A Gastronomic Experience…

It’s been a while since I posted something. Life’s been busy. Both work and play make life worth it. A few days back I had a chance to leave the peaceful simple small city life to venture into the hustle and bustle of New York City. The city that never sleeps – The glitz, the glam, the swarm of faces, the food and the jungle of skyscrapers rocketing high up. It wasn’t a first visit but this dynamic city offers you something new each time to you see it.


(Image from: http://www.homedsgn.com/)

My motivation was meeting a couple of old friends and to spend a good time but a chance of gobbling up loads of authentic Indian food was the driving force. You name it you get it. Small Mithai shops lining up streets of Jersey City take you back home. The aroma of those familiar spices brings back all the nostalgia that was kept tucked in somewhere. Kebabs, Bhature chane, Dal makhani, Naan, butter chicken and my typical Punjabi instincts wake up as if I had a splash of ice cold water in my face. Edison, New Jersey is a foodie’s heaven.


It’s not only the Indian food that would take you on a gastronomic ride. Street food of New York City has its own charm. Walking through the city, cutting your way in the crowd, you might stop by a roadside food van for a hot dog, some Falafel, lamb gyro or the special Chicken over rice. We had this amazing dish at the Halal Guys.

 Chicken rice

(Image  from the website)

Walking at the Times Square in the middle of all the fun and flare, when the clock struck midnight, we knew our tired bodies needed to be refueled. It was a little walk from there to reach the 53rd street on 6th avenue. H( that’s my better half) had a chance to relish this feast on one of his trips to the city. He literally had dragged a party of 7 including kids to this spot just to get a spoonful of this delicacy. There was a queue long enough to be seen from far in front of this small cart. I could see how popular this was among the locals who are up till 1:30 at night. A few packed it and flew, a few took a refuge on the benches by the side of a fountain to enjoy it and then there were others who were desperately waiting for their turns. It was an empty stomach, fun attached to a midnight roadside meal or just the whole atmosphere, I truly enjoyed my portion. If you get a chance, don’t forget the fiery hot red chutney and the milder white sauce that accompanies this plateful.

I had started this post with something else in my mind about this visit but again the foodie overpowered the thinker. I’ll be spilling out those thoughts soon but for now let’s put them on hold.

Thanks for stopping by!


The Mango Nostalgia…

Food is a vibe that connects the most disconnected people. It’s not just a form of matter that goes into our mouth and triggers the taste buds. It’s a science that has its own basic principles. It’s an art that requires plenty of passion to bring out the best. For foodies like me, it might actually drive your mood. Indulging in creating a sample of this craft (or let’s just call it Cooking) might act as an amazing stress buster.

A few days back I came across my favorite fruit while browsing through a local Farmer’s market: Mangoes!! Being a native Indian, I’ve fond memories of gulping down the fresh yellow pulp straight from a ripe mango. The harsh hot Indian summer brings with it a variety of the fruit. It would come in all sizes. No matter it’s ripe or not, Mangoes are an integral ingredient of summer cuisine in our homes. Aam Pana (a drink made from raw mangoes to beat the heat), chutneys, ice creams, sweets (oh yes I’ve had mango burfi!), pickles, salads… it all depends on your culinary creativity.


So a few days back I tried a simple recipe of Mango Raita. You might find it similar to lots of recipes out there but this was totally instinctive. Fortunately it turned out well… well enough to be shared on a recently started blog J

All you need is:

1 ½ cup of low fat Yogurt

1 ½ tsp oil (Any cooking oil you have)

1 tsp mustard seeds

½ tsp Paprika or Red chilli powder

2-3 curry leaves

3-4 tbsp finely chopped Mango (Any variety of the fruit you get)

2 tbsp boondi (Available at any Indian grocery store, Haldiram is a famous brand)

2-3 chopped fresh mint leaves

Salt to taste

It’s not a complicated recipe. Just a few simple steps:

  • Heat oil in a pan on medium flame.
  •  Add mustard seeds. You need to be a little careful in case you are not used to these, they splutter and fly out of the pan. Nothing to get scared though 😉
  •  Add curry leaves. Sauté for a few seconds.
  • Add chopped Mango. Again sauté for a few seconds.
  • Add the paprika or chilli powder and a pinch of salt. Once the mango softens, turn off the flame and keep aside to cool.
  • Until the mangoes cool down, blend the yogurt to dissolve the lumps. You might add a few tsp of water in case the consistency of yogurt is too thick.
  •  Add boondi, salt and the cooled off mangoes. Be sure the mangoes are not hot.
  •  Finally add the chopped mint leaves and chill the yogurt for a while.

