Thursday, June 27, 2013

A soulful chicken

Yesterday was an extremely hectic day to me. Since morning I had been running errand. As usual my day started at 5:30 in the morning. Yesterday was the second day of son’s summer school. Going to summer school and coming back was an event, because it was a lot of walking. Now till the July end both mother and son had to walk a lot.
Anyway, since I’m taking him to school I’m not getting enough time in the morning. So, yesterday I decided to cook some 5-6 dishes. So, that I don’t need to bother at least up to Friday. However, it was not an easy task to do. As soon as I got up from the bed I went to kitchen and started cooking. When I left home with my son I already finished four vegetable curries. After dropping him in school I hurried back home. The fish and the chicken were yet to be cooked. Anyway, I wanted to cook a different chicken with less effort. I had no time in my hand to browse on the Internet amid pile of other works. I just cooked from my own choice. Before cooking some scattered thoughts were coming in mind. My mother used to cook chicken with a little bit of ghee. Once she told to put the tamper in ghee that would create a fine aroma. So, this time I wanted to indulge ourselves with ghee, forgetting about health. I think this was the first time I used two tbsp. of ghee (can you believe it?). I wanted to cook chicken with vegetables, because I had no much chicken in my stock. I needed too a bowlful, so that the three of us could satisfy ourselves. You don’t believe it turned out really enticing. 


Here is the recipe:

One pound of chicken
Two carrots
Two medium sized potato
10-12 French beans ( I didn’t have beans in my refrigerator)
One medium sized tomato
One medium sized onion
One cup of frozen of fresh green peas
One tbsp. ginger paste
One tbsp. garlic paste
Two tbsp. of ghee
Salt to taste
Oil to fry the vegetable separately

For tampering:
3 green cardamom
3 cloves
2-3 one-inch cinnamon stick
1 bay leaves


Wash the chicken pieces and set aside. Cut the vegetables in cubes (except onion). Thinly slice the onion and keep aside. Shallow fry all the vegetables separately, except onion ,peas,and tomato. In the same pan, heat two tbsp. of ghee, and add cardamom, cloves, and cinnamon sticks. When fine aroma starts coming out, add the garlic paste and stir for few second. You can’t believe that aroma was so enticing, that I really started feeling hungry. Anyway, add onion and tomato and fry for few minutes in medium heat. When oil starts oozing out add the ginger paste and stir a little to ward off the raw smell of ginger. Add the chicken and cook for some times (about 15 mins). When water starts coming out, add all the vegetables, and salt. Keep cooking in medium heat, covering the pan. Add one cup of water. Cook until your desired consistency. Serve hot with roti.


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Vegetable fritter

While coming back from class last Sunday afternoon I was feeling hungry. As usual my hubby dear suggested having something outside, but I was not in the mood to have any kind of burger or hotdog. Anyway, after coming home I had not much energy to cook with minimum effort. First I thought of making onion fritter, but I didn’t want to do that. I wanted add something extra on that. So, I experimented with cabbage and carrot instead of using only onion. Thanks to my mixer machine , within no time I could finely grate cabbage and carrot. The fritters turned out to very good.
Here is the recipe:
One cup grated carrot
One cup grated cabbage
One medium onion (optional, if you want to make the fritter purely veg, then don’t use onion)
One tsp. ginger paste
Two green chili
Salt to taste
Enough besan (black chickpeas powder) to make a very thick batter
Oil for deep frying

Grate carrot and cabbage using a grater. If you are using onion, then finely chop the onion. Take a big bowl and all the ingredients except besan and oil. Add besan little by little using a tablespoon until a thick batter is formed. Do not use water. Then you have to more besan, and which will decrease the taste. Heat oil in a heavy-bottomed wok. Take one scoop size of the batter, and deep fry it. You can fry 4-5 one at a time, according to the size of the wok. Some reduce the heat during frying , to stop burning the fritters. Serve hot with tea.  

Monday, June 24, 2013

Decorating boxes (1)

When I ran out of tea leaves I asked my hubby to bought Teatly tea-bags. When he asked me why, I gave some other reason. My actual reason of buying that tea was that I wanted the carton. It is such a lovely carton, I wanted to decorate that. After finishing the tea bags, I started decorating, but didn’t know what to put inside. Anyway, now it is serving as storage of all my threads.
Here I’m giving the step by step instruction, to decorate the carton.

All you need:

Card stock
Decorative papers
Some beautiful pictures ( you can use cutouts from different magazines.)

