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Monday, August 31, 2009

Medu Vada............For Iftaar


BISMILLAH HIR RAHMAN NIR RAHEEM



My brother loves this Medu Vada very much. He was not a big fan of this popular snack, until an Anna ( Elder brother's are called Anna in southern part of India) arrived to sell infront of their college. Our mom never allowed us to eat anything from outside. She always used to make anything and everything at home, whatever we demanded. It was her belief that eating out makes the kid lose his taste for homemade food, besides making him sick.

I try to follow my mom's belief and thats why try to prepare any and every dish to please my siblings platter. This is the reason I made these medu vadas, but instead of getting appreciation my brother told me that his anna makes much better. Ahhh... then I know how hygenically that anna makes the vadas,,, and our argument continues............... :-)

RECIPE:

Ingredients:
Urad dal = 1 cup
Onion = 1 small  (optional)
Coconut pieces = 1/4 cup (optional)
Green chillies = 3
Curry leaves = 5 to 6
Ginger garlic paste = 2 tsp
Coriander = 1/2 a bunch
Black pepper = 2 tsp
Salt to taste
Oil for frying

Method:
1. Soak urad dal for 4-5 hrs.

2. Drain all the water and grind to a fine paste without adding any water.

3. Transfer the paste in a bowl . Add finely chopped onion, coconut pieces, finely chopped green chillies, chopped curry leaves, ginger-garlic paste, chopped coriander, black pepper, and salt. Mix well.

4. Put the batter in the medu wada maker and fry them in hot oil.

5. Serve hot with chutney.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

"My Mother Is The Most Beautiful Woman In The World"



BISMILLAH HIR RAHMAN NIR RAHEEM


( "My Mother Is The Most Beautiful Woman In The World". This is a story which we had in our school english textbooks. I don't remember which standard but I've most of my textbook stories torn and kept safely till date. Last week while searching some stories for my sister to teach them to nursery kids, I came across this. I immediately thought of posting it and sharing with others. Its a very wonderful story, read it. I've typed exactly word to word from my textbook.)





"My Mother Is The Most Beautiful Woman In The World"




Once upon a time, long, long, ago, when the harvest season had come again in the Ukraine, the villagers were all busy cutting and gathering the wheat.


Marfa and Ivan went to the field early each day, as did all their children. There they stayed until sundown. Varya was Marfa’s and Ivan’s youngest little girl, six years old. When everyone went to the fields in harvest time, Varya went, too. Her legs were so short she had to run and skip to keep up with her mother’s and father’s long steps.


“Varyachka, you are a little slow poke!” her father said to her. Then, laughing loudly, he swung her up on his shoulder where she had to hold tightly to his neck, for his arms were full carrying the day’s lunch and the long scythe to cut the wheat.


In the field, in the long even rows between the thick wheat, Varya knew just what she must do. First, she must stay at least twenty or thirsty paces behind her father, who now took even greater and bigger steps, so that he might have plenty of room to swing wide the newly sharpened scythe.


“Stand back, Varyachka! Mind the scythe!” her father warned. Swish, Swish, Swish, went his even strokes, and down came the wheat, faster and faster, as he made his great strides.


Soon Marfa began to follow Ivan. She gathered the wheat in sheaves or bunches just big enough to bind together with a strand of braided wheat. Varya, eager to be useful, helped gather the wheat, and held each bunch while her mother tied it. When three sheaves were tied, they were stacked against each other in a little pyramid.


“Careful, Varyachka!” her mother cautioned, “wheat side up!”


After a while, instead of long rows of wheat, there were long rows of sheaves, standing stiffly.


Sometimes Varya forgot to follow her mother. On very hot days she stopped to rest upon the warm ground, and let her tired, bare feet and toes tickle the dark, moist earth. A while later she ran and caught up with her mother, and then her mother hugged her to her and wiped her dripping face.


