Quick Palak Paneer in less than 10 minutes

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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 8-10 minutes whereas it will take 25-30 minutes in a regular pan. 

You save: 40% of fuel energy and 10 minutes of your precious time that is about 5 to 8% of the total time you spend in kitchen on an average (assuming you spend a total of 2-3 hours in a day in the kitchen)

COOKING TIME: 8-10 Minutes

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 tablespoon oil
1 cinnamon stick (daal chini)
1 star anise (Chakraphool)
1 brown cardamom (elaichi)
2 bay leaf (tez patta)
½ kilo bag of frozen spinach pellets or
1 kg of fresh spinach leaves
1 large onion – chopped any size
1 large tomato -chopped any size
1 fresh green chilli or 1 inch frozen crushed green chilli
4 cloves of garlic or 2 inch frozen garlic
50 grams freshly grated ginger or 2 inch frozen ginger
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons red chilly powder
2 tablespoons coriander powder
1 teaspoons garam masala (all spice)
1/2 kilo Paneer (cottage cheese)cut to 1 inch pieces
Butter oil for topping (if preferred)

STEP 1. Put all whole spices into heated oil, let them get brown
STEP 2. Add rest of the ingredients and cook for 2 whistles (4-6 minutes) in cooker or in the pan until all tender
STEP 3. Remove whole spices and run the hand grinder for 1-2 minutes right into the cooker/pan to make it smooth. You can then put the whole spices back in if you want to.
STEP 4. Add garam masala and the paneer/tofu pieces and let it simmer for 5 minutes before serving

HANDY TIP:
1. As no oils are needed to prepare the dish, you can add a dollop of butter or butter oil (butter oil) when serving, Spinach is supposed to be dry in nature for body so some healthy grease is advisable.
2. Feel free to replace paneer (cottage cheese) with sautéd Tofu or grilled potatoes.
3. For non vegetarian option replace paneer with boneless chicken tikka.

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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

 

Day 48

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Day 48.jpg
Very few people would know or believe that you have had the ultimate, exhilarating experience of getting arrested on US soil. Sounds scary, but you also never underestimated the importance of having fun. So, yes we all had fun in that situation too.
It was when we were going to Canada for a holiday with my mum, dad and you. This was from our earlier days in Kenya and we were transiting through Amsterdam and US to Canada. The border security officer at Amsterdam airport was perplexed to see so many passports together and somehow missed checking if you had a US visa. We were not stopping in the US, so we did not think a visa was needed for you to switch between planes. My mum and dad had US visas, but we did not think they were going to use them for that trip!
So, you arrived in the US airport without a visa. The immigration officer simply said ”We are arresting you and you will be deported”. You just laughed and looked at us. We then explained the situation to the officer and he said they would hold your passport until we boarded the flight to Canada. Our layover was a few hours at one of the busiest airports in the world. There were no places to sit, and here you were- supposedly detained. You were held in a nice waiting lounge (though there were a couple people in handcuffs there), away from the crowds. We all followed you and the whole family enjoyed the lounge! We all had fun and enjoyed the moments when a lady Marshall accompanied you to the washroom. One could say to us- how stupid can we be to not get a visa, but no one looks stupid when they are having fun!

I was not ready..

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I was supposed to be ready when my most loved and favorite person left us this past Sunday (October 15, 2017). We all knew she had been bravely battling cancer for three years. Her health was declining in the past few months, so I was supposed to be ready to say goodbye. After all, she was in her late seventies and had other medical conditions. I am not a child or even a young adult. At my age, I was supposed to be ready. The family and I knew the end was coming, so I was supposed to be ready. Her health was declining in the past few months, so I was supposed to be ready to say goodbye.DSC09280

But I was not.

I’m not sure how to cope with the grief of forever physically losing Sudha Mehra, my second mother, my mother-in-law, my best friend, and my favorite person in the world. I don’t know who to talk to for endless hours about everything under the sun. I don’t know who to tell about everything that I feel and do each day.

Even though we can’t see her anymore, I know that she is there with me, with all of us in our hearts. We were lucky to have such a great mother, and even luckier that we were able to spend so much time with her throughout her life and especially so much near the end.

Grief does not end. Rather, grief comes and goes. And then it comes again. The process does not have to be hurried. I will not let anyone belittle this loss, make me feel guilty for grieving deeply, or hurry me through my grief. I am entitled to feel all of grief’s intricacies and all of grief’s intensity. I want to take my time and live with her memories.

I want to remember her as the lively and loving person that she was and celebrate her life. There are so many memories of her that come to mind so it would be next to impossible for me to pick a favorite.

