Friday, August 31, 2012

Natilla with strawberry topping


1 3/4 cups milk
1/2 cup fine sugar
1 tbsp cornstarch, dissolved in 3 tbsp water ( I hadn’t cornstarch at home, so I used corn flour)
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 egg yolks, lightly beaten ( I used the total egg)
Dash of salt

For decoration:

3-4 strawberry

1 tsp. margarine

2 tsp. sugar or more depending on the sweetness of the strawberries


In a large bowl, combine egg yolks, sugar, and cornstarch and mix until completely smooth. I put it in blender.Set aside.

In a medium saucepan, combine milks, cinnamon stick, and salt and bring to a boil over medium-low heat, watching closely and stirring occasionally to avoid scorching milk. As soon as milk boils, pour the egg mixture, into the heated, milk stirring constantly with wooden spoon in a low heat. Stir constantly (I’m writing in bold because it is must do job, If you stop stirring, lump will start forming.). Reduce heat to low, then cook 2 to 3 minutes, or until pudding thickens to desired consistency. Add vanilla, stir and remove from heat.


Keep ready your glass custard cups with a spoon inside it. Pour the natilla slowly over the spoon. The reason behind this is, the spoon will absorb maximum heat, will prevent the cups from cracking. 


In the mean time heat a saucepan. Add margarine, strawberries and sugar. If the strawberries are fresh, then juice will come out from them otherwise add water as required. When the strawberries will soft and the juice becomes thick, remove from the heat. Pour over the natilla. Let it cool at room temperature. Refrigerate for three hours before serving.


Serving size: 2

Sending to the Event: Dish start with 'N' at Learning to cook

Monday, August 27, 2012

A nook of my home

One day my hubby and I had been watching a movie before we went to bed at night. For some reason he paused the movie and went off. We actually switched off the main light before and on a dim table lamp. When he went off I was just staring at the lampshade. A mystical environment was created. I couldn’t stop to take photo of the lamp. Here it is.


Now I like to explain some things. This is not actually a table. It is actually the carton of my sewing machine. I use the box as side table. The flower vase is actually a wine bottle , I painted it and put here to decorate.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Nerve Wrecking drive to Calaveras

Few days ago I told my hubby that after our trip to Lake Tahoe we didn’t go to any mountain trip. So, last Sunday morning suddenly he suggested going to hike at Sunol Regional wilderness. We also had some work to be done in Pleasanton, so I agreed to go hiking. After finishing our work at Pleasanton my hubby started driving on Calaveras road, not knowing where to go. After sometime we realized that we were not going to any hiking area, but we were going upward on the mountain. The road was extremely narrow. First, the road was not scary. However, gradually the road started getting narrower. Moreover, the other side of the road was the gorge. I was just missing my heartbeat in every moment. On the top of that, from the back-seat of car, the little one was constantly calling, ‘baba baba’ (daddy, daddy). Whenever I was telling him to stop, because his daddy was driving on a mountain road, he stopped for a while before started calling his daddy again. I was too scared to watch through the window of the other side of the car. While going upwards it was better, because the gorge was on the other side. I was anticipating our condition at the time of coming down. At that time the gorge would be just next to us. There was no option to make u-turn, like any other mountain road. Also, there were very, very few turnouts. On our journey, I only found two turnouts. I was just searching any place to make a U-turn. However, when we reach such a place, my hubby stopped the car to check the route in GPS. He told that the Calaveras reservoir was only few miles away. I agreed to go. Again, same kind of road appeared in front of us. I was just cursing myself for agreeing with him. At last we reached a small turnout. I asked him whether, he could make a u-turn. 

He told that he could do that easily. Anyway, I got down there to see the vast reservoir. I didn’t even know that there was a huge reservoir, from where most of water supply was done to bay area. Actually some projects were going on there, and the work was closed on Sunday, so we landed in a total deserted place. When I saw the huge machineries from the top, I was just wondering, how people drove such huge machineries on the top through a narrow serpentine road. My husband asked me to go and see the reservoir. As I crossed the road and went to the other side a huge blue lake came in the view. In the calm and serene place the lake added a beauty there. I didn’t want to stay in such a deserted place for a long time. I was just thinking about taking U-turn such a place. When my hubby took the u-turn I felt that we were going down to the gorge. I again missed heartbeat. 