Day after day, Ivan, Marfa and Varya went to the field, until all the wheat was cut and stacked and none was left growing in the ground. Then a big wagon came and everyone pitched the wheat up to the driver who packed it in solidly and carefully, and took it to the threshing barn.

Varya was an impatient little girl. Her impatience was like a teasing toothache. Today it was so great she felt choked, as if she had swallowed a whole watermelon. For today was the last day for gathering the wheat. By evening all the wheat would be cut, stacked in pyramids, and waiting for the wagon to take it to the threshing barn. Tomorrow another wonderful feast day and celebration would come around again. Varya could hardly wait for the feast day to begin.


Bright and early Marfa, Ivan, and Varya went to the field. “We must get to it,” warned Ivan, “this is our last day to get the wheat in!”


“It has been a good crop, Ivan, hasn’t it?” asked Marfa.


“Indeed, yes!” Ivan answered heartily. “And it will mean a good warm winter with plenty to eat. We have much to be thankful for.”


Marfa and Ivan worked quicker and harder than ever. They did not seem to notice the hot sun. the wheat swished almost savagely as it came rushing down.


But to Varya the day seemed the longest she had ever lived. The sun seemed hotter than on any other day, and her feet seemed almost too heavy to life.


Varya peered into the next row of wheat which was not yet cut. There it was cool and pleasant and the sun did not bear down with its almost unbearable heat. Varya moved in just a little further to surround herself with that blessed coolness. “How lucky I am!” she thought, “to be able to hide away from the hot sun. I will do this for just a few minutes. Surely Mamochka will not mind if I do not help her all the day.”


Soon Varya grew sleepy, for in so cool a place, one could curl up and be very quiet and comfortable.


When Varya woke, she jumped to her feet and started to run toward her mother. But her mother was nowhere in sight.


Varya called, “Mama”, “Mama”, “Mamochka”, but there was no answer.


Sometimes her mother got ahead of her and was so busy with her work she did not hear.


“Maybe if I run along the row, I will catch up with her,” Varya thought.


She ran and ran, and soon she was out of breath, but nowhere could she see her mother.


“Maybe I have gone in the wrong direction,” She said to herself. So she ran the other way. But here, too, there was no trace of her mother.


Varya was alone in the wheat fields, where she could see nothing but tall pyramids of wheat towering above her. When she called out, her voice brought no response, no help. Overhead the sun was not so bright as it had been. Varya knew that soon it would be night and that she must find her mother.


When it was almost dark, Varya stumbled into a clearing where several men and women had paused to gossip after the day’s work. It took her only a second to see that these were strangers, and that neither her mother nor father were among them.


The little girl stared ahead of her, not knowing what to do. One of the men spied her and said in a booming voice which he thought was friendly, “Look what we have here!”


Everyone turned to Varya. This made her burst into tears.


“Poor little thing,” cried one of the women, putting her arms around Varya, “She is lost!”. But this sympathy, and the strange voices made Varya want her mother all the more. She could not help crying.


“We must know her name, and the name of her mother and father. Then we can unite them,” said the women.


“Little girl, little girl,” they said “What is your name? What is your mother’s and father’s name?” But Varya was too unhappy too speak.


Finally because her longing for her mother was so great, she sobbed out;


“My mother is the most beautiful woman in the world!”


All the men and women smiled. The tallest man, Kolya, clapped his hands and laughingly said, “Now we have something to go on.”


This was long, long go, when there were no telephones and no automobiles. If people wanted to see each other, or carry a message, they went on their two feet.


From every direction, friendly, good-hearted boys ran to village homes, with orders to bring back the beautiful women.


“Bring Katya, Manya, Vyera, Nadya,” the tall man, Kolya, called to one boy.


“Ay, but don’t forget the beauty, Lisa,” he called to still another boy.


The women came running. These were orders from Kolya, the village leader. Also the mothers, who had left the fields early to get supper for their families, thought perhaps this was indeed their child who was lost.


