehra attended the Ramjas School in Darya Ganj, New Delhi before completing a BA (Honours) in English Literature from Ramjas CollegeUniversity of Delhi. He then completed a Masters in History from Hindu College, University of Delhi. He was an ardent sports person and played cricket for both Ramjas College and Hindu College.

References

  1. http://www.indianarchery.info/history.aspx
  2.  http://library.la84.org/OlympicInformationCenter/OlympicReview/1976/ore103/ore103ze.pdf
  3. Mehta, D. S. (1979). Mass Communication and Journalism in India. Allied Publishers. ISBN 9788170233534.
  4. Mehra, G. N. (1982). Asian Games : a complete book of records. Rupa & CO: Calcutta.

External links

http://vintagerarebooks.blogspot.ca/2016/07/asian-games-complete-book-of-records-by.html

 

Baked Arrowroot Chips

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SERVES: 2

GLUTEN FREE

Why this recipe? 

Quick to make, great to store, healthy option for munching time.

I cup of sliced Arrowroot (120 grams) is only 78 calories. With this baked chips option you will have a healthy snack loaded with folate and B12. It is low calorie and is easy to digest. These crisp chips taste as good as potato chips, even better. 

 

INGREDIENTS

1 small arrowroot bulb about 80-100 grams
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon seasoning

PREPRATION

Preheat oven to 200 C degrees

STEPS
STEP 1. Slice arrowroot to make chips.
STEP 2. Put all ingredients together in a bowl and mix well
STEP 3. Spread evenly, the oil and salt smeared chips on a baking tray on parchment paper
STEP 4. Bake the chips for 8-10 minutes in top rack and then turn them around and bake for another 5-10 minutes.

HANDY TIPS:
1. You can make Zucchini, cassava or sweet potato baked chips the same way, adding a bit of minced garlic or ginger will give the chip a different and a nice flavour.
2. For more crispy gluten free options try adding some oats flour, rice flour, or consider adding an egg white when preparing the chips for baking.

Day 77

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Mumma, I try to keep myself busy with things to do but every time I pause, I still think of you. When you left us, my grief knew no bounds. I felt completely devastated. I am glad I decided to stay connected with you for all of these days, recollecting your memories. I knew it wouldn’t be easy but I knew it would be worth it. All this while it felt like I was with you, talking to you everyday just like we used to do before October 15.Day 77.jpg

This journey of staying connected to you does have an end, but it is the journey that has mattered the most. It was a journey to deal with pain that I did not expect many to understand, as it was not their journey to make sense of, it was mine. Manoj and the kids were with me all the time, helping me recall interesting anecdotes, picking pictures from archives, suggesting edits to my scribbling and just being with me in all of this. Having said this, there was a part of me that knew I’d have to deal with most of it alone. I also got a few people to join in sharing anecdotes in the last few days and discovered and rediscovered many fond memories of you.

I recall I used to tell you how I wished I could share each and every experience of yours – including the deadly health condition you were in, and you used to get annoyed. While this sharing was not possible, I know that you are no more than a thought away and will walk beside me unseen, unheard, but always near. I hate missing you and not being able to do anything about it. Missing you and not being able to see you is the worst feeling ever. I wish you were here or I was there or we were somewhere together!

All these past 76 days, I have talked to you about your strengths and qualities. Mumma, your life was not easy, being born as a woman more than seven decades ago in India. This was a time when women did not have rights, were not expected to have their own identities or stand up for their dignity. A woman’s life was typically run first by her father and her brothers, then husband and later in life, by her sons. I know you went along with this rhetoric but you still held your head high and tried to hold your ground as much as was possible. Your strength grew in the moments when you thought you couldn’t go on but you kept going anyway. There were times I noticed that you were giving in and these were the times when I felt even more close to you and tried my best to motivate you to be yourself and not give in. It worked sometimes and not so much at the other times. But I can say with a sense of pride that you tried your best each time. I also recall how when I used to support and encourage the girls in the family to try out new things in life, asking them to be themselves, being confident in whatever they do, wear whatever they like and have fun without bothering about what others have to say. You used to lovingly say to me that “ तूने घर की सब लड़कियों को बिगाड़ दिया है, (you have spoilt all the girls of the family) by encouraging them to do things that were unheard of in our family like drinking alcohol, wearing short and trendy clothes, going out for late night coffees and traveling alone to unknown places and much more. Yet, at the same time you always supported me quietly in all of this realizing that the world is changing and we have to move along with it. I feel that this freedom of choice made our girls stronger and gave them the courage to face the world with confidence. I know you were so proud of all our little girls who have become beautiful, confident and empowered young women. Today, as I conclude this journey with you, I promise that I will continue to encourage them to walk untrodden paths and carry forward your legacy of being progressive. I will make every effort to ensure that women in our family have control of their own lives, be it psychological, physical or financial. They will have the freedom to think and decide for themselves. Due to your unexpected and untimely departure from this world, I know that you left some tasks unfinished that you discussed with me, I hereby undertake to work on getting them done as you wanted them done.