The downward road was more dangerous, as the gorge was just beside us. Whenever my hubby wanted to tell something I asked him to concentrate on driving. Each and every moment was a challenge. In such a deserted place lack of mobile network added much owe to the situation. This is the first time I felt that how the mobile phone became indispensable in our life! A decade ago I didn’t even think about taking a mobile phone with me, though it was already in the market. It seemed that my hubby facing difficulty to control the car. The car was just rolling down the hill by itself. I was waiting eagerly to reach the plain land. It was a great relief after getting down. 

I just poured one full bottle of water in my mouth. It really a nerve-wrecking drive. We just went there without knowing what was ahead there. Though we didn’t go to the end of the road, whatever distance we covered, was really dangerous. The elevation was not much. We went to Mariposa Grove in Yosemite, where the elevation was more than 5000 ft. and the road was more dangerous. However, today, I really got scared. However, on a lazy Sunday afternoon, such a sudden adventure was really freshened up our mind. Here I should mention the funniest thing happened in this journey. After coming down we saw a herd of cattle on the ground. I showed them to my son. He watched them thoroughly. After, we passed by, he told me, “Mama, why didn’t you take picture of them?”. For a moment I couldn’t find what to answer? Then all of us laughed out loud. He always saw his mama to take snaps here and there. so, he knew that whatever mama would see, she should take a picture. .. innocent mind… but they observe everything very minutely. 


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Papaya-carrot curry

Today morning when I opened the refrigerator I found one papaya and few carrots. I didn’t want to cook the papaya curry which I usually cook. Instead of that I wanted to cook papaya and carrot together. I have never cooked the two vegetables together. I had no idea what could be the end result? I could be a total disaster, and then I had to throw a total bowl of vegetable. Still I wanted to give a try. Anyway the curry turned out good and tasty.


Cubed papaya 2 cups

1 carrot

2 tbsp yellow lentil

½ cup snow peas

1 tsp ginger paste

1 tsp ghee (clarified butter)

Pinch of turmeric

Salt to taste

For tampering:

1 bay leaf

1 inch cinnamon stick

2 green cardamoms

2 cloves



 Peel the papaya and cut into cubes. Peel the carrot and cut into circle. Wash the lentils with water. In a pressure cooker put papaya and carrot and lentils. Add turmeric and salt in it. Pressure cook until all the ingredients become soft. I use to put the pressure-cooker in medium heat until one whistle. That is the enough time to me to pressure cook anything, but it varies with person to person and place to place. let the pressure-cooker to cool down. Then heat one tsp. of ghee in a wok and add all the whole spices. Fry until the fine aroma starts coming, then add ginger paste. Sauté for few seconds and add the boiled vegetables into it. If you need, add one cup of water. Cook for 10 minutes. Serve hot with rice or roti.



Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Onion fish fry

I learned this dish from my hubby. After coming to the USA one day my hubby asked me to fry fish with onion, but I didn’t know how to do that? One day he cooked onion fish fry, which was awesome. After that sometimes I use to cook that, especially after coming back home after a long day. It won’t take much time to do, yet it is a very tasty dish. I don’t cook it often, because it needs lots of oil. As a health- conscious person I always try to cook with less oil. However, sometimes tongue longs to have something lips smacking. Anyway, few months ago, I had some fish head and tails were left in my refrigerator. I couldn’t think about cooking anything else. So I decided to cook onion –fish fry.



Fish (4-5 piece)

1 large onion

1 large tomato

Pinch of turmeric

Pinch of five spices (paanch-phoron)

Salt to taste

Oil for frying


Wash the pieces of fish with water. Smear them with salt and turmeric. Finely slice the onion and tomato.  Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a heavy bottom wok. Once it’s smoking hot the fry the pieces of the fish until golden brown. If you need add more oil, here you need use oil generously. Keep the aside. In the rest of the oil add five-spices (paanch phoron). When they start crackle add onion and tomato, and Sauté for few minutes. Then add the fish. Fry until tomato and onion become tender. Serve with rice.


Friday, August 10, 2012

De Anza college flea market visit

Saturday means staying in the bed for long time in the morning. However, the little one always wakes up early every Saturday morning and makes me get out of the bed, and spoils my mood.