As each beautiful woman came rushing up, blushing and proud that she had been chosen, Kolya would say to her: “We have a little lost one here. Stand back, everyone, while the little one tells us if this is her mother!”


The mothers laughed and pushed, and called to Kolya: “You big tease! What about asking each mother is this is her child? We know our children!”


To Varya this was very serious, for she was lost and she was desperate without her mother. As she looked at each strange woman, Varya shook her head in disappointment and sobbed harder. Soon every known beauty from far and near, from distance much further than a child could have strayed, had come and gone. Not one of them was Varya’s mother.


The villagers were really worried. They shook their heads. Kolya spoke for them. “One of us will have to take the little one home for the night. Tomorrow may bring fresh wisdom to guide us!”


Just then a breathless, excited woman came puffing up to the crowd. Her face was big and broad, and her body even larger. Her eyes were little pale slits on either side of a great lump of a nose. The mouth was almost toothless. Even as a young girl everyone had said, “A homely girl like Marfa is lucky to get a good husband like Ivan.”


“Varyachka!” cried this woman. “Mamochka!” cried the little girl, and they fell into each other’s arms. The two of them beamed upon each other. Varya cuddled into that ample and familiar bosom. The smile Varya had longed for was once again shining upon her.


All of the villagers smiled thankfully when Varya looked up from her mother’s shoulder and said with joy:


“This is my mother! I told you my mother is the most beautiful woman in the world!”


The group of friends and neighbours , too, beamed upon each other, as Kolya repeated the proverb so well-known to them, a proverb which Varya had just proved:



"We do not love people because they are beautiful, but they seem beautiful to us because we love them."




(After reading this story I just wished to hug my mom (infact both my parents) but they are not here. I just wish they come back soon. We can't stay away long from our loved ones. Anyhow even if we stay and get to know of their coming, the days become much more longer and refuse to pass away soon.)

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Ramzan Mubarak


BISMILLAH HIR RAHMAN NIR RAHEEM



Ramzan is the most beautiful month for every muslims. The aura of this month is very different from other months. It is like a calm festivity going on. The atmosphere totally changes for good. Its in Hadith that " whoever feels a sense of joy before the month of ramzan that the holy month is approaching, all his sins would be forgiven". Yes!! that's the spirit of ramzan. All the muslims get a chance to cleanse themselves of all the sins and become purified. Although this all depends on one's own sincerity. The more sincere we are in performing our rituals and duties towards other, the more rewards are bestowed on us.

There are many sites whch provide info on the ramzan. One among them I liked this one. It also mentions importance of Durood Shareef which is very touching.

Hope Rab forgives our sins and shower us with his blessings in this holy month....

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Doilies


BISMILLAH HIR RAHMAN NIR RAHEEM


Its one beautiful doily I made during college time. The best feature of this is that it can be used from both the sides. I cannot say which one is the right or wrong side because both the sides look good for use.






This is also one of the doily made during my college days. It was one of my home science class project. This colour combination was given to me by my maternal uncle. He suggested to use the colours this way and it looks really good.






The flowers in this doily were made using a flower loop which my mom had gifted me. She gifted me that whole set when I was in school, but I actually used that loop after my school. When I made those flowers I didn't had any idea what to do wth them. My mom suggested to make a doily out of it. However joining those flowers was a lill tough part and mom helped me with that. I love this one very much because it is very fluffy kind.







This is a threadwork doily with simple chain stitches all around and some cluster stitches in between for the flower effect. This can be made in half an hour's time and looks wonderful over the table.







This is also a threadwork doily but the thread here is a shiny nylon thread, which we usually get here for making purses. I am not good at clicking pics and therefore the above two pics of the same doily taken at same time differs. I was not able to decide which one to post and hence posted both of them.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Introspection Or Addiction


BISMILLAH HIR RAHMAN NIR RAHEEM

Sometimes it feels life is a very long journey and we will really get tired of it someday. But at the very other thought it seems that time will fly away so soon, we won't able to catch up with it. These are very deep thoughts. I believe to live life as it comes, and live every moment of it. Just dunno why I am writing this today, but I really feel better when I vent out stuffed things. There is so much to do and so little time. For the past few days I am getting sleep deprived. Some work keeping me up all the time and I hardly get to sleep even for 5 hours at night. I am not a person who sleeps time during day, but today I really dozed off for half and hour.