It takes just a few minutes to prepare and around 10 minutes to chill. We loved to have it with a spicy Indian curry and hot rotis. In case you try it out, let me know how it turned out for you. Apologies for no pictures, I wasn’t sure if it would be worth clicking until I actually had it.

Thanks for sharing a few minutes!


Reaching out to happiness…

So these days all I think of is this little nook of words that seems like a dream shaping up. Nothing big though but it really gives you a kick when something you longed for is there… right in front of your eyes. I always thought of lil’ things I could share with people out there. People who just like me are busy going through their day to day chores and still finding time to read, to learn, to think, to add something to their thoughts.

I think of myself as a one track mind. Something that finds its way to my thought and raises my curiosity is bound to find itself reaching its end. My latest obsession is “The desperate Housewives”. Yes, I stumbled upon this series recently while browsing through my Netflix suggestions. You would think me of someone from the “Ice Age” who just heard of it but that’s how it is. In case you had a chance to see this series, you would know. It revolves around a group of friends living in the same neighborhood for years and their quite dramatic lives. It does capture your curiosity with it’s never ending twists and turns and still you manage to relate to one of the characters in some way or the other.

As I’ve been watching it back to back for almost two weeks now, it for sure has found its way to my sub- conscious mind. I had a dream the other night which of course tracks its origin to one of the characters who lost his sight. I saw myself holding Sugar’s hand and walking towards the road. I didn’t realize what it was all about until I saw her helping me cross the road. As the dream progressed I found myself getting troubled in my sleep. I could only catch a breath when I finally woke up.

The thought of not being able to see the smiling faces that fill my days with happiness and a little sunshine brought me to the edge. I could not even bear the pain in my dreams. We all think of our lives full of problems. Problems; that we do not know how to handle. You never know the person you see smiling all the time might be struggling with something you can’t even imagine. In middle of this chaos of not having something, we tend to forget what we have. We work so hard to provide for our families keeping at stake our time with them. We worry about our kids who would soon be going to college. We worry about us growing old. Among all these worries, we look past over the priceless possessions we have.


Every day even just for ten seconds, think of something that gives you a smile, think of something that inspires you. Your child’s beaming face, a friend who’s always there, your loved ones, a book may be or just look up at the clear skies or colors of a butterfly. Happiness is everywhere you just need to look for it.

Defeating the fears…

Starting a blog was a decision taken almost a year ago but it took a long time before it could come into existence. What would you call it? Procrastination.. Lack of time..Busy schedule. The realization came to me in a strange way.

I’ve a two year old daughter. As I’m a working mother, like most others, we follow a day care cum pre-school arrangement. Whenever I go to pick her up, I try to have a sneak peek on what’s going on beyond my sight. The reason to do this might be the maternal instinct that craves for always being around my child or just to check does she behave the same with everyone else the way she does with me. Anyways, I’ll leave the “Secrets of a working mother” for another post.

So one day I saw her playing a game with all her buddies where they had to jump from a step that was a bit on the higher side (may be for her). As soon as everyone else jumped, she declared she wasn’t having fun. As a distraction, her teacher started another game. But Sugar (that’s how you would see me referring her) was still not having fun. All her attention was still captured by that step. She would keep looking on it with a certain expression that I could obviously relate to. She does have my genes.

I walked into the play area. She was super excited to see me as usual. She ran to me and jumped into my arms. After a day’s work and separation, this is the moment that re-energizes me for rest of my day. I asked her how was her day and a few other regular questions. Together we walked to the same step that was still standing tall, proud of its undefeated height. She gave me a look. I put her up and asked her to jump. She denied straightaway. I asked her to try. Trust me she did but still she couldn’t. I told her I’m right there to hold her in case she falls. There’s nothing to get scared of. She asked me if she would get hurt. I said she might be but mommy is there to fix her “boo-boo”. Finally, she raised a step and after convincing herself for a few seconds she jumped. If I could I would’ve captured the mixed expression of victory, of pride, of self-validation.

Most of the times, when we want to take a leap into the unexplored grounds of opportunities; the biggest roadblock is the “Fear” – Fear of failure, Fear of unknown, Fear of being naive. We discover it just like that when we see it but it’s difficult to realize within our own sub conscious minds. Life has its own ways to let us know. All we need to do is, get up and fight it out. The feeling of defeating our “Fears” is ecstatic.

Through this blog, all I want to do is share these little lessons life teaches me each day and through these words lend you my glasses for a while through which I see this world. I would love to have yours for a while for a fresh new perspective. It will take some time to actually soak in the different notes of this Thought Pourri but when it’s done, it’s bound to reinvigorate our lives.