Amala Akkineni – one of my favorite celebrity

One of my favorite actress that I fell in love with when I saw her movie Nirnayam. It is a telugu movie and later on she ended up marrying the lead actor Nagarjuna from the movie in real life. Thus, permanently moved to Hyderabad. She is an animal lover and rescues street dogs or any animals that are hurt or not been taken care of. She is an social activist, currently chair person of Blue Cross of Hyderabad. To know more about her click here .

One of my cousin loves animal and expressed greater interest in joining her. Well they encourage college kids to do part time volunteering if they are passionate about it. What attracts me the most is – her simplicity and going to extreme lengths in protecting the animals by providing shelter even at home. Very environment conscious, believes in leading a simple life. Yes, it is true that she have had great child hood relatively to most of the people with great education and fortunately great career and married into wonderful family. Despite those facts, how many who are equally lucky as she does such work and be simple.. very few. She is one among those few. (Now you know, how I am fascinated by some celebrity personalities or in general any interesting personalities when I meet). Oh yes.. she is a Vegan now.

Here is an interview with her.. yes all spoken in English, at that time she is comfortable with english and just started learning telugu.

If you are interested in watching.. Here it is for you.

If you would like to volunteer or work for Blue Cross at Hyderabad.

Click here

 

Bean and Carrots – Kerala Style (Quick Recipe)

One of my colleague at work hails from Kerela, southern part of India.  One of my dream destination as well. I am looking forward to spend at least a week just roaming in the nature of Kerala.

I have been trying her food lately during my lunch sessions and fell in love with them. When I googled to make bean-carrot kerala style, I came across Vazhayila, her simple recipe that was so quick and easy to make made me do it. My measurements are not as accurate as she specified but here is the link of her recipe. I loved her food photography but I am writing this down for my future self..

Ingredients

Beans – 1 pound – thinly chopped

Carrots – 3 medium – chopped in small size 1/4 inch cubes

Mustard seeds- 1 tbsp

Grounded cumin powder – 1/2 tbsp

Curry leaves – few

Onion – 1 medium – chopped thinly

Grated fresh coconut (I used frozen coconut) – 1/2 cup

Green chillies – 5 (or more depending on your taste buds) – chopped into thin pieces

Salt to taste

Turmeric – pinch of it.

Oil – 2tbsp or less depending on how you prefer using it.

Ginger – minced – tiny bit

Procedure

1. Heat oil in a pan, add mustard seeds, once they sputter, add Curry leaves.

2. Add all the mix at once – ( beans, carrots, chopped onion, turmeric powder, green chillies, minced ginger, salt , little bit of water) – cover and  let it cook for about 6-8 minutes or until cooked or the raw smell disappears.

3.  Now add cumin powder and grated coconut and let it cook for about 3-4 minutes uncovered and let it become dry.

4. Turn off the stove.. voila..it’s ready! . Goes well with chapathi.

Result

Bean Carrot Thoran

Bean Carrot Thoran

I loved it, Hope you like it too..

Sago Kichidi

I have become quite lazy in updating with all the recipes that I have been making. Here is another quick recipe that I prepared.

Sago is a starch extracted in the spongy centre, or pith, of various tropical palm stems.

Sago (you can buy on amazon)

Sago - this is how it is available in stores

Sago – this is how it is available in stores

I prepared kichidi,  All I had to do was, take 2 cups of sago and add just enough water to soak them up..then I went off to gym for about 2 hours. Came back and it was all ready to be cooked.

Ingredients

Sago or sabudhana (2 cups of sago with enough water as it soaks up all the water)

Curry leaves

Potato – 1 medium, I used red potato diced.

Cumin & corriander powder- 1/2 spoon each

Urad dal whole (or black gram)- 2 tbsp (for crunch taste, optional)

Turmeric – pinch

Mustard & cumin seeds – 1/2 spoon

Peanuts powder – 2 tbsp ( peanuts – slightly toasted and grinded)

Green chillies – 3

Garlic cloves – 1 (Minced)

Oil – 2 spoons

Salt to taste

Procedure

1. Add oil to pan, heat it. Add urad dal, mustard & cumin seeds, ,minced garlic clove, green chillies and curry leaves.

2.  Add mustard, cumin and turmeric powders and diced potatoes, add  salt, add water if required and let it cook.

3. As soon as potatoes are cooked, add the soaked up Sago into the pan, add peanut powder, mix it and cook until they become transparent (yes, that’s when you know they are cooked.. they take about 3-5 minutes on medium high). Turn off the stove and let it rest for about 10 minutes.

Result:

You can directly have it or goes well with plain yogurt  on the side (without any flavors).

 

Delicious Sago Kichidi ready to serve

Delicious Sago Kichidi ready to serve

Serve – Yes..I had it all ..it was delicious and I could not resist completing it.

Ready to eat.. yummmm

Ready to eat.. yummmm

If you have other variations, please do drop a line.

If you have tried this recipe, do let me know how it turned out for you.

 

Dry Aloo Gobi – Punjabi Style (Cauliflower and Potato Curry)

Another recipe of cauliflower and potatoes that turned out to be delicious supper meal that goes well with chapathi and can be prepared in less time.  Simple yet delicious.  It is prepared most commonly in almost all indian house holds as it is very quick to prepare.