Of all the gifts life has offered me, you, Mumma were the greatest of all. I will hold you in my heart forever. चरणस्पर्श (warm regards) and a final adios on social media to you…

Between Day 76 and 77

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My dear Mumma, while I am collecting my thoughts for writing the final culminating tribute to you on this 77th day, I have received more kind notes of your memories in the last 24 hours. These recollections are from Kamal जीजाजी (sister’s husband), Shani, Lata माँसी (mother’s sister), Annu मामी (maternal aunt) and Jyoti भाभी (sister-in-law).

Kamal जीजाजी appreciates your uncanny knack of striking a chord with everyone irrespective of age, gender or cultural background. Your formidable courage, your smiling face and your sweet nature were the only constants while you were undergoing treatment. You left an indelible mark on not only him and Neelu दीदी (sister) but also on their sons Shubh and Shrey. He says you have set an example for them to look up to.Day 76 77.jpg

Shani feels these posts have been a connecting thread for everyone in the family and have helped to rekindle your relationships and remind us all how remarkable a person you were.

Lata माँसी(mother’s sister) takes pride in being your sister and wishes that you continue to look upon and bless all your children and grandchildren from the heavens above.

Annu मामी (maternal aunt) recalls that you were more of a loving elder sister than a sister-in-law to her, Jaya मामी (maternal aunt) and बड़ी मामी (eldest maternal aunt). She has fond memories of the times when मामा मामी (mother’s brother and wife) were living in Delhi and had more quality time to spend with you.

Jyoti भाभी (sister-in-law) is feeling lonely without you and reliving the moments as I write these memoirs.

Your life has touched so many lives that it will go on forever. You gave us so much to remember; you are going to be in our hearts forever.

Day 76

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Mumma, you had three daughters in law coming from completely different family backgrounds, speaking different languages (mother tongue), having different temperaments and with different professional training. You loved us all equally like your children. I feel like the three of us are the children that destiny forgot to give you.
Today’s tribute is from one of us who has been loved by you immensely as your daughter. For the last 25 years since Simmi was welcomed to the family she has been your guardian when it came to keeping you well and in good spirits. She also played a huge role in giving you courage to fight the deadly health condition that you tackled in the last few years. You loved to talk to her daily not just to be informed about what’s happening in life in general but also to be comforted by receiving answers to questions that no body else could answer. Sometimes she had to answer difficult questions but I guess that only strengthened your relationship with her and brought you two closer
Her tribute below is a testament to the very special bond that you two shared.

“Mamma ,
All three of us have been truly fortunate to have had you as our mother in law. You’ve always been so open hearted and progressive. In fact you were more of a mother and a friend than a mother in law. It is very difficult and painful to accept that you are no longer with us. This void can never be filled and the loss so huge that words fail me. Day 76.jpgI remember when I said bye to you on the 15th night, not for a moment did I think that this was my last goodbye to you. You were unwell but we were all sure you would sail through. None of us could anticipate that the end was so near. It was shocking and traumatic to be told in less than an hour of leaving you that you had suffered a cardiac arrest and were no more. The regret of not being by your side will for ever remain with me.
You and I really grew close during the course of your illness. I would look forward to travelling to Delhi from Bathinda to accompany you to Referral and Research Hospital either for chemotherapy or follow-up. You would have so many questions pertaining to the deadly cancer you were afflicted with. I tried to answer most of them being a doctor but there were few I chose not to answer since they would have unnecessarily disturbed you. However there was one question that I had no answer to. You once asked ” why me?” Are Diabetes and heart ailment not enough ? I guess God knew you had the guts and courage to fight them all. You never ever gave up Mamma. You fought till the last day to emerge a Victor and a true champion.
I would like to narrate an anecdote to prove what a gutsy lady you were. So this happened last year when you, my mummy, Aditi and I were in Bathinda for a short trip. Pankaj insisted that we all accompany him to Bikaner as he had some official work to attend to. We had to catch a train next evening for Delhi. The train was to leave at 5.15. so we reached the station at 4.45, well in time . As we reached the station a train which was going to Delhi started moving. We mistook it to be the one we were supposed to catch and complete pandemonium broke out . There was confusion, chaos and panic..We were told to just run and board the train. Imagine दद्दा (paternal grandma) and नानी (maternal grandma) boarding a moving train. It took us five minutes to catch our breaths and the same time to realize that we were in the wrong train. Lucky for us that the next station was close by so we all deboarded and hurriedly caught a tempo to go back to Bikaner station. In the mean time the station master was requested to delay the train for a few minutes as we were on our way. He said he could not hold on for more than five minutes.To our utter dismay on reaching the platform we saw that this train too had begun to move. We somehow managed to board the last coach which happened to be a general compartment. So in a span of half an hour we boarded two trains both on the move. Kudos to दद्दा and नानी to have accomplished this feat. You were 76 years old then, frail and weak from the illness but nothing stopped you from catching that train. You are and will remain our hero, forever inspiring us . Your loving presence and your endearing smile will be missed by all of us. Praying that you will continue guiding and watching over us from the heavens above.”