She was so keen to enjoy life to the fullest while keeping up with, and often exceeding, the pace at which the world was changing. She had the courage and desire to do things that even some youngsters have not done so far. A little motivation and encouragement got her to take computer lessons in a foreign land in a classroom setting, take swimming lessons at the age of 65, experience river rafting, try out a canopy walk at 200 feet above ground, enjoy dog sledding in minus 35 degrees temperature, and much more. She was one of the most tech savvy people at her age, well ahead of her time in many ways in using a smartphone, laptop and iPad. She played video games on a Game Boy almost a decade ago, and continued to maintain a profile on Facebook and Instagram as a way to keep busy and stay connected. The best way that I can think of paying a tribute to her is to post her memories each day on social networks for 77 days, one day for each year of her vibrant life.

The void created by her sudden death is still hard to grasp. She was someone that we took for granted would be around for much longer.
A vibrant soul, one who literally lit up the room whenever she entered. She was full of joy, right up until the end.

She thrived on social interactions. Her glow, her smile, her gentle touch made her friends easily and people didn’t forget her. All one had to do was start a conversation with her and she became friends with many a stranger in no time. Mumma was a popular lady and would welcome company with open arms.

Her knowledge of Hindi, the proverbs or muhavaras was simply exemplary and so impressive. She was always quick to pull one out of her memory at the right time and make the conversations even more interesting. It pains me to think that all of that is gone with her. I learnt so much from her about our family traditions, religious rituals, cooking Indian delicacies, crafts like knitting, embroidery, shuttlework (which is almost extinct now) and much more. I will miss those festival times when we would all sit together, chat endlessly and prepare sweets and savories.

Thank you mumma for everything you’ve given us and the warmth we shared during your precious time on earth.

Mumma, I know you would surely have found a way in the heavens to check your Facebook account, let me say to you- I don’t know how I will cope without you and will miss you more than words can say.

Curried Potatoes from Old Delhi- दरीबे के आलू रस

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SERVES: 4-5

COOKING TIME: 10-15 Minutes

GLUTEN FREE- LOADED WITH POTASSIUM (more than a banana), VITAMIN C, B6 and IRON

QUICK TO MAKE

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 10-12 minutes whereas it will take 20-30 minutes in a regular pan. 

You save: 40% of fuel energy and 15 minutes of your precious time that is about 8 to 10% of the total time you spend in kitchen on an average(assuming you spend a total of 2-3 hours in a day in the kitchen).

INGREDIENTS:

1 teaspoon of oil
1 pinch of asafoetida powder
½ teaspoon Cumin seeds
2 tablespoons crushed fennel seed
4 teaspoons Methi chutney masala, if available or
(1 teaspoon coriander seeds, 2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds and 2 whole red chilli)
2 small tomato chopped
2 teaspoons red chilli powder
4 palm sized potato chopped
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon turmeric powder
1 inch frozen crushed green chilli
1 teaspoon mango powder
1 teaspoon garam masala
Fresh or frozen coriander leaves

STEP 1. Put asafoetida powder, Cumin, fennel seed powder and all other seeds (if not using Methi chutney masala) in heated oil
STEP 2. Sauté for less than a minute, then add tomato and red chilli powder and cover the pan for 3-4 minutes till tomato become soft.
STEP 3. Add potatoes, salt, turmeric powder, frozen crushed green chilli and Methi chutney masala (if available)and enough water to submerge everything plus 2-3 inches, let the cooker give 2 whistles or leave the pressure cooker with whistle on for 10 minutes on fire)
STEP 4. Open cooker lid, add mango powder, garam masala and coriander leaves to garnish before you serve.

thumb_IMG_0280_1024HANDY TIPS:
1. Always wait for the steam in pressure cooker to release by itself. This is a safety precaution as well as retains all flavour of the food.
2. When done, before serving crush a few potatoes in the curry to thicken the density of the curry.

 

How do I manage excess cooked food? Freeze or not?

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Freezing food is a good way to have meals on the go! Whether it be leftovers or extra big batches made for future consumption, it is important to know how to store different foods. Here are some steps to make sure that frozen/refrigerated food is safe to eat and the taste is well preserved for your next meal:

      1. Freeze any fresh cooked food only once it cools down and reaches room temperature. You can quicken the cooling process by placing food in a shallow container on a cooling rack to allow air to circulate all around the container. Limiting the depth of food in containers to 2 inches or less leads to quick cooling.
      2. You can refrigerate practically any recipe of fresh cooked food if you are not going to use it for the next 2-3 days. If you plan to use the cooked food within this time, it is perfectly safe to keep it in fridge, it does not need to take up freezer space!
      3. thumb_IMG_0290_1024Store/freeze excess cooked food in small differently sized containers or freezer bags (not storage bags) so that you only reheat/thaw the amount needed for that meal. thumb_IMG_0105_1024

If using freezer bags try to flattened the food into a thin layer. A lumpy or rounded shape takes longer to thaw through to the middle.
Flat packages are also better for stacking in your freezer.

4. If you had to freeze a large container but want to eat a part of it at a time, be careful when refreezing partly thawed food. The thawed food can be safely refrozen if it still contains ice crystals. Try to reduce the time between thawing and refreezing to ensure that the food to be refrozen does not thaw completely.

Also check- How best to thaw frozen food? and Facts to know with freezing and thawing cooked food.