Main Ingredients

Red potatoes (diced in one inch cubes) – 2

Cauliflower – cut into medium sized chunks – 1 medium head

For tempering 

Cumin & Mustard seeds – 1/2 spoon each

Cumin and corriander powder – 3/4 tbsp spoon each.

Red Onion – 1 medium – finely chopped

turmeric – 1/4 spoon

Garam masala – 2 pinches

Cilantro/Corriander leaves – 1/2 cup – added at the end

Ginger Garlic Paste – 1 tbsp

Green chillies – 4-5 depending on the spice level you want. finely chopped.

Dried Red Chilly – 1 small

Procedure

1. On a stove top, add oil, followed by mustard & cumin seeds, red chilly, add chopped onions and wait until the onion color becomes translucent.

2. Add garlic ginger paste and let the smell fade away, add all other spices (cumin, corriander, green chillies, turmeric and garam masala) – pour some water if required.

3. Now add potatoes, let it cook for about 5-6 minutes, then add cauliflower chunks.. mix well with the spices. Let it cook covered for about 10-15 minutes occasionally stirring in between until cooked. Add water if necessary.

4. If the dish contains water, uncover.. put it on high flame and let the water evaporate until it becomes dry. Add cut cilantro leaves and turn off the stove immediately.

Result:

Sprinkle lemon juice before serving for the tangy taste (this is optional). Goes really well with toasted bread with butter on tawa or chapathi. Below color of dish may not be accurage as it was taken without flash under yellow light.

aloo gobi

Dry Aloo Gobi

Your feedback is highly appreciated. Let me know if you have other better variations.

 

Palak Chana (Spinach & Chick peas)

This is another dish commonly prepared in northern part of india.  I was browsing through some spinach recipes as I always make only spinach dal and wanted to try something different. I found recipe of palak chana and modified to suit what I have in kitchen. I loved it and it wasn’t that difficult to make as much as I thought it might be. Here is recipe for you and my future self

Ingredients

3 cups of fresh spinach (pureed in food processor)

1/2 cup of fresh cilantro leaves (pureed along with fresh spinach)

2 medium tomatoes – pureed separately

5 green chillies  or depending on your spice level

1/2 spoon ground cumin

1 tbsp ground coriander

Salt to taste

1 tbs cumin seeds

1 tbsp mustard seeds

1 onion – finely chopped

1 can of garbanzo chick peas

pinch of garam masala

pinch of turmeric powder

1 tbsp of garlic ginder paste

2 tbsp of oil or less

Procedure

1. On the stove pan, pour the oil, once it heats up, add cumin and coriander seeds. Once they splutter, add chopped onions, ginger garlic paste and wait until it become translucent color.

2. Add tomatoe puree, ground cumin & coriander, garam masala, turmeric and let it cook for 5 minutes on medium high.

3. Once cooked, add spinach-cilantro puree to the rest of it on the pan and add water (1/2 cup) if required for consistency you prefer. Add salt and let it cook for about 10 minutes

4. wash and drain canned chick peas, mash some of it and add it to the puree.. let it simmer for about 5 more minutes and turn off the stove.

5. Tadaaaa.. it’s ready to serve.. goes really well with chapathi’s or bread!

Result:

Palak Chana

Palak Chana

I loved it, and i sprinkled lemon juice before I ate and it was delicious.  More over.. it is an healthy dish, more protein and iron.

Try it and let me know what you think.

 

Mondays

Mondays are bit tough to get back to routines at work. On top of it.. today, it rained profusely.. not only did get semi-drenched in it but I forgot my wallet at home. Luckily I have had some cash and was able to reach work without any problem. Yes, I use public transport..it is the best thing being in new york city. I could have still managed to come to work by asking some stranger to swipe in their unlimited metro card for me.. such confidence.

I rolled in to work only to find out most of the crew is either working remotely or have taken a day off. I find it very quiet to focus on my deliverable’s.  I was browsing through some old pictures that I have downloaded in the past and found this poem very inspiring at the moment.  Hope you will enjoy reading it.

beautiful poem

Flowers Paintings by Thomas Darnell

Hidden Passions:

After Thomas Kinkade, here is another artist paintings that I instantly fell in love with.

Originally posted on justinlovewithberni:

Thomas Darnell resides in the South of France with his wife and their two children. He was born and raised in Central Texas where he graduated with high honors from the University of Texas. Thomas has been vastly recognized and exhibited in major cities around the world. He uses a technique (almost symbolic to life), which involves multiple layers of transparent oil paints and alkyde resins to visually build up detail and contrast with each pass. Thomas was drawn to the art world as early as age 12. It wasn’t until he was 34, when his late wife passed away from cancer, the catalyst that catapulted his move to France, where he then embraced the process of his true calling.

Flowers Paintings by Thomas Darnell 1

Flowers Paintings by Thomas Darnell 2

Flowers Paintings by Thomas Darnell 3

After meeting his wife, Nicole, in 1993 they moved to the South of France. Darnell’s desire to have a family has kept him grounded, he states, “Instead of holding me…

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