Here is the original box. Isn't it cute?

1. First open the bottom of the box. Cut a piece of card stock little smaller than the size of the bottom. Then glue the half of the card stock with one part of the flap from inside. Then apply glue on the other part of the card stock, close the bottom and stick.  Cut 4 piece of card stock just little smaller of the each side from inside, just like the picture 4.

Cut thin strip of paper according to you choice and stick on the 4 sides of  the box. Cover the bottom with same paper like the picture 4. Cover the lid of the box with different decorative just to make the box vibrant.

Decorate each side of the box differently.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

My needle works

Doing embroidery is my all time favorite craft. Since my childhood I do it. My father used to scold me before, because of "wasting time". He always wanted to see me at the study table. Anyway, still he scolds me , because it is harmful to my eyes. Currently I do embroidery not so often, but I do. It is really not possible for me to stop doing that.
This one I made after my final examination of grade 10. I had three long months in my hand before starting of the class of next grade.
This one I did most probably after my final exam of grade 12. My father bought a packet of sweet from a well-known Indian sweet company. The cover of the box  had this beautiful picture of the flower basket. I drew the picture on a fabric and stitched.
This one I made just after coming to the USA. I knew that here I would have ample of time in my hand. So I brought all threads and fabric with me. This is not the finished one. After finishing I didn't take any snap. I gifted it to one of friends.
After finishing some pillow covers I had some unused fabrics. With that I made two wall decors and gifted to my mother.
Koi fish
The famous Kantha stitch
This is actually a part of a crazy quilt.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Poolside dinner

Since we moved to our new house, hardly we are getting any time during the weekends. Every weekend we find some works related to our house and we go to Lowes or Home depot, and there is no time to relax a bit.
That weekend was not also an exception. Since Saturday morning we were doing something one after another. Saturday was extremely hot since morning, but nothing could overpower our enthusiasm to chop down one tree to give that a good shape. That was another experience. My hubby, who loves to stay in the bed late during weekend, he also sprang out of the bed with great enthusiasm to clear our backyard. First time in life he chopped down a ten feet tree. I didn’t know the name of the tree, but it was causing discomfort to us, and it was the high time to trim it down to give a clear look of our backyard. My little son and I were his assistants. Though the little one was disturbing rather helping, still I wanted to call him as a helper, because, he wanted to help us wholeheartedly. It was a long and tiring job. There was no time to resting.
An abandoned bird's nest. We we found it while chopping down the tree.

 In the afternoon we went to Lowes to buy some stuff. I had a plan to making samosa for evening snacks, but when we came home it was already 8 o’clock. So, the evening was already over. It was almost the time for dinner. But I was desperate to make samosas. I asked my hubby whether he wanted to have an early dinner. When he agreed with me, I made samosas as starter and stuffed parathas and chicken for main course. It was still hot at night. My hubby asked why we didn’t have dinner at the pool-side. 
That idea sounded very good. In this area, it is very rare to get a chance to sit outside after sunset. So, that was a great chance to sit outside and relax while having dinner. Putting some candles and sitting outdoor during dinner time gave us an immense satisfaction. That added an extra flavor to our dinner.  The sweet slightly chill breeze, the twinkling stars, buzzing of different insects created a wonderful ambience, which was truly enjoyable. 

Truly speaking, these small pieces of happiness play a major role in our life. The next morning I felt very light, I was just gliding from one work to another instead of dragging myself.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

A lazy Sunday breakfast

I usually follow the blog, Bong Mom’s cookbook.  First of all I want to congratulate her for her success. Today morning I was reading a book review of her book. From there I came to know she is a “Ghoti”, which made a very soft corner in my mind, because I’m also a “Ghoti”. Apart from the Bengali people, rest of the world will wonder what “Ghoti” is. However, to write about that I think I need to create another post.  Anyway, today the reason to writing this post is that, her blog inspire me to cook “luchi and sada alur torkari” for today’s breakfast. After getting up in the morning I was feeling too lethargic to move myself from the chair. I was surfing Facebook very reluctantly. In a newly joined group in Facebook I was reading the review of her book. The book reviewer put some pictures of “Luchi”. That very picture drove me to cook the heavenly combination. I bet any Bengali cannot hold back the water in mouth after hearing this combination. Anyway, again I want to congratulate her for her book. It is not an easy job to compiling a book.  Please friends visit her blog,Bong mom's cookbook

And here is my Sunday breakfast.