Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Chicken Biryani Conquered

I have never in my life made chicken Biryani. I haven’t even seen one being made. Basically my relationship with chicken Biryani is that of a completely finished product.
Add to that the fact that both Aman and me completely drool over this dish. And since Bangalore has some awesome places which make out of this world Biryani, it never struck me that I should try my hand at cooking this dish.

Now this Thursday I had this brilliant brain wave where I felt like cooking Chicken Biryani myself. It was one of those days when I behave like one overtly devoted wife and want to pamper my pati dev no end. When I suggested the same to him he almost fell of his chair. There was this stunned expression on his face. Not that I am a bad cook and all that.

The reason which he then explained to me in the most earnest way was that he absolutely loves Chicken Biryani and he couldn’t let me play with his deep affection for the same. What if it didn’t come out well, what if it didn’t taste good, what if I forced him to eat it no matter how it tasted, aah too many questions!!!

I couldn’t believe my ears. How could he question my culinary skills? Not that I am an out of this world cook but then I am not bad too. In fact I am quite good, or so the people who have tasted my creations can say (I am fishing for compliments, Anu, Kanu and Nidhi, listening??)

So the wounded me, wiped the silent tear and got down to making Rajma Chawal, which by the way was oh so delicious. (I am not bragging, Aman plz tell them!!!). With this Aman thought that the Biryani tale would be over for good. But me had better ideas.

The very next day, after office I straight went to the nearest mall to buy chicken. Now this is something I have never done before for the reason that I can’t stand the smell.
This time I had a reason and even the smell couldn’t deter me. After having taken a thorough tutorial on “How to make Chicken Biryani” from a friend (god bless her), I was all set.
Aman usually comes home very late, so the idea was to make it, taste it and shove it in the dustbin if it wasn’t good.
If it was good then present it with all the fanfare.

But on this day he decided to come home on time, and with that he caught me in the process on making it. His expressions changed; the same incredulous look. But being the nice soul he is he silently stepped out of the kitchen muttering a hushed prayer.
Post that, I got on to the Biryani with a rejuvenated vengeance. Finally after an hour of sweating and puffing the “Biryani” was ready. And it did look quite good. I wish I had clicked some pictures!!!

I served and waited, and he took his time to come to the dinning table (for obvious reasons). He sat, my hear skipped a beat. He tasted and I almost fainted. And then he smiled, ah that lovely smile and then he hugged me. He said it was delicious. Had he not seen me making it he wouldn’t have believed I could have made it.
Woah, what a relief!!! And then I ate some too and trust me guys it was awesome.

So, who wants to eat the Iya special Chicken Biryani??

Thursday, April 16, 2009

My new Abode.. (Picture Post)

This post is long overdue. Thanks to T and P for reminding me to do this.
The new home is doing wonders to my system. There is this positive energy about the place which has me all pepped up. Touchwood!!!
There is a lot to be done to do up the place. Right now we have the basic structure in place. I will be gradually doing up the house like I want to. Aman has put a budget freeze on any house expenditure for a while. There is a reason for that too which I will share with you eventually.

Lets start with how the setting sun appears from my balcony!!

The first one is the view from the living room balcony and the second is the view from the bedroom balcony.

This is the drawing room and the dining room (notice the curtains !!!)

That’s the sitting area.. The opening on the left is the kitchen

And this is the master bedroom

And these are my prized paintings!!!

I just realized I have no pictures on the Kitchen and the other bedroom.

So this is where I now live. I know a lot has to be done. My drawing room desperalty needs a new rug and some fancy settees. Those cane chairs are actually meant for the balcony.
But like I said its budget freeze as of now as something big will happen soon!!! Keep guessing!!!

Updated - as an afterthought why don’t you all pick it up as a tag. Its simple, take the reader through a virtual tour of your house!! Give it shot.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The monkey is off my back

After moving to the new house, I had a brilliant brain wave.
I wanted a 24/7 house help. Although both Aman and me work and we spend all day in office, we don’t have any kids and neither do our parents stay with us. But still. I thought it would be great to have someone in the house to completely take care of the place.
Family and friends tried talking me out of this. They had their reasons of security, considering we were not in the house all day. Some spoke of privacy.
I had the basic set up in place. A maid that came and cleaned in the morning, a cook that came and did the cooking at night and an iron fellow who came and took the clothes each day. That’s most a household of 2 needs.

But the stubborn me wanted a 24/7 help. Some fanatical searching did give some results. With help of a friend we found a boy lets call him G who was ready to come and stay with us. I was clear that I didn’t want a girl (security you see) and I didn’t want someone very small.

Now when I saw G for the first time he looked really small. Not more than 12. I was shocked. We asked his parents and they said he was 15 and had been working for 3 years.
It was difficult to believe.

Anyways. I was excited by the idea so I bought their argument. And we got him home. I didn’t do away with any of the existing help. That meant that G had little work. I couldn’t ask him to do any thing. He looked so small. The moment he arrived the discomfort started to seep in. I stated feeling guilty of having a child in the house to do the house work. All my enthusiasm of having a 24/7 help vanished. I felt sick. As if there was this heavy rock on my heart.

And then I couldn’t take it anymore. I called his brother and asked him to come and take G away. All this conspired in the span of 2 days. I had him in my house for exactly 2 days. Third day his brother came and argued as to how G was 15 years old and that he has been working for 3 years and has been doing a lot of work. Whatever said and done, even if he was 15 he was still a child and I didn’t want to get into it. My conscience was getting killed. I said sorry, gave him some extra money and sent him off.

Ps: All this happened about 3 weeks back. This post has been in drafts since then. I couldn’t bring myself to post it. I am guilty of having him in my house for even 2 days. But then this space is my mirror. And putting it here means I have done peace with myself. Please be kind to me.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

1 to 10 – my life in numbers

Interesting!! If life could be defined in numbers this is what my life would appear to be.
BTW this is a tag from Mumbai Diva

1 is for my one and only little sister who I adore beyond words. She is the sweetest!!

2 is for my 2 bestest friends both of whom I haven’t seen for eight months now

3 is for the number of exciting years I have spent being married to Aman. It’s also for the number of countries I have been to.

4 is for the number of cities I have lived in. It’s also for close to the number of years I have been working for

5 is for the number of delightful years I have been crazily in love with my man

6 is for the number of wine glasses I lost while shifting to the new house. 6 is also for the number of houses I have changed in Bangalore

7 is for the cell phones I have lost or broken in the last five years

8 is for my beautiful house on the 8th floor with the awesome view of the sunset

9 is for the number of years since I left school. 9 is also for the number of jewelry sets I got when I got married.

10 is for the number of Kilos I need to loose to get back in shape.

Done. Now this looks easier than it actually is. Requires a bit of thinking which I did on a hot, sleepy Thursday afternoon.

Cyn – since you complained that no one tags you, I appeal to you to take this up.
Anu – you too do it lady. One of my response refers to you too!!!
Monika – I know you love doing tags, so take it up.

Others – Like it? Pick it, and let me know. Would love to read it!!