Rose – flavored Phirni/Rice Pudding with my two cents on Life

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Flipping through the pages of this novel I got my hands on recently, The fault in our stars; I came across a line delivered by the narrator’s brazen love interest, Gus. “The world is not a wish-granting factory”.

A brooder that I am, this seemingly insignificant line got me thinking. How often we take everything in life for granted, just waiting for things to happen to us. Rather than working towards them. Whining, searching for a reason to lift our fingers. Or an excuse to not.

For example, just when a rare “black” sheep breaks free from the flock with some exciting new idea of his/her own. The next millisecond he/she comes up with a million reasons why he/she shouldn’t (these reasons often fed by his own family or “friends”). Thus snuffing out the fire within themselves. Cautious is he? No, a fool!

That teeny tiny voice in your heart screaming ideas at you? Take them! and LIVE them! Don’t wait for those ideas to add to your bucket list! Don’t plan to live. Just live!

Granted, there will be a few hiccups or maybe even a long coma along the way. But then it will all be worth it, when you look back. cause there’d be no “I should have” but rather ” I did or tried”.

You might encounter a mawkish flock along the way who’d discourage you from following your dreams for some weird cynical reason or just ’cause they are comfortable with the “average” you.

Walk away!!! NOW! You’ll thank me later. . .

Point is, If you have to get somewhere, you need to get out of somewhere. Make people smile, but not at the cost of your own. Don’t judge. Make your own mistakes. Learn. And move on.

Start realizing your dreams today. Life does not wait for mere mortals like us.

Ah well… let me get my brooding bum off of my bed and conquer the world. :P

Meanwhile, make a pit stop and enjoy the Rose Phirni Recipe, the new Special tradition I plan to set for Eid, starting this year! ‘Cause it’s just soooo YUMMM!!! :)

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Ingredients:

50 gms Basmati Rice
1 litre Full cream Milk
1 cup or less white Sugar
1/2 tsp Cardamom Powder
1 tbsp Rose Water
Almonds/Pistachios (Sliced/Crushed)

Directions:

Soak rice in water for 30 minutes, drain completely and grind to a fine powder.
Make a thin paste with the rice powder and water. Set aside.
Bring milk to a boil and lower the heat. Stir in the rice paste and keep stirring to avoid clumping.
Cook for 30 minutes or more till the rice is done and you get the consistency of a thick custard.
Pour in the sugar while stirring. The mixture thins as the sugar melts. Keep stirring and bring back to the thick consistency.
Add cardamom powder and cook for 5 minutes.
Turn off the heat and mix in rose water.
Pour into individual bowls and set in the fridge overnight.
Garnish with almonds & pistachios and serve!

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Soya Chunks Stir-Fry

Soya Chunks Stir-Fry

After cramming my brain for the semester exams and my mouth with food (I eat a lot under stress :O) I’m back to my good ol’ blog!!! Gosh I missed being here!!! So much that I day dreamed about it with my software books open in front of me, googled various recipes during my study breaks so I could try them out after the exams, dreamed of cupcakes and Thai food at night. . . Well that’s how much I missed Baking/Cooking or at least writing about it here! And now that I’m back, I thought I’d start by posting something healthy. There’s a very wrong notion that healthy food doesn’t taste good and to be honest I’ve been there too. . . I ran for the hills whenever someone suggested salad for lunch and crinkled my nose in distaste whenever I read about substituting food with something else altogether! :/

And one fine day in the college cafeteria when me and the girls were having lunch and chatting, I absent-mindedly took a bite out of my friend’s lunch box when she offered. And my eyes flew open in surprise! It was delicious! And I was even more surprised when she told me that it was made out of soy chunks*! It was a life-altering experience!!! Well not so much, but yeah I can say that my aversion to (healthy) substitutes is now cured! :) Here’s the recipe!

 
*{Textured or texturized vegetable protein (TVP), also known as textured soy protein (TSP), soy meat, or soya chunks is a defatted soy flour product, a by-product of extracting soybean oil. It is often used as a meat analogue or meat extender. It is quick to cook, with a protein content equal to that of meat.
TVP be made from soy flour or concentrate, containing 50% and 70% soy protein, respectively; they have a mild beany flavor. Both require rehydration before use, sometimes with flavoring added in the same step. TVP is extruded, causing a change in the structure of the soy protein which results in a fibrous, spongy matrix, similar in texture to meat. In its dehydrated form, TVP has a shelf life of longer than a year, but will spoil within several days after being hydrated. In its flaked form, it can be used similarly to ground meat. } -Wikipedia

Ingredients: (Adjust the ingredients according to your taste)

2 cups Soya Chunks
Oil
2 small Onions (chopped)
1 Tomato (chopped)
2-3 tsp Ginger-garlic paste
1 tsp Red chilli powder
2 1/2 tsp Garam masala
salt to taste
Coriander leaves (chopped) to garnish

Method:

Wash soya chunks thrice in hot water, drain and squeeze the water out.
Toss the chunks into boiling water and cook for 5 mins, drain and gently squeeze almost all the water out again.
Chop the chunks into bite size pieces (I used small chunks so I didn’t).
In a large colander heat 2 tbsp oil and fry the onions till translucent.
Add tomatoes and stir for a couple of minutes.
Add ginger-garlic paste, red chilli powder, garam masala and salt. Stir.
Toss the chunks in and stir. Add a little water if needed and mix till it all comes together.
Garnish with chopped coriander. Enjoy! :)

JEERA/ZEERA RICE ( Cumin Flavored Rice )

So, a week back I was chatting with one of my favorite cousins online after a very long time. After a lot of catching up and some Oohs n’ Ahhs of how life has changed so much, we got to talking about my blog… Along with many flattering compliments *blush* *blush* :P , She gave me a few cool tips about how I could make the blog more convenient for you by alternating between desserts, gravies, breads, rice etc. Because I tend to put up more of dessert recipes. Can’t help it :P  So I was thinking, we should go with rice next. What say? 

My cuz suggested I do Jeera/Zeera rice (Cumin flavored rice). And I thought it’s a very good idea. It is quick n’ simple yet a flavorful variation to regular plain rice. Jeera/Zeera rice is basically rice tempered and flavored with cumin seeds. This dish is popular in the north of India. Pair it with any Paneer (cottage cheese) gravy dish and you got yourself a proper North-Indian meal!!! Yummy!!! Try it out for dinner tonight!!!  Happy Cooking!!! :) 

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recipe courtesy – Chef Sanjeev Kapoor’s website…

{Serves 4}
Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups Basmati rice (Indian long-grained rice)
2 tsp cumin seeds
1 1/2 tbsp ghee
1 bay leaf
1 black cardamom
2 two-inch sticks cinnamon
salt to taste

Method:

Wash rice thoroughly and soak in water for half an hour. Drain. Heat ghee in a pan. Add cumin seeds, bay leaf, cardamom and cinnamon.
When cumin seeds crackle, add the rice. Add salt to taste.
Stir till ghee coats every grain of rice and it looks glossy.
Add three cups of water. Bring to a boil. Stir once. Reduce heat to minimum and cover the pan with a lid. Leave a little gap, otherwise water will boil over.
Rice will be done when holes appear on the surface and water has been completely absorbed.
Fork the rice out onto a serving dish. This will separate each grain.
Serve hot with any curry.

MUTTER PANEER aka PEAS & COTTAGE CHEESE DISH (INDIAN STYLE)

Now that you have started reading my blog and enjoying it too( Do i sound conceited? :O just kidding :P But I do hope you ARE enjoying), I’ll be generous enough to let you in on one of my little secrets! Which is, if given a choice, I will have dessert for breakfast, lunch AND dinner every day, for the rest of my life!!! I have a bad case of sweet tooth syndrome, I guess!!! :D Yeah! That’s how much I love my dessert! But for your benefit I’m gonna throw in an occasional savory recipe! Let’s start with an Indian dish called Mutter Paneer. Paneer or firm cottage cheese is most popular with the northern Indians. It is a healthy substitute with a meaty bite to it for when you are craving for something non-vegetarian. There are many yummy versions of Mutter Paneer. This one, I found in one of the many cook books I own. The recipe is very easy yet rewarding. It goes well with hot, thick parathas (Indian bread). Trust me, it was as yummy as it looks. Do try! :)

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Ingredients:

6 tbsp ghee or vegetable oil
225 g/8 oz paneer/firm cottage cheese, cubed
1 onion, finely chopped
few mint leaves, chopped
50 g/2 cups/2 oz fresh coriander(cilantro), chopped
3 fresh green chillies, chopped
3 cloves garlic
1 piece fresh ginger, 2.5 cm/1 in long, sliced
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp chilli powder(optional)
1 tsp garam masala
salt, to taste
225 g/8 oz/3 cups tiny button mushrooms, washed and left whole
225 g/8 oz/1 1/2 cups frozen peas, thawed and drained
175 ml/6 fl oz/3/4 cup natural(plain) yogurt, mixed with 1 tsp cornflour(cornstarch)
mint sprig/coriander leaves, to garnish

Method:

Heat the ghee or oil in a frying pan(skillet) and fry the paneer cubes until they are golden brown on all sides. Remove and drain on kitchen paper(paper towel).
Grind the onion, mint, coriander(cilantro), chillies, garlic and ginger in a pestle and mortar or food processor to a fairly smooth paste.
Remove and mix in the turmeric, chilli powder if using, garam masala and salt.
Remove excess ghee or oil from the pan leaving about 1 tbsp. Heat and fry the paste until the raw onion smell disappears and the oil separates.
Add the mushrooms, peas and paneer. Mix well. Cool the mixture and gradually fold in the yogurt. Simmer for about 10 minutes. Garnish with a sprig of mint or coriander leaves and serve hot.

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