There are many thoughts running on in my mind. The thing which has majorly occupied my mind today is of life and death. Actually I am not a serial lover kind, but I get attracted to supernatural thriller things. My life has always been a fairy tale, with spices of reality thrown in between. I love the supernatural thing, suspense etc. I am hooked up to shree serial of zee tv (apart from shree and aapki antara, I don't watch any other serial). Mangalaben was my favourite character, and now they killed her. So bad these guys are. I am really disturbed, this shouldn't have happened. Later I thought, it might be good now as by being a spirit she will get to watch all the moves of sarlaben and somehow alert shree of her misdoings. But now they are killing even her spirit. I just want to know soon what will happen next. Will there be more deaths in raghuvanshi family. Ooh god, hope so not.

I am a very curious person. Whatever I set my heart on, I just want to know everything beforehand. I love to read very much. I am not just a bookworm, I can call myself a book-dinosaur. I completed the last book of Harry Potter in exact 24 hrs. Such was the enthusiasm and curiosity. However I beforehand read the last chapters just to make sure that it had a happy ending (there were many speculations that time, that harry will die). After that book, my family put a ban on my reading habits. Well, if not reading, I have other things to keep me up. And anyhow if I want to make people fed up, I can do that with anything, why just reading a book
;-) .

Its a very beautiful moment. Penning down all the memories. I love this. Earlier it used to be a diary now blogging. One day when I'll grow old and read all these post, it will be like living my life back once again. Life is so beautiful. And the one who made this life must be much more beautiful.

One good thing which I appreciate is that for the past few months(or i'll say since I started my blog) I was busy and stressed. And now, although the busy-ness is still there but the stress factor has gone out. Really thank my Rab for this. I am getting quiet sometime to experiment and majorly post them on my blogs too. Inshallah, there will be more on my blog from now onwards.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Coconut Chocolate Delight


BISMILLAH HIR RAHMAN NIR RAHEEM



These days I am on a cooking spree. Started with sweets and then turning to main course... I am somewhat a moody kind of person. Although I love to cook but when I wanna do something else other than cooking, cooking takes a back seat. However, cooking is one of my hobby besides others and nothing can hold me back for long. This holds vice-versa for my other hobbies too. Although my exams were on, I wanted to crochet a baby dress/skirt (we call it a dhingri). And I started on to it. I completed the front part of it and started the back portion. Very eager to post its pics soon.

Well well, diverting from the topic. The above pic is Coconut Chocolate Delight. And the amazing thing is that it is made of marie biscuits. I came across some people who hated marie biscuits. Its ok if one doesn't likes it, but its not something that has to be hated. So just to teach those few people I experimented with the biscuits. And it really turned out so well that people don't even recognise that its actually made of marie biscuits.

Its tastes amazing and my all time favourite, quick and easy to prepare dish. I usually make this to save my skin when surprise guests arrive ( usually store marie biscuits packets for such occassion). I would really recommend to try it once and see the results.


RECIPE:

Ingredients:
Marie biscuits = 1 pkt
Cocoa powder = 4 tblspn ( can increase the quantity upto 6 -8 tblspn, depending upon individual taste)
Desiccated coconut = 1/2 cup
Condensed milk = 1 tin

Method:
1. Crush marie biscuits and dry grind them in a mixer.

2. Add cocoa powder to the above marie biscuit powder.

3. In another utensil mix desiccated coconut and half tin of condensed milk.

4. The remaining half of the condensed milk should be mixed into the cocoa - marie biscuit powder mixture.

5. Mix well and knead it into a dough. The dough should neither be too hard nor too sticky. If its too sticky add some more dry mixture and if it is too hard add little more condensed milk.