It was a Saturday like the same. However, we could manage to sleep a little longer, because the little demon fell asleep again after waking up early in the morning. When we finished our breakfast, it was already the time to leave home for the family story time in Sunnyvale library. After the story time as usual we set out for home. Suddenly my hubby dear started driving straight on Hollenbeck Avenue instead of taking left turn on El Camino Road. He told that, he just wanted to go straight, without any destination. On reaching near De Anza College we saw many people were on the road, which was very unusual there. Out of curiosity we wanted to explore the area.  I peeked from the car and saw the heads of many canopies on the campus of the college. I thought that a farmers market was going on there. Then we found that was a flea market. It was thrilling to me. I couldn’t help me without exploring the market. I knew only about the San Jose flea market. We even had been there before, but I was completely unaware about this flea market. Later, after coming back home I browsed the Internet and found that the De Anza Flea Market was started over 30 years ago by the students of De Anza College as a small effort to raise money.  The flea market had grown into an established community event attracting vendors throughout California.

Anyway, we also walked down there. That was a huge market of all used and vintage goods. All kind of household things were available there, in reasonable price. Which excited me most was the bead jewelry. An extensive collection ravishing bead jewelry could intoxicate any jewelry lover. I was little bit overwhelmed. The porcelain sets were so eye catching that it was hard to resist. I saw many vintage toys. Those are really, really cute. Even there was an old mechanical cake mixer. An old sewing machine reminded me, my childhood days, when my mother used to sew for me and my sisters. I’ve never seen all tin trucks. Might be I’ve played with those in my childhood, but I couldn’t remember. 

A glimpse of the market. I had no camera with me, so I couldn't take good photos. I took this photo in my hubby's mobile.


When we just entered the market, I saw a shop where the lady was selling different kind of items, from crockery to toys. One particular thing was attracting everybody. Nobody couldn’t understand what was that , including me? A lady asked her, and she told that was a cake cutter. That cake-cutter looked like a comb made of iron. That lady laughed very much and told that she thought that an antique comb!!!  The vintage items were there to delight the vintage lover. Though I liked a vintage try-cycle for children, but I didn’t buy that, because my little one already bought a bi-cycle just last month. All those rusted vintage items, like garden chair, rusted water pots were very attractive. Even vintage dresses were also available. The china dolls and collectible mesmerized me a lot. Anyway, I resisted me. The next thing I liked to mention here were the planted pots. Besides the usual flower pots and other plants, which were the most attractive, the almost microscopic planted pots. I was really amazing. My hubby liked that very much, but I didn’t buy one, because I thought that it would be difficult for me to maintain those tiny little plants.  Anyway, my son was getting mad as he couldn’t grab any of the cars. He didn’t want anything , but car. Lastly we bought a Disney car for him. The sweet lady at the shop asked him to stay good for one week, as his mama gave him a car. Actually I wanted to buy some beads instead of jewelry. When the very thought came into my mind, in fact at that time I was standing in front of a bead shop. The beads were little lesser price that normal market. I bought three strings of beads. There were too many shops to buy too many things, so I decided not to buy anything. Before leaving the market, a pair of salt and pepper pot attracted me. I thought to buy, but later I changed my mind. We left the market after that, but I knew that I would go there again very soon.


To any interesting person,

Location: 21250 Stevens Creek Blvd, Cupertino CA in the De Anza College parking Lot.

Time: First Saturday of every month.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Vermicelli–orange pudding

I found a very interesting recipe of tangerine ricotta pudding in a homemaker’s diary’s blog. So, I bought a gallon of whole milk to cook the same. However, when I went to market I didn’t read the recipe properly and I overlooked one ingredient which I had to buy. Anyway, after that I dropped that plan. However, I wanted to make something with that one gallon of milk. I wanted to make orange pudding, but that was a big flop. After few days I decided to cook vermicelli–orange pudding with rest of the milk. Although I had no idea what to do, I just did the job whatever came in my mind. At the end, I cooked a tasty pudding. 



Milk half gallon

2 big orange

2 tbsp. vermicelli

1 ½ cup sugar

2 whole green cardamoms

1 tbsp ghee (clarified butter)



Squeeze the oranges to extract the juice with a hand juicer.  I specify hand juicer, because along with the juice some fruit flesh will come out from the rind, which will give the pudding a different texture. Store the juice in a container with 2 tbsp. sugar. Boil the milk with cardamoms to half of it volume in low flame. Meanwhile fry vermicelli in ghee until red. Add the fried vermicelli and sugar in the milk. Boil in low flame for few minutes. Put the pudding out of flame and let it cool. After cooling down add the orange juice, and stir. Serve cold.