6. Spread a butter paper or a plastic sheet. Roll out the the dough upto 1/2 cm thickness.

7. Over this, spread with the help of a spoon the desiccated coconut and condensed milk mixture.

8. Once it is spread out properly, roll the dough slowly from one end to another.

9. Wrap it in a butter paper or a plastic sheet and refrigerate for atleast an hour.

10. Remove after an hour, cut slant its pieces and serve.

Note:
One can be more creative and add as many layers of different flavoured biscuits as one wants.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Crocheted Baby Set


BISMILLAH HIR RAHMAN NIR RAHEEM




This year early I was really in a mood to prepare baby projects, infact full complete baby sets. But my bad luck time and again. Whenever I started on with a project, I always fall short with the wool, and when back to the shop to buy, the stock got over. HUH!! Felt very angry at such times. This was my next project after the previous one, and hence decided to make smaller things first. This is the bib, although its a simple one, the flower over it makes it look ravishing and yet maintain its simplicity. Just how the kids are, Ravishing and yet simple and innocent, isn't it?



This one is a bonnet and a pair of boots. I really love making baby crochets, they are very quick to make and serve as a beautiful gift for those little ones


A closer look.........








The above one is again a baby blanket. Got short of wool so used dark maroon colour to finish off the project...

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Tri Color Bangles

BISMILLAH HIR RAHMAN NIR RAHEEM



This pic was clicked on the Independence Day. Me wearing those bangles. Just the idea passed my mind and I started hunting my bangle box for three coloured bangles ( have a huge collection of bangles, someday my people will throw me out with them). Finally I got these very old bangles, but however old they are, they look good togather. Next I was searching a dark blue one for Ashoka Chakra, I couldn't get a proper shade so had to do with the light blue colour, the dress which I was wearing on that day.

A Belated Happy Independence Day


BISMILLAH HIR RAHMAN NIR RAHEEM

Aah!! I think I am the only blogger who is wishing Independence so late. Actually I wanted to post a big one on Independence Day but unfortunately that day our internet connection was down. This is India. And we couldn't call the service providers as it was a holiday. Damm the mood for blogging, who cares, This is India. And we are Indians.

Well this is really India, but we are Indians only when we are abroad. When in India, we are Mumbaiites, Delhiites, Punjabis, Hyderabadis, Sindhis, Malu, Tamils.....................and the list goes on.

When in India we love our state more than anything else. And love our country only on Independence Day. And that's the thing which makes me really think why we follow such a discrimination. The Shahrukh starrer Chak De film is the best example we can have today. It's really one superb movie which I repeatedly like to see.

India is really a very beautiful country. View it from any angle, every angle has its very own beauty and innocency. Each tradition, each culture, the people very different from each other yet attached and connected to a very special cord "INDIA". Each state has a story to tell, each face has something to narrate.

Well, don't wanna write a bhashan like the politicians. That really spoils the meaning of independence. For every Indian, India holds a very special place in heart, I just hope this feeling continues even while in India too.....

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Exam Time!!! Once Again


BISMILLAH HIR RAHMAN NIR RAHEEM

Damm this exams and damm me.... Today was the first day, and its only going to end on 16th.
:-( . I dunno why only during exam times I feel like doing anything and everything apart from studies. I surf ravelry, wanna post on blog. Feel like starting a new crochet project, feel like going for shopping and then I feel to experiment in the kitchen........ But just don't feel like studying.

I think this happens with everyone. Maybe...... But by God's grace till date I've secured first class, atleast thats good for me. I can't expect more after studying only 3 days before exams. And this time broke all my records by just studying an evening before the exams. YUP!!!! Started studying management research subject just yesterday evening at 6:30 p.m. And I should say it went quiet well. Thanks to God for giving only those questions which I had prepared quiet well...... Hoping to get good marks this time too. Insha Allah.